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Thread: DIY Chrony lights

  1. #1
    Sharp Shooter

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    Default DIY Chrony lights

    Hi guys,

    I thought I'd share a few photos of my efforts to create an indoor lighting system for my prochrono digital.

    I got the idea to use the hood posts as conductors from this video.

    I bought a 5 meter strip of white led's from the Chinese mall at Hillfox for R160. I only used about 50 cm of that in total. The rest of the parts I had on hand.

    I'm quite lazy about doing a proper write up, so hopefully the photo's will give you enough of an idea. Feel free to ask questions though.




    At the far end you can see the wires going into the black lens/post housing. I drilled the holes for the wires to intersect the tubes that hold the posts. The wire is stripped and bunched up inside the tube to allow the post to make electrical contact with it when inserted.



    The blue switch was added by me to enable independent switching of the lights. I also added a separate battery connector so the lights run off their own 9V battery. The prochrono pal and prochrono digital both have an extra compartment to allow for 2 9V batteries to be housed.




    Apologies for the bad focus on this one. The orange wire was threaded though the hole from the back, stripped and bunched up then pressed back down into the hole so that when the post is inserted, it will press up against the exposed wire creating an electrical connection.




    Well that's it. I'm sure the same thing can be done with the other brand chronographs.

    My next planned project for this chronograph is to use the serial port on the chrony to Bluetooth-enable it so I can feed the data to my phone/laptop in real time.
    Last edited by mace; 11-01-15 at 12:10.
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  2. #2
    Sharp Shooter

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    Looks great, I went and bought my lighting set !

    I do look forward to your Bluetooth project, sounds awesome.
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  3. #3
    MOT: Thomson Pneumatic Rifles

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    almost exactly how I am doing the new PM Chrony, execpt the LED's are IR instead of white.

    Nicely done Mace, this is why we need the DIY and custom thread!!
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  4. #4
    Sharp Shooter

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyT View Post
    Looks great, I went and bought my lighting set !

    I do look forward to your Bluetooth project, sounds awesome.
    Thanks Andy, the bluetooth project may take a bit longer as there's quite a few kinks to work out, but I'll be sure to post a thread about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warrick View Post
    almost exactly how I am doing the new PM Chrony, execpt the LED's are IR instead of white.

    Nicely done Mace, this is why we need the DIY and custom thread!!
    Thanks Warrick. I was actually working on a complete diy chrony, and actually had it sort of working but I couldn't get the sensors reliable enough. I was trying to make it work using just the detector part of the circuit, but for that you really do need lenses, or your shot window is way too small.

    I was also thinking that down the line i could buy a PM chrony from you so I can play around and possibly build a controller/display module for it so one can use it without a laptop. The only problem I have with the PM chrony is again the small shot window, but for airguns that is not as big a deal.

    Good luck with your project.
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  5. #5
    Sharp Shooter

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    Ola

    I have done the USB cable conversion successfully.
    I actually made Paris one he uses.

    How about a trade?
    I make you a cable and you do a lighting kit for me?
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  6. #6
    Sharp Shooter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuberboef View Post
    Ola

    I have done the USB cable conversion successfully.
    I actually made Paris one he uses.

    How about a trade?
    I make you a cable and you do a lighting kit for me?
    I already made a usb cable for myself, but I guess I could be generous and swop you a lighting kit for something small and worthless, like, say a Pro-Sport?


    Do you have the same brand chrony?
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  7. #7
    Sharp Shooter

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    Yip

    Identical
    Seems we live close to each other too
    Last edited by Kuberboef; 12-01-15 at 15:07.
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  8. #8
    Sharp Shooter

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    I actually have the lighting kit I bought and that doesn't work?
    Does this still work normally?
    Have you tried it under fluorescent light?
    Can I have a LED to indicate on/off?
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  9. #9
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    Here is my lighting setup, kinda like yours but iv got it running off AC

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  10. #10
    Sharp Shooter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuberboef View Post
    I actually have the lighting kit I bought and that doesn't work?
    Does this still work normally?
    Have you tried it under fluorescent light?
    Can I have a LED to indicate on/off?
    Kuber I've not used it under a fluorescent light, will test tonight.

    I've not done a ton of testing, but every time I've tested, I've gotten it to work fairly reliably. The 9v battery seems to be just enough, but I'll have to see if it holds out once it loses a bit of charge, since the LED strip was really built for 12V. Once or twice I've had to fiddle with the posts a bit as a bad connection gives problems(I was thinking of using some of those pogo type connectors(or even just a spring) to make the connection more reliable. I did test it on 12 volt and it worked very reliably, but I prefer the 9v battery since everything can then be contained inside the unit.

    Yes I think I should definitely give you an on/off indicator, wouldn't wan't you to forget it on.....

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Paris View Post
    Here is my lighting setup, kinda like yours but iv got it running off AC

    I see you're running under a fluorescent light, so I take it it works fine that way?
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  11. #11
    Sharp Shooter

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    Kuber also be aware that the prochrono unit is glued together, so it takes a bit of force to get it apart. I was not able to do mine without leaving a mark or two, so any warranty will be lost.
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  12. #12
    Sharp Shooter

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    Quote Originally Posted by mace View Post
    Kuber also be aware that the prochrono unit is glued together, so it takes a bit of force to get it apart. I was not able to do mine without leaving a mark or two, so any warranty will be lost.
    I am starting to lean towards the external version......
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  13. #13
    MOT: Thomson Pneumatic Rifles

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    Hi Mace,

    Really neat build.

    I have a PM Chrony interface in prototype phase already, this unit will display, record and store data for later transfer to a PC.

    I would be keen to do a collaboration on the Blue Tooth unit, I could provide a plug that you could attache a blue tooth unit to. PM me and we can chat.

    Cheers
    Warrick
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  14. #14
    Sharp Shooter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuberboef View Post
    I am starting to lean towards the external version......
    Whaaaaatt??? Here I thought you were a linux guy! Linux people don't need warranties! We fix it ourselves :-)

    Last night I built the bluetooth on some breadboard and managed to get it working with the pcremote software from CED. Now the real work starts: Building an android app to talk to it.

    I did some more testing on the lights and have come to the conclusion that the 9V battery is simply not enough to give reliable readings, in fact towards the end of my testing it consistently failed to detect pellets.

    My next steps here are to :

    A. Use shorter led strips to reduce the power demand. This will result in a slightly smaller shot window but if it improves reliability it will be worth it.
    B. Test using a 3 cell lipo battery to see if that will give reliable readings for an acceptable period of time.

    or

    C. Abandon the idea of running the lights from a battery and just use a 12V power supply.
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  15. #15
    Sharp Shooter
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    try putting the LED's on top of the diffuser....the sensors don't like direct light....i was also having random results until i tried it....works perfectly now....
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