Yes, that is very old idea and much used by drummers. You were right not to let the chain choke the cymbal. I prefer rivets these days though and have enough cymbals to vary things without the on and off chain thing. But whatever works is fine. There is a sizzle device I have seen that is fan shaped and you can lift it on and off without removing it from the cymbal top itself. It is hinged.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.