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The dial vs digital question, re-visited

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  • The dial vs digital question, re-visited

    I have a concrete example of lousy digital, exemplifying why I don't like them.

    We have, at work, a 6" digital caliper.

    This lovely item needs re-zeroing nearly every time you pick it up, always varying at least the +- 0.0005 minimum reading. (Yes, I do wipe the jaws..... I have used calipers more than once before in my life.)

    It also has the very worst display lag I have ever seen. It seems to take at least 1 second for it to actually start to change after you move it.

    After it begins to change, it apparently does NOT arrive immediately at the new reading, it seems to "ramp up" to the new reading.

    The net result is that it is nearly impossible to use it for any of the purposes where you set the device to a known reading. It is ONLY useful for "measurements" where you set to the size of a part to measure. You cannot set it up as a "go-nogo" gage, etc.

    Even for normal measuring, it tends to bounce around the reading somewhat,. so that you have to let it stabilize for a while.

    Yes, I have tightened the gibs so that it at least is not wobbly.

    And, before you decide that it is an HF POS, it is a Starrett #721.

    Apparently a cheapo Starrett POS.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    JT...You need to "accidently" drop that measuring device REALLY hard on the concrete floor, then "accidently" drop a cheap china 5" vice(I have a broken one you can borrow) on it. End of problem!
    Yes...you can use the "But I didn't mean it" or the "I didn't do it on purpose" excuse I've heard more than a few times.
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

    Comment


    • #3
      Quite so

      Originally posted by J Tiers
      I have a concrete example of lousy digital, exemplifying why I don't like them.

      We have, at work, a 6" digital caliper.

      This lovely item needs re-zeroing nearly every time you pick it up, always varying at least the +- 0.0005 minimum reading. (Yes, I do wipe the jaws..... I have used calipers more than once before in my life.)

      It also has the very worst display lag I have ever seen. It seems to take at least 1 second for it to actually start to change after you move it.

      After it begins to change, it apparently does NOT arrive immediately at the new reading, it seems to "ramp up" to the new reading.

      The net result is that it is nearly impossible to use it for any of the purposes where you set the device to a known reading. It is ONLY useful for "measurements" where you set to the size of a part to measure. You cannot set it up as a "go-nogo" gage, etc.

      Even for normal measuring, it tends to bounce around the reading somewhat,. so that you have to let it stabilize for a while.

      Yes, I have tightened the gibs so that it at least is not wobbly.

      And, before you decide that it is an HF POS, it is a Starrett #721.

      Apparently a cheapo Starrett POS.
      Thanks JT.

      These things happen in the "best of families".

      I have been told - which is no confirmation - but would not be surprised if some of the "better" and "better-known" brands that we all looked up to in the past are not getting some of their stuff either made "off-shore" or contracting it out to some lesser capable shops else-where (Mexico, USA?) and branding them as Starret B&S etc. and just charging a premium (see the LMS and CDCO catalogues) as against the known imports or USA-made no-Starret stuff and just trading off their name.

      Perhaps this is name piracy is as rife as it is Asia with "fashion" goods. and "Starret" and the like are as much victims as the innocent victims.

      Happens here too.

      We have lots of people here who either travel to and from or holiday in Asia and regularly fall victim to this sort of thing - tools included.

      We are very close (distance-wise) to Asia. Indonesia can be seen from Northern Australia and its only an hour or two by a good boat - and it is also the biggest Muslim country as well but we seem to get along OK. (Note: said "seem" not "do" - I am a bit skeptical).

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe you should send the thing back to Starrett for a replacement or repair, I’ve had very good luck with them.

        Comment


        • #5
          Sort it

          Originally posted by JCD
          Maybe you should send the thing back to Starrett for a replacement or repair, I’ve had very good luck with them.
          Yep JCD.

          Sending it to "Starret" should decide once and for all if it is a "Starret" at all and if it is, what the scope and cost of the repair work will be.

          If its NOT a "Starret" at all (pirated name) or has "unauthorised" parts or had "unauthorised" repairs made, it may well be a different matter altogether.

          As you suggest, there is only one real way to find out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Ohhh, its a starrett --- get a pair of Hf's and you wont have any probs

            Comment


            • #7
              Knife

              Originally posted by A.K. Boomer
              Ohhh, its a starrett --- get a pair of Hf's and you wont have any probs
              Boomer,
              that WAS unkind (I didn't mind it at all).

              Sort of putting the knife in and twisting it?

              Comment


              • #8
                Yeah --- kinda like that, and you could throw in the ole adage "kickin a guy when he's down" JT's a good sport --- plus thier his work ones so its not as personal...

                At first I hated my second pair of Hf's because they kept blinking, I kept saying ot myself - Geesus -- design it to consume a little extra energy but give me a damn display that stays on, then about three months later I replaced the battery and everything was fine


                I think one of the biggest advantages to going digital is thier not afraid of a little dirt, actually thier not afraid of allot of dirt, Dials ar terrible for me to use, one second thier out in my mechanic shop next thier in the basement, Digitals allow me the freedom to not change my dirty habits and continue being a slob and I like that, there kinda like that enabler grilfriend that not only doesnt care how much you drink -- she goes out and gets the goods for you too...
                Last edited by A.K. Boomer; 10-26-2007, 10:29 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd bet that those Starretts are fairly old - if you have the full model number you might be able to see just how old they are. A lot of the early digital stuff had the same problems - early Mitutoyo stuff had the same problem with zero (having to reset on power up), never shutting off so the batteries died fast, etc. I'm more familiar with the Mit digital calipers but I'd bet that current production Starretts would be similar - never losing zero, auto power off for decent battery life, etc.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One of the reasons I don't like digital calipers is when you are measuring the OD or ID and move the jaws around to find a perfect fit the reading floats all over the place and even when you think you found the size it may still be moving.

                    I guess if I use them for a year or so I may get to like them.
                    It's only ink and paper

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It seems to take at least 1 second for it to actually start to change after you move it.

                      wow what an inconvenience slow down a little or you'll end up with a heart attack.Seriously these things are not worth worrying about whats a whole second worth all the aggro just live with it in my opinion.Alistair
                      Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Alistair your a funny guy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          "I think I'd like to hold off judgment on a thing like that, sir, until all the facts are in...I don't think it's quite fair to condemn the whole program because of a single slip up, sir." -Gen. Turgidson


                          That particular Starrett model is a lemon. We have some of the same at work, and the batteries will not last worth a damn.

                          Get a digital with an absolute style readout. Mitutoyo comes to mind, I believe there are some Swiss brands with the same.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We have several Mit calipers at work up to 40 inch and have never had a problem with them. They are very reliable and stable. On the other hand we have a set of 0 to 6 starrett digital mics that totally suck. Everytime they cut off they have to be rezeroed. In their defense they are an older set so the newer ones may not do that. We also have a set of 0 to 6 Mit micrometers of about the same vintage but they hold their zero even when they are turned off. If they are working right I don't mind using them but I hardly ever use the digitals. I can usually measure to within a tenth or so with my standard mics so I usually don't bother walking to the tool cabinet to get the digitals.
                            Jonathan P.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Alistair Hosie
                              It seems to take at least 1 second for it to actually start to change after you move it.

                              wow what an inconvenience slow down a little or you'll end up with a heart attack.Seriously these things are not worth worrying about whats a whole second worth all the aggro just live with it in my opinion.Alistair
                              The 1 second of time isn't the issue.... The issue is that you can't be totally sure the silly thing has quit changing. So if you are making a bunch of measurements, you may forget and read it before it has settled.

                              And, the 1 second is for it to START changing. The reading will change for a while after that.

                              And they DO have the "reading bounce" mentioned by another poster.

                              So it's more of a nuisance than you may think from reading the "1 second". Getting a wrong reading and using it in a further fabrication step is a bit more aggravation than waiting, isn't it?

                              As for the battery life, it's fine. Yes, they are really Starrett, not a copy.......But they seem to be discontinued.

                              I may not have to worry too much..... the last time I looked for them, I found them on the bench, open, laying across a piece of stock, with a fairly heavy tool laying on top....... The boss is a tool destroyer.

                              I have a spare inch/metric dial type that I will probably take in and keep in my toolbox.
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

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