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There are many digital scales that provide digital output, eg "scientific" scales that have the old serial port interface for a printer. That interface is what is currently used by the Autotrickler and Autothrower which are attached to (eg) an A&D FX120i.

I've never looked for a scale with digital output priced lower than the FX120i (ie, $5XX depending on Canadian exchange rate) because all of those scales would use strain gauges which are susceptible to RF noise. Flutter, loss of zero, and lack of repeatabilty are the result regardless of how small an increment they "read" to.

The FX120i and the Autotrickler are currently pretty much the gold standard for +/-1 particle repeatable precision. If you find a way to match that at lower cost, by all means let us know ;)
 

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Clearly, you can’t handle the truth.
Perhaps searching the forum for the topic first would enlighten you.
The fact is, cheap electronic scales are not repeatable. Even the heart of a $5000 Prometheus is a beam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Clearly, you can’t handle the truth.
Perhaps searching the forum for the topic first would enlighten you.
The fact is, cheap electronic scales are not repeatable. Even the heart of a $5000 Prometheus is a beam.
Clearly, you are not an engineer. Define "repeatable." It's not binary, digital scales across the spectrum are repeatable to some degree. You select a scale based on requirements for the job at hand and appropriate budget.

My personal experience with inexpensive digital scales has proven that they are adequately repeatable, as verified during calibration exercise. Both scales I have that are appropriate for reloading purposes (I have a couple of other, larger digital scales) have proven repeatable to within the display resolution, based on standard (calibration) weights that I employ.

Have you tried this? Why are you apparently convinced you need spend $500+ for a reloading scale?
 

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If you think you need a $500+ scale with "+/-1 particle repeatable precision" for reloading purposes, then you are an idiot.
For what I am using them for, long range (600-2200 yards) rifle ammo, they are money well spent.

For bulk handgun ammo, overkill for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
For what I am using them for, long range (600-2200 yards) rifle ammo, they are money well spent.

For bulk handgun ammo, overkill for sure.
I've done a lot of high power rifle competition, all when I had only my Lyman beam scale, and I got superb results. What kind of precision are you going for with the scale?
 

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What kind of precision are you going for with the scale?
Single kernel. My Prometheus and Fx-120i scales show this.

For High Power with a large 2 MOA sized 10 ring, a beam scale will work perfectly fine. But when the targets get smaller and further, consistency matters much more. But none of that matters if you blow the wind call.
 

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Hello Madisonian,

I read your post #1 with interest yesterday but was unable to reply with a question until today.

You’ve since deleted it. I only recall the basic flavor of that post, and I thank you for it.

I recall being interested in learning more about what you discussed, but there were no links to suitable items, only a mention of something called an “AWS(?) digital pocket scale” being available on Amazon for roughly the price of two hamburgers at a fast-food restaurant. I’m intrigued.

I went on Amazon today and saw MANY different models of AWS branded scales, and since I’ve no personal experience with any brands or models of inexpensive but decent digital scales, could you please post a link to one or some of these < $15 scales that you’ve had a good personal experience with?

I too am an Engineer (after working for a living in the Navy, I put the GI Bill to good use) and I understand the difference between Metrology grade test and measurement equipment and inexpensive measurement tools that are “good enough for certain jobs”, and for the price of a few cold beers I’d like to have one of the latter for myself.

TIA, and thanks for the original post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Bg,

Thanks for your nice reply. I found that digital scales are the third ail of reloading discussions, like oil threads on motorcycle and performance car forums.

It turns out that "AWS" brad doesn't matter, these scales are made in huge volumes by probably a small number of manufacturers. Private labels and options are apparently available, too. You can buy one on eBay from a U.S. based seller for $8 with free shipping. Here's an example:

Digital Scale 1000g x 0.1g Jewelry Gram Silver Gold Coin Pocket Size Herb Grain

611904


If you want a shooting brand name, a nice little powder tray, and a calibration weight, you can buy the RCBS, $35 list, $45 street price(!):

611903


Or, you can get the eBay one with the weight for $12.50. Unfortunately, the nifty powder tray is kinda pricey, but most who have been reloading for any length of time will likely have one or more kicking around.

Note, I'm not using this to meter out each round, I use it to set up my powder measures.

Cheers,

jv
 

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I have always used a balance beam scale with check weights. When I first used my balance beam scale, I placed the scale on my level workbench, then zeroed the scale. Next I measured the weight of a coin, a dime, and took this to my local pharmacy and asked if they could weigh my dime in grains.....which they did. I then compared this to my balance beam scale, and fortunately it was same weight. I think it is important to validate a scale with a better scale if at all possible, so you don't have to worry when measuring maximum powder charge weights for full power loads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have "check weights" which came with my Cabela's XT-1500 scale. My Cabela's and my cheap digital scales always read these the same, and accurately.

The coin things is a good idea. They are remarkably consistent. If you get a new dime, a curpo-nickel dime, as uncirculated as possible, and keep if clean and free of fingerprints (which can cause corrosion), you have a good check weight that is almost exactly 35 grains - 35.000589, to be exact. So, 35.0 grains on the typical, sub-$500 digital scale. The price of this check weight is only 10¢. :) The only issue is that your scale's calibration procedure likely wants a particular weight, like 100 grams. Fortunately, this can be done with coins, to, albeit a bit clumsily, since a nickel is exactly 5 grams - reported as 5.000 grams. 20 of these is 100 grams. But, better to get a 100 gram check weight on eBay for $5.
 

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I am not an engineer but would make a single suggestion... whether you buy cheap scales or expensive lab quality scales.


Buy good check/test weights

As important as a good scale is a good set of check weights. I opted to go with a pharmaceutical set in milligrams... and I calibrate at the powder charge weight I intend to load that session. I figure there is no point in calibrating to a 250 or 500 grain weight when I am weighing for 5 grains... All the articles I have read say scales are not consistent across all ranges. So setting up at a close to use range is optimal.

A simple conversion to milligrams and I'm calibrating at the actual needed weight. For light 45acp target loads I use 4gr. clays and set up with 260 mg of check weights (which is 4.01gr.) I have a same for my .270, .223 load and 9mm loads. I do this before each session - it only takes about 30 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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So, you are dispensing every charge that way?
Yes you can set it to auto dispense. And every time you replace the tray back on the scale it will dispense the same amount until you cancel it. I think that they describe this in the description. It works really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes you can set it to auto dispense. And every time you replace the tray back on the scale it will dispense the same amount until you cancel it. I think that they describe this in the description. It works really well.
Still seems kinda slow, but I can see it for long rifle rifle cartridges.
 

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I've done a lot of high power rifle competition, all when I had only my Lyman beam scale, and I got superb results. What kind of precision are you going for with the scale?
Precisely! Now you tout the beam?
The funny thing is that most people check their cheap digitals with a beam.
Temperature differences, battery state, power supply line interference, fluorescent influence, on and on are the reasons that a $100 beam with outperform a cheap digital scale.
Do a quick search for a comparison, set forth by Jmorris on this forum, with side by side digitals and their tendency to “wander”. It will open your eyes.
 
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