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Kenometer Pro reviewed

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Ill be reviewing my Kenometer Pro by Kenom. I have been using it for about a week, so I've had enough time to look it over. I received it in perfect condition, and I have to say it looks very professional. The case is well suited for it's intended use, and the custom faceplate with the four buttons are well laid out. The level of detail is pretty amazing, especially considering that these are hand made.

Physically speaking the meter is very well built. The holes for the usb, power switch, thermopile head and LCD contrast control are all perfect, and aligned. But really the best part is in the inside. All wires are just the right length, have heat-shrink tubing at the ends and are all well laid out. Hotglue is used to keep external connectors and parts in place with good effect. Used in the correct amounts and in all the right places. I am actually pretty impressed with how neat he is with the hot glue. The wire he used has silicone insulation, has good flex, and is certainly a high quality wire. The thermopile of course is awesome, but I won't talk about that since its already designed for laser measurement, and works perfect.

The electronics are all pretty simple, and that's a good thing. There is not much that can go wrong, it just works. My testing of the electronics only found one issue. You can power the meter off of battery's or USB power, however you should not power it with USB if you plan to measure more then W. At the heart of the Kenometer Pro is the Arduino nano V3. The Arduino uses a Amtel ATmega328 microcontroller chip. This chip has a internal 1.1 volt internal band gap voltage reference for the analog to digital converter. Using this reference for below 1W gives the meter very good accuracy. When measuring above 1W the meter must use the Arduino's onboard linear 5 volt power supply as a reference. Linear regulators have a voltage drop, so when powered by USB, the lower voltage on the 5v line will falsely increase the measured power. However this is not a big issue, because running on battery power will let the linear regulator create the correct voltage. While on battery power, the accuracy is pretty high, with a slight tendency to be a few mW high. Also note, you can leave the device connected to USB and use the battery's at the same time, so you can still log data to a PC when using high power lasers accurately.

So on to the software. The display on the unit is one of the aspects of the meter that stands out. You can graph, find average power over time and peak power using only the meter. The configuration screens are easy to use, and I never find myself using the wrong buttons. On the PC side, installing the FTDI USB bridge chip drivers is simple. This driver allows the PC to communicate with the Amtel chip with serial over USB. You can even reprogram the chip over the USB connection, and I believe Kenom plans to implement that ability in the future at some point for firmware updates. Using the desktop software is nice due to the increased resolution of a PC display. All the expected features in the software are present, like peak and average power.

Included with the meter are the 14500 battery's, charger for the battery's, USB cord, CD with drivers for multiple OS's(including windows 7 64bit), software and manual. The manual has pictures and is a nice touch, however you probably won't need it. The Kenometer is not that hard to use, as it has a display that tells you what settings your changing.

That is all I can think of right now, but if anyone has any questions about it,
I will certainly try to answer. Pictures below :)














These are crappy shots
 

Kenom

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It was decided that until we could develop a better meter utilizing a different Analog to digital converter and a different MCU, that the current setup over 1W being not as accurate wasn't that big of a deal considering that most users as soon as it transitions into the Watt range, no longer care about specific 10's of milliwatts, and are only concerned with 1.3W or 1.5W. This being the case, the resolution of the meter is perfectly good for measuring above 1W. Now I could be wrong. some folks may not find the lack of resolution disturbing. Sadly, there is nothing I can do about it at this time. At some point and time in the future a totally Pre-fabbed board with a different ADC and MCU is going to be developed and I'm in the process of doing so now.
 

lasersbee

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They are hand built one after the other....
They will never look 100% identical...IMO

Jerry
 

icecruncher

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That's a little more helpful.

THanks for the nice review. More details are always appreciated. What is battery life like?

At some point and time in the future a totally Pre-fabbed board with a different ADC and MCU is going to be developed and I'm in the process of doing so now.
Future??? Will this allow a board replacement in current units? Or having to purchase new? Or upgrade pricing?

The inside of simon kenometer looked a little more clean to me.
Agreed
 

Kenom

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That is a good question icecruncher. I'll still be utilizing a lot of the parts I use for the meters. IE the membrane switch, the overlays and the enclosures. I'm trying to make it so that it's just a plug and play assembly. Plug in the necessary connections to the board and go. So, yes you would be able to upgrade. As to how I'll go about doing that, I haven't decided.

As to the insides, each one is going to look a little bit different. Here is one I finished today for Plexus.

 
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haha. I am actually really partial to the layout of my meter's wiring.
I like the hole in the shrink tube for the power wires.

As far as accuracy goes, I am really happy. When its below 1w, the 1.1v voltage reference is pretty accurate. The only case accuracy is low, is on usb power above 1W.

below 1w the resolution should be 1mw. at > 1w, it should be 4.88mw, maybe better with some averaging. (I know there is because the graphs are too smooth). In any case, I really like my meter a lot.

And I am not too sure on battery life, but If I knew where a double 18650 battery holder was, I might mod that on there, lol.
 
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That's a little more helpful.

THanks for the nice review. More details are always appreciated. What is battery life like?

I just tested my pro with a 100mw labby pointing at it and it ran for 2 hours and ten minutes on the batteries. The batteries were a little bit warm but not hot and they had a voltage of 2.90 & 3.0v
 




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