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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    907

    how good is the Dylos DC1100 particle counter?

    These particle counters are aimed at home owners:
    http://www.dylosproducts.com/learnabout.html

    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?

    Thanks...
    Last edited by pmeunier; 10-02-2007 at 06:55 PM. Reason: clarifications

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    Ya get what ya pay for. Looks like a gimmick to me.

  3. #3

    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!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    907
    Very interesting, thanks. I'll want the 0.5um detection limit, that was bothering me a little. I think I'll order one the next time I'll indulge myself. Heck it's cheaper than a vacation trip and I'll probably have more fun with it than dealing with air travel and hotels. (and the allergies due to their carpets and general lack of dehumidification )

    Who dies with the most toys wins?

    Seriously, I think it will help me to know for sure if the filters I have are doing their job, if the tinkering I do helps any, and whether I should stay indoors or if it's a good time to go for a walk.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    lpc_engineer, please understand the most of us have seen things advertised for a very low price that fail to meet our expectations when used. Your product may be fine but I am always skeptical when I see extremely low prices. From a professional point I am always interested in accuracy. What is the accuracy of this unit. If it is fairly reliable I could see using one to log data at a customers house where you would not want to leave your Fluke unattended.

    pmeunier. When you get your unit please post a review.

  6. #6
    pmneunier, thank you for your comments. The DC1100 will do all those things you mentioned.

    mbarson, accuracy is not normally specified for particle counters as it would be for say a volt meter. It is not unusual to see two $8000 particle counters disagreeing by 30% or so, especially from different manufacturers. A major reason for this is that units are calibrated with standard particles which are uniform, round, plastic spheres, but in the real world they measure irregular shaped chunks of whatever happens to be floating in the air. There is a JIS calibration standard, but it does not eliminate these issues. Fluke claims to do a calibration which at least partially adheres to JIS. I don't know what Fluke charges, but I'd say $450 is in the ballpark for this kind of cal. To keep the price of the DC1100 down to $149 I must use a proprietary calibration method. Overall the results are good and the readings on my units will pretty much track the Fluke or other counter's readings.

  7. #7
    lpc
    It never ceases to amaze me about the people who participate in this site.

    I received a mailing on your device and was skeptical and tossed it. After reading your posts I would like to take another look at it.

    Please contact us through our website.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    907
    lpc_engineer,

    Let's say I managed to get very low counts somehow, perhaps by having a good HEPA filter running on the highest speed in a closed room. Almost every instrument gives a background noise count even when there's nothing to detect. In a situation where the count is low, that background noise count becomes significant. With your unit, is it possible to estimate or measure that background noise count so that I can subtract it from the readings?

  9. #9
    hello all i got a >.5 on order. from the reviews i read this is a good unit. im working on a a air purifier with 35 pounds of carbon, and need meter for testing air quality, on merv 8 and merv 11 to see the particle count. got to see what my WC is. these will be units that have a refillable carbon bed.
    when i find out the air quality and check the WC i will be offering different type filter media. going for 600 to 700 cfm. Not trying to sell any thing im just testing now.
    I talked to Kim at Dylos very professional, she said she would get my unit out next week.

  10. #10
    My Dylos is still working fine. Current counts in my office with a HEPA air purifier running are:

    1 micron - 99,000 per cubic foot

    5 microns - 0 per cubic foot

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    4
    I've been lurking around here for a while reading this thread on the DC1100 particle meter. My question is, how can I compare the unit's particle count readout to the EPA AQI (http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=static.aqi)? For example, if it reads 500 particles what would the AQI value be? Also, since I understand that the Pro version is calibrated to the 0.5-2.5 and 2.5-10.0 micron standard that the EPA goes by, would it be easier to understand the results using the Pro version?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    4
    NVM, I just spoke with the manufacturer on the phone and he answered my question.

  13. #13
    ... and the answer was?

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