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Press Monitor Product Review

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by GioaJack, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
    3
    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    As many of you know, I love toys! Don't misunderstand me, I don't just like toys... I LOVE TOYS! That being said there was no way I couldn't try this thing out.

    It's electric, it's got buttons, lights, buzzers, a litany of directions, reminders, warnings and to add icing to the cake it just flat looks cool sitting on the bench. How could I not have tried. The best part of the whole deal, it can't divorce you and take half your stuff!

    I ordered it about a month or so ago when Alank2, (a forum member) posted a thread about his product. I've already posted the pre-purchase service I received as well as the quick shipping and shall not bore you by repeating it other than to say I couldn't have been more pleased. Although cursed with a shy and retiring nature should I find that this excellent service was an aberration and not his normal mode of business I will find some way of letting you know. I doubt very seriously that this will be the case however.

    The Press Monitor is designed primarily to be a back-up of all the things that you should already be doing during your normal loading routine but takes into account human fallacy and jolts you awake when something goes awry. That by itself is enough to consider this as an addition to your loading bench but it adds seemingly innocuous but welcome information such as total number of rounds to be loaded, number of rounds left to load, (also acts as a low primer warning), rounds loaded per hour, total time of loading session, number of rounds left until scheduled machine maintenance, low powder in hopper warning, amount of powder used, average weight of each powder charge loaded and a host of other things that I can't even remember plus the simple things that you would expect it to do; tell you each and every position your press is in at any moment.

    Mess something up without realizing it and it will tell you... in several different. Short stroke the handle, forget to rotate the shell plate on a manual progressive, forget to push forward to prime or screw up any other way and an alarm sounds, (either constant or pulsing, your choice), the back-lit monitor flashes and the supplied light that mounts on the press for powder checking flashes and the text display tells you what you did wrong... all simultaneously. If any, or all of those warnings don't get your attention you need to quit loading and take up curling where you can't hurt yourself or anyone else.

    Will the Press Monitor work on your machine? Probably. It's programed to support eleven different presses both progressive and turret with the ability to custom program two additional progressives. I'll include a few photos here to give you an idea of how you know which press you're setting it up for.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There's no sense in posting more pictures but suffice it to say there's a pretty good chance it'll work on your press, or multiple presses. The monitor is almost instantly transferred from one press to another by simply unplugging the telephone type cord from one press and plugging the display into an already wired separate press. That's pretty much it. I have my 550, Square Deal and both Hornady LNL's prewired with the necessary microswitches and harnesses that are available as options for $9 each, (you read it right, nine bucks). I really don't think you can buy the separate components for that.

    Installation is actually pretty simple, especially for a normal bodied person. Because of my arthritic hands I had a bit of a problem stripping the tiny wires and securing them to the microswitches but this is not a reflection on the unit itself. (For a manual progressive such as a 550 there are three switches, for auto indexing presses there are two switches and for the 1050 only one is needed. Since I got my 1050 after the Press Monitor I need to order a harness for that.)

    The microswitches, which are just that, micro, are secured to the press with supplied 3M double stick tape. The instructions recommend applying the switches and then letting the tape set up for a couple of hours. Who's kidding who, I don't even buy green bananas, I ain't waitin' around for something to dry, I could keel over before the. This was a great opportunity to try out that package of 'As seen on TV, UGLU'. Turns out those little double sided squares really, really work... you could stick a battleship to your living room wall with this stuff.

    It takes about 15 minutes or so to wire each machine, it's really not very difficult, just follow the directions. I imagine it's easier if you have fingers that work but if I can do it pretty much anyone can.

    Continued on next post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
    norton and crockett like this.
  2. Bello

    Bello America/Italia

    2,346
    46
    Sep 24, 2008
    East Coast
    but how and where are you mounting it? is there a lil setup or do you have to make a custom rack lets just say if we want to stick it on a 650 only?
     

  3. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    That is quite an interesting setup. Is it pre-programmed for the Lee Turret presses?
     
  4. Bob2223

    Bob2223 Jack's buddy!

    1,232
    1
    Mar 26, 2009
    Spencer Indiana
    Deadly plague invades city !

    Details at 11:00



    :supergrin:

    Bob
     
  5. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
    3
    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Press Monitor continued.

    Once you get it set up and plugged in you'll be tempted to start playing with it. Don't... trust me. It was a devious mind indeed that designed this thing and if you don't read the owners manual thoroughly, several times you'll never figure out a fraction of what this thing is capable of. (It's 59 pages long but yet pretty easy to follow and understand.)
    [​IMG]

    Pros:

    The unit itself appears very well made and if taken care of it should have a useful life of hundreds upon hundreds if not millions of rounds. The press maintenance feature alone is programmable up to 250,000 rounds. (What's press maintenance, are you supposed to grease these things?)

    Installation and set up is pretty straight forward if you simply follow the instructions.

    At just a bit over $200 dollars you certainly aren't left with the feeling that you were ripped off and at only $9 dollars for each additional harness to add presses you actually feel like you took advantage of someone.

    Customer service, at least to this point has certainly been as good, or better than you would expect when spending your hard earned money.

    They unit actually does everything it's advertised to do and actually quite a bit more. Reading through the owner's manual leaves you muttering things like, 'huh, I didn't realize it did that', and, 'that's cool, I never would have thought of that'.

    Cons;

    Being deaf as a fence post I would have liked the warning buzzer to have been a bit louder. This is no reflection on the unit since it's loud enough to scare the hell out of the dog. The multiple flashing lights and text on the display negate a buzzer that I have trouble hearing however. (I wonder if he could make it loud enough to drown out a NASCAR race.)

    The receptacle to plug in the phone cord type cable is located on the bottom of the unit which precludes sitting it upright on the bench directly in your line of sight. No a big thing and easily remedied by leaning it against a bullet bin or any other handy object but it would be nice to just set it there.

    You can program the machine to keep track of the total number of rounds you load on one machine but as far as I can tell you can't switch from machine to machine and keep separate totals. I guess it would be easy enough to set the unit at zero and when you connect it to another machine simply write down the number of rounds from the first machine and keep a running record. Again, not a big deal but I'm lazy and I want everything done for me.

    Conclusion;

    Is the Press Monitor something that is absolutely needed? No... not anymore than a progressive press or a tumbler or a case gauge is absolutely needed. You can load quite nicely without any of those things but they all make loading safer, quicker and more enjoyable. So does the Press Monitor.

    If you've been loading since two days after they invented dirt it adds a little spice and enjoyment to something that might have become a bit mundane. If you're a newb and still have nightmares of squibs and kabooms this just may be that added safety device that allows you a bit more piece of mind.

    Or, if you're like me and you just like toys with all the bells and whistles... well, tell mama she need look no farther for your Christmas present.

    There's no way I could cover all the points of the Press Monitor so if you want to learn more check out the website; http://www.pressmonitordevice.com/


    Jack
     
  6. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
    3
    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    Jeeze guys, ya could'a given me a chance to finish writing the thing. It's the secretary's day off and I don't type as fast as she does.

    (I could have had the maid do it but she concentrates on other talents. :whistling:)


    Jack
     
  7. Bob2223

    Bob2223 Jack's buddy!

    1,232
    1
    Mar 26, 2009
    Spencer Indiana
    Good write up Jack!

    Makes me want one, I like toys too !

    Bob
     
  8. Bello

    Bello America/Italia

    2,346
    46
    Sep 24, 2008
    East Coast
    wonder is alan could put the adapter plug in on the side of the unit
     
  9. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    6,202
    42
    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    :drool: Asking Santa "Me" for one of these...
     
  10. GioaJack

    GioaJack Conifer Jack

    10,016
    3
    Apr 14, 2009
    Conifer, CO
    As you can see from the photos the display monitor it quite large, very easy to see from pretty much anywhere on the bench. I just lean it against one of those blue bins with a few bullets in it to keep it from sliding.

    I would think that it'd be very easy to make some sort of stand, I really don't think it's needed and I'm not smart enough to do it anyway/

    Actually it's programed for several Lee Turrets but you might want to PM Alan to find out exactly which ones. I'm just not that versed with Lee to know one from another. I do believe there's at least 3 or 4 in there, maybe more.

    Hey, young'un, I didn't take you to raise... how would I know if he can put it on the side? Send him a PM and see what he says then let us all know. :supergrin:


    Jack
     
  11. WiskyT

    WiskyT Malcontent

    11,682
    1
    Jun 12, 2002
    North Carolina
    It's compatible with wives. This guy thought of everything. I'm surprised Jack didn't comment on the bright red, centrally mounted "IGNORE" button. I hope it works better than the "mute" button on the remote. Women have evolved so as to be immune to it.
     
  12. EL_NinO619

    EL_NinO619 EX-Swage Monkey

    1,615
    0
    Aug 11, 2010
    San Diego
    So its U Glu that holds you all together hey? And isopropyl Alcohol, What happened to Scotch, That 1050 knocked you off the wagon. When you had your little scare, i thought it was that machine that tried to take you down. Not the 1050 :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  13. Bob2223

    Bob2223 Jack's buddy!

    1,232
    1
    Mar 26, 2009
    Spencer Indiana

    Jack did try it on the maid but got tired of pushing the ignore button, the monitor constantly flashed

    ***SHORT STROKE!***
    :whistling:


    Bob
     
  14. alank2

    alank2

    961
    17
    May 24, 2004
    Hi Everyone,

    First thank you for the review Jack, I appreciate you taking the time to do a review!!! I'm glad you have all your harnesses setup already and can move the Press Monitor from one press to another. I guess I need to get some more presses as I only have one!

    Bello - The press sensors stick right to the press. Early on I had some people build little brackets to mount sensors, but this is not necessary unless you want to. Moving the plug to the side would be difficult to do because of where the printed circuit board is on the inside. But, the best place to mount it would be at eye level for the best contrast on the display. You can easily remove the back cover (4 screws) and drill some holes in it to mount it to a post, wood, wall, etc. You could also just add a small metal bracket and hang it on a nail at each press if you are using it with multiple presses.

    ilgunguygt - It will work with a Lee Turret and that is one of the supported presses. I have not had a customer tell me they were planning on using it on a turret yet, but that doesn't mean someone hasn't done that. As long as you can find a place to mount the two micro-switches (auto turret) and three micro-switches (manual turret), it will work great. I have a 30 day return policy if you have any issues.

    If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me via the website email link, here via PM, or reply in this thread.

    www.pressmonitordevice.com

    Thanks!!

    Alan
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  15. Bello

    Bello America/Italia

    2,346
    46
    Sep 24, 2008
    East Coast
    ill be def be picking one up before xmas! must ask wifey lol
     
  16. alank2

    alank2

    961
    17
    May 24, 2004
    Hi Guys,

    I just wanted to let everyone know I will be at the huge Tulsa gun show this weekend - Wanenmacher on Nov 13th/14th, 2010. I will be on the upper lever, west wall of the building at table RW21. I will have a Dillon 550 setup and you can come try out the Press Monitor or Press Guard first hand, or just stop by to say hi!

    Thanks,

    Alan
     
  17. creophus

    creophus Born Again

    1,033
    15
    Mar 18, 2005
    Florida
    Just used my Press Monitor and man I love it!

    I agree with what GioaJack has posted but I'll do my own review a bit later.

    You guys that don't have one gotta get one. That's just all there is to it.
     
  18. alank2

    alank2

    961
    17
    May 24, 2004
    Hi Everyone,

    I've got to bump this fine review up to the top!

    Thanks,

    Alan
     
  19. Kwesi

    Kwesi

    1,531
    12
    Sep 23, 2006
    TX
    I purchased the Press Monitor after reading Jack's review..thanks again! I cannot say enough praises for Alan's patience in walking me thru some issues I encountered, mostly created by by lack of mechanical abilities. He was there every step of the way with not only detailed instructions but also photo's to assist me getting it set up and working properly. I'll still look into every case before seating the bullet but appreciate the added assurance & protection provided by the Press Monitor. Alan is A+++
     
  20. alank2

    alank2

    961
    17
    May 24, 2004
    Hi,

    I appreciate the positive feedback Kwesi. :) Thanks!!

    Alan