What All Can Mess With Electronic Scales?
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Old 04-20-2011, 11:28 PM   #1
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Default What All Can Mess With Electronic Scales?

Hello,

I have a nice Lyman electronic scale. It will take batteries or plug into the wall. I shoot on my own land, so no reason to use batteries at the range.

It was fluctuating all over, going out of calibration every couple charges, then coming back on. (Was confirming all this with a magnetic-damped beam scale).

I moved it and it started working fine.

There's really nothing in my reloading room that would mess with it... I have an electric heater that doesn't blow on it (light fan anyway, mostly radiant heat). I am using a fluorescent bulb. Could that do it?

Different spots on the workbench would give slightly different readings. Reckon I should just use a couple levels to set it from now on?

Thanks,

Josh

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Old 04-21-2011, 12:09 AM   #2
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I've read fluorescent lights can effect electronic scales. A light draft can cause problems too.

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Old 04-21-2011, 12:43 AM   #3
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No ceiling fan?

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Old 04-21-2011, 01:13 AM   #4
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I won't use an electronic scale. I worked for a while for a company called JDK Controls who makes "high quality" potentiometers (kind of like a volume knob on an old tv but different) They even told me they are one of the top two manufactures in the world, and one of their potentiometer orders were for measuring the flap angle on tomahawk cruise missiles.

Anyway, they stick me in this closet, measuring powdered plastic into little 'pill cups' the powder is then hot pressed in a dye and formed into disks that can't vary in thickness or it would create more or less resistance between the disk and a wiper the runs on it.

So I'm supposed to weigh the plastic on an electronic scale to get it in a certain tolerance range. I notice that if I pick up the cup and set it back down it reads a different weight. Try it again...Same thing, different weight every time. Hell, I eventually just eyeballed the powder level and then picked it up and set it down on the scale until one of the readings was in tolerance and sent it on down the line.

I stick to analog measurements for anything I can, life's just simpler that way.

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Old 04-21-2011, 01:47 AM   #5
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I have a cheap digital scale that is affected by just about anything,but my electronic powder dispenser/scale isn't effected at all by fluorescent lights.There is a fluorescent shop light directly over the top of it,and it weighs the same amounts as weighed with my RCBS 505 beam scale.

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Old 04-21-2011, 04:30 AM   #6
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How close was the scale to your cell phone?

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Old 04-21-2011, 07:06 AM   #7
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You know, I had my cell phone in the room with me for the first time... that may have been it.

Also started using an old mouse pad underneath it, and replaced the fluorescent with one of my dwindling supply of incandescents.

There's a ceiling fan in the room, but it wasn't on.

I will have to check again the level of the table. It's new and may have settled.

Thanks,

Josh

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Old 04-21-2011, 08:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric0424 View Post
I've read fluorescent lights can effect electronic scales. A light draft can cause problems too.
Florescent lights cause problems with beam scales due to a small magnetic field. They don't affect digital scales.

Mine was made crazy by an incoming text message, but it was VERY apparent. Started blinking all "8"'s. I re-zeroed it after and it seemed fine but I made a note to place the cell phone in another room.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #9
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Anything that has electricity passing thru it has a magnetic field. If you bought scales that don't work just because the lights are on, it isn't shielded properly and should go back to the manufacturer. What do they expect you to do, work in the dark?

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Old 04-22-2011, 04:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjd3282 View Post
Anything that has electricity passing thru it has a magnetic field. If you bought scales that don't work just because the lights are on, it isn't shielded properly and should go back to the manufacturer. What do they expect you to do, work in the dark?
Primarily, what you have to worry about is anything with a transformer or a coil.

The motor in a fan is a big coil. The ballast in many florescent lights is a

large transformer. It may help to hang a pin or a thin steel filament on a thread.

If you see it being drawn toward anything, you know you've got a problem

with the device's inductive magnetism.

What I've been given to understand is the electronic scales lose their calibration quickly,

and need double checking a lot with a beam scale.
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