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Old June 24, 2011, 08:55 AM   #1
300magman
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Trouble with RCBS electric scale ?

Does this sound unusual to anyone else, or is this just the normal margin for error that I should be expecting from electric scales?

I read the manual, tried the set up proceedure several times and have the scale on a flat, hard, stable surface with no air flow around it.

Now to the problem, one of the calibration weights is ever so slighly heavier than the other, if one reads 50grams the other will come in at 49.8grams. What's more, the scale reads the lighter weight inconsistently....when I first place it down, it may give a reading of 49.6gr and the scale will indicate "stable" then over the next 30 seconds the weight will creep up to 49.8gr or sometimes stay at 49.7

This seems like a pretty big margin for uncertaintly to me, considering we are talking grams, Not the much smaller grains (which I was hoping to have 0.1 certainty in)
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:58 AM   #2
Rifletom
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Try giving RCBS a call, they're pretty good about service and tech info over the phone. Getting different readings during calibration set-up is NOT a good thing!I give 'em a call.
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:06 AM   #3
Saltydog235
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^^^^That.
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:54 AM   #4
wncchester
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"Trouble with RCBS electric scale ? "

Electronics are not as reliable as we would like, none of them are. When did you last have to buy a new cell phone, computer or printer, etc?

My 45 year old beam scale is perfect and ready to double that life time. NONE of my electronics are that old and none will last that long.
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Old June 24, 2011, 11:03 AM   #5
Farmland
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It could be static electricity some thing that can and will make both a electronic and balance beam scale jump a little or even give a poor reading. Do you have any Styrofoam near your scale? Even the smallest air flow can effect a scale.

It also could be a weak battery.

My worst scale ever was a lyman balance beam. I could never get the scale to balance. I had yo go out and buy a new scale. After several years I notice the problem with my lyman scale. A very small tab had broken off of the beam near the pan holder.

I never could figure out how that broke but once that happens you just can't zero it, . I can't tell you how many hours I had into trying to balance that scale for about a year. I was thankful since it would not balance I never used it of course.
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Old June 24, 2011, 11:37 AM   #6
Farmland
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Something to remember.

Do not operate near an in-use cell phone, cordless phone, radio, computer or other electronic device. These devices emit RF and can cause unstable scale readings. If your scale ever performs poorly, try moving the scale to a different room or location. This is a very precise scale - the display may seem to wander or jump when weighing. This is due to air currents or vibrations. Stable weighing is achieved when the display remains fixed for 3 seconds.
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Old June 24, 2011, 11:41 AM   #7
300magman
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Static shouldn't be a problem where I am set up, humidity might be a little high though. No batteries involved, it runs off an A/C plug. There could be an inperceptively small air movement within the room, but its actually one of the chargemaster combo units that comes with its own built in wind enclosure that covers the scale/pan.

Looks like its time to do what I dread most...call customer support and hope to hear a voice that doesn't sound like its 10,000 miles away and just learned english yesterday.
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Old June 24, 2011, 11:46 AM   #8
300magman
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One more question to throw out, since I can't call customer support at the moment (at work).

Is it normal for a scale to drift significantly over say....5 minutes? I tried leaving a 165gr bullet on the pan for a short time, and it lost/grained a good 4+gr.
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Old June 24, 2011, 11:56 AM   #9
wingman
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Quote:
One more question to throw out, since I can't call customer support at the moment (at work).

Is it normal for a scale to drift significantly over say....5 minutes? I tried leaving a 165gr bullet on the pan for a short time, and it lost/grained a good 4+gr.
I believe it to be normal, I have a RCB 750 that I've used over 2 years it has been excellent, any air flow vibration will cause you problems. I have a small shop and I shutdown anything electrical other then lights I use a Lyman balance beam as back up both have been consistent in agreement.

I turn off the 750 after use I place it in a sealed container and I recalibrate when I set up to reload. I would not want to reload without electronic scales but they are super sensitive, I worked in a lab environment for years with very expensive scales and yet they too required careful use.
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Old June 24, 2011, 12:11 PM   #10
dunerjeff
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I have the RCBS electronic scale and dispenser and it does "move" +/- .1 gr sometimes if left for a couple minutes. I ALWAYS have my scale on a solid(concrete) platform SEPERATE from my press bench and any, even a tiny,tiny bit of air movement, will "move" the reading.
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Old June 24, 2011, 12:27 PM   #11
mapsjanhere
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Most powder scales are set to 0.1 gr resolution, or about 6.5 mg. On a scale that's capable of measuring 100 g, that's better than 0.01%. Analytical scales that can do that reliably come with an enclosure against airflow, are usually set on granite weighing tables against vibration and cost $1000+. So the old question of resolution vs. accuracy rears its ugly head.
Now, 4 gr drift, or 200 mg difference in measuring the calibration weights (assuming you didn't ding one) is bad. My RCBS combo usually is repeatable within .2 gr for repeated measurement of the same bullet. Customer service call seems in order.
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Old June 27, 2011, 02:08 PM   #12
300magman
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I decided to set it up and have it running for the call to customer service...much to my surprise it seems to work nearly perfectly now.

One weight is still marginally different than the other, but its now almost insignificant. The first weight pops right up to 771.5 grains (I think 771.6 is supposed to be exactly 50grams, but close enough) and the other initially reads 771.3 but quickly comes up to 771.5 (9 times out of 10) if left to sit for 2-3 seconds.


I'm not sure what the difference is, I'm using the scale in the same room, nothing is very near to it, or running and the first use it was sitting on a large sturdy hardwood kitchen table....this time I sat it on the granite counter top, just a few feet from the table. I guess it just prefers stone to hardwood, because I tried everything last time, even cleaning the weights incase of microscopic dust or oil.
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Old June 27, 2011, 02:32 PM   #13
Doodlebugger45
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Most people don't know this, but all electronic devices have a certain amount of ESP built into them, as well as distinct personalities. This device has obviously been playing with you, purposely trying to annoy you, perhaps even trying to drive you crazy. Most devices can sense when the situation is most critical and then they will misbehave. When you made the arrangements to call the authorities (the help line), it figured out it better be on its best behavior or it would get a severe scolding from its biological parents. Or else it's possible that it is trying to have you declared insane. It figured you would say all kinds of things about its misbehaviors to the tech support people at RCBS, but then when you were on the line, it would act like an angel, therefore making people think you were the crazy one.

Don't be fooled. In a couple days it will probably revert to its mischevious ways. But now you have a good threat to use on it. Whenever it acts up, grab the phone and say in a loud voice "I'm going to call RCBS this instant if you keep that up". It will settle right down. Oh, it would be best if nobody else heard you making threats to your scale though. People tend to be judgemental about things like that.
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Old June 27, 2011, 08:52 PM   #14
wncchester
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"My worst scale ever was a lyman balance beam.... After several years I notice ... A very small tab had broken off of the beam.."

Well, nothing that's broken can be expected to work correctly but that's no valid critique of the whole class of scales.


Never could figure out how that broke but once that happens you just can't zero it.

Actually, if you are talking about what I think, it would be quite easy to repair and correct that.
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