My experiences with the V3 Autotrickler/Autothrow

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Turbulent Turtle, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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    I don't want to pollute the ongoing thread about the announcement.

    I received my complete V3 upgrade earlier this week. I had the V2 Autothrow and the original Autotricker. To refresh memories, when the Autotrickler was first released, it included a circuit board that went into the A&D scale and had one connector to power the Autotrickler motor. When using the Autotrickler, I would use a measuring spoon to pick up a certain amount of Varget to throw in the pan as the Autotrickler was dispensing. If I forgot to do that, the trickler would dispense the whole charge. Sometimes, I would be delayed dropping the initial charge amount in the pan and then I would drop too much and have to take some out. I did spill a few times, ok, more than a few times. Stuff happens when you get older.

    When the original Autothrow was announced, I delayed a little bit because I figured I could use the measuring spoon ($0.25) easily enough instead of paying $hundreds for the Autothrow. After a while, I just got tired of the measuring spoon and the spills and other fun events. I purchased the Autothrow and it came with a new circuit board, now with two connectors and sundry accoutrements for funneling powder to the plastic cup and so on.

    After a few mishaps and sundry adjustments to the Autothrow, I got it going to the point where it was reliable, did not leak and dropped quickly and played well with the Autotrickler. The Autotrickler was a little finicky and I had to use business cards to prop up one side or the other to set the proper angle. That allowed it to move more freely and did result in a few spills when the trickler spout had moved away from the cup. But overall it was working pretty well.

    I ordered the V3 as soon as I got the announcement and it showed up earlier this week. It was packaged nicely and Adam must have a contract with Glad or equivalent for sandwich bags, because everything was in these bags. Of course everything is packaged manually and each sandwich bag had the part for a specific assembly. Since this was full upgrade, there were lots of plastic bags. The only tool of mine I used was a Phillips screwdriver and a small ratchet handle to deal with one of the existing screws in the original Autotrickler assembly.

    I took my time doing the upgrades and everything went perfectly together. Do pay attention to the orientation of the sprocket on the Autothrow. I made sure to not mar the surface of the devices when using a screwdriver, so everything looks factory-fresh.

    I had a bunch of parts left over after the upgrades were done, and packaged all of them in the box that housed the V3 upgrades and put them away for posterity.

    I downloaded the app for the Autocombo and installed it on my smartphone. My A&D scale was ready and powered up with the Autothrow and Autotrickler connected. So I fired up the app and connected to the scale. The connection was near instantaneous and the control were now live. I hit the Cycle Autothrow button and sure enough, it cycled, up, down. I did it several times and monitored closely to make sure there was no binding, humming or anything that would indicate an issue in my assembly. It was all fine.

    I hit the Start Autotrickler and it hummed away at top speed. I cycled it off, then back on again and off, making sure it was running freely. No problems detected.

    It was time for final adjustments on the platen. I looked closely at the picture in the instruction manual and then I located the V stopper in a somewhat offset position so the Autothrow funnel would be closer to the left side of the big glass cup, as recommended in the manual. Next, I filled the big hopper with Varget, twisted the hopper open and started cycling the Autothrow with the app. I adjusted the arm to get me about 90% of the way to my target load, about 3.5 grain short. I could cycle the autothrow many times in the cup without danger of overflowing and I could match the jump in weight each time. Adjusting the arm for capacity is easy, just turn it in the proper direction.

    Then I adjusted the Autotrickler base to give me the proper flow as described in the manual. Clockwise is slower, when the leg is close to you. Once I had the proper rate, I set my target weight with the app, and cycled several charges. I made minute adjustments to the autotrickler body and the smallest of adjustments using the slide in the back of the scale. I was now ready to go.

    My first session consisted of loading 30 cartridges using 6 different amounts of powder charge. I started by setting the minimum charge using the app. Then I measured 5 charges in a (very) few minutes. With the app, I set the next charge and zipped through 5 more cartridges. I repeated this 4 more times and had 30 cartridges loaded in about 15 minutes, with 6 different charges. This is a ladder test handloader's dream come true.

    One thing I do is to aim for the exact weight I want. Each kernel of Varget is about .02gr and so I keep a couple of kernels on the table next to the scale. Using plastic tweezers I will extract one or two kernels if the charge is over or add one or two kernels if it's under. Most times it's dead on.

    The big heavy glass cup that replaces the flimsy plastic cups of the original Autothrow works really well. I like it a lot and the V-stop does a great job positioning it just so. In 30 loads, not one spill.

    At this time, I'm considering getting a sturdier cover for the scale; the Autothrow is heavy and maybe it's time for the Area 419 lexan cover.

    Overall, I'm very satisfied with the V3 upgrades. The new aluminum body of the Autothrow is very classy and solid and requires no adjustments. I like that a lot. The bigger hopper is very welcome also, I can do a full session of 100 rounds without refilling. Productivity is very high with this setup properly adjusted. I was getting a charge within 10 seconds of putting the empty cup back on the scale. Sometimes the Autotrickler would go a little longer getting those last few kernels, but most times it was very quick. I think a little more fine tuning can sort that out.

    I have to take a second here and say how I continue to be totally impressed with the A&D fx120 scale. Especially with my addition of a trifold cardboard cover set right behind it. I turned on the scale on Monday early evening after doing the V3 upgrade and it stayed on for 24+ hours. Apart from the 15-20 minutes that it took to load my 30 cartridges, it indicated 0.00gn all the time. The A/C is running in the house and the Tri-fold protects the scale from that one direction and a little on either side. When I turned off the scale yesterday evening, it still showed 0.00gn; it was fixated on it. That's the benefit of a magnetic force restoration scale; no drifting.

    This is solid set up and it's fast and precise.
     
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  2. boltman13

    boltman13 Gold $$ Contributor

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    +1 V3 is quieter, the Blue Tooth system is great. It's worth every penny it costs. Thanks Adam.
     
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  3. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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    True. I did notice the Autothrow was quieter. As for Bluetooth, well, everything is better with Bluetooth. I'm trying to talk Seb into adding a Bluetooth interface on his rests and Joy-pod. We also need Bluetooth on barrels, and bolts. Oh, and stocks also.

    It would be awesome on riflescopes also; Imagine being able to set the windage and elevation via an app.

    :cool:
     
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  4. LVLAaron

    LVLAaron Gold $$ Contributor

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    I just got mine, loaded 50 rounds this morning. I'm really pleased with everything... except the lid on the scale. Definitely plan on replacing that. I'll probably make my own, because I'm handy with templates and a router.
     
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  5. rardoin

    rardoin Silver $$ Contributor

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    There is a bluetooth bullet set to be released at the very beginning of April of next year. It will be in 7mm only at first.

    Robin
     
  6. arkcomatt

    arkcomatt Matt Owens Gold $$ Contributor

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    Still waiting on mine. Really looking forward to it.
    Thanks for the great write up! Makes me even more anxious.
     
  7. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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  8. Stingray

    Stingray

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    Denys - plastic tweezers? I use metal tweezers. Am I doing it wrong?
     
  9. Turbulent Turtle

    Turbulent Turtle F-TR competitor

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    Yes. The stuff is somewhat flammable.
     
  10. Alexander-M

    Alexander-M Gold $$ Contributor

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    Denys,

    Thank you for your report! I received the email notice to let me know that my V3 version and AutoThrow were shipped yesterday, and can hardly wait to set it up.

    My fx120i is almost six years old, and my AutoTrickler dates back to June 2016. In 2018 I bought another fx120i when they were on sale, and set it aside as backup.
    A few months ago, I decided to try the newer fx120i, but the AutoTrickler would not work with it. After several emails with Adam, we identified the issue as the lack of a wire on the newer fx120i that is required to power the AutoTrickler electronics. Adam fixed this issue with a jumper on the newer electronics, and rather than mess around with my older AutoTrickler, I decided to wait for the new V3 version.

    Alex
     
  11. Namibian

    Namibian

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    Can you post a photo of the trifold box setup please? Might want to do the same...

    I also have the FX120i scale, and the V1 autotrickler, and they are both superb. Best scale for the money in my experience.

    Thinking of upgrading to the V3 setup. Not cheap though...
     
  12. PatMiles

    PatMiles Gold $$ Contributor

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    Mash the link in post 7, the trifold box is pictured.
     
  13. Jeff A

    Jeff A Formerly known as BikeEffects Gold $$ Contributor

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    I might as well share mine as well. This afternoon I loaded some ammo for a test session tomorrow. This is an excellent setup. Fast, clean & accurate. Well done Adam.
     

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  14. Willow

    Willow

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    I set my V3 up this afternoon - hardest part was fine tuning the auto-throw/trickle process, as it was initially too fast and kept over-trickling. Took about 15 minutes of trial and error but eventually got it to settle down by slowing down the fine tuning slide on the back of my scales. Just wanted to see how quick it was and throwing a charge of 54.5gr of RL23, it didn't take longer than 10 seconds to throw a charge. Threw 12 charges and they either landed at 54.48gr, 54.50gr or 54.52gr - and an average kernel of RL23 comes in at .04gr so I was pretty happy with this. Certainly cut down my reloading time and its accurate as advertised so money well spent.
     
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  15. Namibian

    Namibian

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    Just curious: What is best, grams or grains?

    The FX120 can operate in grains or grams, there is a button on the little key pad to switch units. So far i have used grains for weighing powder and grams for weighing primers. It looks to me that 0.001 gram (one milligram) is slightly smaller than 0.02 grains. Converting 1 milligram = 0.0154 grains, which is slightly better than 0.0200 ... in theory!

    Then again one kernel of H4350 is about 0.025 grains and since we are not crazy enough to cut kernels in half anymore, there is no real point, right?

    For primers, maybe yes? [No idea yet if weight sorting primers will help or not... still need to load and fire some rounds... will know more in a week or two.]
     
  16. 1lnbrdg

    1lnbrdg

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    The scale should be able to resolve grams easier/closer than grains.
     
  17. Mike7.62

    Mike7.62

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    The tri-fold idea is interesting. I just set up my V3 today, and the window unit in my shop was making the scale jump a bit, so I took one of the extra plastic side shields and drilled a few 3/8" holes vertically in line within the limits of the trickler tube adjustment, filed down the high points, and installed it on the right side with the tube going through it. It does keep the scale steady now, but I haven't tried it throwing charges yet. Ran out of time. Gives me something to do tomorrow during the heat of the day.
     
  18. Butte Sink

    Butte Sink

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    This is GREAT to hear, Thank You!
    Mine is in route and looking forward to it
     
  19. Mike7.62

    Mike7.62

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    So I finished the set up today and started throwing charges using the bluetooth and my iPad. Dude! This is amazing. I was throwing charges and filling cases in 13 seconds per. The first time; and all were within a hundredth of a grain. I was using 44 gr of IMR 4895, which is my go to for .308, and it was amazing. I am more than pleased, and would highly recommend this product to anyone who is a high volume shooter, or those pressed for time due to other commitments, or both. Excellent product, and worth every penny.
     
  20. davecb

    davecb

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    Once you have set the target weight with your ipad/iphone, does it automatically throw the next charge and trickle up when the powder cup is placed on the scale? Or do you have to throw the charge each time with the ipad/iphone?

    Thanks in advance.
     

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