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Digital Callipers - again

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Gary Wooding24/02/2021 12:27:55
822 forum posts
211 photos

Some time ago Neil did a review on digital callipers in which one of his recommendations was one by Moore & Wright. I already had two cheapos that I'd purchased from Proops when they attended the MEXs, and I was pleased with them. Neither eats batteries and both were as accurate as I need, but I needed another one. So in 2017 I purchased a Moore & Wright.

It frequently reset it's zero indication to 5.08, so I complained and got it replaced. I didn't particularly like it because it switched itself off too soon when idle, and continued to reset it's zero to 5.08 every now and again, but I persevered, until a couple of weeks ago, when It just went haywire. I've replaced the battery to no avail. It's useless. A great disappointment with a previously respected make.

I still need a digital calliper - recommendations anyone?

Emgee24/02/2021 12:39:02
1988 forum posts
250 photos

Mitutoyo

Emgee

Craig Brown 224/02/2021 12:48:03
38 forum posts
9 photos

What Emgee said. I have 3 pairs, all purchased second hand and all bullet proof

David George 124/02/2021 13:04:38
avatar
1525 forum posts
472 photos

I have Mitutoyo which I bought about 35 years ago and it still works great. The only problem with my one it dosn't have an off button and it takes about an hour from last use to power down.

David

David Marks 224/02/2021 13:23:51
16 forum posts

I have 2 digital callipers (150 mm) purchased from Lidl (Powerefix brand) a good number of years ago for just under £10 each and still going strong. About 8 years ago I installed a quality management system ISO 9001 for a welding and fabrication company and there was a need for a digital calliper for Goods Inwards inspections to measure material thickness. The company purchased a set from Lidl and also a set of calibrated slip gauges to undertake calibration on a yearly basis. The Lidl items could not be faulted. I also checked my own Lidl items and again all fine.

not done it yet24/02/2021 13:48:38
5790 forum posts
20 photos

Hi Gary,

I would recommend a ‘left hander’ as it makes checking on the lathe sooo much easier.🙂

Mine came from Allendale’s (m-dro) stand at the Midlands Show, either 2 or 3 years ago (when you gave a talk on precious metals?)

Not perfect as the battery cover is a PITA - it easily slides off in the direction of travel. After I eventually (predictably) lost the cover, I 3-D printed a new one and it now has a piece of tape to secure the cover. No auto turn-off but battery lasts well.

William Chitham24/02/2021 13:51:12
97 forum posts
33 photos

I've had a couple of Aldi cheapies which seem like spectacular value for money but in a fit of extravagence I bought a Mitutoyo. This does feel like a better quality device and it doesn't need zeroing every other use but I was dissappointed that it doesn't have any functional advantage over the cheapies - in particular I thought it would have the ability to store a second zero so you could go back and forth between the origin zero and a saved zero (afraid my terminology is probably not correct but I hope this makes sense). This is not the case. The other problem is that it has no auto switch off and I'm pretty sure I didn't turn it off last night so when I get into the workshop this evening it probably will be dead. Bah.

William.

Mick B124/02/2021 13:57:15
1862 forum posts
92 photos
Posted by Gary Wooding on 24/02/2021 12:27:55:

Some time ago Neil did a review on digital callipers in which one of his recommendations was one by Moore & Wright. I already had two cheapos that I'd purchased from Proops when they attended the MEXs, and I was pleased with them. Neither eats batteries and both were as accurate as I need, but I needed another one. So in 2017 I purchased a Moore & Wright.

It frequently reset it's zero indication to 5.08, so I complained and got it replaced. I didn't particularly like it because it switched itself off too soon when idle, and continued to reset it's zero to 5.08 every now and again, but I persevered, until a couple of weeks ago, when It just went haywire. I've replaced the battery to no avail. It's useless. A great disappointment with a previously respected make.

I still need a digital calliper - recommendations anyone?

The 'two-hundred-thou magic number' affects Lidl and Aldi calipers too, so I only use them on rough work.

I've had it happen once on one of the 3 M&W value calipers I've had. One succumbed to a drop on a hard surface, one's an everyday workshop gauge and one is kept inside for 'best'.

I think they're OK, but will go to my 40-year old Mitutoyo vernier mic if I'm chasing tenths, which is rare.

SillyOldDuffer24/02/2021 15:50:56
Moderator
7042 forum posts
1549 photos

I have a Lidl special that despite being dropped, stood on, and grossly mistreated still works. After breaking the screen, I upgraded to one of Ketan's mid-price calipers (about £15), which doesn't measure any more accurately than the Lidl but feels better - smoother action, and is less likely to lose zero.

A bit later I picked up a Dasqua on offer for about £25. While it's distinctly silky and has a useful zero function but the big difference between the Dasqua and the others is it's sealed.

Most of the time I use the ArcEuro : it doesn't seem to eat batteries, but then none of mine do. The Dasqua feels reliable and accurate, and it's best for doing a long run of repeated measurements. The advantage of the ArcEuro is it does a good job, much used and abused, and there won't be an emotional scene when I break it.

Dave

larry phelan 124/02/2021 16:19:35
976 forum posts
14 photos

have two aldi units which I find good enough for my attempts, however I also have a Mitutoyo which I keep indoors, saving it for better work, if I ever get around to doing any.

I dug it out last week, put new batteries and switched on -----------nothing !

Changed the batteries ,cleaned the connections, came to life, then died again.

Seems to be a connection problem although the batteries appear to be in contact with the spring tabs.

Got fed up messing with it and losing those four tiny screws and went back to my Aldi Special.

Any ideas ?frown

Simon036224/02/2021 16:29:48
213 forum posts
73 photos
Posted by Craig Brown 2 on 24/02/2021 12:48:03:

What Emgee said. I have 3 pairs, all purchased second hand and all bullet proof

Same here, plus one Mitutoyo pair bought at an MEX around 1985.

Bob Mc24/02/2021 16:41:27
158 forum posts
3 photos

Hi Gary...

I had a very similar problem with the stainless steel calipers I bought with the logo 'Max Measure' probably Chinese, very often the reading would re-set to around 5.07mm for some reason when being adjusted.

I took it apart and gave it a good cleanup, but no improvement.

.... I changed the batteries a few times with no effect,

I thought they may have got damp so I left them on a radiator for an hour or so...but still the same.. so I thought to try another battery but I didn't have the right one which should hav e been an LR43 but I only had an LR44 which is a bit thicker but it fitted in, and is now ok, and 3 weeks on it is still ok.

Perhaps the LR44's are a higher voltage?

Glyn Davies24/02/2021 16:52:52
128 forum posts
40 photos

I set up an experiment some time ago with my Aldi calliper where I powered it from an external 1.5v source so I could measure the current drawn. I forget the value of current (very small) but it was exactly the same whether the display was on or off.

Simon Barr24/02/2021 17:29:11
26 forum posts
18 photos

A couple of weeks back I got treated myself to a new digital calper. I'd been tempted to get a secondhand Mitutoyo but talk of fakes and also the uncertainty of condition put me off. The auto power off on the M&W that people have mentioned put me of those too. So I went for a Dasqua from Chronos, specifically the 8" waterproof one. I've only used it as little but I'm impressed with it so far. It feels nice in the hand and zeros every time unlike the cheap thing I've been relying on up until now.

SillyOldDuffer24/02/2021 17:45:18
Moderator
7042 forum posts
1549 photos
Posted by Glyn Davies on 24/02/2021 16:52:52:

I set up an experiment some time ago with my Aldi calliper where I powered it from an external 1.5v source so I could measure the current drawn. I forget the value of current (very small) but it was exactly the same whether the display was on or off.

Ages ago I wired my damaged Lidl caliper up to a fixed power supply and experimented. The current drawn is a few micro-amps and the on/off button made no difference to the power draw. In theory a 100mAh button cell should last at least 10 years, and they don't.

My Lidl caliper turned out to be very sensitive to low voltage, I recall it becoming unreliable at about 1.44V, which is only 0.06V below battery full charge. It appears the electronics fail long before the battery is fully flat. At least mine dropped out as soon as the voltage started to dip. It needs new batteries!

A further issue - just a theory - is that batteries flatten in cheap calipers because they aren't sealed. I guess any trace of condensation in the workshop will discharge the battery faster than normal, causing the drop out voltage to be reached sooner than later. Maybe the batteries in better calipers last simply because they are protected against condensation. Might explain why results vary so much : some unlucky souls have constant battery trouble while others with exactly the same model are OK for years. If the caliper is sensitive to moisture, a damp workshop will do it no good at all.

Last problem might be the quality of the battery. Old batteries run out of puff. Dodgy batteries usually contain a smaller mass of chemicals, and the purity of those chemicals is suspect. And long life depends on purity. Silver batteries hold their voltage better than other types so buying LR44 rather than SR44 could be false economy.

I don't have battery problems: if you do, try sealing the caliper in a plastic bag with a desiccant, and keep it in a drawer safe from condensation. Report back next year! Might make all the difference!

Dave

 

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 24/02/2021 17:45:53

old mart24/02/2021 18:02:28
2850 forum posts
181 photos

I have two Mitutoyo's, 6" and 12" bought through my old firm back in 1990 and 1995. They are expensive to buy, but I would be wary of getting one now, unless it came from a reliable source, there are so many counterfeit ones about now. I have seen Tesa calipers on ebay for under £100, a much better bet, as the counterfeiters tend to copy the biggest names and other excellent makes go untouched. Look at Sandisk labeled SD cards, I avoid them and buy Transcend, which are more likely to be genuine.

Stuart Bridger24/02/2021 18:37:14
517 forum posts
29 photos

Mitutoyo all the way. I started out with a couple of cheap no-name calipers.
They ate batteries. Moving to Mitutoyo means that I don't have to change the battery virtually every time I go into the workshop.

Nigel McBurney 124/02/2021 19:49:42
avatar
845 forum posts
3 photos

I have a Miutoyo digital caliper,aquired at the right price some years ago in very good external condition ,Mitutoyo always referred to a by a chief inspector I worked with as a mickey jo jo this caliper that I have ate batteries and occasionally would throw up an odd reading,nearly wrecked a customers job,never used again, I also have two mitutoyo 6 in dial calipers that have stood up to 30 years use ,when used forv roughing out when milling or turning.for accurate measuring I prefer to use a proper vernier caliper or micrometer.

Michael Gilligan24/02/2021 20:18:46
avatar
17667 forum posts
811 photos
Posted by Bob Mc on 24/02/2021 16:41:27:

Hi Gary...

I had a very similar problem with the stainless steel calipers I bought with the logo 'Max Measure' probably Chinese, very often the reading would re-set to around 5.07mm for some reason when being adjusted.

I took it apart and gave it a good cleanup, but no improvement.

.... I changed the batteries a few times with no effect,

I thought they may have got damp so I left them on a radiator for an hour or so...but still the same.. so I thought to try another battery but I didn't have the right one which should hav e been an LR43 but I only had an LR44 which is a bit thicker but it fitted in, and is now ok, and 3 weeks on it is still ok.

Perhaps the LR44's are a higher voltage?

.

LR43 and LR44 will be the same chemistry and therefore the same voltage ... but the 44 can probably source more current.

Try using an SR instead

... Information widely available, but this is a good place to start: **LINK**

http://www.truetex.com/buttons.htm

MichaelG.

Robert Atkinson 224/02/2021 20:32:35
avatar
933 forum posts
18 photos

I got a pair from ARC for christmas

www.arceurotrade.co.uk/Catalogue/Measurement/Calipers/Digital-Calipers-150mm-300mm-6-12

Very pleased with them so far.

Robert G8RPI.

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