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Old 03-30-2011, 01:36 PM #1
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Default Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

This is not a Sales Thread... That will happen in the Pro Shop....

About 2 months ago I got a used Apha LPM in the shop and thought
it would be a good idea to be able to easily add a Data Logging
feature to it and maybe other LPMs... There is always a new original
project idea around the corner...

We did a bit of R&D and had prototype circuit boards made... We
developed the firmware and first added it to our Limited Edition
5Watt LaserBee.

At the time (Mar 02 2011) we posted it on another Forum due to
difficulty posting here at that time...

It worked so well we tested it on the original Kenometers and
Kenometer Lites... (we had purchased 7 Kenometers over time)
Since the 5W nospin LPM is similar to our 5W LPM we did not
directly test the nospin LPM... We then tested it on the Alpha...


We use a similar DC to DC converter as used in nospin's LPM in
our Limited Edition 5w LaserBee and our DL2-Module™ has no
issues with unwanted noise...


The J.BAUER Electronics DL2-Module™ uses our new Eagle Eye™
Data Logging software.

The DL-Module™ hooks straight to the LED Voltmeter that all the
above mentioned LPMs use. That makes the instalation universal.

The installation is quite simple as seen in the pics...
The Serial data output can be converted to USB by simply using
an inexpensive RS232 to USB Converter Cable...

Calibration to the LPM is a breeze with the new DLCT™ Software
that helped calibrate it to the Alpha.

After testing the almost new Alpha I didn't like the fact that it
pulled about 250mA from the small 9Volt battery so I decided
to do a little R&D on that as well..

We bought another enclosure and mounted a new LCD Voltmeter
we selected into the new cover (because the new panel meter fell
through the hole cut for the original panel meter) ...That allowed us
to move the On/Off switch to the top of the box... we also took
that very long zeroing knob and replaced it with something a bit
smaller.

The only 10K pot we had on hand was a double so we used it.
Even with the switch and big double Pot there was plenty of
room to install our small DL-Module™...

We had a hard time getting the small Laser sensor to stand up (it
kept flipping over) and found that the Wool covered wire was too
springy. We replaced the Wool covered Cat5 wire with a shielded
cable... got rid of the sweater and added a Connector so we could
at least remove the Sensor for storage to protect it.

Since we replaced the cover and added our own Display and
Switch and Pot and DL-Module™... we added our company name
label to the labeless cover... After all It belongs to us and is not
for sale and the only original thing original left is the Alpha PCB...

BTW... From ~250mA original current draw... with our DL-Module™
added and a bit of R&D.... the total current draw is a mere 30mA...

Needless to say... We have the very first Alpha with Data Logging
using our original designed DL2-Module™....

To be available very soon...


Jerry

You can contact us at any time on our Website: J.BAUER Electronics
Attached Thumbnails
Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...-mm-dl-mods-cut.jpg   Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...-mm-dl-mods-.jpg   Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...-mm-dl-mods-face.jpg   Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...-mm-dl-mods-cable.jpg   Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...-mm-dl-mods-out.jpg  



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Old 03-30-2011, 05:31 PM #2
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

Nice mod


I noticed that too... The alphas sensor that is.

The first readings I took with mine, the narrow heat-sink kept tilting back,
quite annoying to be honest. When measuring a 2W laser having the whole
sensor 'tilt' is a bit of a hazard IMO. Not sure if there was much reflection,
I had my goggles on so I couldn't tell..


You may also want to check the back of your alpha heat-sink.. Mine was full
of sharp aluminum burr's. I added a couple review pics below.. I removed what
I could with a sharp blade.. Still have to write it up, but there are a few other
things you may want to change other than what you've done..

The 220mA reduction in power consumption is a nice touch..

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Old 03-30-2011, 05:39 PM #3
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

Very nice! If I get my hands on an Alpha (hopefully soon?) I'll have to do this.

I've been contemplating creating a project that would bring people datalogging for only the cost of hardware - in the form of open-source firmware, free logging software, and free schematics. Not sure that's a great plan now?

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Old 03-30-2011, 07:13 PM #4
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaburn View Post
Nice mod


I noticed that too... The alphas sensor that is.

The first readings I took with mine, the narrow heat-sink kept tilting back,
quite annoying to be honest. When measuring a 2W laser having the whole
sensor 'tilt' is a bit of a hazard IMO. Not sure if there was much reflection,
I had my goggles on so I couldn't tell..


You may also want to check the back of your alpha heat-sink.. Mine was full
of sharp aluminum burr's. I added a couple review pics below.. I removed what
I could with a sharp blade.. Still have to write it up, but there are a few other
things you may want to change other than what you've done..

The 220mA reduction in power consumption is a nice touch..

Mine had a burr on the back of the drilled hole as well...
I just de-burred it before I added the connector...
Strange that 2 units had the same problem...

I'll be waiting to see your write up to know what other
issues you found...


Jerry

You can contact us at any time on our Website: J.BAUER Electronics
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LaserBee Laser Power Meter Products meet your needs
at affordable Prices:
See them all here on LPF

LaserBee Power Meter products ALWAYS in Stock
and ready to ship

Also available on eBay:Check availability here..

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This banner is available to and can be copied/used FREE by any LaserBee owner

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Old 03-30-2011, 08:11 PM #5
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasersbee View Post
Mine had a burr on the back of the drilled hole as well...
I just de-burred it before I added the connector...
Strange that 2 units had the same problem...

I'll be waiting to see your write up to know what issues you
found...


Jerry

I dont think it would be an issue if the heat shrink tubing was pulled through the
drilled hole and secured, but if that were the case, you would have to change the
wire or that sleeve thing as that point of unprotected wire is the only leeway
that helps the sensor to stand...

The rest was too rigid, and was hard to find a position where the sensor didnt fall
over..

Seeing that he chose the same style heatsink for the TEC as you use, you
could point him in the right direction on where to get the larger more stable ones..

A lot of what I noticed look rushed. Keep in mind MarioMaster is a busy guy with
seemingly high demand on his products... There are only 24hrs in a day

I noticed you added a connector as well.. If you dont mount the sensor on top
of something heavier, being as narrow as it is, that heavy connector should act
as the third leg on a tri-pod and support. Im assuming it stands a bit better now?

The connector looks far enough back not to pull on it and keep it positioned...
Any mods I can think of, I will PM you and if you like them, you may want to add
them to your list of upgrades

Ill send you the link to my review when I get some time to finish writing it.
Too many projects such little time
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:53 PM #6
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

Looks good Jerry, although I am rather curious as to why you bought an Alpha, since you already knew what was inside and that you already own, make and sell more advanced meters.

The LED panel meters in the first few units were slightly different and draw significantly more current than the ones now used. The whole unit with the newer display draws a much better 140mA and still has the high contrast and wide viewing angle advantages over the LCD. But if you want max battery life, the LCD is definitely the way to go

The wire sleeving used on the sensor cable is also now a more flexible synthetic instead of the cotton used on some of the first batches. If you find your sensor is unstable, it would be an easy fix to attach a small plate to the bottom of the heatsink so it stays up more readily.

Cheers guys
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:16 PM #7
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

Exactly... A plate should do the trick. It will also raise the TEC a little higher which would
also be a plus.. Not many handhelds or even labby's for that matter sit so low
or so high.

Im sure you've already made that change as well though

Do you de-burr the holes as well now? It would be a shame for something so
simple to cause potential issues
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:46 PM #8
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaburn View Post
I dont think it would be an issue if the heat shrink tubing was pulled through the
drilled hole and secured, but if that were the case, you would have to change the
wire or that sleeve thing as that point of unprotected wire is the only leeway
that helps the sensor to stand...

The rest was too rigid, and was hard to find a position where the sensor didnt fall
over..

Seeing that he chose the same style heatsink for the TEC as you use, you
could point him in the right direction on where to get the larger more stable ones..

A lot of what I noticed look rushed. Keep in mind MarioMaster is a busy guy with
seemingly high demand on his products... There are only 24hrs in a day

I noticed you added a connector as well.. If you dont mount the sensor on top
of something heavier, being as narrow as it is, that heavy connector should act
as the third leg on a tri-pod and support. Im assuming it stands a bit better now?

The connector looks far enough back not to pull on it and keep it positioned...
Any mods I can think of, I will PM you and if you like them, you may want to add
them to your list of upgrades

Ill send you the link to my review when I get some time to finish writing it.
Too many projects such little time
I understand what you are saying WB... But the wires that
are already attached by the manufacture have a thick enough
insulation that merely champhering /de-burring the hole drilled
by MM on both sides would alone solve the possible wire nick
problem...

Yeah the connector is far enough back and heavy enough plugged
into it's mating connector that the little heat sink is fairly stable.
The Connector and wire act like the tail of some monkey I saw
on Animal Planet as a third leg support... And the sheilded cable
is very flexible... so no problems there...

The larger heat sinks cost more and I believe they both come
from the same manufacturer...

Thanks for anything that you have to share....


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioMaster View Post
Looks good Jerry, although I am rather curious as to why you bought an Alpha, since you already knew what was inside and that you already own, make and sell more advanced meters.
I bought one to test our new DL-Module™ that we had been working on for
about 2 months and posted about on La*serH*lics on Mar 02 2011....
I'm sure you saw it... or someone sent you a copy....

I knew that a lot of the members that bought your LPM would love to be able
to add Data Logging to their bare bones Alpha...
Why would we simulate an Alpha when we can buy a used one for $40-$60...

Side Note:-
Or maybe we want to copy the Alpha to sell it like you are planning
with our LaserBee 2.5W USB LPM and our DL-Module™..

BTW... thanks for recognizing and acknowledging that....


Jerry

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Old 03-31-2011, 10:32 PM #9
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

^^^^grrr lol. but i understand...


ps, i can has dramas too... jk, i've just always wanted to say that in an open forum.


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Old 03-31-2011, 10:42 PM #10
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...



Peace,
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:47 PM #11
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

Teh drama lama ate my post too!

Dave, you are messing with my profile statistics...

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Old 03-31-2011, 11:08 PM #12
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

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Teh drama lama ate my post too!

Dave, you are messing with my profile statistics...

Posts Per Day: 2.15

LOL! A couple of weeks ago, I deleted ~70 of my own posts in a problematic thread. I had to work my way back above 13K again

I not only made myself go back below 13K, that drop below the line cost me a rep power point as well

The depression was intense

Life's already a beach - and then, at the end, you die

Peace,
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**EDIT**
-- Posts = 11.9 per day (4 = off topic). PM's = 10 per day. Reported post email notifications = 12 per day. SPAMMERS banned = 2 per day
Student reports of "my dog ate my homework" = 1 per week
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Old 03-31-2011, 11:59 PM #13
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

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Student reports of "my dog ate my homework" = 1 per week
Kids are still using that?!!? One would think they would come up with something new...
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:20 AM #14
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

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Kids are still using that?!!? One would think they would come up with something new...
Actually, probably the most prevalent now is, "My printer ran out of ink."

They, somehow, believe that releases them from the requirement of due dates

Peace,
dave
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:25 AM #15
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Default Re: Modifying an Alpha Laser Power Meter for Data Logging...

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Originally Posted by daguin View Post
Actually, probably the most prevalent now is, "My printer ran out of ink."

They, somehow, believe that releases them from the requirement of due dates

Peace,
dave

I've thought of using that excuse in the past as well, but I didn't think it would fly. There are just too many printers available that do have ink. One would think if your're in college, you would be able to think, you know, email it the paper to yourself, put it on a flash drive, and print from somewhere else.
(sorry for the run-on sentence)

NO MERCY on these punks!!! There is no mercy in the real world...
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