Author Topic: Primer Counter - Rev 3  (Read 1878 times)

alfsauve

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Primer Counter - Rev 3
« on: September 16, 2020, 10:43:00 AM »
Long before Hornady or Dillion offered counters I had made my own. This is the third revision. I've improved greatly on the detection switches and a minor tweak to the circuit so that it won't count when the primer tray is empty.

In between Rev 2 and Rev 3 I reloaded ~10,000 rounds without a counter and it's not a problem, I just like having the counter and lights to let me know how many I've primed and when I don't have a primer in the tray.

Here's how it works: There is a switch that only makes contact when the press goes all the way to the prime position. It latches a circuit that sends a signal to the counter and activates a green light to let you know you've primed the brass. On the upward movement of the press a Normally Closed magnetic switch resets the latch. This prevents double counting if you double pump the handle for some reason. When the primer tray locks in the backward position it activates another switch which, disables the latching circuit and turns on the red light to let you know there's no primer.

Yes, before you asked, I cut off the brass auto-feed arm. I don't intend to get a feeder and it was just in the way. I will replace the button magnet with a small bar one when I get the chance.

PICTURES ARE BELOW, if you want to skip the technical stuff.

I use an ENM counter module. They're available from the normal electronic suppliers, like Digi-Key. It's a self contained model with an LCD screen. Self powered, good for ~10years. Won't loose count. The latch is a generic power SCR. I added an on-board LED just for fun and trouble shooting. I also have current limiting resistors for the gate and the counter just to be safe. I also put a permanent load resistor, 2k across the SCR, because the counter by itself doesn't draw enough current to keep it latched. The LED will keep it latched but during testing I didn't always have the LED connected. The Primer Out Switch is an SPDT and I use it to lockout the counter when the primers are out. No reason to count the priming motion if there aren't any primers. I did this using a 12v supply but it will work with lower voltages down to the minimum the counter requires. The LEDs are a little "knobby" but they're what I had. Since they're 12Vdc no dropping resistor is required. As you can tell the circuit board is more about connections than electronics.

My next revision I want to use a linear position detector instead of the Prime and Reset switches and to use a PIC so I can program a warning when the press goes more than half-way up but it didn't prime.
Will work for ammo
USAF MAC 437th MAW 1968-1972

alfsauve

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2020, 10:44:18 AM »
More Pictures
Will work for ammo
USAF MAC 437th MAW 1968-1972

MikeBjerum

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 06:53:42 AM »
Every activity has a group of engineers involved.

Alf is our Reloading Master Electrical Engineer.  Not just an engineer, but you can see his gaffer background in the way all the wires are tied neatly with small cable ties.

I have a friend who qualifies as a Reloading Master Mechanical Engineer.  He decided that he did not want to purchase a Dillon case feeder.  He purchased the plates from Dillon.  He then went to work with a five gallon pail, the motor and gear drive from a corn burner stove (a common motor with gear reduction), a couple micro switches, and a selection of tubes and pvc.  Not sure if he saved any money, but he did it himself, and it does what he wants it to do.

And then there are the Reloading Master Civil Engineers that you see on forums all over.  These are the reloaders that can take simple spent primer collection, powder fill (without changing charges due to weight of powder in the bottle or vibration compaction), and shot fill, and create a Rube Goldberg invention to either improve or complicate the most basic application.

Alf - Well Done!  Your Certificate is in the mail.
If I appear taller than other men it is because I am standing on the shoulders of others.

Rastus

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2020, 08:07:43 AM »
Pretty dang cool Alf. 

By the way....since I have everything to reload (back from the beginning of the Obama experience and earlier) but haven't yet....how long are primers good for before they should be replaced.  I have some 15 years old
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
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tombogan03884

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2020, 08:21:39 AM »
As long as they are properly stored they will last forever.

Sponsor

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #5 on: Today at 10:05:46 AM »

xsquidgator

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 07:12:28 PM »
As long as they are properly stored they will last forever.

I don't remember what the books say beyond "cool dry place".
How about a garage in Florida, but at least closed up in a plastic waterproof toolbox?

I know "cool dry place" can't be beat but I'm not too concerned about the primers.  I still have a bunch left over from the 2012 panic and restocking after that.

MikeBjerum

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2020, 08:13:25 PM »
I don't remember what the books say beyond "cool dry place".
How about a garage in Florida, but at least closed up in a plastic waterproof toolbox?

I know "cool dry place" can't be beat but I'm not too concerned about the primers.  I still have a bunch left over from the 2012 panic and restocking after that.

I would move them to a closet inside your home.  Florida is the opposite of cool and dry.  Even in Arizona I would look to climate controlled.
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alfsauve

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2020, 09:37:30 AM »
Even in Arizona I would look to climate controlled.

That's a really b-i-g word, "climate controlled," when it comes to Arizona.  With a swamp cooler the inside of some Arizona homes is more like a Florida lanai in terms of humidity.   

Middle Ga in weather, like everything else, is middle of the road.  I keep mine in a steel cabinet in the basement right next to the dehumidifier.
Will work for ammo
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MikeBjerum

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2020, 07:14:59 PM »
The people I know well enough to know their set ups, and the place I had when I lived in Phoenix, are all A/C.
If I appear taller than other men it is because I am standing on the shoulders of others.

tombogan03884

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Re: Primer Counter - Rev 3
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2020, 08:59:13 AM »
According to Ian McCollum the only issue in Az is dust. Because it's so dry "climate Control" is not an issue with guns.
I'm not posting a link as it was buried in one of his Q&A's.
SH!T.   :o, Why is this even a question when we have BillT on site ?   ;D

 

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