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RCBS Chargemaster

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Unread 10-07-2010, 09:52 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 410
RCBS Chargemaster

I'm going to start this out by saying I love my RCBS Chargemaster. Having used a Pacific scale for close to 40 years without any problems or a single hiccup though I will say that the Chargemaster has already let me down and I do not know what happened. Here is how it came about.
I had 100 rounds of .308 to reload and was using Varget powder. When I finished I went to change the powder in the Chargemaster and I have already found this to be a big PITA as static electricity causes grains of powder to stick to everything. Sides of the powder tube, sides of the area around the dispensing tube inside of the Chargemaster and anywhere else it can stick. Taping the sides of the powder tube knocks some of it down but not all. While doing this some of the powder left in the dispensing tube dropped out and bounced out of the pan and onto the area around the part under the pan. Well I continue to try to get the rest of the powder out so I can switch to Retumbo and load up some 7MM Rem Mag loads. I finally get it all out and see there are some kernels of powder under and around the part that holds the pan. I tip it to try to get them out and I get most of them but some roll under that piece. So I carefully lift that part off and I can see a couple kernels have dropped down inside and I can see them stuck to the inside parts. So I carefully turn it over and tap it to get them out and when I turn it back upright I cannot see them anymore. So I put that part back in and start through the re-zero process. Dang I cannot get it to re-zero. It goes through the process but when I put the pan back on and the pan weight goes up and gives the pan weight I refuses to weigh it. I went back to the book and follow the directions 4 times in a row and nothing. I shut it down and left it off for an hour and still nothing. So I'm thinking that possibly I screw something up by taking the part that holds the pan out and possibly getting some powder down in there. I'm a bit miffed about this time as I'm really wanting to go break in the new 7MM Rem Mag Sendero to see what it can do and I am going to have to do it on the Pacific scale which I'm finding it slower than I can take since I have bought the Chargemaster. So I put the Chargemaster back in the box figuring I'm going to have to send it back in and get it fixed. I figure that I should call RCBS before doing that as maybe they can help figure out what is wrong and can help get it going again or tell me what is needed to send it back in. I'm not going to be off again for a few days so I just put it away till I can call.
Well today I get it out and put it all together and plug it in figuring I will get it started so when I call RCBS for help its at least running. I put it together and plug it in and hit the on switch. It starts up just like it is supposed to do and does the count down. I thought what the heck and went through the start up procedures and go the whole route to put in a load just to familiarize myself again with the problem. Everything goes as its supposed to, it reads the weights and low and behold when I put the pan back on to zero it weights the pan. I hit the zero and it zero's. So I punch in the load I want and hit dispense and away it goes.
So here is the question, "What the heck happened??" Why wouldn't it do this last week when I needed it to and what changed when I put it back in the box and put it away.
Does unplugging it do something to reset it or did the piece of powder I seen under the part that holds the pan fall out or what.
Anyone else had this experience. The only other thing I can think of is maybe there wasn't a good connection between the scale and the dispenser. So now I am trying to figure out what went wrong and what I did to solve the problem and if there is or isn't a problem. For now I am just going to go ahead and use it and see what happens.
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Unread 10-07-2010, 04:09 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 4,082
Re: RCBS Chargemaster

Originally Posted by BillR View Post
It goes through the process but when I put the pan back on and the pan weight goes up and gives the pan weight I refuses to weigh it.
Well what does this actually mean?
You said the pan weight goes up when you put it on(which sounds to me like it was weighing). So what does it go up to?

But without understanding this, it sounds like you need to keep powder granules out of the scale internals. Personally, I'd pop the hood & get em outta there. Might as well wipe the whole thing down with a bounce static sheet.
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Unread 10-08-2010, 10:34 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northeast MS
Posts: 388
Re: RCBS Chargemaster

Try using a can of compressed air like you clean computer keyboards with. I have used it several times when powder has gotten in there with good results.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 07:45 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 410
Re: RCBS Chargemaster

I've done a lot of reading in the last couple days on the Chargemaster and it seems like static electricity can be a real problem with this thing. I also noted that when it quit working I had powder stuck all over the tube on the machine from static electricity and the next time I tried it I didn't and it worked fine.
Just trying to coralate some reasons for it quitting and what was happening. Might have to find a way to stop the static electricity. Tried the static cling sheets (Bounce) with some but not much change in the powder sticking to the tube.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 08:05 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Potters Hill, NC
Posts: 1,701
Re: RCBS Chargemaster

Not sure exactly what happened with your CM but I have seen similar anomilies like this in other electronic scales. Sometimes when/if you power it up with the pan off it won't let you zero the weight or if you take the pan off after it's fully powered up it won't let you zero that negative weight. I suppose it has to do with how the software was written in regards to the tare and zero functions of this little gem. Yeah, I really like mine.
As for the static electricity, a dryer sheet sometimes helps, but when trying to knock kernels off the sides of the powder bin, I use a 12" paint brush and moisten it with a little saliva. Not a lot, but that seems to negate the static cling in the tube. I then punch up an arbitrary load (99.0gn) and enter that, hit DISP. and that will clear the trickler tube. If you do this last function while holding a funnel and your powder container at the powder drain this will clear the dispenser of all powder. Least ways it works for me. Good luck.
Here are some small mods I have made to mine:

a more adjustable, robust foot.

I replaced the four middle factory feet with short machine screws to brace, stiffen the whole
setup. I never plan to separate the two.

put a bubble level on the powder bin top.

Be careful if you change the feet to ones with longer screws. If the front two are too long they will come in contact with the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) in the scale! This could cause damage and I'm sure RCBS would not honor any warranty.

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Unread 10-09-2010, 08:44 AM
mo mo is offline
Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: mississippi
Posts: 432
Re: RCBS Chargemaster

I'm not sure what you're trying to say about the the zero. I think what you're saying is supposed to happen.

here's the process I use.
1 with the pan off scale press cal button. It will say zero
2 with screen reading zero press call button again it will then ask for 50 weight
3 put 50 weight on and press cal again it will then ask for 100
4 put the other 50 weight on and press cal again
5 take both weights of and it will go to zero
6 put pan back on and hit the zero button that's it!

Use a Dryer sheet.
I never recalibrate unless I need too. Just because you did all that didn't mean you had to recalibrate. I just weight the 50 weight if it weights 50 then I don't recalibrate. Only time I recalibrate is if it starts drifting or the 50 weight doesn't show 50.

After you have recalibrate weigh your pan and wright on pan with a sharpie or in your not book of what it weighs. Zero your scale, then weigh pan if it weighs what you wrote down your ready to go.
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Unread 10-09-2010, 10:23 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 4,082
Re: RCBS Chargemaster

JohnnyK, did you patent your brush yet?
If not, I'm gonna save up some saliva (wife'll love that)...
If it does work to kill static, then maybe I'll sell it on EBAY as a 'Wonder Goo'!
Supplemental income.. Setup a factory.. Go global empire..

I'll eventually need to use offshore spitters though (can't afford American).
Stamp 'Drooled in China'..
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