PAGE 127 — SOLAR DIGITAL CALIPERS
PROFESSIONAL REPAIRS & SALES IN THE U.S.A. SINCE 1959
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— Roy Meyer and team
You don't actually have to work outdoors for this solar powered digital caliper to function. In fact, direct sunlight can eventually damage the solar cells, so keep it in the shade if you're working out of doors. Regular indoor lighting will be sufficient. There are two advantages: no batteries are needed (go green!) and there's no battery cover to lose (that will save you about $19 alone).
Because these have the Mitutoyo "absolute encoder" system, there's no need to continually zero-set the calipers. The zero point will be remembered even if the calipers are left in your toolbox for a months on end.
The tips of the measuring blades are very sharp. Handle them with care to avoid damaging them as well as yourself. Also, don't use any engraving tools to mark these as your own. The electro engraver will destroy the electronics, and marking the scale will destroy everything.
The solar cells are located under the clear cover. Don't apply excessive pressure on this cover so that the cells don't get damaged. There are no batteries in this caliper. They function directly from the source of light.
These digital calipers have all the advantages of regular digital calipers including easy switching between inch and metric readings.
No batteries needed
This is the highest level of "waterproof" currently available. It means you can shoot a jet of water at the calipers from any direction for several minutes without compromising the function of the calipers. Obviously, it doesn't mean you can measure under the full force of a fire hydrant for weeks on end. It's not going to work. But in the kind of environment where there's mist in the air, such as measuring piscine dimensions aboard a fishing vessel, or machined parts soaked in coolants, this is the ideal tool. Best of all, it's solar operated so there are no batteries needed. Who can find batteries 20,000 leagues out at sea? Same specifications as above.
Check these Internet prices and stock (List prices shown may vary)
Model 500-784 waterproof (without output) 0-6" (switchable to 0-150 mm) solar caliper is IP67 waterproof List $246.00 … check Internet price and stock
Model 500-785 waterproof (without output) 0-8" (switchable to 0-150 mm) solar caliper is IP67 waterproof List $315.00 … check Internet price and stock
Model 500-786 waterproof with SPC output 0-6" (0-150 mm) solar caliper is IP67 waterproof and can be connected to printers and computers List $275.00 … check Internet price and stock
Model 500-787 waterproof with SPC output 0-8" (0-200 mm) solar caliper is IP67 waterproof and can be connected to printers and computers List $340.00 ... check Internet price and stock
If your company requires you to place an order using a formal purchase order, please contact us for current pricing.
Note: all these IP67 coolant proof calipers with SPC output can use connecting cable 05CZA624 (40" long) or cable 05CZA625 (80" long). See page 175.
Avoid getting ripped off by imitation Mitutoyo gages. If you buy from Amazon, verify that it "ships from and [is] sold by Amazon.com" or buy your gages through an authorized Mitutoyo dealer, such as Long Island Indicator Service.
Use the Input Tool for USB for gathering data directly into any commercial spreadsheet such Excel or Lotus 1-2-3. When you hit the send button on your caliper, that reading is entered into your spreadsheet. It's the absolutely easiest way to collect data without the use of any other software.
The drawbacks? Since you're not using fancy software, your data is just raw numbers. You'll have to analyze or graph them yourself.
What else is needed? You can hook up one digital Mitutoyo gage (which has SPC output) at a time but you'll need to get the SPC connecting cable. The sequence is as follows: the caliper plugs into the SPC connecting cable which plugs into the Input Tool which plugs into the PC's USB port. An optional foot pedal allows you to devote both hands to your work.
The unit is a couple of inches square and weighs 2.6 oz. It's PC compatible, including laptops, which have USB type A, USB 2.0 or 1.1 ports. It will work with Windows 98 and above, but not including Windows NT.
New! USB Input Tool Direct from Mitutoyo allows data transfer directly to your spreadsheet without the need for a separate Input Tool. Please contact Mitutoyo (+1 630 978 5385) for information.
The display may flicker, or turn off if the light level is too low. It would really have to be dim, though. It'll work fine under normal 40W fluorescent tubes. If this happens, just turn up the lights or move closer to the light source.
An arbitrary value, or the letter "E" will appear in the display if the calipers have not had the origin set. Origin setting should be done under good light. With the measuring faces cleaned and closed, hold down the ORIGIN button for more than one second. The display will read 0.00 when the setting is complete.
"Err C" is displayed and the display is flickering when the scale surface is contaminated. That means it's dirty or wet with water. Clean the scale, dry it and apply a small amount of thin oil (low viscosity) in order to repel any future water contamination.
"Err T" means there wasn't enough light. Move to a brighter area and try again. You should have an illumination of at least 300 lx to perform certain functions, like switching between inch and metric.
"E" at the end of the reading, such as 2.501E, means you've moved the slider too quickly. However, the reading is still correct. (So why do they tell you this?) Slow down a little, next time. It can't hurt.
If the electronics refuse to do anything... add them to your local land fill. Replacement parts are generally unavailable. Of course, there's a one-year warranty. Keep your sales receipt handy just in case they meet a premature demise.
For more tips on care, calibration and usage of the solar caliper refer to our general discussion of calipers on page 11.
An interesting question: why are some waterproof calipers cheaper than the regular calipers? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Other than some seals and gaskets, what's the difference?
The difference between them is as follows:
We don't pretend to know if and in what way this might affect the caliper's cost. Maybe the manufacturer is just trying to promote one style over the other.
Caution if buying from Amazon: their product images sometimes do not match the product description. Read carefully!
Disclosure: Although most of the links on this website allow you to make a purchase directly from us, some links may direct you to Amazon. Any purchases you make from those links will result in a commission for us. That commission helps to pay for the construction and upkeep of this web site. We are grateful for any purchases you make through those links.