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Old 05-07-2013, 12:02 AM #1
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Default USERS' thoughts on their 5W LPM systems

First: I've talked with both ARG and Jerry about their various systems and heard both pros and cons with regard to both sytems. Now, it seems there are some newer systems that I know nothing about.

What I am wanting to gather in this thread is the opinions that our MANY LPM owning users have about their LPMs, what they like, don't like, bothering limitations, ease of use, etc.

We don't need esoteric arguments about accuracy of the various systems for sale. But, it would be nice to know how folks feel about the various thermopiles out there, built in v. available data logging upgrades, etc.

Thank you in advance. I hope this thread isn't overly redundant.


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The Bastard:445nm, 2W M-140 UF KF-T60
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Last edited by daguin; 05-12-2013 at 05:57 PM. Reason: Edited out the troll
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:08 AM #2
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

I use a Laserbee I got years ago in a sale and it works pretty well. The battery life is good, as I've accidentally left it on for days and it still worked fine. Still, it only goes to 1W, so I might need to use a different model.

It used to be that I used my Kenometer more than my Laserbee, but later found that the case traps heat, throwing off the measurement for higher powered lasers. I'll need to re-case it, and maybe I"ll just go and make my own software for it instead of relying on the ADC on the LCD display.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:10 AM #3
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

Thank you, Bonic-Badger. I should have mentioned that I want something in the 5W range.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:23 AM #4
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

I would have regretted if i havent bought the ophir head i have now, Nothing beats the 0.8s-to-95% response time , Best $200 spent on the hobby and worth every penny!

Also my ARGMeter for Ophir Sensor and a 3D Printed enclosure is on its way

All of the setup now is really really simplified with ARGMeter , Its powered with Single 9V battery, It has datalogging, display screen for peak and current reading, Display options LED Brightness etc.

Best $80 spent for the addon so far..
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:23 AM #5
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

I just don't see how you could go wrong with your idea on the ophir sensor... there is very little to do to obtain a great LPM, If I knew this before I got my laserbee II, I would have bought the Ophir myself (no offense laserbee). As for loging software well there is also the option for you to get a data logging multimeter, and you would be set. Actually I am thinking of doing this myself and selling the Laserbee II ....
I would have a great multimeter and at the same time a laser power meter....
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:25 AM #6
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

Thank you, Sinner. Do you find it difficult to align the laser with the sensor, precisely? I've heard tell that if not aligned properly, it can cause a 10% inaccuracy.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:32 AM #7
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

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Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
Thank you, Sinner. Do you find it difficult to align the laser with the sensor, precisely? I've heard tell that if not aligned properly, it can cause a 10% inaccuracy.
Its never been a problem, At first i did try to do some readings while holding the laser.. If you're a surgeon then you can have steady hands but im not so i have to adjust the laser infront of the sensor..
My 600mW 405nm is pretty stable (+/-2mW drop after 4min) So i once tried to move throughout the sensor to find if the reading changes, It doesnt. I tried to defocus it, to a larger spot equal to the aperture size of the sensor, Still the same reading!

It maybe (+/-)3% but Im confident its not 10% or even 4% for that matter! Or it may even be much less than 3%..

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Old 05-07-2013, 01:34 AM #8
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

Ophir heads are best in my opinion, 3% accuracy, onboard calibration, 20W maximum (4W without a heatsink) and the fastest response time easily available at a hobbyist grade level.

They can be run with two 9V batteries and a DMM, the cost of the entire LPM is pretty much the 195$ head and parts that most people have in their parts bin
Plus they leave room to be upgraded later, you can add data logging, a screen, ect.
No hobbyist TEC based LPM can compare to a professional radial head. These heads cost 700$ when new, we are fortunate to have them available to us at a fraction of the cost and I think everyone should take advantage of the opportunity while the Ophir heads are still available.

Without a doubt my favorite hobbyist LPM solution, you really can't go wrong when buying an Ophir head.

P.S. Dave has some good scientech LPM's for 300$ + shipping right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
Thank you, Sinner. Do you find it difficult to align the laser with the sensor, precisely? I've heard tell that if not aligned properly, it can cause a 10% inaccuracy.
Depends on the head. My only varies 1% across the different spots, it's hardly an issue in my opinion. Most will read fine even if it's not centered.

A good radial LPM shouldn't be too dependent on the centering. If you're within a couple millimeters it will be fine.

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Old 05-07-2013, 01:38 AM #9
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

Yeah...I saw that and talked w/ him about it. $300 is out of my range right now, plus I like upgradeability, and the option to shade-tree it by getting my readings with a DMM while I DIY the rest. There's not much satisfaction in a job well Pay-Pal'd if you know what I mean.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:47 AM #10
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

I'm almost done prototyping my Open Source Ophir power supply as well, they are very easy to DIY, so there will be other options to power it as well.

There's lots of support and information for these heads on the forums so it's pretty easy and safe to make DIY projects for them.

Also, when powering these from 9V batteries try and make sure the voltages are close to each other, within .2V should be fine.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:55 AM #11
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

Now, if I could just find a 5W Ophir that is gently used, so that I don't have to spend quite $200.
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The Bastard:445nm, 2W M-140 UF KF-T60
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:37 AM #12
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

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Now, if I could just find a 5W Ophir that is gently used, so that I don't have to spend quite $200.
Unfortunately they do retain their value even when used. I think the cheapest you could find it would be 180$ish. Best to buy new in my opinion, then you know the calibration hasn't been messed with since it was sealed in the factory.

They also don't often come up for sale since the people who buy them are very satisfied with them. I think the last time I saw one for sale was last summer, almost a year ago and it sold for 190$.

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Old 05-07-2013, 02:40 AM #13
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

Thanks for the advice, ARG. Much appreciated. +1 to you, sir.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:41 AM #14
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

did you check with the person i suggested?
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:43 AM #15
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
Thanks for the advice, ARG. Much appreciated. +1 to you, sir.
No problem! Glad I could help

If you do choose to go a DIY/Ophir route and need any help feel free to PM me.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:09 AM #16
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Default Re: USERS' thoughts on their LPM systems?

ARGMeter/Ophir all the way, everything else is a waste of money! I use mine all the time, and if I meter a laser no one questions the results because it's the top of the line Head and Meter for hobbyist's. And ARG is coming out with things like the split rail and Mrcrouse is making heatsinks for the Ophirs so they can go much higher then 5W as long as the power supply is setup correctly.

I'd buy the Ophir and like you said use the DMM and down the road buy the ARGMeter and you wont regret it!

check out my review if you haven't already. Review: ARGLPM Ophir

Last edited by awillis2589; 05-07-2013 at 03:11 AM.
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