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of a Lifetime
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KAB Stylus Minder™
Hour Meter

KAB Stylus Minder

   Forty Six years in the making, the KAB Stylus Minder is a reliable and easy to use digital hour meter for documenting the hours of play accumulating on your phono cartridge stylus.

    Cartridge makers tell us that the best gauge of stylus wear is the number of hours of playing. And over the years there have been devices sold for this purpose. Most used a mecury tube technology, which is fascinating and inexpensive at the time, but has been banned from production for many years. The KAB Stylus Minder is an up to date battery operated digital hour meter with some unique features.

    The KAB Stylus Minder has a unique one button Start - Stop function, and a unique "Time One Side and Stop" feature that will stop the timer after 20 minutes. This protects the user who might forget to turn the timer off when playing is finished. A hidden reset button is available to reset the timer, but not easily accessed by mistake or curious hands.

Remote access jack allows the Stylus Minder to be operated remotely using a SPDT switch or relay. This allows auto timing function with say, platter motor rotation, or a switch that detects the tonearm rest position.

    The KAB Stylus Minder can record up to 99,999.9 hours! 9V Battery life should exceed 500 hours. The industrial time display module has a non volatile memory with EEPROM-Data retention of 25+ years without power present. Made in USA.

   KAB Stylus Minder Hour Meter. $69.95 Click To Buy


  • One side and stop timer setting
  • Infinity setting for long events
  • Hidden reset button
  • 25+ year data retention
  • Battery: Std. 9V Included
  • 500 hour battery life
  • Mini TRS jack for remote access
  • Shipping Weight: 2 Lb.

    The KAB Stylus Minder is a useful battery operated hour meter that may find a multitude of uses in hobbies and avocations that require the reliable recording of hundreds of hours. It is a serious timing device that uses very high quality components. Made in USA.

    The 20 minute "One Side and Stop" timer feature is unique to the KAB Stylus Minder and ensures that the timer is not forgotten and just runs on and on.

There is also a remote mini stereo jack that allows access to the start - stop feature. This could be useful in attaching a switch to some part of the record player or other piece of machinery that you would like to keep track of hours on .
I could imagine a switch on the tonearm so each time it is lifted off the rest the timer turns on, and when the tonearm is returned to the rest the timer turns off. To use this feature a single pole double throw switch or relay is required to operate the timer.

As a general rule, Conical and Elliptical styli should be replaced after 400-600 hours of use. And more sophisticated line contact styli have an extended life of 800-1000 hours.

  • Easy One Button Operation
  • Time One Side & Stop
  • Remote Access Port
  • Long Battery Life.

The KAB Stylus Minder is not just a Start - Stop hour meter; it is truly designed for people who play records.

    We spoke to many hi fi fanatics about what features would be most important in a stylus life hour meter and the most important one was the Time One Side And Stop feature. Most everyone we spoke with mentioned that they would surely forget to turn the timer off .

   Of secondary importance was hiding the Reset button. You don't want something documenting hours of use to be foiled by a reset button within reach of curious hands.


   I have wanted to make a stylus hour meter ever since I first saw this ad in my 1974 Lafayette Catalog

1967 Stylus Timer

   These timers featured an unusual technology that used a mercury filled glass tube. The tube is about two inches long and has mercury with what looks like a small air gap of about 1/32". The tube had electrodes at each end, and when connected to a 1.5V battery. The air gap would migrate to one side in a predictable time and it would take about 400-500 hours for the air gap to move to one end. To reset these devices, you just unplugged the tube and turned it around and plugged it back in and the air gap would move back to the opposite end. Very clever technology, that I cannot begin to understand. These are no longer allowed to be made because they contain mercury. But examples can be found on Ebay, like this one which was fetching $100.00

Pickering stylus timer

   In the 1990's there was an electrolyte version of the mercury tube made by the Fredericks Co. but even that is no longer available. Click here to see a copy of the letter we received from Fredericks back in 1998

electrolyte timer capsule

    So, it has taken some time to finally produce the product I've had in my minds eye for many years. Today, digital electronics, non volatile solid state memory and LCD displays make it possible to make a useful stylus life hour meter once again. The KAB Stylus Minder hour meter is not a modified kitchen timer, it is a serious industrial grade hour meter with useful features for the hi fi enthusiast and DIYer. It is made right here in the USA.

KAB Stylus Timer Hour Meter

P.O.BOX 2922
PHONE 908-754-1479
FAX 908-222-3442