Old 09-14-2009, 11:16 PM #1
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Default CNI PGL-RG - Portable "Yellow" (Red+Green)

Hey All,

Here's my review of the CNI PGL-RG laser - a portable laser that includes both red and green lasers which are combined with optics into a single yellow laser.

I'll start with this picture:


Purchase:
- Got it in one of the CNI group buys arranged by Glenn (along with 10x beam expander for PGL-III-C - review coming soon). This is the second CNI GB for me (first was a PGL-III-C 500mW - review posted).
- As usual, Glenn did an excellent job, getting answers to my many questions from CNI. I believe it's not the last CNI GB for me...
- Cost was $350 (not including customs and shipping) for the 150mW model (200mW and 250mW are also available, but according to CNI the color is less attractive - the green takes over).
- Spec for this laser by CNI can be found at this link:
http://www.cnilaser.com/PDF/PGL-RG.pdf

Body:
- This is a big laser, almost the size of the PGL-III-C.
- It runs on a single Li-Ion 18650 battery.
- The laser beam exit isn't in the center of the body.
- General on/off switch in the bottom of the laser.
- Color mode switching button on the side (with LED). The laser can be activated in 4 different color modes: none / red / green / red+green.
- No security features like in the PGL-III-C.
- Lens is not focusable (fixed focus), unlike many red lasers.

In my hand:


Compared to AA battery and other lasers (PGL-III-C, WL Executive, DX Dilda):


Laser top (beam exit):


Laser bottom (general on/off switch):


Color mode button on side:


Power:
This laser is advertised as 150mW combined output power (of red and green together).
CNI doesn't specify the outputs for the green and red separately.

According to my LPM however (Laserbee I Deluxe):
- Combined ("Yellow") output is ~180mw.
- Green output is 30mW, very stable.
- Red output is 145-148mW, also very stable.
- There is no duty cycle with this laser. I've ran it for 10 minutes continuous and power didn't drop.

Here are some graphs of the power measures:



Beam & Color:
- On white surfaces the laser produces a very nice lemon yellow dot. The same pretty yellow is seen when shining half-transparent glass objects and such. You can't tell that it's actually two colors!
- On colored or dark surfaces the color can change dramatically towards green or red, depending on which colors that surface reflects. It can actually appear as lime, golden or orange for example. This is something you don't have with single color laser, as it can only change in brightness (fluorescence excluded).
- I didn't measure divergence, but it seems pretty good to me, as I can easily see the dot very far away at night (kilometers) - both green and red. The red beam is wider than the green.
- The green laser beam is easily visible at night, the red much less - probably because its wider. Because of that the "yellow" beam looks close to green (unlike the dot which seems very yellow).
- The red laser has two artifacts - a thin rectangle and a tiny extra dot, something like this (couldn't get a proper photo of this):

- Shining through transparent glass breaks the light into red and green, making some very nice effects. Specifically using a prism I could split the laser beams into two (red and green).

Beam shots:


Long exposure shots (laser drawing). Last one shows switching the color during the shot:





Burning Power:
None, despite being a ~180mW laser.
This is because most of the power (~145mW) is from the red, which isn't thin enough to burn / singe plastic / pop balloons.

Summary - Cons & Pros:
Pros:
- Beautiful and very unique yellow color (not orange).
- It's actually 3 lasers in one unit (red, green, yellow).
- Strong and stable output compared to available 593.5nm lasers, can be seen very far.
- No duty cycle.

Cons:
- Big body. Pen size is preferred, but I guess not possible due to the optical mechanism (and the need for strong 18650 battery).
- Red beam a bit wide and has small artifacts.
- Not focusable.
- No burning or destructive power.

Overall - I think this laser provides a very good value for its price, most importantly is the bottom line - you get a yellow laser!

Ohad



Last edited by ohada; 09-15-2009 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Update price.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:23 PM #2
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Default Re: CNI PGL-RG - Portable "Yellow" (Red+Green)

finally someone reviewed this! can we get some night time beam shots though
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:29 PM #3
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Default Re: CNI PGL-RG - Portable "Yellow" (Red+Green)

I wouldn't judge the burning ability until you've focused the beam with an external lens (magnifying glass, etc..).. other than that, nice review.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:45 PM #4
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Default Re: CNI PGL-RG - Portable "Yellow" (Red+Green)

How yellow is the beam? And was it 350 shipped? Thanks for the great review!
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:47 PM #5
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Default Re: CNI PGL-RG - Portable "Yellow" (Red+Green)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffd View Post
finally someone reviewed this! can we get some night time beam shots though
There is one night shot already in the review, however I'm not getting the best results with my camera.
As I wrote - the night beam isn't too impressive anyway as it looks almost like green, because the red isn't visible enough (I think because it's too wide).

I will however obtain soon a fog machine, it will definitely show the yellow beam with all its glory!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
I wouldn't judge the burning ability until you've focused the beam with an external lens (magnifying glass, etc..).. other than that, nice review.
I'm sure a focused 180mW will burn great, however this laser isn't very convenient for external lens as it's big and the laser exit is not in the center of the body.

What I mean is that for someone looking for a burner or a destructive laser - PGL-RG is not the right choice.
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:54 PM #6
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Default Re: CNI PGL-RG - Portable "Yellow" (Red+Green)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gotwake424 View Post
How yellow is the beam? And was it 350 shipped? Thanks for the great review!

Not yellow enough... See my previous reply.
It was $350 without shipping and customs (I'll update the review).
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:19 AM #7
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Default Re: CNI PGL-RG - Portable "Yellow" (Red+Green)

nice review
do you recommend it ? i want real yellow color
and can you post picture for the yellow dot on the wall?
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:26 PM #8
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Default Re: CNI PGL-RG - Portable "Yellow" (Red+Green)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr.Laser View Post
nice review
do you recommend it ? i want real yellow color
and can you post picture for the yellow dot on the wall?
If the "cons" don't bother you, then yes I recommend it, you won't be disappointed with the color of the dot.

I tried making a picture of the dot, but it didn't come out very good, I'll try again with the help of my personal photographer (girlfriend).
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:47 PM #9
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Default Re: CNI PGL-RG - Portable "Yellow" (Red+Green)

As I did get to see it in person, I will report that to my eye the yellow looked like a lemon yellow, a hint greener than other yellow lasers I've seen. Also, I was getting near 40 mW of green out of it on my meter, I wonder if temperature or something is making the green vary so much? It made me want to see this combining done more in further developments. Great review Ohada! -Glenn
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