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Radiant Alpha Power Meter - Review

Arayan

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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
Very smart analysis :topic:
As any scientific instrument for environmental measurement, a LPM is not usefull for absolute data but only to compare different lasers ;)
 
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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...
That was a big gaping embarrassing mistake on my part and has been fixed.

The Radiant Alpha runs off of a single 9V battery. We have a wall power plug option coming soon that will work with all Alphas.
 

Eudaimonium

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That was a big gaping embarrassing mistake on my part and has been fixed.

The Radiant Alpha runs off of a single 9V battery. We have a wall power plug option coming soon that will work with all Alphas.
Oh don't worry, it's not that big of a mistake.

9V Battery you say... hmm. What's the aproximate current draw and battery lifetime? Those are not cheap from where i come from.
 

MarioMaster

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It depends, it seems I've gotten two variants of panel meters even though they were both ordered from the same source. One variant only uses 60-120mA while the other can use as much as 150-250mA. A universal voltage input AC adapter will be available soon. Battery life depends on the capacity of the 9v you're using.
 

Eudaimonium

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It depends, it seems I've gotten two variants of panel meters even though they were both ordered from the same source. One variant only uses 60-120mA while the other can use as much as 150-250mA. A universal voltage input AC adapter will be available soon. Battery life depends on the capacity of the 9v you're using.
Wow, how can that be? It's the LED display that's consuming most of the power, correct? Different LEDs maybe ?

AC adapter should be awesome.
 

Crazy Jay

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Does it have a port for an AC adapter?

I can get 9v batteries at the dollar store. So it's not that bad at all besides, you could use 6 AAAA's in series
 

DTR

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Very nice. I would like to see some comparisons with other LPM's for consistency.;)
 

csshih

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Very nice. I would like to see some comparisons with other LPM's for consistency.;)
You send it, I review it. :eg: :na:

though flashlights now take too much time, runtimes, beamshots, et all. lasers and test equipment seems easier.
 

lasersbee

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Nice... finally another Laser Power Meter with a professionally
manufactured OEM PCB... good job MM...

Jerry
 

ZapU

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Have you tried the zero adjust? Mine seems to have very little effect. Fortunately it stays on zero most of the time.
 

MarioMaster

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Have you tried the zero adjust? Mine seems to have very little effect. Fortunately it stays on zero most of the time.

Yeah I've noticed this being a recurring problem, although as you said the zero point doesn't really drift on these. However to address this issue I have changed the value of the zero adjust potentiometer on future units and will offer replacements for free to anyone who wants a greater zero adjust range.
 

csshih

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yup, mario answered the question on this one.

on a side note, I fashioned a AC adapter with a 5V power source.. it's been running 24/7 ever since.
 




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