Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Balance Underload and Overload Error

Lytzu - 11-1-2020 at 09:16

The scale I ordered arrived sooner than expected. Unfortunately it appears to no longer be functioning properly.

The seller had shown to me plenty of evidence that it worked perfectly fine before shipping. The package was not damaged beyond the normal scuffs that are to be expected. It was also packed very well, the seller put a lot of effort into securing it inside the box.

When powered on it displays an underweight error. Or at least it did until after hours of searching for answers and attempting various fixes frustration made me stupid. I must have pushed down on the weigh platform a bit too hard and it switched to the overweight error. A little more fiddling made it go back to underweight but now it occasionally changes between the two.

I am assuming either vibration or temperature changes during shipping damaged the load cell. Probably didn't help things at all to press on it like I did, but in fairness it can weigh up to 4kg and I wasn't pushing real hard. But it's still a balance and it probably doesn't take much. I was pushing because I had noticed it started to display something other than an error with a bit of force, but very rarely and only with a very specific amount of force.

If it helps, it is an Ohaus and like I said weights up to 4kg. It was supposed to measure to 0.01g but it sure isn't doing that now.

I have tried all I can think of but I doesn't sound like its an easy fix. I contacted the seller to see if he can help at all but so far not looking too good. It put me out more than $100 and that is not money I have to just throw away right now.

Since I really want to not have spent that money for nothing I am debating contacting the local service center to see what they can do. It is almost 30 years old though so my hopes are... not high.

If they do have something to offer me, anyone have any clue what it might cost? Otherwise tips on what else I can do? I am really disappointed because the thing is in otherwise gorgeous condition. Like besides discoloration of the case (90's plastics) and a small dent it looks like it could be brand new. :( I was so excited to get it too.

G-Coupled - 11-1-2020 at 11:56

I wonder if it has a 'travel setting' like some instruments do which is supposed to be engaged before packing/mailing to protect it?

Lytzu - 11-1-2020 at 12:47

I didn't see anything like that in the manual.

I'm really feeling like it's most certainly good and truly broke now. I'm so disappointed. That was a lot of money and I probably won't be able to make even half of it back selling it for parts.

The thing seems sealed so I can't take a look inside. I'm assuming that means I can't fix it myself either. But I have seen the same model being sold for parts before so... can I get a load cell from another balance and fix it? Does anyone know anything about repairing balances?

I'm a little afraid to call the service center because I'm an amateur. I've never dealt with equipment manufacturers before, I'm not a business who ordered a bunch of balances in bulk or whatever.

God this is frustrating. I spent so much time and energy searching for what I wanted, found it, got it and now it doesn't work. I can't even blame anyone except maybe myself for extra breaking it by pushing down on the weigh pan. The seller obviously put effort into making sure the thing got to me safely and it wasn't "damaged" by shipping and handling in a way that could get me a refund. The box was in about as good as shape as you can ask for when it's coming halfway across the country.

Arg. I'm probably going to borrow my boyfriends kitchen balance for now since I'm just working with vinegar and washing soda. Still, I want my own NICE scientific balance.

mhz4.77 - 11-1-2020 at 15:33

Did it display any error codes other than the under/over weight ?

Lytzu - 12-1-2020 at 17:23

No, there have been no other error codes.

I just attempted to clean out the insides with compressed air but no luck.

Sulaiman - 13-1-2020 at 00:04

Have you checked for a transport lock ?
e.g. the Ohaus Valor has a transport lock in the battery compartment.

"I'm a little afraid to call the service center because I'm an amateur"
In general, service centres just want to make a profit servicing stuff, (I worked in one)
call and try ... sometimes only corporate accounts allowed but very often individual accounts are handled,
we for example gave free quotations and returned goods if the quotation was unacceptable,
new customers usually payment in advance of repairs.
But they may have a walk-in counter ... check.

Lytzu - 13-1-2020 at 06:52

I cannot find any literature online pertaining to a transport lock on this model. There is nothing in the manuals. The seller also did not mention engaging one before shipping.

I'll look into having it serviced. I'm still very worried about the price though.

Thanks for the help. If anyone else has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated.

electronic crap

sodium_stearate - 13-1-2020 at 09:08

It's fucked up.

Get a different one.

All this modern electronic crap is so cheaply
made, that it will inevitably fail, as your unit has.

This is "throw away" technology.

Sorry you got burned paying good money for
a fucked up scale. Better luck next time.

Get a mechanical one.

woelen - 13-1-2020 at 23:46

Going to a service centre is not worth the effort. If it is a service center for professional equipment, then you may also expect "professional" prices, i.e. starting at a few hundreds of dollars. The equipment they receive usually will be worth thousands of dollars and then such a price for repair can be justified. If it is a service centre for domestic equipment, then they'll probably not be prepared to repair your scale. The domestic service centres usually repair TV's, washing machines, audio amplifiers, fridges, often replacing a switch, a fuse, or maybe some old electrolytic capacitors or a burnt out power transistor, but nothing more fancy.

It's a pity of the money, but you can also look at it from another point of view. Take it apart, try to understand how it works. The 1980's and start of 1990's equipment frequently still can be understood fairly easily. It may be a nice learning experience and you may salvage some interesting parts from it, useful for experiments or for making other things.

Such is life, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Although frustrating, a loss of an amount of $100 will not break you down ;)

[Edited on 14-1-20 by woelen]