Electronic vs Balance Beam scales

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by zigliss, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. zigliss

    zigliss Well-Known Member

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    Interested to see how many folks on here use an electronic dispenser and then double check with a balance beam.

    Having been involved in a recent thread (in UK) on this I was a bit surprised to find some folks using the dispenser to throw a load and then transferring it to the balance beam to check every one - kinda begs the question why bother with a £350 electronic dispenser. Perhaps I am the heathen here but I tend to find that checking every 10 to 15th throw should be enough. Sometimes I will take a couple of 'marker bullets' (ie bullets I know the exact weight of) and check them on the electronic scale to check that my scale zero isn't wandering(!)....

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

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    I just picked up a RCBS Chargemaster 1500, and really love it. I have access to all sorts of extremely accurate scales (both electronic and beam good to 0.0001 +/-). I weighed a number of small objects on these recently calibrated laboratory scales and the Chargemaster scale was right on.

    I check the zero periodically, and calibrate every time I start a session. I also let the scale warm up for 1/2 hour before I start using it.
     

  3. zigliss

    zigliss Well-Known Member

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    Exactly what I have found - hence my confusion around the double check for every load....

    I calibrate every time I use it but interested to know why so long to let it warm up?

    Cheers,

    Jason
     
  4. ilscungilli

    ilscungilli Well-Known Member

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    The warm up time what was suggested by RCBS (I think they said 15-20 minutes). I also read this in a few forums. My own experience has been that the scale seems ready to go when it boots up.
     
  5. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    zigliss,
    I, like Visigoth, have access to hundreds of scales on an almost daily basis. I am a scale technician by trade so I see the good and the bad (read as "expensive and cheap"). I started out with a RCBS 5-0-5 balance beam and now use the RCBS Charge Master 1500. I still have it and my Dad's 10-0-10(??) stuck in a closet here somewhere.
    With that said, I like electronic scales best. The good ones are accurate, they repeat and hold their zero. The cheap electronic ones don't even make good paper weights. They are usually faster than balance beams.
    The balance beams are dependable, usually accurate and repeat if they aren't worn at the pivot and bearing.
    I keep my 1500 plugged in all the time and when I get ready to reload I turn it on, calibrate and go. I never use a balance beam to double check my loads. JohnnyK.
     
  6. zigliss

    zigliss Well-Known Member

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    Thanks JK - not being 'au fait' with weights and measures (other than those found down the pub:D) it is good to hear from those who are 'in the business'. I must say I have never had any cause to doubt my 1500 and, when I double check, everything seems spot on.
     
  7. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    Like the others here I have found no fault with my 1500. I used to check it with my old balance beam which was much more unreliable than the 1500. The digital stays plugged in and turned off and needs no warm up time. Just turn it on, calibrate it with the supplied weights and the pan will weigh exactly 155 grains everytime. Everytime I pick the pan up I glance at the display and it will read -155.0 grains everytime and that tells me I am right on track.

    I always set to dispense a little less than I want and then dislodge a few granules off the end of the tube to get the weight exact. Also the digital is much faster because I seat the bullet on a previously charged case while the dispenser is going and by the time I am through charging all the cases I am within 3 or 4 cases of having all the bullets seated also.

    On the few times that I have had to pull bullets to change a load, I always weigh the powder charge and it has always been the exact same weight as it had previously weighed when loaded the first time. By watching all this I am confident that the 1500 is performing as it should.

    I gave my old balance beam to a kid who is starting to reload.
     
  8. zigliss

    zigliss Well-Known Member

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    I purchased a 1500 specifically because it I was not convinced by my Lee scales - too long to settle and I wasn't confident in the thrown loads - and besides it was taking an absolute age to load 50 rounds. I had contemplated getting a 10-10 to double check occasionally but, as mentioned, just don't have a reason to doubt my 1500.

    Thanks for the feedback chaps - very helpful.
     
  9. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "...transferring it to the balance beam to check every one - kinda begs the question why bother with a £350 electronic dispenser."

    You got that right.

    Different strokes for different folks but I'm a retired electonics instrument tech, space and defense industries, and there are NO digital scales on my bench. Won't be either.
     
  10. Limbic

    Limbic Well-Known Member

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    Can static from a digital tray (that keeps the granules adherent to the tray) affect the accuracy of the round. It would seem that the powder would "pick up" some of this electricity and clump together. Perhaps another problem with digital scales?
     
  11. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    Since these dig. scales take "X" amount of time to warm up what would be the harm in leaving it turned on and never shut it off?
     
  12. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    Static is a high voltage thing. it builds in non-conductive materials, such as plastic but not all plastics are the same. As much as I dislike digiatal scales, it's because of the finiky electronics, don't think they are any more prone to static than beam scales, as such.

    Both heat and high voltage pulses are deadly enemies of eletronic devices. The low power, low heat of digital scales isn't likely to cause problems from leaving them turned on. What IS a potential problem is a close lightening hit passing a high voltage pulse down the power lines and blowing internal holes in the low voltage components. Put a good surge suppressor on the scale, like your computer has, and that will provide a lot of pulse protection. But NOTHING can stop lightenng from killing anything electical if it hits very near by.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  13. lever-hed

    lever-hed Well-Known Member

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    +1, amen.
     
  14. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    Not that it matters a great deal but I am curious. For those of you that DON'T like digital scales, why don't you like them?

    I understand personal preference and all that but obviously it's more than that and by knowing why you don't like them I just may learn something new which for me is always a good thing.