Old 08-31-2016, 07:34 PM #1
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Cool The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

Greetings everyone! I will be reviewing a recent purchase, which appears to be a clone of the smaller Arctic Spyder III, with a 1W 445nm diode. Unfortunately, I lack some easy bits of verification equipment. I have no LPM, nor any other laser that is blue or anywhere near 1W. So with my handicap in mind, we will proceed. FYI, I am not a paid advertiser or reviewer, just someone who bought a mysterious laser.

I obtained the laser from the e-bay for 62.99 with free shipping, from a seller called friendship66. I think right now it is a few bucks off, but this seems to be the going rate for this particular model. Note that the design looks much more like the Spyder III than the "Thor" type lasers also found at the bay. Link:

Powerful 445nm Focus Visible Blue Beam Laser Pointer Pen Burn 5mW Adjustable New | eBay

The package was received in a plastic envelope, with a cardboard box inside. My envelope had sustained some rubbing damage, and water had leaked inside. No harm done... it only made the cardboard much easier to rip apart. Inside that was the storage case, with all the goods inside.





As seen on other reviews, mine came as a disheveled mess on the inside... I suppose customs wanted to play? Who knows, but everything came intact. The batteries were taped to prevent shorting on something, and the battery charger was wrapped in plastic.



So... a 1W laser for almost $70 US. This is suspicious on its own, to the point that I was calling it my "Ghetto Blaster". Honestly, I was anticipating this thing to detonate upon first click. I proceeded to disassemble the host to find out if we have a laser, or an expendable smoke machine. One thing can be said, this is a nice host for the price. The aluminum is thick and hefty, and all threaded parts come to a definite stop. The anodizing isn't fantastic, but it's definitely better than a lot of what comes from China. It feels like it was milled from a solid SCH.80 aluminum pipe. There are no weird bulkheads... it's just a tube with lots of space on the inside. There is one plastic bulkhead in front of the battery, and it is connected to the driver via a soldered and glued wire.



The diode was pressed into a large nugget of brass. It's also small. Based on my calipers, it looks like it was built with a 3.8mm diode, possibly Osram but it didn't come with a tag. Just a guess here. The driver looks like a larger circuit card and has an adjustable pot. I can also confirm that it includes reverse polarity protection. I inserted the batteries wrong 3 times before discovering that. It does not appear to have any heat sinking at all. I tried to get the best picture I could, but this is a very tight space. Maybe if it finally blows?





AS FOR THE LENS... it's plastic. And, as you can see from the photos, there is no coating. One interesting bit is the fix that was applied for it. There was a small brass bushing haphazardly threaded onto the lens. This bushing has no threads. It was simply jammed onto the lens barrel, probably to sheild it from the laser. This only partially works, and during my testing I was able to put some deformations where the metal was not.







I don't know if it will fall off during use and cause damage. My recommendation: Remove that thing, get a new glass lens, replace immediately.

One more thing to note: When I took out the focus assembly, I noticed there was a small collection of debris in the forward part of the laser. Take this thing apart and inspect the front before use. I'm fairly certain shavings are bad for diodes.

Stay tuned! More to continue shortly...
Attached Thumbnails
The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160820_200524-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160820_200645-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160820_200809-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160820_201116-450x800-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160820_201328-450x800-.jpg  

The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160820_201412-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160820_201705-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160820_201716-800x450-.jpg  


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Old 08-31-2016, 07:57 PM #2
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Default Re: The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

Episode 2 - The Ghetto Blaster

Now that we've covered the basics, let's look at the included accessories, and everything else.

The safety glasses are absolutely terrible. I wouldn't give them to someone else's dog. As with most pictures it is hard to tell, but these glasses pass blue. Put them on, and everything blue is the only thing not colored red by these glasses.

DO NOT USE THE INCLUDED SAFETY GLASSES FOR ANYTHING, OTHER THAN A TARGET.



The proper treatment for such BS glasses... 3 seconds of full-strength photons!



The laser comes with a slew of accessories. The multiple tips include diffraction gratings, and I've already burned one (my mistake... not China's fault). This allowed me to dive a little deeper on how these are constructed. At first I was concerned that the tips would continue to rotate after being fully threaded on. So I kept threading and started pulling and this was what I found:



The mating parts have a slick plastic bushing. You could build out these tips however you want just by separating the parts. It's secure, but easy enough that you won't damage the thing by taking it apart.



The system also comes with batteries, as well as a charger unit for when they run out. They will... mine did probably after half an hour or so of cumulative use. The LiFe batteries included are probably not premium, and are definitely inexpensive. The charger comes with an LED indicator of when charging is complete. While charging, my charger and batteries did not get warm during the process. If yours does, get rid of it!

NOW FOR SYSTEM TESTING! Obviously, I'm in a difficult spot. Sure, there are tons of videos of people burning stuff on the UTube... but are these demonstration units of a known quantity? Are they stable, electronically and thermally? Probably, like me, not so much. So then, I've mustered my equipment and set up a few tests that may be comparable.

First off, we have this small video outlining some power testing. The first clip shows the laser popping balloons from roughly 15 feet away. With the trailer and about 3 feet of empty space, this thing dispatches balloons with relative ease. The second part, I'm holding the torch at approximately shoulder level, about 2 feet away from target. As soon as the laser is in focus, light brown cardboard starts to burn.



The photos were taken by a contraption I put together, involving a tripod, part of a selfie stick, my Samsung Galaxy S5, and one giant cable tie (zip tie). I also dusted off a 'tactical' 3D scanner mount. The setup was blah, but the mount worked great! We'll give it some purpose...





Take one mount. Add aluminum bar stock, mix with electrical tape. Finish with cable ties and voila! Shoulder-mounted multi-laser emitter!





The humble comparison setup, from top to bottom:

This laser in question
Aurora C6, 300mW LPC-826
H50 Q5, 80mW DT0811
Small Sun ZY-850, 532nm DPSS 30?mW

Spectre's Garage, burstin' with smoke!



Minus the blue:





Minus the red:







Finally, I would like to give a shout out to DTR for sending this little piece of 'candy' my way. I definitely needed some glass in this thing to finish my review. THANKS DTR!!!! I'd also like to thank the folks at Survival Laser. While I've been skirting the boundary of 'safe' with my other lasers (well below 100mW), 1W is too much to ignore. Thank you for sending out my new glasses so quickly!!!

What a fine packing job:
Attached Thumbnails
The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160820_202653-450x800-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160821_094018-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160821_094057-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160825_131224-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160825_093338-800x450-.jpg  

The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160829_170934-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_181527-450x800-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_181701-800x450-.jpg  
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:06 PM #3
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Default Re: The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

This is the holder of beamshots... Please disregard.
Attached Thumbnails
The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_181742-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_182009-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_185119-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_185317-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_185329-800x450-.jpg  

The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_185537-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_190037-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_190056-800x450-.jpg  
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:13 PM #4
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Default Re: The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

Nice little review. I always hate how they cheap out so much building these things, when like $10 of improvements could make the product a lot better.
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Old 09-02-2016, 03:48 PM #5
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Default Re: The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razako View Post
Nice little review. I always hate how they cheap out so much building these things, when like $10 of improvements could make the product a lot better.
Yeah, but in this case the cheap mods resulted in the whole thing being a bargain. Now, if I paid to much, I'd be a little upset.

I found a couple of photos that I forgot about...

Here is an idea of the general size:


Another one of the charger, where the LED is red while charging. It turns green once fully charged.
Attached Thumbnails
The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_204309-800x450-.jpg   The Ghetto Blaster:  A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...-20160830_204801-800x450-.jpg  
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:02 AM #6
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Default Re: The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

For $63 shipped it seems to be a pretty good deal really. I don't need another 1 watt-ish multimode 445, but if you want something like that it seems a reasonble thing to order as far as i can see.

The dodgy safety glasses are a problem though, if they are as bad as described. It's not abnormal to get a bit of light to pass though them (if they are OD3 they should pass 0.1% of light making them essentially good enough for this laser). Since you did manage to burn a hole through them with the laser they do absorb some 445, though i have no idea how much.

If you can get better performance by just swapping the lens that's a nice bonus really. Plastic lenses are not unusable per se, but upgrading to a properly coated glass one gets you a bit more power.

Considering these things are built to a price i can understand why they opted for plastic lenses though: most users really don't care if they lose 10 or 20 percent of light in the lens if that makes the product $10 cheaper.
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:35 AM #7
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Default Re: The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

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Originally Posted by Benm View Post
The dodgy safety glasses are a problem though, if they are as bad as described. It's not abnormal to get a bit of light to pass though them (if they are OD3 they should pass 0.1% of light making them essentially good enough for this laser). Since you did manage to burn a hole through them with the laser they do absorb some 445, though i have no idea how much.
I don't think these things are even OD3. The blue passing through is from looking at other objects colored blue, so a blue LED would probably burn you, much less any laser.

I have clear safety glasses that are darker than these...
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:58 PM #8
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Default Re: The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

That sounds pretty shitty then, but at least they'll protect you from blobs of solder hitting you in the eye (you wouldn't be the first victim of that...).

It's fairly normal for some light to make it through OD3/OD4 goggles, but if it starts to light up the room from a 1 watt laser you can be pretty certain they are garbage.
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:01 AM #9
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Default Re: The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

I have the same kit that I got a year ago (Link in Sig)

Mine came with good glasses and a glass lens.

I use E-Fest 700mAh 16340s and my best guess is it is making 1-1.5 Watts.

I will verify it once I have a Hyperion LPM

I plan to buy the LPM as my next laser related purchase.
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Old 09-15-2016, 06:20 PM #10
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Default Re: The Ghetto Blaster: A review of a Spyder-like 1W Blue...

Quote:
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I use E-Fest 700mAh 16340s and my best guess is it is making 1-1.5 Watts.

I will verify it once I have a Hyperion LPM

I plan to buy the LPM as my next laser related purchase.
That would be great because I have no real way of measuring power right now.

Let us know when you get your LPM up and running... my current guess is that these are just another flavor coming from the same factory in Chaynah as the THOR series, so probably the same specs. It would be fun to know how accurate my hunch is...
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