Sensor for a Reloading Press

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Old 07-17-17, 03:48 AM
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Sensor for a Reloading Press

Hello gents,

I own a progressive ammunition reloading press where I have fitted a manual case feeder. Problem I'm having is progressive presses being as quick as they are I have found that I often forget to index my home made case feeder therefore missing a rotation.

What I would like to do is add some sort of a sensor (possibly infrared?) just outside the clear polycarbonate tubes so when the cases drop below the sensor an audible alarm will sound reminding me to index the case feeder.

If someone could point me in the right direction as to which sensor would work best for my situation it would be greatly appreciated. I know a little about electronics but obviously not enough to come un-stuck here

I will upload some photos below illustrating my issues.

image 1 - shows the press with detail of the case feeder
image 2 - is a close up of the case feeder with several 9mm cases
image 3 - again, is a close up of the case feeder with several 9mm cases

Usually all 5 tubes will be full to the top with empty cases.

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Old 07-17-17, 07:01 AM
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Easiest might be to use a door chime. Best might be the infrared kind with separate sensor and emitter and mount one on each side of your feeder. A single sensor door chime might also work. Just mount it right up to the feeder and if that doesn't work remove the door chime's plastic housing so you can get the sensor closer to your feed tube.
 
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Old 07-17-17, 12:45 PM
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What I would like to do is add some sort of a sensor (possibly infrared?) just outside the clear polycarbonate tubes so when the cases drop below the sensor an audible alarm will sound reminding me to index the case feeder.
You want to know when the tube is empty ?
You can't monitor a shell by shell drop if there is no visual break between casings.
 
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Old 07-17-17, 01:11 PM
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I'm not understanding what precisely you need to monitor. What do you mean by "index" the feeder?

With an IR setup I'm wondering if the poly tubes would scatter the beam too much to be picked up reliably by the detector.
 
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Old 07-17-17, 03:31 PM
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https://www.ia.omron.com/products/fa...30/lineup.html

tons of choices. I used to design with this stuff daily. Sometimes used stuff pops up on ebay. I'd try the retroreflective for ease of installation. Brass detection inside clear tubes doesn't seem difficult. Sensors can drive a small, 24V device directly.
 
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Old 07-17-17, 10:12 PM
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With an IR setup I'm wondering if the poly tubes would scatter the beam too much to be picked up reliably by the detector.
I was thinking the same thing Core.

tons of choices. I used to design with this stuff daily. Sometimes used stuff pops up on ebay. I'd try the retroreflective for ease of installation. Brass detection inside clear tubes doesn't seem difficult. Sensors can drive a small, 24V device directly
That seems to be what we're after. I imagine it would be quite pricey just looking at the quality of these. Is there a model with a receiver small enough to fit on the inside of the 5 tube array? I have posted a section view below. as you can see there is only there is only a space of 19.1mm for a receiver to be mounted.

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Old 07-17-17, 11:02 PM
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We still don't know what you are trying to do.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 12:31 AM
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PJmax
You want to know when the tube is empty ?
You can't monitor a shell by shell drop if there is no visual break between casings.
There are 4 cases visible in my attached photos, when there are 0 cases visible it means the case feeder is empty.

I am not trying to monitor a shell by shell drop, I simply need to know when there are 0 shells left in the selected tube.

PJmax
We still don't know what you are trying to do.
Because there is a lot going on with a progressive press at all times, it is difficult to monitor everything at once. There are already 2 audible alarms on this press which come standard for different errors but there is none for the case feeder.

The cases that are feeding into the machine are not visible in the operators position which is why, when there are 0 cases left in the engaged tube, I would like to be notified.

Hopefully this all makes sense
 
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Old 07-18-17, 12:36 AM
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I am not trying to monitor a shell by shell drop, I simply need to know when there are 0 shells left in the selected tube.
Perfect. That will be easy to do. The brass shell is very reflective so that it doesn't matter if the tube distorts the beam.

You'll need one photoelectric sensor for every tube being monitored.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 01:13 AM
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Ahh these non-reloading guys...lol. I think it's been answered but let me s'plain it some more.
(This may have already been said or clarified)

The empty cases are held vertically in clear plastic tubes (similar to the safety tubes used in florescent lights in garages and such?) and hold on the order of 25 cases per tube. These are inserted into a rotating "holder" mounted down near the arm that pushes the cases into the rotating assembly of the press.

When you really get rolling you can forget to manually rotate the holder to a new tube and thus dump crap on your bench or it fails to complete the stroke. Anyway, then you have to get back into the rhythm again after putting everything right. I used to load 500-700 rds in my barracks room to go shoot on Sat or Sun. One time the powder "bridged" in the powder measure and I had 200 rds I had to pull the bullets on to check.

It's sort of annoying, but unless you spend over $1000 to get all the operations automated except pulling the handle, it's what you have to deal with. What's especially annoying is that you can put enough primers, powder and bullets in place for 100 rds or more at a time, but have to remember to rotate the tubes every 25.

He really only needs one sensor for the tube that is actually in use I think. I'd also suggest Ash81192, that you set it up to detect not when the last case is fed, but maybe when there is only 1 or 2 left in the tube, if possible. I mean, no reason to ever miss the indexing then. I'd rather leave one in the tube than run out. And really, just one sensor should be plenty.

I can understand not wanting to buy a Dillon auto case feeder. Or a Mr Bulletfeeder. They must cost a ton down there. I live 200 miles North of them and I can't afford them even if I go pick it up.

Note...Member is in Australia
 
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Old 07-18-17, 03:55 AM
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Gunguy45 hit the nail on the head mate.

Gunguy45
He really only needs one sensor for the tube that is actually in use I think. I'd also suggest Ash81192, that you set it up to detect not when the last case is fed, but maybe when there is only 1 or 2 left in the tube, if possible. I mean, no reason to ever miss the indexing then. I'd rather leave one in the tube than run out. And really, just one sensor should be plenty.
Yes only require the one sensor for the tube that is in use.

Even though from the photos I uploaded there appear to be 4 cases left, there is another 6 below that. So when those 4 are missing it would be the perfect time for an alarm to sound.

PJmax
You'll need one photoelectric sensor for every tube being monitored
PJmax, can relatively cheap versions of this be found on ebay? if so, what should I be looking for?

I'll be honest, I haven't attempted something like this before. Closest thing to this sort of electric work I have attempted is the electric round counter I made up to count how many completed rounds have been manufactured (shown in the first photo I uploaded in my original post) constructed from a $2 magnetic sensor and LCD 4 digit panel off ebay.
 
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Old 07-18-17, 06:31 AM
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I'm still wondering if it wouldn't be cheaper and easier to hack a driveway or door alarm. I opened up the one leading to my office door and when you toss the plastic housing the sensor is very accessible and all the electronics are there to set off an alarm. The only downside I'm seeing is you might have to drill a hole in the feed tube but I'm not even sure about that. My alarm works on a change in light level. With the plastic housing and lens gone and reasonable change in the light hitting the sensor will set off the alarm.
 
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