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Bowers MicroGauge | Product Overview

Nick: Hey everybody it is Nick and Mike here at Higher Precision and today we're going be teaching you a little bit more in depth about the Fowler/Bowers Microgauge.

Nick: Today we're going to be reviewing the Fowler/Bowers microgauge. It's a two-point split-ball bore gaging system specifically designed for bores of .250" and 6mm or below. It is a very high accurate bore gauge with high repeatability and it's offered on a wide variety of individual ranges as well as large capacity sets.

Mike: And going off of that Nick, you said there are individual ranges and large capacity set, I would assume this is a large capacity set?

Nick: Yep, this is a large capacity set here. So the large capacity sets will include the readout itself, it includes all of the split-ball chrome heads that you'll need to cover the intended range, it will include all setting rings that include UKAS certification, an extra screw driver, a wrench to be able to tighten and loosen the heads and it also includes a couple of extra batteries there as well.

Mike: Ok great, so this is a really interesting bore gauge setup. What really are some of the features and what kind of sets it apart from other bore gauges?

Nick: So the micro gauge is specifically designed, it's a small bore bore gauge. It is really only designed for sizes of 6mm or .250" or below. Most bore gauging companies have great two and three point bore gauges but a lot of them do stop at 6mm or .250" so that is where the micro gauge is perfect for those applications. It has a 50 millionth resolution on it if you want to go over to metric that's a resolution at one micron but in millimeters they go the extra mile so it actually is a half a micron readout so it can read out to .0005mm which is pretty impressive. The gauge has great RS232 output. You can easily hook a cable into the back of the gauge for any customers that are very interested in sending data the computer that can be done very easily by just the push of a button. Repeatability on this gauge is .001mm or .00004" and the electronics are very very easy to operate with it's two button electronics on here. So now that we know a little bit about what's included with the microgauge, let's take a deeper dive into the electronics and kind of learn a little bit more on how to use the bore gauge itself.

Nick: So let's take a little bit of a deeper dive into the electronics on the micro gauge. To turn the gauge on, you can easily push a set button once. Before we go through on actually how to use the gauge, let's quickly cycle through the electronics to check the different parameters that can be set. By touching the mode button one at a time, you'll cycle through all the different options that can be preset. You can "Cal" which is the calibrate procedure which we will review later. The unit can be changed from inch to metric. There are two different reference points that can be set. There is a preset channel which we're going to go in and put in the value of the setting ring prior to using the gauge. There's diameter mode also known as "min mode" on electronic bore gauges which is key to capture the shortest distance between two points and the resolution can be changed so when we're in metric we can switch from .01mm to .001mm to .0005mm so it has the ability to go out to a half micron here.

So the first thing we're gonna do is put a preset value into the electronics. Right now we have the spherical split-ball chrome head that measures from 3.75 to 4.25 millimeters and we're going to be using a 3.996mm setting ring. So the first step is to put that preset value into the electronics. By doing that we're going to tap the mode button until we see "PRE" for preset and then tap the set button to get into the preset mode. As soon as I hit "PRE" and I see that I'm gonna have to hit the "set" button once I'm in the preset mode. You will see a plus sign flashing. Always make sure that there's a plus sign there and not a negative sign. By tapping the "mode" button one at a time you will go to the next digit. By tapping the "set" button you will increase the digits one at a time so please take your time go through your electronics on the micro gauge and make sure that the setting ring size matches up to what the electronics read. As soon as it does, you can hold down the "mode" button for about two seconds and that is going to get you out of the preset.

The next step we have to do is go into diameter "min" mode. By doing that, we'll tap the mode button until we see "DIA" for diameter, tap that set button once and you can see the "min" mode or "dia" mode is now on. You could cycle that on and off we're going to leave it on and then tap the mode button once and we're out of the "min" mode there. So at this point I will will say don't pay attention on to the numbers on the gauge itself. Anytime you're using an electronic bore gauge, I always tell people not to pay attention to the numeric values until you have gone through the complete calibration procedure. Well now that we know the electronics is preset correctly with the setting ring size and we're in the "min" mode, we can actually now go and sweep our setting ring here. So we're gonna actually put the gauge itself inside the setting ring and we're gonna lightly sweep. I just want to check repeatability. Once the gauge is repeating..... the gage is repeating to 3.365mm which again at this point does not mean anything.

The next step and the last step we have to do is calibrate the gage and by hitting the "mode" button once, you'll see "CAL" appear we can hit the set button and now our gauge is actually calibrated and set to this exact setting ring. So just a quick repeatability check we're going to go in here and I can insert it there you go and this gauge is dead nuts on 3.996mm we're at about two microns off.

So that wraps up the electronics on the micro gauge. It's very very easy to use and it does take a little bit of practice to master so I would recommend spending a little bit of time with the micro gauge and just getting a hand on the electronics and how to insert it into the setting ring sweep it a little bit. About a half hour of practice and you'll find yourself to be a master with the micro gauge. That wraps up the review on the Fowler/Bowers Microgauge. If you have any specific questions or would like to learn a little bit more about the product, feel free to reach out to us at higher precision comm and until next time we'll see you again.

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