how good is the Dylos DC1100 particle counter?
These particle counters are aimed at home owners:
It has two readings, one for "small particles" > 1 um and another for "large particles" ("from approximately 5um and up"). It's obviously too coarse for professionals, but it might be useful for a home owner wondering what makes a difference. I just wonder about its reliability and durability; will it stop working after a year? Two? Five? Will it produce wildly variable counts, or reproducible ones? Has anyone used it? Does it have annoying quirks or notable weaknesses?
Dylos DC1100 is no gimmick!
I am the designer of the DC1100 so I don't claim to be impartial, but this instrument is no gimmick - it is a true laser particle counter! I spent 13 years designing particle counters for clean room use which cost from 8 to 16 thousand dollars. I targeted the DC1100 primarily at the home user who wants to know their indoor air quality and when it is time to change filters, turn on their purifiers, etc. However, HVAC professionals are also finding it useful as a tool. Not only for their own diagnosis, but to demonstrate to their customers the effectiveness of their work. Some also leave it in homes to gather data for review during follow up visits.
To address some of your concerns ...
As for reliability - we've only been marketing this product for about a month and haven't had any fail yet. The main problem with laser particle counters is the laser dying. Lasers just do that over time. I've done accellerated life tests for several months without failure so I would expect the laser to last for years. In any case, our repair charges are easy on the wallet - $35 flat fee. Remember, your $4500 Fluke will also need annual calibrations which will run hundreds of dollars.
The 1um lower detection range - we felt this was adequate for the home user, but HVAC professionals are more demanding. We have units with 0.5um detection limits for a small additional charge upon request. We just didn't feel the home owner would care enough to pay extra.
I am not saying the DC1100 is a better tool than the Fluke. The Fluke has a lower detection limit, is more rugged, and is battery operated (the DC1100 must plug in). But for many uses it will work just as well for a tiny fraction of the cost. The DC1100 actually is better in some ways as it has large bright numbers on the display which the contractor and the client can easily view while the unit is sitting on the table. The DC1100 also stores data so you can go back and look at the daily averages over an entire month or hourly averages over the past day, etc.
The DC1100 is no gimmick, it's the real deal!