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a small crane scale and a moral dilemma

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  • a small crane scale and a moral dilemma

    I would love to be able to weigh things in my shop, things that are too big or awkwardly shaped to weigh with a bathroom scale. I decided to try one of those 'mini crane scales' they sell on ebay from China. I ordered it and it showed up in about a week. My initial response was quite favorable. It was well packed, made from cast aluminum, the buttons had a very nice solid positive click to them, and the display was large and very readable. The ancillary hardware was stainless and appeared well made.

    There are only three buttons on mine: ON/OFF, TARE, and UNITS. The first and last work flawlessly. The TARE button, however, does not work as I would expect. I would expect to hang some slings or something I didn't want to weigh on the scale and then press TARE and see the display go to zero. This is not what they implemented, however. I will quote the manual:

    "Press TARE switch to lock the display, then <lock graphic> shows and display is frozen.
    "Press TARE switch again to resume display, the <lock graphic> hides and display resume refreshing."

    To me, this is describing a HOLD function, not a TARE function.

    There is a workaround. If I first put my rigging materials on the scale and then turn it on, the display reads zero and when I pick up the load I get just the weight of the load and not the rigging materials.

    So. I'm puzzled. Do I protest that the TARE function doesn't work right and ask for money back? Or do I just
    accept it as is with a sigh, realizing it's only thirty bucks and thus I'm only allowed to get thirty bucks worth
    of mad about it?

    The seller is responsive but claims since the scale works as described in the manual my objection is baseless.


  • #2
    The objection is without substance is the bottom line. Your expectations do not match the translation, that's all it is.

    What does "Tare" mean in Mandarin Chinese?


    • #3
      If the quality us good and it does what you want just live with it. The hold button is mislabeled as tare and the power button doubles as the
      tare function. Regardless of whether the button is labeled tare, hold, blue, or Larry, it does what the manual says it does.


      • #4
        Originally posted by RichR View Post
        The hold button is mislabeled as tare and the power button doubles as the
        tare function.
        This video seems to support that.

        MMP: Have you tried using the ON/OFF as a tare button AFTER the unit is powered on as described in the video? Just curious if it works on yours as well.
        Last edited by Highpower; 06-05-2017, 02:27 PM.


        • #5
          +1 for keep and be happy. It does everything you need, just a bit differently to what you expected.


          • #6
            Its a new world

            Originally posted by pinstripe View Post
            +1 for keep and be happy. It does everything you need, just a bit differently to what you expected.
            I buy and sell many things on the net. I understand that returns are part of the deal,as long as the product hasn't been flogged .Sales decisions are often made based on the fact that items can be returned with no questions asked .Edwin Dirnbeck


            • #7
              Originally posted by Edwin Dirnbeck View Post
              ... Sales decisions are often made based on the fact that items can be returned with no questions asked.
              It does depend on your location/country. We have very good consumer protection laws here, but they don't protect you against changing your mind. You could argue that the button is mislabelled, but then the manual does describe it correctly. Either way, I wasn't saying that the seller should refuse to accept it, only that I would keep it and be happy with it. It came from China for $30. How much will it cost to send back? If the OP don't send it with insurance and tracking, then they could lose the product and the refund.


              • #8
                I yield to the majority. I will keep it as is, no more kvetching.



                • #9
                  Originally posted by metalmagpie View Post
                  I yield to the majority. I will keep it as is, no more kvetching.

                  Smart move.

                  To add another datapoint that may or may not make you feel better, I have a DRO made in china where the button to turn off the display is labeled HA. Nothing in the manual says that it blanks the display, nor have I found a word that could be abbreviated HA that means "blank display". The rest of the buttons are similarly marked oddly, but they do what the manual says, so I don't kvetch much about it.

                  At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.


                  • #10
                    You got a chinese product that WORKS and WITH a manual that CORRECTLY says how it works? Sounds like a home run!


                    • #11
                      Whether it does what the manual says is irrelevant if you don't get to see the manual before you buy. If it's advertised/offered as having "tare", you are entitled to a tare function. It is not arbitrary, "tare" means something & that something is not "hold". If the seller puts up an ad in English, it's his responsibility to get the English right.

                      But you have a work around, so it's really a personal matter of whether you want to live with it. But you don't have to. Since it was through eBay, you have a much better position than if it was bought directly.


                      • #12
                        Sounds like a translation problem to me. The Chinese designer did not know the nuances of English meanings. They will probably catch on in another design generation or three.

                        A complaint would hinge on the meaning of "Tare". I looked it up in the dictionary and what it refers to is the WEIGHT of the container. It is in the sense that you want to neglect or subtract that weight, but what it specifically does not mean is an automatic means of doing that. Traditionally that weight would be subtracted manually by the user, not automatically by the scale. Now I am sure that some current scales do use that word in the sense of a zero function so that the weight of the container will not be included, but is that usage of the work universal enough to overcome the traditional, dictionary meaning? I don't know and you would probably need to take it to a judge and perhaps even a jury to bet a reading on that.

                        If the seller is not willing to take a return, in a practical sense you are probably stuck with it. The only other thing I can see is if you paid with a credit card, perhaps, and I am saying "PERHAPS", you can convince the credit card company that it was a fraudulent transaction. Good luck. I would just keep the scale and use it as you describe by turning it on after hanging the empty container.
                        Paul A.

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


                        • #13
                          OK .. lay down there on the couch.

                          You really like this thing, and you want to keep it.


                          You want to come on here and ask your buds if they will think you are a sucker for
                          keeping something that's not as described.

                          Nope .. its cool, you can keep it.
                          John Titor, when are you.


                          • #14
                            And now is metalmagpie liable if someone harms themselves using his scale because a critical weight is measured incorrectly?

                            Are we happy that he is now another count in a statistic that says x% of people find misrepresented goods are perfectly acceptable to consumers in his nation?

                            We do seem to be allowing the language to shift word definitions to meanings that previously had nothing to do with the word. Does anyone really know the difference between then, than and that? Does it matter if a near majority of people use them willy-nilly? What the heck is a willy-nilly?

                            Worst job ever? Spell checking the internet!


                            • #15
                              I love reading those manuals when they don't get the English right. I'd be more upset about a non-entertaining manual than about the way the scale works.

                              I kind of like how it does work- I'd be inclined to only turn the power on when ready to weigh, to save battery power. As long as you can see that it reads zero just before you hoist the weight- and it saves you one button push anyway.

                              As far as the glut of improper grammar on the net- that does bother me when I think that so many of the people who post actually should be able to get that right, but they don't. I can't fault others whos first language is not Englitch for not turning in faultless copy, but in America and Britain, Australia, and some other countries- do we not learn grammar in grade shcool?
                              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-