Author Topic: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !  (Read 607 times)

Offline awemawson

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I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« on: June 08, 2021, 12:22:50 PM »
Recently I pulled two rather nice Mitutoyo Digital dial gauges out of the cupboard where they've been stored for several year (without batteries) and neither would work - I could get no life out of them.

A cheap Chinese digital Depth Gauge that I've had for years in the middle of being used, just packed up - no amount of poking and prodding would get it going again, so I replaced it with a visually identical part, but this time originally sourced from RS. Worked splendidly, but then one day turning it on it would (and still does) show an "E   3" error - it's sealed and I can't get in to look at anything.

So - that's FOUR items recently so this time I decided to buy a "MECHANICAL DIGITAL" depth gauge - it least it's battery can't go flat as there isn't one and it cant't display error messages !

. . .so rather disillusioned here  :bang:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline AdeV

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2021, 02:39:54 PM »
I've also given up on digital measuring devices, for the exact same reason - either the batteries don't last more than a few weeks, or they just refuse to work properly (if at all)...

I bought a £30 Chinesium dial caliper on eBay a couple of years ago, specifically because it measured 0.01mm, with each mm being a full rotation of the dial (instead of half, like most of them are) - and I was amazed by its accuracy; it basically agrees with a micrometer (to the nearest 0.01mm obviously), pretty much over its whole range. I'm being very careful not to drop it...
Cheers!
Ade.
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Location: Wallasey, Merseyside. A long way from anywhere.
Or: Zhengzhou, China. An even longer way from anywhere...
Skype: adev73

Offline pycoed

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2021, 05:34:48 AM »
Another one here that has given up on them: last year whilst our neighbour was baling hay in one of our fields, his NH baler started making noises. On investigation it needed a nylon top hat bush for one of the cross feed arms that transfer hay to the chamber. No problem, I'll make one out of some 3" nylatron bar I had knocking about. Took some measurements with an ALDI special ( no need for the Mitutoyo good one eh?), jotted them down  & turned up the bush. It didn't fit  :bang:, the caliper had somehow changed it's zero by ~1/8" so the bush was too small. When I checked the caliper, it would do the same thing time after time, so promising retribution, I hurriedly (it does rain a bit in Wales, especially with hay on the ground) made another bush which saved the day. Neighbour was quite impressed when I placed the offending calipers carefully on the anvil & did a Basil Fawlty with the short sledge :D :D

Offline mattinker

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2021, 09:38:23 AM »
I only use digital measuring equipment when I have too! I now have a 150mm left-handed vernier caliper that lives in the breast pocket of my bib and brace! Happy days!

Cheers, Matthew

Offline awemawson

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2021, 09:41:47 AM »
Matthew, like you I am left handed, and I got myself a 12" left handed 'digital vernier' some while ago thinking it to be a 'good idea'

I'm everlastingly picking up the blooming thing the wrong way round as I'm so indoctrinated into the ways of a right handed world !

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Lew_Merrick_PE

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2021, 10:27:36 AM »
I am not disputing what has been said. but Iremove the batteries from all my "electronic devices" when they are not being used.  My 6 inch electronic calipers were bought in the late-1980's.  My electronic "angular tilt gauge" is nearly 30 years old.  Etc.  --  Lew

Offline awemawson

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2021, 11:12:59 AM »
Lew so do I, and virtually all my older electronic measuring kit is working fine. I'm afraid the modern (Chinese?) stuff doesn't seem to last any time at all

(The exceptions are those two Mitutoyo gauges that I bought second hand at a Model Engineer exhibition at least 25 years ago!)

Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline mattinker

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2021, 11:34:39 AM »
Matthew, like you I am left handed, and I got myself a 12" left handed 'digital vernier' some while ago thinking it to be a 'good idea'

I'm everlastingly picking up the blooming thing the wrong way round as I'm so indoctrinated into the ways of a right handed world !
Andrew, I remembered your left handed! That's why I mentioned it. I have two vernier calipers, one is left-handed and the other is right-handed, I recognise them easily from a distance and am now used to holding them the other way round! I'm looking for a 100mm/4" left-handed vernier caliper, which would fit into my pocket easier!

Cheers, Matthew

Offline efrench

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2021, 01:47:26 PM »
I have a couple of cheap Shahe dro's on my rose engine.  One of them jumps 5mm occasionally, usually just when I need to know when I'm at the bottom of a bore.  The other either reads 138,234 or 0, I'm never sure which is correct :zap:

Offline WeldingRod

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2021, 03:40:46 PM »
Solar Mitutoyo calipers solve these problems ;-)

Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk


Offline philf

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2021, 04:12:51 PM »
I too have had failures with Mitutoyo digital calipers. The latest to die was a 300mm. My first 150mm Mitutoyo cost me about £90 a long time ago. I took it in to work to test in our standards department. It was atrocious! Typically 0.06mm adrift from the grade 1 slip gauges. Mitutoyo replaced it but without an apology. I only use them for rough measurements when I may be working to >0.1mm.

Here are my trusted digital instruments and they don't need batteries:



Phil Fern
Location: Marple, Cheshire

Offline awemawson

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2021, 04:13:07 PM »
But how do I measure the size of a Black Cat in a Coal Cellar with Solar Calipers  :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline awemawson

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2021, 04:17:41 PM »
I have to say that the Mitutoyo 'digital vernier' that sits on my workshop desk most of the time never ceases to amaze me how close it is against gauge blocks, and the poor thing gets the occasional bit of rough handling  by accident.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Lew_Merrick_PE

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2021, 06:50:33 PM »
Lew so do I, and virtually all my older electronic measuring kit is working fine. I'm afraid the modern (Chinese?) stuff doesn't seem to last any time at all
Hi Andrew  --  I have a pair of "Harbor Freight Chinese electronic calipers from the late-1990's that still work reasonably well (i.e. +/-.001 inch) against my (1972) gauge block set.  --  Lew

Offline hanermo

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2021, 06:39:23 PM »
Somewhat against the thread ..
I have a big collection of Very Good import chinesium calipers and digitals mics, both for my own use and for limited resale.

I bought 5 different brands to test, as 1" digital mics, and found a really good brand I was happy with.

Change the batteries about 1 / year on about 8 of, that I use myself.
Digital 1 micron mics to 6", plus 2 sets of 100 and 150 and 200 mm digital calipers.

The digital mics are accurate to as good as japanese mitutoyos, about 1-2 microns, based on multiple blind tests with gage pins.

The calipers are about as good as the best Mitutoyos, or similar US federal or Mahr stuff.
About +/- 0.01 mm throughout the range.

I buy the 2032 batteries in sets of 20 and they last me a few years.

The digital mics are much faster and more accurate than the traditional mechanical ones, have 2 sets of.

Generally, the digital mics are about +/-1 unit or 1 micron off, at most, and almost always trending only in one direction.
Upwards, iirc.



Offline awemawson

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2021, 01:35:11 AM »
Surprisingly my issue has never been accuracy, the ones Iíve had over the years have never deviated from my gauge blocks by anything significant in a home workshop. Itís that some have just stopped working for no apparent reason. And yes I always remove batteries if they are to be unused for more than a few days.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Muzzerboy

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2021, 10:17:55 AM »
A lot of the digital callipers take the LR44-sized button cells but are actually intended to take the SR44 cells. SR cells are silver rather than lithium chemistry and have a (slightly) higher voltage as well as less of a fall off as the state of charge drops. Consequently they seem to last a fair bit longer. That's probably not a complete explanation for the poor battery life some have found but it is certainly one factor. They cost a bit more than LR44 (~£1 ea) but avoid the ballache of endlessly changing batteries.

I have a Mastercraft (Chinesium) 200mm as my default that lasts several years between SR44 batteries and a genuine Mitutoyo that seems to last over a year. The Shahe 300mm is a nice device and was good value but seems to eat CR2032 batteries. Luckily you can get those at places like Aldi / Lidl / Pound shops etc.

Offline krv3000

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Re: I'm Fed Up with Electronic Measuring Gauges !
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2021, 12:31:02 PM »
hi just my bit as sum of you no I fix D.T.I's digital and analog the conmen problem with digital stuff is damp even if you think its safe in a cuberd in your home damp will get in and this oxidizes contacts on the inside of the movement sometimes they can be rescued and summits not with digital stuff    all ways remove the battery  all ways use good quality battery's    and get sum packets of silica crystals that absorb the damp and keep them in their boxes  on a open shelf  to let the air get at them I have just dune 4 digital gages the chap told me they are  all ways  kept in a cuberd  in the home  the problem was the cubered was the airing  cuberd  that's the cuberd his wife puts all the freshly washed linen  IE bed sheets and bathe towels witch in sum cases may not have bin completely dry so he was keeping them in a damp environment