The Quasar module provides a way to use Ophir sensors as a remote laser power/energy meter allowing optimum placement of the sensor and separate optimum placement of your PC or laptop with no connecting cables.
- Quasar wireless interface connects to most standard Ophir sensors and broadcasts to your PC
- Wireless range of 10-30 meters depending on surroundings
- PC Software & Drivers
This section describes various ways to interface the Ophir meter to your PC as well as the software options available.
The StarLab application together with an Ophir meter turns your PC or laptop into a full-fledged laser power/energy meter. Supports most Ophir laser power/energy sensors. Up to 8 sensors can be displayed at once on one PC. By using the Ophir COM Object, you can control the device from your own application. Supports the StarLite, Juno, USBI, Nova II, Vega and Pulsar-1/2/4 devices.
- Firmware - Quasar
- Quasar Reader App
Quasar reader turns your Android based smartphone into a portable Ophir laser power measurement monitor. It works with Ophir Thermopile and Photodiode based sensors that are attached to a Quasar.
How can I control Ophir USB speaking devices from the PC?
All USB speaking devices (Juno, Pulsar and USB as well as the Vega and Nova-II Power and Energy Meters) can be controlled via our StarLab. This provides full remote control and measurement capabilities. In addition, system integrators can make use of the OphirLMMeasurement COM object for all of our USB speaking devices that are included in the application installation. Documentation and Examples in Visual Basic, LabVIEW are found in the "Automation Examples" sub-directory of your StarLab directory.
Note: ActiveX components (UsbX for USB Interface, Vega, and Nova-II; FastX for Pulsar) are still provided for legacy systems but do not support the latest features (no Juno support, no Windows 7 support)
For our legacy LabVIEW community of developers we continue to supply the Ophinstr and DemoForPulsar libraries to get your LabVIEW VI solution started.
What is the maximum number of sensors that can be connected via USB to one PC?
The StarLab can support up to 8 sensors simultaneously. This can be through attaching 8 sensors to 8 different USB Interfaces, 8 sensors to 2 Pulsars or any combination in between. Note that when working with a large number of devices you may run out of ports on the PC. In that case, you must use a USB compliant Hub.
What is the difference between the StarCom and StarLab PC applications?
StarCom is our legacy PC application which connects via RS232 (not USB), for those Ophir instruments having RS232 interface capability (Vega, Nova II, LaserStar and Nova). It performs all basic functions such as real-time data logging, saving data in PC file, off-line data viewing, printing, etc. For a relatively new computer, you'd have to check that it has a serial port to which to connect the meter. The last release of StarCom was in 2008, with all that this implies. StarCom should nevertheless be able to work on a Win7 32 bit PC. More information, including software download, is available at http://www.ophiropt.com/laser-measurement-instruments/laser-power-energy-meters/software/starcom.
StarLab is our full-featured PC application that connects via USB to all Ophir USB-speaking instruments (Vega and Nova II meters, as well as Juno, Pulsar, USBI and the Bluetooth-enabled Quasar PC interfaces). In addition to all basic measurement and data logging functions, it also offers a wide range of special functions (including user-defined mathematical functions), multi-channel operation, COM Object for integration with external systems, etc. More information, and software download, is available at http://www.ophiropt.com/en/laser-measurement-instruments/laser-power-energy-meters/software/starlab.
How can I interface my Ophir Power Meter (Juno, USBI, Pulsar, NOVA II, Vega) to LabVIEW?
For customers using the new LabVIEW COM Demo, there is nothing additional to do. Just open it and get started. If writing your own LabVIEW application, make sure that the OphirLMMeasurement COM Object is included in your LabVIEW application
For customers using the legacy OphInstr LabVIEW package, here are additional clarification steps to assist establishing the interface to LabVIEW when connecting an Ophir meter such as the USBI/Nova II/Vega with the USB.
The sequence for preparing to interface the Ophir USBI (or meters connected through USB) with LabVIEW is generally as follows:
BE SURE the OPHIR CD is NOT in the PC CD drive when running SWAPINF.
- Disconnect any USBI OPHIR Device from the PC
- Run SwapINF utility
- Set LabVIEW option On
- Press "Swap" button - You will be prompted to "Remove the Ophir USBI Devices before continuing"
- Press "OK" (you have already removed these)
- Press "OK" again (after SwapINF is done)
- Reconnect the Ophir USBI device to the PC that you wish to apply LabVIEW VI's on If asked by Wizard (i.e. in XP) to update software etc.
- Select "not this time" & press "next" button
- Again, press "next" (install software automatically)
From here on you may apply LabVIEW VI's on your device
How far can the Quasar really transmit data and can it go through walls?
In actual testing done at customer sites, using the high power option, there was not a place within 100 meters that we could not connect, including going through multiple walls that were made of drywall. The only time we lost transmission was when the walls were made of concrete or we had to pass through some metal doors. With normal labs and offices the signal went right through. In several cases, including a solar power scribing application where windowed doors had to be closed, we were getting a continuous connection as we walked around the spacious building into offices and labs. With the standard range option, the range should be about 1/3 of this i.e. 30 meters.
This video gives an overview of the StarLab application and its various functions.
Part 1 of a series of video segments teaching you how to use StarLab.
USB to Bluetooth adapter7E10039
Adapter for PC or Laptop not equipped with built in Bluetooth. This adapter is tested and recommended by Ophir. Quasar is not guaranteed to work with all other adapters on the market.
Replacement battery pack for Nova II / Vega7E14007
Replacement battery pack$45.00In stock
QUASAR Laser power measurement through the air
One of the inconveniences in the measurement of laser power and energy is what to do with the cables connecting the display to the sensor. These cables are of a limited flexibility and they clutter the workspace where the measurement is to be done. Sometimes, due to their stiffness, a motion of the cable moves the sensors and misaligns the set up.
Yield Improvement by Online Measurement and Analysis of Laser Energy Using Ophir’s Quasar
The Quasar wireless Bluetooth laser power and energy measurement interface allows quick and trouble free installation of complex measurement systems in an existing manufacturing environment, with a minimum of cable laying and disturbance to the facility’s operations.
This was demonstrated in a project undertaken recently, and is a typical example of what of multi-user systems see in the field.
Bridging the Gap between Laser Power Sensors & Your PC
Essentially, a PC interface is simply a power meter without the display. This might seem strange if you look at a power meter as only a way to display the laser power or energy reading that your sensor provides. However, as you might know, a power meter (and PC interface) needs to be calibrated. It isn’t just a display or connection. The real purpose of the meter is to convert the raw analog signal from the sensor – very precisely – into a digital reading which can be then used either in a power meter display or PC software, like StarLab.
Using COM to integrate Ophir Meters into your own PC-based Photonics Application
Ophir’s world renowned StarLab application turns a PC into a laser power/energy multi-channel analysis workstation.
However, StarLab is a closed environment that works with Ophir Power Meters only. Let’s say you have an application in which you need to integrate a laser, an Optical setup on a 3-axis motorized stage, and power measurement of that laser’s beam before and after it passes through the optics, all within one application that you write custom made for your own purposes. You’ll use software drivers provided by the various vendors and your own business logic for your application. This paper describes how to use the COM object that we provide in order to drive our Power Meters in your application.
Since introducing the first mobile phone power meter app we have been getting a lot of questions about it. Here are some of the more frequent ones:
- The application does not require “state-of-the-art” phones. It works perfectly OK with 3 year-old HTC Legend (that was not top of the line phone even when it was first announced) and it works well with our test phone which is defined mid-to-low range in today’s phone standards.
- The software does require android version of 2.3.3 and above. According to latest analysis they account for 65% of current phones (this information comes from google analysis of active phones). Since version 2.3.3 was released in early 2011, almost no new phones are sold with older versions. The contract commitment in the US is usually two years, so most 2.2 and 2.1 phone owners there will probably upgrade to newer phones in the coming months.