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outback
12-15-2014, 09:26 AM
After 9 years my 12" digital height gage has died. It went dead sitting on the shelf. Worked fine one day and a couple of days later Dead.

Of course it was made in China so I didn't pay that much for it. My question is, can the digital display be replaced?
Is there a source for replacement readout modules?

I called Instant Gage Repair in Rockford Illinois and they said they would look at it but doubted it could be fixed for
lack of parts.

Anyone ever fixed one of these??

What is the digital display called? I can try an Ebay search.
Thanks
Jim

John Stevenson
12-15-2014, 11:24 AM
Clumsy bastard.

davidh
12-15-2014, 12:00 PM
try iGagingusa.com or just igaging.com

outback
12-15-2014, 01:30 PM
I assume you think it is better to buy another made in China height gage? I always try to fix the Chinese stuff even if it costs more.

mattthemuppet
12-15-2014, 03:35 PM
some pics of the read head would be useful. Depending on what accuracy you want, it might be possible to graft on a read head from a donor caliper or similar, but I'm not familiar with height gauges so this may be way off base. I do know though that most digital calipers are very similar inside, so there's hope!

macona
12-15-2014, 03:43 PM
Is there a source for replacement readout modules?

What is the digital display called? I can try an Ebay search.

Jim

No, they generally can't be replaced. Even if you can find the right LCD they are attached with Zebra strips or hot-press flex connectors, both are more likely to be the problem than the display. If you are talking about the whole reader then double forget that. A new height gage from Shars will be cheaper and quicker.

oldtiffie
12-15-2014, 06:18 PM
In a word - "bin" it.

If it needs to be replaced - do it.

You may not have much choice for other than availability and price but to buy "Chinese" anyway.

But do you really need one now or at all?

I've had a very good run with my "Chinese" one but, that said, I'd bin and replace it in a minute.

outback
12-15-2014, 07:19 PM
In a word - "bin" it.

If it needs to be replaced - do it.

You may not have much choice for other than availability and price but to buy "Chinese" anyway.

But do you really need one now or at all?

.

Yes, I need one and need it soon. I loved that 12" height gage and used it constantly. I bought it in 2005 on Ebay for $80. They are not on Ebay any more for $80.

The only reason I inquired is I had 2 sets of Mitutoya digital calipers that died and "Instant Gage Repair" fixed them both for around $60 total. I watched as they dropped in new modules, cleaned them up, lapped the jaws parallel and set me on my way.

Sorry, I hate to toss out tools that I liked and served me well but in this case I need to cope with reality. Kinda like loosing a good dog.
Jim

John Stevenson
12-15-2014, 07:27 PM
No, they generally can't be replaced. Even if you can find the right LCD they are attached with Zebra strips or hot-press flex connectors, both are more likely to be the problem than the display. If you are talking about the whole reader then double forget that. A new height gage from Shars will be cheaper and quicker.

Not true, they just screw on.
Replacements are available, just depends on they type of reading head.

Found this in a few moments.

http://www.machine-dro.co.uk/replacement-reading-head-for-height-gauge.html?ref=1

boslab
12-15-2014, 07:40 PM
Even if it doesn't work it's still a good clock stand or scribing block if nothing else, if your measuring with slips and clock aka dti you don't even look at the scale on the height gauge anyway...
Mark

oldtiffie
12-15-2014, 08:48 PM
Some very good points there Mark - thanks.

I have a 12" (300mm) digital height gauge as well - very handy too.

I also have a surface gauge which for convenience quite often beats the height gauge hands down:

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/measuring/Surfaceguage1.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/measuring/Surfaceguage3.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa294/oldtiffie/measuring/Surfaceguage4.jpg

And yes, I have do use my surface gauge, height gauge and even slip gauges on a sheet of toughened float glass on my mill table (sits on four transverse strips of masking tape on my mill table) - it is quite flat for most of my purposes.

I do have two Grade A surface plates - 300 x 400mm (12" x 16") and 620 x 620mm (24" square) which don't get a lot of use too.

I have considered cutting the top 100mm (4") from the top of my height gauge as it fouls the milling head even in its fully raised position.

outback
12-15-2014, 11:15 PM
Old Tiffie; Your height gage is exactly what mine is/was.

Got this thing all figured out. My height gage is a SRA Measurement Product in the UK. Took some investigating but found a replacement read head.

replacement SRA read head (http://www.machine-dro.co.uk/spare-parts-and-consumables/replacement-reading-head-for-height-gauge.html)

16.76 British pounds or $26.20 us dollars. Pretty cheap fix.

My read head looks like this. All held in place with screws.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/jglass/Shop%20Demonstrations/heightgageboard.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jglass/media/Shop%20Demonstrations/heightgageboard.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/jglass/Shop%20Demonstrations/heightgageboard2.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jglass/media/Shop%20Demonstrations/heightgageboard2.jpg.html)

Paul Alciatore
12-16-2014, 12:21 AM
Funny, my dial height gauge works just fine, even after 9 or 10 years.

Seriously, you did try a new, GOOD battery, DIDN"T YOU???

oldtiffie
12-16-2014, 12:28 AM
Whereas the digital readout of the height gauge is similar to that of many digital calipers, it has the limited accuracy of the caliper - say +/- 0.001" (0.04mm) which is far less than what is required if "slip gauges" are used.

As will be seen in my previous pics, I use my height gauge as a comparator - not normally as a precision instrument in itself - ie when I use it say on a ruler etc. when it is a rough measurer (also applies to when it is being used just with the digital read-out head).

So, the digital height gauge used either separately or together can be quite versatile and certainly good enough where tolerance of say +/- 0.005: (or less/better) are used.

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...faceguage1.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...faceguage3.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...faceguage4.jpg

I sometimes get a size using a "spring" or "friction" (old-fashioned hand-held) caliper - which with practice can be quite accurate.

John Stevenson
12-16-2014, 05:25 AM
Got this thing all figured out. My height gage is a SRA Measurement Product in the UK. Took some investigating but found a replacement read head.

replacement SRA read head (http://www.machine-dro.co.uk/spare-parts-and-consumables/replacement-reading-head-for-height-gauge.html)

16.76 British pounds or $26.20 us dollars. Pretty cheap fix.



Funny that, same link I posted earlier in the thread.

outback
12-16-2014, 07:27 AM
Funny that, same link I posted earlier in the thread.

John; Sorry, I didn't see the link, it must have been at the bottom of my screen. Wish I would have seen it.

Oldtiffie; I use my height gage mostly for scribing lines so the accuracy if fine.

Paul; I tried a different battery and verified the battery was good with a volt meter. My experience is this electronic digital tooling seems to die safe and sound in the tool box,,,at night. The old technology has its advantages. I keep an old slide rule in my pickup truck for checking gas mileage, had it since high school. Never changed batteries in it either. People see it and have no idea what it is.
JIm

TGTool
12-16-2014, 09:24 AM
My height gauge must be 50 years old if it's a day and I've never had to replace the battery. The readout is probably a little more difficult to read than yours - at least I need the magnifying visor to get the vernier reading. :D

loose nut
12-16-2014, 09:33 AM
Whereas the digital readout of the height gauge is similar to that of many digital calipers, it has the limited accuracy of the caliper - say +/- 0.001" (0.04mm) which is far less than what is required if "slip gauges" are used.


Tiffie what would you use Gauge blocks for with a height gauge, there isn't anyway to use that level of accuracy when scribing a line, you could set it up for tenths but the line would be scribed wider then that, so not much point. Putting a dial gauge on a height gauge to measure parts against a pile of blocks could use that level of accuracy but you wouldn't need the readout for that???????????

macona
12-16-2014, 05:17 PM
Whereas the digital readout of the height gauge is similar to that of many digital calipers, it has the limited accuracy of the caliper - say +/- 0.001" (0.04mm) which is far less than what is required if "slip gauges" are used.

Thats why they make these:

https://www.google.com/search?q=cadillac+height+gauge&client=safari&rls=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=da-QVMn6KcKyoQTBx4Jg&ved=0CB8QsAQ

oldtiffie
12-16-2014, 06:24 PM
Originally Posted by oldtiffie

Whereas the digital readout of the height gauge is similar to that of many digital calipers, it has the limited accuracy of the caliper - say +/- 0.001" (0.04mm) which is far less than what is required if "slip gauges" are used.


Tiffie what would you use Gauge blocks for with a height gauge, there isn't anyway to use that level of accuracy when scribing a line, you could set it up for tenths but the line would be scribed wider then that, so not much point. Putting a dial gauge on a height gauge to measure parts against a pile of blocks could use that level of accuracy but you wouldn't need the readout for that???????????

See my pics posted previously:


http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...faceguage1.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...faceguage3.jpg

http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...faceguage4.jpg

Where I am using an indicator it is being used as a comparator for accurate measurements (the 1-2-3 blocks etc. are quite accurate - but not as accurate as slip gauges. The whole set up really comes down to the accuracy of the indicator.

Where I am using the height gauge as a scriber it is much the same as a scribing block or surface gauge and the height above the table can be zero-ed by bringing the scribing head down to the table and zero-ing the digital display.

There are a whole range of uses for scribing block, surface gauges and height gauges.

The ones I use are selected for being adequate for the job in hand at the time.

Same goes for using the glass plate instead of the surface plates.

MikeHenry
12-21-2014, 01:07 PM
No, they generally can't be replaced. Even if you can find the right LCD they are attached with Zebra strips or hot-press flex connectors, both are more likely to be the problem than the display. If you are talking about the whole reader then double forget that. A new height gage from Shars will be cheaper and quicker.

And the Shars will be pretty crappy if my experience was any example. At least you know the broken one will not give you a good reading. With the Shars you are never sure if the reading is good or not.

Mike

outback
03-23-2015, 12:49 PM
OK,,,I got it fixed. Took so long because I wintered in Florida.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/jglass/Shop%20Demonstrations/height%20gage%20repair.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jglass/media/Shop%20Demonstrations/height%20gage%20repair.jpg.html)

Thought I would leave some updates. I ordered a new PCB Module from Allendale Electronics Limited located in the UK. This repair was on a 150/300mm height gage. Item #ME-RE-HG-HD. I think this is the Part number
A-F6-15-A-00 Cost was $13.97 and Royal Mail shipping cost $6.62, total was $20.59 USD.

The module reached the USA in one day, another day to reach O'Hare in Chicago. Then the module must have sat in customs for 10 or 12 days. Should have had the module shipped in 3 or 4 days. The extra cost must expedite shipments through customs.

The Module is shipped complete with the plastic housing and the push buttons so there is no need to separate them as I did. There is a black label on the opposite side from the readout that needs to be peeled off to access the 6 screws. There are 2 copper shims that lay loose in the assembly after the screws are removed so keep an eye out for them during disassembly.

This height gage now sells on Ebay (where it came from) for $95 to $100 plus shipping so I think my old one was well worth repairing.
Jim

Paul Alciatore
03-23-2015, 02:33 PM
I am truly surprised that you were able to get the part. Fantastic!

I have two height gauges: a Chinese dial and a 24" Starrett Vernier. I am quite sure the Starrett will outlast me.

outback
03-23-2015, 03:30 PM
Thanks Paul. The internet is a wonderful tool for finding parts of all kinds and special help. I still have some vernier measuring tools and like the old slide rules they never need new batteries. I probably use that 12" height gage more than any other tool in my shop. I could easily justify a much better one. But this one has done a great job for 10 years. The greatest advantage of digital measuring tools is not accuracy but rather the ability to set the "0" datum point anywhere and it will measure in either +/- directions. Seems like I'm always measuring from the top surface down or in the negative direction. Dials and verniers are cumbersome measuring in the negative direction.

Remember the old Bridgeport optical glass scales. What a great system that would last nearly forever and never be out of calibration. But, they were a pain measuring in the negative direction and mistakes were easily made. The old Bridgeport scales went into the trash when the DRO's come out often be cause the Tool Maker wana-bees didn't know how to use them. Those Bridgeport scales would be great for a new guy starting a shop but couldn't afford a DRO. When I was in those shoes I could not find a set of Bridgeport scales.

Here is a link on the Bridgeport optical scales, bottom of page:
http://www.lathes.co.uk/bridgeport/page8.html

Jim

Paul Alciatore
03-23-2015, 08:46 PM
I am well aware of the advantages of digital instruments and I have many digital calipers. I got the dial height gauge many years ago and digitals were more expensive then. The Starrett Vernier was a good buy on E-Bay and I only use it when I need it's 24 inch capability. They are what I have. If I buy another height gauge, it will probably be a very good digital one.