For those not in the know, a powder trickler is a tool that helps you make precision bullet reloads by accurately measuring the correct amount of powder needed to recharge primed cases. As you might imagine, there are a ton of different tricklers on the market that offer various features to help make those loads more accurate.
While most gun enthusiasts have no issue with store-bought powder tricklers, others prefer to build their own, which is what Eric Higgins of Ammolytics accomplished with his Raspberry Pi-driven Smart Powder Trickler.
Higgins designed his trickler using a Raspberry Pi Zero W, an Adafruit Perma Proto Bonnet, a BestTong 3V mini vibration motor, an RCBS powder tickler, and an A&D FX-120i scale. The Pi reads the weight from the scale and engages the vibration motor to pour the powder from the trickler. An app connects to the Pi via Bluetooth connection and enables you to set specific weights to be measured out. The app also allows you to start and stop the automatic process manually if the need arises.
All of the hardware and software for the Smart Power Trickler are open-source, and Higgins has uploaded all of the code necessary to power the trickler on his GitHub page for those who would like to recreate or expand on his project. It should be noted that before the trickler can be used, changes need to be made to the A&D scale- specifically gaining access to the scale’s RS232 serial port so the Smart Trickler can communicate with it. Not to worry, Higgins states that it won’t void the scale’s warranty and only needs to be done once.