August 20th, 2012

LED Lamp Kit Improves Shooting Chrony Low-Light Performance

Here’s good news for owners of Shooting Chrony Chronographs — you can purchase a Chrony LED Lamp (CLL) upgrade kit that allows your Chrony to work indoors. In addition, the new LED illuminators will enhance outdoor performance in uneven or shaded lighting conditions. The CLL kit costs $87.95 and can be ordered directly from the Shooting Chrony Website, or from vendors such as

Shooting Chrony LED Lamp

Why the LED Illuminator Kit Is Needed
Shooting Chronys are popular “entry-level” chronographs. They are inexpensive to purchase and they stow compactly with their signature “folding box” design. This Editor used a Shooting Chrony (Beta Master model) for a few years with generally good results. However, I quickly learned that the Shooting Chrony gave the most reliable readings in diffuse mid-morning light with mildly overcast skies (thin cloud layer). The unit did not like to work in the late afternoon with the sun at a low angle. Likewise, uneven, shady conditions caused problems. In summertime, the ultra-bright, noontime summer sun, directly overhead, seemed to “over-power” the diffusers, causing errors. So, I learned to do my speed tests only when conditions were most favorable for the Shooting Chrony. Now, admittedly, not all Shooting Chronys are so temperamental — I’ve seen a few that worked great in bright overhead sunlight. But most Shooting Chronys do seem to struggle with shady conditions or low-angle sunlight.

LED Lamp Kit Components and Accessories
To improve Shooting Chrony reliability in all light conditions, Shooting Chrony offers a $87.95 LED kit (Item #110) that comes with LED-equipped 14″ white diffusers mounted on 16″ wire support rods. The LEDs provide a constant, consistent light source, so you can shoot in the late afternoon and evenings. The kit includes a 120V/220V AC Adapter, output 12VDC @500mA. If AC power is not available, you can run the LED Lamp with an optional 12v dc “Power Station” battery pack (Item #111, $47.95), or you can draw 12v current through an available cigarette lighter-style adapter (Item #112, $10.00).

Shooting Chrony LED Lamp

LED Kit Users Say It Works
We haven’t tested the LED kit ourselves yet, but here’s what one kit buyer had to say:
“If you shot in poor light, you are going to miss velocities no matter what chronograph you are using. You go to all the work of assembling your handloads, set up the chronograph, and then shoot at the target through the detectors… only to get ‘Err 2′ or ‘Err 9′ and use up most or all of the carefully assembled handloads without getting any velocity data. The Chrony LED Lamp assembly has been perfect. Bright sun/no clouds, hazy/cloudy, or shadows/shade makes no difference — all the readings come through without a single ‘Err X’ code. Current draw is also surprisingly low. With the C.L.L. on for five straight hours, the battery pack still shows a full charge.”

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