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herdingcats 03-29-2012 09:09

Chronograph Options
 
I need a chronograph. In my research it seems there are a few decent options, but that a guy could end up with trash if he's not careful. Experts please chime in: if you were buying one today, what would you get?


Here are the options I've been reading about:

1. This one comes pretty well recommended and is said to have one of the largest shooting areas of them all.
Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph. $119.95
Software and cable solution to extract data. $49.95
Optional remote with no digital readout. $89.95
Total for this option: $259.85
I worry that you can't read your data on the remote, so the only way to get real-time data is by seeing the readout on the unit (not ideal), or by having your PC connected on the spot (uh… I can see it now…). Long story short, the user really needs to collect info and just review later. Now that's my take… other users seem to feel that the digital readout is great and that the remote is not needed. If true, then you've got one of the most recommended Chronographs for $120.

2. Shooting Chrony has a lot of haters, so I'm thinking I shouldn't get one of those. Please feel free to school me here. They make a lot of options, so it's tempting to go this direction. That said, there are a whole lot of people saying not to go this direction, so I'd need to know why this is the better route and not just that you like yours. Experts, please chime in.

3. The CED M2 Chronograph looks interesting, though I'm not finding definitive reviews one way or another. It does not seem to have a big shooting area, so I worry about shooting it. It's also $169.99 right now for the full package. This I like. The remote on this one has a digital readout so you can collect data immediately and right at the shooting bench… I like this for obvious reasons. Also, I can connect to it later with the PC interface that is included at this price. This is a plus. That said, there have been quite a few negative reviews regarding error reads due to lighting. These seem to be the same issues the Shooting Chrony guys are having, and the only fix seems to be to put fabric on either side of the reading units. Personally I don't want this problem.

Again, experts please chime in with the "what" and the "why".

Thanks again GT!!

fredj338 03-29-2012 09:52

The Chrony line is pure crap. Yes they can be made to work & yes they are accurate. If you only need to check PF for the occasional load, plenty good. The problem is their small poor screens. So buying the more esxpensive unit doesn't fix anything, they all use the same poor screens.
If you use one to develope handloads, then something better like the CED will be easier & less frustrating to use. I am lucky & got an Oehler before they stopped making them. Best screens on the market & w/ any chrono, it's all about the screens for accurate measuring.

F106 Fan 03-29-2012 09:56

Quote:

3. The CED M2 Chronograph looks interesting, though I'm not finding definitive reviews one way or another. It does not seem to have a big shooting area, so I worry about shooting it. It's also $169.99 right now for the full package. This I like. The remote on this one has a digital readout so you can collect data immediately and right at the shooting bench… I like this for obvious reasons. Also, I can connect to it later with the PC interface that is included at this price. This is a plus. That said, there have been quite a few negative reviews regarding error reads due to lighting. These seem to be the same issues the Shooting Chrony guys are having, and the only fix seems to be to put fabric on either side of the reading units. Personally I don't want this problem.

Again, experts please chime in with the "what" and the "why".

Thanks again GT!!
I bought the CED M2 chronograph about a year ago. I also have two older Ohler chronographs that are somewhat of a PITA to use as they feature 10' sensor separation.

I wanted the electronics on the table. I can afford to blow up a couple of sensors from time to time but I would prefer to save the electronics. No, I haven't done it yet. But 'yet' is the operative word.

Lighting is the problem with ALL chronographs. You can't use them when the sun is low in the sky (early AM or late PM). They work best when the sun is overhead so summer is better than winter. The only time I really had a problem was early in the morning when the screens were in the shade of the overhanging canopy.

The chronograph works very well and the PC interface is a real help. Eventually, I would like to create a database of load and chronograph data combined. Someday...

Ohler isn't selling low end chronographs any longer so, IMO, the M2 is the next best thing. I highly recommend it.

Richard

ron59 03-29-2012 10:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by herdingcats (Post 18772941)

1. This one comes pretty well recommended and is said to have one of the largest shooting areas of them all.
Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph. $119.95
Software and cable solution to extract data. $49.95
Optional remote with no digital readout. $89.95
Total for this option: $259.85
I worry that you can't read your data on the remote, so the only way to get real-time data is by seeing the readout on the unit (not ideal), or by having your PC connected on the spot (uh… I can see it now…). Long story short, the user really needs to collect info and just review later. Now that's my take… other users seem to feel that the digital readout is great and that the remote is not needed. If true, then you've got one of the most recommended Chronographs for $120.

This is the one I've had for 2 years. I bought just the chrono, none of the other gadgets. Midway puts this one on sale often for $99.

I can chrony in my back yard. So for me, shooting 10 and then walking over and gathering my data is no big deal. Even if I was at an outdoor range, they do call "cease fire" occasionally, no? I'd have the chrony setup low so I could use the bench to bench rest it through the uprights, once I shot 10 rounds I'd then shoot at some other target in the background until the "cease fire" sounds and I could walk out and get the data.

Of course, that second "set" of shooting needs to not travel over the chrono, but you could have fun and not be bored while waiting for the change to walk out.

Wil Terry 03-29-2012 10:11

You ALWAYS get what you pay for; buy OEHLER.

ColoCG 03-29-2012 10:15

I agree with the above posts about the CED M2, is one of the best chrono's out there and at $ 169 is a steal.

The screens are sufficiantly large enough and much larger than the Chronys.

I have had great succes with mine, and having the display and major parts on the bench next to you is a major plus. Even if you do shoot the sensors they can be replaced at a minimal charge.

It does every thing you need in a chrono and more.

F106 Fan 03-29-2012 10:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wil Terry (Post 18773143)
You ALWAYS get what you pay for; buy OEHLER.


I think the quote should be that you never get MORE than you pay for.

Oehler makes great stuff. When I checked a while back, they weren't making anything for the non-commercial market. That 35P is likely to be the top chrono available to the non-commercial market. Expensive, but definitely worth considering.

Richard

SARDG 03-29-2012 10:34

I have a Chrony Beta Master and the remote (with readout/screen) is placed about 1' from my nose on the bench so there is no problem there. I also have their printer which acts as a remote as well, and is right there next to me, printing as I shoot.

I'm a new reloader and haven't used it that much, but I've always used it mid-day, and on sunny days. (Hey, I live in the Sunshine State) No known problems so far.

Boxerglocker 03-29-2012 10:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wil Terry (Post 18773143)
You ALWAYS get what you pay for; buy OEHLER.

True but the reality is unless you are loading rounds for national rifle competitions. Spending $350 as opposed to $100 for essentially the same thing and just not having the conveniences of a printer, remote etc.

I have the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph and like Ron can chrono in the confines of an open outdoor action bay as a RSO at my club.

If you need the extra remote and what not go for it... I'll tell you though I've used mine to chrono rounds for sanctioned idpa/uspsa competitions three years now and mine has been dead on par with the OEHLER and other official chronos used.

SARDG 03-29-2012 10:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by F106 Fan (Post 18773177)
...That 35P is likely to be the top chrono available to the non-commercial market. Expensive, but definitely worth considering.

Richard

OMG, that 35P 'system' lists for nearly 600 bucks!!

Colorado4Wheel 03-29-2012 12:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by herdingcats (Post 18772941)
3. The CED M2 Chronograph looks interesting, though I'm not finding definitive reviews one way or another. It does not seem to have a big shooting area, so I worry about shooting it. It's also $169.99 right now for the full package. This I like. The remote on this one has a digital readout so you can collect data immediately and right at the shooting bench… I like this for obvious reasons. Also, I can connect to it later with the PC interface that is included at this price. This is a plus. That said, there have been quite a few negative reviews regarding error reads due to lighting. These seem to be the same issues the Shooting Chrony guys are having, and the only fix seems to be to put fabric on either side of the reading units. Personally I don't want this problem.

Again, experts please chime in with the "what" and the "why".

Thanks again GT!!

With out a doubt that is the best Chrono in the under $300 market. Shooting area is BIG and the sensors are easily replaceable. It has the options you want if you decide to use IR for the sky screens etc. Most importantly. IT WORKS better then most others. It has better screens and picks up the shots better then most others.

fredj338 03-29-2012 12:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boxerglocker (Post 18773220)
True but the reality is unless you are loading rounds for national rifle competitions. Spending $350 as opposed to $100 for essentially the same thing and just not having the conveniences of a printer, remote etc.

I have the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph and like Ron can chrono in the confines of an open outdoor action bay as a RSO at my club.

If you need the extra remote and what not go for it... I'll tell you though I've used mine to chrono rounds for sanctioned idpa/uspsa competitions three years now and mine has been dead on par with the OEHLER and other official chronos used.

I agree, even though I have an Oehler, I wouldn't pay $600 for one today. Yes the screens are almost flawless & I use mine almost everytime I shoot, still not worth that kind of $$. The CED is just as accuate, even the Chrony line is accurate, the better screens are just easier to get 100% results. With my friends Chrony BM, we would miss as many as 50% of the shots. It's why so many Chrony's get shot. Also why he bought a CED.:whistling:

Colorado4Wheel 03-29-2012 12:38

Double Post.

Damn Multiple Personality disorder is trying to take over again.

GioaJack 03-29-2012 12:51

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colorado4Wheel (Post 18773684)
Double Post.

Damn Multiple Personality disorder is trying to take over again.


Little Stevie made another funny. I believe his total has now zoomed all the way to 2... out of over ten thousand posts.

He's on a roll. Must have taken up drinking again. :whistling:


Jack

robin303 03-29-2012 13:33

I have the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph. You can get for $95 on sale at Midway couple times a year. It picks up data on sunny, cloudy, dusk and no problem with MG boolits.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w83/robin303/3-3.jpg

davesretired1 03-30-2012 21:11

Don't know why I don't see PACT mentioned too often, but I've had mine for 17 years and it still works great. They make a newer model now. Remote readings so you don't have to worry about shooting the display, plenty of info for display, and if you get the timer/chrono combo it also helps with your practice.

Taterhead 03-31-2012 00:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by robin303 (Post 18773927)
I have the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph. You can get for $95 on sale at Midway couple times a year. It picks up data on sunny, cloudy, dusk and no problem with MG boolits.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w83/robin303/3-3.jpg

I have that chrony too. It works great. Mine is quite a bit more beat up though. Managed to shoot a couple of diffuser rods. Shook the insides of the chrony all to hell. As I was getting ready to send a handgun round, my buddy, who was logging velocities, asked what the previous reading was. My eyes looked down to the readout right before trigger squeeze. Well, you sort of shoot where you are looking. :rofl:

At any rate, took it home, disassembled, re-assembled, and then tested it with loads of known velocities. The housing is peppered with lead shrapnel on one side. It is ugly but functional - and I might say durable! Gets good readings in a variety of lighting conditions.

herdingcats 04-03-2012 09:19

Thanks everyone for that great input. I ordered the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph, so I'll report back after I've had a chance to use it (we'll need to dry out a bit more here in the PacNW before I'll get to use it).

F106 Fan 04-03-2012 10:14

Quote:

Originally Posted by SARDG (Post 18773246)
OMG, that 35P 'system' lists for nearly 600 bucks!!

But it is still worth considering. Too many times we take a short term view of these things.

That 35P will still be a top-of-the-line chrono long after I am gone. My grandson will be able to hand it down to his kids (or grandkids).

Had I known it was available before I bought the CED M2, I would have definitely put it on the short list and probably bought it. I still might...

This long term view colors all of my buying decisions. Firearms, loading equipment, woodworking tools, electronics tools/devices, virtually everything I buy. What will be the best stuff 20 years from now? Certainly, better stuff may come out in the meantime but today's best stuff won't be junk.

Richard

Colorado4Wheel 04-03-2012 10:25

I am not convinced the 35p is better then then CED.


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