Batteries die in Frankfort Caliper alot


February 13, 2008, 02:52 PM
Does anybody keep getting short battery life in their Frankfort Electronic measuring calipers?? I use it a night or 2, then batteries die. These little pill batteries ain't cheap either. I have tried Rayovac, Energizer and Duracell and get same results. I make sure to turn it off and stuff. I don't understand it.

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February 13, 2008, 02:56 PM
Battery that came in mine from Midway was DOA so I popped it out. I don't use it often (I reload 100-200 at a time then don't do any for a few weeks)and don't store batteries inside things I won't be using for extended periods so I just leave it in the foam and pop it in when I'm going to need to use it.

February 13, 2008, 03:11 PM
Maybe thats it, storing it with the battery in. I put a new one in, measured oh, 10-20 cases, turned it off. That was in late Dec. Today, DEAD. Just was wondering if it was me...

February 13, 2008, 03:39 PM
Mine came with a dead battery. popped the extra one in and it is still going fine after 4 or 5 months of light use. I always turn it off right away and do not depend on the auto off feature.

February 13, 2008, 04:16 PM
contact the manufacturer. it sounds like you may have some extra solder on the circuit board causing a drain.

February 13, 2008, 04:44 PM
That just seems to be the nature of Chinese made Digital Calipers.
More about short battery life here:

Guess that's why I'm still quite pleased with my old-fashioned, 20 year old, mechanical dial calipers.
Haven't had to buy batteries for them yet!

February 13, 2008, 05:00 PM
I only break out the old Brown and Sharp if I am serious or double checking something I think is out of line. ;)

February 13, 2008, 05:07 PM
I used the originial batteries for almost 6 months. I put in energizer batteries over a year ago and still going strong. I use mine two nights a week. for about an hour or two ever time.
I do turn them off after each measurement if there is a minute or more between measurements. I hope this helps...

February 13, 2008, 05:51 PM
Mine did the same thing so I always take the battery out when I'm not going to use it for a while. Don't know why but there seems to be a drain on it even switched off.

February 13, 2008, 06:12 PM
I found that the case on the electronic calipers I have turns the caliper on when I close the case, so I do not use the case any more, and the batteries do not die.


February 13, 2008, 06:27 PM
NuJudge, I'll darn sure check that. I never thought of that....

February 13, 2008, 06:32 PM
I use mine pretty infrequently. When I got it from Midway, the battery was dead. I put a new battery in, and it's been left installed ever since and already lasted 1 year and still works.

Old Fuff
February 13, 2008, 06:38 PM
I have also had a problem with the closed case pushing against the "on" button and draining the battery. Experiment by leaving the calipers out of the case after you install a fresh battery and see what happens. Also be sure it's turned off when not in use.

February 13, 2008, 06:44 PM
I'm going on 3 years on mine . . .I do make sure to shut it off everytime I put it in the case though.

February 13, 2008, 06:47 PM
Once i changed cases the batteries lasted several months. I think the factory case will turn the unit back on if closed sometimes.

February 13, 2008, 06:48 PM
Once i changed cases the batteries lasted several months. I think the factory case will turn the unit back on if closed sometimes.

February 13, 2008, 08:00 PM
The batteries seem to always be out when you need it the most. That's why I bought a dial caliper. Now I like it much better than the digital. I bought this one at Harbor Freight for under $20.

February 13, 2008, 10:15 PM
my battery has gone months so far, and i do have a spare battery and dial caliper just in case

February 13, 2008, 10:40 PM
Like several previous posters, the battery in mine when I got it was dead, but the spare is still going strong after three years.

I like the conversion between metric/inch at the push of a button; can't do that with a dial.


February 13, 2008, 10:45 PM
My Frankfort/Midway calipers' original battery lasted just over 1 year.

Here's a secret: buy your button cell batteries on eBay. Be careful, some are expired, but I paid $3 (including shipping!) for 10 button cell batteries for which my local Radio Shack wanted $5 each.

February 13, 2008, 10:58 PM
Enco has MITUTOYO calipers on sale for $86. Free shipping code WBRF8.

Battery Life: Approx. 20,000 hrs. (2 years)

Frankford Arsenal Electronic Caliper 6" Stainless Steel are on sale for $12.99 plus shipping.

February 13, 2008, 11:29 PM
Otto, thanks for the heads up on the Mitutoyo deal. Great price for the best quality.

February 13, 2008, 11:48 PM
With the tolerance stack between cartridge cases, bullets and the slop present in reloading equipment you don’t need .0005 resolution or we would be using micrometers instead of calipers. As you’ve figured out, one thing you can count on with batteries is that they will have no charge when you need them. If you know what a sliderule is (and still have good eyesight) vernier calipers are inexpensive and accurate. Dials are probably the best bet overall for infrequent use. I do like digital for differential measurements though.

February 13, 2008, 11:58 PM
jmorris, you're right on the .0005 resolution not being required to measure brass. I use my expensive tools for more projects than just reloading, and I prefer the highest quality and accuracy than I can afford in a tool. Mitutoyo usually fits the budget.

You're other points are accurate as well.

February 14, 2008, 03:39 AM
i have the rcbs 6". i cut out a little relief in the case so it couldnt turn them on...and PRESTO...batteries last for months and months now.

i dont even need to turn them on most of the time: i just measure, lock them down at that measurement, turn them off, and use that to compare my completed cases. works good for me.

might need to invest in another dial caliper tho, those pesky batteries are expensive!

February 14, 2008, 09:51 AM
Is this descending into a caliper war? :rolleyes: I know, bad joke. I got my digital from harbor freight, and the battery was dead in it. The spare was perfectly fine, though. The cheap cases seem to be the issue.

While I see the usefulness and reliability of the dial type, the digitals are certainly quicker to read. Really, there's no reason to slam anyone for their choice. Can't we all just get along?:o

February 14, 2008, 09:59 AM
That was it. I made sure it was off, closed the case, opened it and it was on. The foam insulation on the lid has a divit where the button hits. The case just hit the round file.

Hey Guys, thanks a million. I really liked it and was hoping it was a simple thing.

Dave P
February 14, 2008, 10:21 AM
I am surprised by what I am reading. My cheap H/F calipers are on 24/7 - just like my watch - and batteries last for years.

I never turn it OFF - just like my watch!

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