Official Measurement of Boat Weight at National Championships
1. Scale Use and Care
The scales comprise:
- A Digital display known as a Budgie Series Indicator.
- A 9V DC, 800mA, +ve centre pin, supply to charge the display's internal battery.
- A cable harness to connect the display to the sysem load cells. Leave connected at the Indicator end.
- A pair of steel 1230mm long 'C' section beams. One for each hull. They each have a load cells mounted at each of their ends. The load cells are supported on rubber pads.
No items are waterproof. So the instrument should not be stored or used where any component can become wet.
The connectors at the end of the steel load bearing beams are particularly vulnerable because of small signal voltages.
So measurements performed on wet grass, does not only lead to possible inaccuracies but will also damage the connectors. A level, hard standing is recommended as a base for accurate measurement.
An annual check to ensure the connectors are free of corrosion and dirt and an annual comparison with a reliable, trusted set of scales is recommended.
2. Simple Operation Procedure
The Budgie Series Indicator does not appear to have as many functions as the front panel would suggest. So the operation is simplified to the following:
- Find a flat, level (less than 1:9 slope) hard and dry surface to set up the load bearing beams such that the beams can support each hull.
- Plug in the cables to the ends of the beams. (It is recommended that the cables to the indicator remain permanently in place).
- Switch on the indicator by pressing the on/off red button on the indicator. The system will then run through a series of checks.
- The battery status is shown on the display.
- It is important to wait at least 5 minutes for the scales to stabilise.
- If necessary, zero the scales by pressing the blue 'zero' button
- In between measurements, the indicator should return to zero. The indicator can be zeroed by either restarting the indicator (and waiting another 5 minutes) or by pressing the blue zero button.
3. Accuracy and Measurement Tolerance
As with all measurements there is a degree of uncertainty. This should be recognised as a measurement tolerance.
If for example, the system has a measurement tolerance of plus and minus 0.2% and the boat lower weight limit is 100kg,
a boat weighing 99.8kg on these scales should be considered to be within specification.
One component of measurement uncertainty is the digital display's resolution. The Budgie Indicator's resolution is 0.2 kg (or indeed 0.2% at 100kg).
It may be possible to set the indicator to a greater resolution but this may well be pointless if the rest of the system is incapable of greater accuracy.
So all mesurements need to be made with a tolerance of at least plus and minus 0.2kg.
4. Calibration Check
The scales have been checked as follows:
|5 Pin DIN plug and sockets replaced|
|14/1/2015||Sugarloaf||52.4||<0.2||Cable terminations repaired|
|15/1/2014||Sugarloaf||52.4||<0.2||Cable terminations repaired|
|23/12/2009||Factory|| || ||Label unclear. Could be 2004|
5. Operations Manual
We do not have an original operations manual for the ' Budgie' Series Indicator. The nearest is the 'Platypus' series indicator which appears to be a model with many more features.