Alpha Shooting Chrony

Reviewed By Steve , 28 October 2009

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As soon as a Chrony appears there will be a queue of archers waiting to use it, despite their wish to use it they will all be convinced they know exactly how fast their bow shoots ( usually at least 20fps faster than it does in reality ) but I have yet to see someone turn away after shooting and say " wow, I didn't realise my bow shot so hard !" mostly they will turn away with a long face muttering about arrows, strings and something about last week..

The list for how useful this little tool can be is huge, I have tested sets of arrows on weight, on fletch size, I have used it to alter the brace height and find out how much an eighth" or quarter" reduction or increase might affect performance. I have spent many happy hours using it to test different string materials even to test different strand counts from 16 to 4. I find it useful too when changing form and draw/anchor/loose techniques to see if what I am doing is affecting performance, in fact the more I use it the more useful it becomes. Not least of all is the ability to compare different bows in terms of straight performance.

The Chrony can turn a dull couple of hours practice in to an interesting and useful and more importantly fun session.

So to the Chrony itself. This is the Alpha base model, it has the ability to be upgraded to any of the other models with the addition of various accessories, I find this one more than adequate. It weighs in at under 2.5# and folds in half, this serves two purposes, firstly it is a nice size for stuffing in a kit bag and secondly being steel it protects the sensors and all the "workings". Apparently the steel housing expands and contracts less than plastic so not only is it robust but it is accurate to 0.5%. It can measure speeds from 30fps up to 7000fps and it is the ability to measure slow speeds that makes it so attractive to the archer. There is a thread underneath for mounting on a tripod. I have found that leaving the batteries connected will result in a discharged battery when you next need it so always disconnect the battery terminals after use.

It comes with a diffuser for use on very bright day, use in low light conditions can exacerbate the error readings and I never use it indoors.

There are some issues regarding it's use, although simplicity itself, in that just one switch turns it on, it does have a habit of issuing error codes for no reason, one moment you are happily shooting and the next it goes in to error mode, despite repeatedly hitting the reset button it won't reset and then starts to issue numbers in mps and not fps. I imagine that somewhere in the instruction information there are answers or perhaps methods for dealing with these errors. Here I must hold up my hands and say that I have never actually read through all the instructions, if it goes pear shaped I use the reset if that fails then I just " reboot", the on/off button is much simpler than wading through instructions so I am putting any error messages mostly down to pilot error.

To get the most out of it and to ensure consistent readings the arrow must be shot at the right distance both from the first sensor and at the right height, a little practice starting too high will soon have you shooting correctly, be warned if you shoot too low then you will shoot straight through the display screen and destroy the Chrony, if you do you won't be the first. When anyone asks to use mine it is always with the caveat " you shoot it you buy it ".

You probably need a chronograph more than you realise. If you switch from a 4" to a 5" fletch or vice versa how much speed will you lose/gain ? don't know ? then what makes you think that your set up is the best permutation of arrow length/fletch size and point weight, you may be able to optomise for speed and gain some flatter trajectory for longer, there are no rules that say a faster arrow cannot shoot just as stable if designed right. By the same token upping fletch size may not lose you as much speed as you think it will ? If you cannot answer these questions you need a chrony chronograph !

 Alpha Shooting Chrony

Features & Design half a review mark
It's tough and just a perfect size to stuff in a bag and accurate to 0.5.
Performance half a review mark
Regardless of error readings which are nothing more than a minor inconvenience the Chrony performs well and gives accurate read outs.
Value for Money
A hunt around the net will probably find one of these for less than the £80 listed here, I have found mine to be very good value and the more I use it... the more I realise how useful it is.
Overall half a review mark
You don't have to be a nerdy archer to find one of these useful, I wouldn't be without mine and despite what they say "I ain't a nerd !!".

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