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Scales (bet this is a common topic)

 
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  #1  
Old 11-29-2009, 09:48 AM
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Scales (bet this is a common topic)

Both of my digital scales are acting funky and I'm looking to replace them.

The gee-whiz Lyman powder dropping scale is throwing a fit, bouncing up and down 0 - 1 grain with nothing on the scale. Before that it would switch to calibration required right in the middle of a powder dump. At first I enjoyed using the scale for it's seeming convenience. After a while I figured out that the time I spent cleaning the powder out of it could have been spent dumping powder by hand into my trusty RCBS beam scale. Some powders drop better than others in it. Most of the time it drops +.1 grain from the setting. Lastly, it takes up too much space. Especially now that it's broken.

My first digital scale is one sold by Dillon. It became erratic about a year ago but only after about 15 minutes of on time.

I have to say that you really can't beat a good balance beam scale IMHO. I truly wonder if we are all becoming "digitized" I've found myself cross checking the digital scale with the balance beam and then wondering which one was .1g off (I always blamed the digital scale and then ended up wondering if I was wrong )

Having said that- Has anyone here used (for more than a weeK) an Acculab scale? .01g dumps seem to be a little too accurate for reloading (considering all of the other variables that have to be accounted for) but the other features (like a 2 year warranty and glass cover) are attractive.
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  #2  
Old 11-29-2009, 12:09 PM
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Re: Scales (bet this is a common topic)

I have been using the RCBS Powdermaster dispenser and scale (actually made by Pact) for about 5 years and I like them. But like you I find comfort in using the good ole beam scale and unless I am loading a bunch of rounds, it's actually faster.

My scale started giving me trouble about a year ago, jumping around, finally would not even calibrate. I called RCBS, they where very helpful even though it was made by Pact. They said ultimately I would need to call Pact, but first gave me some very detailed advise on calibrating. It had to do with completely clearing memory from the circuit board and was a combination of holding down certain buttons for a period of time (none of this particular advise is in the manual) that they said should fix the problem I was having, it did fix the problem.

But they also mentioned that any, even very very slight power fluctuations could effect the performance, for instance if the scale was plugged into an outlet on the same electrical circuit as something like a refrigerator or other appliance that would intermittently demand power. They also said that it needs to warm up for 15 minutes or so before use.

Perhaps your Dillon or Lyman is either being effected by power, or needs one of these, 'slap some sense back in ya' calibrating sessions.

I have never used an Acculab scale.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:52 PM
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Re: Scales (bet this is a common topic)

I have had my RCBS 1500 for about 3 years now and it has acted 100% perfect. Like most I have seen a lot of these threads and it seems to me that the RCBS 1500 buyers are about 85% happy with them and the Pact and Lyman about 50%.

6mmBR.com Reviews of Reloading tools, Bipods Harris Pod-loc, Cleaning Supplies, Redding Wilson Dies, K&M Tools, Neck turning Tools, Shooting Accessories and supplies.
Digital Powder Dispensers -- RCBS ChargeMaster, Lyman 1200 DPS, PACT test review with accuracy, speed, warranty, reliability tests
Digital Powder Dispensers -- RCBS ChargeMaster, Lyman 1200 DPS, PACT test review with accuracy, speed, warranty, reliability tests

My RCBS needs no warm up time, I keep it plugged into a surge strip but turned off. When starting it I always calibrate it with the 2 ea 50 grain weights supplied. When I set the pan on it after calibration it always weighs 155.0 gr even. After rezeroing with the pan if I lift it off it displays -155.0 grains everytime. After dispensing the powder and lifting the pan it displays -155.0 gr everytime.

I kept my balance beam around for awhile to check the RCBS but found that checking it was a waste of time and if there was a discrepancy between the balance beam and the digital, when checking with the calibration weights, the balance beam was in error, not the digital. Now I don't check, what could be more accurate than checking with a calibration weight anyway. I would be in a pickle if something happened to the RCBS since I gave my balance beam to a starting reloading kid and I would be making all haste to have another on the way.

What you have to realize is that the digital dispensers are highly accurate powder THROWERS. IOW if you want to dispense 60 gr RL22, you set the dispense under that amount by .3 gr


after the beep, WAIT 5 SECONDS, and it will display the actual amount dispensed, in this case 59.9 gr


it is then a simple matter to nudge off a few granules off the end of the dispenser to hit the exact wanted weight


when emptying, just move it to the edge of the bench, open the trap door and the powder will drain right into the bottle


hit the dispense button again and the tube will empty


if the dispenser slows down then hit cancel, empty the pan into the bottle and hit dispense again and it will empty all the powder in the tube quickly. Not one granule spilled.

YMMV
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:42 PM
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Re: Scales (bet this is a common topic)

Wow... that's a lot different cleaning operation than the Lyman and 3 years of service without a problem says a lot. Good pics!

My Lyman is out of warranty by about 6 months. I haven't used it much at all. The 30 minute warmup period drives me nuts I can have a lot of rounds loaded in 30 minutes. The cleanup is tedious (when compared to manual drops with a Harell / weighed on the balance beam.

I've been looking at the RCBS model but didn't want to go down that road if it was nothing more than a green Lyman... Apparently it isn't.

Thanks for the post. I think. You probably just cost me some money
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Old 11-29-2009, 06:24 PM
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Re: Scales (bet this is a common topic)

I'll second Woods
I was an early adopter of Chargemaster, and couldn't be happier with it.
I cross checked mine with an Acculab for a while, and no longer do.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2009, 06:46 PM
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Re: Scales (bet this is a common topic)

I've been very happy with the Chargemaster also. I have checked mine against some of the more accurate lab scales around (Metler analytical balances that are accurate to 0.0001 gm.) and it has always been right on the money, and well within 0.1 gr. accuracy.
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  #7  
Old 11-29-2009, 06:58 PM
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Re: Scales (bet this is a common topic)

I ordered it... I wish I would have checked around before I bought the Lyman. Live and learn.
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