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Old December 6, 2018, 09:13 AM   #1
MarkCO
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Reloadr Scale Out of the Box Comparison

If you are like me, you have gone through as many scales as a small goldfish. I have several, one next to each press and 3 "spares". Sometimes I just can't resist buying a new one, but usually I am disappointed. Measurements Lab and Metrology Labs tend to make one a "measurement snob" I guess. Anyway, I won a scale at a match a few months ago and it sat on the bench. I decided to give it a go and when I was at the metrology lab, I weighed 4 pieces on a $10K scale. Then I calibrated the PACT and RCBS before I opened up the box of the Reloadr. Followed the instructions, then calibrated and proceeded to run this comparison. I have about 1,000 rounds of precision ammo to load this month, so I will work it in and see how it does over that span with some trickling and such. Anyway, out of the box scale test.

https://youtu.be/Ybw7YfX6sPY
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Old December 6, 2018, 10:35 AM   #2
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I'm squirming. Just dropped the better part of a grand on a low-end self-calibrating analytical scale with 0.1 mg resolution. I'll see how it does.
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Old December 6, 2018, 10:55 AM   #3
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Would be interesting to see how it performs with very small changes, like when slowly trickling. That's where cheap strain-gauge balances can allow significant errors to accumulate, since they tend to need so much filtering and tracking to prevent drift and stability issues they can completely fail to see small changes like slowly trickling-in kernels. I watched one fail to register after 10 kernels were dropped, when it should have incremented after 5.
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Old December 6, 2018, 11:17 AM   #4
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When I trickled from 0.0 to 0.5, I was not pleased and it was off by 0.2. It did not pick up the first 10 kernels at all. But trickling from 20 to 21, 40 to 41 and 80 to 81, it was perfect. I went really slow and then faster by 0.2 increments or so and was pleased.
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Old December 6, 2018, 11:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Would be interesting to see how it performs with very small changes, like when slowly trickling. That's where cheap strain-gauge balances can allow significant errors to accumulate, since they tend to need so much filtering and tracking to prevent drift and stability issues they can completely fail to see small changes like slowly trickling-in kernels. I watched one fail to register after 10 kernels were dropped, when it should have incremented after 5.
Aye. The incrementing methods used in some of the cheap scales are truly eyebrow-raising. As is the inability for some to hold a zero.

I have a Cabela's-branded scale here (coming up on 10 years old) that I've discussed previously on the forum. I became suspicious of its accuracy when I noticed it failing to increment when it should have. At times, I was trickling what I believed to be 3-4 grains of powder, with no change on the display.
The most extreme result I was able to produce in testing was by (very) slowly trickling 37 grains of powder into the pan. The scale only displayed 17 grains.

However that thing's increment threshold works is dangerously sub-par. It seems like the scale's resolution (likely due to hardware choices) is too close to the increment threshold, and there's a time limit on incrementing. If the time limit expires without reaching the threshold, the display remains unchanged but the signal from the load cell is used to reset the 'baseline' for the next increment.

After quite a bit of testing, I set it aside, never to be used for powder again.
It does, however, hold zero better than other digital scales that I've tried. So, I often use it to sort bullets or cases; or jackets and cores when swaging bullets. It doesn't have a problem with big changes in mass.
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Old December 6, 2018, 11:35 AM   #6
rox
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Originally Posted by MarkCO View Post
When I trickled from 0.0 to 0.5, I was not pleased and it was off by 0.2. It did not pick up the first 10 kernels at all. But trickling from 20 to 21, 40 to 41 and 80 to 81, it was perfect. I went really slow and then faster by 0.2 increments or so and was pleased.
That is likely due to heavy zero-tracking. Even some *very* highly regarded balances use zero-tracking to counter drift. Usually you won't be trickling near to zero, so that shouldn't be so much of a problem, however, it can cause other issues. Imagine your balance is zeroed with the powder pan on it (so it displays the charge weight). You throw a charge, place it on the balance, trickle-up, then dump the charge and repeat. The balance is never anywhere near zero. Zero-tracking is prevented from functioning, and drift can accumulate unchecked. I once tried to speed-up Chargemaster operation by pre-throwing the bulk of the charge, but measurements on a lab balance indicated that this was defeating zero-tracking and drift error was accumulating.
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Old December 6, 2018, 11:44 AM   #7
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rox, yep, why I am testing it.
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Old December 6, 2018, 12:02 PM   #8
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A number of scales have a display stabilization feature that simply holds what seems to be a good, stable reading, and won't unlatch it until weight shifts again by some minimum amount. It's a noise countermeasure. Loading scales don't usually do this and some have the feature but let you select in the programming to disable it. You can't trickle with one set to do that.
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Old December 6, 2018, 03:57 PM   #9
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I have a $20 Smartwiegh from Amazon, a RCBS Chargemaster 1500 dispenser, a Tree KHR123 ($215), and a Lyman M5 ($50 used) modded with a web camera ($10) and a needle to eliminate parallax.

I only use the RCBS for initial throws, I have found it to be off by .1 grain in either direction. So I throw low and use the old finger trickle method to weigh to weight on one of my other scales.

Just me but I have settled on .001 gram resolution for my powder throws. I convert the grains to grams and weigh it out to .001 Plus or minus .002 or about 1 grain of Varget either way. In powder weight testing Litz found the difference in velocity SD was cut in half by going from a thrown charge to a RCBS Chargemaster which is accurate + or minus .1 grain. Going from a Chargemaster to a analytic balance (.0001 gram) there was a noticeable improvement but not nearly as drastic. With a good primer choice on second fired brass the difference between the analytical balance and the Chargemaster was .9 FPS. I figured a milligram scale split the difference and was considerably more budget friendly

The jury is out on the Tree KHR123, I just received it yesterday. It does have about .0005 gram of drift per hour when left on for 24 hours.I will give it a test similar to the one I gave the Smartweigh and post it here.
friendly between the RCBS and a analytical balance and the thrifty part of me won out with $215 for the Tree vs $1500 for the Sartorius.

If it had not been for the auto shutoff I would probably just have stuck with the Smartweigh. Don't underestimate these cheap scales. I may have just gotten a good one but this little sucker amazed me so much I loaded my latest match's rounds on it and had a great match

here is some testing I did on it

http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...ility.3961911/

http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thr...art-2.3961956/

Of all the scales I have now though I think that Lyman M5 beam has the best accuracy, linearity, and repeatability. You just have to be patient while the pan steadies but I think I could come damn close to the Sartorius when it comes to repeatability
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Old December 6, 2018, 04:33 PM   #10
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The jury is out on the Tree KHR123, I just received it yesterday. It does have about .0005 gram of drift per hour when left on for 24 hours.I will give it a test similar to the one I gave the Smartweigh and post it here.
There have been a bunch of budget milligram balance models ending in '123' over the years, starting with the Denver MXX123. They all seem to have the same internals, but also suffer the same problems of strain gauge balances, which are at their limit at milligram levels. They're not bad for the money, but a bit drifty. The next level is the 1mg A&D Fx-120i. These are great for trickling onto, responsive to slow/small changes, very fast settling and stable (zero tracking still needs to function though). I've had a couple of these for years, and built powder dispensers around them. I prefer them for powder weighing to my analytical (0.1mg) balance.
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Old December 6, 2018, 06:47 PM   #11
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There have been a bunch of budget milligram balance models ending in '123' over the years, starting with the Denver MXX123. They all seem to have the same internals, but also suffer the same problems of strain gauge balances, which are at their limit at milligram levels. They're not bad for the money, but a bit drifty. The next level is the 1mg A&D Fx-120i. These are great for trickling onto, responsive to slow/small changes, very fast settling and stable (zero tracking still needs to function though). I've had a couple of these for years, and built powder dispensers around them. I prefer them for powder weighing to my analytical (0.1mg) balance.
Yep it is drifty, still have not decided whether it is something I can live with or not. The company I bought it from has a 30 day return policy and I have not tossed the packaging.

For me the most important characteristic for a powder scale is the repeat ability. If I can tare the scale and weigh a bullet and the scale drifts 1mg over the next two hours and I tare the scale will that bullet weigh the same + or - 2 Milligrams. Now can I weigh that bullet 5 days in a row and be within + or - those 2 milligrams I will keep it. That and not be off more than .1 grains from a calibrated weight. My RCBS Chargemaster reads .1 grain low compared to every other scale I have tested it with. As long as I am aware of that no issues, if I give it to my son in law I have to make sure he realizes that a 7.2 grain charge is probably closer to 7.3.

A&D's have a great reputation, I just have to decide if I want to spend that much. Hehe or I might just spend that money on batteries for the little Smartweigh and check it against my beam and spend the money on powder, primers, bullets and rimfire ammo. It seems to do the job pretty well
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Old December 7, 2018, 01:52 AM   #12
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Yowser!!!
Please be distracted by something while me and my 40 something year old RCBS 5-0-5 try to slink away unnoticed.

Seriously, I really do like reading these threads and appreciate you guys sharing your experiences with equipment of this level.
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Old December 7, 2018, 02:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by DaleA View Post
Yowser!!!
Please be distracted by something while me and my 40 something year old RCBS 5-0-5 try to slink away unnoticed.

Seriously, I really do like reading these threads and appreciate you guys sharing your experiences with equipment of this level.
If I could only keep one scale it would have to be my 5-0-5. The digitals are used for speed and convenience more than accuracy, as I load quite a large volume of rifle (but fast, reliable, accurate digital balances come at a premium). My dispenser gives me a charge with a +0.02 tolerance in about 10 seconds, but I'll often open that up to +0.04 or +0.06 to reduce the time to around 5 seconds, since it makes no observable (to me) difference on target, and cuts the time significantly when loading a batch of 1000. Of course, speed is still the lowest priority when loading.
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Old December 7, 2018, 08:30 AM   #14
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That is rather an important perspective. If you find a sweet spot load it will usually be flat across a spread of half a grain or more. You really need to find one of those not only for immunity against charge weight error, but to have a little immunity to temperature changes and several other factors I'll mention here:
  • Powder packing. Stick powders, in particular, are subject to vibration packing. One of the authors in the 1995 Precision Shooting Reloading Guide said he had a load that worked great when he assembled it at home, but that caused sticky bolt lift if he assembled it at the range. It turned out the vibration of transport from home to the range settled the powder enough that ignition through the mass was slowed and, in effect, so was the initial burn rate.
  • Powder can pick up about 1% weight of water when storage goes from dry to high humidity. Norma's manual says this is responsible for about 12% change in peak pressure (dry is faster).
  • Norma also showed that loaded cartridges without sealant have enough water exchange through microscopic paths in scuffs and scratches between the case and primer and bullet that the water content of the powder equalizes in them over a period of about a year. So, if you assemble the ammo in a very dry climate, then move the ammunition someplace where humidity is high year-round, after about a year its performance will decline correspondingly, and vice-versa.
  • Aging tends to increase start pressure, which is why SAAMI has a specification called the Maximum Probable Sample Mean (MPSM) that is higher than the loading pressures and allows that, as an ammunition lot ages, even in controlled conditions you can find tested samples typically see an increase in pressure. Indeed, reference ammunition is retested by round robin every two years to adjust its pressure and velocity ratings.

It is satisfying to hit an average charge weight correctly, and if you place it exactly in the center of a sweet spot you subtract that error from the amount introduced by the other factors as conditions changed. But by itself, it can't lock a load into high repeatability. If you are not storing and shooting the ammunition in climate-controlled conditions, A 0.1-grain error is typically overwhelmed by the other factors. I generally find volumetrically dispensed powder works out just fine for that reason, but you do need to find the sweet spot load and target its middle charge weight first. My own interest in having a precise, high-resolution scale has more to do with bullet analysis than powder charge. Also, it's nice to have a scale others may be checked against.
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Old December 7, 2018, 08:33 AM   #15
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DaleA and Rox sticking with the beams make yall' the smartest people on here. I forgot I have 2 beams, the 505 and the M5.

I will be doing some testing this week on this Tree. I made up some test weight last even and will be doing some testing on it. Biggest downfall I predict will be the drift and the Tare key seems to be a quick cure for that. I was hoping it was just a temperature as the scale warmed up thing but it's been going on 2 days now I don't think so
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Old December 7, 2018, 09:23 AM   #16
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If you are like me, you have gone through as many scales as a small goldfish. I have several, one next to each press and 3 "spares". Sometimes I just can't resist buying a new one, but usually I am disappointed.

Quote:
I am not like you, that is neither a bad thing nor a good thing; one difference? If I am not using ‘it, ‘it’ is in a drawer or ‘back in the box’.
Scales in a box: I have Redding brown and or green scales in the original boxes; if I removed one of the scales from its box I would check the scale with weight standards.

I have 2 Ohaus 3 beam industrial scales, both came with a check weight; not a problem for me but the check weight are identical in all appearances except for the weight. They do not agree. In another box I have an Ohause test weight set of 47 weights.

And then there is the weight shaver; when getting a scale to stop at zero there is no such thing as ‘good enough’. I will flatten a pellet of lead and then shave lead from the pellet to balance.

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Old December 7, 2018, 10:14 AM   #17
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Tried 2 green scales, one top of the line. Back to the beam scale. Too much drift with the electronic ones. I even called green They told me wipe with dryer sheet. Still drifts a lot.
I tried leaving it on all the time.

I gave up.

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Old December 7, 2018, 10:56 AM   #18
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Biggest thing I am interested in is that the item I weigh today weighs the same tomorrow when I weigh it, and then again next week and the week thereafter etc etc. Accuracy is how close a value is to its true value. Precision is how repeatable a measurement is.

I made up 3 test weights using small strips of staples which are very close to actual powder charges I use day to day at 22.66 grains, 36.4 grains and 42.18 grains. I converted those weights to grams so I can get resolution down to .001 grams. What I will do is weigh those three strips a few times each day and see if the readings are plus or minus .002 grams. If it can do that I will be happy with it. If I keep it I will test the unit against those test strips before each use

That should get me within 2 kernels of target, if you want better than that then tune up the beam and mod it or shell out $1000 USD or better
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Old December 7, 2018, 12:05 PM   #19
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hounddawg, that is what interests me as well. That is why I am testing this, alongside the others, one of which a LOT of people use. Yesterday and today, the check weights have all been the same, and accurate on the Reloadr.
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Old December 7, 2018, 12:12 PM   #20
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I'll bet your Reloader is more accurate than my Tree. The $20 Smartweigh is. So far the Tree has varied by as much as .003 gram, the Smartweigh is dead on the money every time.It is wild how these little cheap scales are so damn precise
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Old December 7, 2018, 01:02 PM   #21
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So I made the video on Wednesday. On Thursday and Friday, I checked and the Reloadr gave the exact same readings for the 4 check weights as it did on Wednesday. The PACT had the most change, within their claimed range, the RCBS a little less, but the Reloadr beat them both with no change.

They are sending me a Sharpshooter to do a T&E on as well. So I will work that in the mix and do a compare and contrast of the two.
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Old December 7, 2018, 01:19 PM   #22
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the Relodr and Sharpshooter scales look suspiciously similar to a half dozen Chinese scales on Amazon. I could not find a price on their distributers site though. Under the hood I would wager that the circuit boards come off the same assembly line in Schenzhen with different labels slightly different housings.

I wish I could find a version of that Smartweigh with no auto shutoff. I am seriously considering making it my main scale. Does either the Reloadr And Sharpshooter scales have AC ports and or at least selectable auto shutoff ? I am interested in your reports. I have till the end of the month to evaluate this Tree and decide on returning it.
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Old December 7, 2018, 03:43 PM   #23
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The auto-shut-off can be disabled on the Marksman, but only for one power up. It is easy to disable. But when you turn it off, then back on, the auto-off is back.

I should have the Sharpshooter into testing next week sometime.
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