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Thread: Laserbee II 3.2W Laser Power Meter Review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    East Sussex, England
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    Default Laserbee II 3.2W Laser Power Meter Review

    Hi all, I've been threatening to do this for a while now, so here it is (or at least the start of it...)

    My review of the Laserbee II 3.2W LPM
    Full specs, etc at http://www.bauer-electron.com/LaserBeeII/eby3wlpm.htm as well as detailed pics of enclosure and head.

    The story begins around beginning of April where I was posting on various threads that I might be interested in getting a LPM, showing interest in a few different ones.
    I had previously looked very hard at the Laserbee I as it seemed just about right, and cheap, and seemed to have quite a following on the forums. Other than that, I knew very little about it (or LPM's in general). I'd contacted Jerry about possibly organising a group buy but nothing had come of it from my end.
    At the point where I was looking about ready to spend some cash, I had a PM from Jerry which contained some very enticing pictures of the forthcoming Laserbee II, and an indication that they might be ready to ship near end April.
    After some prodding, I even got him to reveal a price!

    So I placed the order...


    and waited patiantly....


    and sent a PM or 2 about progress... (I was eager, ok!)

    and then, just around the end of April (26th to be precise), I got a PM to say it was shipped (just as he'd said originally)

    On 4th May I got a letter from the post office to say they had the parcel and I needed to pay duty, which I duly did, and on 6th May it arrived at my work! (w00t)

    The very first thing I did was unwrap it and loaded the CD in my laptop and read the manual. Jerry was VERY insistent that I read the manual first before I did anything. I'm a big fan of RTFM anyways, so off I read....

    6 pages later and I was fully informed of how to use the LPM, how to handle the head, how to use the software and how to do the installation of the software and drivers.

    Oh yeah, aside from the CD, there was also a power meter in the box! Not only that, but also a thermopile head, cable to connect head to meter, a USB cable, and a USB to serial converter/adaptor.

    Pics of the packing and extras laid out on top, very secure!
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    Some people had expressed an interest in seeing the guts of the thing, so here it opened up as far as I'm willing to go with it, very little to it, but nice and neat. I think the SN indicates it's number 1 off the line, I have to be honest and say I had expected it to be the test bed meter being dveloped, not like this. Especially as my impatience meant I was hassling Jerry for fast delivery! Pleasantly surprised is all I can say....
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    Screen is nice and easy to see, with good backlight that can be turned off. Aesthetically I think the case is very nice looking and well put together, however the power switch looks a little out of place, dare I say it a little clunky. Perhaps a rocker switch that is more flush with the case would be a nicer touch, or even a rocker on the side. Otherwise no problems, printing of the logo is nicely turned out.

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    So far I've only got to measuring a couple of my lasers, of which only one was a known quantity. I have a 1.1W 650nm Laserwave (as measured by Marc at CT Lasers), and when measured with the Laserbee, gave a stable 1.03Watts. Given that I couldn't quite fit all of the beam on the thermopile, I accept it's going to read a bit low on that one.

    Forthcoming I intend to measure my new Laserwave 640's and 532's which were measured by Rob Stanwax prior to delivery with photo proof. It'll be interesting to see how close I get to the figures Rob saw.

    Unfortunately thats about as scientific as I can get, as I have no access to any other calibrated meter to validate these readings.

    I'll also be taking some measurements over time, using the logging and graphing software supplied which I'll add as I get to do it.
    Regarding the software, I did have an issue with the serial to USB driver on Vista 32bit. It failed to install correctly, but Vista went off and located the latest version of the driver. Once I'd removed the original driver, the new one worked just fine. I contacted Jerry who confirmed he hadn't been able to test on Vista 32, but would include the latest driver with any further sales.

    Stay tuned for some more pics and opinion....
    Last edited by norty303; 05-18-2010 at 13:40.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    East Sussex, England
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    Ok, so tonight I measured one of my Laserwave greens, with and without a bounce red dichro to see how much IR it was putting out, with a view to sending the reports to Rob Stanwax as I had thought there may have been an issue with it. So a 'jean-yoooo-eyn' died-in-the-wool real-world application for the meter.
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    So, fire up the software, turn on the meter, choose the COM port in the software and away we go.
    To log a reading you simply have to give the file a name, set the measurement interval (default 1sec), tick the 'log to file' box, and hit run.
    The software will then pick up whatever the meter reads until you:
    a) hit the 'stop' button
    b) unplug the meter
    c) turn off the computer...

    Once a reading has been logged, you can then choose the 'Graph log file' option from the file menu, load the log file and a new window appears with the graph. (see screenshots)

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    Ok, so a couple of observations about the software:

    1. It's very simple to use

    2. As you'll see from the graphs above, it doesn't log the name of the file on the graph output. Could you tell me which was which? A very simple enhancement it would be great to see would be for the filename to appear somewhere on the graph output, so you know what was being tested.

    3. There is only a print option on the graph page. When selected it simply sends the graph to the printer (as you might expect). However I was hoping I might go to my printer driver properties page so I could choose print to file. In order to get these images I had to PrintScrn, copy to MSPaint (yuck!) crop, trim, and save. A simple save as jpeg option would be superb, seeing as so many people need software formats rather than hard copy these days.

    4. When logging, the graph displays current, average and max power. However, the max power seemed to change periodically (i.e. come down), almost like an average reading but with a slower refresh time. At the end of 5 or 6 mins the max reading in the software wasn't the same as shown on the meter. This may be entirely intentional to 'scrub' rogue readings that are a long way out of touch with the average.

    5. Thats it...

    I expect Jerry will be along shortly to make comment about the points I've raised. Indeed I may have missed something in the software so I may have got it wrong.

    Overall, very happy with the meter and what it does for the price. A couple of little changes to the software would make it even better to use.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Canada
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    Hey norty303...
    Nice detailed review...

    You have used the software properly as it is presented... It does what you
    did with it..
    You can also take the "FileName".Txt file and put it into another Graphing
    program that could possibly allow you to add a Graph Name and save it as
    a .JPG or other Format..

    We had licensed the Software from a member on another Forum who designed
    the Software...
    We had asked for some software changes since then that address some of the
    issues you bring up...

    Since the Software designer no longer has time to invest in the Software
    updates we requested... We have now been in negotiations to purchase
    the Source Code so that we can make changes in-house..

    Your recommendations are valid and will be addressed once we own the
    Source code...

    Any customer that purchased a LaserBee I or LaserBee II with the Data Logging
    feature will be offered a PC Interface Data Logging software update for FREE..
    Once we get the Source Code negotiations completed... no ETA as of yet..


    Jerry
    See the LaserBee II and all other LaserBee LPM products here....
    All LaserBee Laser Power Meter Products

    New 3.2Watt RS232/USB LaserBee II LPM REVIEW


    Always in stock and ready to ship....
    Subsidary:-Pharma Electronic Solutions

  4. #4
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    Feb 2008
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    Thanks Jerry, I did wonder if you could import the file into Excel or something, but never got a chance to try it last night, thanks for that tip.

    And good to hear that there might be the possibility of some enhancements on the horizon

    I should also say that Jerry addressed my previous comment about the power switch by PM.

    Basically the switch was chosen because it's very thin as it fits down between the edge of the case and the battery compartment (should be visible in one of my internal shots). Jerry has said that he might try and find an extra shallow rocker or something to go in its place. Nice

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Canada
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    Default

    Just a heads up...
    We just updated the links to the LaserBee II in my Sig...

    The link in the 1st post can be accessed through my Sig..


    Jerry
    See the LaserBee II and all other LaserBee LPM products here....
    All LaserBee Laser Power Meter Products

    New 3.2Watt RS232/USB LaserBee II LPM REVIEW


    Always in stock and ready to ship....
    Subsidary:-Pharma Electronic Solutions

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