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  • Small Digital Caliper

    Who makes a cheap(?) small digital caliper that can be powered externally?
    I want to make a DRO for my tail stock on my lathe, but hate the battery powered
    ones. I also would like to be able to display on a larger tablet or ??. My eyes are
    not what they once were.
    Thanks for any help!
    olf20 / Bob

  • #2
    Buy a good one and beat it around.
    That should cheapen it up a little for you.
    DZER

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    • #3
      Something like this:
      https://m.aliexpress.com/item/328520...42616450WK6hx7


      you can modify almost any caliper for external power supply. Not necessarily worth going to ac adapter, just mod for larger battery. Quality AA battery should last 10 years on a digital caliper. Eneloop rechargeable is probably good for 20 years on a single charge.
      Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Doozer View Post
        Buy a good one and beat it around.
        That should cheapen it up a little for you.
        C'mon Doozer, have some heart.

        Add an external power switch between, so the calipers are truly off. That should extend battery life.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

          C'mon Doozer, have some heart.

          Add an external power switch between, so the calipers are truly off. That should extend battery life.
          My digital caliper have an auto off, in fact one of them doesn't even have an off button. I think most decent ones do these days. Look at I Gaging.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by vectorwarbirds View Post

            My digital caliper have an auto off, in fact one of them doesn't even have an off button. I think most decent ones do these days. Look at I Gaging.
            Hasn't it been proven that the low-end calipers turn off the display only, so they don't lose Zero? They are always "On"?
            What kind of depth accuracy will you gain with a digi-cal. vs. a quality engraved scale?
            if you are shooting for accurate hole depth, did you take into account point length which varies with cutting edge angle? 135, 128, etc. etc. degrees are all different..
            Last edited by reggie_obe; 09-26-2020, 12:42 PM.

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            • #7
              Harbor Freight sells a 4" one...

              https://www.harborfreight.com/4-in-d...per-63710.html

              Amazon sells a Grizzly 3" one...

              https://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-H7971...efinements=p_n _feature_keywords_two_browse-bin%3A7024150011&s=industrial&sr=1-2
              Regards, Marv

              Home Shop Freeware - Tools for People Who Build Things
              http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

              Location: LA, CA, USA

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              • #8
                Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                Hasn't it been proven that the low-end calipers turn off the display only, so they don't lose Zero? They are always "On"?
                What kind of depth accuracy will you fain with a digi-cal. vs. a quality engraved scale?
                if you are shooting for accurate hole dept, did you take into account point length which varies with cutting edge angle? 135, 128, etc. etc. degrees are all different..
                You could be correct on that, mine always retain their reading when off. I have one mounted on my mill and its still going on original battery three years later. I can live with that. I find with the squared end I can find the start of the angle most times. The big thing to me is I can see the damn numbers

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                • #9
                  My Mitutoyo calipers last way over a year(s) or more... get a solar powered caliper if you really need more that that; even the room lights will give it enough.

                  You can also get cheap large display calipers - over 1/2 inch tall numbers. No idea of battery life on those but it's pretty long on the drawers full of them at work.
                  Last edited by lakeside53; 09-26-2020, 01:39 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                    C'mon Doozer, have some heart.

                    Add an external power switch between, so the calipers are truly off. That should extend battery life.
                    Would work but then you would probably loose your zero set.
                    But if he's going to use it on his TS you would have to zero every time anyway.

                    JL......................

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post

                      C'mon Doozer, have some heart.

                      Add an external power switch between, so the calipers are truly off. That should extend battery life.
                      I do have some, just not a lot.

                      -D
                      DZER

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                      • #12
                        If you look at virtually all of the digital calipers out there, you will see door an the backside opposite the door for the battery. This allows you to access contacts for external power and data output. Various people have made you tube videos of variable quality and usefulness on how to take advantage of these contacts. In other words, any one you find can easily be externally powered.
                        "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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                        • #13
                          And I have one mounted on my mill that drains the battery in a few weeks.

                          When you are using one of the Chinese imports, battery life is determined by the luck of the draw. I lost.

                          I am working on solar power for it. I will publish the results.



                          Originally posted by vectorwarbirds View Post

                          You could be correct on that, mine always retain their reading when off. I have one mounted on my mill and its still going on original battery three years later. I can live with that. I find with the squared end I can find the start of the angle most times. The big thing to me is I can see the damn numbers
                          Paul A.
                          SE Texas

                          Make it fit.
                          You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for all the replies!! Got enough info to get started.
                            olf20 / Bob

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