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Introducing the Rubicon LPM and the Delta Line of LPM's

Trevor

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Introducing the Rubicon LPM and the Delta Line of LPM's


Background

ARG and I have been working together for a while to bring out a new line of laser power meters. We've named the umbrella project Delta, and we're excited to release our first finished product - the Rubicon. A few months ago, ARG showed me an image of an LPM he was starting to breadboard (link). It then occurred to me - LumenOS P1!

I had written the LumenOS P1 framework as a learning exercise a few years ago, and with Kenom's permission I ported it to the Kenometer Pro hardware to offer as a firmware upgrade. I only sold a few copies, but the people who bought it liked it.

So, we decided to use LumenOS as a basis to develop a whole new LPM! ARG was already using Arduino as a base and a 128x64 graphical LCD, so I ported LumenOS P1 to the new hardware and started working on its successor, LumenOS P2. And this is what we have!



And here's a quick video tour of the Rubicon!


We're very excited about the Rubicon; it delivers more value than any other hobbyist LPM that has ever been made, at a price point lower than the most expensive hobbyist LPM currently available.

Features

The Rubicon is based on the Ophir 20C sensor, and has a maximum input power of 5W. It uses 16-bit A/D conversion, allowing a resolution of 0.1mW. Because they are based on this sensor, the response time is a blazing 0.8s to 95% power.

The Rubicon covers the basics that every LPM should have - a reading display, peak power detection, and datalogging. It also has a number of other features that are rather uncommon in a hobbyist LPM.

  • Onboard average power display
  • Laser stability measurement
  • Onscreen graphing
    • Graphing in streaming (scrolling, unlimited) or session (will stop after a certain number of readings) mode
    • Optional display of an analog needle instead of a graph
  • Multiple datastream protocols
    • Simple - For use with generic logging programs, like StampPlot Pro
    • OpenLPM - For use with Peregrine. In the Rubicon, the OpenLPM protocol is able to pass instructions from the LPM to Peregrine.
    • LaserBee - In case someone replaces their LaserBee with a Rubicon, we thought it would be nice to be able to use the software that they already are licensed.
  • Multiple baud rate options for compatibility with various datalogging software packages
  • Rich integration with OpenLPM-compatible datalogging software

Just an additional note on the datalogger integration - using compatible software, it is now possible to reset a measurement on the computer via pressing the 'Reset' button on the Rubicon. The Rubicon will either just send a reset signal, or can specify a threshold and duration for Peregrine (or other software package) to use. What is sent depends on configuration; see manual for more details.

Here's a screenshot of the graphing screen:



And here's a few screenshots of the menu system:

The main configuration menu for the graphing screen (shot in black and white):





And the serial interface configuration menu:



The functionality of all the different configuration options is detailed in the user manual

Interface Software



The Rubicon was designed with Peregrine in mind, but will work with other dataloggers. Using the OpenLPM protocol with Peregrine, the Rubicon is capable of instructing the datalogging software to discard the current test and start a fresh one, when the Reset button is pressed. This instruction can use either the default settings already present in Peregrine, or the Rubicon can send a new duration and threshold value to use for the graphing session.

If you are a LaserBee user switching to a Rubicon and have a license to use the bundled graphing software, the Rubicon will support it as long as the LaserBee protocol is used at 9600 baud.

You can also use the Simple protocol to log to programs like StampPlot Pro.

ARG will continue this in the next post.

Trevor
 
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ARG

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While Trevor was working on the software and firmware side of the Rubicon I was working hard to make the hardware.

Specifications

Power supply: 7-12VDC (9VDC recommended) via standard 2.1mm power jack or 9V battery.
Sensor: Ophir20C-A Thermopile
Sensor area: 12mm Diameter (113mm^2 area)
Power range: 1mW to 5000mW
Resolution: 100µW
Response time (0-95%): 0.8S
Maximum power density: 10KW/cm^2
Spectral range: 190nm to 10600nm
Current draw (backlight at maximum): 160mA at 9VDC
Current draw (backlight at minimum): 125mA at 9VDC
Ophir dimensions: 34mm*38mm*38mm
Rubicon dimensions: 95mm*112mm*28mm (l*w*h)
Cooling: Conduction
Integrated Ophir power: +/- 12VDC regulated with ground in isolation

Case

Due to the size of the large liquid crystal display it was difficult to find an appropriate sized case to our specifications, so I decided to designed a custom case for the Rubicon.





With the new open source 3D printer technology available I produce the cases on a 3D printer which builds them layer by layer out of strong ABS plastic.

Pricing

Rubicon

A Rubicon bundled with an Ophir sensor is $499 USD shipped in North America. Add $49 for international shipping.
  • Ready to go, this package has everything you need to start measuring lasers.
  • Included Ophir 20C-A head.
  • 9V battery will not be supplied.
  • Power supply included.

A Rubicon without a sensor is $249 USD shipped in North America. Add $35 for international shipping.
  • Requires an Ophir20C-A head.
  • 9V battery will not be supplied.
  • Power supply included.

Payment

We accept PayPal, and money orders.

Please send all sales requests to me via private message.

Conclusion

We're really excited for the Rubicon, and for future projects in the Delta line of LPM's. We've worked hard to make sure that the Rubicon offers the user as much flexibility as possible, in a very user-friendly package. We're happy to offer yet another option among those already available on the hobbyist market.

While the Rubicon is not an open-source product, we're open to developers targeting the platform; third-party datalogging software is welcomed and, if there is enough interest, we are considering a Developer Edition and releasing an open-source SDK for the Rubicon, similar to the open-source SDK available for the LaserBee platform.

We can't wait to see these go out into the world and hear what you have to say!

Happy lasering!
 
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Livinloud

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My LPM looks good above ;)

Cant wait to get my unit this week and to review it. If anyone is waiting for a review before taking the jump into this LPM, dont worry. My unit is on its way and I will be doing a full detailed review with MANY pictures and tests. Should be ready within a few days of receiving and I will give my full, honest opinions on ARG and Trevor's work. Trust me though, been talking to ARG since Feb about this project and he has put in too many hours to keep track of and multiple all nighters! Trevor put in a ton of work on the firmware as well so I fully expect zero problems or issues.

Thanks for this new LPM ARG & Trevor. Your work looks amazing thus far and as you already know, Im super excited to get mine :beer:

Sean
 
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grainde

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Looks really good. Maybe you guys could look into alternative shipping options though? For international buyers $59 is a lot and it may deter some people.:undecided:
+1's to you both, if i can :beer:

Edit: Would it be easy to upgrade to read +5 W. Asking mainly because of Lazeerers 5 W C mounts, but who knows what diodes will come next...;)
 
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ARG

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Thanks for the comments everyone.

Looks really good. Maybe you guys could look into alternative shipping options though? For international buyers $59 is a lot and it may deter some people.:undecided:
+1's to you both, if i can :beer:
Unfortunately that is the cost of shipping to stay PayPal compliant :(
We can ship the Rubicon with cheaper methods if the buyer pays via money order :)

-Alex
 

norbyx

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Very interesting LPM you got there. You should consider doing a cheaper version that can work with a cheaper sensor or the same version but working with another cheaper sensor. At almost $500 for the complete meter it isn´t bad but not everyone will be able to purchase such thing.
 

Trevor

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Very interesting LPM you got there. You should consider doing a cheaper version that can work with a cheaper sensor or the same version but working with another cheaper sensor. At almost $500 for the complete meter it isn´t bad but not everyone will be able to purchase such thing.
The majority of the price of a completed LPM is due to the high cost of the Ophir sensors. That's why we're offering the meters without a sensor; many people here already have them, and could get a lot of value from an LPM with a graphical LCD.

Ophir sensors are the best that's available to the hobbyist, and are a steal. They're $600 or more brand new. They're fast responding, have a very good range of power input, and are a known quantity. We felt that designing the LPM for use with Ophir sensors was the way to deliver the very best product we possibly could.

With regards to cheaper options for sensors, we're always on the lookout! :)

Trevor
 
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Sigurthr

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That is pretty freaking awesome! I don't tend to keep up with LPM trends; how is the Ophir sensor availability at this time? When I was in the market for an LPM they were hard to get a hold of.
 

ARG

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Thanks! :)

The Ophir heads are still hard to get a hold of; they pop up on ebay from time to time, but they are not readily available. The seller who has a few left has now increased their price to $275, it seems the price they go for now is $240-275

This recent thread details their availability.
http://laserpointerforums.com/f70/ophir-20c-1-y-out-stock-82574.html#post1187677

We have quite a few of them though, so we won't be running out soon :)
 
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Eudaimonium

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So THAT's what your avatars are, guys.

I was wondering :D

This looks great. So basically, plug'n'play with any Ophir a member might already have?

Price is a bit steep but I guess that, for a hobby grade, this is as high-end as it can go.

Nice job you guys!
 

Sigurthr

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It's kind of silly to use a TEC sensor on a graphing LPM. Basically the TEC acts like a very strong low pass filter and slows down response time by at least an order of magnitude. It is like putting a 10,000uF filter cap across your signal input pin.
 

Livinloud

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Yeah sorry guys, especially the people I recommended getting a V1.1. Ive known about this project for a while but promised ARG id keep my mouth shut until he was ready to release it. Good news is that the ARGMeter V1.1 is still a great LPM and basically the little brother to this if you will. I can also say with great certainty that you can sell your V1.1 and get a good amount of your investment back. As you can see, there will be some people who either dont want to plop down this money or cant so the V1.1 is an amazing option for them. I bet we will see a few V1.1s for sale soon and I know for sure Awilis will be seling his at some point so keep your eye out for them if you are interested in an ophir LPM with a smaller price tag. If you can afford this LPM then buy it while you can.

I can almost bet that these will sell out sooner or later (or price increase due to ophir availability/price increase). IMHO they are worth every penny and I was happy to pay for mine

Sean
 

tonyt

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Wow, people really can keep secrets! :yh: and here I thought I was the only one lol

Again congrats guys! I cannot wait to get mine!

Yeah sorry guys, especially the people I recommended getting a V1.1. Ive known about this project for a while but promised ARG id keep my mouth shut until he was ready to release it. Good news is that the ARGMeter V1.1 is still a great LPM and basically the little brother to this if you will. I can also say with great certainty that you can sell your V1.1 and get a good amount of your investment back. As you can see, there will be some people who either dont want to plop down this money or cant so the V1.1 is an amazing option for them. I bet we will see a few V1.1s for sale soon and I know for sure Awilis will be seling his at some point so keep your eye out for them if you are interested in an ophir LPM with a smaller price tag. If you can afford this LPM then buy it while you can.

I can almost bet that these will sell out sooner or later (or price increase due to ophir availability/price increase). IMHO they are worth every penny and I was happy to pay for mine

Sean
 




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