Author Topic: digital vernier callipers  (Read 4080 times)

mattc

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Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2019, 01:09:08 pm »
I confess I've never seen a dial set in the flesh! They LOOK like they'd be a lot easier to read than "normal" verniers. I can imagine my eyesight quite soon struggling with such things.

I don't like stuff with batteries in if there's an equally good alternative. (Adding electronics is generally a wasteful exercise if they're not adding much benefit.)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2019, 01:58:09 pm »
I've got a few £5 Wilko mechanical vernier callipers but they don't seem to sell them anymore. And are accurate enough (certainly to 0.1mm) for musical instrument work which is my main use for them.

I prefer them because they don't need batteries, reliable, are easier to read than dial calipers, and are simple with less bits to go wrong.
'Real' vernier callipers are exquisitely simple and ingenious, in equal measure, and they never go wrong.
Analogue dial callipers take a little longer to parse the reading, and there's a whole bunch of extra stuff in the way.
Electronic digital are always bloody flat when I need them. Why on earth complicate something so elegant with electronics ?
Rust never sleeps

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2019, 02:40:40 pm »
Electronic digital are always bloody flat when I need them. Why on earth complicate something so elegant with electronics ?

Not had that problem with mine.  The only real advantage the electronic version gives you over a mechanical dial is that you can switch it to firkin/furlong/fortnight/farenheit units when necessary.

(Unless it's a high-end one with Bluetooth, which would presumably be useful if you're making large numbers of measurements to enter into a spreadsheet for quality control purposes, or something.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2019, 02:59:27 pm »
That's more an indication of how often I've used electronic callipers. But, when you need them, you need them, and if the battery's flat, they're NBU.
Rust never sleeps

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2019, 03:24:56 pm »
TBH, if you've got this far into the 21st century, you've probably worked out how to manage batteries.  One more's hardly a big deal, given the shelf life of primary lithium cells.  Shame they don't use CR2032s like everything else, though.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2019, 04:14:56 pm »
Also, see my post upthread about how often I put mine back in the box when still switched on.

mattc

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Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2019, 05:15:13 pm »
Also, see my post upthread about how often I put mine back in the box when still switched on.
Exactly! I've had battery powered toys since before I was allowed a house-key - I don't seem to be getting any better at avoiding this particular form of human error  ::-)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2019, 05:18:18 pm »
Binned them in frustration and bought a set with a dial gauge to 0.01mm. Old tech, works perfectly.  This cheap Chinesium stuff made to a low price is crap.  No surprise there then, but I didn't want to pay £50 or more for something I used occasionally.  Having said that I use my dial gauge calipers several times a week.  They are perfect.
Being an old fart, I.m quiote ahppy using non-digital - what brand hve you got andy?

Can anyone else recommend an "affordable" good quality mechanical caliper?

These: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RDGTOOLS-0-4-DIAL-VERNIER-CALIPER-MECHANIST-STEEL-SHOCK-PROOF-GEARING/370793223906?hash=item5654ff96e2:g:npkAAOSwXRxaw01G

Except mine are 150mm not 100mm, and metric not imperial - but it's the same supplier.  I'm very pleased with them.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2019, 05:18:55 pm »
Also, see my post upthread about how often I put mine back in the box when still switched on.
Exactly! I've had battery powered toys since before I was allowed a house-key - I don't seem to be getting any better at avoiding this particular form of human error  ::-)
A clear argument that you should return the house key to a responsible person, forthwith.

mattc

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Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2019, 06:04:41 pm »
thank-you both  :thumbsup:
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2019, 06:36:25 pm »
FWIW the better electronic calipers (including the recent Aldi ones) have an auto-off feature so they don't run the battery down (which lasts longer anyway because the electronics have moved on too). They also hold the previous zero value when turned off. This is different from how such calipers used to be (which can do either or both); I occasionally use a friend's older Mitutoyo digital ones and they are not like the newer ones which is a source of irritation; to me because they don't hold the zero when turned off and to him because (he says) 50% of the time I put them back in the box without turning them off first..ahem... ::-)

Digital calipers are much easier on ageing eyeballs than any other sort and being able to zero the calipers and take easy negative readings, easy readings that would otherwise be several turns of a twirly dial , easy readings in metric or imperial etc are features that are not to be sniffed at.

FWIW I speak as someone who has almost zero tolerance of pointless battery powered gadgets; it is a very long time since I have felt it at all worthwhile to have anything attached to my bike that is powered by batteries.....  but even so digital calipers are one area where the advantages outweigh the shortcomings.

For example I have figured out a way of using such calipers for measuring chain wear (without the measurement  being influenced by roller wear) and it simply wouldn't be anything like as easy or even practical with non-digital calipers.

cheers

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2019, 07:52:29 pm »
If you search t'internet, many digital calipers do not switch off completely, but can be adapted to do so...  ;)
If it ain't broke, fix it 'til it is...

TheLurker

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Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2019, 08:01:31 pm »
Quote from: mattc
Can anyone else recommend an "affordable" good quality mechanical caliper?

For fine work I use one of these...

- https://www.drapertools.com/product/50605/Expert-0-140mm-Vernier-Caliper-with-Fine-Adjustment

For quick and dirty I use one of these...

- https://www.drapertools.com/category-products/4900/Vernier-Calipers

... and it's also convenient for sticking in a pocket checking balsa in the increasingly rare "proper" model shops and for taking rough measurements off stick and tissue models without bashing them to bits.

Draper seem to have a goodish range of both electronic and mechanical in the 30 quid price range.

https://www.drapertools.com/category-products/4900/Vernier-Calipers
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2019, 09:54:33 pm »
Wiha do a dial caliper that is glass reinforced plastic rather than metal for a reasonable price:

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/calipers/4982013/

Could be useful if you dont want to mark stuff like a steel one might. I don't own one but Wiha kit is usually top quality.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2019, 08:08:00 pm »

For example I have figured out a way of using such calipers for measuring chain wear (without the measurement  being influenced by roller wear) and it simply wouldn't be anything like as easy or even practical with non-digital calipers.

cheers
Now that sounds interesting. Care to share?
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #40 on: May 28, 2019, 10:13:46 pm »

For example I have figured out a way of using such calipers for measuring chain wear (without the measurement  being influenced by roller wear) and it simply wouldn't be anything like as easy or even practical with non-digital calipers.

cheers
Now that sounds interesting. Care to share?

see https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=115336

cheers

Tim Hall

  • I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #41 on: May 28, 2019, 10:23:00 pm »

For example I have figured out a way of using such calipers for measuring chain wear (without the measurement  being influenced by roller wear) and it simply wouldn't be anything like as easy or even practical with non-digital calipers.

cheers
Now that sounds interesting. Care to share?

see https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=115336

cheers
Nice. Elegant. Thanks.
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #42 on: May 29, 2019, 08:24:12 am »
rare event; went into halfords yesterday... I found out three things

1) they have revised their tool range and they appear not to sell their ratchet spanners individually any more. Presumably they will have to break a set up to fulfil warranty claims...?

2) they don't stock 'finish line' lubes

3) they have for £19.99 a 'laser' branded digital caliper.  However the caliper is (all?) plastic and is supplied in a blister pack i.e. without a case I think.

I worry about plastic caliper jaws wearing out of spec and giving erratic readings sooner than they should. But the halfords caliper might fit the bill for "a sunday afternoon distress purchase" I suppose.

cheers

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #43 on: June 03, 2019, 06:33:31 pm »
Here is a good video showing the workings of a dial gauge:

https://youtu.be/e5i0r0-dd7I

I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2019, 02:40:55 pm »
Received some Mitutoyo digital calipers today from the Amazon link upthread.

I had been lusting after these for some time and they complement the Mitutoyo interior dial calipers that I picked up in Tokyo maybe 30 years ago.  This all for checking dimensions of clarinets rather than cycling gear.

I have a pair of Aldi/Lidl digital calipers that are pretty good for the price but the battery quickly goes flat if I leave it in.

The Mitutoyo is lovely to hold and fondle......

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2019, 01:57:40 pm »
My no-name digital just gave up the ghost - display all to cock and buttons ineffective.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2019, 02:29:13 pm »
did it get damp?

FWIW if you suspect damp (even sweat can do it), wipe down the outside with WD40, dry it out, leave it without a battery inside for a few hours at least, and try again, preferably with a new battery.

Sometimes they get their digital knickers in a digital twist and then come back to life after a period of time without a battery in. If the buttons don't work persistently it may mean that the insides of the caliper have become contaminated. Like TV remotes, if the thing is dismantled and the  buttons are cleaned, often this restores function.

cheers

Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #47 on: July 25, 2019, 10:13:31 am »
AVE did a good video on cheap digital calipers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnDype-j3hk

Upshot: Cheap calipers can be perfectly accurate (especially for bike use) but they never really switch off, even when the display is off, so the batteries run flat even when unused. They also don't have brownout protection\a low battery warning and when the batteries start to run down they give erroneous readings.

Solution: store them with the batteries out or buy a bunch of cheap coin cells off the internet in preparation. Keep something of known dimensions around to test if you are getting suspect readings.

His findings mesh with my observations. I have several sets of calipers, cheap and expensive, and they are all accurate enough. Everyone I know with (cheap) digital calipers finds they eat batteries.

Re: dial calipers:
I bough some nice Starrett ones a while ago but I don't like them. In use the dial isn't as easy to mentally parse as I expected and the whole-millimeter reading is not as clear as it could be. The incredibly fine rack and pinion mechanism needs only the tiniest just-visible speck of sawdust to skip.

Dial calipers lack the useful features (zeroing, units etc) and easy readability of digital ones. Vernier calipers are simpler and are easier to read once you are used to them in my opinion.

T42

  • Tea tank
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #48 on: July 25, 2019, 12:47:44 pm »
@Brucey: It didn't get damp that I know of, it lives on a bench that is woodwork-only. There's a freebie digital calc beside it that has been in the workshop for 30 years, no problem.   Bike stuff is 3 or 4 metres away.

I'll take the batteries out and let it sit for a while - I have a good-quality trad one and I'm told that mental exercise is good for the brain.

@Randy: AVE has a turn of phrase, doesn't he?

I checked my battery and it's down from 1.5v to 1.0, which should still be functional.  It looks as if the display contacts are fuxxorzed.

I forget who made my steam calipers, they date from ~1995 - probably German. Got a nice wooden box somewhere. They're very clear.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: digital vernier callipers
« Reply #49 on: July 25, 2019, 12:51:29 pm »
If it's not been wet and the battery's okay, it's probably the usual LCD zebra strip or hot-bar connection problems, which are somewhere between a pain in the arse to troubleshoot and impossible to fix.  I bet there are important mechanical pingfuckits that will break if you attempt to get inside, too.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...