Electronic powder scale

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Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
1,838
Location
Idaho
Only one I have is the RCBS 1500 chargemaster. Don't consider them cheap. 1st one lasted about 12 years when key pad was failing, some number would not enter. It was way beyond warranty but found a co. that fixes them for about 200 bucks. I bought another unit to use until 1st came back. 1st one came back completely repaired and I sold it at a gun show for 275.00. The 2nd one has been 100% for the last 3 years.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2021
Messages
62
Location
West Central Ohio
I've used low-cost digital scales for the last several years, including the Frankford Arsenal DS-750, Lyman Pocket Touch 1500, and the National Metallic Digital Scale. I became accustomed to behavior of the FA and used it for a few years followed by the purchase of the Lyman as a back-up, which is very similar in operation to the FA. Another year later I purchased the National Metallic and have used it ever since, even buying a second one. The NM has a larger base and comes with an AC adapter which I much prefer to the battery powered FA and Lyman.

These low cost scales seem to have some sort of anti-drift/auto zero algorithms that must be dealt with in operation. You must keep an eye on the zero with the pan on the scale, and an eye on the weight (negative) of the scale when the pan is off of the scale. Readings must remain consistent, and a re-zeroing is often needed as those values tend to drift.

Those algorithms also interfere with powder trickling. I've found it necessary to trickle into the pan with the pan off of the scale, which is much less convenient. Otherwise, the algorithms will offset the trickling action, changing the zero instead of updating the scale reading in response to the trickled powder. I don't do much loading that requires trickling, but this issue could be a frustrating deal-breaker for those who regularly trickle powder.

In short, the low-cost digital scales have behaviors that need to be understood and accomodated to successfully use them. I've adopted to them and have zero interest in reverting back to mechanical scales (which are great for those who prefer them).

I have zero experience with the more expensive digital scales, or the systems that both dispense and weigh powder.
 

mr surveyor

Blackhawk
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
633
Location
Texas
I used a PACT digital scale, borrowed from a friend, for two or three years and got hooked on it ... then bought a RCBS Rangemaster 750 that turned out to be a near exact clone of the PACT. I've been using the RCBS for seven or eight years now with no issues. I actually weigh every charge, but I start with a LEE dipper that's close to the load, then "tap trickle" up to the target weight. It's actually pretty fast once you get into the rhythm.

In order to reduce the normal potential issues caused to electronic digital scales, all of my overhead fluorescent lights have been converted to LED's, my cell phone is kept across the room when using the scale, and I use the on-board battery in the scale rather than it being plugged into the ac.


jd
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
532
Location
FL
I like just using the basic conventional Redding beam scale (not electronic), but then I use Harrell's powder dumps and Saturn powder funnels with Sinclair 25ct white plastic cartridge blocks. Those Harrell's are very consistent, and personally, I'd rather use them than an electronic scale. I'll never forget one time my calipers gave an inaccurate reading because the battery was low. I changed the battery and instantly, it measure my case with the correct reading. I couldn't believe my eyes since I had trusted them so much since they were electronic.
 

s4s4u

Hunter
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
2,144
Location
MN, USA
I have zero trust in digital scales until you get into the $500 range. A good powder measure and and a beam scale to set it up, that is the answer.
 

Ka6otm

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
753
I've got a RCBS partner digital scale I bought at a gun show around 25 years ago. I check it against my Ohaus 10-10 from time to time and it's always within 0.1 Grain so I'm good to go.

Once when taking a break from working in High Tech Medical Electronics companies I went to work for Friden Alcatel and was the Chief Engineer of the scales division in R&D for 3 years. I know exactly how the scales and algorithms work and can answer any questions about them.
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
3,164
Location
Alexandria, LA USA
I have been using a Lyman beam scale and like it, it's actually my second one in 30 years. The other day I went to the bench to finish up a block of cases and the pivot had come off the beam. Just laying there. So I thought I might look into an upgrade. Never used a digital so have no experience with them at all.
Appreciate the input. I'm still looking and pondering what direction to go.
 
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