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Discussion Starter #1
I have been wanting one of these things for a while, and think I'm ready to get one. Only trouble is I know absolutely nothing about these little gadgets. :help:

I have been looking on Midway and Brownells, checking prices and reading "reviews"....most of which vary from love it to hate it on just about every make/model. Doesn't seem to be a lot of consensus.

Anybody have any suggestions for best buy/best starter/try this you won't be sorry?
 

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I started out with the CED Millennium 2 and really liked it. However, it proved unreliable. I had a sensor go bad, and had to buy a new one, which wasn't cheap. Then, the console itself failed. I gave up on it.

On Charlie's recommendation I went with a Shooting Chrony, and am pretty happy. It seems to be reliable, and folds up into a pretty small package for transportation and storage.

Some of the things I've learned about chrony's:

1. The software is universally convoluted, involving non-intuitive button pushes, confusing on-screen abbreviations, and non-sensical error codes. I don't depend on the software for anything except basic shot values. Record them on paper as you get them, then erase the machine's memory and start the next string. Keep it simple.

2. Because of #1 above, eschew bells and whistles. Get the cheapest model of whatever you decide on, because then, when it goes south (or when you kill it with a bullet), you won't feel bad about leaving it in the range trash can and buying a new one.

3. Don't scrimp on the tripod. Get a tripod with some heft to it, one that will stand up to wind and balance on uneven ground. I use an old standby from the '60's, an original Marchioni Tiltall 4602 that's usually available on EBay for about seventy-five bucks. IMHO, one of the best tripods ever made.

4. If you get the Shooting Chrony, be aware that there's a standard female tripod mount built into the little remote console that sits on your shooting bench. Get a miniature table-top tripod for it so it sits up looking at you, and you barely have to move your head to read your results. Very handy.

5. When using a crony, it really helps to have an assistant. The positioning and adjusting process is much easier if you don't have to keep running back and forth between the tripod and the bench, and having a recorder means that you can maintain your shooting position, rather than having to break your hold to manipulate the crony controls and record results.
 

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You have come to the right place. I have four, all different, but the one I use the most is the Chrony. It is easy to set up and just as accurate as those costing hundreds more. I think you want one of the "master" models that let you have the readout and controls on the bench. I think the lowest price of those is around $100.

Unless you are going overboard a printer is not worth it. I have a couple and find that waiting on the printer takes longer than just writing numbers down.

I just make an Excel sheet with the load stuff and then fill in the blanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Chrony it is. Thanks, gentlemen! :thumbsup:

Cap'n, seems like you've known me for 20 years or so...I will buy cheap, will probably use it mostly on my property (which is mostly old furrowed farmland which I have never leveled) and can just about guarantee I'll end up shooting the darned thing! :D

Charlie, I knew I was asking the right folks. In fact, I am going to bother you guys again in a minute with a question on a different subject. :D

The chronograph is for my own curiosity more than anything else. Note-taking is fine with me, and I can actually use Excell.

Y'all made up my mind. Time to go shopping! :bolt:
 

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Remote skyscreens.

What happened to the pocket LADAR experiments?

Geoff
Who knows sooner or later...spreadsheet the consequences.
 

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"I am going to bother you guys again in a minute with a question on a different subject. "

I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop...
 

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Don't be cheap, aim for cost concious.

Speaking of which, I second the remote sky screen motion. I've lost count of the Chrony's I've seen demolished. It took me 12 years to ding a remote sky screen. My choice was made easier by the fact that I got given several sets of spare PACT sky screens when work trashed their chronograph. I'd been using PACT shot timers for decades and it was an easy decision.
 

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In trying to understand the "remote skyscreen" recommendation I've done a lot of Googling, and have come to the conclusion that people mean different things when they say "skyscreen".

All the chrony's I've seen have two things in common: a pair of (sometimes three) sensors to record bullet passage, and translucent diffusers above the sensors to create artificial shade and provide a contrasting background for the sensors. Some chrony's also feature a remote LCD display that sits on the shooting bench and provides a real-time readout of bullet speed.

So, as far as I can tell, when some people say "remote skyscreen" they mean the sensors (which doesn't make much sense to me...how could the sensors not be "remote"? You can't have them sitting on the bench with you.

Some mean the diffusers...again, how could they not be "remote? They have to be atop the sensors, no?

And some mean the bench top readout...but why call it a "skyscreen"? It's a screen, but doesn't have much to do with the sky.

So, when we recommend "remote skyscreens" what, exactly, are we talking about. And how do they differ from "skyscreens" that are not "remote"?
 

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Aww shucks...

To me it might be easier to say "downrange box" where everything is in one place.

It might be better to say remote display or readout. I have long since lost count of the number of "sky screens" I've killed, but it is more than one.

Oehler coined the term which may be misleading because they could care less about the sky. The "screen is a simple diode that detects a change in light it sees. It is accurate, although confusing, to say the screen responds to the shadow of the bullet passing over.

I think it is gee whiz cool...
 

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By Remote Skyscreens I mean a dumb unit down range on the tripod, with the works back on the bench connected by a cable. This part should be relatively inexpensive, compared to the circuit board and display, so you can buy a couple for the sad day when you miscalculate the trajectory on your 8 bore paradox and hit the base of the down range assembly.

Geoff
Who in his wisdom has gone from 12 bore to 20 to preserve his shoulder.
 

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As a couple of folks have pointed out....the remotes skyscreens are sensors separate (remote) from the expensive electronic works. That way, if you pull one low, you're out a much lesser amount of money and with a quick sensor change you're back in business. With everything in one box, if you pull one low, you're out of business for an extended period and much more money.

As Charlie noted, the skyscreen got it's name because it looks at the sky and captures the bullets passage overhead. Previously, you were shooting at a celluloid (or something a bullet would pass through) screen that used the bullet to complete a circuit and start/stop the clock as it passed through each screen. I expect Charlie could provide much greater and more accurate detail on that if anyone's interested-including what a monumental pain the butt the screens could be.

Before that was ballistic pendulums. Which actually could be quite accurate.
 

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Those old ones were a true-blue PITA !

It was like a printed circuit and the bullet broke the circuit to start or stop the clock. Nobody shot ten shot strings. If you were lucky you might get two on the screen before you had to change them.

Even worse were the first electronics where there were four little knobs each had to be fiddled somehow to give the four digit velocity. I think the earliest ones actually displayed the time and you had to go to a chart to get velocity. Fortunately I'm not THAT old...:roll eyes:

To his everlasting credit Ken Oehler developed the screens and the electronic circuitry needed to display fps.
 
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