Mitutoyo Digimatic Caliper
with SPC output



Mitutoyo 500-171-30 Advanced Onsite Sensor Absolute Scale Digital Caliper, 0-6" Range

The quality of workmanship and the advances in electronics can't be beat by this Digimatic digital caliper with SPC output made in Japan. If you're working in a digital environment, then this gage is highly recommended.

To use the digital calipers for depth measurement, add a T-Bar depth base as shown on page 203.


  • data hold unit (optional - see information below)
  • with Absolute Encoder
  • data send button
  • includes NIST traceable manufacturer's certificate of calibration
  • resolution .0005" (switchable to metric 0.01 mm)
  • accuracy: ±.001" for 6" and 8" models
  • accuracy: ±.0015" for 12" models
  • accuracy: ±.002" for 18" and 24" models
  • accuracy: ±.003" for 40" models
  • repeatability: .0005"
  • maximum response speed: unlimited
  • power: SR44 battery
  • battery life: 3.5 years under normal operation
  • detailed instructions included in multiple languages

*USB Input Tool Direct does not require a separate Input Device. The cable can be connected directly between your calipers and your USB port for easy data transmission. Other connecting cables will require a separate USB Input Tool (see page 175 for details). The cable listed above is also suitable for the older 500-171 models.

**New modes are "fully compatible with existing Mitutoyo digimatic peripherals". This includes SPC cables, U-Wave wireless transitters, etc. – Mitutoyo sales literature

Are you looking for something else?


More Mitutoyo Digimatic including waterproof and Solar Powered calipers are available. See page 128.


Installing the battery


The manufacturer includes a battery which must first be installed. Remove the battery cover (don't lose it!) and install the supplied battery with its positive side facing up. The manufacturer's battery may not have the full 3.5 years life expectancy. This might be because no one knows how long the batteries have been in storage. Mitutoyo is careful to point this out.

After installing the battery you will have to set the origin point on the calipers. If you don't, you're likely to see the "E" error display. Simply close the jaws and hold down the "origin" button for more than one second. The display will show 0.00 and you're ready to go.

The battery should be removed if the calipers will be in storage for more than 3 months. Replacement batteries and spare parts are available (see parts list on page 72).


What is a data hold unit?


You may have to take readings in an awkward or out of reach place where you can't see the digital display. When you press the button on the data hold unit it will freeze the display on the caliper so that you can bring it closer to your eyes. Once you've seen the display you can opt to press the send button to send this data to your printer or computer. Then you can press the data hold button a second time to un-freeze the display. This hold unit plugs into the port on the digimatic caliper and only works on digital calipers which have SPC output. The data hold unit is not compatible with Mitutoyo waterproof models.

Data hold unit for calipers shown on this page: 959143 ... $25.35 (only one piece remains at this price)


Comparison and absolute measurement


When the power is turned on, the digital calipers work just like normal dial calipers. When the jaws are closed, the reading is zero. Open the jaws and the display will give you the reading in .0005" graduations. Remember that the accuracy is only .001" so the display is somewhat misleading. Digital calipers are no more accurate than standard dial calipers.

You can set the zero at any point on the calipers in order to take comparison measurement. Open the jaws to the size you want, then press the yellow ABS button for less than a second. You'll see the letters INC displayed to tell you it's in comparison mode. (Who decided on these letter combinations?) To turn off the INC, you'll have to press the button for more than 2 seconds.

By the way, did you notice that the resolution (.0005") is higher than the accuracy (.001")? This is true of all digital calipers and most other digital gages as well. The resolution leads you to think that you'll be working with ±.0005" accuracy, but you're not. Don't be alarmed, just keep it in mind.


What's likely to go wrong?


An arbitrary value, or the letter "E" will appear in the display if the calipers have not had the origin set. See instructions above.

"ErrC" 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.

"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.

"E" if caliper is stationary. Same as ErrC.

For more tips on care, calibration and usage of the Mitutoyo Digimatic caliper refer to our general discussion of calipers on page 11.





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Interapid Indicator Repair Manual … page 208
Compac Test Indicator Repair Manual … page 194
Mitutoyo Test Indicator Repair Manual … page 102

New! Companion Reference Guide for Test Indicators … page 178

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This page's most recent revision: 19 October 2019
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