My Aging, Ailing Acaia Lunar Scale (Sigh)

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iploya
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#1: Post by iploya »

I've had this Acaia Lunar scale for several years now. It excels in many aspects, but is far from perfect, and I've had my gripes with the design. And now a history of service issues.

It's now back to the service center for the 3rd time. The first time was a battery swelling issue. The second time was, I think, the battery life was still terrible. This 3rd time, the load cell is messed up and won't zero. I just got the repair estimate of $85 plus what I paid to ship it there, so like 100 bucks to get my aging scale back. That's a good fraction of a new cost. My only other option is a refurb for $95, which is probably no better than repairing my own.

Are there any recent new players in the scale market that I should check out before going back to Acaia? Key features for me are rechargeable, durable, preferably water proof. I would like a more scratch-resistant display, like a mineral glass rather than plastic. I never use Bluetooth stuff so software apps aren't a big selling point.

palica

#2: Post by palica »

Does the refurbished come with a warranty? If so, it sounds like a good option. Also, you may receive a 2021 if you are lucky, since refurbished are Lunar which have been replaced under warranty.

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iploya (original poster)
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#3: Post by iploya (original poster) »

Thanks. I would get a 6-month warranty, which doesn't have that much value to me. I checked on the 2021 model and Acaia said no; the offer to buy a refurbished unit as replacement only applies to the identical model.

This niche (premium coffee scales) is ripe for new competitors. I see dozens of low-cost scales (like well under 50 bucks) on Amazon that all look interesting, but are probably (due to their low cost) compromises in one way or another. Seems like an obvious opportunity for a competitor to develop some new and better designs to compete at the $150-270 price point.

Edit: Since I'm the one doing the fussing about needing a better design, I'll back that up with an actual solution in terms of some simple features that would greatly improve something like the Acaia Lunar or make a very worthy competitor to it.
1) A scratch-resistant display. Think of the modern smartphone (e.g., Gorilla Glass). Over the display or the entire top surface.
2) Tactile feedback. Repeatedly pressing your finger against a rigid, unyielding metal case to toggle on/off is not finger-friendly. Again, think of the modern smartphone, which usually has a few physical buttons that are extremely reliable (high cycle life) and pleasant and easy to press, yet are still waterproof. You need this for at least the Power and Tare function. It can be a low, sleek, rounded button but must be soft touch or yield.
3) More contoured shape. We pick these scales up many times per day, moving back and forth between drip tray and counter, to the sink to wipe down, etc. The shape has to be more pleasant to pick up than a flat, rectangular metal block. The scale either needs taller feet or it needs a larger radius along the lower edge so it is easier to pick up off a flat surface like a counter.
4) More water-resistant. The scale so far as I can tell is not truly waterproof, and I believe migration of moisture into the case is one of its reliability problems (e.g., the swollen batteries). I understand why this is a challenge, because the top needs to move freely relative to the base without flexing some sort of seal that would resist movement. But there must be a way of doing this so steam cannot so easily rise up from the drip tray or other forms of moisture migrate over time into the gap between the body and the tray.
5) Longer battery life. Weight is not so much an issue with these, so battery life should not be a big challenge other than trying to shave costs.

ShotClock
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#4: Post by ShotClock »

I think that the Timemore black mirror nano looks like the only real competitor to the Lunar, in terms of size, functions etc. If you take a punt on it (only $100), please report back, as there's frustratingly little by way of information on it.

Corgo

#5: Post by Corgo replying to ShotClock »

I have seen the nano at $59 on Amazon several times, at least once every 2 months or so. Only gripes I had with it is the difficulty in changing modes, side buttons are subjective, and the mat doesn't stick in place like the new mirror plus where it has 3 sides on the mat. I have the Acaia Pyxis for when I was using Cafelat Robot. It is a nice scale but I would prefer the Mirror Nano over the Acaia, especially if you consider pricing.

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#6: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Two questions for you in your use of your scale?

What did you use to charge it including the power block?

Did you leave the scale on the drip tray when you were steaming?

The scale is not waterproof and the steam can lead to battery issues which can lead to other issues. I don't feel they do a good job explaining this in the first instance, but if you are careful, they can last a long time.
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Milligan

#7: Post by Milligan »

I use a Timemore Black Mirror Plus which I think is around $50. I didn't need any of the Bluetooth stuff. It has a timer, fast response, integrated battery, wrap over water resistant design, large enough for pour over yet small enough for espresso, long battery life, no-nonsense display and is reasonably robust.

The acacia feel better in my hand but for what I need out of a scale, the Timemore is hard to beat at $50. If I had a smaller drip tray then I'd likely go with the nano but the GS3 gives me plenty of room. I've never had a want to spend $200+ on a scale.

I have a secondary jewelry scale that I use sometimes as well. It is nice to have two scales and be under $65...

Ken5
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#8: Post by Ken5 »

CarefreeBuzzBuzz wrote:Two questions for you in your use of your scale?

What did you use to charge it including the power block?

Did you leave the scale on the drip tray when you were steaming?

The scale is not waterproof and the steam can lead to battery issues which can lead to other issues. I don't feel they do a good job explaining this in the first instance, but if you are careful, they can last a long time.
They do mention that there is a 2 year warranty which includes protection against water damage. This link to their website explains the water 'resistance' protection of the lunar:

https://help.acaia.co/hc/en-us/articles ... aterproof-

To the op, how often did you charge it? I have had a Lunar for about a year and a half and I have charged it maybe four times. I use it two times a day to make espresso, and with auto off I would say that comes out to about 10 minutes a day as I don't usually remember to turn it off. I also use if for an extended period of time when dividing bags of coffee to freeze. Last time I charged was in July.

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz

#9: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz replying to Ken5 »

True, I have had a battery replaced. At that time I was advised of the steam issue. With the replacement battery my scale will be 5 years old in January. Also I was told not to use any fast charging power blocks. Just the old 5w small original Apple charging block as an example.
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Ken5
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#10: Post by Ken5 replying to CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

I read somewhere that Acaia does not recommend charging every day, nor to let the battery become totally discharged.