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Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper Review

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So I was getting tired of setting up the RCBS powder dispenser for every load and ever caliber so I started looking at powder dispensers. The new Matchmaster dispenser looked awesome. Everything I wanted until I saw the price of $900!!! Uhh no thank you. So then I saw the lyman Gen 6. Looked great but I decided for now on the New Frankford Arsenal Intellidropper. Reading all the reviews it was great so long as you got a good functioning unit.

So I saw a deal for 195$ on Amazon. Knowing they take care of product issues extremely fast I ordered it. Arrived yesterday. Unboxed, setup. Now the fun begins.

So I let the unit warm up. Dumped some varget into it calibrated it, calibrated the powder and dispense a charge. Spot on to the exact weight I wanted. Verified the charge weight with the RCBS beam scale. Spot on. Checked it on the Hornady gs1500 and same. All matched. I'm thinking this is extremely great for a 200$ dispenser /scale. I check several more dispensed weights. Everything was great. Only issue is if you bump the tube removing the pan more power drops out. Can't really get by that issue. So I clean everything up. Empty powder and holy hell. The thing is a magnet for static. Finally fight getting all the powder out. Wipe it all down with a dryer sheet. Problem solved.

Now this is where the fun begins. I zero out the scale and head upstairs. Come back an hour later and the scale still reads zero but is constantly beeping. Start investigating and fine out its cause the thing thinks someone is touching the number 1 key.. I unplugged the unit and plugged it back in. Turned back on and problem seems to have been resolved so I watch it for a few while doing other stuff. About 15min later it starts to do the exact same thing. Thinking it might be something with the Bluetooth and my phone I shut both off. Unplugged it and plugged it back in. Again sit amd wait. 10 or 15min later same thing. Well crap. Setup the replacement order thru Amazon and it should be here tomorrow.

To sum things up. Scale is great, accurate and extremely fast. Full of a bunch of nice features. Can't ask for anything more really except that they should have done something to minimize the static on the unit. Only downfall to the whole thing is reliability. I was all excited that everything was great. Accurate discharge after discharge. Extreme let down when it went haywire. If you want a scale that's accurate and fast but don't mind dealing with looking for a good working unit or dealing with the mfg then its great.

Hope this helps someone out in the future.
James
 

daved20319

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Mine has been trouble free from the start. That said, it's not without its foibles. Light charges of some powders can be hit or miss, VV N320 is rock solid, but Sport Pistol varies .1 gr. + or - for charges less than 6 gr. Higher charges for rifles (25 gr. +) seem fine. I've got a fair amount of Frankford Arsenal equipment, it's all been stellar, which was the main reason I went with the Intellidropper. Hope you get yours sorted/replace to your satisfaction. Later.

Dave
 
OP
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Mine has been trouble free from the start. That said, it's not without its foibles. Light charges of some powders can be hit or miss, VV N320 is rock solid, but Sport Pistol varies .1 gr. + or - for charges less than 6 gr. Higher charges for rifles (25 gr. +) seem fine. I've got a fair amount of Frankford Arsenal equipment, it's all been stellar, which was the main reason I went with the Intellidropper. Hope you get yours sorted/replace to your satisfaction. Later.

Dave
I hear they are supposed to keep the units updated and adding new features thru firmware updates. Do you know which firmware is currently on your unit? Frankford says they only have one version out there but I am having my doubts cause I have read of atleast one other person getting an update. Amazon will take care of me and I will let them keep shipping me units until I get a good one.

Maybe if this next one has issues I should have Amazon do an advanced replacement and send the broken one back to the mfg. I have 30 days to return the defective unit back to Amazon. Who knows. Maybe I can get one that is actually inspected by someone here in the states instead of whatever quality control they do after assembly. Obviously they don't 'burn-in' the units and it's not effective to say the least.

Glad your having better luck with your unit. Having a 1yr warranty scares me now with the first unit having issues right out of the gate. Thankfully I'm good with electronics so as long as no replacement parts are needed I should be able to keep it going for years to come.


Thanks
James
 
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Maybe if this next one has issues I should have Amazon do an advanced replacement and send the broken one back to the mfg. I have 30 days to return the defective unit back to Amazon. ...
Please post back -- I'm interested in how the replacement does.
 
OP
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Just an FYI. Still not sure on the new one that arrives today but I got a Cabelas email this morning. They are in sale there for 159.99 in store or shipped thru I believe it said March 11th.

Thanks
James
 
OP
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Thanks for sharing. I've had issues with old RCBS and Hornady auto dispensers.
Issue is, they're slow.
Well if this one can ever work correctly which I assume it will eventually then its definitely fast and accurate. I would say about 3sec for a 45gr load. If the replacement that arrives today works then I will time it for ya. Most reviews say they can load about twice as fast with it. Ultimate reloader did a review on it as well.

James
 

osprey

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Well if this one can ever work correctly which I assume it will eventually then its definitely fast and accurate. I would say about 3sec for a 45gr load. If the replacement that arrives today works then I will time it for ya. Most reviews say they can load about twice as fast with it. Ultimate reloader did a review on it as well.

James
Hmm, the video review I just watched was 14.5 second average to throw 40gr of h4350. Not exactly a huge gain from my old clunky chargemaster.

 

daved20319

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No, but it is a HUGE gain over throwing light, putting on scale, and trickling up to weight. I use mine for all precision rifle loads, as well as ladder tests for everything else. Even with the extra step of double checking every load with a different scale, it's faster, and since handgun load ladders can vary as little as .1 gr., it's a lot less fiddling around. If all you're doing is loading blasting ammo, this is overkill, a good powder measure is all you need. All that said, I have nothing to compare it against, this is the only one of these type units I've used. Don't use it for everything, but I'm really glad I bought mine. Later.

Dave
 
OP
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Well so far so good. New one arrived yesterday afternoon. Unboxed, setup, and checked amthat all buttons work. Everything worked great. Waited an hour then ran the calibration with the included weights. Everything successfully passes so I leave it plugged in and turn on for the night. Woke up this morning and the display reads 0.1gr but not going haywire. It's sitting somewhere near my hvac vent so the air is probably making it fluctuate. But so far so good. I will be testing it out tonight with some varget and BLC2 to make sure it dispenses correctly. But so far so good. I will also time some loads to get an actual dispense time.

Thanks
James
 

daved20319

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Just something to keep in mind, mine consistently throws .1 gr. light pretty much all the time. Rather than stress over it, I just add that .1 gr. to my target weight, and all is good. Good luck!

Dave
 
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OK so here is an update. 2nd machine showed up and worked great. I timed a few loads and it's about 10 seconds for 22gr of varget and 14sec for 39gr varget. And about 18sec for 23gr BLC2. Every load thrown was weighed on both the beam and the Hornady digital scale. Everything matched up 100% of the time. I had one throw that was thrown over with the blc2 by 0.1gr. No biggie. It made it clear it was over.

Anyways as long as this keeps working exactly like this I will be extremely happy. No more messing around with the manual powder thrower and trickling. IMO this is going to be much faster for most things.

Thanks
James
 

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