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  #1  
Old 10-24-2017, 6:22 AM
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Default My Review of the RCBS ChargeMaster Lite Powder Dispenser.

https://youtu.be/j9we46ejU9M


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Last edited by jandmtv; 10-24-2017 at 6:54 AM..
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2017, 7:40 AM
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I’m really liking mine. So far, maybe 500 charges thrown and not one single over or under throw. Unbelievable.
I’m only doing handgun charges, and charge weights below 5 grains are pretty slow, taking up to a full minute. That’s not a problem for me in the application I’m using it for since I’m performng other operations on the cartridge during that period anyway.
I really like the simplicity. No programming or memory banks ( you are correct— there aren’t any) to dink with. It just works.
Once calibrated and you start throwing charges, the unit re-zeros the pan each time. If it’s drafty, it will have difficulty doing that as you noticed.
The powder drain chute can be difficult to clear completely. Not a problem if you only use one powder. I drain and brush it out as best I can, then put a trash cup under the drain and blow through the chute to get the last bits out of the tube and drain.
I’m in agreement with you that this unit is superior to the 1500, and it’s CHEAPER! I’m seeing it frequently for about $210

Last edited by wbunning; 10-24-2017 at 7:42 AM..
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Old 10-24-2017, 4:44 PM
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I got one a few months ago. Love it wish I had spent the money a long time ago.
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Old 10-24-2017, 5:36 PM
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nice review jandmtv!
Can't wait to get mine.
anyone check out the Lyman Gen6? it looks much nicer and about the same price.

I'm seeing better reviews on the Chargemaster lite compared to the LymanG6. one youtube video shows how easy it is to take apart the Lyman for cleaning.

I may purchase another Chargemaster Lite for different powder. Will wait 'til there's a good deal
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Old 10-24-2017, 6:07 PM
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Nice review. I canít wait to get mine. It was suppose to be here today but fedex messed up somehow. I got mine for 189 shipped.
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Old 10-24-2017, 6:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DDRH View Post
nice review jandmtv!
Can't wait to get mine.
anyone check out the Lyman Gen6? it looks much nicer and about the same price.

I'm seeing better reviews on the Chargemaster lite compared to the LymanG6. one youtube video shows how easy it is to take apart the Lyman for cleaning.

I may purchase another Chargemaster Lite for different powder. Will wait 'til there's a good deal
Cleaning it looks like a pain. The rcbs is much easier it seems
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2017, 8:18 PM
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Steer clear of the Lyman and Hornady units. Nothing but problems. I returned them within a week. Even after multiple days of letting them warm up they were all over the place. The scale on the Lite is extremely stable. Remember that you don’t have to turn it off. You get the best results always leaving it on. The internals being at a steady warmed up temp is a good thing.
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Old 10-24-2017, 9:56 PM
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Who’s going to post a 20 throw comparison, CM lite then directly measured on sartorious after? Till I see that, I’ll sheeple right along with the CM 1500.
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Old 10-25-2017, 4:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
Whoís going to post a 20 throw comparison, CM lite then directly measured on sartorious after? Till I see that, Iíll sheeple right along with the CM 1500.
That and the guy using it in 100˚ heat, I'm surprised the scale worked at all. My gem pro 500 refuses to work above 90˚ drifts very bad. But I agree. showing that the dispenser can hit a number don't mean a damn thing if that number is not correct. You have to verify it to a known standard.
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Old 10-25-2017, 8:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
But I agree. showing that the dispenser can hit a number don't mean a damn thing if that number is not correct. You have to verify it to a known standard.
I would disagree, in part, with that. While it is true that most of our consumer-grade scales and balances are not likely to be accurate, precision is what I really need in reloading. That is, the dispenser/scale needs to give us the same charge we specify, every time. For example, if we come up with a well performing round using what the scale tells us is 5.1 grains of Bullseye giving a 900 fps velocity time after time, then it is not important whether that charge is really 4.95 or 5.20 grains, only that it drops the exact same amount today as it did yesterday when we told it 5.1. Precision is more important to me.

One can acquire a set of check weights to get a better idea of how accurate your scale is, and whether it is giving you the same results every time.

Admittedly, I’ve been remiss in checking my new CM Lite after the first couple of uses, but I did check it with 100, 500 and 1000 mg weights. The scale didn’t register exactly the stated weights in each case, but it gave the very similar results two days in a row. Even at that, only once did it show being .01 gram off. Far superior to my ability to read a beam balance given crappy eyes, parallax, etc.

EDIT: So.. this morning I did another test. After leaving the unit turned on for 30 minutes, I calibrated the unit. Then checked it's measurements of 50, 100, 200, and 500 MILLIGRAM check weights from my set, as well as a 1-gram weight. The CM Lite indicated those amounts exactly, but the scale only reads to .01 gram, so there could still be some error. Then I waited an hour and checked again. Still dead-the-heck on. Then after another hour re-checked once more and still dead on with the same check weights. Good enough for me. It was actually better performance than the first time I checked when the 500 mg weight indicated 0.49 grams. All the rest were right on that day.

Last edited by wbunning; 10-25-2017 at 12:16 PM..
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2017, 9:46 AM
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Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
That and the guy using it in 100˚ heat, I'm surprised the scale worked at all. My gem pro 500 refuses to work above 90˚ drifts very bad. But I agree. showing that the dispenser can hit a number don't mean a damn thing if that number is not correct. You have to verify it to a known standard.
Doesn't have to hit the number dead on, and really, the variability can of course be non-zero.

What is key is to measure that target so as to understand the variability. The data as pulled from the CM 1500 is actually pretty impressive. And yet there are still people on this forum who do not trust it (just not good enough).

For those people, CM lite has no hope. But i want to know how that variability compares to the 1500. Same? I'll give it a shot. Worse? well, how much worse? if the CM 1500 is .75 grains variable on the sartorious (this is fake data, just an illustration), and the CM lite is 1.2 grains variable, well, I probably don't care even though it's almost twice as bad as the CM 1500.

On the other hand, some folks here said the CM lite takes 30-60 seconds to throw. That kinda sucks, I'd be likely to save up an extra $75 for hte 1500 based on that alone....
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:13 AM
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But can't you reprogram it to throw faster like the CM1500?
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:13 AM
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But can't you reprogram it to throw faster like the CM1500?
It does it automatically with heavier charges. It will slow way down when throwing under 5 g charges, but speeds itself up considerably for a bigger charge. The unit seems to have better control of the tube than the 1500, and the re-designed part doesn't drip. It is able to slow down quickly when approaching the target weight without extra bits falling out the end.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:54 AM
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On the other hand, some folks here said the CM lite takes 30-60 seconds to throw. That kinda sucks, I'd be likely to save up an extra $75 for hte 1500 based on that alone....
Mine DOES take up to 60 seconds on small charges, under 5 grains. But so did my 1500. They both seem to be in trickle mode at that level. And, the Lite has yet to throw an under or over charge. Heavier charges with the lite seem to be about the same as my 1500, but I can't really compare as the 1500 is gonzo.

I think that if one is charging a full tray-load before seating, then waiting 30 seconds could be a bit exasperating with the lite. For me, though, I charge, then finish the cartridge before I charge the next one so that next pan is ready by then. I really don't lose any time. I guess one needs to evaluate their process and, as always, follow their instinct on what would work best.

The 1500 also had the advantage of disconnecting from the hopper to use as a stand alone balance. You can use the Lite as just a balance, but the dispenser tube tends to get in the way.

I wonder how many of the internal parts are common to both units. That would be good to know.
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2017, 12:24 PM
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I wonder how many of the internal parts are common to both units. That would be good to know.
totally agreed, but I'd be tight lipped about it if I were RCBS, so I won't hold my breath.

I'd be just as happy with the Sartorius comparison.
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  #16  
Old 10-25-2017, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
That and the guy using it in 100˚ heat, I'm surprised the scale worked at all. My gem pro 500 refuses to work above 90˚ drifts very bad. But I agree. showing that the dispenser can hit a number don't mean a damn thing if that number is not correct. You have to verify it to a known standard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wbunning View Post
I would disagree, in part, with that. While it is true that most of our consumer-grade scales and balances are not likely to be accurate, precision is what I really need in reloading. That is, the dispenser/scale needs to give us the same charge we specify, every time. For example, if we come up with a well performing round using what the scale tells us is 5.1 grains of Bullseye giving a 900 fps velocity time after time, then it is not important whether that charge is really 4.95 or 5.20 grains, only that it drops the exact same amount today as it did yesterday when we told it 5.1. Precision is more important to me.

One can acquire a set of check weights to get a better idea of how accurate your scale is, and whether it is giving you the same results every time.

Admittedly, I’ve been remiss in checking my new CM Lite after the first couple of uses, but I did check it with 100, 500 and 1000 mg weights. The scale didn’t register exactly the stated weights in each case, but it gave the very similar results two days in a row. Far superior to my ability to read a beam balance given crappy eyes, parallax, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
Doesn't have to hit the number dead on, and really, the variability can of course be non-zero.

What is key is to measure that target so as to understand the variability. The data as pulled from the CM 1500 is actually pretty impressive. And yet there are still people on this forum who do not trust it (just not good enough).

For those people, CM lite has no hope. But i want to know how that variability compares to the 1500. Same? I'll give it a shot. Worse? well, how much worse? if the CM 1500 is .75 grains variable on the sartorious (this is fake data, just an illustration), and the CM lite is 1.2 grains variable, well, I probably don't care even though it's almost twice as bad as the CM 1500.

On the other hand, some folks here said the CM lite takes 30-60 seconds to throw. That kinda sucks, I'd be likely to save up an extra $75 for hte 1500 based on that alone....
kcstott's main concern is accuracy, the extent to which a given measurement agrees with the standard value for that measurement.

wbunning and Whiterabbit's main concern is repeatability, the ability to display the same value when a weight is placed on a scale more than one time.

I think repeatability is more important in weighing powder charges, but the most straightforward way to confirm repeatability is to verify multiple measurements against a known standard.

Just because the dispenser displays the same number each time does not mean the same weight of powder is actually dispensed each time.

There will be random error where the dispenser throws nominally 40.0 grain charges as:
[39.9 40.1 39.8 40.0 40.2 39.9 40.1] and so on, where mean value is still 40.0.
The ES is 0.4, SD is 0.131.

There will be systematic error where a dispenser throws nominally 40.0 grain charges as:
[40.2 40.4 40.1 40.3 40.5 40.2 40.4] and so on, where the mean value is actually 40.3.
The ES is 0.4, SD is 0.131, same as the first data set.

To really compare the accuracy/precision between dispensers, one can't just rely on what value is displayed on each dispenser.

A good test would be this:
  1. While the ambient temperature is low, calibrate and zero/tare each dispenser.
  2. Dispense from each machine a sample of 10 charges, for example 40.0 grains of H4350.
  3. Weigh each charge on a scale that is capable of 1 order of magnitude higher precision than that of the dispensers. Preferably a magnetic force restoration sensor-based scale, e.g. A&D FX-120i, OHAUS Explorer, Sartorius Entris)
  4. Record the weight values and note the variations (random error and systematic error)
  5. Raise the ambient temperature, and without recalibrating the dispensers, dispense samples of the same nominal weight.
  6. Weigh each charge from the second sets of samples and note the variations (random error and systematic error)
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Old 10-25-2017, 12:45 PM
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Ooh, and then:

7. Recalibrate each dispenser at the higher ambient temperature and repeat.
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Old 10-25-2017, 12:48 PM
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I asked for 20 drops. Good enough for me.
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Old 10-25-2017, 12:48 PM
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The first day I got the lite and threw 30 charged, only 1 went over by .1gr. The rest of the 29 were checked on my gem pro and they all came in between 42.48-42.52. That’s plenty accurate if you ask me.
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Old 10-25-2017, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jandmtv View Post
The first day I got the lite and threw 30 charged, only 1 went over by .1gr. The rest of the 29 were checked on my gem pro and they all came in between 42.48-42.52. That’s plenty accurate if you ask me.
Ideally, you need to check an instrument under test against another instrument that has been calibrated. This instrument should have a level of accuracy/precision of at least double that of the instrument under test (i.e. readable to 0.05 grain), and better yet would be one order of magnitude higher (i.e. readable to 0.01 grain).

Also, the Gempro scales have a tendency to drift and jump.

I will weigh a charge on my Gempro 250, it will read 42.50. I will remove and replace the pan, and it will then read 42.52. I will remove/replace again and the new reading might be 42.48

So I would conclude that the reading can only be trusted within 0.04 grains.

What really annoys me is that I will weigh the exact same charge later on the Gempro and it will read 42.70 or something.

Last edited by jimmykan; 10-25-2017 at 1:05 PM.. Reason: You get me?
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Old 10-25-2017, 1:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmykan View Post
Ideally, you need to check an instrument under test against another instrument that has been calibrated. This instrument should have a level of accuracy/precision of at least double that of the instrument under test (i.e. readable to 0.05 grain), and better yet would be one order of magnitude higher (i.e. readable to 0.01 grain).

Also, the Gempro scales have a tendency to drift and jump.

I will weigh a charge on my Gempro 250, it will read 42.50. I will remove and replace the pan, and it will then read 42.52. I will remove/replace again and the new reading might be 42.48

So I would conclude that the reading can only be trusted within 0.04 grains.

What really annoys me is that I will weigh the exact same charge later on the Gempro and it will read 42.70 or something.
My GemPro didnít have that drifting problem. It was plugged into a monster cable power line conditioner and I installed a ferrite core on the power cable. Removing the pan and replacing it multiple times would yeild the same reading. I also never power them off. I leave all my scales plugged in and powered on at all times.
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Old 10-25-2017, 1:13 PM
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I’ll simply say I agree with Jimmykan and not retype nearly everything he posted.

My goal in measuring powder for my match rifle loads is as follows.

1. I want to drop a charge and have it the same or within .1 gr as the rest of the loads
2. I want to know exactly what the number on my scale represents traceable to a known NIST certified standard
3. I want my loads today to be the same as the ones I loaded last month. And the same as the ones I’ll load next month.

The only way to do this is to know for sure what your scales accuracy and repeatability is. The only way to do that is with a NIST certified mass.
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Old 10-25-2017, 4:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmykan View Post
Ideally, you need to check an instrument under test against another instrument that has been calibrated. This instrument should have a level of accuracy/precision of at least double that of the instrument under test (i.e. readable to 0.05 grain), and better yet would be one order of magnitude higher (i.e. readable to 0.01 grain).

Also, the Gempro scales have a tendency to drift and jump.

I will weigh a charge on my Gempro 250, it will read 42.50. I will remove and replace the pan, and it will then read 42.52. I will remove/replace again and the new reading might be 42.48

So I would conclude that the reading can only be trusted within 0.04 grains.
.
And the manufacturer advertises it as such. If you need better, you have to get a scale costing five times more. A scale accurate within half a tenth of a grain for $150 is a bargain. And you really don't need more accuracy for reloading.
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Last edited by J-cat; 10-25-2017 at 4:33 PM..
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Old 10-25-2017, 5:06 PM
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If all you are after is 1/10th grain accuracy, the Lite is more than capable. Using the same calibration weights before each loading session I’ll pretty much guarantee that this months charges match last months. Like I said. The 29 charges the lite threw that I checked on the gem pro were within .04gr of each other. That’s impressive for a dispenser scale combo costing $200 and more than accurate enough for loading precision ammo.
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Old 10-25-2017, 6:28 PM
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I just got mine in today. Iím gonna mess around with it later tonight. Thanks for the review OP. You did a great service for those who are interested in buy the cm lite. Iíll report back with what I come up with.
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Old 10-25-2017, 9:10 PM
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I just got mine in today. Iím gonna mess around with it later tonight. Thanks for the review OP. You did a great service for those who are interested in buy the cm lite. Iíll report back with what I come up with.
Plug it in, turn it on, calibrate and leave it alone till tomorrow. Then calibrate again tomorrow and use.
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Old 10-25-2017, 9:20 PM
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Plug it in, turn it on, calibrate and leave it alone till tomorrow. Then calibrate again tomorrow and use.


Itís been plugged in for the last hour and a half. By the time I get to it, itíll be plugged in for 4 hours. I think Iím too excited to wait until tomorrow to play with it.
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Old 10-25-2017, 10:31 PM
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Itís been plugged in for the last hour and a half. By the time I get to it, itíll be plugged in for 4 hours. I think Iím too excited to wait until tomorrow to play with it.
4 hours is good. Calibrate it and go to town. Just donít turn it off overnight/ever. Unit always being on will be much more stable.
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Old 10-26-2017, 8:35 PM
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So I got to playing around with the cm and itís pretty nice. Itís quiet, compact, and easy to use. I only had about 10 charges of reloader 16 through it and it was spot on at 42.5 grains every time. To dispense 42.5 grains took an average of 30 seconds. It would start of nice and fast, but once it got to trickling the last .3 it slowed way down. Thatís where all of the time goes is to trickle. This is my first auto dispenser, so Iím not sure if thatís the norm or not. Anyways I plan to finish off the round while itís trickling.
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Old 10-26-2017, 9:35 PM
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I'll have to see one of these in use before I part with my money.

A coaxial press and LE Wilson tools and Dies come first.
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  #31  
Old 10-26-2017, 10:13 PM
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67Cuda 67Cuda is offline
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Originally Posted by jandmtv View Post
4 hours is good. Calibrate it and go to town. Just don’t turn it off overnight/ever. Unit always being on will be much more stable.
I'm just reading this post and I'm curious as to what the manufacture recommends?
I can see warming the unit up prior to use, but to keep it on for periods of time, for ever as suggested, I find a little too much.
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  #32  
Old 10-29-2017, 6:53 PM
boyguan boyguan is offline
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So I got mine today. I opened it up and it smells like burnt electronics. Turned it on and seems to be fine

Set up calibration and when I put the dust cover in it I notice the reading changing. Same when I remove it. It does eventually get back to 0. It almost seems like it pulls a vacuum
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Old 10-29-2017, 7:00 PM
Whiterabbit Whiterabbit is offline
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Normal. you have micro-air currents in your shop. That's one reason for the cover. You probably see it "pretty uniform" with the cover off, and "pretty uniform" with the cover on. Just that there's a shift of 0.1 or 0.2 grains whether you use the cover off or on. Right?
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  #34  
Old 10-29-2017, 7:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 67Cuda View Post
I'm just reading this post and I'm curious as to what the manufacture recommends?
I can see warming the unit up prior to use, but to keep it on for periods of time, for ever as suggested, I find a little too much.
My last chargemaster I left on for over 3 years. Never an issue. Sold it after when I needed cash. Electronics will fail sooner with more power cycles than if left on. Temp rise and cool down is the enemy with electronics. Labs that have precision balanced always leave them powered on also. Iíve asked a few family members who work in a blood lab.
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Old 10-29-2017, 7:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
Normal. you have micro-air currents in your shop. That's one reason for the cover. You probably see it "pretty uniform" with the cover off, and "pretty uniform" with the cover on. Just that there's a shift of 0.1 or 0.2 grains whether you use the cover off or on. Right?
^^ pretty much my case. The pan re-zeroes automatically each time, but if there are air currents, you sneeze or fart, Hillary decides to run again, etc I have to give it a moment. After all I said in previous posts, I finally had an overcharge by 0.1 gn today. First in about 700 throws. I’m not complaining. This unit is plenty respectable enough for me, being a short range handgun shooter.
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  #36  
Old 10-29-2017, 7:27 PM
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Originally Posted by boyguan View Post
So I got mine today. I opened it up and it smells like burnt electronics. Turned it on and seems to be fine

Set up calibration and when I put the dust cover in it I notice the reading changing. Same when I remove it. It does eventually get back to 0. It almost seems like it pulls a vacuum
Allow it to warm up for at least a few hours. It will get more stable. But I always load with the cover off. No point in putting the cover on andnoff after each dump.
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  #37  
Old 10-30-2017, 9:36 AM
boyguan boyguan is offline
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Anyone notice it has a burnt smell when they open it or is it just me?
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  #38  
Old 10-30-2017, 12:02 PM
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Anyone notice it has a burnt smell when they open it or is it just me?
Will let you know tomorrow at the end of the day. mine should arrive tomorrow late afternoon. Will check after work.
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Old 10-31-2017, 6:26 PM
kriller134 kriller134 is offline
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Mine smelled weird too. Idk if itís a burnt smell, but more of a gross plastic smell.
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  #40  
Old 10-31-2017, 7:38 PM
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I didn’t notice any burnt smell from mine.
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