Discussion in 'Product Reviews - Discussion' started by ADMIN, Jul 2, 2008.

RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review

  1. ADMIN

    ADMIN Administrator

    Messages:
    1,145
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    This is the thread for discussion of the article: RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Review
    By Jim Brown


    Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article. The author will have this thread automatically notify him of posts so he can join the discussion.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2009
  2. eddybo

    eddybo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,651
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2007
    That is a great write up that mirrors my experiences with the charge master. There is one thing I just learned about mine that was not mentioned in the article. It is terrible at dispensing loads under 10gr. My unit does not seem to exhibit some of the vagrancies that Jim's unit exhibits. When I pull a charge off and reweigh it the weight is always the same so long as I wait on the beep before removing the charge. I have tried verifying the charge weights with a separate digital scale that I usually carry to benchrest matches. It didn't slow me down one bit as I would zero the second scale using a funnel pan then pour straight into the case. Even though it took no extra time or effort to verify the weight I soon abandoned this safeguard as my confidence in the unit increased. In short I think my chargemaster purchase was money well spent.
     

  3. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    806
    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Hmmm...

    I got one a little after Jim did, apparently, but my experiences are quite a bit different (in my mind).

    First off... my unit was slow. Dog-a$$ slow. 46.5gr Varget took anywhere from 30 seconds to 50 seconds, average in the low 40's. I saw the test times on 6mmBR.com (similar to what Jim posted) and thought this unit would be a great improvement over my old Pact dispenser/scale combo - not so much! The dispense time wasn't an issue of great concern at first, as I was weighing my charges out on a AccuLab VIC123 scale. I was mainly using the Chargemaster to get 'close' and then tweaked the charge to 46.50 +/- 0.02gr using the AccuLab, a seed bulb, and a lot of sweat (all the air vents turned off) and a lot of cussing. 600rds of precision .308 made that way puts a new hate for weighing charges into a person.

    The good news was that my scale was on... when it said '46.5gr' it was 46.5gr +/- 0.1gr according to my AccuLab, every time. It rarely overshot, and when it did, that was easily fixed.

    When I got back from FCNC, I decided that weighing charges out that precise was something I was going to avoid if at all possible. When you find yourself *avoiding* loading and going to the range because weighing charges sucks so much... something needs to change. And, I reasoned, if my charges have to be weighed that tight to maintain elevation, I might need to tune/tweak the load a little more.

    Anywho, I picked up one trick from some folks @ FCNC - go to McDonald's and get one (1) drinking straw, preferably clean/unused ;) Cut off about 1" of it, and stick it up inside the dispensing tube, and tape it in place (duct tape works wonders). Probably 99% of the over shoot problems go away, as the powder cannot 'climb' the screw and clump up at the tube mouth like it did before. Once in a great while, you may get a 0.1gr overshoot... I pinch it off and toss it back, re-weigh the pan and carry on about my business.

    The other 'trick' is to mod some of those parameters Jim talked about. On my dispenser, the big time killer was the setpoints at which it started slowing down... the measure would kick down a gear way too early (50% or so) and then again, and again, until it was trickling like the last grain and a half in super-slow speed, and it took *forever* :mad: Tweaking those parameters sped things up a bunch. You have to kind of experiment a bit w/ them, as you can get things going too fast and the scale can't keep up - by the time it tells the dispenser to SLOW DOWN!!! it's too late, it overshot the target weight. But it's pretty simple to adjust the parameters, and once you get it going, it makes a world of difference - speed *and* accuracy. Now it goes along fast enough that I have just enough time to pick up the round I just poured powder in, seat a bullet, buzz the meplat in my Giraud trimmer, and set in the box before the BEEP! from the Chargemaster signals another charge is ready. Just about right!

    To the "Do's and Don'ts" category... Don't just grab the pan as soon as the beep sounds. Wait for it to display the counter info, and then go back to the actual charge weight. On the occasions when it *does* overshoot, it'll display the target weight, then beep, then display the actual final weight (the scale has finally caught up) which may be a skosh heavy. Wait for the final weight, just to be sure.

    YMMV,

    Monte
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  4. MightyMach

    MightyMach Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    I am very new to reloading...and I bought a charge master. I like it; but then again, I know no difference. I too left the gate open one of my first times using the unit...powder everywhere! I like the idea of being able to change the speeds of the machine. Does anyone here have the know how in how to do this? I reload for my 300 rum so it takes a bit. I like the idea of the straw also, I'll get on that before my next reloading adventure as I have also noticed the powder jumping out at the end when it clumps up at the end of the tube.
     
  5. Oddbod

    Oddbod Active Member

    Messages:
    29
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    I bought the combo whilst I was over in May & find it plenty fast enough & damn' accurate too.
    It throws 59.5gr of H4831sc in 18 - 25 seconds & in 150+ loads has overshot by 0.01gr once & undershot by the same amount twice.
    I seat & then crimp (two presses - one with a Lee FCD installed) whilst the next load is dispensing, so no time is wasted.
     
  6. blackbrush

    blackbrush Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Here is another standing applause for the straw idea…it has just gotta work!!! It is too smart of an idea.

    A suggestion you guys may consider is keeping a small bowl of the powder you are loading with any small measuring spoon (I use one out of a vitamin powder can I take) and when you press “dispense” just pour a measured amount in the pan and it quick zooms from 10-20g close to the 40-50g I am loading…you have to learn to time it correctly or you will overload it. If the measured amount is ready you can jet it up to within a couple of grains of the desired load…just play with it a little.
     
  7. Roll-Yur-Own

    Roll-Yur-Own Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    630
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    That is a great idea. I load calibers that use over 90 grains. That is a really good!

    Thanks!
     
  8. MightyMach

    MightyMach Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2007
    any word on codes to speed up the charges??
     
  9. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Messages:
    3,707
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2005
    Got this off another site. Use at your own risk.;);)

    RCBS Chargemaster part 2
    Finally got around to testing my software modified Chargemaster (CM). Testing conditions are as follows: 1) CM set for 28.3 grains 2) powder was V 133 3) used a Ohaus Navigator n00330 scale to verify CM results. 4) 50 charges were dispensed 5) after dispensing charge the CM scale was slightly disturbed and a new reading obtained.
    Instead of typing each result I will outline results. Out of 50 charges....1 reread on the CM 28.4 instead of 28.3, all others read 28.3. Checking with the Ohaus, 23 showed 28.25, 18 showed 28.3, 5 showed 28.2, and 4 showed 28.35.
    This is an improvement over the stock software setting. The results obtained were as actually shown, with NO charges disreguarded due to bumping table, apparent voltage variations (slight light dimming) occasional misplacement of pan on platform and several interested pets trying to help.
    Stock unit showed a variation of +.1 to -.1, a .2 spread, leveling CM resulted in a improvement, however it still was not consistant enough for me.
    To change settings 1) start unit, when it shows 0.0 press edit/mem key and the enter key at the same time. I changed the following variables to these settings: F_A to 070, M_A to 030, S_A to 006, W_F to 235, T_S to 004. MAKE ANY CHANGES AT YOUR OWN RISK, I WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE.




    LongShot1
    title:
    Registered User
    status:
    Offline

    Profile
    location:
    East S.F. Bay
    join date:
    Aug 2004
    posts:
    155



    Quote: (Originally Posted by lcbcp)
    To change settings 1) start unit, when it shows 0.0 press edit/mem key and the enter key at the same time. I changed the following variables to these settings: F_A to 070, M_A to 030, S_A to 006, W_F to 235, T_S to 004. MAKE ANY CHANGES AT YOUR OWN RISK, I WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE.


    I tried the procedure you describe, but my unit shows no "T_S" variable. I do have an "F_A", an "M_A", an "S_A", a "W_F", but no "T_S". After the "W_F", there are, in order, settings for "W_M", "W_S", "S_F", S_M", and "S_S"



    mikecr
    title:
    Lurker
    status:
    Offline

    Profile
    join date:
    Aug 2003
    posts:
    493



    He had typo'd is all.. It's W_S



    lcbcp
    title:
    Registered User
    status:
    Offline

    Profile
    location:
    Tappahannock, VA
    join date:
    Dec 2003
    posts:
    86



    Nope, not a typo....there are several versions of software on these units. This is one reason I have been hesitant to post my results. On my unit the F_A, M_A,and the S_A are "downshift points" ie. to change from fast to medium speed at 7 grs out from final charge weight, set F_A @ 070....to change from medium to slow @ 2 gr out, set M_A @ 020, etc. On MY UNIT there are really 4 speeds, fast, medium, slow, and for lack of better term "stop and go". I do have the following variables.... T_F, T_M, & T_S, which relate to tube rotation speed, T_S regulates the slowest speed, by setting it lower you can allow the scale to catch up with powder dispensed better though at a cost of time. I also have what appears to be a secondary set of the F_A, M_A, S_A , which are identified as F_B, M_B, S_B that I am not sure of as to exactly how they relate in the scheme of things, but may relate to 2 other variables W_F and W_M, which seem to be a static type limit expressed in gr. ie 255 = 25.5 gr. Last variable is SAP, which I hope is not a joke by RCBS to indicate someone that has worked for app 10 hrs to figure out the above info, but my best guess at this point sets com port speed, 096 = 9600 baud. All setting interact with each other as to end effect, so be carefull.



    lcbcp
    title:
    Registered User
    status:
    Offline

    Profile
    location:
    Tappahannock, VA
    join date:
    Dec 2003
    posts:
    86



    Bert, my guess is that '"S_F", S_M", and "S_S", correlate to my T_F, T_M, T_S or as I think of it Turn_Fast, Turn_ Medium, Turn_ Slow could also be easily be construed as Speed_Fast, Speed_Medium, Speed_Slow. At least this is how I would approach this issue. Change ONE variable and test results. Sort of like playing with a rifle but unlikely to result in a major face rearangement if wrong. List all variables available in order and look for patterns based on results of available info. Any computer based gismo can be best thought of as a self defined jig saw puzzle. Hope this helps. L C Brooke (lcbcp)
     
  10. sw_hunter

    sw_hunter Active Member

    Messages:
    42
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    My chargemaster has started to give me a code of 2009. and when it does that it will not work at all. i called and was told that they would have to send me out a new one when they had them back in stock. has anyone else has this problem?
     
  11. Eatie

    Eatie Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    The first one I got would not play ball when putting in the charge details.
    The figure one and four and seven always showed up as one digit higher so I could not programme 47gns as it showed in the display as 58gns and so on.
    Fair do's to RCBS, they changed it for a new one that works fine.
    I have since heard from a few of my mates, that have them, that they had the same problem and had to get them changed.
    It was obviously a bad batch that got thro the quality control.
    They are sold over here for £330 so if yours only cost you $300 aqnd as low as $260 you had a bargain!!
     
  12. knightmoves51

    knightmoves51 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Jim check this out...
     
  13. Rustystud

    Rustystud Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    431
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Changing the code Parameters

    Call RCBS ask for the Techs who work on the ChargeMaster 1500. They gave me the information to change the code parameters. Really nice folks. I adjusted mine every way one could. ( you can adjust it back to factory settings if you desire too). I found different codes for different charge weight ranges worked best for me. I load a lot of Varget in 308s. My charge master will consitently throw .1 loads in 10-15 seconds. I load on a progressive press one stage at a time. It allows my Charge master to remeasure and beep between loads. With primed and ready cases I can easily load over 100 rounds per hour. My extreme spreads and groups have greatly improved since I began using a Charge Master 1500. I am considering buying a second unit so I can leave one set up on both of my benches. Wonder if they will conflict with each other.
    Nat lambeth
     
  14. shaynous

    shaynous New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    gidday Len, my name is shayne 'shaynous' from New Zealand, gun)[FLOATRIGHT][/FLOATRIGHT] i read what you had to say bout the RCBS chargemaster 1500 as i am looking at getting an automated weighing + dispersal system. the two front runners for me at this time are this system and the Lyman 1200.
    as i understand things.
    the RCBS is good for speed, accuracy, emptying and refilling powders which are all practicle aspects for the reloading process.
    the lyman has the ability of being able to plug into a computer which is useful for me as i use a computer for ballistic calcs and like things fairly organised and most importantly legible. my handscript does not always allow for this. the computer means that i dont have bits of papa here and there to.
    i am at the point where i am ready to purchase and i am working on the fine details as far as which unit performs and hopefully there is a finalist and runner up.
    if you have any detail regarding the lyman i am interested. i understand that the lyman has a slow speed issue for weighing and dispersal. I am also aware that there is an additional bit of kit to get around that. lyman have worked that out. why it isn't part of the unit on sale now i'm not sure, but any way if you have any details here, give us a yell would you?

    cheers

    shaynous