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Kenometer Pro review

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CDBEAM777

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KENOMETER PRO REVIEW
5/10/2010

I finally received my long waited Kenometer Pro the other day, after several delays.
I want to make a few things VERY clear here, I was asked by Kenom to do a review of the Pro, I did NOT volunteer. ALL things considered, I should probably NOT do a review, but here we go. I should also mention I am a very detail type of person who has taken over two years to build his RGB projector. While how good a product looks does NOT affect its performance, I value BOTH form and function. That IS me, so take this into consideration.

I understand that there will be comebacks both pro and con to this review. A review is mainly a compilation of facts with some opinion thrown in. But please try to remember, I’m an average guy that spent $400.00 on a Laser Power Meter and this is my story as accurately as I could write it.

The Kenometer arrived in a well padded box. On opening the box I removed all the parts he sent. Wow, the Kenometer PRO looked just great.

Kenometer PRO
Thermopile Sensor
External Battery box
Sensor Cable

I didn’t find any written instructions of any kind nor a software CD. I remembered that all the documentation is on-line. While this approach offers good flexibility to update information, my personal preference is that some minimal documentation should be included with my purchase, even a sheet of paper that sez ” Go to this site: www.whatever. I’m not that electronic literate so I called one of my good friends that has a job as an electronic technician.

While he was on his way I looked at the parts a little closer and found scratches on the rear of the plastic enclosure (not too bad it was on the back). Then I found the hole for the DC plug not cut very square and the plug for the sensor cable was deforming the box’s plastic. Not critical to the functioning of the LPM, but for $400.00 plus shipping I would expect a brand new product. If I buy a new car, it better not have a scratch on it until I put some on.

Around the joint of the 2 halves of the enclosure there were marks like someone had tried to pry the two halves apart with a screwdriver. There was also a large 1.1” X .75” Warranty Void if Removed" label in plain view on my new LPM.

My buddy John showed up and we plugged the sensor cable into the PRO and proceeded to plug the other end of the cable into the sensor head when he noticed the green wire was lose and disconnected from the plug and there seemed to be no heat shrink or tape of any kind for protecting these 4 wires

My friend proceeded to repair the broken green wire. As he was repairing it the brown wire also came disconnected and he proceeded to redo the complete 4 connections. We now had a working cable that I plugged into the sensor.

I plugged the external battery pack into the PRO and the screen came to life.
There was some dust on the Graphic screen so I grabbed a tissue and wiped it off, but the dust was still there. I unplugged the battery pack to turn off the PRO (there is no on-off switch on the PRO) to look at it a bit closer and found that the dust was between the overlay and the Graphic screen.

I decided to test the PRO with the dust there. I plugged the Battery pack into the PRO again and now nothing. The screen seemed to want to come on but is really dark.
John said it looked like the LCD backlight was defective or not getting any voltage.
At this point I was stating to get annoyed by all the defects of this Brand New Kenometer PRO.

I asked John if he thought he could fix it and said, if it was just a connection...he probably could. I told him to ignore the warning label and try to fix it. I was impatient !!! At the same time we could clean the dust off the inside. ( As I stated…I am a detail freak ) He removed 4 screws and carefully opened the case. WOW, Holy Crap.

John said he had never seen such a badly built professional anything. The wires were all over the place. Getting the part number off the graphic display and doing a Google search he was able to find the pinouts for the backlight, and just as he predicted a very small gauge wire was disconnected from the right most pin of the LCD which was the one of the connections to the display backlight. John resoldered the broken wire and we now had the backlight working again. GREAT !!

Now to just clean the dust off the display and we will be up and running. Fat chance.
There was no way to safely remove or replace the graphics display because it had been
fixed in place with HOT GLUE HOT GLUE ??? mmm ??? good for scrap booking my wife used to do….NOT for holding components in a sensitive electronic testing device.
Every part on the inside of my PRO is held in place with hot glue !!!

When I asked Kenom about the dust under the screen he admitted knowing about the dust being there before shipping and said that he would have ruined a good display replacing it. ?????

We decided to press on. John closed the cover being careful not to snag one of the many
unsecured wires in that nest we found in the PRO. I plugged the sensor and fixed cable back into the PRO and then the batteries. The screen came to life again and the display bounced around quickly between 0 and 6mW.

We tested the buttons. There must be one that zeroes the display. Found it, it is the button marked Select/Reset. Good we are getting somewhere, the display now jumps around quickly between 0 and 1mW with 2mW peak.
Shining a 100mW laser on the sensor shows about 100mW, but not steady, still jumping around near 100mW. OK, Acceptable. On the graphics display, not much of a change of level. It was set to 0-1000mW when we turned it on.

Playing with the buttons we hit the Config/Down button and were able to increase or decrease the Max Display. We decided to see what 5000mW would look like on the display. We hit the Zero/Up button and the screen and we ended up back at the main screen. Did it again but this time using the Config/Down button and the count went down.

It appears there is something else that is wrong with the PRO, the Select/Reset and the Zero/Up buttons are interchanged or not labeled correctly or wired wrong..
Now that we know the 2 buttons have reverse functions we went into Config and tried to set the Max graphing to 5000mW from 1000mW. Once we had it set to what we wanted it we did some more tests after needing to zero the meter every time. We unplugged the batteries to save them since we didn’t get a charger for them to have lunch.

When we got back from lunch and plugged the batteries in again all our adjustments we made before removing the batteries were gone and the default values were showing.
I would expect that my previous setting would be saved, so I don’t need to go though that setup again every time I power down.

John suggested we do one last test and that was current drain from the batteries. The Kenometer Pro draws 325mA and with the 900mA batteries supplies… John sez they should last about 2 to 3 hours.

For all the hype about a Professional Built Kenometer PRO, I am disappointed with my $400.00 outlay and all the problems we had to solve before we got it to work right. It does work as advertised, but I would hope my experience was NOT typical. Please examine the twelve (12) pics attached.

Pic Index

ProParts- Pro parts as received
Proconn1- Connector prior repair
Proconn2-Connector after repair
ProScratch- Small scratch on case back
ProDing-Ding at side of case seam
ProDust1-Trapped dust under readout
ProDust2-Trapped dust under readout from another angle
ProHoles- Thru wall connector hole
ProInside1-Pro Internal construction general
ProInside2-Pro Internal construction zoom2
ProInside3-Pro Internal construction zoom3
ProInside4-Pro Internal construction zoom4

PROS

Nice Blue LCD
Nice graph screen
Nice shape enclosure and small overall size
Data logging features
Good range for higher power mW lasers
Good OPHIR sensor head( From what I have read about it )
Unit works as advertised

CONS

Non-removable dust under overlay
Scratches and dings on outside of plastic enclosure
No user instructions ( Yes, they are online )
Key functions and/or identification reversed
No setup data stored on power down
No Software or drivers on CD supplied
No internal batteries ( Yes, I was aware of this before purchase )
No on-off switch
Front Over lay too reflective ( a matt finish would be better in my opinion )
Graphic screen too small for my taste ( Yes, I was aware of the size before purchase and larger may be way more expensive )
No replaceable components (all hot glued in place)
High current consumption for battery use
Badly assembled sensor cable
Unorthodox / Poor build quality


Final comments: I am happy that the meter does perform as advertised for sure. And I am sure the electrons that travel along the internal wiring within the LPM box enclosure perform their design function no matter how convoluted a path they take, but I would not choose such a construction method. I would also not choose a permanently dusty viewport. Perhaps I am way too uptight ??? But remember…this review was requested by Kenom, and I am uptight with everything.

Later,
CDBEAM
 

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No, you're not too uptight, at least not regarding the interior construction. In my honest opinion, that wiring job should never have been allowed off the manufacturing table. Rough doesn't begin to cover it.. I'm a little disappointed, myself. I watched the kenometer take shape over some time, and I know that there was a lot of effort and skill put into programming and designing it. It's crappy that the end result is so rough around the edges. Put some thought into finding proper connectors and organizing the interior guys!! (you know who you are).. If you're going to charge people $400 for that meter, it should be constructed somewhat professionally. Just my $.02.
 

MarioMaster

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I am disappointed that Kenom would send such a poorly built unit to be reviewed - I would like to assert that this unit should not have been sent out in its current condition. However - these units have a very large production cost and cannot afford to have them CNC cut. The dust and pry marks, as well as the loose connection are unacceptable.

I have contributed a large portion of the design, however I am not the one who ultimately made the final product.

This whole project has been a huge mess, constant streams of problems and now this. Hopefully things can be fixed soon.
 
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Wow thats to bad about your PRO it seems to have too many problems that dust should have never been there as it supposed to be NEW !
and I don't know what to say about that rats nest of wiring and loose connections so I won't even comment on that.
I'm very sorry to hear it looses it's settings when powered down.
I think you need to check out all the wire connections maby something is not right there, I would think it should keep it's settings.
hope you get it all straightened out ;)

@ EF I agree 100% with all you said !

@ MM is there a eprom or something that is supposed to keep all the settings so you don't have to set it up every time you power up ?
 
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MarioMaster

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It currently does not save settings but this will be included in a future firmware update.
 

lasersbee

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It currently does not save settings but this will be included in a future firmware update.
Hey MM... is that all you have to say... :thinking:
Did you see the inside of that PRO you guys sent to this poor guy for a
Review of all things...:thinking:

What the he!! is that....:cryyy:
I'm speechless...:cryyy:

[Edit]
Why didn't you guys develop and perfect your meter before you dumped it
onto unwitting members... That's what professionals would do...
They don't need their unfinished... not ready for consumers products to come
back and bite then on there A$$...
I thought Kenom finally got his building act together...

I'm just glad I didn't buy one...
I would not have been so kind in my review if I had received that unit..


Jerry
 
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I'm glad to hear that there is a fix comming. I bought one of these from Ken but only got parts and now I'm glad I only got the parts as I have my own wire :crackup:


It currently does not save settings but this will be included in a future firmware update.
 

lasersbee

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It's Brand Feaking New... there is no excuse for that build quality..
I just re-read the Review... Kenom knew that the dust under the
overlay was there and shipped it anyway stating he would have
had to replace the damaged overlay...
Yeah.... that what you do... If we screw a part up... it gets scrapped
and replaced by a new one...
The customer should not suffer for our mistake...

Jerry
 
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Hey MM... is that all you have to say... :thinking:
Did you see the inside of that PRO you guys sent to this poor guy for a
Review of all things...:thinking:

What the he!! is that....:cryyy:
I'm speechless...:cryyy:

[Edit]
Why didn't you guys develop and perfect your meter before you dumped it
onto unwitting members... That's what a professionals would do...
They don't need their unfinished... not ready for consumers products to come
back and bite then on there A$$...
I thought Kenom finally got his building act together...

I'm just glad I didn't buy one...
I would not have been so kind in my review if I had received that unit..


Jerry
I agree with you 100% here Jerry, but Mario's only one link in the chain and he didn't build this unit.. perhaps the sentiment should be directed at all of the people involved. Mario's said his piece in post #3 and what he said covers his end well enough, IMO anyways..

Not trying to take sides, I just feel that Mario might be taking more heat than he deserves.
 

lasersbee

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I agree.... MM did try to exlpain and I'm sure he has Kenoms phone number...
He got the brunt of it because he is the only one that at least responded..

From the beginning Kenom stated that 3 people were involved in the PRO...
He didn't say he hired 2 people...
If one of my guys screws something up with a product... I am responsible b/c
they all know I'm the boss here...

But I understood there were 3 PRO bosses and Kenom was the main voice...
Maybe the PRO hierachy can get cleared up as well for problems like this...

The [EDIT] section was not aimed at MM...but the group as as a whole..


Jerry
 
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I'll second this motion !
Even though we know Ken is going through hard times and he wants to put out a good product, the customer should not suffer as he payed good money and should recieve a good product !



It's Brand Feaking New... there is no excuse for that build quality..
I just re-read the Review... Kenom knew that the dust under the
overlay was there and shipped it anyway stating he would have
had to replace the damaged overlay...
Yeah.... that what you do... If we screw a part up... it gets scrapped
and replaced by a new one...
The customer should not suffer for our mistake...

Jerry
 
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lasersbee

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I'll second this motion !
Even though we know Ken is going through hard times and he wants to put out a good product, the customer should not suffer as he payed good money and should recieve a good product !
Not to sound to harsh... I bought a total of 7 Kenometers from
Kenom and every one I got was built similar to those pictures...

I can only speak for my Kenometers... but I would think that if a
competitor was to buy a product from me that I also sell... the
unit I would send out would be immaculate... I have taken pics
when they were received..

If someone truly wants to put out a good product... one would need
to look inside similar products to see what acceptable build quality is..
and have the proper skills to perform an acceptable build... which..
again I don't see here...

I'm sorry that kenom had some bad times but he seems to have pulled
himself out of that rut with the sale of his LPMs aqnd the help of the
Forum...
Even so... that is no excuse to send a crap build like that to an unsuspecting
customer.. IMO

Jerry
 
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I have to say I agree 100% Jerry ! When something goes out my door I want it to work forever if possibule, and I don't want someone else having to fix it to make it work for them !


Not to sound to harsh... I bought a total of 7 Kenometers from
Kenom and every one I got was built similar to those pictures...

I can only speak for my Kenometers... but I would think that if a
competitor was to buy a product from me that I also sell... the
unit I would send out would be immaculate... I have taken pics
when they were received..

If someone truly wants to put out a good product... one would need
to look inside similar products to see what acceptable build quality is..
and have the proper skills to perform an acceptable build... which..
again I don't see here...

I'm sorry that kenom had some bad times but he seems to have pulled
himself out of that rut with the sale of his LPMs aqnd the help of the
Forum...
Even so... that is no excuse to send a crap build like that to an unsuspecting
customer.. IMO

Jerry
 
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lasersbee

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In our business we call it a Rats Nest...
or Spaghetti Wiring...:D

Either way... it's unacceptable...

@ CBB... I really feel bad for you.. to have been sucked into
the "Professional LPM" hype... PM Sent...

Jerry
 

Kenom

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Look, this unit was just something to give Probeam until I could assemble his meter. This is my prototype unit and was never designed or build for someone to use. I fully intended to send his other unit when I was done building it, however I am waiting for the enclosures to arrive. He was getting impatient for a meter and this probably wasn't teh best way of going about it. Nor did I communicate with him that the true meter would be following this temporary unit.

I did not tell this to CDbeam777 because I've been out of town looking for a job and securing housing. I had extremely limited access to the internet and not enough time to explain to him that this was just to tide him over until I could get the true unit intended for him out.

As to the hot glue, if you can find another means of securing the lcd in place that holds it at the precise depth required and isn't going to put me out a ton more, or doesn't require screwing through the plastic, then I will use it. There is NOTHING wrong with hot glue used in electronics if it's in small amounts *(which this one wasn't since it was the prototype)

I will take the heat for this poorly constructed meter. As I said, it was not intended as a final build for him. One other customer also received a meter with some obvious defects on the outside, but I asked him clearly if he was ok with it or if he wanted to wait for a replacement enclosure. It truly is my intention to build this meter SOLID. Not like my past builds that Jerry has seen. Utilizing shrink wrapping on bare wires, no electrical tape holding parts together or huge wads of hot glue all over the place.

In the meantime, cdbeam, I encourage you to use the meter sent to you until you can receive the meter I truly intended for you. Once you do I encourage you to tear into it and see that I can and will be assembling a much better looking meter not just on the outside. I had forgotten that I had sent you the prototype when I asked you to review it.

Here is an example of the wiring on another meter that was the second one built.. better. Still not where I want it to be, but better.
 
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