Old 09-28-2016, 02:13 AM #1
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Default LaserBTB PL532-200

This is the second of three reviews that I'm doing after I had the opportunity to meter my lasers at the Texas Petawatt Laser Facility. I've included measurements of power and divergence, plenty of pictures, and even a video of mode hopping.

The risk of confiscation at customs made me decide to go with the more expensive 3 day DHL option than Hong Kong Post. I purchased the LaserBTB PL532-200 with IR filter installed for a total of $181 on September 2. Almost immediately, my status on their website was updated to "3-4 days production". On September 7, I got a message from DHL telling me that the order was scheduled for delivery and I received it in the morning of September 9. So 7 days total for ordering, building, and shipping from China to the US, which is really impressive considering I ordered on the weekend.





The laser came in a padded metal box with lock and key, and included the laser, accessories, and a charger that'll probably burn your house down. I tossed the charger in the trash and used my NiteCore Intellicharger New I2. I chose the PL host over the HL because of better heat sinking and the ability to take a 18650 Li-ion battery as opposed to a lower capacity 16340. I chose the Efest IMR 3000mAh 35A battery from a reputable online store. For goggles, I'm using CE certified Noir goggles that are OD8 at 445 nm and 532 nm.



This laser has many safety features that supposedly make it FDA compliant, including a shutter on the front, a dongle that gets inserted into the back, and a key switch in the middle above the button to turn it on. It's unfair for me to review this after receiving a Sanwu Spiker, since the Spiker is a work of art. That's not to say that the PL is poor quality though. The shutter has a nice mechanism that gives you a bit of "play" before it begins to close, making it tougher to accidentally close the shutter while focusing. The focusing mechanism is excellent, and you get a really tight beam about 5 inches from the front when fully extended (I'll add a photo tomorrow). This far out, the extender gets a bit wobbly but this can be fixed by turning the inner ring to meet the outer ring as shown in the following pictures.





I metered the laser with a Scientech LPM from about 9 inches away, and a Coherent Model 210 from about 2 inches away. The laser peaked at 410mW, and settled between 310-340mW. This was the 200mW version, and like most LaserBTB products mine was quite a bit overspec . The power was similar between the two meters but they were pretty old and jumped around somewhat. I'd like to meter it again at some point.









Divergence was measured at 10 feet (3.048 meters) and 50 feet (15.24 meters) with a beam diameter of 8 mm and 25 mm, respectively, giving a value of 1.39 mRad. However, there was a brighter dot in the center at 50 feet away with a diameter of 22 mm, which would give a divergence of 1.15 mRad instead.





This laser is very fun to play around with, and when the focusing ring is fully extended it works like a green flashlight to illuminate entire trees. While everything is built well, there must be particles or shards of metal in the threads, since it feels like I'm grinding something whenever I turn the end cap or focusing ring. It has gotten better over time though. Mode hopping is also something I noticed when the focusing ring was fully extended (see video below). The laser dot remains circular, but every few seconds I see sudden shifts in the bright areas that are present while the laser is warming up, and lasting several minutes until the laser is turned off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcuuv4uVE9c


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Last edited by KMitch; 09-28-2016 at 04:05 AM. Reason: couldn't embed youtube video
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:33 AM #2
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Default Re: LaserBTB PL532-200

Excellent review! I'll add it to my guide as soon as I can. In fact I just purchased my first BTB laser today.
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Old 09-28-2016, 02:07 PM #3
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Default Re: LaserBTB PL532-200

Nice laser KMitch, glad to see it's quite a bit overspec. I believe your readings from 9" would be the most accurate.
From what I saw in your video, the mode hopping wasn't that bad at all. I've seen a lot worse.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:51 PM #4
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Default Re: LaserBTB PL532-200

No kidding, Ive seen some really bad mode hopping. Congrats and I can't say I'm surprised at it being way overspec. Every one of my laserbtb are overspec and most by a lot.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:07 AM #5
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Default Re: LaserBTB PL532-200

Thanks guys, I'm really happy with this purchase and will probably get something else from them in the future. I look forward to your review Sta. I tried to take pictures of the focused beam but I don't have a good camera. This is about the best I could do, though it looks a lot thinner in person.

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Old 09-29-2016, 05:41 AM #6
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Default Re: LaserBTB PL532-200

Quote:
Originally Posted by KMitch View Post
Thanks guys, I'm really happy with this purchase and will probably get something else from them in the future. I look forward to your review Sta. I tried to take pictures of the focused beam but I don't have a good camera. This is about the best I could do, though it looks a lot thinner in person.

That looks just fine KMitch, a nice bright green beam shooting into the darkness

-Alex
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