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Digital Caliper - Worthwhile Fixing?
Digital Caliper - Worthwhile Fixing?
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Old 1st September 2007, 11:28 AM   #1
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Join Date: May 2006
Default Digital Caliper - Worthwhile Fixing?

Hi Guys

Is it worth a try to repair one of these? A piece of grit managed to get between the measuring surface and the circuit and the caliper has gone haywire, not switching off etc. I have opened it before to clean it so I know how to do this.

After noticing the problem last night, I opened it again and saw that some of the segments at the back of the circuit had been scratched by a piece of grit. Looking at the damage with a 10X loupe, I saw none of the segments had been scratched/cut right through. I carefully used a fibreglass propelling pencil to brush out any shorting circuit copper bits which might have been between the segments, but there weren't really any.

I put everything back together again carefully but the problem remains.

The surface on the caliper's measuring scale is also scratched.

I don't know how these things work. Does the segments on the back of the circuit pick up measurements by induction or by resistance?

Any ideas for a fix appreciated.


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Old 1st September 2007, 04:44 PM   #2
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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Location: USA, MN
These things are capacitive, IIRC.

If your needs are modest, these things can be bought for as little as $15. People have compared these cheap calipers to mitutoyo et. al. and they are surprisingly accurate. I have checked my cheap Harbor Freight caliper on some feeler gauges and it works pretty well near zero - seems to be near .01-.02mm

I've never ripped one of these apart, but it could be either fun or frustrating trying to get it to work again. Depending on how you feel about it - go ahead and try fixing it.
Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works. --Carl Sagan
Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence--those are the three pillars of Western prosperity. Aldous Huxley
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Old 1st September 2007, 05:35 PM   #3
neutron7 is offline neutron7  Canada
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it also might depend on how much your country charges to import stuff.
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Old 1st September 2007, 05:49 PM   #4
Conrad Hoffman is offline Conrad Hoffman  United States
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canandaigua, NY USA
Not turning off is likely some other problem, and I've never had any success with that. Maybe it's leakage somewhere, related to the scratches. I still use my dial calipers, as I got tired of buying batteries for my set that wouldn't turn off!
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Old 1st September 2007, 09:51 PM   #5
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Join Date: May 2006
Default Digital Caliper...

Hi Conrad
@Ron & All

I'm a bit pushed for time and took the easy way out this afternoon and bought another caliper, brand new at Cash Converters for the equivalent of US$8.-. It was marked @ +- US$12 with a broken clip on the battery compartment lid. Sez ol' bulgin "What good is this thing with a falling-off battery cover?"

So, I made them an offer they couldn't refuse. Took about 10mins to make a micro repair and all's well.

I'll have a go at the other one later as the damage is minor.

Yup, I agree, these things are pretty accurate. I use mine a lot, measuring cart bits. The new one is a bit of an improvement on the older one. It has a third "off" button.

Thanks for your kind replies.

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