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Old September 20, 2012, 07:31 PM   #1
Reef
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Chronograph Help

I bought the Millennium II by CED and just can’t seem to get the dang thing to work. Following the instructions it says to shoot through the center at 3-4 inches above the sensors. I’ve tried with a 45 and my 338 win mag. Never get anything other than error code E01.

I did test the sensors with a flashlight per the manual and it does register. Also, shot rubber bands through it and an air rifle, which also worked. Thinking it may be the muzzle blast; especially with the 338 I moved the chronograph approximately 30 feet from the muzzle, same error code. What am I doing wrong?
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Old September 20, 2012, 07:41 PM   #2
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Using it in sun or shade?
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Old September 20, 2012, 07:43 PM   #3
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Sun
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Old September 20, 2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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With the screens on or off?
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Old September 20, 2012, 07:54 PM   #5
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In the sun with the screens on.
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Old September 20, 2012, 08:01 PM   #6
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Are you sure the start and stop wires are in the wright spots? I put a piece of red tape on my stop wire on both ends used a marker wrote start and stop on screen. To keep me straight bullet has to go over start first then stop.E1 start is the only one reading maybe you are shooting through it back words.Have you ever got it to read?
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Old September 20, 2012, 08:06 PM   #7
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Try it with the screens off, I rarely use the screens. For 45 acp you shouldn't need to be more then 10-15 ft away. Id start with pistol, usually easier to pickup. Also may want to try up to 6" above the lens. Experiment a little.
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Old September 20, 2012, 08:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Are you sure the start and stop wires are in the wright spots
Yes, double checked.

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Try it with the screens off, I rarely use the screens.
Interesting, I'll try!
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Old September 20, 2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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Has it ever worked is this the first time you have used it?
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Old September 21, 2012, 05:09 AM   #10
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Has it ever worked is this the first time you have used it?
I have had one reading with the 45 out of approximately 20 shots fired. As I mentioned in my original post, I have tested the sensors with a flashlight and in my back yard with an air rifle.
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Old September 21, 2012, 06:53 AM   #11
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How far away are from the unit when shooting? Too close and the muzzle blast will trigger the first sensor giving a error code.
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Old September 21, 2012, 07:20 AM   #12
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Try putting a blast shield in front of the START screen.
Use a felt marker to color the bullets black as well.

All it needs to be is a 10" square piece of cardboard with a 2" hole in the center of it. Position the hole where you want to place the bullet strike & shoot at the hole as a bullseye.
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Old September 21, 2012, 05:06 PM   #13
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If possible, try it on an overcast day.
The cloud cover will act like a natural diffuser.
It might work better, then.
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Old September 21, 2012, 05:22 PM   #14
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How far away are from the unit when shooting?
Approximately 30'.


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If possible, try it on an overcast day.
Kinda expected a little more for $200.


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All it needs to be is a 10" square piece of cardboard with a 2" hole in the center of it.
Again, for $200 why is this required? May send this back.
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Old September 22, 2012, 08:26 AM   #15
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Again, for $200 why is this required? May send this back.
You will probably find that any chronograph, regardless of price needs a shield with subsonic/transonic loads. It isn't a reflection on the quality of the product, just a side effect of physics you need to deal with.
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Old September 22, 2012, 08:39 AM   #16
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I purchased the CED ProDigital and am very impressed with it. On a cloudy day I leave the sunshades off of it and when the sun comes out I put them on. So far it's been nothing but stellar so it sounds as if you have a problem with that particular unit.

The reviews on Midwayusa aren't good for the Millenium II but were very positive for the ProDigital which is confusing since their by the same company.
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Old September 22, 2012, 09:47 AM   #17
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Pro Digital isn't made by CED. The M2 is. I have the M1 and it has always worked flawlessly and reads closer to agreement with my Oehler 35P (usually within two to four fps at rifle velocity) than any other make I've had occasion to play with. Bryan Litz mentions getting the same result comparing the CED and the Oehler during BC testing for his book, Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting. Apparently he did what I did, which was buy the CED as a second unit to be able to get BC's between two points for each individual shot. So when this unit is working, it does very well. The trick here is to get it working.


Reef,

You shouldn't be fighting it this hard. I think most likely one of the two sensors isn't working properly and you may need to avail yourself of the warranty. That can happen to any product.

I don't know what you mean by the E01 error? E0 is front screen failing to read, meaning the back screen read without the front screen tripping. That's also what reversed cables would do if you had them backward. E1 is the rear screen failing to read, meaning the front screen read, but the counter then overflowed because there was no stop signal from the rear screen. But if both screens fail to read, the unit should just sit there waiting for a shot. The error codes are on page 11 of the manual. No mention of an E01 error is there. If you actually see that on the screen, you'll have to contact CED to find out what it means.

If you meant you are getting either E0 or E1, with neither predominating, then something is randomly acting up with both screens. As an electronics person, my first suspicion with random errors is the power source isn't doing its job. Get a truly brand spanking new alkaline 9V battery with a distant expiration date. If you have a voltmeter, check the voltage on the one you have to see if something has been draining it. Should be about 9.6V when brand spanking fresh. I also always check that the meter agrees that the battery polarity on the terminals is correct. Twice in my career I've encountered 9V batteries the factory had installed the snap connectors on backward. It's rare, but since reverse polarity can cause damage, I now am in the habit of checking new ones.

The connectors for the batteries are a weak element with all battery powered devices. Get a can of contact cleaner from Radio Shack. Take a Q-tip and put a pinhead size bit of toothpaste on it polish off the battery contacts, the screen connector plugs. Wipe away all traces of the toothpaste and then repeat the polishing, but with the contact cleaner on a new Q-tip instead of toothpaste. With the sensor connectors wet with contact cleaner, push them in and out of the computer box a dozen times to rub away oxides in the jacks. Make sure that contact is firm feeling.

If all that doesn't help, you need to return the unit for warranty service.
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Old September 22, 2012, 02:12 PM   #18
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Mine has worked great would buy it again. Reads 22lr through 300 win mag never had to do any thing but set it up the wright way.You may have got a lemon send it back.
Great reloading tool.
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Old September 22, 2012, 06:52 PM   #19
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Had mixed success today. Replaced the battery, removed the diffusers and with a black sharpie, colored the bullet of a factory round. Placed the tripod approximately 30' from the bench.

Fired one shot, Remington 250gr. CED M2 readout was 2392. Remington's Ballistics Calculator states muzzle velocity of 2660.

Fired another of the same factory round WITHOUT coloring the bullet black, E1 code.
Quote:
Unclenick: I don't know what you mean by the E01 error?
I missed typed the E01, should have read E1.

Then I tried some reloaded ammo using the sharpie method:
1st shot = 2414
2nd shot= 2381
3rd shot =2391

The manual for the bullet/powder has a velocity of 2500 fps.

Next I fired 3 shot from a Weatherby 30-378 using factory "non-sharpied" ammo. E1 on each shot.

Next I tried the 45: Moved the tripod to about 10 feet from the bench:
1st shot= 438.1
2nd shot= 413.7
About 1/2 of expected velocity. Called it a day.

Dumb question time, does coloring a bullet have any effect on accuracy?
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Old September 22, 2012, 08:25 PM   #20
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I don't know the way the M2 is constructed, but I wonder if this experiment is possible - since the sensors should be the same on both ends, can you turn the setup around and reverse the plugs so the sensor that was #2 is now #1 and vice versa. That way if you still get errors but they change to E0, you know you have a faulty sensor, and you know which one it is. If you still get E1 errors, it might indicate faulty electronics.

I have never seen it necessary to paint a bullet for it to be "seen" by a chronograph. They generally work by detecting the shadow of the projectile against the bright background of the skyscreens. The color of the bullet shouldn't make any difference, but it obviously does in your case.

To answer your last question - no, coloring a bullet in the manner you are should not affect its accuracy. Of course, if you dip it in paint and let it dry, all bets are off.
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Old September 23, 2012, 11:29 AM   #21
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An unless the day was overcast, I would expect more trouble from removing the diffusers than from using them. The M2 adjusts its sensitivity to compensate for light level. No other unit does, that I am aware of, so difference in light level and removing diffusers should make more difference for them than for you.

If you turn the tripod around 180° and swap the start and stop plugs, does the error change to E0? If so, that's a faulty sensor. Might be stuck on minimum sensitivity or something like that. If it continues to be E1, then the computer module has the problem at the input. Could be a circuitry problem, but loose jack contacts or a bad solder joint there could do it, too. The velocity coming up so short on the .45 makes me suspicious of the computer module, but I can imagine sluggish sensor response being an issue.

Anything you put on a bullet can throw its accuracy off by introducing mass asymmetry that causes wobble due to its high rate of spin, but I would not expect Sharpie coloring to be heavy enough to do that.

Coloring a bullet helps eliminate reflections from the ground, should you have a problem with that. Light colored gravel or concrete can cause the problem of picking up reflections off copper. Putting down black plastic on the ground should prevent it. I've never had a problem with grass or dirt causing this.
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Old September 23, 2012, 11:49 AM   #22
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I have never seen it necessary to paint a bullet for it to be "seen" by a chronograph. They generally work by detecting the shadow of the projectile against the bright background of the skyscreens. The color of the bullet shouldn't make any difference, but it obviously does in your case.
I may have been the one to start this off. My chronograph works fine with jacketed .30 cal rifle rounds, but had problems with slower .357 pistol bullets, particularly lead instead of jacketet/plated ones. I have no idea why, because as you say its the shadow that does the work of letting the sensor "read" as it passes. Someone years ago told me the trick of coloring with a felt marker & for some unknown reason it makes a big difference.

Something else that migh be having an effect, muzzle blast momentarily disturbing the plugs into the unit at the bench. I know it sounds odd, but I had a problem once with a rifle fitted with a "combination device" (muzzle break kind of thing). I suddenly got errors, which I'd not had before with un vented bores. The factory suggested moving the base unit & it fixed the problem. I guess the blast was "whipping" the cabling at close proximity, causing a brief continuity problem.
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Old September 23, 2012, 01:03 PM   #23
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Coloring a bullet helps eliminate reflections from the ground, should you have a problem with that. Light colored gravel or concrete can cause the problem of picking up reflections off copper. Putting down black plastic on the ground should prevent it. I've never had a problem with grass or dirt causing this.
The range I use is mostly red clay dirt with some grass.

The unit in boxed up and will be sent back for technical support. I appreciate all the ideas fellows but this little adventure has been a fun sucker and that's no way to spend a day at the range.
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