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Caliper Manual

Body Composition

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by Wallace C. Donoghue

How to Measure


 Harpenden Service Center



The Harpenden Skinfold Caliper is a precision instrument which will give many years of service if properly cared for. The following will help you maintain the caliper in top condition

1. Like all fine instruments, it should not be dropped or banged against something. This can cause damage, sometimes serious, which will mean it will have to be sent to the Service Center for repair.

2. Do not allow jaws to snap shut. They should be closed gradually using the operating lever. Allowing them to snap shut can jar the gears in the dial gage causing them to become misaligned.

3. Do not use any chemicals to clean it or the lens. The entire unit including the lens can be cleaned with ordinary window cleaner.

4. The specification for accuracy is +/- 1%. However, almost all units exceed this accuracy. If the bezel is turned so that the "0" mark on the dial lines up with the pointer when the jaws are closed these units are almost always within the specification and often within +/- 0.5%.  An optional gage block can be purchased to check the calibration if desired. However, if a caliper is not within the specification, it is not adjustable in the field. It has to be sent to the Service Center for calibration.

5. The range of early manufactured Harpendens is a little over 40 mm. This was increased to a little over 80 mm on later models. We can modify the early calipers to open to 80 mm but the highest mark for the small pointer will still be 40 mm, however, the opening will still be known by observing the large pointer.

6. When not in use keep the unit in its storage case to protect it from possible damage and to keep it clean