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Thread: Electronic / Digital Scale

  1. #1

    Default Electronic / Digital Scale

    Looking to get an electronic or digital scale. Any suggestions as to what models I should look?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    My only experiences are with the RCBS and PACT models. I used both for 10-15 years.
    Both worked ok but the PACT had to be returned once because it broke.
    Electronic scales are great for weighing bullets or cases but in my experience not for weighing powder charges.
    I have learned that as I trickled powder onto the pan the scale didnt want to move and then it would move to much. They call this term drifting and it really became frustrating.
    I recently went back to a beam/balance model for weighing powder charges and am much happier.
    I am sure your question will generate a good deal of responses so it will be interesting to see what other view points are presented.
    Tennessee

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I have actually used quite a few different models and agree with Snowolf about the drifting problem he mentioned. It seems to be more pronounced in some of the cheaper models like my Pact but is still present, albeit not as noticeable in the more expensive models. One other issue that seems to be present with all the digital scales is the variance and fluctuations in the reading caused by the movement of air currents. i.e. ceiling fans, open windows etc. I have found the electronic scales to be slightly more accurate than the beam scales that I have and they also seem to be more consistent. I think this is largely due to the parallax issue with beam scales and how an individual positions his head / eye in relation to the lines on the scale each time. Many of the “issues” with the digital scales can be overcome by allowing a proper warm up time of 20 to 30 minutes, ensuring that you don’t have any air currents in the vicinity of the scale, and trickling your powder in at a slower pace. I have recently switched over to the Lyman DPS III powder dispensing system and scale combination (see prior thread on this subject) and am actually quite pleased with it. It is not much more expensive than a stand alone digital scale and may be worth your consideration.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  4. #4

    Default Electronic scale

    The RCBS Rangemaster 750 is an excellent electronic scale. It seems to be more stable then some of the others out there. If I trickle powder slowly enough, I have no problems with steady readings. It holds it's zero quite well.

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    Thumbs up RCBS Chargemaster

    RCBS Charge master love this setup!

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    I use a Pact electronic scale, but I had to send it back one time for a free software replacement. It works fine for me, but I always let it warm-up for about 20 minutes before I start using it. I calibrate it, and then start weighing powder. Since it has an infrared port, I plan to buy the electronic power dispenser to match this scale.

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    Default Digital vs. electronic scales

    I agree with Snowolfe - digital scales are great for weighing bullets or cases but the old beam scales still excell for trickling powder. I'm still using an old Ohaus I bought in the 60s or early 70s and it serves me well. It sits on my bench and is ready at a moments notice and I don't have to turn to on or off.

    Likewise I have a pair of dial calibers I can pick up and use at a moments notice while my digital caliber remains in the case.

    When I do need extreme accuracy or quick sorting for deviations the digital have their place.

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    Member Timber Smith's Avatar
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    Lots of options available for this piece of equipment. With respect to powder and bullet scales I think either electronic or mechanical scales will work well. For weighing a lot of items go electronic. Both Redding and RCBS make good mechanical scales. Electronic, I would also recommend RCBS. For powder measure for smaller cases I prefer the Redding BR-30. For larger volume cases both the Redding 3BR or RCBS Uniflow. Some years ago I started using a Custom Products Micro Measure from Neil Jones. This has become my favorite because the measure drum is guaranteed to repeat itself from one predetermined setting to the next, and charges can be varied without checking a powder scale. Yes, it is expensive, but if you want the best, this is the one!!!
    Last edited by Timber Smith; 01-11-2008 at 01:00. Reason: Spelling


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    Alangaq:

    "I have found the electronic scales to be slightly more accurate than the beam scales that I have and they also seem to be more consistent."

    How did you determine that the electronic scales were more accurate or consistent? Didja use an electronic scale or a didjital scale to determine that?

    Smitty of the North
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  10. #10

    Default

    I have had a Lyman 1200 for four years and I haven't had any problems with it. It does require an even and stable surface without air currents. It is also slow if you're charging 50+ grains of powder.

    I calibrate with the pan from my beam scale, throw charges within a grain or so with a measure, and use the Lyman as an automatic trickler. This is faster than manually trickling or using the automatic feature for the full charge, and allows me to easily verify the charges.

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    The Pact electronic scale I use is also very sensitive to air movement. I let it warm, calibrate it, and make sure that there is no heavy air movement around the reloading bench. I use a set of Lee dipping cups (the look like small yellow-color tobacco smoking pipes). I drop a charge pretty close to what i am seeking, and then trickle the rest. I can be pretty fast at this, but plan to buy the matching electronic dispenser.

  12. #12

    Default breezes

    This is why I like the RCBS 750 Rangemaster, it isn't as sensitive to air movement.

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    I have used balance beams since I was a kid. I bought an RCBS Chargemaster and kick myself for not buying one sooner.

    In terms of electronic balances, "drift" refers to the instrument weighing heavy or light, over a period of time, or after a few moments after the instrument has stabilized. It "drifts" from zero after being calibrated or zeroed. This will occur in almost all instruments, but as you pay more money, this is less of a concern.

    What was described, the addition of mass until the pan suddenly moves, I believe to be the result of cheap electronics. But having used some obscenely expensive, and wonderfully sensitive, accurate and precise balances, I am slightly biased.

    So far the RCBS unit has impressed me very much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    This is why I like the RCBS 750 Rangemaster, it isn't as sensitive to air movement.
    Keep in mind that air movement puts pressure on the pan, much like a fraction of a grain of powder added to it. Lets imagine that my face is close to the pan, and when I exhale my breath pushes down on the pan. This is all I am referring to. So being sensitive to air movement is not a bad thing depending on how you look at it. For that reason I prefer a "more" sensitive to air movement scale than one that is not. The Pact scale, just like most out there, allows you to measure to around 1/10 grain up to 300 grains, and within 2/10 from 300-750 grains. The pressure from 1/10 of a grain in weight can easily be placed on the pan by one's breath, something to keep in mind when using electronic scales.

    I could be wrong, but I believe that Pact designed designed electronic scales for other reloading scale manufacturers. The cases and names may be different, but the electronics work about the same.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Alangaq:

    "I have found the electronic scales to be slightly more accurate than the beam scales that I have and they also seem to be more consistent."

    How did you determine that the electronic scales were more accurate or consistent? Didja use an electronic scale or a didjital scale to determine that?

    Smitty of the North
    Hey Smitty of the North,

    I based my opinion on scale accuracy by subjecting three standard beam type scales from RCBS, Ohaus, and Lyman and two digital scales from PACT and Lyman to the following, highly scientific, carefully controlled experiment……………..I zeroed each one and then placed a 50 gr RCBS check weight on each one and recorded the reading. I did this 10 times for each scale, stopping every other time to drink about a ¼ bottle of beer, and every 15th time to urinate, I then had some Copenhagen and drank another beer or two. The data was then compiled with the stubby broken end of one of my Son’s blue crayons onto the bottom of an empty twelve pack box. I cant believe you or anyone else could possibly find fault in data compiled in such a painstakingly accurate and systematic manner.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Alangaq:
    I find your methods of research, to be unimpeachable, therefore your data can no longer in question?

    I should have known.
    Smitty of the North
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  17. #17

    Default Lyman

    I have a slightly used Lyman 1200 DPS 2 THAT I WOULD SELL FOR 75% OF THE NEW COST IF YOU ARE INTERESTED. PM ME akwebeck

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    I went the cheaper route as so far it has done well. I must first say that I reload only 300-500 rounds a year. I bought a 25 dollar EZ Loader Scale from Cabelas. It does well on the 3 calibers I reload. More then two year with it and no issues.

    If I did more rounds a year I would as the crew before me said get an RCBS one.

    Ron

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    I am really happy with my RCBS 750 Rangemaster. I was skeptical at first, but I gave it a fair shot and now I use it more than my 10-10, which is very accurate. When I compare the two they always check out well against each other.

    As with anything, there is a learning curve to the Rangemaster. It is not as sensitive to air currents as what I have heard that others are. But because of this, it doesn't respond as quickly when trickling powder either. It seems to have the fluctuations dampened slightly. For me, I really like it. I set the powder measure 0.2 gr light and start trickling. When I get to within 0.1gr, I stop trickling for a second to wait for the slight delay to make sure I'm not at the desired charge.. Then, I trickle a few more "grains" of powder onto the pan (you can hear that) and watch the reading come up to the desired level. Once you get used to it, it is easy. I know that when loading IMR4350, once I get to -0.1gr, I need two or three more "grains" and I'll be at the charge. Once you get the hang of it, I think it is easier than a super-responsive scale, and much faster than a beam.

    And again, it has always been in agreement with my 10-10, so I have no questions about accuracy. HOWEVER, I would not own ONLY a digital. I think a beam is a must for checking.

  20. #20

    Default like the DPS 1200-3

    I just got the DPS 1200 scale and reloaded about 75 rounds, so far. At first blush I'm happy with how it works. As for the warm up issue, I'll just have to plan ahead so it's not a problem. I checked some of the powder drops on my old scale and found the new dispenser/scale very accurate.
    D

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