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Radiant Alpha Power Meter - Review

csshih

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Hey All,

Here's a quick review of the Radiant Electronics Radiant Alpha Power Meter - a meter based on affordability - without being junk, of course ;)

The meter was purchased in the evening on the 13th, and arrived on the 20th - roughly 4 days.
My large amount of questions were answered quickly - I hope I didn't annoy the seller too much!
The meter was well packaged in bubble wrap, and included an instructions sheet.


First impressions are pretty positive. The meter feels very solid, but I personally found it a bit large. Then again, my light meter is about 2 times bigger!


laser printed instruction sheet. how fitting.


The TEC, (or sensor, or wafer thermopile) is attached to the heatsink nicely, it seems. Heatshrink is nice and neat, the drilled hole looks fine.
Apologies on quality on this particular image.. not sure why the compression is showing up so oddly.


back of the meter is clean. ignore the missing screws ;)


Here's the meter on. The screen's visiblility is decent but a bit reflective. It is harder to see in direct sunlight, but why would you play with lasers when it's sunny?
The braided cord adds a layer of confidence with durability, though I'm afraid that I might accidentally hit it with a stray beam and burn it.


Measuring an Artic on low with the training lens installed/


Artic on high - not the best performance :/


Green '5mW' ebay pointer.


405nm '5mW' ebay pointer

time for the vivisection! I'm not much a electronics guy, so I'll leave you to your own impressions.


the soldering is superb in my book - hard to believe this is done by hand!







My experience with the meter is very positve, from the order process, to the finished product.
I do not have other meters to compare this one with, unfortunately, but this one seems accurate from what I'm seeing.
My only complaint is that it takes a bit for the readings to stabilize (being used to almost instantaneous luxmeters) - but I was informed that TEC style meters take longer to heat up, thus, my complaint is null!

highly recommended. I'm very happy with my purchase.

Thank you for reading!
 
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Crazy Jay

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I've been wanting something like this for a long time now. Can't wait for mine to arrive. It looks great inside too!
Good reviews already :gj:

 
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Benm

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Nice review - good to see the inside too. Its much simpler than what i expected really, seems to be an adjustable amplifier and a prefab voltmeter module. I suppose this also is the cause of the relatively slow measurement, as there is no microcontroller that can analyze trend and display a result before the TEC surface is at its final temperature.

For $100 calibrated i think its a nice deal, though i would like to get my hands on those TECs and a have a go at building one myself ;)
 

ped

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Better that i expected! For the money you cant go wrong.
 

DJNY

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Wow seemed to be a damn nice LPM for the price!!
Thank you for the good first impression csshih :)
 

Arayan

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Nice meter and review :topic: I'm waiting that become available again :)
 

Hemlock_Mike

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As I have said before, A meter is only as good as the owner's understanding of it. Any meter can display information and it is up to YOU to understand the limitations of the readings. This is especially true of LPM's. With these sensors, ambient temp affects both the sensor and the laser source itself. Many other variables come into play also so the experimenter needs to "play" with the meter over time to get it's feel.
LPMs are a somewhat new device in our hobby. I myself have 5 Scientech meters spread around here. I try to keep them calibrated but they are never the same and as a hobby, none of our meters will correlate better than 5% on an AVERAGE and that's on a good day.

I just tested my Mighty Skylaser 200 mW green on four meters and I'm surprised at my reading correlation. 80, 76, 84, 80 mW ---It's usually not that good. Well not bad for my 200 mW laser....... It's usually about 50 mW :-(

What I'm saying here is to learn the limits of the test equipment and don't dispare if you read 875 mW at 1 Amp while someone else reports 925 mW at the same current.
There are too many variables.

HMike
 
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You also have to take into account that the laser's output will shift while it heats up or cools down, so that could throw off your comparisons.

To get an accurate comparison a stable gas laser is probably your best bet.
 

Eudaimonium

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Wow, big "Radiant" typo on the instruction manual kind of throws off the first impression. :na:

However, inner workings appear to be very professionaly done.

The TEC looks big enough to withstand quite a punishment. Would that happen to be one of those TECs found in TO3 packaged laser diodes?

I didn't catch it, what's the power source? There appears to be a battery holder there...
 




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