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LaserBee II LPM

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I recently purchased a LaserBee II Standard LPM from J. Bauer Electronics. I must say that Jerry believes in customer service. He was prompt in answering questions and very helpful. It took about a week for the package to be delivered. Not bad considering it had to go through customs. In the well packed box were an informative cautionary warning sheet, the LPM, thermopile, quick connect thermopile cable, USB Male to Female cable, USB to Serial adapter, and CD-ROM containing LPM logging software and USB to serial drivers. I am fortunate to be a beta tester for his new logging software (which works very well).

It is well advised to read ALL the instructions before using the meter.

To start testing the output of your laser(s) after reading the instructions, all that is required is attaching the thermopile cable to the LPM board. Pay attention to polarity. Plug the cable into the thermopile, attach a 9V battery, and shine your laser on the 8mm x 8mm sensor area of the generous heat sink. Output power will be displayed on the two line backlit LCD. The top line shows actual real-time power, the lower line displays maximum peak power. To prevent damage to the sensor coating, it is best not to have the beam focused tightly, instead having it spread out over as much of the sensor as possible.



If you want to log the data generated by the LPM, you must install the provided software and driver for the USB to Serial adapter (unless you have an open serial port and RS232 cable). Software installation is easy. The provided driver is designed to work with 32-bit versions of WindowsXP and Vista. At first the driver provided did not work with my 64-bit Windows7 OS, but leaving the LPM attached to the USB port on my desk-top computer overnight, Windows7 Update found the correct driver automatically for me. It works fine as provided on an older computer running 32-bit WinXP.

Data logging is straight forward. Press Start, name the file you want to save it to and Save, then press Run. When you want to stop logging press Stop. To view the graph which displays peak and average power output, click File, select Load, select the name of the file you previously created and click Open. You can see any variance as the laser heats up. For this review I used a 405nm Ebbaay pointer from itemquickship. These lasers have been discussed at length here and here. Needless to say they are way overspec.


Main page of LPM software (beta)


Data logged output graph.

With the prevalence of >1W 445nm diodes, I highly recommend the LaserBee II for the laser hobbyist who needs to measure power levels greater than 1 Watt.

Watch for more of my laser output reviews!
 
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