The importance of accurate velocity measurement cannot be understated if one is reloading, preparing for competition, or going on the hunt. Chronographs can prove an essential tool in this regard, and the new ProChrono DLX from Competition Electronics provides accurate velocity measurements in an easy-to-use format that can be displayed on your smartphone, computer, or the chronograph itself.
Like most current chronographs, the ProChrono has an overall dimension of 16” (L) x 4” (H) x 3.25” (W). This gives the updated internal sensors the appropriate distance and slender housing by which to measure the time in which a projectile passes through the sensors, offering a timing resolution of 31 nSec with an accuracy of +/-.5% of measured velocity. The ProChrono itself comes with four 16” (L) x 3/16” (W) guide wires and two light diffuser shields. While the ProChrono is ideal for outdoor use, it can also be used at indoor ranges with the use of the Indoor Lighting System (sold separately).
On its face, the ProChrono has an LCD screen that displays readouts from the sensor, with push button functions for: Delete Shot, Delete String, Redisplay, String Change, and Review. Functionally, the ProChrono can measure:
- Velocities between 20 and 9,999 fps
- Time between follow-up shots of 500 mSec
- Up to 9 strings of 99 shots each
The ProChrono can also link via Bluetooth connectivity to free apps for iOS, Android, Kindle, PC, and Mac to display read-outs and stored data. This allows for easy display of statistical data calculated by the ProChrono in a variety of formats. It should be noted only one ProChrono can be synched to a smart device at a time.
On the bottom is a threaded hole for mounting the chronograph to a tripod, or similar mounting device.
The power source for the ProChrono is a single 9v alkaline battery (not included) on the bottom, and inside the battery compartment is a storage space to store an additional spare battery (not included). The 9v battery will give the ProChrono a runtime of approximately 20 hours. The optimal temperature range for the device to accurately measure velocities is between 20ºF and 100ºF.
Product Evaluation Scores:
- Cost – Good (4/5): At an MSRP of $134.95 the ProChrono DLX is one of the newest products from Competition Electronics, and represents some of the most cutting edge in sensor detection in commercial chronographs. With its updated sensors and statistical programming, the chronograph easily validates itself as a range tool, for competitive use, or pre-hunt preparations. In comparison, the ProChrono’s closest market competitor is Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph ($99) or its Premium Kit ($154), LabRadar’s Doppler Chronograph ($599), or CED’s Millennium 2 Chronograph ($199). When considered for its flexibility to integrate the base unit with smart devices, updated sensors, and place within the market—the ProChrono is very well situated and of a good value.
- Comfort – Average (3/5): From a comfort aspect, the ProChrono performed appropriately (or of average expectation) for its light weight, ease of setup, and tactile button function on the base unit just as other chronographs do. The LCD screen on the unit gave a clear 1” digital readout that could be easily seen at closer distances, but for further usage linking to a smartphone or similar device was needed. Navigation of the smartphone app was appropriately intuitive, and enabled the phone to give a clear, audible result in each velocity registered (when that function was enabled). A majority of the chronograph’s comfort lay in its functionality which is discussed below. Perhaps one improvement to comfort would be to include at least one tri-pod quick disconnect so as to further facilitate easy of setup as needed given some come with them and others do not.
- Durability – Good (4/5): Like a majority of current chronographs, the ProChrono used a sleek plastic housing to enclose the sensors and hardware. This made it robust but not impervious. Part of the danger was that the sensor, guide wires, and diffuser were/are directly downrange and there is always the inherent risk of a strike to any of the components. As such Competition Electronics offers a repair service not to exceed half the current retail regardless of its “condition”. There is also a two-year warranty against defects in material or workmanship with dated proof of purchase. That said, in the event of an accidental strike to the support wires or diffuser (the most common type of damage) Competition Electronics also offers spare sets of them separately as replacement parts.
- Functionality – Excellent (5/5): Where the ProChrono truly excelled (aside from the standard base unit function which performed appropriately) was its Wi-Fi interface with various smart devices. This alleviated the field use of the traditional wires to base control units, unnecessary walking back and forth, and allowed the shooter to easily hear and see the registered values so long as they were within wireless range (we tested it up to 25 yards between the base unit and an iPhone and still held a sync). The added benefit of the app also allowed more advanced analytics in an easy to understand format; such as the shot record, power factor, and velocities (based on customized input of caliber, projectile weight, and ambient temperature) as well as a space for customized notes to be input by the user (such as powder type or to add a photo). Navigation among the various app features was easy and intuitive, with no noted glitches or programming conflicts. Velocities measured were consistent and accurate, even despite rapid fire or the intermittent shadow across the diffuser while outdoors. The results of which were easily exported to a desktop for storage and reference. Perhaps the only area for improvement would be for the optional inclusion of a tripod or carrying case as it is not uncommon for users to forget to bring one, or they may simply need to get one. Furthermore, user’s need to be aware there was some functional conflict with syncing the ProChrono to older model iPhones (such as our 6S) where attempting to sync through the phone’s Wi-Fi settings failed (likely more on the fault of the phone’s software), but through the ProChrono app was immediately successful.
- Weight – Average (3/5): At a lightweight 2.1 pounds, the ProChrono was very easily transported amongst other gear. A solid case or box would be recommended as the unit did not come with one, and users will want something with added protection to the sensor. When mounted on a tripod the unit was heavy and monolithic enough not to wobble or move unnecessarily, even in light wind. In comparison, the Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph (2.2 pounds) or its Premium Kit (6.4 pounds w/case), LabRadar’s Doppler Chronograph (2.5 pounds), or CED’s Millennium 2 Chronograph (2.0 pounds w/main unit) all validate that the overall weight of the ProChrono DLX is appropriate (or average) within the field of competitors.
Overall Rating – Above Average (19/25)
I am reviewing this product as a courtesy to the manufacturer and via STL Shooting Enthusiasts, so that I can evaluate it and provide my honest feedback. I am not bound by any written, verbal, or implied contract to give positive reviews. All views are my own, and based off my personal experience with the product.
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