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TUTORIAL FOR MAKER BIZ: Digital shipping scales with serial output

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Digital shipping scales with serial output tutorial!

“Here is another business oriented tutorial (which is also, secretly a sensor tutorial). For measuring packages we have two serial-output scales. One can do up to 10lbs and the other 150lb (or 300lb). These are basically load cells with data output and precalibration. We use them for our automated shipping system but who knows what else they might be good for?”

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6 Comments

  1. I would love a recommendation for a good counting scale for tiny electronic components… preferably one that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

  2. we don’t know of any low cost one, anything with 10 mg precision will be pricey, we have a http://www.saveonscales.com/product_mw_durascale_series.html which can do counting if you press a few buttons (it doesn’t save the weight so you have to reset it after turning off)

    check out http://myweigh.com/business.html for ideas? if you find an excellent one let us know and we’ll post it!

  3. Speaking of shipping scales, I grew annoyed years ago because most shipping services wanted weight -and- box dimensions.

    So I whipped up a solution, called Weasure. It both weighs and measures the box simultaneously.

  4. peterson, thats a great idea! the good news for small shippers is that if you have a UPS/FEDEX account, you dont need to put in the size/weight unless you need to know precisely what they will charge – they weigh/measure the boxes automagically and charge your account whatever the amount is later. postal doesn’t use an account system but luckily they also don’t do a boxsize-based pricing scheme (only weight) altho lately they do use ‘shapes’ for small packages

  5. Apparently the shipping depots have fancy laser rangefinder systems for measuring boxes as they roll by on a conveyer belt.

    Come to think of it, these days you could probably measure box dimensions by pointing your Kinect at it!

  6. peterson, that is a really really good idea. shipping industries could be completely changed! seriously! you (or someone else) should totally do it! (just need to have a calibration square or box to start.

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