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Old 07-11-2010, 05:22 AM #1
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Arrow A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

So, I've had one of these Novalux Protera 488nm lasers for a while now.

This is an actual DPSS semiconductor/solid state laser, that absolutely does emit at 488nm, just like Argon Ion. Its pump diode is a VCSEL, so it's rather sturdy compared to most laser diodes, and can survive some "pot modding' if you want to call it that (more on this later).

I decided to post a little bit on this laser, because I haven't seen many (or any) shots of them in action (I may have just missed them) - but, interestingly enough, I've recently had some people even telling me that they heard that they were possibly "fake" or a hoax (Or nonfunctional). (Which I find odd, since I believe it was GooeyGus (I think? May be wrong...) who chronicled his adventure in getting one of these working on PL a while ago.)

Now, one caveat. You will find these on eBay, but the sellers are some of the worst around. I recommend if you do get one, you do it via paypal so that if you do end up with a paperweight, you have some recourse.

Now, a bit on the laser as it was received:



The laser was actually received with two other power supplies besides this one; one an OEM computer-controlled one, and another with a keylock and LED indicators. These are both silver boxes with the "Protera" logo on them.



To date, some folks have gotten some responses from the serial ports on them, but have not been able to get these power supplies to actually activate the laser. Turning the key generally simply illuminates the "ERROR" light, and nothing else happens.

Now, getting one of these supplies working may in fact control the laser better, or make it more stable; but to date, this is a dog that does not hunt. If anyone has any info on the "smart" supplies, please let me know. I know there was mention of a required 'software disc' posted on Usenet a while back, but I've not been able to find it.

So, we resort to the "dumb" 5v brick that comes with the laser -- (Often marked 'LASER2000', a British laser OEM company I believe.) - in fact, right now, most listings on eBay do not include the silver "Protera" power supplies, only the black one, with a normal 5v 'wall wart' or IEC-fed "laptop style" supply hardwired into it. I opted to make a removable plug to keep things neater.

Another note is, that my "dumb" brick supply was not matched to the head I received, and chances are this will be your experience, too. When opening the "dumb brick" supply case, there are 3 pots inside; one is close to the HD15 connector that goes to the laser. Adjust this for peak output and leave the other two (closer to the power input and red power LED) alone. From what I understand, since this is a VCSEL, it's more sturdy than most diodes, and if you go over in current, it's not just "good night and good luck", but you can actually back off of it and find the peak again. I tweaked mine for a while, and it didn't die.

The laser also does NOT come with an HD15 straight-through cable, which is what it needs. Even if the guy pictures it in the auction and says "you get what's pictured here". You won't get it. And it also isn't a standard VGA cable, like he says. Newer VGA cables are thin, and have some cables bound to ground. This laser needs a straight-through male-to-male HD15 cable. I made mine with two Cat5 cables and HD15 shells from radio shack. It's a pain in the ass; probably better to buy one from a computer cable supplier online.

Anyways, moving on, a closeup of the laser head and some things about it:



The laser head is approximately 3.5 inches by 1.5 inches, and appears to be made of stainless steel. The "goo' you see on the front is from where a beam shutter attached; your head may or may not come with it - mine didn't.

The interesting (and annoying) thing about this laser head is the bright white indicator LED right above the laser aperture. This thing turns on whenever the laser is switched on. And it's bright, and can light up your room.

I assume this served a purpose of either FDA indicator compliance, or to illuminate the "work area" where the laser was firing, or so everyone in the room would notice; but do yourself a favor and cover this LED up with a sticker or electrical tape as soon as you can.

Now, lets take a closer look:



The caution sticker is optimistic. So far, adjusting for peak, I've gotten 7-8mW out of this laser. Some heads people receive claim to be rated for 15mW, and some folks have gotten that momentarily, but most who have played with these heads end up settling for 5-8mW after a bit of tweaking. For me, this is good enough, as the head I got was rated for 5mW.

Note that the caution sticker alerts to two different wavelengths: both 488nm and 976nm -- 488 being exactly one half (exactly frequency doubled) of 976. The 976nm output is rated at about twice, or 450mW of the possible 488nm output.

This tells me the laser is probably not IR filtered, and may indeed be putting out quite a bit of 976nm. However, a counter to that, shots from the camera do not seem to indicate any IR. (However, ~980nm is pretty high up there in the IR range; most CCDs stop at about 1100nm.) So just a warning, just in case.

Anyways, lasers work best when powered on so:



The laser starts in this sequence:

1) You turn the power on the power supply on.
2) The white LED indicator turns on immediately.
3) You wait ~60 seconds.
4) The laser emission turns on, and you get a ~2mW TEM01 "warm-up" beam.
5) You wait ~60 more seconds.
6) The laser "pops up" to full power (~7-8mW) and goes TEM00.
7) You go "Huh. 488nm from a DPSS laser. Not bad!" and show your friends.



The color is certainly nothing like 532nm, and not really anywhere near 473nm either (even though it's only 15nm off.) -- It is definitely cyan, and quite remarkably so. Anyone who has seen a 488nm ArIon laser knows what i'm talking about. I've compared this to my JDSU ArIon 488nm head, and it absolutely is the same color, visibly.

The size of the beam at aperture is probably about 1mm, and round - typical of DPSS. At about 15ft, the beam has has expanded to maybe 1cm (possibly a bit less). So, divergence really isn't all that bad; maybe 1.5-2mRad. And once it pops up to 'full brightness', beam profile is pretty good too.

Here's an example of the "startup beam"



And, about 60 seconds later, jumping up to full power and TEM00,



The beam is mostly gaussian, no "wings", and looks like something that would come from a gas ArIon laser. I've been told this has something to do with the pump diode being a VCSEL, but I'm not going to pretend that I'm authoritative on that being the reason why. (I do have a 670nm VCSEL laser and it does display similar beam quality characteristics.)

Anyways, I wanted to at least show the forum what my experiences were with this somewhat rare and interesting laser, and some of the characteristics of it, especially since I was getting some PM inquiries as to whether or not it actually existed and/or functioned.

With that, i'll leave the post with a beamshot of solid state 488nm:



P.S., If you liked my mini-review, please send positive thoughts China-ward, in hopes that CNI fixes my PGL-III 473nm... I could use the help.


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Old 07-11-2010, 05:30 AM #2
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

Awesome review, thanks for taking the time to do it.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:48 AM #3
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

Very good review i never seen 488nm before this. & +
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:10 AM #4
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

I'm gonna need to know HOW MUCH
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:11 AM #5
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

~$300

http://cgi.ebay.com/290449482813?cmd=ViewItem

SuperTechShop also sells them, which may be who aryntha bought through. You're definitely risking it buying from them.

Last edited by Prototype; 07-11-2010 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:19 AM #6
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

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Originally Posted by Prototype View Post
~$300

NOVALUX 488nm BLUE LASER DIODE HEAD / CONTROLLER TESTED - eBay (item 290449482813 end time Jul-28-10 12:01:00 PDT)

SuperTechShop also sells them, which may be who aryntha bought through. You're definitely risking it buying from them.

Yeah, that's correct. I've had a few bad experiences with them including a DOA GreeNe; that took a very long time to get rectified - and in the end, I had to file a dispute.

I didn't want to name names. But, it is a risk; you probably will receive the laser, but it's a gamble as to its status when it arrives. He is claiming "TESTED" however, so that is a point in the buyer's favor.

Also - they are $300 "Or Best Offer" -- DO make an offer. I'm saying this from experience.

I'm glad I got mine working... but hopefully this thread can also help some folks who do decide to take the chance on a Novalux. PM me also if you need any help if you do decide to get one.
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638nm:Sanyo 40mW ∙ HL63133 200mW ∙ PGL3C 463mWpk ∙ ML520 700mW
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:10 PM #7
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

ya im getting one ill rght a review after it arives
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:40 PM #8
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

Fascinating. For wavelength freaks like me, very tempting !

Interesting that 15nm makes such a difference to the colour.

David
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:28 PM #9
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

I saw one of these DPSS 488nm at a UK meet. Feeling like I knew my colours, (like you do!), having just aquired several 488nm Argons, I was wondering for nearly the whole weekend how they got a tube so small, and how such a tiny tube could put out so much!!! D'oh!!!!!

The unit itself was quite a bit bigger than that one but no where near usual, 'Argon size'. All fancy TECs and whatnot and IIRC quite a bit more pokey. I was blown away when told it was DPSS. It cost the guy an absolute bomb, (in the thousands of pounds), and turned out to be useless for holograms as it's not single longitudinal mode or something, which is why he bought it. Gutted!!!

Nice addition to the Sig Rainbow though aryntha!

M
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:29 PM #10
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

Dude, that is awesome!! I can get 488nm without having a giant argon heating up my basement! This would be an excellent addition to my rainbow as well! Aryntha, you should definitely consider selling me yours, I'd pay you well and you'd make a profit. I would get it from ebay, but could never figure out all the stuff or even make or find a cable for it, lol, sad thing is that at this point it seems easier to just get an argon...
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20mW rated 473nm PGL III-C outputing 55+mW and peaked at 96mWthanks Glenn!!
80mW rated 589nm PGL III-C
300mW rated 532nm PGL-III-C---Peak---450mW!!!

250mW labby from ebay---peaks near 300mW!


125mW viper DL-peak 188mW
50mW focusable ~Top laser 301-peak 44.12mW
Several modded pens 10 -30mW
*DIODE*
445nm diode pocket mini build, 700mA ~ 600mW---
445nm diode in 18650 kit---1.1A---1W

16X LCC chrome pckt mini, flex 500mA, outputting 303.2mW with G1
LOC with RKCSTR-- 434mA thanks FPyro-peak 305.1mW with G1
130mW 3.8mm diode pointer from moh-peak 140mW
635nm AtlasNova 5mW outputting 2mW
8X BH08LS20 diode in MX host 420mW with DFW lens thanks FPyro!!
SF-AW210 in jayrob pocket mini, flex drive 177mA~230mW with G1 glass
5mW ebaser with star cap puttin out 34mW
50mW focusable ~Top laser 302
200mW 808nm skylasers pointer-peak 291.2mW
*GAS*
Melles Griot He-Ne Bare Tube w/ mini PSU
JDS UNIPHASE 1508 Novette
Melles Griot Bare Tube HeNe w/ power supply
Cheap surplus Bare Tube HeNe
543nm Bare tube HeNe--Awesome tube!

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Old 07-20-2010, 10:52 PM #11
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan View Post
I saw one of these DPSS 488nm at a UK meet. Feeling like I knew my colours, (like you do!), having just aquired several 488nm Argons, I was wondering for nearly the whole weekend how they got a tube so small, and how such a tiny tube could put out so much!!! D'oh!!!!!
What's odd, Morgan, is the Novalux was actually my first 488. I know these were made to replace big argon heads in medical equipment. As far as I know though Novalux isn't doing this anymore? (They may be out of business.)

I think it'd be cool if CNI put together something like this, but I know it's not your average every day DPSS, with it being a directly doubled VCSEL and all.

Thanks for the good word though!
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3392nm:REO LHIP HeNe 2mW ∙ 980nm:OLIKE 155mW

808nm:OLIKE 200mW ∙ JETL PLC 600mW(682pk)
780nm:OLIKE 120mW
685nm:18650 47mW
671nm:PGL3M 281mW DPSS ∙ PGL3C 278mW
655nm:LOC 254mW ∙ OLIKE 221mW ∙ Yob 320mW
638nm:Sanyo 40mW ∙ HL63133 200mW ∙ PGL3C 463mWpk ∙ ML520 700mW
633nm:JDS1145 HeNe 28mW ∙ JDS1145 HeNe 26mW
612nm:MG 05LOR151 HeNe 3mW ∙ REO LSTP 3mW
609nm:REO LHOR 1mW
604nm:REO LSTP 2mW
594nm:Rigel 3mW ∙ LG PGL3C 15mWpk ∙ Lasos 7512 3mW ∙ CNI MGL3 58mWpk
589nm:CNI PGL3C 106mW ∙ CNI PGL3C 85mW
561nm:CNI PGL3C 30mW(41pk)
556nm:CNI PGL3C 20mW(22pk)
544nm:JDS1675P HeNe 2mW ∙ REO LHGR 2mW ∙ Lasos 7786 2mW
532nm:PGL3C 150mW(180pk) ∙ PGL3C 578mWpk ∙ PLC 440mWpk
515nm:JDS 221420GL ArI 30mW
510nm:52mW DG#2 ∙ 50mW 26650 DG
488nm:Nlx DPSS 7mW ∙ JDS 2214 ArI 40mW ∙ JDS FCD488 DPSS 25mW
ML:MG 65A106025 ArI ML 115mW
476/480nm:Nichia Diode 28mW
473nm:PGL3A 45mW(80pk) ∙ PGL3C 110mWpk ∙ PGL3C 95mWpk ∙ RPLB-25 60mWpk
465nm:DTR NDB7676 2.03w
458nm:JDS 2214VL ArI 8mW ∙ JDS 2214VL ArI 12mW ∙ RHD Diode 1.7W
452nm:Osram SM 47mW
445nm:Yob 1410mW ∙ Polaris 156mW ∙ PGL3C 1200mW ∙ DTR-EHG 32650 2136mW
405nm:Yob 630mW ∙ Qfox 750mW ∙ JETL PLC 780mW
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:53 PM #12
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingdave2357 View Post
Dude, that is awesome!! I can get 488nm without having a giant argon heating up my basement! This would be an excellent addition to my rainbow as well! Aryntha, you should definitely consider selling me yours, I'd pay you well and you'd make a profit. I would get it from ebay, but could never figure out all the stuff or even make or find a cable for it, lol, sad thing is that at this point it seems easier to just get an argon...
Unfortunately with the way this seller works I don't know if I'd want to take the gamble on getting another one. I wonder if we could all get together though and offer the guy a price for the quantity he has left. I'm sure he paid next to nothing for them...

It's not *that* hard to get running. Once I source a ready-made appropriate 15 pin cable, i'll let everyone know that and it should be a little bit easier to get them running.
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3392nm:REO LHIP HeNe 2mW ∙ 980nm:OLIKE 155mW

808nm:OLIKE 200mW ∙ JETL PLC 600mW(682pk)
780nm:OLIKE 120mW
685nm:18650 47mW
671nm:PGL3M 281mW DPSS ∙ PGL3C 278mW
655nm:LOC 254mW ∙ OLIKE 221mW ∙ Yob 320mW
638nm:Sanyo 40mW ∙ HL63133 200mW ∙ PGL3C 463mWpk ∙ ML520 700mW
633nm:JDS1145 HeNe 28mW ∙ JDS1145 HeNe 26mW
612nm:MG 05LOR151 HeNe 3mW ∙ REO LSTP 3mW
609nm:REO LHOR 1mW
604nm:REO LSTP 2mW
594nm:Rigel 3mW ∙ LG PGL3C 15mWpk ∙ Lasos 7512 3mW ∙ CNI MGL3 58mWpk
589nm:CNI PGL3C 106mW ∙ CNI PGL3C 85mW
561nm:CNI PGL3C 30mW(41pk)
556nm:CNI PGL3C 20mW(22pk)
544nm:JDS1675P HeNe 2mW ∙ REO LHGR 2mW ∙ Lasos 7786 2mW
532nm:PGL3C 150mW(180pk) ∙ PGL3C 578mWpk ∙ PLC 440mWpk
515nm:JDS 221420GL ArI 30mW
510nm:52mW DG#2 ∙ 50mW 26650 DG
488nm:Nlx DPSS 7mW ∙ JDS 2214 ArI 40mW ∙ JDS FCD488 DPSS 25mW
ML:MG 65A106025 ArI ML 115mW
476/480nm:Nichia Diode 28mW
473nm:PGL3A 45mW(80pk) ∙ PGL3C 110mWpk ∙ PGL3C 95mWpk ∙ RPLB-25 60mWpk
465nm:DTR NDB7676 2.03w
458nm:JDS 2214VL ArI 8mW ∙ JDS 2214VL ArI 12mW ∙ RHD Diode 1.7W
452nm:Osram SM 47mW
445nm:Yob 1410mW ∙ Polaris 156mW ∙ PGL3C 1200mW ∙ DTR-EHG 32650 2136mW
405nm:Yob 630mW ∙ Qfox 750mW ∙ JETL PLC 780mW
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:55 AM #13
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

Awesome laser! Never heard of that type of laser before.

So this is a 976 > 488nm VCSEL... do you know what material is the crystal made of? And the IR diode is a 1/2 watt unit?

Very interesting device.

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Old 07-21-2010, 05:34 PM #14
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

Apparently its 976 -> KNbO3 -> 488. So apparently the 'special sauce' here is the 976 diode; 980/491 lasers are also available, but Novalux's big deal was the "spot on" 488nm.

The reason I say "was", is because by all accounts I can find, they seem to be out of business. They were "saved" from Chapter 11 in 2003, but apparently that wasn't enough.
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3392nm:REO LHIP HeNe 2mW ∙ 980nm:OLIKE 155mW

808nm:OLIKE 200mW ∙ JETL PLC 600mW(682pk)
780nm:OLIKE 120mW
685nm:18650 47mW
671nm:PGL3M 281mW DPSS ∙ PGL3C 278mW
655nm:LOC 254mW ∙ OLIKE 221mW ∙ Yob 320mW
638nm:Sanyo 40mW ∙ HL63133 200mW ∙ PGL3C 463mWpk ∙ ML520 700mW
633nm:JDS1145 HeNe 28mW ∙ JDS1145 HeNe 26mW
612nm:MG 05LOR151 HeNe 3mW ∙ REO LSTP 3mW
609nm:REO LHOR 1mW
604nm:REO LSTP 2mW
594nm:Rigel 3mW ∙ LG PGL3C 15mWpk ∙ Lasos 7512 3mW ∙ CNI MGL3 58mWpk
589nm:CNI PGL3C 106mW ∙ CNI PGL3C 85mW
561nm:CNI PGL3C 30mW(41pk)
556nm:CNI PGL3C 20mW(22pk)
544nm:JDS1675P HeNe 2mW ∙ REO LHGR 2mW ∙ Lasos 7786 2mW
532nm:PGL3C 150mW(180pk) ∙ PGL3C 578mWpk ∙ PLC 440mWpk
515nm:JDS 221420GL ArI 30mW
510nm:52mW DG#2 ∙ 50mW 26650 DG
488nm:Nlx DPSS 7mW ∙ JDS 2214 ArI 40mW ∙ JDS FCD488 DPSS 25mW
ML:MG 65A106025 ArI ML 115mW
476/480nm:Nichia Diode 28mW
473nm:PGL3A 45mW(80pk) ∙ PGL3C 110mWpk ∙ PGL3C 95mWpk ∙ RPLB-25 60mWpk
465nm:DTR NDB7676 2.03w
458nm:JDS 2214VL ArI 8mW ∙ JDS 2214VL ArI 12mW ∙ RHD Diode 1.7W
452nm:Osram SM 47mW
445nm:Yob 1410mW ∙ Polaris 156mW ∙ PGL3C 1200mW ∙ DTR-EHG 32650 2136mW
405nm:Yob 630mW ∙ Qfox 750mW ∙ JETL PLC 780mW
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:09 PM #15
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

How bad is the seller really, like dead-beat or just hard to work with. Im thinking of sending a question stating that I want to purchase one but it must arrive with all working parts including the cable and if not, I will file a dispute for an incomplete item sent. You think that would help set em straight, or would he just not even respond. IDK, I want one of these bad, but dont want to invest that much unless I can get a basically a plug'n'play system....

EDIT: He does state you need to supply your own cable for it to work, but he also states its a 'blue diode laser'....
__________________
*My Collection*

*DPSS*
20mW rated 473nm PGL III-C outputing 55+mW and peaked at 96mWthanks Glenn!!
80mW rated 589nm PGL III-C
300mW rated 532nm PGL-III-C---Peak---450mW!!!

250mW labby from ebay---peaks near 300mW!


125mW viper DL-peak 188mW
50mW focusable ~Top laser 301-peak 44.12mW
Several modded pens 10 -30mW
*DIODE*
445nm diode pocket mini build, 700mA ~ 600mW---
445nm diode in 18650 kit---1.1A---1W

16X LCC chrome pckt mini, flex 500mA, outputting 303.2mW with G1
LOC with RKCSTR-- 434mA thanks FPyro-peak 305.1mW with G1
130mW 3.8mm diode pointer from moh-peak 140mW
635nm AtlasNova 5mW outputting 2mW
8X BH08LS20 diode in MX host 420mW with DFW lens thanks FPyro!!
SF-AW210 in jayrob pocket mini, flex drive 177mA~230mW with G1 glass
5mW ebaser with star cap puttin out 34mW
50mW focusable ~Top laser 302
200mW 808nm skylasers pointer-peak 291.2mW
*GAS*
Melles Griot He-Ne Bare Tube w/ mini PSU
JDS UNIPHASE 1508 Novette
Melles Griot Bare Tube HeNe w/ power supply
Cheap surplus Bare Tube HeNe
543nm Bare tube HeNe--Awesome tube!

Andover Holography LPM 1

Last edited by kingdave2357; 07-21-2010 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:13 PM #16
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Default Re: A little on my Novalux 488nm DPSS. *PICS.*

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingdave2357 View Post
How bad is the seller really, like dead-beat or just hard to work with. Im thinking of sending a question stating that I want to purchase one but it must arrive with all working parts including the cable and if not, I will file a dispute for an incomplete item sent. You think that would help set em straight, or would he just not even respond. IDK, I want one of these bad, but dont want to invest that much unless I can get a basically a plug'n'play system....
The listing says 'what you see is what you get'... not sure how you'd go about disputing. You just need an HD15 cable as an umbilical...

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