Scythe Kama Thermo Page: 1
Introduction

Scythe
are a name synonymous with aftermarket cooling enhancement products. I would like to wager that there aren't too many PC enthusiasts who hadn't at least seen, owned or heard about this well known Japanese based company's products. But who are Scythe, and what do they do?

Scythe Co., Ltd. (Registered & incorporated in Tokyo Japan) originally started in Akihabara Electric Town located in Tokyo Japan, where visitors can find the latest electric products from computer parts and accessories to the world’s most advanced cellular phones with video camera capabilities, small displays and the ability to play movies!

Scythe Co., Ltd., began its operation and business in November, 2002 as a distributor and manufacture of PC parts & gaming devices for “DIY PC Experts!”. Scythe’s first venture was to manufacture a super powerful YET super quiet CPU cooler (Scythe Kamakaze CPU cooler), and with the great success of this Kamakaze CPU cooler, Scythe became recognized as the leading CPU cooler supplier in Japan’s Akihabara Electric Town. Shortly there after, due to popular demand, Scythe began exporting products all over the world.

I was fortunate enough to have been asked by Scythe to review some of their products on Overclock3d.net, and I must say I eagerly jumped at the chance. Due to the number of products I was sent, I have broken this review into 2 parts. The first review subject from Scythe to enter into the OC3D Labs is the new Kama Meter, followed by a selction of Scythe's Minebea cooling fan range. Anyway let's get on with the review.

Kama Thermo front

The Scythe Kama Thermo is essentially a digital thermometer for monitoring temperatures from within your case. The Kama Thermo features a 2-Way Power Source (battery or 4-pin molex; an elegant Blue LED illuminated screen; wide temperature range and short frequency for precise monitoring. The USA version uses the Fahrenheit temperature scale. Let's take a look at the Kama Thermo's specifications, which were taken directly from Scythe's website.

Specifications

Model Name: KAMA THERMO
Model Number: TM02-WH
Manufacturer: Scythe Co., Ltd. Japan

Dimensions:
1.88 x 1.11 x 0.66 inch
47.8 x 28.3 x 16.7mm

Product Material
Resin

Back-Light
Blue(Illuminated when 4-pin power source is used)

Power Source (2-Way)
Button Cell Battery (Type: LR44) / 4-Pin Power

Temperature Unit
Fahrenheit (USA Version)
Celsius (Japan and EU Version)

Temperature Range
- -4 ~ 194F (USA Version)
- 20 ~ 90C (Japan and EU Version)

Temperature Accuracy
± 2F (USA Version)
± 1C (Japan and EU Version)

Measurement Frequency
Every 2 Second

Sensor Cable Length (Approximate)
22.83 inch
58cm

The Packaging

One thing I really like about Scythe's packaging on their products, is that it's vibrant and stands out from the crowd. A little crowded perhaps, but effective marketing none-the-less.

Kama Thermo front Kama Thermo box side

The rear of the package simply displays the specifications of the Kama Thermo.

Kama Thermo box rear Kama Thermo box other side

Moving on, let's take a look at the Kama Thermo up close and personal.



Scythe Kama Thermo Page: 2
A Closer Look

Kama Thermo bundle Kama Thermo rear

The Scythe Kama Thermo bundle is minimal; simply including a 4-pin molex connector and the Kama Thermo with built in temperature probe. On the rear of the unit you can see where the connector fits in for running the unit from a dedicated power source (PSU). The battery compartment comes with a pre-loaded battery (type - LR44).

Kama Thermo internals Kama Thermo screen

Removing the Kama Thermo from it's case there isn't a lot to see; simply a printed circuit board, battery housing and LCD screen with backlight. The temperature probe features a hint of sleeving...nice touch! The Kama Thermo also has little plastic lugs on the side to enable a snug fit, if you want to mod it into one of your drive bay covers.

Thermal probe sleeving Kama Thermo plastic lugs

The blue backlight only works when using the 4-pin molex, but it is extremely vibrant.

Kama Thermo backlight Kama Thermo backlight

Now that we've had a look at the Kama Thermo in detail, let's see how well it performs.



Scythe Kama Thermo Page: 3
Performance

The main aim of of this part of the review is purely to assess the Kama Thermo's accuracy according to a given tolerance...The tolerance in this case, happens to be +/- 1 degree C, according to Scythe's specifications. Because the Kama Thermo is essentially a digital thermometer, I shall be assessing it's accuracy using a regular glass-mercury type thermometer during the performance tests.

The tests I have chosen to assess the performance of the Kama Thermo are those of the ambient air temperature in my office and the temperatures present from within my PC case. Both the glass-mercury thermometer and Kama Thermo temperature probe will be positioned in exactly the same area as each other to prevent any reading ambiguities. The mercury-glass thermometer was allowed 5 mins to aclimatise to the surrounding temperatures.

Ambient temperatures

The readings for the Kama Thermo were right on the money as far as ambient temperatures were concerned.

Case temps Case temps

Temperature readings were consistant enough from the front of my case to fall within the given tolerance of +/- 1 deg C given by Scythe. I chose a particularly warm spot in my case - just above my dual MCP600 pumps, and the greatest deviance from the temperature readings was a tiny 0.8 of a degree. The Kama Thermo's temperature reading capacity is certainly sufficient enough for regular use.

Now that we've looked at the Kama Thermo in detail and assessed it's performance, let head onto the conclusion page to see just how well it scored in today's review.


Scythe Kama Thermo Page: 4
Conclusion

The Scythe Kama Thermo is certainly a competent little performer and passed the OC3D Lab tests with flying colours. Now I know many of you will probably be saying that it only reads one temperature and it's usefulness is extremely restricted, as there are a multitude of temeprature reading rheobus' out there. And yes, this doesn't even control fans!

But considering that you get the Kama Thermo for a measly US$9.80 , it's not a lot of cash to outlay. Despite the restrictive application of the Kama Thermo it may appeal to the modder or watercooling enthusiast, but an option of a black or silver casing would be nice. I was actually contemplating inserting the thermal probe into the top of my 120.3 radiator and sealing it to monitor the water temperature at any given time.

Because the Scythe Kama Thermo does such a good job at temperature reporting and comes with a sexy blue LCD screen, I have decided to award it the 'Recommended' award.

Pro's

+ Accurate temperature readings
+ Price
+ Small and uninvasive
+ Provides both battery and 4-pin molex power
+ Nice and bright backlight

Con's

- Restrictive application
- Only monitors one temperature
- Black or silver casing would be nice too.

Recommended Award

OC3D Forum would like to thank Scythe Europe for providing the Kama Thermo for today's review

Feel free to discuss in our forum