Cheap mg scales any good? ($100)

Discussion in 'Research Chemicals' started by ISBN, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. ISBN

    ISBN Silver Member

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    Feb 22, 2005
    What is the opinion of low priced .001-.002g scales? Such as the </span>American Weigh DIA-10 Digital Carat Scale 50x0.01ct?

    That same scale is also sold under different brand names (J Precision, and another I can't recall).

    Has anyone had the opportunity to compare the accuracy of these scales
    with others? They look a little bit iffy to me, but who knows.

    Edited by: ISBN
  2. BlueMystic

    BlueMystic Gold Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 28, 2005
    from The Netherlands
    Don't know about that one, but the Gem-Pro 50 has had great accuracy for many without any problems.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  3. mattp

    mattp Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 28, 2005
    look for Tanita gem scales on ebay. you will probably find one for
    100ish. I have had problems with the Gem pro 50 and recently upgraded
    to a tanita. with the gem pro, i would weigh 1 sample, reweigh it, and
    get a difference of almost .1 g which can make a big difference
    depending on what you are weighing out.
  4. HippieD9

    HippieD9 Gold Member

    Reputation Points:
    Dec 12, 2004
    from U.S.A.
    I got a cheap one off e-bay, and it' surprisingly good! I've seen it under a few different names, so it may be the one you're thinking of.


  5. GDxCAT

    GDxCAT Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 19, 2005
    from U.S.A.
    ive had too many problems with gem pro.

    I never know how much im taking anymore. Its always + or - 5mg.

    which, as stated earlier, is pretty dangerous depending on the substance.
  6. Metamountain

    Metamountain Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Hey I have a Tanita which i got for like less than $100......amazing
    for the price and totally accurate...the Japs know how to make
    precision electronics..imho
  7. ISBN

    ISBN Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Feb 22, 2005
    I am going to go with a Tanita 1210-50. Those with the Tanita, was
    it $100 on ebay? I've only seem them at $200 in the past few days.
    Should I hold out for a deal, or is $200 just about the best I can get?

    These harvested comments from alt.drugs.psychedelics helped me make up my mind
    (even though they concern the GemPro, not the
    DigiWeigh/Am.Weight/JPrecision/etc scales). Figure they'd help anyone in the same predicament:

    "Seriously though, for the purposes of psychedelic drug dosage,

    an $80 scale with claimed accuracy of +/- 1mg should not be used

    to measure any amount smaller than 20mg."

    "The only two milligram scales worth a damn which are affordable for the

    average person would be the Tanita 1210 or the Acculab PP-2060D. Both are

    around $250-350 depending where you buy them from. Both are accurate to

    2mg and have 1mg readability."

    "I wouldn't even think of using anything less than these for measuring

    anything with a dosage under 100mg. If you cant afford one of these, use

    volumetric liquid measurement technique. "

    "gempro works, i've heard the tanita

    1210 for $50 more is worth it. "

    "Personally, I've seen the gempro 50

    and the tanita 1210. The gempro is a pile, but it works OK. The tanita

    is great. "</font>

    Edited by: ISBN
  8. mariecurie

    mariecurie Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Feb 7, 2005
    A friend of mine has the precision which is a ten gram scale that
    claims to be accurate to a milligram. I trust that thing to about five,
    but if the wind switches from north to west it definitely drops a few
    milligrams. Or goes up. Or turns off. Ad infinitum.
  9. ISBN

    ISBN Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Feb 22, 2005
    I found this page from one of the cheapie manufacturers,
    which describes some interesting tips for insuring scale accuracy. Among them:

    "Please only operate and display scales at normal room temperature of 65
    to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If a scale is cold or hot, allow it to adjust
    to normal room temperature for 12 hours if possible (this sounds
    drastic but a load cell / sensor is like a metal sponge. &lt;span style="font-style: italic;"&gt;It takes many
    hours for the temperature of the entire load cell to adjust&lt;/span&gt;. When a
    scale is cold it can and will "drift". This is when a scale starts
    increasing or decreasing its displayed number (0.1g, 0.2g, 0.3g, etc)."

    "HERE'S A TEST: Turn on your scale and place a weight on it. Then call
    a friend on your cell phone and hold the phone near the scale. The
    display on the scale will change dramatically as it picks up the radio
    signal from your phone. This happens to every brand electronic scale to
    different degrees depending on design. Scales will pick up this
    interference from up to 15 feet away! &lt;span style="font-style: italic;"&gt;Do not operate a cell or cordless phone within 10 feet of an in-use scale!&lt;/span&gt;"

    "Low Batteries, bad battery connections & Faulty AC Adaptors are
    the #1 cause of scale malfunction and inaccuracy...Please replace the
    batteries often (and only use good quality batteries)...Please test
    your scale with a good set of batteries (instead of the AC adaptor) to
    determine if perhaps the AC adaptor is faulty."

    "I hope you understand the importance of calibrating and operating in a
    stable, vibration and interference free environment. We just can't
    stress it enough."

    Edited by: Micklemouse
  10. yajw

    yajw Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 27, 2005
    A balance is an investment. For myself, a balance gets used for a
    number of purposes, and accuracy and repeatibility are extremely
    important. I had 3 gempro-50, and none of them were worth a damn. The
    tanita line seem to be enjoyed by a number of people, as well as the
    acculab series. But for around the same price (or a little more), you
    can get a 1mg or 1mcg scale off ebay, lab-x or from a number of
    university surplus auction sites. The majority are due to equipment
    upgrading, and the scales are kept in good condition. I acquired an
    electronic, internal calibration microgram scale for $200. It could
    probably use a servicing, but checking with calibration weights allowed
    me to see the small discrepancy, and allow for that.
  11. DrugPhreak

    DrugPhreak Gold Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 17, 2005
    75 y/o from iceland
    For gram scales you can see how accurate they are by placing a US nickel on the scale… if it shows 5gm than it’s accurate (it's also easy to remember... 5 cents weighs 5 grams). There's no need to buy any of those weights to test it. When it comes to cheap milligram scales the less they are capable of weighing the more accurate they will be.
  12. moeBius

    moeBius Gold Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 13, 2005
    36 y/o from U.K.
    i can only recommend to take a look at ebay for second hand analog lab-scales.

    i found really good mettler and satorius scales there for less than 70€.

    with a little search you get a calibrated scale, weighting precisely from 0.1mg to 100g.

    but keep in mind that you have to transport it, it's defenitely a bad idea to do this via the post.
  13. Dualpower

    Dualpower Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Apparently Tanita's have been subject to a lot of knock offs and forgerys. What you pay is what you get.

    For those who had accuracy problems with the gem pros, did you use it
    properly? Have you ever dropped it? Were you using it beside an
    electromagnetic field?

    Honestly most people probably don't take care of their scales properly,
    if it can measure .002g its damn easy to break without even noticing.
  14. yajw

    yajw Newbie

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 27, 2005

    Yes. No. No.

    The first was defective and there was no consistency in readings.
    Multiple battery changes were tried. The manufacturers replacement
    would attempt to calibrate, then seem to lose the calibration inbetween
    weighings. This presented a problem with one experiment, yet luckily
    the compund was forgiving. Always used on a vibration dampener pad, it
    a concrete floored room. While it is supposedly a 2mg capable scale, it
    had a range of +/- 2mg. Far too much allowance for my personal taste.
    These scales are great for weighing out a large mass of compounds that
    can be dissoled into a known concentration for testing. But for
    individual or repeated small measurements, they are more trouble than
    they're worth. YMMV

    I use my balance for a number of things and like precision and
    accuracy. Luckily those university years provided a nice set of
    calibration weights that sit around.
  15. ISBN

    ISBN Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Feb 22, 2005

    Good idea, but I'd like to note the mass of coins fluctuates with
    their age and condition quite a bit. While a perfectly produced, brand
    new 2005 nickel should weigh 5 grams, it may not. I wouldn't rely on
    using just one nickel to judge a scale. Using an array of brand new,
    clean, nickels to find an average would seem to be a better route.

    Another way to judge accuracy at a lighter mass would be to measure
    a prescription pill, which are also produced under strict control.
    e.g., a 10mg Claritin will weigh out to 100mg (fillers). While it may
    be hard to find out the mass the pill should be, they usually adhere to
    common increments (so if a pill weighs out to's probably
    supposed to weigh out to 100mg). But, this has the same problems of the
    above mentioned method. The pills may vary +/-2mg.

    All calibration weights are not created equal.


    Does anyone have any tips or tricks for handling RC's?</font>
    I got his scale today and has been practicing measuring and filling
    with broken up aspirin. He's hoping there is some magical method
    because he has really poor fine motor control. He tried breaking up on
    a smallish square of paper, folding it in half, and pouring onto the
    weighing platform. What a mess he made. Anyone have any ideas of what
    he could use as a little spoon?

    update: Thanks nagonog. </span>He built off of your ways. Basically, it's a little tripod
    funnel setup that hovers over an open gelcap. The overly detailed
    description: The gelcap is help upward by taking a 5cm X 1cm portion of
    the sticky side of a post-it note. The cap is placed in the middle of
    this strip, and the strip is folded closed. So, imagine a coffee mug
    without a bottom, and with a long flat handle extension. Then he made a
    funnel with a rather steep slope (like, 5cm tall, 2cm diameter at the
    top). The funnel is made from glassine paper (a smooth paper that is
    sometimes sold as "powder paper" to pharmacists. He found it from an
    old glassine envelope/bag that held some natural artists' charcoal
    sticks he bought a while ago. Glassine paper is commonly used for
    dainty invitiation/stationary enelopes. It is slightly transparent). He
    then made a non-clay clay triangle from paper clips. The triangle was
    then supported over the scale with a tripod made from paper clips
    (google image: clay triangle tripod). The legs of the tripod rest on
    the table that the scal sits on. For the spoon, a Speedball Linoleum
    Cutter No.1 works perfectly (google image: linoleum cutter). It's a
    little piece of metal about 3.5cm long. The cutting end is sharp and v
    shaped, the fixture side is dull and u shaped. So he can make a
    largeish initial deposit with the U side, and then make another deposit
    with a few gentle taps to the V side. He's still practicing with
    crushed up OTC pills. A possible problem may be that the long thing
    particles of some Research Chemicals may clog or get stuck to the funnel.

    Edited by: ISBN
  16. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2 Iridium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Feb 1, 2005
    I pre-weigh an empty gelatin capsule while wearing disposable latex gloves. Then I transfer the (x) into same using a fine stainless-steel surgical spatula until the desired amount has been reached. However, I do have very steady hands. If your friend doesn't, perhaps you know someone who does?
  17. allyourbase

    allyourbase Palladium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 4, 2005
    from U.S.A.
    you should look into a spoon instead.I have various tiny metal and glass spoons, some can hold an entire gram of a given material, while others cannot handle more than about 10 milligrams.

    if you know the weight per volume of your material, spooning can bevery efficient.

    if you dont know such things the next best thing to do is liquid dosing. start with a known amount, then WITH A CALCULATOR divide the known amount by your desired amount of doses and add a drop of distilled alcohol to the material for every dose.

    milligram scales are not only expensive but theyre very delicate. they break very easily. a balance might be better.Edited by: allyourbase
  18. discobloodbath

    discobloodbath Newbie

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    Oct 12, 2004
    anyone know if the JPrecision 10 is a good scale?
  19. MrJenkins

    MrJenkins Silver Member

    Reputation Points:
    Mar 27, 2005
    I have the Jprecision 10x.001g scale, it works pretty good for
    it's price but i wouldnt trust measuring anything below 5-10mg with
    it. It fluctuates a lot especially if you arent in a completely
    windless stable environment.
    Edited by: MrJenkins
  20. paradies

    paradies Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Mar 20, 2005
    from U.S.A.
    I have a Gem-Pro 50 which has been very reliable for me. I've taken very good care of it...I actually put it back into it's cover and then even the cardboard box it fits into. I've also not taken it stays right here. That also means the temperature is always even so it doesn't need long times to warm up or cool down. Also, I always calibrate it each time I use it...just to be sure it is set right. Either I've got a really good Gem-Pro (which could be the case...mass produced anythings will have a wide range of qualities), or the fact I take excellent care of it and don't cart it around helps I'm sure.