Waage1These days, both watches and all other clocks absolutely need batteries, even though it is quite feasible to measure time mechanically. I am sure you remember me writing about how this annoys me in my article on the beautiful quartz clocks.

The same is true for scales, all kinds of thermometers, weather stations, bike speed-indicators, blood-pressure meters, …

Often, these electronic devices provide you with additional digital information. But nobody really wants to know these extra details. There is only one small advantage: the electronically supported devices are more precise. Except that I could not care less whether the temperature in my room is 19.2 or 19.3 degrees Celsius.

And the precision of bike speed-indicators depends on whether the input you typed as tyre breadth is correct. Which is almost never the case.

We know the phenomenon from physics: the data you have measured have a precision of one point; the computed data give you three or more point precision.

Bike speed-indicators are also available in the cable-free version. In order to power them, you need two batteries instead of one. You put one into the sensor and the other into the computer.

As to scales: yes, you do get precision. Using a battery-powered scale, I know that a letter weighs 19.3 and not 19.2 grams. But do I care, since both is less than 20 grams?


Back to the thermometers: the digital electronic thermometer tells me precisely that the air temperature is 21.4 degrees and not 21.5 degrees Celsius. Yet, two metres away, the air temperature might well be 21.9 degrees Celsius!

To be sure, these are all small and seemingly harmless battery eaters. Nobody gets hurt. Yet, you come across these small helping battery-powered devices all over the place.

Today, every radio, every TV set and every recorder has a remote control. Mostly, it is not even used. And everything is opened and switched on by wireless.

On top of that, there is a flood of daft toys for kids that totally lack phantasy. Not to mention the even more useless advertising specialties. The number of rubbish articles powered by batteries is really unbelievable!

And what is annoying is not only the batteries, but also the fact that the entire device is nothing but brand-new hazardous waste from day one.

(Translated by EG)

The two scales you see just above were formerly used at InterFace. In our company, too, “progress” made its appearance at a time. The “hideous” old scales were replaced by modern, futuristically styled battery scales. I kept the old scales, because they a) work mechanically, b)  look good, c) actually work. The battery-powered scales at InterFace have had to be replaced over the last years several times, because they were either damaged or had a glitch. That never prevented them from eating up battery power, or later accumulator power…

1 Kommentar zu ““The Beauty of Mechanics!” or “What Do Scales Need Batteries For?””

  1. Lisa Weber (Thursday February 7th, 2019)

    Werde das mal bei Google checken

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