Why I’m Not a Huge Dranetz-BMI Fan

I’ve butt up the against Dranetz-BMI software the past few weeks. Frustrating.

This company is big on proprietary software; protecting their analysis tools and power analyzer software with loads of security. I’ve just spent a few hours installing Dran-View on my computers for a client who rented a PX-5 power analyzer. Frustration in spades – with the software and HASP security device not really liking Windows Vista. I got it installed on my desktop (thankfully, still back at Windows XP) so I’ll have to copy the files to my Vista laptop and then bring it to the office to look at the data. And need to hand-carry the HASP back with me and then mail it back to the client to return with the rental. ANNOYING.

I get that you’ve put some money into the software. So offer a no frills Viewer to allow people to look at data, without the Report writer or the analysis tools.

A few weeks back, two separate clients sent me some Dranetz data that I was unable to open. Last time around, I downloaded the demo version of Dranview which let me play around for a few weeks – just looking at data, even if the graphs popped up with a DEMO watermark. No biggie. But then the Demo timed out and can’t be reinstalled. So I had to tell my clients “sorry, can not help you” – it’s just not worth buying the Dranview software to analyze 3-4 sites a year. And when I emailed Dranetz-BMI for some advice (or the price of the software) they did not even give me that – instead referring me to Electrotek (a power analysis subsidiary)

Now, compare and contrast to Fluke-RPM, without all that software protection. They are selling power analyzers (boxes) and view the software as a tool. Guess what. I’ve analyzed 2000 (yes, Dranetz-BMI, 2000) sets of Fluke-RPM data in the past few years, and my clients have purchased dozens of RPM and Fluke power analyzers. Because it’s easy for an independent power consultant to look at the data, provide analysis. And going back a generation, to paper tapes, you did not even need software to review and analyze data.

So, if you ask me what power analyzer to buy – I’m gonna say Fluke-RPM. Because if you send me some Dranetz-BMI data, I can’t help you…..and Dranetz-BMI seems to go out of their way to make sure I can’t help you….