Madbull Airsoft – Chronograph Version 2
Last year saw the release of the version 2 chronograph from Madbull Airsoft. When released 12 months earlier, the first version of this recieved very posative reviews. So how could Madbull Airsoft improve upon what was already seen as one of the best chronographs on the market. Well thanks to Madbull who have supplied dEFCON Airsoft with one of these new models we now have the chance to find out.
So what’s in the box?
The version 1 chronograph housing was made from 6061T6 aircraft aluminum 2mm thick with an anodized blue finish. While the materials used are still the same the finish is now a dark grey and look much better but does show up marks like fingerprints very easily.
The physical dimentions of the chronograph 125x55x50 mm and weighs in at 0.4g. This chronograph is small enught to fit into kit bag, utility pouch and with the funnel removed it can also fit into a double M4/M16 magazine pouch. The chronograph is a shoot through design with the aluminium funnel screwing into the hole (shooting gate) on the unit, this ensures that you do not miss the hole a you can simply put the front of your AEG barrell into the funnel. Also on the front of the unit is a 4 digit LED display to present the readout.
As with the previous version, the left hand side of the unit is the battery cover with the power and mode buttons. New to this version are the power indicator and USB socket fitted onto the right hand side.
On the bottom of the unit, Madbull have wisely kept the tripod mount.
Many of the features available on the original chronograph are still available, these include an internal light source so that you can use it during the day or at night time. The chronograph can also measure velocity in FPS or MPS, as well as measure the rate of fiire Balls per second BPS/BPM. Additionally the auto shut down feature has been retained so that it powers down the unit after 120 seconds to preserve battery life.
One feature that has been improved following user feedback is the amount of pre-set B.B. weight v.s. energy (Joule) options. The table below shows how has been improved to allow testing to be done with far more BB’s weights than you were previously able to with the original version, while the video demonstrates how to select the different BB weight setings.
One of the new features that have been included on the version 2 unit, is the power indicator. When blinking this indicates a low battery, this can be handy as sometimes low power could possibly give inaccurate readings.
Another really useful new feature is the support to recharge NI-MH rechargable battries. Previously if you needed to replace / rechage the batteries, you would have to unscrew the four screws on the battery cover (left hand side). While you still need to do this to access the battery compartment, if you now use rechargable batteries you no longer need to remove the batteries to rechage them. Instead you can now plug the supplied USB lead into the socket on the unit and then plug in the other end to a USB port on a computer.
Madbull do not supply the chronograph with any batteries. while some people may think that with relatively cheap prices at least non rechargable batteries should be included, we feel this is the right desision. Firstly if fitted at the factory with non rechagable batteries the end user may by mistake attempt to recharge these using the USB lead, this could result in damage to the unit or even an explosion. Secondly I have in the past seen some very cheep and nasty batteries, and prefer to instead purchase a good brand for all my equipment.
One thing that should be noted is that when charging the power indicator does light up, however it will not indicate when the charge cycle is complete.
Usage of the chronograph is very straight forward. The supplied instructions are on one sheet of A5 paper, while basic it does cover all aspects of usage. Whiich include how to do single shot readings, and how to do automatic (BPS/BPM) readings.
To take a reading, switch on the chronograph and place your AEG barrel inside the funnel, then fire a single shot through the shooting gate. Once a reading has been taken you can press the mode button to display the reults you require for the type of BB you have used.
Results available are:
The remaining settings let you display the reading for different weights off BB.
The below video demonstrates a reading being taken, and the results available.
Although the test shown here were done uing an Airsoft AEG, due to the shooting gate size this chronograph can also be used to measure FPS for paint ball guns.
With its rugged construction, and the ability to mount it on a tripod this chronograph is ideally suited to either an airsoft or paintball skirmish site. Other features like the measurement of rate of fire means the this would also apeal to people who like to tinker with their AEG’s and check its performance all round.
A feature we do like is the ability to use this in the dark. While the obvious thought is that this is ideal for testing AEG’s at a night games, cloudy days will not affect the Madbull chronograph(s).
The ability to rechage the batteries without having to open up the unit is a great idea, however it would be nice to have more functionality with the USB connnection like recording statistics on a computer, perhaps this could be included on a pro model?
While the version 2 chronograph is is an improvement over the orginal model, you can’t go wrong with either of these.