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Press Monitor

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TerryO   

I've seen these and I'm wondering if it's not just an "eligant solution to a nonexistent problem."

Terry

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I've seen these and I'm wondering if it's not just an "eligant solution to a nonexistent problem."

It does have some nice features, but it's certainly not a necessity by any means. A great idea for a 550; for full progressives maybe not so much, unless you've got an automated setup. Still, I wouldn't mind having one if I had money to burn.

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I will definitely be getting one for my 550. It will make me feel better about letting my son reload as well as my inexperienced friends that come over to reload.

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TerryO   

I will definitely be getting one for my 550. It will make me feel better about letting my son reload as well as my inexperienced friends that come over to reload.

Good point. I only have experience loading on a 650 so I didn't think about anything other than a full progressive and I'm the only one loading on my press.

Edited by tohlmann

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It is interesting looking but a couple of observations: The builder claims to be a competitive shooter but nowhere is his name or any way to i.d. him. I could not find any type of address or "solid" link to the builder or company. Email only with just a website. Something seems funny but it may just be me, who knows? One of the testimonials gives a name "Alan" but other than that, no identifying info at all. The videos don't show this actually operating in conjunction with a press, it merely shows the screen scrolling through. Maybe it is hooked to one, maybe not. I guess I would be more trusting if someone says they have actually seen one working ON a PRESS or if they actually know the guy & have seen it working ON a PRESS. Maybe I'm just a cynic, though. It may be the best thing ever invented & if it does work, it could be a great asset. Especially for folks that have youngsters or friends using their press. I believe in the saying "Buyer Beware" & of course, the P.T. Barnum saying "There's a sucker born every minute".

MLM

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TerryO   

SA Development is a Vendor here on the BE forum. I've seen this monitor in a video on a press, I think it was a 650 not sure, and thought, "OK", why. I'm not saying it's a bad product, just need to be sold on the benefit of having one.

Edited by tohlmann

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I have a Press Monitor, I purchased it as an assemble it your self kit. I think it is a very well designed product that can be helpfull in many ways, first as a press monitor, it is like having a little friend watching over you, true if your pefect and reload in the perfect place with no distractions you might not need it but I like having it so when the wife comes in talking about something and I become distracted I know if I missed a step. The statistics are also a nice feture, it can help you keep an even pace for consistancy by letting you know is you start execeeding a set rolls per hour count. The powder monitor feature is also nice, basicly you weight the powder before putting it in the hopper and then weigh what is left after the session and the Press Monitor knows if your close to having used the proper amount of powder. This is just a couple of benifits.

The Press Monitor is a very well designed product, it does what the web site description sayes it does. Some will say it is just another unnessary

gadget but I like mine and I am glad I bought it, you can never be to safe.

Alan was a good guy to do business with he was prompt to ship and answer Emails and he even reflashed my chip for free when a newer version of software was ready.

Dale

Edited by dcbridgwater

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Brooks   

Interesting, but I do wish that the website showed it attached to the press. Especially how it fits and works on various presses with different equipment (case feeders, bullet feeders or even the PW)

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Interesting, but I do wish that the website showed it attached to the press. Especially how it fits and works on various presses with different equipment (case feeders, bullet feeders or even the PW)

Take a look here Press Monitor switchs.Although I did it a little different on my Dillon RL550, I mounted the switchs for ram up and down to be accuated by the powder fail safe bracket and the rotation switch as shown in the picture.

Dale

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I have one as well. Alan was excellent to deal with. I bought mine assembled by him, he kept me informed all through the process, telling me when he started working on it, when he expected it to ship, when it shipped and finally he checked back to make sure I had received it. I have never met Alan in person but in all of my contacts with him he gives me the impression he is a true gentleman and a man of honor.

As far as how the unit works. If you have a 550, it is very usefull. In my 20 years of using my Dillon 550, I can only remember @ 5 or 6 squibs but if I had been using the Press Monitor, I wouldn't have had them. It works remarkably well to let you know if you have skipped a station or double charged a case. For me, the $200 for the unit is well worth having another barrier in place, to help keep me from damaging a firearm.

If you are using a 650 or 1050, it would be nice to have but kind of expensive for a round counter. But if your into gadgets, its cool.

The Press Monitor works exactly as he describes it. I struggled a little bit with mounting the sensors on the press, until I followed his advise on how to mount them. I would like to have a better way of mounting the sensors but its not necessary.

Kevin

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alank2   

Hi Everyone,

Sorry I'm late to the thread; been busy lately and missed it! Thanks Dale and Kevin for responding with the great info you guys have.

I am Alan of SA Development, the developer and builder of the Press Monitor.

I will try to address all the questions in the thread so far, but if anyone has more, please shoot.

... if it actually caught mistakes?

It will definitely catch and report the mistakes it was designed to catch. How it works is this: There is a sensor for press handle up, press handle down, and rotate (on manual indexing presses). The device watches these sensors and expects to see an exact set of sequences. For a 550 it is: Handling being pulled down, Handle down, Handle being pushed up, Handle up, Shellplate Rotate Sensor On, Shellplate Rotate Sensor Off, (repeat). If you deviate at all from this sequence, it will alert you by flashing the press light and buzzer. On a 550 this will catch, Double Stroke (forgetting to rotate the shellplate), Double Rotate (rotated shellplate twice), Short Stroke (did not pull handle fully down), and any other deviation will be reported as Bad Sequence.

On a 650/1050, since it is auto-indexing, there is no need to monitor the shell plate. It expects to see: Handling being pulled down, Handle down, Handle being pushed up, Handle up, (repeat). This will catch Short Stroke and other other sequence as Bad Sequence.

It makes sense that this feature is most beneficial on presses where there is more user control (and more the user could make a mistake on) such as the 550. But, it will catch a short stroke on the 650 which can cause a lighter charge or squib. I hear that a 1050 has a physical short stroke preventing mechanism.

This type of monitoring is really good for the situation where you have been loading for an hour or two and the repetitive nature sometimes lulls you. The monitor will not tire and if an action is done out of sequence, it will alert you.

It can't monitor things like correct load information, or brass quality, etc., but that probably goes without saying.

I've seen these and I'm wondering if it's not just an "elegant solution to a nonexistent problem.

I will admit that it isn't for everyone. The truth is that if you keep your eye on the reloading process 100%, you shouldn't have any problems. But to err is human and I've read many stories of guys who have been loading for 10 or 20 years double charge or squib a round due to inattention. It is funny, but accountability is one of those things that keeps you more on your toes. When I reload with the press monitor, I know if I make a mistake, it is going to error on me so I try a little harder to be consistent. And, if I get tired or someone interrupts me when I'm loading and I do make a mistake, it lets me know.

It also has many other features such as statistics, maintenance tracking, etc. that are of benefit even if the monitoring isn't the primary reason someone might want one.

The builder claims to be a competitive shooter but nowhere is his name or any way to i.d. him

I would love to become a competitive shooter and have done some forum reading on it; but haven't ever been to a match. Primary issue is the lack of time. I know, priority priority. I think competitive shooters and shooting sports are really cool. I've been to some training (not enough) and carry a G19/S&W 442 every day, so conceal carry is a priority. I enjoy reloading as much or more than shooting, but nothing beats a couple hour getaway to blast at an outdoor range on a beautiful day.

I could not find any type of address or "solid" link to the builder or company. Email only with just a website. Something seems funny but it may just be me, who knows?

I work out of my home and I am a one person company. I would prefer to keep my home information private so I don't release it. I have a business P.O. Box if someone wants to send me a payment using a USPS MO instead of using PP because they are anti. Nothing funny here; I am a Christian and do my very best to treat others as I would like to be treated.

The truth is that I don't make a ton of profit on these, and I realize their price point is not the low low electronics price everyone is accustomed to these days. I originally planned to build one just for myself until others expressed interest. I then reworked the project so I could build them as efficiently as possible to be able to produce a completed unit to sell. Everything is done by hand. I cut the enclosure by hand, I place the parts by hand, I solder them by hand, I assemble and test it by hand, well you get the idea. I would like these to be a money making adventure for me, and I hope they still will be, but I am striking a balance of profit made vs time spent. I am certainly not trying to sell one to anyone who isn't interested. If someone buys one and changes their mind, I will refund them. I've sold about 20 so far and have heard nothing but great feedback.

The videos don't show this actually operating in conjunction with a press, it merely shows the screen scrolling through

An accurate observation. I was originally going to run the video in my garage attached to my 550, but I found after trying this that you couldn't see the display well enough. I only have the 550 and I wanted to also demo it on a 650, so I just decided to demo it in my office. Instead of connected to an actual press, it was connected to a "simulated press" consisting of a small black plastic box with a switch simulating the press handle and a button for rotation. I use this little device for testing the devices after building them.

Maybe I'm just a cynic, though. It may be the best thing ever invented & if it does work, it could be a great asset.

I will say I'm not doing any more loading without my Press Monitor attached and running.

I've recently been told that I may be "geeking" it up too much and covering all the little details of what it can do instead of just keeping it simple. The truth is that you can just flip it on and start loading. If you want to use any of the many other features you can, if you want to keep it simple, you can do that too.

If you really want to see all of its features, check out the PDF manual on my website.

Please let me know if you have any more questions!

Thanks,

Alan

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glynnm45   

Alan, I think someone earlier asked if the press monitor will work with other presses, i.e. Lyman, RCBS, Lee ect.; will it??

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alank2   

Hi,

Alan, I think someone earlier asked if the press monitor will work with other presses, i.e. Lyman, RCBS, Lee ect.; will it??

Sure, missed that.

It has built in settings for:

Dillon Square Deal B, 550, 650, and 1050

Hornady LNL

RCBS Pro 2000

Lee 3 Hole / 4 Hole / Classic Turret

Lee Load Master / Lee Pro 1000

If someone has a press that isn't on the list, they can simply select "Other Progressive" or "Other Turret" and configure it manually. It supports any progressive or turret press that has 1-8 stations, manual or automatic indexing.

I should add that it is designed for presses that produce a piece of ammunition by running it through all the necessary steps in one (progressive) or multiple (turret) cycles. It really isn't designed for something like a single stage or single stage style loading where a user sizes 50 cases, then flares 50 cases, etc. Some turrets are what I would call single stage style like a Redding T-7, while others are designed to take empty brass and turn that into a round after 4 cycles like a Lee Classic Turret.

I don't have a plan on where to mount microswitches on all these presses, but if a user watches the press operate, I would think they would be able to find some good spots to mount them.

Thanks,

Alan

Edited by alank2

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murkish   

Alan,

You've convinced me. I just placed an order on your website.

I started reloading about a year and a half ago. I use a Dillon 550. I created a few squibs a month or so ago. While I have identified and fixed the root cause of the problem, I was left with my confidence shaken. Anything that can help me avoid process errors is welcome.

Regards,

Jack

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alank2   

Hi Everyone,

I am hoping to get a table at the Wanamacher gun show in Tulsa next weekend. If I can get a table I will have a couple of monitors on display, one connected to my 550 and the other connected to my "virtual press" box for people to try out.

Thanks,

Alan

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alank2   

Hi,

Dale brings up a good example in that where to mount the press sensors isn't necessarily set in stone. You can look at your press and hold the sensor to a spot and actuate it until you find a good place that isn't in the way. As long as the sensor is activated properly it really doesn't matter. I'm a proponent of strong double sided tape, but some people prefer the more permanent approach of drilling and tapping or using a small machine bolt/nut.

You also are not limited to the type of sensor you can use. I provide microswitches, but nothing would stop someone from using a magnetic type sensor, proximity sensor, or light sensor. The Press Monitor has an easy configuration for whether a switch should be normally open or closed, so the sky is the limit with how you want to sense the actions.

I probably would have used magnetic sensors because they are non contact, but I couldn't think of a good way to handle the rotating star on the 550. Well the other reason is that the microswitches work so well. I still may try a magnetic setup on a 650 if I get my hands on one someday to see how it does.

Thanks,

Alan

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Brooks   

Interesting, but I do wish that the website showed it attached to the press. Especially how it fits and works on various presses with different equipment (case feeders, bullet feeders or even the PW)

Take a look here Press Monitor switchs.Although I did it a little different on my Dillon RL550, I mounted the switchs for ram up and down to be accuated by the powder fail safe bracket and the rotation switch as shown in the picture.

Dale

Thanks for this link. Looks like a cool machine.

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slavex   

Ive gotta say this is a pretty cool setup. Exporting to a PC would be neat, but probably expensive to develop. It's going on my list of things to get in the next year or so for my 1050 (although I've got a Pro2000 too, but I hardly use it anymore).

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