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 Problem with Dillon D-Terminater scale
pepperbelly  [Team Member]
10/7/2009 10:42:04 PM
I have a Dillon D-Terminator that has been giving me problems recently. I have been having a hard time getting it to zero, and then while loading to get it to keep zero. It tends to drift almost constantly now.
Earlier I did manage to get it zeroed but had already pulled out my RCBS 10-10 scale.
I then thought to check the Dillon against the RCBS scale. I trickled 42.0gr of powder in the pan of the 10-10 scale. I then checked that the Dillon showed zero and dumped the powder into it's scale. The Dillon showed the charge to be 36.8gr.
That's over a 5gr difference in powder charge.
It also makes me wonder what I have been loading using the Dillon scale. I have been using the 42.0gr for a while. Now it seems as if that load might be hotter than I thought- if this accuracy problem with the scale isn't new.

Is the RCBS 10-10 balance beam scale probably/definately more accurate and reliable than a Dillon D-Terminater digital electronic scale?


Jim
Scotts556  [Member]
10/7/2009 11:24:36 PM
Get some check waight to check it.DO NOT I SAY AGAIN DO NOT USE A BULLET TO CHECK THE SCALE[/red][



HBruns  [Team Member]
10/7/2009 11:33:41 PM
Originally Posted By pepperbelly:....

Is the RCBS 10-10 balance beam scale probably/definately more accurate and reliable than a Dillon D-Terminater digital electronic scale?
Jim

Yes.
Any Balance Beam scale is more reliable than an electronic scale. Properly used, it is also more accurate and more repeatable.

The RCBS 10-10 scale is an excellent scale.

The only reason to use an electronic scale is because they are more convenient (faster, easier to use, etc), not because they do a better job of weighing.

pepperbelly  [Team Member]
10/8/2009 12:24:09 AM
I got the Dillon from dad. He bought it new and then got a different scale in a trade and liked it better.
When I say the Dillon won't hold zero, I mean it will not stay at zero or any other display weight. When I push the zero button it freezes for a second then displays a number, like 2.3 or 1.7- it always changes. Then the display starts showing other weights- usually climbing up. It will not stay on a single number. I couldn't use the check weight since the numbers in the display keep changing.

Jim
lesm  [Member]
10/8/2009 12:42:04 AM
I'm sure you have tried a new battery?
pepperbelly  [Team Member]
10/8/2009 12:52:34 AM
Originally Posted By lesm:
I'm sure you have tried a new battery?


I have it plugged in- not using the battery.

Jim

HBruns  [Team Member]
10/8/2009 12:53:10 AM
Originally Posted By lesm:
I'm sure you have tried a new battery?

Another thing to check - AIR VENTS.
Any slight breeze on the pan will affect the reading.
EWP  [Member]
10/8/2009 1:03:13 AM
Contact Dillon, they have a good no BS policy with most of their stuff, they will probably replace the scales.

Mine have been working fine for about a year and are dead accurate down to the .5gr check weight I use to check them with, I also have an RCBS Charge Master 1500 and a RCBS 750 for back up scales I use for different things that are all checked together so I know if one is getting off or if there is a problems with drifting. The only other digital scales I have used were junk like the little MTN digital scales and any of the Lyman scales aren't very consistent compared to the RCBS or Dillon scales I use daily.

I don't even have a set of balance beam scales since it's would be like going from 10MB Internet connection back to 56K, and I just don't have the patience for that.

The biggest thing I've done to make all the digital scales I have work more consistent is to plug them in to a power conditioner/surge protector, I have an APC ES-350 I use just for my reloading scales so they get 100% constant voltage regulation and noise filtration from the power lines, this eliminated all drifting issues I was having when starting out and about to give up on digital scales.
Some homes are worse that others, it just depends on the electrical system in your house. It does make a big difference though, it's like having a bad set of signal cables in your car audio system and every time the engine revs your speakers wine with the engine RPMs, it cuts out all outside electrical interference and the digital scales appreciate it very much. Some really high $ lab scales have line conditioning and voltage regulation built into them, so you know if they go through the trouble to do it there is some benefits to be had from doing it yourself and the APC unit is only $50-60 if your really wanting the most from your precision electrical equipment, plus if your electricity goes out you can keep on loading since the battery backup will last a long time running just reloading scales.

EWP
EWP  [Member]
10/8/2009 1:19:30 AM
Originally Posted By pepperbelly:
I got the Dillon from dad. He bought it new and then got a different scale in a trade and liked it better.
When I say the Dillon won't hold zero, I mean it will not stay at zero or any other display weight. When I push the zero button it freezes for a second then displays a number, like 2.3 or 1.7- it always changes. Then the display starts showing other weights- usually climbing up. It will not stay on a single number. I couldn't use the check weight since the numbers in the display keep changing.

Jim


If it's not an electrical problem than it sounds like the load cell is bad and needs replacing, digital scales are precision instruments and must be handled with great care. It doesnt take much to mess them up.

Many people don't know that you aren't even supposed to move your scales(like in a car or something that shakes them around) without taking the weighing platform off the load cell first so there is no vibration against or nothing can hit the platform and damage the cell, if you even set something that's much over weight than what the scales are rated for you can mess up the load cells and they will never weigh consistent again.

So if you do have nice quality set of digital scales that doesn't mean they will last unless proper care is taken to prevent damage to them, think of the load cell as a light bulb filament and how easily you can jar a used but good light bulb and break the filament even though it was working fine and you didn't drop it far or hit it hard, they are just very delicate instruments and great care has to be taken to insure they last a long time.

EWP
pepperbelly  [Team Member]
10/8/2009 1:24:48 AM
I load in my garage. There was no breeze this evening- especially in the garage. I put the wind cover on and tried it with the same result.
As for electricity, it isn't on a surge protecter but it is plugged into an outlet that is one of 3 outlets on that line. A few years ago I had a new Square-D breaker box put in. I had so many extra spots in it that I ran some romex from it and installed 3 outlets in my garage.
If the power goes out and I need to load ammo I will use the balance beam scales, but I guess I can put some batteries in the Dillon.
Dillon says they have a 1 year warranty on the scale, and mine is older than that. I haven't used it much but it is more than a year old.
I will check it tomorrow, but this seems to be a problem that has come up slowly and is getting worse. At firat I noticed that after weighing a charge, when I put the pan back it didn't show zero. I would re-zero the scale and re-weigh the charge. It became bad enough that I had to weigh the charge a few times, then the scale settled down.
Now it will not stay steady on zero- or even show zero. It moves around up and down with a charge in the pan or empty.

Is this a common effect when a digital scale goes bad?

Jim
EWP  [Member]
10/8/2009 1:37:36 AM
Originally Posted By pepperbelly:
I load in my garage. There was no breeze this evening- especially in the garage. I put the wind cover on and tried it with the same result.
As for electricity, it isn't on a surge protector but it is plugged into an outlet that is one of 3 outlets on that line. A few years ago I had a new Square-D breaker box put in. I had so many extra spots in it that I ran some romex from it and installed 3 outlets in my garage.
If the power goes out and I need to load ammo I will use the balance beam scales, but I guess I can put some batteries in the Dillon.
Dillon says they have a 1 year warranty on the scale, and mine is older than that. I haven't used it much but it is more than a year old.
I will check it tomorrow, but this seems to be a problem that has come up slowly and is getting worse. At first I noticed that after weighing a charge, when I put the pan back it didn't show zero. I would re-zero the scale and re-weigh the charge. It became bad enough that I had to weigh the charge a few times, then the scale settled down.
Now it will not stay steady on zero- or even show zero. It moves around up and down with a charge in the pan or empty.

Is this a common effect when a digital scale goes bad?

Jim


Yep, afraid so if your letting them warm up good 10-15 Min's and aren't using them in temps under 65-70* then it sounds like they are going bad, digital scales are meant to be used at room temp 65-85* and if it's cold in your garage like below 40-50* then this will also affect the readings since the load cells need to maintain a constant temp and don't have a heater or anything to maintain this temp, just the heat generated from the electrical device being on is all they have to keep them warm.

EDIT: I see your in TX so temp probably isn't a problem this time of year since it's not here in LA either yet.
pepperbelly  [Team Member]
10/8/2009 8:47:33 PM
I called Dillon today. The tech said to try calibrating it and to try several times if necessary. If it still won't work they will take it as a trade in towards a new scale. That would mean a new Dillon D-terminator for $89.00 shipped.

Jim