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Shooting Lab | CED Chron | PressureTrace | LoadForce | Software Updates| Tech Articles

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New M2 CPU Firmware - PC Connectivity Problems/Multiple Objects Through Screens
Issues with PC connectivity and Windows 7, 8 or 10 has been addressed with revised firmware from CED. The revision also helps eliminate errors with sabots, shotgun wads and colored arrow shafts or fletching. CPU's with the revised firmware will no longer read full auto fire to 650 rpm. Firmware version 4.2 or newer resolved the connectivity issue. To determine the version of firmware in your M2 CPU hold down the Alt key then press the PF key. The firmware version will display momentarily at the upper right of the screen. CPU's must be returned to CED to be updated.

Windows Software

link markCED M2 (USB) Data Collector v. 3.6.2
- (Released 11/4/12) Download utility for the USB M2 model and XP-SP3 through Windows 10 (not Win98 or ME). This file is required to download data directly into the RSI Shooting Lab. Shooting Lab owners should upgrade to version 4+ to use this file. Version 3.6 includes both the traditional "N-1" and "N" methods for calculating S.D. For Windows versions newer than Vista you may need to set the program compatibility mode.

link markCED Millennium Data Collector v. 2.5 - (Released 10/12/06) Download utility for the old serial Millennium model. Dated but still works on old systems with serial ports.

Manuals

link mark CED M2 Manual - A close copy of the printed manual that comes with the CED M2 Chronograph, but as an Adobe Acrobat pdf file.

link mark CED Millennium Manual - A close copy of the printed manual that comes with the CED Millennium Chronograph, but as an Adobe Acrobat pdf file.

Common Causes of Chronograph Problems

1) Too Close to First Sensor - Both visible light and heat exits the muzzle of a rifle with the bullet. If the first chronograph sensor is flooded with a flash of light or heat "plume" the velocity readings may be incorrect, produce an error or no reading at all. A minimum distance of 7 ft should be maintained between the muzzle of a large bore rifle and the first sensor. (10 ft. from the muzzle to center of the sensor bracket is industry standard.)

2) Light Conditions

Low Light - If used in low light and not equipped with the IR option, look on the ground to see if you are casting a shadow. If there are no shadows on the ground there may not be a bullet shadow for the chronograph to detect. If shadows are faint and the sky is light colored, removing the screen tops will often allow the chronograph to work. You must always shoot parallel with the sensor bracket but when shooting north/south with the sun low on the horizon, rotate the tripod head and sensors toward the sun. The CED IR option will eliminate these problems.

Lens Glare - The CED tops and support legs are wider than other chronographs but it is still possible at certain latitudes, direction of fire or time of the year for sun to shine directly into the sensor slots. This can cause "lens flare" and prevent it from reading. If this happens you can often eliminate the problem by tipping the tripod head, changing direction of fire or taping cardboard to the screen assembly to block light from entering the sensor slots.

Low Sun Angle - The CED support legs are wide and opaque to help prevent velocity "drift" with sun angle. If the sun is low on the horizon and you are shooting north or south there may be insufficient light entering the tops. Bend down and look at the underside of the tops. It should be obvious if insufficient light is entering through the tops. Tip the tripod head toward the sun to allow more light to enter the sensors. The CED IR option will also eliminate this problem.

Ground Reflection - If the screens are over bright white new concrete or snow, cover the ground with something dark or kick back the snow. A plastic trash bag works well for this purpose. Ground reflection can illuminate the under side of bullets as they pass over the sensors so there is insufficient shadow contrast for the chronograph to work properly.

3) Sensors Not Held Stable

Rail Is Mounted Incorrectly - Verify your rail is mounted so the front screen cannot swing upward. The hinged portion of the rail should be between the tripod head and the furthest sensor. If the first sensor lifts with each shot the distance between the screens is reduced and a slightly higher velocity will be detected.

Poor Tripod - The support legs and tops can move from muzzle blast, but the sensors MUST be held stationary. If you are getting readings drastically lower or higher than what you know the round is shooting it is because the tripod is not holding the sensors still. This problem can be eliminated by mounting the screens on a better tripod or weighting each end of the rail with a sand bag.

Testing the chronograph without shooting through it.

Other Questions

I have the IR option, the lights indicate there is IR power but the chronograph still will not work.

The CED Millennium is compatible with which HP printer?

I cannot download data to my PC from the Millennium model. What might be wrong?

Why won't chronographs with skyscreens work on a cloudy day?

How can I test the chronograph without shooting through it?

Will I get more accurate readings if I use a longer mounting rail with the Millennium model?

Will the CED Chronograph register shots down range?

How long does the NiMH Battery Pack last? How many times can it be recharged?

How do I know if the infrared screens are functioning?

I have an old chronograph I have been using for years. Will the CED provide the same data?

I shoot where there is no 110 power. Can I take power from my truck battery?

What changes have been made to CED Chronographs?

I shoot black powder muzzle loaders and the chronograph shows a velocity but with "error"?

My new computer does not have a RS-232 serial port. How can I connect to the Millennium chronograph?


Horizontal LineI have the IR option, the lights indicate there is IR power but the chronograph will not work?

Check to make sure the selector switch on the power supply is set to the appropriate current (110v in U.S).

If the IR is used outdoors in bright light the combination of natural light and IR can "blind" the chronograph. The CED IR tops are designed so they can be used outdoors as a conventional skyscreen without being powered. In mid-day bright conditions the IR tops will offer no advantage, but if you insist on powering the IR tops place a target on each to prevent natural light from passing through the translucent plastic.

Indoor florescent lights that "flicker" badly can cause problems. The location of the florescent lights and how badly they "flicker" seem to determine if this will be a problem. The fix is as simple as placing a piece of cardboard or target on the IR tops to prevent the overhead light flicker from passing through the tops. To our knowledge there has never been an issue with incandescent indoor lighting.

The CED Millennium is compatible with which HP printer?

Yes, the CED Millennium Chronograph has infrared printing capabilities using the Hewlett Packard model HP82240B hand held thermal paper printer. It is not compatible with all other HP printers equipped with an IRda port. Unfortunately HP has discontinued their IRda printers. A few may still be available through computer outlets and used ones can be found on Ebay.

Note: Nearly all customers discovered a printer was not needed with the CED Millennium and this feature has been eliminated in the M2 model. With non-volatile memory you can even remove the battery and still not loose data so there is no need to print at the range. Simply take the CED home, hook it to your computer and print the saved data on 8.5 X 11 paper.

I cannot download data to my PC from the Millennium model. What might be wrong?

Use the CED Millennium Data Collector Utility to download data from the Chronograph. When Using this utility follow the instructions under the help menu in the Data Collector software instead. If you have a third party firewall it may prevent communication with your computer unless configured to accept data from the utility.

If the LCD display continues to indicate "PR" when you attempt to download to a PC, then the cable connection is incorrect, you have specified an invalid port or Windows cannot open the port. Verify your cable is not a "Null-Modem" cable (a standard serial cable is required), that it is connected to the correct port and you have the proper port selected in the Data Collector software.

On older systems with 25 pin ports the female gender port is probably the printer port and the ports with male gender should be com1 and com2. The easiest connection to PC's with 25 pin Com ports is made with a standard 25 pin serial printer cable and 25 pin to 9 pin adapter. We recommend Belkin serial cables available at Walmart, Office Max and most computer outlets. A Belkin CGA/EGA/Serial Mouse Extension Cable (DB9 Male/Female Serial) will connect the Millennium to any newer PC equipped with 9 pin Com ports. You will need to remove the screw nuts on the Millennium end of the cable.

On new systems with DB9 serial ports the pinout is as follows:

CED to Computer's DB9
Pin # 2 (TXD) to Pin # 2 (Receive Data)
Pin # 4 (DTR) to Pin # 7 (Required to send, 10VDC)
Pin # 5 (GND) to Pin # 5 (Ground)

If the display indicates "PC" when downloading, then the data is leaving the chronograph correctly, but not being received by your PC. Check the port's settings to verify it is available to accept data and that your cable connects pin 4 on the Millennium to pin 7 on your PC. If you have recently used another device on the same com port its driver may be keeping the port from receiving data. Run Add/Remove hardware to clear the port of other drivers.

While it technically violates the warrantee on your Millennium you can can remove the Millennium's case and solder a jumper wire between Pin # 4 and Pin #7 on its serial port so it will work with a broader range of commercially available cables and gender adapters. A jumper wire from Pin #2 to Pin #3 should also make it work with null modem cables. Please do not do this unless you are confident that you know how to solder and are having difficult finding a cable with the proper pin-out.

Why won't chronographs with skyscreens work on a cloudy day?

All chronographs using conventional skyscreen technology need light. The chronograph measures velocity by sensing a bullet's shadow as it passes over each sensor. Most problems with conventional skyscreen chronographs of all brands relate to lighting conditions. In short, if you cannot see your shadow on the ground there will be no bullet shadow for the chronograph to see. This is why CED offers the IR upgrade. On days where there is a solid white cloud cover but enough light to produce shadows you can often get the chronograph to work by removing the top diffuser.

How can I test the chronograph without shooting through it?

Test the chronograph indoors in low light on a table or counter top as follows. Plug the sensors into the CPU and position the sensors on their bottoms right next to each other. Do not attach the screen tops or support legs to the sensors or put the sensors on mounting rail.

Turn the CPU on. Focus a small bright flashlight (like a Mini-MagLite™) to a fine beam. Pass the light beam across the top of the sensors from the start to stop sensor with a quick wrist "flick". You should be able to artificially create velocity readings to verify the sensors and CPU are working. It may take a few trys to develop the right technique.

Do not be concerned if the display reads "error" in the display. An "error" is indicated for any shot where the velocity is 7% off the running average. Since you are not likely to "flick" the flashlight the same every time, this is perfectly normal.

If you are using a well focused light source and cannot get any readings, contact RSI or CED for possible warrantee replacements.

Will I get more accurate readings if I use a longer mounting rail with the Millennium model?

We tested the Millennium with a custom sensor mount as pictured below. A chronograph was connected to the sensors spaced at 6 ft. and another to the sensors spaced at 2 ft. Measured velocities were virtually identical and never varied by more than a couple fps.

Chron Screen Space

The following is actual data collected using this sensor configuration. The measured velocities will never be a perfect match because velocity erodes differently over each of the two distances and the measured velocity is not at the midpoint for either set of sensors. Still the difference was extremely little (less than 1 fps or .07 percent) and way under s.d.'s for even the best loads. We conclude there is no reason to shoot over longer rails if you have a newer modern chronograph. Long rails only complicate setup, increase the chances of accidentally shooting part of the screens and reduces the field of fire without relocating the chronograph. Longer screen spacing is not available with the new M2 model.

Test Results

Will the CED Chronograph register shots down range?

The CED Chronograph will register velocities at any distance from which you can shoot through it! Many customers put the unit 100yards down range. Indeed this is where the CED really shines. Its display is the largest on the market and the only one that is easily read through a rifle or spotting scope without having to walk down range after each shot fired.

How long does the NiMH Battery Pack last? How many times can it be recharged?

The battery pack provides 7 1/2 to 8 hours of continuous use. The no-memory nickel metal hydride batteries can be recharged a minimum of 500 times, but may provide up to 1,000 recharges. The Manufacturer recommends the battery not be recharged longer than 8 hours to prevent damage. NiMH batteries recharge at nearly the same amount of time it takes them to discharge. Use a fully charged battery for 4 hours and it should be recharged in just a little more than 4 hours.

How do I know if the infrared screens are functioning?

Infrared light can not be seen by the normal eye. However, that does not mean it is not there. The CED Infrared Screen Set has been designed with two indicator lights. When the screens are properly set up and power is supplied correctly, the "green" LED light will be on. If using the NiMH battery pack and the battery charge falls below the minimum level required, the "red" light will come on. If neither light is on, check to make sure the power supply is properly connected. Also make sure that the screens have been set up with the metal contacts from the side arms and the top screens in contact with each other.

I have an old chronograph I have been using for years. Will the CED provide the same data?

Unfortunately the older your chronograph is, the more likely it is to read low. Old analog circuit designs may "drift" downward over time. CED chronographs all used surface mounted chip technology and may read a little higher than your old chronograph. If you are primarily concerned with getting data that is comparable to what you have already collected, you can adjust the CED rail so it provides identical velocity readings.

CED's folding rail has small holes in each plastic end cap. Simply insert a small headed screw in each hole so it can be turned in flush. Set the two chronographs up so you can shoot through both at the same time (overlapping and same distance from the muzzle). Then use the screws in the CED rail to lengthen the distance between the screens until you get identical readings. When you are ready to measure velocity accurately, simply tighten the screws so they are flush again.

I shoot where there is no 110 power but my truck is always available. Can I take power from my truck battery?

DO NOT CONNECT THE IR TOPS DIRECTLY TO A 12 VOLT VEHICLE BATTERY. The battery's high current output will fry the circuitry and void your warrantee. The IR screens require no more than 12 to 13 volts and about 350ma. Radio Shack sells a 12 volt power converter for about $15 that will work with the IR Upgrade. Solder 25-50 ft. of double stranded speaker wire on the output side of the converter then a power plug on the end of the wire that will connect to the IR sensors Y cable. Make sure you match the polarity output of the 110v/230v power supply. Replace the 1 amp fuse in the converter with a 1/3 amp fuse so you do not overpower the IR emitters. I also suggest super gluing the voltage selection switch on the converter to 12v. Now if your truck is within 25-50 ft. of the screens, you are in business.

What changes have been made to CED Chronographs?

A few minor improvements were made to the original Millennium model after its first production run. The only change most shooters will notice is that the Millennium now times out after 30 minutes rather than 10. This was done for long range shooters, who want to place the chronograph down range to measure velocity erosion and calculate B.C.'s using the RSI Shooting Lab. The easiest way to tell which unit you have is by inspecting the ribbon in the battery compartment. The first production run used a pink ribbon, the second production run with the 30 minute timeout used a black ribbon.

The M2 model is an entirely new design in the same enclosure. Important differences in the M2 is USB connectivity, radically expanded memory, a revised user interface with new key commands and more keyboard functions. Memory was expanded to 2,000 shots and 500 shots per string. The IRda port was eliminated as well as the ability to use longer rails. The M2 sensors have been redesigned so archers no longer require a rail longer then the arrow going through the screens. The sensors also self adjust sensitivity to available light.

I shoot black powder muzzle loaders and the chronograph shows a velocity but with "error"?

The CED chronograph will display an error if a shot is more than 7% higher or lower then the string average. This does not mean the velocity is invalid but indicates the velocity is outside the norm for a reasonably good load. Patched ball muzzle loaders often produce higher then normal velocity variations. For example if the average velocity is 1200 fps, only 84 fps higher or lower will produce an error notice. Velocity variations that large would be unacceptable for a modern cartridge load and certainly worth scrutiny but might be common from a muzzle loader.

If your muzzle loader always reads the first shot in a string without an error the velocities are probably correct. You are simply getting wild variations that exceed the string average by 7% or more.

My new computer does not have a RS-232 serial port. How can I connect to the Millennium chronograph?

All you should need is a good USB adapter. There are many to choose from with prices ranging from $15 to $45. The adapter should come with drivers on CD Rom and should support "non-hardware handshaking" devices. Adapters that do not come with drivers are probably made to connect old serial mice or keyboards to USB ports and will not work. Adapters advertised as "High Speed" or PDA adapters may not work if hardware handshaking cannot be disabled. We now recommend the USB to RS-232 serial adapter from www.SerialIO.com but you may need to disable hardware handshaking. This company provides good drivers for all platforms and fantastic support!

Also, if you have a third party firewall it may block communication with your computer unless configured to accept data through the USB port.

Unfortunately there are many kinds of adapters and driver combinations so it is impossible for us to support them all. Many brands use a chipset from Prolific that has had a spotty driver history. Some drivers included with Prolific chipsets are not reliable on XP systems. We also recommend avoiding adapters from Radio Shack or the new Keyspan "High Speed Serial" adapters. Radio Shack cables and adapters are renown for incorrect pin-out and bad drivers. New Keyspan adapters do not always support simple devices.

The CED Millennium CPU simply dumps data when it receives voltage from the computer. It does not handshake with the computer to establish communication speed. If you experience problems, changing the adapter settings to turn off hardware handshaking may be all that is required.

 

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