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Thread: Building a power meter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    4,382

    Default Building a power meter

    I'd like to build a 2 watt power meter for RGB (400-700nm). I could build the electronics myself probably. I kinda like the one Steve Roberts had at SELEM with the analog meter. Kind of old-school-nostalgic Does anybody know what they use for the head/ sensor in those things?
    And possibly any circuitry/ schematics? (I'm not asking much, am i)
    Thanks in advance all,
    Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,509

    Cool

    Steve;

    Here's a link to laserpointerforums where they're discussing how to build a home-made power meter that is based on a thermal detector from a surplus coherent power meter. The surplus boards are available on E-bay for around $40, and with another $15 in parts or so you can have a working meter. (Just hook your DVM up to it.) The guy Kenom on LPF designed a small circuit board to hold all the parts you need, and he's selling those boards for like 8 bucks each. (I bought one, but haven't assembled anything yet.)

    Some of the guys there have even incorporated a small DVM into the project case for another $20 or so. So even if you go whole-hog and build it into a case with it's own digital display and the custom PCB from Kenom, you're still going to be under $100 for the entire project.

    I think the sensor is good up to 5 watts - maybe even 10 watts. But most of the guys are buying 3.5 digit displays, and they calibrate as 1mw = 1 mw, so you get zero to 2 watts as your range.

    It's probably the cheapest meter you can build that is still highly accurate. (They say it will even pick up the stray body head from your hand if you pass it in front of the detector.)

    I'm going to build one someday - when ever I get the time!

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    515

    Default

    There is also a add on board with PIC microcontroller that sends data to the serialport of your computer and software for windows that logs and graphs data over time.
    There is going to be a second run of this PCB for 25$ each as soon as he gets three orders more.
    http://www.laserpointerforums.com/fo...num=1203305181

    The board could also be used with other sensors if you already have a power meter with voltage output.

    I think this is super cheap for that kind of functionality!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    4,382

    Default

    WOW! Ultra-cool y'all! I'll be putting some $ in my paypal account and buying parts soon! Thanks!

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