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Old 12-12-2010, 11:40 AM
Master Builder
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Washington State USA
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Default Escali scale measuring wrong weight

Anyone know how to calibrate a Escali scale? As one can see in the attached photo my scale is reading quite wrong. The scale has never been dropped or abused nor submerged and changing the batteries has not improved this problem. I know several members also use this model scale and so wondered if you have encountered this problem and if so, what you did about it.

The only reason I found this problem was I recently acquired a set of calibration weights and was curious how close my scale was.

1000 grams weight measures 1136 grams on this Escali scale
500 grams @ 568 grams
200 grams @ 227 grams
100 grams @ 113
50 grams @ 56

So it seems to be about 13 percent off. So when I measure 1000 grams on this Escali scale the weight in actuality is somewhere's closer to 870 grams in the real world.

I don't have any calibration weights less than 50 grams and so do not know how far off it measures below 50 grams. I use the scale to measure the salt in my bread recipe and that is but 9 grams, on this scale.

As to when this problem developed I haven't a clue, perhaps it came from the factory mis-calibrated as I really didn't check it and only recently had the means to do so. I am left with the thought that all the recipes I have developed for myself are suspect.

And so I wonder has anyone else had this problem? Does anyone know how to calibrate this scale?

Thanks, Wiley
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Old 12-13-2010, 09:39 AM
brokencookie's Avatar
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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Default Re: Escali scale measuring wrong weight

Wiley

Hate to tell you this, but your balance cannot be calibrated. I checked the Escali site and your model does not have a calibration feature. This is fairly typical of non-laboratory balances. They have a small electronic load cell and once it's off, you are out of luck.
On the other hand, as long as the error is consistent your recipes are fine since they are based on percentages. Your total mass may be off but the percentages remain the same.


Bruce
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:22 AM
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Location: Washington State USA
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Default Re: Escali scale measuring wrong weight

Hi Bruce and thanks for the reply. I too checked the Escali site and as my scale is still under the five year warranty I filled out their online form and we'll see just what they are willing to do. I suspect the cost of shipping will make that a non starter should they be willing to take the unit back for repair or replacement.

On that note, one just buys these scales in the blind faith that they are giving a accurate measurement. And in the interests of having a common datum with which to check scales I have measured the weights of some US coins. They're common and made to some sort of standards so that they work in vending machines etc. so that one can be fairly sure that eight quarters in California weighs very close to eight quarters in say, Florida.

I have two scales with which to measure and compare. One is an inexpensive Chinese made pocket scale which meausures to the tenths of grams and the other a US made Ohaus Triple Beam Balance scale (700series). That Chinese made scale is what started this whole discovery that my scale was off. It's a Harbor Freight pocket scale and for the low sum of 12 dollars is able to be calibrated and appears well made. I brought out my calibration weights to check and calibrate that scale and was simply curious as to how good the Escali scale was, so I checked it.

So after some messing about with different combinations and numbers of coins I found that eight US quarters of current manufacture and without exceptional wear weigh almost exactly 45 grams. That's the weight on both the digital and the mechanical scale.

So that is an easy quick check for anyone wishing to see if their scale is reading right. I would assume that variance in the weights of the coins would be less than the accuracy of the scale and so one simply places 8 quarters on the scale and if it reads 45 grams then one is good to go.

It would be interesting to see how many of these scales are reading accurately so I would appreciate those checking their scale to post their results here.

Thanks,
Wiley
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:59 AM
Master Builder
 
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Location: Washington State USA
Posts: 777
Default Re: Escali scale measuring wrong weight

Oh, and for those wishing to check a low end of a scale: a nickel basically weighs five grams.
Bests,
Wiley
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:14 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa, FL
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Default Re: Escali scale measuring wrong weight

Wiley, thanks for the quick check. I just tested my Escali (purchased from the FB store).
8 newer quarters DID equal 45 grams
On the newer nickel it could not make up its mind between 4 and 5, after several attempts.

Close enough for me. You are correct - blind faith. I seriously doubt many folks have calibration weights (I don't).
Anyone have any ideas on disproving my bathroom scale, I'd like it to read about 20 lbs. less?

RT
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:29 PM
dmun's Avatar
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Default Re: Escali scale measuring wrong weight

I have a set of fairly cheesy Chinese test weights from fractional grams to 100 grams. I double checked them, 28 grams was just under an ounce on my Ohaus triple beam (which is ancient, and calibrated in avoirdupois). They all measured dead on or one gram over on the Escali scale.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:13 PM
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Location: Washington State USA
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Default Re: Escali scale measuring wrong weight

A quick update:
An Escali representative contacted me today concerning my problem and sent me the necessary information as to where to return my scale and what paperwork they need. I am quite impressed with the quick response as I just filled out my "online warranty form" yesterday. And the return isn't to an address in Italy but rather to a city in Minnesota. So as I write this the scale (carefully and well packaged) on its way to Escali and is in the hands of the Post Office with a tracking number so it won't get lost in a snow bank and not found until spring.

Bests,
Wiley
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:45 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Default Re: Escali scale measuring wrong weight

Actually, I think the only thing Italian about Escali is the name. Headquarters in MN, and made in China. At least they have a 5 yr warranty (according to the web site), good customer service, and minus Wiley's off kilter scale, a good quality product at a decent price.

RT
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:05 AM
Lburou's Avatar
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Default Re: Escali scale measuring wrong weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTflorida View Post
Actually, I think the only thing Italian about Escali is the name. Headquarters in MN, and made in China. At least they have a 5 yr warranty (according to the web site), good customer service, and minus Wiley's off kilter scale, a good quality product at a decent price.

RT
One more surprise in the college of Life

Tuition for this course wasn't much, but you've gained some real knowledge here....I never had a thought of the weight of a nickel in grams until today
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Escali scale measuring wrong weight

The best way for the lay-person to calibrate a kitchen scale is the nickel test as Wiley Master Builder so eloquently described. I ran QC lab for years and one of my training exercises was to weigh and find-out the variation of weight nickel to nickel. They vary less than 0.1%. Or 1/100th of a gram. The US treasury has very good Quality Control.

I think we are looking for accuracy of no better than 1/10th of a gram. If you use the same nickel every time there is no variation. Only precision is an issue. I would pull your magic nickel out of your piggy bank and go to your trusty US postal service and have it weighed (you know the scale is calibrated to the 1/1000 of a gram). Write down that weight and that's what you calibrate your scale to. You don't need calibration weights traceable to NBS.

BTW, does any one know how much a Philippine Peso weighs?
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