Solution: Err 8.2 on Ohaus Defender scales

If your new Ohaus Defender shows “Err 8.2”, you have probably not yet removed the shipping spacers. These protect your scale from damage during transport, but have to be taken out before use.

1. Remove the stainless stainless steel platform pan. You’ll see 4 red plastic shipping spacers wedged between the overload protection screws and the upper frame of the platform:
Ohaus Defender 3000 shipping spacer

2. Remove these spacers by hand or with an adequate tool (without turning the overload protection screws):
Ohaus Defender shipping spacers removal

3. Place the stainless steel pan on the platform. Your scale is ready to weigh.

Solution: JShip button not working

You should feel and hear a distinct “click” when pressing the buttons of your JShip parcel scale.
JShip-130 indicator

If that’s not the case or if you have to use excessive force, please do not try to use a sharp object as this might puncture the overlay. Instead, return your scale for repair or try repairing it yourself as described below.

We found that – in many cases – the buttons themselves are working fine and all you have to do is tighten the screws holding the PCB inside the indicator.

Please note that these are not official instructions and we do not accept any responsibility if things go wrong.

1. Open indicator housing

Remove all six screws on the back of the indicator. Note how they’re tightened very lightly. Remove plastic cover.
Open JShip-130 indicator

2. Tighten screws on PCB

There are 5 screws holding the PCB in place. Use a PH1 or PH2 screwdriver to tighten them as much as possible without over-tightening. If all screws are already firmly tightened, try carefully turning just the two screws marked below clockwise by no more than 1/8 of a turn.
Inside JShip-130 indicator

Press the buttons to see if the problem has been resolved.

3. Close indicator housing

Put the plastic cover back in place and very lightly tighten the six screws. If you turn them too far, the rather brittle cover might break.

World’s smallest wheel load truck scale

Today, I finally received my sample of the world’s smallest wheel load scale! I’m happy to share my first impressions with you.

Made by Siyue Yiri Electric Weighting Machinery Apparatus Manufacturing Co., Ltd. from Wanxiao in China, this scale has an impressive capacity of 12t and fits easily in the palm of your hand:
World's smallest wheel load scale

Driving a vehicle onto the small raised platform can be a bit tricky. If you’re not careful, you could easily obscure or even scratch the display. The photo below shows how the tire should be positioned:
Wheel load scale

While smartphones are becoming so big that soon we’ll all be carrying a purse, this scale is a remarkable example of the miniaturization of weighing technology.

New Scales and Balances coming in 2014


A&D has confirmed that the SJ-WP series of compact bench scales is going on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2014.

A&D SJ-30KWP Food Scale

To understand what’s so ingenious about this scale, you should know that until now, compact scales were either fast or they had a high degree of ingress protection. It was not possible to have both a very short stabilization time (<1s) and resistance to dust and liquids in a compact instrument. The reason for this is that the air pressure inside the housing of the scale changes when a load is applied (or removed). For accurate measurements, the air pressure inside and outside has to be equalized. Of course, this could be achieved by simply building a few holes into the housing, but then you would allow dust and liquids to enter. The conventional solution has been to use selectively permeable membranes which let air through and block water. However, air diffusion through these membranes takes time, slowing down the measurement process.

A&D’s new approach is remarkably simple and effective: By mounting the load cell outside of the housing, the SJ-WP scale achieves a stabilization time of 0.5s or less in combination with IP67 protection (dust tight and water proof up to 1m):

A&D SJ-WP externally mounted load cell

Fast, compact, resistant to harsh environments and easy to clean, A&D’s SJ-WP could be a game changer in the food industry.

You can already find further information on A&D’s website.

Adam Equipment

While I have no information on new products coming in 2014 yet, I was told that Adam is planning to add USB host functionality to a number of balances. This would allow weighing data to be written directly on a memory stick, greatly simplifying data logging and data transfer to a computer. This functionality is already available on Adam’s PMB moisture analyzer:

PMB Moisture Analyser


The first pages of the 2014 catalog show Kern’s continued focus on touchscreen scales. The new models include analytical and precision balances as well as platform scales. While Kern does not indicate who the ODM is, I’m pretty sure these devices are made by Radwag in Poland.

Kern Touchscreen Scales

A cooperation between the two companies would make sense: Kern’s strengths are sales and marketing, while Radwag is good at actually developing and manufacturing weighing instruments.

Further information will soon be available on Kern’s website.


The new Valor 2000 and 4000 are aimed at the food industry and are meant to improve productivity even in harsh environments. There are still some inconsistencies in the available documents but it appears that Ohaus is claiming a stabilization time of 0.5s with an IPX8 rating (no dust ingress protection; protected against submersion beyond 1m).

Ohaus Valor 4000 XW

If you’ve read this post from the very beginning, you might be wondering how Ohaus has been able to achieve this with a load cell that’s placed inside the housing. The answer is called “Flow-Through Design” and simply means that there are indeed some holes in the housing which allow air and liquids to enter and exit relatively unhindered. The electronic components are silicon sealed to protect them from fluids and condensation:

Ohaus Valor 4000 flow through design

I’m looking forward to comparing this approach with A&D’s external load cell solution.

Update March 2014: Ohaus has released a video featuring the new scales:

Smartlux (my company)

I want to take this opportunity to announce that our RS-232 communication software “232key” is going to be released this year:

Rs232 Software

Our software is designed to make it easier to transfer measurement values from any instrument with an RS-232 interface to any application which accepts keyboard input. It receives data from a scale, balance or other device via RS-232 (COM port), extracts the numeric value, formats it and “types” it into another program (“keyboard wedge”-functionality). I’ll announce the release on this blog.

A look inside the HC-i counting scale

One of the interesting features of A&D’s HC-i counting scale is its modular construction. The indicator can be separated from the base:
A&D HC-i counting scale

The following image lets you have a look inside the base of the scale. You can click on the tabs to highlight different elements and read a short description:

HC-i counting scale inside base
HC-i load cellThe load cell is attached to the bottom plate on one end and to the top plate on the other. It will slightly bend when a load is applied.
Strain gagesThe deformation of the load cell is measured by tiny sensors called strain gauges. If you look closely (or click on the image to see it in full size), you can see two of them on top of the load cell while two more are located on the bottom side.
Overload stopsThe overload stops prevent the load cell form deforming too far when a load beyond its capacity is applied. The two screws on the top are used to slightly tilt the top plate in order to adjust the overload gap between the plate and the 4 corner stops.

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment and let me know if you’d like to see more interactive images.


Near Field Communication: A&D’s new wireless UC-324NFC scale

The following short video shows A&D’s new wireless UC-324NFC scale in action. It is the first scale in the world with an integrated NFC chip, making it very easy to transfer your weight to your smartphone. Currently, this only works on Android with A&D’s own WellnessConnected app:

Personal scales: a look back at Medica 2012

With over 4,500 exhibitors, MEDICA in Düsseldorf (Germany) is the world’s leading medical trade fair. I managed to visit the following stands last year to have a look at the newest personal scales (aka bathroom scales, bedside scales, medical scales):

A&D Medical

A&D exhibited their new line of NFC-enabled products:

  • UC-324NFC personal scale
  • UA-767NFC blood pressure monitor
  • UW-101NFC activity monitor

You can see them in action in the following video, which was also showing at the booth:

I used my HTC One X smartphone to download A&D’s Wellness Connected app, weighed myself and then transferred the weight by just holding the phone close to the scale. It doesn’t get any easier. With NFC, there’s no need to configure a WLAN or Bluetooth connection for your smart scale, just tap and go. Other than storing the weight on your smartphone, the app also gives you the option to upload it to Microsoft’s HealtVault, turning it into a veritable internet scale (without additional costs or subscription fees).

A&D medical’s new NFC products are already available in the UK from A&D’s wellness connected Webshop and from other shops such as:

The devices are being introduced to the German market this week at the CEBIT trade fair. German customers will be able to buy them from our German scales shop in just a few days. Update March 6: A&D’s UC-324NFC precision personal scale as well as the UA-767NFC blood pressure monitor and UW-101 activity monitor are now available in our German scales shop.

A&D’s MEDICA 2012 report can be downloaded here (PDF).


Wireless communication was one of the main topics at Seca, too. Weight and height can easily be transferred to an indicator, printer or computer with seca 360° wireless technology. Other topics were the Seca mBCA (medical Body Composition Analyzer) and Seca’s analytics 115 software.


While Kern’s complete catalogue is approaching phonebook dimensions, the stand at Medica stood out by it’s clear simplicity and focus on just a few products. The most interesting ones are the the new MPC, MPD and MPE series of verified medical scales (which are replacing the MPP series):
Kern MPD 250K100M medical scale

With list prices currently starting at 246,- EUR (+46,- EUR verification costs + shipping) for the MPD (shown above), GPs who still use unverified cheap bathroom scales have no more excuses!

The scales might not look as nice as Soehnle Professional’s “Vemano” design series and they don’t have any wireless communication capabilities, but then again, they start at 246,- EUR. Fierce competition between Kern dealers could lead to even lower market prices.

Other products shown were a new baby scale and wheelchair scale.

Adam Equipment

Unlike other companies, Adam Equipment traditionally shows a larger variety of scales at Medica, including precision scales for lab use. Some scales like the PGW and PGL series really have to be seen up close and personal to be fully appreciated. A picture without size references doesn’t do justice to the enormous display, so here’s me holding my not-too-tiny hand close to it:

My hand close to the giant display of Adam's PGW precision scale

This picture was actually taken at ACHEMA. I promise to take more and better pictures at future trade fairs.

Among the medical scales, the new MUW 300L with integrated ultrasonic height measurement and BMI calculation stood out by it’s shear size. I was, however, assured that it can easily be disassembled for shipping. Here’s a photo of one of Adam Equipment’s friendly employees standing on the MUW 300L with me standing on the floor:

MUW 300L at Adam Equipments stand at Medica 2012

Suitable for people up to 210cm tall.

Other scales manufacturers at Medica:

(unfortunately, I only had time for a quick glance at their stands)