[4]

Batteries

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

Downwindtracker2

Active User
Registered
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
287
Likes
116
#1
I have a handy Chinese electronic caliper , large display , three way. It eats batteries, they never really turn off. See AvE vids. I know I should have bought a Mitutoyo , but around here they are $250. So I try to have a pack of batteries beside it. The last time I bought batteries, they were a dollar store purchase, Sunbeam brand. Even if it was only a few days, it seemed the battery was dead. This is ridiculous. This time I bought a pack of Energizers. At least the # is easy to remember, 357

If I'm half **** serious I use a dial caliper, if real serious, I mike it.
 

RJSakowski

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
3,579
Likes
4,132
#2
One of the problems with the calipers that remember their zero is they need to stay on to keep track of their position. I measured the current draw at 200 microamps, on or off. For calipers that I use infrequently, I pull the battery.

There is a difference between the dollar store variety and the name brands. I use the Energizer 357's as well and typically have an in-service life of around two months. The data sheet for the Energizer 357 states a typical service life of 150 mAh. The EPX76 has slightly better discharge characteristics with a flatter discharge curve and higher capacity. An LR44 will also work but has only 60% of the capacity of a n EPX76.
 

cathead

CATWERKS LTD
Registered
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
928
Likes
1,109
#3
I have to put in a good word for the iGaging Absolute Origin Calipers. It was ordered on EBAY about two years ago and I use it a lot and
the battery has yet to be replaced. Sometimes I find it left on for undetermined periods of time. It uses a 3 volt CR2032 lithium battery.
Mine is a six inch version and at present they are available for just under $40. It's nicely crafted as well.
 

Profkanz

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Feb 27, 2016
Messages
35
Likes
15
#4
I have a 8" solar digital. got it after fighting dead batteries for a year.
The solar is great as long as the lights are on. Not so much in dim light.
 

petertha

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Messages
590
Likes
399
#5
This is a documented problem. Having said that, an offshore caliper I bought more recently does not eat batteries & operates much smoother than my older gen offerings. So its the old crap shoot syndrome of 'I wonder what I will get in the box?'. They need a new certification spec like 'EB' (eat battery' and 'NEB' (no eat battery). Along with those nice suitable for framing inspection sheets stamped & initialed by some very apparently important people on the factory floor. lol
 
D

Deleted member 20190

Guest - Please Register!
Guest - Please Register!
#6
Several years ago my wife purchased one of those inexpensive digital calipers and gave it to me for my birthday. It works great and is quite accurate, but it does eat up batteries whether it is getting used or not. So, most of the time I use my dial calipers instead, I've got some Mitutoyo and some from Scherr-Tumico. Every now an then I put a battery in the digital one and use it, making sure she sees me using it, just to keep her happy. When I am done with it, the battery gets removed so that it lasts a while.
 

markba633csi

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
2,908
Likes
1,506
#7
I've got a cheap Nikon camera that eats double As like pup-a-roni sticks. I take 'em out.
What gets me is when the device has an internal minimum voltage limit below which it won't run even if the batts still have some life left.
Argg.
 

coherent

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Aug 6, 2013
Messages
216
Likes
169
#8
I have 3 different calipers. I'll second the igaging as not eating up batteries as badly. I buy bulk import by the dozen really cheap off of ebay and have seen no significant difference in longevity overall using name brand or imports. The imports are really cheap so it's not the cost. It's more of a hassle to change it out when you're in the middle of something and don't want to have the display flashing (like mine does when the battery gets low)..
 

David S

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Nov 18, 2012
Messages
1,262
Likes
1,011
#9
I have a number of digital calipers no namers, Mitutoyo, electronic watches, Igauge dro's, and I only ever use dollar store cells. I get excellent service from them. I have some lithium primary coin cells that I purchased a few years ago. Before using them I check the V and it is 3.3v min. The alkalines are over 1.5v... no load of course.

Perhaps our Canadian Dollar stores are better? Don't think so :).

David
 

jrkorman

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
64
Likes
86
#10
This tells me I'm going to be careful buying. I've got a HF special; Pittsburg 6 inch; that I've had for at least a couple of years.
Still has the original LR44 battery. And always matches my Starrett mike. BUT I've got an older one that flashes random numbers
when you turn it on - totally useless - until I can figure out what to do with it. I hate throwing away tools!

Jim Korman
 

Downunder Bob

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
1,016
Likes
412
#11
I've got a cheap Nikon camera that eats double As like pup-a-roni sticks. I take 'em out.
What gets me is when the device has an internal minimum voltage limit below which it won't run even if the batts still have some life left.
Argg.
I have one like that, Nikon Coolpix L22. Ate batteries, sometimes only a dozen or so pics and throw the batteries out, until I found it depends a lot on what batteries you use.

I found even the most expensive of the major brands rarely gave good life. The only ones that gave good life were the very expensive "camera " batteries Kodak and other brands, but generally only available in camera shops and very expensive.

Then one day in desperation I tried some rechargables Nimh type and found some worked and some didn't, Finally I got onto some enekeep by powertech 2000mAh. They worked really well and I have taken thousands of photos with these.

Recently I upgraded to eneloop by Panasonic 2100mAh and they are excellent. You will also need a suitable charger mine is from Powertech and will take 2 or 4 cells at a time AA or AAA full charge in 2 hours, and runs off 12v dc or mains power with a multi voltage power pack 100V to 250V, great for travelling.

Unfortunately I recently broke the little plastic lug that holds the battery door closed. So I'm experimenting with some epoxy goo to rebuild it. The little camera still takes great pics.
 

Tozguy

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
1,709
Likes
1,117
#12
I have to put in a good word for the iGaging Absolute Origin Calipers. It was ordered on EBAY about two years ago and I use it a lot and
the battery has yet to be replaced. Sometimes I find it left on for undetermined periods of time. It uses a 3 volt CR2032 lithium battery.
Mine is a six inch version and at present they are available for just under $40. It's nicely crafted as well.
Ditto on the good word for the iGaging Absolute origin cal. have been using it for roughly a year now and it is still on original battery. Good thing because the sliding door to the battery looks fragile and must be opened or closed very carefully.
 

Downunder Bob

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
1,016
Likes
412
#13
This tells me I'm going to be careful buying. I've got a HF special; Pittsburg 6 inch; that I've had for at least a couple of years.
Still has the original LR44 battery. And always matches my Starrett mike. BUT I've got an older one that flashes random numbers
when you turn it on - totally useless - until I can figure out what to do with it. I hate throwing away tools!

Jim Korman
Instead of throwing it Away why not pull it apart and clean it, it may just work again. better than just throwing it away.
 

RJSakowski

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
3,579
Likes
4,132
#14
I rechecked the current draw on my calipers. My original statement of 200 microamps was in error.

I have one pair with a black scale cover that came from an auto supply store, perhaps fifteen years ago. It draws 13 microamps, on or off. I also have a 12" pair with black scale cover, purchased from HF and it also draws 13 microamps on or off. A third pair labeled PT draws 7 microamps on or off.
However, the two latest pair are from HF and draw 13 microamps on but only 1.4 microamps off.

They were picked up at one of HF's sales for $10 each and machining was crude to be charitable. I was able to stone the beam to the point where operation is good but one of the calipers had a quirk of jumping multiples of .200" in use so it was abandoned. But for $10, what the hey? These two were bought around three years ago and almost certainly, the calipers may have changed since but if my latest calipers are any indication, they seemed to have resolved the short battery life issue.

Calipers will undoubtedly draw a higher current while in use, specifically during the times that the jaw is moving but for most hobbyists, this should be a relatively low impact on battery life. At 13 microamps draw, an Energizer 357 battery should give 10,000 hrs of service or just over a year. At an off current draw, the life should be ten times that at which point the shelf life of the battery will probably be the killer.

I don't believe that I have ever seen the kind of battery life predicted. The reason most likely has to do with the minimum operating voltage of the calipers. A cutoff voltage of 1.35 volts would shorten the useful life by as much as 50%. To that end, the EPX76 battery is superior to the 357 or the LR44 battery because of its flat discharge curve. I have included data sheets for the three battery types which are applicable to most, if not all, of the Chinese calipers.
357.JPG EPX76.JPG LR44.JPG
 

rzbill

The cheapest thing in an airplane is the pilot.
Registered
Joined
Feb 16, 2017
Messages
136
Likes
148
#15
I'm sorry but this thread makes me laugh because I have a set of digital Mitutoyo's that have been in my toolbox with a dead battery for 10+ years. I have a mechanical Starrett that I use all the time. No battery obviously. The funny part is that I JUST YESTERDAY bought a 357 battery to resurect the Mitutoyo's. I guess I will be reminded why I don't like digitals really soon....:rolleyes:
 

FOMOGO

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
1,811
Likes
1,734
#16
I'm sorry but this thread makes me laugh because I have a set of digital Mitutoyo's that have been in my toolbox with a dead battery for 10+ years. I have a mechanical Starrett that I use all the time. No battery obviously. The funny part is that I JUST YESTERDAY bought a 357 battery to resurect the Mitutoyo's. I guess I will be reminded why I don't like digitals really soon....:rolleyes:

Have had my 6" Mitutoyo for 8-9 yrs, and finnally replaced the battery last year. Gets used all the time when I'm home, but then sits for 4-6 months when I''m gone in the winter. Maybe they like the dry climate here, I have pretty good luck with batteries in general. Mike
 

woodchucker

Registered
Registered
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
1,504
Likes
1,036
#17
I have to put in a good word for the iGaging Absolute Origin Calipers. It was ordered on EBAY about two years ago and I use it a lot and
the battery has yet to be replaced. Sometimes I find it left on for undetermined periods of time. It uses a 3 volt CR2032 lithium battery.
Mine is a six inch version and at present they are available for just under $40. It's nicely crafted as well.
My battery has lasted more than 3 years, maybe 4 or 5, ... So I agree on the Igaging .. plus I like the big numbers. I got it because of the fractional readout for WoodWorking, but I don't like the 1/128 of an inch resolution.. it's too fine and confusing for WoodWorking, so It's relegated to the machine shop, and it is nice. For woodworking I picked up an Igaging dial on top of my HF dial. they both read fractions real nicely. Anyway enough of me yammering.
 

GarageGuy

Active User
Registered
Joined
Nov 9, 2013
Messages
788
Likes
252
#18
I have a used Mitutoyo analog dial caliper that is my go-to favorite, and a Harbor Freight analog dial caliper that I carry to work. I use the HF digital calipers as scribes to mark lines for turning and cut-off. :grin:

GG
 

bobloblaw

Newbie
Registered
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
5
Likes
1
#19
I have a Starrett No. 721 that I bought in the 1980’s and used to kill batteries bad. Then I decided to try sliding the battery cover open about 1”. I haven’t replaced batteries in 3 or 4 years. Don’t remove the 2032’s, just slide the cover open.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

Ulma Doctor

Infinitely Curious
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
76
Likes
4,600
#20
i can't catch a break with battery powered devices.:bang head:
every digital caliper, digital micrometer, and digital indicator i own requires the batteries to be changed- before i use them:cussing:

i usually just grab my cheapie HF 6" dial calipers or my Mauser Vernier calipers, because they don't need batteries
 

Reddinr

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Messages
129
Likes
59
#21
So, when did they start putting little warning labels on the coin batteries? They basically are there to remind us not to feed the batteries to babies, which I think I already knew. But if you aren't looking for the sticker you don't see them, the batteries just act dead. I tossed a couple of batteries before I figured it out... Talk about bone-head.
 
R

Robert LaLonde

Guest - Please Register!
Guest - Please Register!
#22
I have a handy Chinese electronic caliper , large display , three way. It eats batteries, they never really turn off. See AvE vids. I know I should have bought a Mitutoyo , but around here they are $250. So I try to have a pack of batteries beside it. The last time I bought batteries, they were a dollar store purchase, Sunbeam brand. Even if it was only a few days, it seemed the battery was dead. This is ridiculous. This time I bought a pack of Energizers. At least the # is easy to remember, 357

If I'm half **** serious I use a dial caliper, if real serious, I mike it.
I pretty much gave up on digitals. I like dial calipers. The only real advantage to the digitals is switching between imperial and metic when yu are trying to figure out what something is. Other wise I have an HF dial 6", Fisher Dial 6", and Fisher Dial 12", in imperial and a Mitutoyo 6" Dial in metric. I do have one wide clearance digital still. I forget where I got it, but tis a cheap import. I keep it because its the only one I have that I can use to reach around a large piece of trim bead or extrusion to measure the material behind it. I don't think I have ever used it.

Oh, yeah. Speaking of calipers I have never used. I also have an HF fractional dial caliper. Not sure how I wound up with it, but I have it.

If something needs to be pretty accurate I've got an assortment of mic laying around including one cheap import 0-1 analog digital that tends to be within 1/2 thou. If I need to know closer than that I check a gage block close to the size I am measuring to determine how far off it is in that range. I've also got an assortment of Speedway (like harbor freight only different brand). Those are the ones that get left out.

I've got a bunch of ancient Starretts (some may be more than 100 years old) that came from my grandfather I use if I need to get a little closer, but not all of them have (or were even made with) a tension thimble. Again, I check them against a gage block or a standard or combination thereof to see how far off they are in the range I am measuring. I've also have a little set of Companions my dad gave me that have proven to be amazingly good except for the 0-1" which has seen some abuse and is a little stiff. My dad told me Companions were an El-Cheapo American made brand he picked up back when he worked at Lockheed (pre Martin) back in the late 1960s.

For measuring I like analog. For machining I like digital. LOL.

One of the instrument rebuilders has a bunch of MItutoyo used & rebuilt analog digitals I've been thinking about picking up a mismatched set of the next time I get paid for a big job.

... almost forgot. I have a .2 to 1.2" cheap import inside mic that has proven to be pretty good as well. Gets me very close. If its needs to be better then I need to use go-nogo gages.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

markba633csi

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
2,908
Likes
1,506
#23
I have a nice Enco 8" cheapie, decades old, that I like a lot. My only caliper. Had needle sharp tips for years until I got careless with it and broke one off. Arg. But it still works great. Chinese. Batteries not included, or required.
From Enco store in San Jose, long gone. Farewell Enco, Pioneers/purveyors of Cheap N' Good.
Mark S.
 
Last edited:

Downunder Bob

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
1,016
Likes
412
#24
This chewing up batteries must be an american thing. I have two. 6" / 150mm digital callipers, one is at least 20 years old the other about 1 year old, both have auto off, and it is off. Both of them are unbranded and made in china, quite accurate with in 1/2 a thou. I dont remember how much for the old one, probbly $25-30. but the new one was about $30. don't remember when I last changed the battery in the old one and it's still good. The nearly new one still has the original battery and I never turn it off, just put it down somewhere convenient when i've finished with it.
 

Dredb

Registered
Registered
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
94
Likes
90
#25
This chewing up batteries must be an american thing. I have two. 6" / 150mm digital callipers, one is at least 20 years old the other about 1 year old, both have auto off, and it is off. Both of them are unbranded and made in china, quite accurate with in 1/2 a thou. I dont remember how much for the old one, probbly $25-30. but the new one was about $30. don't remember when I last changed the battery in the old one and it's still good. The nearly new one still has the original battery and I never turn it off, just put it down somewhere convenient when i've finished with it.
I understand it's quite warm in Oz. The digital caliper battery problem is well known over here where the weather tends to be more on the cool side, the one day a year when it's warm doesn't seem to help much. If I remember to take the digital calipers indoors from September to April, the batteries don't go flat but if I happen to go out to the shed I can't measure anything because the digital calipers are in the house. All in all the things are about as useful as a photocell powered torch. :)
 

markba633csi

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
2,908
Likes
1,506
#26
Ah, you mean a flashlight- here in the states a torch is either:
A) nozzle that burns propane /mapp gas/oxyacetylene or
B) a stick with some flaming material at the end
:)
 

Downunder Bob

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Staff member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
1,016
Likes
412
#27
I understand it's quite warm in Oz. The digital caliper battery problem is well known over here where the weather tends to be more on the cool side, the one day a year when it's warm doesn't seem to help much. If I remember to take the digital calipers indoors from September to April, the batteries don't go flat but if I happen to go out to the shed I can't measure anything because the digital calipers are in the house. All in all the things are about as useful as a photocell powered torch. :)
You must live a long way north, i've spent a lot of time in USA, In 2015 I was there for 8 months travelling around, went right up into Cananda and didn't find many cold days. Travelled through almost every state, 35,000 km by motorbike, and 10,000 by car.

Try just putting the caliper down when you've finished with it, let it turn itself off, usually about ten minutes.

I guess on average Australia is a little warmer, but not that much, what we don't have is the very cold winters. We only get snow in the mountains in the south East for about 3 months of the year. this is mainly because Austarlia is very flat our highest mountain is only 2,228m, 7,300 ft. Most of Australia is less than 1,000 ft, so it doesn't get so cold. Where I live in the south Adelaide South Australia, our climate is much like San Francisco, long warm summers and cool wet winters. Ideal for growing wine grapes. The highest altitude permanently occupied town is only 5,250ft.
 
Last edited:
D

Deleted member 473

Guest - Please Register!
Guest - Please Register!
#28
I have a pair of 8" Mitutoyo digital calipers I bought new twenty years ago. Most of the twenty years, they did not see any shop use, just engineering room use. About 8 years ago I notice they were not reading right. They would loose about .0015" per inch, so in 8", they lost about .012" Didn't manner if it was new battery or old. Cleaned the scales, didn't manner. Pulled them out of the tool chest a while back and tried them again with new battery, they were dead nuts on, anywhere on the scale, checking with gage blocks. About a week ago, pulled them out, first thing I do is grab a gage block and check. Hum, it's off a bunch. Try a larger gage block, well it's dead on. Go back to a smaller gage block, still reading off about .002". Jaws do have about .001" taper in them from wear, but I'm checking them in toward the scale or inner part of the jaws. Throw them back in the box and pulled my Chinese pair out, still dead on for 15 years of shop use!
 

jrkorman

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 22, 2017
Messages
64
Likes
86
#29
This tells me I'm going to be careful buying. I've got a HF special; Pittsburg 6 inch; that I've had for at least a couple of years.
Still has the original LR44 battery. And always matches my Starrett mike. BUT I've got an older one that flashes random numbers
when you turn it on - totally useless - until I can figure out what to do with it. I hate throwing away tools!

Jim Korman
Took the caliper apart and found a bit of "gunk" on the battery terminals. Cleaned that all up along with replacing the battery. Working as good as new now. Put the old battery back in - flashes! So assuming that it starts to flash when the battery voltage is too low.
 

TORQUIN

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
111
Likes
63
#30
I have an igaging and have had no problem with battery usage, but it does not have auto-off and I have left it on several times overnight or more. In Dec, 2016 I found this large-print caliper, https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01EEH677Y/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1, and it has auto-on and auto-off. I have been quite happy with it as I have used it for most measuring operations in the shop for over a year, unless I opt for a micrometer, and have only changed the battery once. It maintains absolute measurement so it knows where it is even if I left it open last time I used it. If you reset zero on it and it powers off it will take up the absolute measurement when it turns back on.

Chris
 
[6]
[5] [7]
Top