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Problems with Electronic Scales


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I don't like beam scales, for production work they are clunky. (IMO)  So I got my first digital scale many years ago as a gift. It is a small, battery powered self contained unit, and works great, but it auto powers off in 30 seconds if not used, and it's resolution is only +/- .2 grains, so it measures, 20.0, 20.2, 20.4 ect. So I bought a Cabela's branded scale, A/C powered, hard shell storage case, looks good. I have used it a few years for handgun loads, and have had absolutely no problems with it. Until I started reloading rifle cartridges - it does not consistently react to trickling. So at the last safety check before projectile insertion/crimping, I noticed different levels of powder in the brass, I measured differences of up to .75 grains. Yikes! Took it back to Cabelas and they exchanged it no questions asked. New one did the same thing. Contacted the manufacturer, and after speaking to an engineer there, this is what I found out - this scale has "software filters" to provide a stable display. That means it does not react to small increases in weight - I was told to "trickle faster". That didn't seem to be a real world solution, so I started shopping again. After some research I purchased a Hornady Lock n Load dispenser/scale from Brownells. Sending it back today - it won't hold a zero more than three or four cycles (dispense, empty, dispense, ect.). The scale is setting on a granite block, on a solid bench, heated garage, cal'd, re-cal'd, ect. I finally put a known weight, (24.0 grains) on the pan, and it just drifts. After 30 minutes it was off by 0.6 grains. Blah. After yet more research, I have ordered one of THESE. Has good reviews on a few reloading sites, and specifically states it is good for trickling. We will see. :confused:

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Mike some of these things are affected by electrical noise. A battery powered unit if available might help with that.

Also there is no powder measure like Reddings when it comes to consistency. Expensive but worth every dime.

I have fairly clean power in my shop unless I am running the big power tools- industrial grade power filtering, I also fix PCs out here. The Cabelas scale also has battery power, and it sucked at trickling on battery or A/C. The Hornady only had an A/C power source. Yeah, I know that there are scale/dispensers that will consistently deliver uniform charges down to a kernal of powder, but those are out of reach until next week, after that special lottery ticket does it's thing.  ;D

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Yes, you would think that, especially since they are used extensively in manufacturing and industry. Some of the reading I have done suggests that the disparity in quality has to do with the load cells. Some are plastic instead of metal, the plastic ones are typically made in China and suffer from quality control issues, which is why some scales of a particular model work fine, and some don't. You can see anecdotal evidence of that in forums - 5 guys swear by their digital scale, while 5 other guys swear at their scales. This latest one I have ordered states the load cell was manufactured in Germany, and the scale has a lifetime warranty, vs 6 months to a year for most. Expectations are high.

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