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Thread: Kenometer Pro Review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Monroe, Mi USA
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    Default Kenometer Pro Review

    KENOMETER PRO REVIEW
    5/10/2010

    I finally received my long waited Kenometer Pro the other day, after several delays.
    I want to make a few things VERY clear here, I was asked by Kenom to do a review of the Pro, I did NOT volunteer. ALL things considered, I should probably NOT do a review, but here we go. I should also mention I am a very detail type of person who has taken over two years to build his RGB projector. While how good a product looks does NOT affect its performance, I value BOTH form and function. That IS me, so take this into consideration.

    I understand that there will be comebacks both pro and con to this review. A review is mainly a compilation of facts with some opinion thrown in. But please try to remember, I’m an average guy that spent $400.00 on a Laser Power Meter and this is my story as accurately as I could write it.

    The Kenometer arrived in a well padded box. On opening the box I removed all the parts he sent. Wow, the Kenometer PRO looked just great.

    Kenometer PRO
    Thermopile Sensor
    External Battery box
    Sensor Cable

    I didn’t find any written instructions of any kind nor a software CD. I remembered that all the documentation is on-line. While this approach offers good flexibility to update information, my personal preference is that some minimal documentation should be included with my purchase, even a sheet of paper that sez ” Go to this site: www.whatever. I’m not that electronic literate so I called one of my good friends that has a job as an electronic technician.

    While he was on his way I looked at the parts a little closer and found scratches on the rear of the plastic enclosure (not too bad it was on the back). Then I found the hole for the DC plug not cut very square and the plug for the sensor cable was deforming the box’s plastic. Not critical to the functioning of the LPM, but for $400.00 plus shipping I would expect a brand new product. If I buy a new car, it better not have a scratch on it until I put some on.

    Around the joint of the 2 halves of the enclosure there were marks like someone had tried to pry the two halves apart with a screwdriver. There was also a large 1.1” X .75” Warranty Void if Removed" label in plain view on my new LPM.

    My buddy John showed up and we plugged the sensor cable into the PRO and proceeded to plug the other end of the cable into the sensor head when he noticed the green wire was lose and disconnected from the plug and there seemed to be no heat shrink or tape of any kind for protecting these 4 wires

    My friend proceeded to repair the broken green wire. As he was repairing it the brown wire also came disconnected and he proceeded to redo the complete 4 connections. We now had a working cable that I plugged into the sensor.

    I plugged the external battery pack into the PRO and the screen came to life.
    There was some dust on the Graphic screen so I grabbed a tissue and wiped it off, but the dust was still there. I unplugged the battery pack to turn off the PRO (there is no on-off switch on the PRO) to look at it a bit closer and found that the dust was between the overlay and the Graphic screen.

    I decided to test the PRO with the dust there. I plugged the Battery pack into the PRO again and now nothing. The screen seemed to want to come on but is really dark.
    John said it looked like the LCD backlight was defective or not getting any voltage.
    At this point I was stating to get annoyed by all the defects of this Brand New Kenometer PRO.

    I asked John if he thought he could fix it and said, if it was just a connection...he probably could. I told him to ignore the warning label and try to fix it. I was impatient !!! At the same time we could clean the dust off the inside. ( As I stated…I am a detail freak ) He removed 4 screws and carefully opened the case. WOW, Holy Crap.

    John said he had never seen such a badly built professional anything. The wires were all over the place. Getting the part number off the graphic display and doing a Google search he was able to find the pinouts for the backlight, and just as he predicted a very small gauge wire was disconnected from the right most pin of the LCD which was the one of the connections to the display backlight. John resoldered the broken wire and we now had the backlight working again. GREAT !!

    Now to just clean the dust off the display and we will be up and running. Fat chance.
    There was no way to safely remove or replace the graphics display because it had been
    fixed in place with HOT GLUE HOT GLUE ??? mmm ??? good for scrap booking my wife used to do….NOT for holding components in a sensitive electronic testing device.
    Every part on the inside of my PRO is held in place with hot glue !!!

    When I asked Kenom about the dust under the screen he admitted knowing about the dust being there before shipping and said that he would have ruined a good display replacing it. ?????

    We decided to press on. John closed the cover being careful not to snag one of the many
    unsecured wires in that nest we found in the PRO. I plugged the sensor and fixed cable back into the PRO and then the batteries. The screen came to life again and the display bounced around quickly between 0 and 6mW.

    We tested the buttons. There must be one that zeroes the display. Found it, it is the button marked Select/Reset. Good we are getting somewhere, the display now jumps around quickly between 0 and 1mW with 2mW peak.
    Shining a 100mW laser on the sensor shows about 100mW, but not steady, still jumping around near 100mW. OK, Acceptable. On the graphics display, not much of a change of level. It was set to 0-1000mW when we turned it on.

    Playing with the buttons we hit the Config/Down button and were able to increase or decrease the Max Display. We decided to see what 5000mW would look like on the display. We hit the Zero/Up button and the screen and we ended up back at the main screen. Did it again but this time using the Config/Down button and the count went down.

    It appears there is something else that is wrong with the PRO, the Select/Reset and the Zero/Up buttons are interchanged or not labeled correctly or wired wrong..
    Now that we know the 2 buttons have reverse functions we went into Config and tried to set the Max graphing to 5000mW from 1000mW. Once we had it set to what we wanted it we did some more tests after needing to zero the meter every time. We unplugged the batteries to save them since we didn’t get a charger for them to have lunch.

    When we got back from lunch and plugged the batteries in again all our adjustments we made before removing the batteries were gone and the default values were showing.
    I would expect that my previous setting would be saved, so I don’t need to go though that setup again every time I power down.

    John suggested we do one last test and that was current drain from the batteries. The Kenometer Pro draws 325mA and with the 900mA batteries supplies… John sez they should last about 2 to 3 hours.

    For all the hype about a Professional Built Kenometer PRO, I am disappointed with my $400.00 outlay and all the problems we had to solve before we got it to work right. It does work as advertised, but I would hope my experience was NOT typical. Please examine the twelve (12) pics attached.

    Pic Index

    ProParts- Pro parts as received
    Proconn1- Connector prior repair
    Proconn2-Connector after repair
    ProScratch- Small scratch on case back
    ProDing-Ding at side of case seam
    ProDust1-Trapped dust under readout
    ProDust2-Trapped dust under readout from another angle
    ProHoles- Thru wall connector hole
    ProInside1-Pro Internal construction general
    ProInside2-Pro Internal construction zoom2
    ProInside3-Pro Internal construction zoom3
    ProInside4-Pro Internal construction zoom4

    PROS

    Nice Blue LCD
    Nice graph screen
    Nice shape enclosure and small overall size
    Data logging features
    Good range for higher power mW lasers
    Good OPHIR sensor head( From what I have read about it )
    Unit works as advertised

    CONS


    Non-removable dust under overlay
    Scratches and dings on outside of plastic enclosure
    No user instructions ( Yes, they are online )
    Key functions and/or identification reversed
    No setup data stored on power down
    No Software or drivers on CD supplied
    No internal batteries ( Yes, I was aware of this before purchase )
    No on-off switch
    Front Over lay too reflective ( a matt finish would be better in my opinion )
    Graphic screen too small for my taste ( Yes, I was aware of the size before purchase and larger may be way more expensive )
    No replaceable components (all hot glued in place)
    High current consumption for battery use
    Badly assembled sensor cable
    Unorthodox / Poor build quality


    Final comments: I am happy that the meter does perform as advertised for sure. And I am sure the electrons that travel along the internal wiring within the LPM box enclosure perform their design function no matter how convoluted a path they take, but I would not choose such a construction method. I would also not choose a permanently dusty viewport. Perhaps I am way too uptight ??? But remember…this review was requested by Kenom, and I am uptight with everything.

    Later,
    CDBEAM
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ProConn1.JPG  

    ProConn2.JPG  

    ProDing.JPG  

    ProDust1.JPG  

    ProDust2.JPG  

    ProHoles.JPG  

    PRO-Inside.JPG  

    ProInside1.JPG  

    ProInside2.JPG  

    ProInside3.JPG  

    ProParts.JPG  

    ProScratch.JPG  

    Beam Axiom #1 ~The Quantum well is DEEP ! Photons for ALL !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #2 ~Yes...As a matter of fact...I DO wear tinfoil on my head !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #3 ~Whe'n dout...Po ah Donk awn et !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #4 ~A Chicken in every Pot, and a Laser Lumia in every Livingroom !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #5 ~"Abstract Photonic Expressionism"....is "Abstractonimical" !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #6 ~ "A Posse ad Essea" ~ From being possible to being actual ...is the beam target !

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    134

    Default

    I would like to take the opportunity CDbeam to apologize for your recieving this unit without my letting you know that it was only a temporary unit until I could get a true meter built for you.. I've been away from my computer on/off for the last several weeks and wanted to let you know that this was my prototype and was not intended to be a permenant solution for you.. I fully intended to send you a non-prototype and much better build meter when the enclosures I ordered arrived. The enclosures were delayed thanks to this ash cloud grounding all flights in Europe.


    I want you to do another review of the replacement unit and have it be just as detailed, I'll even leave the sticker off so you don't have to remove it and can put it on when your done.

    In teh meantime, I'd like to show the other meters that have been built and the build quality associated with them.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3175365/DSC00105.JPG
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3175365/DSC00096.JPG
    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3175365/DSC00125.JPG
    Last edited by Kenom; 05-10-2010 at 21:05.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    972

    Default

    The best thing you could have done is to just let the Thread die...
    We already went over all this on the LPF PRO Review...
    You are just going to kick up more dust... and it will get into
    everyone's eyes....IMO

    And offering a "special" Pro for Review now won't mean diddly squat...IMO
    When you know the inspector is coming... you always make an extra special
    effort...


    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
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lasersbee View Post
    The best thing you could have done is to just let the Thread die...
    We already went over all this on the LPF PRO Review...
    You are just going to kick up more dust... and it will get into
    everyone's eyes....IMO

    And offering a "special" Pro for Review now won't mean diddly squat...IMO
    When you know the inspector is coming... you always make an extra special
    effort...


    Jerry
    I've indicated on LPF that I refuse to respond to your cynicism and jaded barbs. your opinion is not wanted here and my dealings with my customers are just between my customers and I.

    I intend EVERY meter to be build with the understanding that the inspector is coming. I never indicated it would be "special" Just what he ordered. With that, I beg that folks not judge me based on this one meter. The proof is in the putting.. I'm willing to support my products and stand by my customers. Even if the fault is my own. Which in this case it is.

    That being said, I refuse just like I indicated on LPF to not respond anymore to the spiteful and jealous rantings of my competitor

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    972

    Default

    I've said nothing spiteful or with cynicism or jaded barbs on this forum
    Would you prefer that I post some of your other 7 LPM builds that I have
    personally purchased from you...
    It seems that you just answered my last post on LPF....
    The game's afoot...........................

    Jerry
    Last edited by lasersbee; 05-10-2010 at 21:56.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Auburn, Washington
    Posts
    824

    Default

    I just happened to be in the market for a good inexpensive power meter!

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, 12 pictures are worth a LaserBee II. Thanks for the honest review CDBEAM.

    Jerry: PM sent

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Monroe, Mi USA
    Posts
    815

    Default Final words on this unfortunate event

    I now have offers from both Laserbee and Kenometer to take my …” Dust Bunny, Temporary, Stand-in double… Kenometer PRO and trade it in for a shiny new LPM…SO…Keno is standing by his public statement…and offering a new Kenometer PRO …..and Laserbee is going over the top and offering a trade for a new LASERBEE II. And…poor CDBEAM is on the horns of a dilemma. From wondering if he will get his Kenometer PRO due to all the troubles in Keno’s life…..to this !!!!!
    OK…ALL further communication on this matter will be strictly handled in PM’s. Any other way would not be civil….and may cause damage to either one of these meter suppliers. They will and must stand on their own merits….not what I do !!!! What is important here is that the Laser Hobbyist community has choices provided by these companies….affordable choices….that they have worked hard to develop….and I appreciate their contribution.
    Regards,
    CDBEAM
    Beam Axiom #1 ~The Quantum well is DEEP ! Photons for ALL !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #2 ~Yes...As a matter of fact...I DO wear tinfoil on my head !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #3 ~Whe'n dout...Po ah Donk awn et !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #4 ~A Chicken in every Pot, and a Laser Lumia in every Livingroom !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #5 ~"Abstract Photonic Expressionism"....is "Abstractonimical" !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #6 ~ "A Posse ad Essea" ~ From being possible to being actual ...is the beam target !

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    nerdtown, USA
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Wait, you're using the AVR's onboard ADC in a metrology application?

    You're either insane or a moron. There is no way on earth this device will EVER have the 0.1% accuracy at full scale that you would need to get accurate measurements from a few milliwatts to several watts. It's just not possible with the AVR ADC.

    Now, if you were going to place a nicer ADC... maybe something like the Analog Devices range of serial ADCs... then maybe you could get close; but having seen your "prototype" I am damned sure you couldn't lay out a ground plane for it.

    Selling people a surplus LPM head, an Arduino and a graphic LCD for $400 has to be the steepest markup I've ever seen.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Location
    Cairns, Australia
    Posts
    1,896

    Default

    I can assure you these are NOT surplus heads, they are brand new and were bought in a bulk lot.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    nerdtown, USA
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    It's still a ripoff, especially considering that the power rail is coming off the crappy linear regulator that supplies the Arduino- digital hash all over your Aref? That'll be why the reading is all bouncy like.

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