I have been using an autotrickler since they first came out several years back. I had an A&D FX-120 balance before I got my first AT. I was using my CM1500 to throw short and then finishing up on the A&D using a Dandy trickler. The first AT was just a trickler connected to the A&D dataport and you needed to throw the first load of powder to speed up the process. I used a measuring spoon to scoop and throw in the plastic cup.
Adam next introduced the autothrow, which was a reworked Lee Perfect Powder with a motor on it that attached to the lid of the A&D balance. This made it easier for this old man to not lose the process. I didn't like the Lee Perfect Powder thing as it leaked powder and was difficult to adjust. Like all Lee products, it was half-ashed.
Adam rapidly replaced the Lee garbage with his on complete design and made other modifications to the autotrickler, adding an easily adjustable elevated base and a nice glass cup. This is the V3 model and I have been using it since it first came out. (About two years, I think.)
In March of this year, Adam announced the V4 model which is a radical departure from the prior models. Everything is now one single unit that sits on top of the A&D scale. He was looking for beta sites and I was not interested in that. Being extremely overworked at my day job and with precious little time for shooting, I did not believe I could do a proper job of testing and there would be plenty of other people ready, willing, able, and even eager to do that.
Earlier this week, I received notification that the V4 is now entering production and to confirm my reservation for a unit. I thought about it for a few minutes; the V3 has been working extremely well for me, but I could not resist the attraction of the new design of the V4. So I confirmed my reservation and I am now waiting for my unit to ship.
I should point out that I have met Adam many times over the years. He even came down to our club for a state match where we had set up a couple dozen Shotmarkers and he helped make sure it was all set up properly.
He's an interesting fellow, quite young and extremely intelligent. His products like the Shotmarker and the Autotrickler are amazing. And he's a great competitor also.
I have mentioned the Autotrickler in the stickied thread above, but I thought I would just talk about the AT in here, while waiting for the V4.
What do you suppose the V4 has over the V3 if you are using a powder drop already?
I'm not sure if I understand your question properly. The V3 introduced the autothrow (a powder measure) that was a custom design unit that replaced the first autothrow, which used the Lee Perfect Powder measure.
The V3 is essentially 2 units; the autothrow that sits on top of the lid of the A&D balance, and the autotrickler that sits on the table beside the balance with a tube to goes under the lid of the FX-120 and above the cup. The autothrow dumps the initial load of powder and the autotrickler trickles the remainder of the target load. You have to fill the autotrickler with powder and adjust it using the screw-foot. It's a separate unit.
The V4 incorporates the two units of the V3 into a single unit with 2 motors and sits on top of a new lid for the balance. One motor drops the initial load and the other motor trickles the remainder of the load. The powder goes through one funnel.
One of the key features of the V4 is the calibration. This is done using the app on your smartphone and the V4 adjusts the speed of motors to match the powder type and load. There is nothing to adjust, it's all done by the on-board electronics. With the V3 there is a cable from the balance to the autotrickler and another to the autohtrow. The V4 only has a single cable that connects to the balance's dataport. The electronics and in the V4 unit, no longer in that little compartment in the balance.
The V4 is a simple, elegant design. I'm looking forward to see how well it works. The V3 is a fine device and has worked well for me, so no flies on that one.
I'm accumulating various powder handling devices now. I have a few balances but I was able to return the garbage GemPro for a full refund 5 years after I purchased it. I have a Chargemaster 1500, that has been on the shelf for about 4 years now. I have a Dandy trickler that has been on the shelf for about 3 years. I have the original autothrow with the laughably named Lee Perfect Powder measure. And soon, the V3 will join them all on the shelf.
A quick question. Would a V3 get a guy on a budget by?
I have checked out both(never heard of them till now so thanks for the info) and they seem like are both quality pieces.
The Autotrickler setup is not something that I would classify as an item for someone on a budget.
It requires an A&D FX-120 balance, and that item is at least $500, and usually more. The only other balance that the Autotrickler connects to is a Sartorius, and that's even more expensive than the A&D.
They do not make the V3 model anymore. And I doubt anyone has any in stock as the production never kept up with the demand. The only way to get a V3 now would be to buy a used one. Now, granted, "used" means someone used it to measure powder as it sat on top of an expensive balance in a home; it's not likely to have been banged around at all. You'll need to look around for a used one and there will probably be some competition there.
The V3 is definitely a quality piece, especially compared to the first autothrow which was introduced with the V2. I have yet to see the V4 up close and personal, but I suspect it will be quality also.
I did forget to really answer your question. Yes, if you can find a V3 and have an A&D FX-120, that setup is excellent. I've been loading thousands of rounds of (yes, I can really say this) world-class ammo with it. It's fast, highly accurate and quite easy to use. As I explained earlier, I don't see how the V4 will enable better ammo. The only thing that compares to a V3 (or V4) is the Prometheus, and that's breath-takingly expensive.This message has been edited. Last edited by: NikonUser,
10-4. Thank you for the info. Appreciate it.
I just found out that Adam is selling V3 Autotrickler-only devices for $270. He's probably reducing his remaining stock. This does NOT include the Autothrow, you would have to drop the initial charge yourself and let the AT finish off the load. This requires the A&D FX-120i electronic balance.
Thanks, that is the one I was looking at. Also, thanks for the explaination.
Can the V4 be calibrated without a smartphone?
Should have thought of sending the question to Adam before posting. In case there are any others like me out there that haven't gotten a smartphone yet, Adam responded that he sells a tablet that will work with the V4. Cost is $130.
For me that will be the way to go as I have no intention or desire of ever getting a smartphone.This message has been edited. Last edited by: marksman41,
You can use any Android or IOS device that has Bluetooth 4.0 or newer capability. If you do not have a smartphone, you can use a tablet. The one Adam sells is a small Samsung tablet. You could probably find something even cheaper if you looked around a bit.
Adam has good taste, I prefer Samsung mobile devices to all others; my smartphone, my tablet, my watch, and my earbuds; all Samsung.
I'll get the one Adam sells because it's the one he recommends and the trickler is the only thing I would use it for. Also, if I have any problems it'll probably easier for Adam to troubleshoot.
Thanks for the info., Nikon. It is good to know about other options, though, and if I were more savvy about these things I'd look for something less expensive and as capable. But I'm not, so...
I received notice of the shipment of my V4 today, via email. It should be here next week.
I'm looking forward to it. I will update here.
It arrived today. I am overwhelmed at work so I won't have a chance to even look at it until the weekend, let alone try it out. I did pull the manual out of the box to read it.
Today, I had time to remove the V3 unit from my A&D balance and install the V4. It's a lot quieter than the V3 and I must say that it's an ingenious and elegant design. I connected to it with my Samsung and tested the fast and slow settings. Everything works perfectly. I carefully packed away the V3 with the add-on Area 419 lid, which can't be used with the V4 and stored it away. The V4 is a complete kit, no pieces from the V3 are needed.
I also found my V2, and the original stand for the first autotrickler. Sice the V4 doesn't use the autotrickler, I was able to put back the 3 panel on the balance and I think I can now load without even bothering with the shield that I used to put up.
The first loading session will be next weekend at the earliest. I need to process some brass first.
Thanks for the updates, Nikon. Very interested to hear how much difference the V4 makes in your reloading process.
Still collecting the coin to get my V4. Vehicle repairs and such are preventing me from purchasing a V4 as soon as I would have liked.
marksman41, I do not expect much, if any changes in my loading. The V3 model has been working very well for me. As I explained earlier, I hesitated ordering the V4, but decided to go ahead and do it as this would simplify moving the device around (one unit instead of two) and allow me to forego the use of my wind shield when loading as I now have 3 of 4 panels installed.
I finally had a session with the V4 today as I had to load some ammo for tomorrow's match. It worked fine right out of the box using all the defaults in the setup.
It loaded ammo no more precisely than my V3, but it was easier to use for this old man and it was quieter. Those two features are important to me and justified the acquisition even though my V3 was perfectly fine.
The V4 is a keeper and the V3 is packed away, for good, probably.
Today I shot in the monthly 1000 yard match with the ammo I loaded with mv V4 yesterday. One of the features of the Shot Marker electronic target system is that it displays the velocity at the target, 1000 yards away and the SD for the string on 20 rounds + sighters. The SD of my load was 7.5 at 1000 yards. That's with all the vagaries of the conditions through a 3000 foot flight.
I'm happy with that.
I am just starting getting into reloading. I would love to know more about shot marker, because it has by interest.
The ShotMarker is an electronic target system that was developed, built and being sold by Adam, the same guy who developed, built and sells the Autotrickler.
You can go to the website www.autotrickler.com and read all about the ShotMarker.
Essentially, it's an $800 system that consists of 4 dual-microphone sensors, a sensor hub to which you connect all 4 sensors, and an access point that communicates with the sensor hub over loRa 900MHz radio. The sensors and the hub are mounted on a target. You enter the dimensions on the setup and then at the firing line, you have the access point that has all that target information and with which you communicate using your smartphone or a tablet, with a browser.
When the supersonic shockwave is detected by the 4 dual-mike sensors, they send a signal to the hub that has a clock, a thermometer, a radio and a DSP (digital signal processor.) The hub sends the timing information from each of the sensors' microphones and the ambient temperature to the access point, which in turns triangulates the impact point and the velocity of the shockwave and shows that on the screen.
It's pretty neat. We have a bunch of those at the club (23 lanes.) We had some teething problems but they work quite well now.
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