Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Digital Caliper Battery Modification

The inspiration for this modification came from Digital Caliper Battery Hack by Robert C at Sparkfun Electronics. My motivation for doing the mod follows came from Caliper (WiKi) who showed me a very convincing reason why my particular caliper was prematurely draining it's battery. 

QUOTE: Many Chinese-made digital calipers are inexpensive and perform reasonably well. One point worth noting is battery current when they are turned off. Many calipers do not stop drawing power when the switch is in the off position; they shut down the display but continue drawing nearly as much current. The current may be as much as 20 microamperes, which is much higher than many brands. Caliper (WiKi). 

Given the issues outlined above with many Chinese-made digital calipers, I also went with this modification because I'm certainly cheap and hate the whole concept of throw-away-one-use batteries as the technological improvements of rechargeable batteries has come far I just don't see any reason or need for throw-away batteries as we move forward into the future

The battery I used certainly has more capacity but more importantly I used a battery that was rechargeable but also had a very low self-discharge (WiKi) rate. This assured I will never need to buy any more batteries at least for a very long time to come. Also, it is important any rechargeable battery you consider must have a very low self-discharge rate. See my page, LSD-NiMH Rechargeable Batteries or Google "Low self-discharge rechargeable NiMh batteries" for more information and some choices as to specific brands.  

The modification I implemented didn't take too long to complete and would be relatively easy to repeat for anyone who has some basic electronics or would know his or her "positive" from "negative" and their soldering skill would also be assumed. I would bet given the following photos would be all one needs in order to complete their modification. However, if more information is required I have provided additional linkages throughout this post.

FYI: It's been suggested this modification was somewhat "overkill" and realistically I would tend to agree. Therefore as it was also suggested at Sparkfun I pass on an alternative option that is simpler and it certainly requires NO electrical and/or soldering skill but will indeed assure long or longer battery life. Simply remove the calipers button type battery when not in use or in storage.

The modification:  

Route the cable andconnection

Solder the cable and connection

Solder another cable and connector to a battery
Low Self Discharge (LSD)
Double-A (AA) -
1.2v - 800mAh - NiMH - SONY CycleEnergy Rechargeable Battery

Fuzzy Battery. To  attach the battery to the backside of the Caliper I used Velcro
You've heard of Fuzzy Dice well I have me a Fuzzy Battery.
To aid a quick removal I attach the battery to the
Calipers back-side with Velcro.

Before use re-set the Caliper
Do'h, before using or photographing (I didn't) best not forget to reset your Caliper to ZERO!

Caliper Storage Case and Battery storage ...

After disconnecting, the battery stores away quite nice and neat in the storage case


Additional Information:

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