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Bad Park TM-1 Spoke Tension Gauge out of the box

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Bad Park TM-1 Spoke Tension Gauge out of the box

Old 06-15-11, 07:00 PM
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Amesja
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Bad Park TM-1 Spoke Tension Gauge out of the box

I bought a Park TM-1 a few weeks ago and built a few wheels with it. It seemed to be telling me that my "feel" was making all my wheels way too tight. I finally took it to my LBS to check it against their gauges and it was reading really high. The bike shop mech tried to calibrate it to his and regardless of what he did it would not change its value more than a couple marks on the gauge at full adjustment either way.

So I sent it back for replacement. Just a heads up that these aren't always calibrated right out of the box new. It's probably rare but it happens.
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Old 06-15-11, 07:08 PM
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Assuming yours was off, and not the shop's, that's fundamentally unacceptable for a new measurement tool. Good catch.
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Old 06-15-11, 07:14 PM
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His was just calibrated and it was checked against the other mechs gauges in the shop. My gauge was reading over 25 and his was reading 14 on the same spoke.

Not good.
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Old 06-15-11, 07:52 PM
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read on this forum , 'calibration' is just moving the scale up or down.
relative to the pointer.
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Old 06-15-11, 07:59 PM
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Interesting....how is the user supposed to know whether it's "calibrated" or not?
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Old 06-15-11, 07:59 PM
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Yeah, it wasn't a calibration problem -something was messed up. Calibrating moves the pointer up and down but only so much. My unit was so far out of calibration that there wasn't enough adjustment to make it move to where it was needed. Something was not right with this unit or a part was missing/bent/improperly installed or something like that from the factory. It must have been a Friday when this thing came off the assembly line and was inspected/calibrated. Maybe it was April 1 or something.

I only had it for a few weeks and never dropped it and always kept it in the box it came in when I wasn't using it. It gave me weird readings from the very first time I put it on a spoke but I trusted the readings at first. Almost destroyed a wheel because of it riding around too loose -and made a fool of myself with a friend's wheel I helped her build. The next gauge, when it arrives, will go straight to the LBS to check because I really don't trust Park quality control any more.
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Old 06-15-11, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Infidel79 View Post
Interesting....how is the user supposed to know whether it's "calibrated" or not?
They are "supposed" to come tested and verified from the factory. If the box is sealed and not damaged one should be able to assume the gauge is accurate.

It's pretty disappointing that it wasn't right out of a sealed factory box And here I was all hip to Park Tools after they gave me a bunch of free stickers a few weeks ago when I asked. But this gauge pretty much soured me for a while...
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Old 06-15-11, 08:23 PM
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I've found that it is really important to release the tool slowly and smoothly onto the spokes to get consistent results. But it sounds like you've got a bigger problem.
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Old 06-15-11, 08:55 PM
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It's fairly easy to calibrate a spoke tension gauge. You'll need a tree, some rope, a bit of hardware, a friend who weighs about 220 pounds, and a spoke, or maybe a few spokes of different gauges.

Basically you want to make a swing or seat hanging from the tree with a spoke somewhere in line. Have your friend settle in which puts 100kg tension in the spoke and calibrate the tool so it reads correctly. You might also want to cross check the readings with a spoke of a different gauge.

You can use any weight person, but someone who weighs near 100kg is ideal because this is near the center of where you want the most accurate readings.

If you plan to use this kind of tool and rely on it's accuracy, you should be aware of how to verify that it doesn't mislead you.
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Old 06-16-11, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
...You'll need a tree, some rope, a bit of hardware, a friend who weighs about 220 pounds, and a spoke, or maybe a few spokes of different gauges....
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Old 06-16-11, 06:03 AM
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Wow if I lose a couple of lbs I could be the perfect calibration tool and be paid to go from shop to shop to calibrate thes gauges
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
It's fairly easy to calibrate a spoke tension gauge. You'll need a tree, some rope, a bit of hardware, a friend who weighs about 220 pounds, and a spoke, or maybe a few spokes of different gauges.

Basically you want to make a swing or seat hanging from the tree with a spoke somewhere in line. Have your friend settle in which puts 100kg tension in the spoke and calibrate the tool so it reads correctly. You might also want to cross check the readings with a spoke of a different gauge.

You can use any weight person, but someone who weighs near 100kg is ideal because this is near the center of where you want the most accurate readings.

If you plan to use this kind of tool and rely on it's accuracy, you should be aware of how to verify that it doesn't mislead you.
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Old 06-16-11, 06:08 AM
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Fork looks bent...
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Old 06-17-11, 03:13 PM
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The replacement TM-1 showed up just now and seems much closer to where it should be. I'll still want to check it against a known gauge just to be sure but I bet it should be OK.

I ran out to meet the FedEx delivery guy but he was impatient and just tossed a box over the front gate. The thing got 8 feet in the air before coming down to land on the concrete walk in front of the building. I gasped. No wonder these things get messed up. But it wasn't the TM-1 thankfully. It was just a computer hard drive...

The TM-1 came USPS and the guy only dropped the Amazon box 3 feet to the ground when he walked up to the mailboxes. Good thing it was in a padded inner box.
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