Cheaper Calibrations May Equal Trouble

Have you ever looked at one of our quotations and thought, “Why is their price so different than _____’s price?” Sometimes, you need to dig deeper into the quotation to find the answer. What exactly are you getting for the price?

Here is an example:

You ask two companies for a quote on a 50 Ohm termination load. Liberty Calibration quotes a price of $225.00, but one of our competitors (“Vendor A”) quotes a price of $35.00 for the same 50 Ohm termination load.

How can the same calibrations have such a different price point? The answer is simple: they are not the same calibration at all! Upon investigation, it was found that “Vendor A” only does a single resistance check of the 50 Ohm termination load. They will give you a single data point for $35.00, and you will not know if the 50 Ohm termination load is really 50 Ohms over the manufacturer’s specified frequency range, or if there is a high VSWR above the stated specification. Without knowing this information, you run the risk of having huge mismatches in your measurement program that cannot be determined from the $35 calibration from Vendor A.

In comparison, Liberty Calibration provides 500 data points of VSWR and complex impedance over the manufacturer’s rated frequency range, and we also check the pin depth on the device.

So, can Liberty Calibration provide a $35.00 calibration with a single data point for a 50 Ohm termination load? Of course! But we wouldn’t recommend it. We can provide the same type of calibration as Vendor A for $35, but you will not receive the amount of information that we would provide for the calibration quoted by Liberty Calibration.

If you are not sure what you require for your calibration, please contact one of our technical staff and we can tailor the data that will give you the most significant value for the dollars quoted to you, and make sure that you are getting a quality calibration that meets your needs.

When you are evaluating our quotation, and quotations from other calibration service providers, please keep in mind that comparing costs is not always comparing apples to apples. To accurately compare calibration costs, take into consideration the amount and type of data you will be given. We are always willing to price match an accredited calibration that is similar in amount and type of data.

Please let us know how pricing impacts your decisions by taking this short survey.



Meet the Quality Assurance Manager: Gavin King

Gavin worked at World Cal/Liberty Labs from 2006 - 2011. He returned to Liberty Calibration as the Calibration Coordinator in 2016, and took over the Quality Assurance Manager position in November.

What is your day-to-day role?

My most important job as Quality Assurance Manager is ensuring that Liberty Calibration follows the requirements of ANSI/ISO/IEC 17025, A2LA, and our own internal Quality Management System. On a given day this may include final reviews of certificates, resolving complaints, overseeing corrective or preventive actions, or overseeing internal audits, as well as a variety of other tasks.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of the job is bringing positive changes to Liberty Calibration. That is the goal of corrective and preventive actions.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The greatest challenge for me is finding the right balance between the urgent and the important. Of course, this is a challenge for many jobs, but the role of Quality Assurance Manager, with the variety of tasks that need to be accomplished, brings this tension to the forefront.

What has been your favorite project you were involved with at Liberty Calibration?

Previously, I was part of a team that rewrote much of our quality system. It was a lot of work, but we grew greatly in our understanding of the requirements and how we were fulfilling them.

What do you focus your time on when you are not at work?

My wife and I spend a lot of time with our four children as we help them to grow in knowledge, maturity, and in faith. As a family, we read together, play together, watch movies together, laugh at each other and worship together.


The Quality Corner: Answering Your Biggest Quality Questions

Q: What should my calibration interval be?

A: We get asked this question a lot, but we aren't actually allowed to influence your cal interval decision! Your cal interval is something you need to set yourself, and it will depend on how you use the equipment, what you use it for, and other factors.

Why can't we tell you what your cal interval should be? Our accrediting body doesn't allow calibration laboratories to set customer calibration intervals, because that would be a conflict of interest. Only you can decide how often you need an item calibrated.


What's New & What's Next for Liberty Calibration


Schwarzbeck Spotlight: New Schwarzbeck Products

Many automotive companies require immunity testing against radar pulses in the lower and upper bands. Schwarzbeck has released a new antenna for the lower band (BBHA 9120K, 1.2 - 1.4 GHz) to join the existing antenna for the higher band (BBHA 9120J, 2.7 - 3.1 GHz).

To fill the need to do DC magnetic field testing of up to 3000 A/m with the FESP 5133 1330, they have launched the new helmholtz coil HHS 5206-132.

BBHA 9120 K
Get Datasheet →

BBHA 9120 J
Get Datasheet →

HHS 5206-132
Get Datasheet →

For more information or a quote, please call Lois Eldal at (712) 764-2197 or email