electronic powder dispenser/scale

drpbroun5

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Nov 30, 2006
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242
Has anyone compared the RCBS Chargemaster 1500 to the Lyman Gen 5 or 6 and/or to the PACT digital scale/dispenser, or any other that I am unaware of? Please give me a rundown about each. Is one better (more accurate, easier to use, etc.) than the others? I know they are all expensive. What is the accuracy of the each? Do any of them throw charges that are accurate enough for long range hunting purposes? By long range, I am referring to 1000+ yards? Thanks for a good evaluation.
Paul
 

climb-101

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Mar 3, 2011
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I have a chargemaster that seems to work well. it has the digital readout so you can see if it overshoots the charge amount which it does some times by .1-.3grains. I have noticed that if you let it warm up for a while it seems to dispense the piwder a little faster than if it's cold
 

drpbroun5

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Nov 30, 2006
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I have an essentually new Chargemaster but it doesn't register the correct numbers when I push the touch pad. If I press the 5, the display will show a 2 or a 3 for example. Other numbers do the same as well. I'm wondering about the other machines and how well they work. Is there a better dispenser/scale than the RCBS one?
 

FearNoWind

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Jul 10, 2012
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North Central Valley California
I have an essentually new Chargemaster but it doesn't register the correct numbers when I push the touch pad. If I press the 5, the display will show a 2 or a 3 for example. Other numbers do the same as well. I'm wondering about the other machines and how well they work. Is there a better dispenser/scale than the RCBS one?

I've tried the PACT; didn't like it. Inconsistent weights and too many parts for my liking. I have a Chargemaster - love it. Never had a problem of any kind with it.
You can get a lemon in any mass produced item. Any piece of high tech electronic equipment should be given a warm-up period to stabilize before asking it to provide accurate data. How long I warm up my Chargemaster depends on ambient temperature. If you found one that's defective get hold of RCBS and tell them your story.
 

drpbroun5

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Nov 30, 2006
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242
Thanks, FearNoWind. I have never seen the PACT unit except in a catalog. I appreciate your post. We will see what RCBS does about my Chargemaster. Hopefully they will fix or replace it. New, outof the box it has done as I explained, even with a warmup.
I wish you good shooting and especially God's blessings!
Paul
 

drpbroun5

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Nov 30, 2006
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242
Mikecr,
Do you actually weigh the powder at times to compare to that what the Chargemaster throws? How accurate does it work? Thanks.
Paul
 

johnnyk

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Dec 24, 2001
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Potters Hill, NC
drpbroun5,
The CM is usually a pretty accurate (once calibrated), reliable and repeats well (i.e. returns to zero). Sounds as if your keypad overlay has gone out, happens with these type membrane switches.
RCBS will honor their product if you call them. I had mine for 3-4 yrs and the keypad went out just like you described. Called them up and they offered to repair it if I sent the unit to them. Well, I'm a scale technician by trade, and replacing a keypad's right up my alley. Explained all this to the person on the other end and they gladly said they would send it to me and let me do it.
It arrived 3-4 days later and 15-20mins after that the CM was going again. Not difficult at all, "scale" of 1-10 it's a 2. The keypad and its black backing (all one sheet) just stick to the outside and there's a ribbon cable attached that goes through the plastic case and plugs in to the main PCB (printed circuit board).
I disconnnected the scale from the dispenser to perform this repair and reassembled afterwards. Good luck and let me know how it goes. JohnnyK.
 

bruce_ventura

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May 22, 2011
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1,106
Location
Ventura CA
I have a CM 1500 at home and had my employer buy another one for loading 50 BMG. Both have worked without a hitch. For big cases, I throw about 3/4 of the charge in the pan using a manual dispenser and then let the CM 1500 top it off. That saves time and wear on the moving parts. Be sure to place it on a level surface.

Occasionally it dispenses 0.2 gr too much. I keep a little "spoon"handy to pull a few grains off the pan when that happens. I like how easy it is to switch powders. Not so easy with the competing models, so I've heard.

If you don't like how it works and you can program, the CM 1500 is programmable.

FWIW, I visited the handloading lab at Barnes Bullets a few years ago and saw that they use CM 1500s exclusively.
 

drpbroun5

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Nov 30, 2006
Messages
242
Johnny and Bruce,
Hopefully RCBS will fix my machine. I payed $350.00 for it and it has given me fits right out of the box. It sounds as if this is a great product if it works properly. I was wondering if there is something better than the Chargemaster, just in case I have to buy another system. Thank you for your input.
Paul
 

Mikecr

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Aug 10, 2003
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5,598
Location
NC, oceanfront
Mikecr,
Do you actually weigh the powder at times to compare to that what the Chargemaster throws? How accurate does it work?
When I first bought it(I was an early adopter), I did a lot of testing as measured with a more accurate scale(ACCULAB). The first thing I seen as is commonly seen is random overcharges. This occured as extra kernels of powder fell to cause atleast the number entered.
A weakness in the CM is that RCBS programmed to scale to read the correct charge -even with an overcharge condition. I call it a weakness to be nice.. And then when folks compared perfectly indicated charges on their RCBS, to more accurate scales, they seen apparent poor accuracy from the RCBS scale.

But the problem was not RCBS scale accuracy. The scale is accurate enough and can show single kernels difference. Does you no good, and often worse, to use a scale more accurate than single powder kernels weigh.
The problem was the overcharge condition.
That is, extra kernels falling within the scale settle time. Keep this from happening, and the dispensing will take you right to single kernels.

I did a few mods, straw, programming changes, tray weight. But the best was an analog adjustment to the motor speed. With this I could calibrate the drop rate at final slowest jogging to get single kernel falling(per powder) within the scale's settle/read time.
I tested for months with this, comparing measurements, and concluded that the Acculab could go. I can watch dispensing and tell if it's right or wrong without even looking at the readout or comparison measure. So I dial in the speed where it's always right for the powder I'm using.

It's sad that RCBS didn't modify their design as I had, but at least they brought this product to market. Others are only copying RCBS(without improvement, divvy the market), or poor in design otherwise.
It's a shame there is so little loyalty to original innovators among us. As a loyal group we could have persuaded RCBS to further development of the CM.
 
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