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  #1  
Old 04-20-2011, 02:28 PM
Joshua M. Smith's Avatar
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What All Can Mess With Electronic Scales?


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Hello,

I have a nice Lyman electronic scale. It will take batteries or plug into the wall. I shoot on my own land, so no reason to use batteries at the range.

It was fluctuating all over, going out of calibration every couple charges, then coming back on. (Was confirming all this with a magnetic-damped beam scale).

I moved it and it started working fine.

There's really nothing in my reloading room that would mess with it... I have an electric heater that doesn't blow on it (light fan anyway, mostly radiant heat). I am using a fluorescent bulb. Could that do it?

Different spots on the workbench would give slightly different readings. Reckon I should just use a couple levels to set it from now on?

Thanks,

Josh
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2011, 03:22 PM
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The ballast in the flor. light is your problem I would say.
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  #3  
Old 04-20-2011, 04:41 PM
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Yep, I would agree with the ballast. I installed those silly spiral fluorescent bulbs in the lamps I have over my loading bench and in the rest of the room. They wreaked havoc with a small electronic scale I have. It is so bad I can actually watch it go out of calibration. Therefore I pretty well stick to a traditional scale. But when I decide to go to a more expensive electronic scale, the fluorescents will have to go and I will have a warmer, less energy efficient room.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:07 PM
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A cordless phone and any type of breeze from a ceiling fan can give it fits, too. The fluorescent lights don't seem to bother mine.. Blessed, I guess.
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2011, 06:46 PM
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Find an old computer battery backup someone is getting rid of. They get where they won't hold a charge very well, but will still filter electric noise.

My scale was giving me problems being on the same circuit as several fluorescent lights. The UPS did the trick.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2011, 06:47 PM
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Changes in temperature, air movement, RF signals, anything magnetic and static electricity all affect electronic scales. Many electronic scales will creep after initially turning them on, so calibrate when they hold a reading.
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Last edited by MontyF; 04-20-2011 at 06:49 PM.
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2011, 07:37 PM
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Scroll down to the bottom of this page to the "Similar Threads" and click on the couple of previous threads regarding this matter.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2011, 05:00 AM
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No one has more reason for an electronic scale to not function as designed. I give my scales every opportunity to be useless. Yes I heard about the electric 220 Volt dryer, my dryer has a metal cabinet surrounding it, the cabinet serves the same function as the metal ring in an anti-magnetic watch, instead of a magnetic force field passing through the watch, the electrons travel through the ring and around the the watch (metal parts). The cabinet, if grounded, prevent the force field, electrons (force field) or collapsing secondary force field from existing.

If I wanted to know if I had a problem with lines of force or a discharge of electricity from a secondary coil (with no way to get back to it's source) I would check their existing with a trashy old AM radio and another tool that is handy, the compass. A compos will indicate current flow through a wire and it's direction, like the dryer and watch a shield around the wire will prevent the existence of the field, something like shielded ignition cables. And of course, there is the condenser, a handy devise for stopping electricity from flowing across a gap when a gap is created.

F. Guffey
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:03 AM
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I once owned a RCBS electronic powder scale. It didn't use a battery option only a plug-in type. WELL one day I was reloading and the scale malfunctioned. Turns out that a "Power Surge" took it out. Anyone who owns a plug-in type should connect it to a power surge protector. I've since gone back to using a balance beam to weigh powder charges.
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  #10  
Old 04-30-2011, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fguffey View Post
No one has more reason for an electronic scale to not function as designed. I give my scales every opportunity to be useless. Yes I heard about the electric 220 Volt dryer, my dryer has a metal cabinet surrounding it, the cabinet serves the same function as the metal ring in an anti-magnetic watch, instead of a magnetic force field passing through the watch, the electrons travel through the ring and around the the watch (metal parts). The cabinet, if grounded, prevent the force field, electrons (force field) or collapsing secondary force field from existing.

If I wanted to know if I had a problem with lines of force or a discharge of electricity from a secondary coil (with no way to get back to it's source) I would check their existing with a trashy old AM radio and another tool that is handy, the compass. A compos will indicate current flow through a wire and it's direction, like the dryer and watch a shield around the wire will prevent the existence of the field, something like shielded ignition cables. And of course, there is the condenser, a handy devise for stopping electricity from flowing across a gap when a gap is created.

F. Guffey
I just try to keep mine level....
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  #11  
Old 04-30-2011, 12:23 PM
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There's a direct correlation between the cost of these electronic scales and the quality of them. Most of them measure the load with a strain-gaged beam, which produces an extremely small signal level when resolving the tiny weights involved. In order to sell them cheap, all the costs of manufacturing are held down which means skimping on proper shielding, etc. The signal really does get lost in the noise.

The hard truth is that when using an electronic scale, you are trading off accuracy for expedience. If you want to trust your weights, get a good mechanical balance. If you want ease of use, use a digital scale, but don't blindly trust it! (or put it in a screen-room)

Neil
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  #12  
Old 04-30-2011, 07:48 PM
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I have a little $40 Hornady digital scale. It's battery operated, but still something messes with it every now and again. Sometimes I'll remove the battery and let it sit awhile, then restart everything. Maybe it'll be working fine then, and maybe not. It's a cheap little scale, so I dont ask much of it, yet it's annoying to have it go haywire. I like to use it to speed things up a bit, but I am constantly checking the weight on a mechanical beam scale.

All this electronic stuff is made in China. We don;t really know how to do it anylonger. Sometimes I just want to call those buggers up when things don;t work right, but I know they would just give me some whinny explanation in some foreign language, so I don't. Plus, all they want to talk about anymore is how they can have incandescents and we soon won;t be able to. Burns me up.
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2011, 09:36 PM
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The stuff that can screw up sensitive electronics is beyond belief. I have a line of addressable switches I have installed for nearly 25 years, and there is one neighborhood I know of where they just won't work in any location. Flourescent lights and "chopper" power supplies are common culprits as well as microwave ovens, even when they are turned off. MikeG gives good advice on a UPS system. Any UPS made within the last ten years will probably get rid of nearly any transient power problem short of a huge spike from switching or a lightning hit on the grid. For really excellent protection, get a filter that combines a choke, a semi-conductor array and a gas tube array. That will handle the big stuff and the subtleties. Be aware that most transients are generated in-house, by your own stuff, and if you have continuous problems you can often locate the source just by turning things on and off. (Turning things on and off is often the source of a transient too.)
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  #14  
Old 04-30-2011, 09:55 PM
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The hard truth is that when using an electronic scale, you are trading off accuracy for expedience. If you want to trust your weights, get a good mechanical balance. If you want ease of use, use a digital scale, but don't blindly trust it! (or put it in a screen-room)

Neil[/quote]

Not sure how you've made your observations, but they do not correlate with mine. Not sure what you mean by "cheap" scales, the two I have are RCBS. A 750 stand alone and a 1500 attached to the chargemaster. I've had both for over 4 years and whereas I don't blindly trust them, I use check weights, (I do the same with my mechanical scales,) they've always been spot on. I doubt that they will last as long as a mechanical scale, who knows, but they're ever bit as accurate as the beam scales I have.
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2011, 03:50 PM
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Simcoe- Not trying to rub anyone's fur the wrong direction or cast aspersions on any particular equipment. Good equipment exists, and yours may work fine. My general statement was that inexpensive electronic scales may be unreliable and susceptable to interference from sources of EMI. Simple mechanical scales are inherently reliable since there's not much to go wrong. Everyone should make a practice of checking their scales with calibration weights.

Good scales can be made, but the cost of good engineering is higher than some want to pay. My biggest pet peeve is with people who trust the digital display to be exact just because it reads out in numbers. Most folks know that digital is an approximation of the real thing, the main benefit being ease of use.

Good luck and keep those apothecary's weights handy.... Neil
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  #16  
Old 05-02-2011, 05:48 AM
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Yup, check weights go on the scale before every loading session. Good advice.
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  #17  
Old 05-02-2011, 06:19 AM
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I've had a PACT scale for years and had only one issue with it. I dropped a brass case on the platen and it damaged the strain gage. PACT repaired the scale for moderate charge. I believe PACT makes them for other companies with other labels on them. That said, I don't use it much because of the many factors that can effect the readings. Temperature, drafts/fans, electrical interference etc. My old RCBS 304 double beam scale and an Ohaus 1010 are consistently accurate and just as quick to use. I usually check the PACT against the scales to verify. I don't do large runs of ammo so speed from a automated powder measure system is not a factor. I do like the PACT for weighing cases and new bullet lots. Powder still gets weighed on the balance beam scales.
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  #18  
Old 05-03-2011, 07:31 PM
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NDwyerm, no problem, my fur's just fine. And I agree with you that a mechanical scale is probably more "reliable" than an electronic scale for the reasons mentioned. ( I have also had mechanical scales that wouldn't hold true.) Thats why I check either of them whenever I use them. I do not agree that a mechanical beam scale we use for reloading is more accurate than an electronic scale used for the same purpose.
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