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Timer Questions & Advice

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OK,  For anyone who's interested, I got the word from PACT on how to "fix" the problem.  If you break open the case, there's a trim pot inside that adjusts the microphone's sensitivity.  The trim pot is located on the Left side of the case near the display - as the display faces you.  (Don't ask me which way to turn it yet - I'll figure it out tonight & edit this post.)  

The 0.01 sec first shot isn't a bug - it's a feature.  The 0.1 sec split limit / echo eliminator only applies to the 2nd shot and beyond.  So, the program is apparently fine.

(I would like to note that NONE of this is indicated the manual.  I've scoured it 3X for clues to any of this.)

Eric

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Ya, you must'a just hung up with Pat when I called him.

So we know it's not RPM mode, but I'm not sure if I buy the "sensitivity" thing though (at least thet answers one of my original questions).

I'll try to go home at lunch-time to figure it out.

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Mine is fixed.....

I feel like the dude that cried wolf (no it's not spelled Wolffe you gun spring fanatics!)

I mentioned to "Pat" that I had put masking tape over the speaker area, and he said that might be the cause of the problem (reflecting the beeper noise back into the mic).  So I took off the tape and now I feel like a dunce.....it's fixed!

Sorry PACT!!

So Eric, did you figure out yours?

My solution has me thinking.....are you covering the speaker with your hand to quiet it?  Do you have the little 1/8" hole for the mic in the upper right area of the speaker "grooves" at all?

I'll bet you have that thing all torn apart right now,....don't you...you little tinkerer!!

BTW I chrono'd 10 shots on Saturday with this thing.  

10mm/MG180CMJ/5.0grTitegroup

<ul>

<li>AVG: 935fps (168.3PF)

<li>HIGH: 949.7

<li>LOW: 922.4

<li>SD: 8.8

<li>ES: 27.3

</ul>

Do you think I should bump it up to 5.1gr of powder, am I safe for Nationals?

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Hey!  I was born to modify!

Mine is "fixed" for now.  I'm going to be posting some mods in my webspace once I have time to play more.   The first fix is to drill a hole in the case, so the mic gain can be adjusted externally.  Next, I'm going to go after the speaker volume.  This one may be a little more work, but I think I can come up with something good.  There's more I plan to do to make it better.  

One tip I'll share now to make setting up the chrono easier is to color code one of the light sensors along with it's corresponding plug.  Then you don't have to sort through a tangle of wires to know which plug is the start/stop plug.  

BTW - I didn't have my hand over the speaker or use any tape.   I tried the timer both indoors and out and had the same problem of false triggering every time.  So, I for one don't feel sorry for any of my whining.  Either the calibration should be taken care of at the factory, or they should put the procedure in the manual and put a hole in the case.  

Eric

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Quote: from TDean on 8:55 pm on Feb. 4, 2002

Do you think I should bump it up to 5.1gr of powder, am I safe for Nationals?

Since I'm a firm believer in Murphy's Law, I'd bump it up.  I have to make a 125 power factor for ESP class in IDPA, and when I chrono'ed my loads the other day, they're making a 138 power factor.  I thought about lowering them to 132, but I get good functioning and accuracy, and the recoil isn't objectionable, so why tinker with what works?

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The hole for the "gain pot" is a great idea! (no shit you say )

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Thanks, I stole it from CED.  

I'm going to try and draw up a template in AutoCad so people can pull the guts out of the box, slap on the template and drill away.  No sense in all of us re-inventing the wheel every day.  

I've been mulling and think I can rig up a similar trim pot for the speaker - so mine will have two holes...

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Quote: from TDean on 7:37 am on Feb. 2, 2002

SHIT....!!  it's doing the same thing yours is!!  It's reading 5 shots in .45 sec, that sucks...

Someone help!

(Edited by TDean at 7:43 am on Feb. 2, 2002)


AWWWWW.... Mine is doing the same thing!

I called PACT on Tuesday and they had me dial down the mic adjustment.. no help there. I sent it back yesterday. This is really pissing me off. First they send me my BBK scale without the platen now this. I hope this something they can fix fast or will this be another month.

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EricW and TDean,

I tried to dial the mic pot down (CCW to reduce sensitivity) with no luck. Please explian the .01 first shot thing to me because it does not make any sense. My does not do it on every string and not even on the first shot sometimes.

I really thing there is a EEPROM problem or a problem with the mic.

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Eric, if you do draw a template send it to me please tomd@aerocd.com.  I've got R14 & 2000i.

StephenG, so yours is showing "Shot:#5......TIME: .45" after the first beep?

It seems that Eric understands it more than I, but I think the .01 thing is an automatic delay so the timer doesn't (or isn't supposed to) interpret the sound of the beep as gunfire.

Have you tried your unit outside?  You say it's intermittent, so I wonder if you aren't getting "beep reflection" off of walls or something?

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Ya know...... I'm in need of a timer but you guys have scared me right away from the PACT MIV.

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Don't let them scare you SS - we got one in October and have had ZERO problems with it.  Absolutely love it.

The volume is loud, but DUH - you're normally using it with hearing protection, outdoors, at a shooting range :-)  You can modify it with either Eric's or my solution :-)

As to the rest of their problems, it looked to me like they weren't problems with the unit, they were problems with the operators ;-0

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Stephen,

The PACT has an echo reduction feature that rejects all signals within 0.1 secs AFTER THE FIRST SHOT.  This is where I got confused.  The first shot can happen immediately and the timer will accept it.  I didn't understand that  and thought my timer was defective.

In my case, I would hit the GO button and the buzzer would sound and false trigger the timer.  My "shot string" would look like this:  .01, .14, .13, .16, .12.  I was only looking at shot #1, and just assumed that the timer was defective b/c it was recording less than .1 sec when not in "machinegun mode."  Not so.  My mistake.

This still doesn't make the false triggering OK.  I was able to adjust the trim pot CCW to reduce/eliminate the problem.  Personally, I feel that the excessive speaker loudness and it's close proximity to the microphone are incorrect.  This is another reason why I put in volume control.

When you get your PACT back, you may want to drill a hole in the side like I did for the mic's trim pot.  This way, you can test the mic's sensitivity when the unit is fully assembled.  It's much easier that way.  

TDean is on the money about the operating environment.  A hand over the speaker or a nearby wall have a big influence on the false triggering.

TDean,

I'll try to get on making the templates this weekend.  It probably won't get done before Sunday (got a Sniper Match on Saturday - Big Fun!! - Yahoo!)  

Eric

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As for the volume - this is the loudest timer I've ever heard.  Most people (except me) are using electronic muffs these days, so this type of volume level is unnecessary.  Indoors, it's literally painful to me.

SS,

Go ahead and get the PACT - don't worry.  Any problems it has can be remedied pretty easily.  Even though the free skyscreen bar offer is over, it is still the best deal on a timer/chronograph around - hands down.  

I'm not trying to bash PACT, but they have a manufacturing and/or QC problem that they need to get a handle on.  I tried to explain this to them when I called them about my problem, but the guy absolutely refused to listen.  It was pretty disappointing.  

P.S.

I'm thinking about offering to do the volume/trim pot mods for a fee to those who don't want to mess with it themselves.  (It's a lot easier with the right equipment.) Any interest?

(Edited by EricW at 12:00 pm on Feb. 7, 2002)

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Eric,

My unit was adding 5 shots after the beep, not just one at .01.

I would be interested in the adjustment modification on my unit.

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Stephen,

Mine was doing exactly the same thing.  My guess is, that it will be fixed when you get it back from PACT.  Give it a whirl and then decide what you want to do.  I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.

Keep in mind that any mod surely voids the warranty.  What I did isn't essential, it's just a convenience/usability thing.

E

P.S.

I would like to say that both Brian and PACT treated me right when I bought the unit.  I just think they're rushing to meet production with the resulting obvious consequences.  The PACT MK IV, unlike everything else on the market, is expandable & reprogrammable, which will be important as people invent new games - Airsoft shooting comes to mind.  Don't let my whining turn you off too much.  :-)

E

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Just FYI, picking up echoes of the shot is common with CED's, especially indoors, mandating use of the mic sensativity control to avoid a lot of 0.02 mystery-splits.  It would seem that smart software could get around that, but so far as I know, the PACT has the fanciest software.

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Eric

with all of your tinkering do you think that there is a way to have the mkIV send it's information to a palm pilot via the ir port?

sno

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I'll just bet you can, but I'm probably not smart enough to figure it out.  It's been a loooong time since I've done any development on the Pilot.  

That said, it's a really good idea.  There is a header packet that tells the Pilot where to stuff the IR data coming in - which the PACT output will lack.  If you can put the Pilot into acquire mode manually, you should be able to do the transfer.  If you want to give it a shot, you can get a copy of Codewarrior for PalmOS and hack at it.  

http://www.codewarrior.com

The other tact you could take is to convince PACT to add a "Palm Mode" feature in the MKIV's firmware so that it would output the header info and tell the PalmOS to stuff the data into MemoPad.  

I don't know much about IR data transfer, so I don't know if both platforms use the same encoding mechanism.  The other issue to contend with is the transfer rate, the Palm IR operates at much higher rate than the old HP Printer does, so this may cause some issues.

Give PACT a call and lay your idea on them.  That HP printer won't be around forever.  The Palm idea might be just what they're looking for.  

Eric

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Hey,

I've been considering the PACT, but I want to know about the upgradeable software aspect...is there some kind of interface on the timer for a computer?  Is it IR or a cable jack or what?  Can you upload shot strings to a computer?  

Thanks,

Dogmadog

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Dogma,

No interfaces that are available to the consumer.  PACT has debugging tool I'm sure, but they grind off the numbers on the microprocessor, so you don't know which one to buy.  (This is so people can't go out and reverse engineer their stuff.)

The software is upgraded via EEPROM - a chip that you have to replace inside the unit.  

You might be able to create an upload link to a computer by building/buying an IR to serial converter.  It's not rocket science, but it will take some doing.  

E

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Hi can some one tell me how the PACT MK IV with the chronograph module and the skyscreens work as for as the chronograph goes I am looking for both

                                    Thanks for the help

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Hi I have searched and see that the Pact this very good. Would it be good for chronographing to and how does it work I can not find a pic of it with the chronograph module and the skyscreens. Or what would be good to get I would like to a printer for the chrono

                      Thanks Chris

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Chris,

There is nothing that compares to the MKIV, especially considering it comes with the chrono module and the skyscreens for no extra charge. The chrono function is first rate - Pact uses the same module they use in their Professional Model Chronograph.

Check this link in my site for more info...

be

http://www.brianenos.com/pages/pact.html

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