Home made starter powder check die needs work. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Wreck-n-Crew, Apr 16, 2016.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    I am in a position where space and resources are limited. I needed a better way to check powder drops without a light source. So i slapped this thing together temporarily and it works.

    uploadfromtaptalk1460818843476.jpg

    However its not a real improvement over a visual inspection and a good light source. But if i change powders where the volume of the case is not filled as much i believe the check die would serve me well.

    So i thought if i am going to make a permanent powder check die i need some improvements to the die. Plus if i use my friend the light bulb and a little wiring i could make a die that will light up a little bulb if the powder is full enough. Sound good?

    So i assume a mounting bracket and a real light switch for tripping the light? Maybe a contact switch? This is where I'm really at a cross roads as to which way to make it so I'm looking for ideas.

    Also i could use some ideas on how to retain the pin more easily. As you can see from the picture the temporary solution ( simple an effective over 400 rounds yesterday) is not good for long term use. It can move around and get stuck on the auto disk measure. Not good.

    The upside to the temporary clip is that it rarely moved and it is easy to pull out and even adjust of necessary. Which brings up another problem. The contact switch would need to be adjustable to.

    I'm looking for simplicity if possible. I also find the idea of a light acting as a go no go gage. Also i know this is not a new concept. They exist.

    Thoughts, ideas, criticisms, all welcome. Just be civil to each other please! Thanks all......

    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  2. AnselHazen

    AnselHazen Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    380
    Old mercury switch from a (stone age) heating thermostat?
     
  3. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    Not a bad idea. But merc switch stone age?. Okay im getting old. Guess i might as well admit it. I grew up using the things. Heck we used mercury thermometers before digital took over.

    Been thinking about a simple contact switch. Like a old points system. Without the spring of course. Maybe use gravity to reduce the tension.

    Well a merc switch will use gravity to my advantage. But can i do it simple and make it reliable?

    I guess i could. If i can find one. Maybe i should get to looking. Making a bracket is simple enough. Wiring not hard. Tuning would require some work.

    I guess finding one might be the hardest part!

    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Garage Dog

    Garage Dog Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2010
    Messages:
    72
    Here is a powder checker I made a few years ago.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=622571

    UPDATE: You don't have to use the threaded rod with the arrow...just mark the brass with a marker at the correct height for whatever powder charge you are using.

    THIS METHOD IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR CHECKING THE WEIGHT OF THE CHARGE.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  5. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    That's pretty cool. I think i can use the threaded rod idea for sure.


    Edit to add: i was planning to replace the Auto Disk with another measure. Maybe have to make some design plan adjustments if/ when i do.



    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,161
    You can buy lockout dies that will work if you have the room for them, I didn't have extra room for a PC/lockout die on my Loadmaster so I used a mirror.

    IMG_20151216_142428_797_zps87y4xzqw.jpg
     
  7. AnselHazen

    AnselHazen Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    380
    Hah see what I mean. I grew up with the things too but finding one now I bet won't be easy. I suspect the evil mercury part may be the reason. Yard sale season is soon upon us though. Or maybe you know someone who does HVAC work and might run across one when they upgrade a system?
     
  8. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    I've tossed the mirror idea around before. It seems like it would work. I was concerned with drawbacks like depth perception...did you have that problem?

    I wanted to avoid buying a lockout die too but for other reasons.



    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  9. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    Yeah i think it would be a rabbit hole looking for one. I think a couple contact points are easy enough.

    Maybe I'm over doing this one but the thought of having a light really seems like it would be awesome.

    Guess when i get it done i will know how good it is after a good test run.

    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  10. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Messages:
    7,003
    Location:
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    There was one posted several years ago ( not sure it was on this site) that used a photo sensor through a window. The thing fit inside a piece of pvc pipe that slipped over the die. Had a simple circuit board, was very simple.

    You have to be very careful with mechanical contact and the added weight. This setup did not add any weight to the rod, all the censors worked off the top side.
     
  11. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    Yeah i was concerned about adding weight too. I thought about using a plastic replacement for the decapping pin.

    Right now the pin seems to work well through 400 rounds it found the four cases that i visually spotted as low or empty.

    Guess we will see. Nothing makes up for acknowledged visual inspection and weighing throws.

    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  12. AnselHazen

    AnselHazen Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Messages:
    380
  13. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    I admit i did not Google the switch. Thanks. Seems like a simple enough solution for a contact mechanism!

    I'm thinking an led from a cheap flashlight and go battery operated. I can use my rechargeable batteries and switch them out every once in a while.

    Maybe make the on switch permanent and wire the merchant type switch to run the light.

    Maybe add a green lens for go.



    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  14. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,883
    Location:
    Salem, AR
    Mercury switches are available on Amazon for as little as $2.49 (plus shipping). Search in the Industrial & Scientific category.
     
  15. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    Awesome. Will do.

    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  16. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,161
    No, you are not directly over the case so you see the inside of the case and amout of fill.
     
  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    10,635
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    If you want something simple you use a couple magnetic reed switches and a small round ceramic magnet with a hole in it. Magnet on the rod and a switch for too low and for too high on a strip next to the rod on die. One reed switch (lower) is normally open and the other (upper) is normally closed. Make them adjustable. All wired in series to a 3 volt power source. Always off until the propellant is present and it comes on. If there is too much then the light will go off again. So when ram is up, if no light=low charge///light on steady=OK///flash only=overcharge. See it is really simple.:D Magnetic reed switches and magnets used to be available at Radio Shack or Digikey on line.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  18. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    Would the magnetic Reed switches be sensitive enough to work with such small movements?

    Im sure one way closed loop is possible. But 2 at different points in the short travel concern me.

    Such a small distance of overall movement with loading some pistol loads with small volumes due to powder type and load i might get 3/8" movement or less. I don't know enough about them. Other than the ones used for window alarms i haven't any experience.

    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    10,635
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    The small glass reed switches that are about the diameter of an ink pen cartridge and 1/2 inch long are sensitive to about 1/32 inch movement. The ones for door alarms are much too large to be sensitive.
    You probably need to glue (to stabilize) a small strip of steel with a pointed or narrow end that sticks out on the magnet and the point turns into a narrow magnetic field. Some trial and error on the spacing of switches to pointer gap would change sensitivity as well. If you wanted to get really fancy you could have two points 180* apart one for each magnetic switch that is attached to a different threaded plastic rod in a holder to adjust the height of the individual magnetic switch. Keep in mind that the magnet needs to be small and light weight. Might be able to use part of the magnetic strip located within an old refrigerator door gasket instead. Also you could use one of those old refer door magnets like I always used to get from American Express and cut to fit your needs. It is light weight, flexible, and able to be cut with a sharp sheet rock knife or such to shape/fit. I do not need one to use my single stage press but I would build one if I had a progressive. Or you could try a light/USB camera attached to an old laptop to view that area. There are many such old things that are too slow to use with today's fast computers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  20. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    Interesting. 1/32" sensitivity could be enough to do the job.

    I'm also concerned about the reliability of the merc mechanism. The switch itself is capable of accuracy but i'm not sure the switch will be simple to set and adjust. For example how much will the momentum of the presses action affect the accuracy or reliability of the switch without complicating the design? If the setup and design are not simple and reliable it doesn't serve my goal.

    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  21. Drail

    Drail Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    6,394
    I could never trust a switch. I want to see inside every case - whatever that may require.
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,161
    You trust switches all the time, sometimes with your life.
     
  23. Wreck-n-Crew

    Wreck-n-Crew Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    1,476
    Location:
    ohio
    Good point.

    Heck airplanes fly by computer that will fail without switches. Not to mention many other things.

    I get why some use visual only and see no need for check gages with lights and switches. But if the switch fails it does not mean go when i shouldn't...it means stop because it did not light up. When it doest light up it says the check gage or gage light failed. Or the powder drop is lower than i want.

    Another reason for wanting to make a simple contact switch. One point on the pin that must rise only due to powder charge and the second at a secure and fixed height at the full charge height of the stroke.

    I still get a visual when seating the bullet by hand anyway. The check gage is more for insuring I'm charged enough and use a visual check before setting the bullet by hand to insure I'm not over charged.

    What I've found myself doing is pulling cases off that look too light only to find they are on weight. So my eyes aren't telling me what is really there....only what looks good and bad. The powder settles sometimes and bridges or fluffs in others.

    My goal is to stop pulling cases off and to check the drop with something more accurate than my eyes so i know the drops are more consistent.





    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk
     
  24. AGunNut2

    AGunNut2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    reed switch and magnet. non-contact.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice