Author Topic: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock  (Read 973 times)

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johnt48618

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Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« on: December 05, 2018, 04:37:06 AM »
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After about 25 years of service, the scales that I use to bring my N scale rolling stock up to the NMRA Recommended Practice formula for weighing cars has finally stopped working. Thus, I need to purchase a new scales. I've searched Amazon, eBay and the Railwire search function with no success in finding a scales that I like. Also, same with the scales offered by Micro-Mart.

What are you folks using to weigh your rolling stock? I'm looking in the $20-$35 range. Scales will almost exclusively be used weigh N scale rolling stock.

John

David K. Smith

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 04:41:57 AM »
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"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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Maletrain

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 09:06:54 AM »
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DKS, that link goes to a scale that has specs that say "0.01 pounds resolution".  If not incorrectly translated from some other language, that means it has a resolution of only 0.16 ounce.  Considering that the NMRA spec for N scale cars is 0.5 ounce plus 0.15 ounce per inch of car length, it seems that scale is not able to resolve the needed car weight changes closely enough.  The scale specs also say that it goes to a max weight of 55 pounds.  So, I am thinking that it is not what an N scaler really needs.  My wife has a "cooking scale" she purchased from Amazon that reads to 0.01 grams and goes up to a few pounds.  I think that is a better choice, and it is cheaper.  I have already used it to weigh some of my cars, and it is entirely satisfactory.  When she gets back, I will find out what it is and post a link.

mmagliaro

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 09:43:58 AM »
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Look on ebay for "digital jewelry scale".
I use something like this:
https://m.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Precision-Digital-Gram-Jewelry-Scale-Kitchen-Food-Weigh-Balance-3000g-0-1g-/281746856569?nav=SEARCH

Mine isn't that exact one, as I bought it several years ago, but it's similar.

With 0.1g resolution, it does the trick and can measure in grams or ounces.

djconway

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 01:43:23 PM »
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Think Metric

I picked up a AMIR Digital Scale 500g x 0.01g on Amazon for $12 or so last year, I'll see if I can dig up a part number for you.


https://www.amazon.com/GDEALER-Digital-Kitchen-0-001oz-Stainless/dp/B01E6RE3A0/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1544035866&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=500g+x+0.01g&psc=1&smid=A1FVLJQ2H4ONOD
« Last Edit: December 05, 2018, 01:52:31 PM by djconway »

GhengisKong

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2018, 02:10:55 PM »
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If you are willing to pay about $10 more, then this Fisher Scientific scale would be perfect for you. It looks like it has light, general use and you can make an offer. I use an older Fisher-Ainsworth scientific scale myself.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fisher-EMD-200-200g-01g-Lab-Benchtop-Electronic-Digital-Balance-Scale-S40119-1A/312344329924?hash=item48b92c3ec4:g:5soAAOSwfhxbhe1l

peteski

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2018, 03:01:51 PM »
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Most of contemporary digital scales can be switched between imperial and metric units.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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MK

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2018, 04:22:41 PM »
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This

https://www.harborfreight.com/digital-pocket-scale-93543.html

or

https://www.harborfreight.com/1000-gram-digital-scale-60332.html

Both reads down to Grains.  Second one's published accuracy is +/- 0.1 gram.  First one is about 0.15 gram as reported by a reviewer.

20% off their already low prices with Harbor Freight coupon (found everywhere).

Maletrain

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2018, 07:02:58 PM »
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That second link scale, reading to 0.1 gram should be more than satisfactory, because that is 0.0035 ounce, and the NMRA standard is specified down to 0.01 ounce.  It also has a maximum of 1 kilogram, which is 2.2 pounds, so it can probably weigh any n scale locomotive, too.

The scale my wife uses for cooking turns out to go down to 0.01 gram or 0.001 ounce, which is apparently needed for measuring some spices.  So, it is about ten times as sensitive as needed to weigh N scale cars.  Its maximum capacity is only 1 pound (or 500 grams, which is really 1.5 ounces more than an a pound).  That will weigh an N scale Bachmann 2-8-8-4 EM-1 with tender (13.15 ounces, including a jew case lid that is needed to hold the model on the scale pan).  But, it is getting close to the limit, so I can't vouch for weighing "Big Boys" with it.

My wife's scale is a Salter 1250BK.  She got it from Amazon.  Here's the link: https://www.amazon.com/Salter-1250BK-Colorado-Compact-Electronic/dp/B000A8PO7G/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1544054099&sr=8-10&keywords=salter+digital+scale (Apparently Salter sales people are targeting the pot smokers in Colorado with this one.)  I like it because it is small enough to fit into my shirt pocket and still large enough to do the job.

narrowminded

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 07:59:31 PM »
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I've had this for several years.  It works fine. https://www.harborfreight.com/1000-Gram-Digital-Scale-60332.html
Mark G.

OldEastRR

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2018, 03:06:43 AM »
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Get a German-designed scale. Most scales are built in China, so you need to check out where each one was designed. 

http://myweigh.com/

30 year guarantee.


muktown128

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2018, 07:28:45 AM »
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I use an old triple beam Ohaus scale that was surplus from where I work.  It was free.

David K. Smith

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 07:33:51 AM »
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DKS, that link goes to a scale that has specs that say "0.01 pounds resolution".  If not incorrectly translated from some other language, that means it has a resolution of only 0.16 ounce.  Considering that the NMRA spec for N scale cars is 0.5 ounce plus 0.15 ounce per inch of car length, it seems that scale is not able to resolve the needed car weight changes closely enough.  The scale specs also say that it goes to a max weight of 55 pounds.  So, I am thinking that it is not what an N scaler really needs.  My wife has a "cooking scale" she purchased from Amazon that reads to 0.01 grams and goes up to a few pounds.  I think that is a better choice, and it is cheaper.  I have already used it to weigh some of my cars, and it is entirely satisfactory.  When she gets back, I will find out what it is and post a link.

In my haste to respond, I linked to the wrong product. I have a postal scale that measures down to fractions of an ounce. But it seems there are more than enough options provided in subsequent posts, so you can ignore mine.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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robert3985

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 10:31:47 AM »
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I use a three-beam Ohaus scale also.  I bought it used decades ago and it has all the accessory weights and box.

However, when ya think of "precision" and "repeatability"...the type of scale you should be looking at is a scale used for ammunition reloading.  You can buy expensive ones with lots of useless extras (for you) or inexpensive lesser scales, that are simple, still accurate, have a brass weight standard to calibrate it with, and will weigh in ounces, grams and grains.

Here's an example at Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Frankford-Arsenal-Digital-Reloading-Display/dp/B002BDOHNA/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1544047196&sr=8-7&keywords=lyman+digital+reloading+scale

Although the platform on this scale is small, you could probably put an aluminum rectangle (or wood or plastic) on it, reset the zero and have a highly accurate (to .01 gram) and easy to use scale that won't take up a lot of space...and is a good buy at $22.90 with free shipping.

If you don't like this one, there are lots of other reloading scales out there you can choose from.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore

Maletrain

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Re: Scales to weigh N scale rolling stock
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 12:19:15 PM »
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Bob,
Scales designed for reloading are not really that great for weighing N scale rolling stock.  Because gun powder charge weights must be reliably weighed to 0.1 grain, and a grain is only 1/7,000 of a pound, they are both more sensitive than necessary and also typically don't have a very high maximum weight. For instance, the one in your link only goes to 750 grains or 50 grams, which is 1.71 or 1.75 ounces.  Although that is theoretically good for the NMRA weight of a car up to 8.3" long in N scale, it certainly won't work for locomotives.  And, at least my reloading scale is pretty "touchy", compared to my wife's cooking scale - I need to support the weighing platform whenever I put it away.  And florescent lights can affect the reading if they are nearby, at least to the point of affecting powder charges at the 0.1 grain level.