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Cheap Calliper which holds reading

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Peter Cook 608/05/2021 11:27:30
124 forum posts
38 photos

I am probably asking in entirely the wrong place, but.

Has anyone recently purchased a set of cheap callipers which only switch off the display when they auto power off so that they retain the zero setting. If so could you let me have a pointer.

There seem to be two different versions of the electronics in cheap callipers. One type turns off completely when they power down and reset to zero on power up. The other version seems to simply turn off the display and on power up (or moving the slide) redisplays the reading.

I got a set of callipers for <£10 sometime last year off Ebay which have the second type of electronics, and recently got a tyre depth guage which does the same. The original vendor has vanished from Ebay. Other tyre depth gauges I have bought, and a different set of cheap callipers reset to zero every time they switch off. There does not seem to be any easy way to identify the difference.

I don't particularly care about the quality of the callipers as I want to butcher them to make a DRO for my Taig lathe (the fate of the first set was to make the other axis).

None of the ad's I can see (at the kind of price I would prefer for butchery) make any mention of this behaviour.

Ady108/05/2021 13:04:53
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4442 forum posts
693 photos

If you look at this caliper (no not the price) it's a generic type that holds the last reading

I can recognise them quite easily because Its all I buy

If it looks any different from that one then I have no clue

Ady108/05/2021 13:09:55
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4442 forum posts
693 photos

If you're making a DRO then those cheap DROs are vastly superior and far more user friendly

Calipers aren't really designed for constant tracking, something you will realise once you try a "proper" unit

Peter Cook 608/05/2021 14:33:45
124 forum posts
38 photos

Thanks Ady for the replies.

I have a set of callipers that look identical to the RS ones, but zero reset when they power off. That is the issue, but those are a bit expensive for butchery.

I have looked at the cheap DRO units, but there simply isn't the space on the Taig to fit them.

Howard Lewis08/05/2021 14:47:15
4866 forum posts
12 photos

Some time ago, MEW compared digital callipers ranging in price from <£10 to £80+

The M & W model at just under £25 did very well. It retains the Zero, is repeatable, and gives good battery life.

It does this in practice, just as the review found.

Howard

Gary Wooding08/05/2021 15:31:50
836 forum posts
213 photos
Posted by Howard Lewis on 08/05/2021 14:47:15:

Some time ago, MEW compared digital callipers ranging in price from <£10 to £80+

The M & W model at just under £25 did very well. It retains the Zero, is repeatable, and gives good battery life.

It does this in practice, just as the review found.

Howard

I wouldn't buy another M&W calliper ever again. I bought one less than 3 years ago. It was used possibly 5 or 6 times a week, certainly no more, and it just stopped working, showing 5.04 instead of 0.00 when returned to zero. A big waste of money in my opinion..

Dr. MC Black08/05/2021 17:37:20
228 forum posts
1 photos

I hope that Mr. Cook will write up his modifications to his Taig Lathe and make it available to the whole Taig community. Submit, perhaps, to Model Engineers' Workshop?

MC

bernard towers08/05/2021 18:33:44
188 forum posts
71 photos

good luck with butchering a calliper they are B hard. Horizontal scale on my peatol has been in use for at least 10 years and they come with the holes in them Bonus!!!

Ady108/05/2021 18:48:38
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4442 forum posts
693 photos

I just dug my old one out and it doesn't reset when powered off

It looks the same as this one

If you have one the same that resets then they must have changed the internal firmware

edit: I also just noticed that it switches itself on if you move the jaws

Edited By Ady1 on 08/05/2021 18:50:29

Dave Halford08/05/2021 18:48:52
1507 forum posts
16 photos

my Aldi £8 quid Workzone one holds the memory, and also eats batteries to achieve it.

Peter Cook 609/05/2021 12:10:42
124 forum posts
38 photos

Thanks folks, useful as usual - I will probably splash out another £10 on one of the suggestions and see what I get.

Dave - I suspect that the battery life issue is the reason that many cheap ones now don't retain zero - and in reality few people who buy cheap callipers care about zero retention. They do care that the ones that arrive when purchased work, and the ones that retain zero may very well go flat in storage/transit.

Bernard - the one I have successfully butchered was definitely not that hard. Cut the jaws off with a hacksaw no problem.

Ady1 interestingly the pictures on the one you link to show a 0.01mm resolution, but the writeup only claims 0.1 resolution - more sharp practice on E-bay?

MC - perhaps when it stops being a project and turns back into a lathe again I might do so. Long way to go however.

Gary - I had that problem with my now butchered calliper - it kept resetting to 5.04mm at zero. A new battery fixed it. 

Edited By Peter Cook 6 on 09/05/2021 12:13:14

Dr. MC Black09/05/2021 12:18:42
228 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Peter Cook 6 on 09/05/2021 12:10:42:

Ady1 interestingly the pictures on the one you link to show a 0.01mm resolution, but the writeup only claims 0.1 resolution - more sharp practice on E-bay?

Edited By Peter Cook 6 on 09/05/2021 12:13:14

There's a huge difference between Precision and Accuracy!

MC

mechman4809/05/2021 12:30:12
avatar
2914 forum posts
454 photos
Posted by Ady1 on 08/05/2021 13:09:55:

If you're making a DRO then those cheap DROs are vastly superior and far more user friendly

Calipers aren't really designed for constant tracking, something you will realise once you try a "proper" unit

I have a similar set on my mill X & Y axis from another well used model engineering supplier; they power off automatically & retain the last reading when switched on, never had any probs to date, just replaced batteries last month both of which have been in use since last July/Aug.

George.

Howard Lewis09/05/2021 12:40:20
4866 forum posts
12 photos

Today, Sunday 9th May, LIDL are offering 150 mm digital callipers for £9.99.

For rough work I still use mine, from years ago, despite the thumbwheel having broken off, and needing an O ring to hold the battery cover in place.

If a digital calliper, or DRO, gives odd readings, removing the battery for a minute, (Advised in the leaflet that comes with the calliper ) or cleaning the scale usually cures the problem, in my experience.

Howard

James Alford10/05/2021 07:30:14
433 forum posts
77 photos

"If a digital calliper, or DRO, gives odd readings, removing the battery for a minute, (Advised in the leaflet that comes with the calliper ) or cleaning the scale usually cures the problem, in my experience."

Mine have a habit of randomly deciding to display what appears to be half of the actual measurement and need the battery taking out regularly. It is really irritating.

JAmes.

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