Electronic digital calipers have undoubtedly become the tool of choice nowadays for all kinds of people, be it home users and hobbyists or industrial workers, mechanics and inspection officers. Digital Vernier calipers are versatile and can be used easily by anyone, anywhere and still provide extremely accurate measurements.
However due to their precise nature, even slight problems or misalignment can alter the readings. This is the reason users need to be extra careful to follow the right procedures and take good care of their calipers like we discussed in a previous article. In this article we will discuss a few tips for using and maintaining your digital vernier caliper.
Handling Zero Errors:
One of the most frequent issues, specially in cheaper electronic digital vernier calipers is the fluctuation of the zero reading when the jaws are closed. Most calipers provide a zero button to reset the value for this purpose and it should be the first thing to do before taking a reading. To ensure proper zeroing, close the jaws of the caliper and press zero, then slide it and bring it back to the position a couple of times to check it is holding.
The measuring jaws should be cleaned properly before closing them. A quick check before zeroing is to close the jaws and hold them in front of a light source. If light passes between the gap, either the jaws need to be pressed more or the surfaces may have suffered mechanical damage. In the latter case, the digital vernier caliper may need to be sent to the repair shop where the jaw surfaces can be grinded to a smooth finish again.
Although taking measurements with a digital vernier caliper is much more simplified than a regular vernier caliper, some things need to be taken care of. The force applied on the jaws when measuring has a close relationship with accuracy. Applying too much force can easily shift the reading. To counter this the object to be measured should be placed as high up in the jaws as possible and not on the tips since this produces a higher moment casuing the jaws to bend on excessive force.
Another method to counter this is to adjust the jib screws located under the movable jaw. If these screws are loose it can create a fair bit of play in the jaw causing the readings to fluctuate.
The most frequent issues that occur in digital calipers are related to the battery or the electronics. Hence it is necessary to properly maintain these components.
Water and moisture are the worst enemies of digital calipers. Moisture can wet the protective sticker over which the readout slides causing the capacitance to distort and this may cause the screen to become unstable. Thus the cover should be wiped with a dry cloth before using and the caliper should be protected from wet and damp conditions.
Issues of static displays, flashing digits or no display are often caused by the battery. The battery should be replaced as soon as symptoms like these begin to occur. Additionally, the battery should be taken out and the contacts cleaned if they appear corroded. Sometimes simply taking out the battery and putting it back in can get the caliper working again.