Chargemaster 1500 issue - need help!


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coloradokevin
September 11, 2009, 12:32 AM
Well, I was all excited to learn that my parents shipped me a RCBS Chargemaster 1500 Combo for my upcoming B-day, but I'm now dealing with a problem where the dispenser seems to be overcharging my loads!

Anyway, I set the dispenser up this afternoon and followed the listed calibration procedures (no problems). I then weighed a couple of my bullets, just to see where things were at. My Hornady match .224 52grain bullets were weighing in at +/- .1-.2grains (seems like everything is probably within specs, by my estimation).

After playing with the scale for a few minutes I decided to dispense some H4895 for some of my other .223 loads. I typed in 25.0 grains, and hit the dispense button. 27 seconds later the machine beeped that my load was ready, and displayed an exact charge of 25.0 grains (after trickling up the last grain or so).

Since I'm a bit of a cautious reloader, I decided to check this dispensed charge on my Lee beam scale. The Lee scale gave me a reading of 25.35 grains, which obviously concerned me a bit (this dispenser is supposed to be handing out loads that are +/- .1 grains, not .4 grains!!!).

I then took this charge off of the Lee scale and re-weighed it on the RCBS scale (using the proper pan, of course). The reading now went back and forth between 25.3 and 25.4 grains before settling at 25.4 grains. I tried this with 6 more loads, all with the same result.

At this point I became concerned, and recalibrated the scale (pressing the CAL button, and running through the 0, 50, 100gram weights, then zeroing out the pan by itself). I tried to dispense a few more loads, with exactly the same result. Before becoming frustrated and giving up, I then tried to dispense a 10grain load of the same H4895 powder, which resulted in the same problem... The powder appeared to have been dispensed to the exact weight I requested, but in re-weighing on the scale about 5 seconds later I discovered that the actual amount dispensed was 10.4 grains!

Has anyone ever dealt with an issue like this? If so, can you give me some guidance on fixing the problem? I don't personally consider a .4 grain overcharge to be acceptable (particularly when the machine is indicating that it is correct initially). Thanks in advance for the help!!!

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45ACPUSER
September 11, 2009, 01:15 AM
First off the Lee Scale is crap! Next off the Lee Scale does not measure in hundreths only tenths! How do you know that the Lee Scale is accurate and zero'd? If you have problems call RCBS! Google RCBS CM 1500 Issues and you will find some fixes. Some include getting a straw from McDonalds and placing it in the dispensing tube to help with precision.

I always lift the pan up and then set in back down to reweigh the charge, I would say that I throw back a few charges each session.......

coloradokevin
September 11, 2009, 01:29 AM
First off the Lee Scale is crap! Next off the Lee Scale does not measure in hundreths only tenths! How do you know that the Lee Scale is accurate and zero'd? If you have problems call RCBS! Google RCBS CM 1500 Issues and you will find some fixes. Some include getting a straw from McDonalds and placing it in the dispensing tube to help with precision.

Well, first the Lee scale has served me well for two years, making quality ammo. I'll admit that the thing is crapy to use, in that it takes forever and requirese tiny adjustments. But, I have no reason to doubt its accuracy given my past experiences. The scale is accurate to 1/20th of a grain (per the manufacturer), and the way that you read the scale essentially provides you with a measurement to .05 grains (by reading "between the lines" on the vernier scale).

Regardless, as I mentioned originally, when I put the load back onto the RCBS scale, the result matched that of the Lee scale, rather than the amount that was supposed to be dispensed. So, I believe that I do actually have a problem here, despite any complaints that folks might have regarding Lee scales!

Lee Roder
September 11, 2009, 01:55 AM
How much do each of your calibration masses weigh according to your scales?

Any analog balance needs to be level.

coloradokevin
September 11, 2009, 02:51 AM
Lee, the calibration masses both weigh 50 grams each, according to the RCBS scale, and come out to exactly 100.00 grams when weighed together. Unfortunately the maximum weight for the Lee scale is below the 50 gram mark, so I can't compare numbers on that scale.

But, for whatever it is worth, the Lee scale and RCBS Chargemaster scale both exactly agree on the weight of the powder. The problem seems to be that when the weight is dispensed it says that it is at the desired weight, but any time a second measurement is taken on that load, it reads 0.4 grains heavy.

Obviously I'm going to keep playing around with this tonight to see if I can figure anything out, but I'm still a bit concerned about this problem (+/- 0.4 grains is too much variation, particularly if you can't tell that it is overcharged until you re-weigh the same charge on the same scale).

Lee Roder
September 11, 2009, 03:10 AM
ok, my obvious thought was that somehow your electronic calibration proc was defective but i see now that i misread. your chargemaster actually weighs material inconsistently, initially wrong.

hmmm....

try calling rcbs tomorrow.

thank god for a second scale. i've got two, hopefully won't need third to break a tie!

;)

coloradokevin
September 11, 2009, 04:39 AM
your chargemaster actually weighs material inconsistently, initially wrong.

hmmm....

try calling rcbs tomorrow.

thank god for a second scale.


Yeah, I think I'll have to talk to RCBS on this one. Your description that I quoted seems to sum it up well... The scale initially provides a weight when the powder is dispensed, but then provides what appears to be the correct weight (as verified by the second scale) when it is weighed for the second time on the RCBS scale.

Unless someone else explains a solution to this problem, I'll be calling RCBS tomorrow to discuss the issue.

kelbro
September 11, 2009, 09:38 AM
Are you waiting until after it beeps and taking the reading then? My Chargemaster will overthrow some extruded powders occasionally but it always reads the correct value after the beep.

Remove the load cell platform and make sure that there are no powder kernels under there. Make sure the Chargemaster has all 6 feet touching the table.

steve4102
September 11, 2009, 10:08 AM
These things are very sensitive to outside forces. Things like cell phones, laptops, wireless Internet, fluorescent lights and loud music can through them off. Make sure you have removed any of this stuff and try again. Also, drafts from open windows/doors and air conditioners can affect them also. Call RCBS as well.

coloradokevin
September 11, 2009, 11:52 AM
Well, I thought I'd provide everyone with a quick update here. Per the advice I read on another forum yesterday, I left the unit powered "on" for a while prior to attempting a loading session.

When I tried the same exercise as before, all loads once again dispensed reading 25.0 grains (I did wait for the beep, as someone asked about). When scaled for the second time the first load came to 25.2 grains. A second load came to 25.3 grains, then I had 25 loads in a row come out exactly correct on both the initial and second reading.

I don't know if powering the unit up prior to loading helped, or if it was simply a matter of getting the new machine broken in, but things seem to be working as they should now (I did verification of these loads on the Lee scale as well, just to be doubly sure of the results). Anyway, I plan to dispense a few more powders if I have some time later this afternoon, and I'll report my findings following this experiment!


THE GOOD NEWS:

Now that things are working correctly, I'm asking myself how I ever loaded rifle without this machine in the past! This is one slick operation. The machine dispenses the load you ask for, and takes care of the trickling and weighing in one step. While the machine works, it is easy to seat the bullet on the previous round, and the timing works out pretty well for this operation. It sure is a heck of a lot easier than trickling each round as I have done in the past!

kelbro
September 11, 2009, 02:41 PM
I leave mine on, through a power conditioner, unless there's a lightning storm in the forecast.

Zak Smith
September 11, 2009, 04:41 PM
The scale on my 1500 has been the most consistent digital scale I have used outside of a laboratory. When dispensing powder, always wait until after it beeps and look at the mass reported. Depending on the powder type, amount, and amount in the hopper, it may be 0.1-0.3 gr over the desired amount. I just remove a couple grainules if this happens.

coloradokevin
September 11, 2009, 05:27 PM
When dispensing powder, always wait until after it beeps and look at the mass reported.

Yeah, that's what I was doing.

The machine would beep, and would indicate the correct weight on the display (25.0 grains, in this particular instance). But, when I'd remove the pan and place it back on the scale, the load would read 25.4 grains. This happened a bunch of times, but then stopped when I tried again later (after leaving the machine plugged in and turned on for an hour or so, per someone else's advice). I don't know what the issue was, but I'm glad that it stopped happening, at least for now!

45ACPUSER
September 11, 2009, 09:00 PM
Well, Kevin go news for for you.....you can not infer.....things are black and white.....
The scale is meant to be read in 10ths on a repeatable basis.

I have always made sure the fans, flourescent lights, and HVAC are turned off and allow for 30 min warm up before using.

woods
September 11, 2009, 09:23 PM
I believe the RCBS 1500 is a highly accurate powder thrower. I always set mine below the wanted weight and knock a few grains off the end of the tube to get it right on. Perhaps some pics would help.

First calibrate
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/RELOADING/DSCN0144.jpg

rezero with the pan
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/RELOADING/DSCN0145.jpg

For instance if I want to load 60 gr RL22, I will set the keypad to dispense 59.7 gr
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/RELOADING/DSCN0146.jpg

after the machine beeps and waiting 5 seconds the scale shows a weight of 59.9 gr
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/RELOADING/DSCN0148.jpg

Nudge a few kernels off the end of the tube with a small sharp tool till it reads what you want
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/RELOADING/DSCN0150.jpg

move to the edge of the bench and empty into bottle
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/RELOADING/DSCN0152.jpg

hit the dispense button and empty tube
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v663/bwestfall/RELOADING/DSCN0153.jpg

and you have not spilled a kernel.

I set my seater up and after charging 3 cases I seat a set up bullet as the machine is dispensing. When I am finished dispensing powder I am 3 bullet seatings away from a finished loading session. Lots faster.

kelbro
September 12, 2009, 01:12 AM
You forgot one important picture, don't forget to close the drain! But I guess you only do that once :)

prickett
September 12, 2009, 01:22 AM
It could be that it's dropping an over charge. I have to wait until it beeps, then displays the count of how many loads its dispensed, then redisplays the weight. If its over dropped, that is the time to check it.

I wish it would beep twice when it over drops to give a warning. Should be easy enough for RCBS to program.

1858
September 13, 2009, 08:24 AM
I've been using my CM1500 for over a year now and I'll never be without one. I did buy a set of Lyman check weights ...

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=612694

... and use them EVERY time to make sure that the unit is working properly. I weighed the check weights using a lab grade Mettler balance which is accurate to 0.1mg. The Lyman check weights are more than good enough based on my measurements. I leave mine on 24/7 too and have found the accuracy to be outstanding. I disabled the beep since my wife found it annoying. My favorite feature is the ability to dispense the next load automatically once the pan is stable at zero.

:)

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