Old 02-11-2012, 06:21 PM #1
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Thumbs up New evaluation: S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0

This is a long page with at least 65 images on it; dial-up users please allow for plenty of load time.

S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) w/SmartSwitch™ v2.0, retail $299.95 (www.wickedlasers.com...)
Manufactured by Wicked Lasers (www.wickedlasers.com)
Last updated 04-12-12







The S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm directly-injected diode laser (hereinafter, probably just referred to as the "Arctic") is an extremely powerful self-contained, handheld laser.

It is rated to produce almost 1 watt of laser radiation at 445nm (spectrographically measured at 448.170nm {low} and 449.052 {high}) in the royal blue part of the spectrum.
This amazing laser was in the Guiness Book of World Records as “The most powerful handheld laser in the world”!!!

It comes in a very sturdy aluminum body that has been hard-anodized, and feeds from a single 18650 Li:ION rechargeable cell (which is included along with the charger).

It also comes with LaserShades laser safety glasses -- which must be used every time you fire up this studly little laser...you don't want to end up like this guy: --->
This may look funny, but I assure you folks, this is no joke!!!

Destruction of the eye isn't the only ocular (eye) hazard here:
Exposure to high levels of blue & violet radiation can also wreak havok!!!

SIZE



To use your shiny new Arctic, feed it the included 18650 Li:ION cell first (see directly below), and ***THEN*** you can go and use it.

To use the portable laser (it has more modes than the original Spyder III Arctic thanks to its SmartSwitch™) {which is why it has the SmartSwitch™ v2.0}, follow these instructions:


1: Press the rubberised tailcap button until it clicks, and then release it.
The first LED on the barrel (a group of three arranged in a line on the opposite side as the SmartSwitch™ button) will begin flashing.

2: Click the SmartSwitch™. After the first click, the first LED will be steady-on and the second one will be flashing.

3: Click the SmartSwitch™ again. The first and second LEDs will be steady-on and the third one will be flashing.

4: Click the SmartSwitch™ a third time. Both the first and second LEDs will be flashing.

5: Hold down the SmartSwitch™ briefly and the second & third LEDs will be flashing.

6: Hold down the SmartSwitch™ briefly again. All three LEDs will flash three times, then go into battery status monitoring mode.


If you are not used to using a CDRH Class IV laser (and very, very few people really are!), you'll want to start out with the training lens in place.

The SmartSwitch™ prevents accidental and unauthorized activation of the laser by requiring a short sequence of clicks and click-holds to unlock the laser.

Once the laser is unlocked, the default operating mode for the laser is low power, pulse wave, constant on operation. This means the laser operates at 5% of the maximum power output, making it 20 times safer. When used in conjunction with the training lens, output power is further reduced 5 times, making the laser only 1% as hazardous to the human eye or skin than at maximum power.
Once you are ready to experience maximum 100% power, it takes only 2 clicks to change the mode and mere seconds to replace the lens. The SmartSwitch™ is the world's most innovative and safest laser system ever created.

The following modes are available:
o Low Power (10% of maximum) , Constant Wave, Constant On
o Low Power (10% of maximum) , Pulse Wave (6Hz / 50%) , Constant On
o S.O.S. (international distress signal)
o Beacon mode (laser blinks at 0.20Hz {1 flash every five seconds})
o Tactical hibernation (laser turns off; can be turned back on instantly in the last mode that was used)
o Max Power, Constant Wave, Constant On
o Max Power, Pulse Wave (6Hz / 50%) , Constant On
o Max Power, S.O.S. (international distress signal)
o Max Power, Beacon mode (laser blinks at 0.20Hz {1 flash every five seconds})

The laser starts off in low power, blinking.

To change to steady-on mode, click the SmartSwitch™ once.

To change to S.O.S. mode, click the SmartSwitch™ three times in rapid succession within two seconds of entering steady-on mode.

To change to Beacon mode, click the SmartSwitch™ once while you're in S.O.S. mode.

To cycle between full power and low power, give the SmartSwitch™ a short hold.

To activate tactical hibernation,give the SmartSwitch™ a longer hold (~3 seconds). When in this mode, pressing the SmartSwitch™ once turns the laser back on in the same setting you last used it in.

The SmartSwitch™ prevents accidental and unauthorized activation of the laser by requiring a short sequence of clicks and click-holds to unlock the laser.

Once the laser is unlocked, the default operating mode for the laser is low power, pulse wave, constant on operation. This means the laser operates at 5% of the maximum power output, making it 20 times safer. When used in conjunction with the training lenses, output power is further reduced 5 times, making the laser only 1% as hazardous to the human eye or skin than at maximum power.
Once you are ready to experience maximum 100% power, it takes only 2 clicks to change the mode and mere seconds to replace the lens. The SmartSwitch™ is the world's most innovative and safest laser system ever created.

Before firing up this studly little laser, you *MUST* be certain that you have the furnished laser safety glasses on!!!


The ones at the top (Argon Laser Safety Goggles) are not the ones you'll receive, but they do have an OD (Optical Density) of 5.00 at wavelengths of 515nm and shorter -- so they'll work quite well if I happen to accidentally sit on or step on and subsequently cause the furnished LaserShades to become busted.

The Arctic has a safety interlock dongle built into the tailcap -- this allows it to help comply with FDA/CDRH requirements for a Class IV laser product.
This dongle (or "safety pin" as some have called it) can be removed by pulling it straight out. Doing so will completely disable the laser -- that is, the Arctic cannot be made to function even if a fully charged battery is left in place.

Restoring operation is as simple as pushing the dongle back into the opening in the tailcap for it; pushing in on it until it no longer moves.





To charge the battery in your Wicked Lasers S3 Spyder Arctic, unscrew and remove the tailcap, and set it aside.

Tip the used 18650 cell out of the barrel and into your hand, and pop it into the included charger.

Insert a freshly-charged 18650 cell into the barrel, flat-end (-) negative first. This is the opposite of how batteries are installed in most flashlights, so please pay attention to polarity here.

Screw the tailcap back on, and be done with it.

Current usage measures 40.02mA (quiescent), 361mA (minimum CW output) and 989mA (maximum CW output) on a known-fully charged 18650 cell.



To charge the 18650 cell, place it in the charging cradle, orienting it so its button-end (+) positive is on the same end of the chamber in the charger that has a (+) embossed on its upper surface (in this case, the end of the charger that the power cord goes in).

Plug the charger into any standard (in the United States) two- or three-slot 110 volts to 130 volts AC 60Hz receptacle.

A red light on the charging cradle should now come on; this indicates charging is in progress. When the 18650 cell has reached full charge, the light on the charging cradle will turn from red to green.

At this point, unplug the charger, remove the charged cell from the charging cradle, and install it in the laser as directed above.





***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!***

This laser is a CDRH Class IV instrument, and the photons generated by it are much higher in energy than the photons generated by a red laser of equivalent power (not that you'd want to shoot your eye out with a 1W red laser anyway!!!); so you definitely do not want to shine it into your eyes, other people's eyes, pets' eyes, for that matter, the eyes of any person or animal you encounter. Eye damage can occur faster than the blink reflex can protect them, regardless of what species' eyes you irradiate with this laser. So just don't do it.
And for Christ sakes (and for heaven sakes and for Pete sakes and your sakes too) do not shine the S3 Spyder Arctic (or any other laser for that matter!) at any vehicle, whether ground-based like a motorcycle, car, or truck, or air-based like a helicopter, airplane, or jet. And if you shoot it at a person in the dark and he turns out to be a police officer, he may think he's being targeted, unholster (pull out) his gun, and hose you down with it.


This laser is water-resistant but not submersible, so please be careful around sinks, tubs, toilets, fishtanks, pet water bowls, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found. However, you need not worry about using it outdoors when it's raining or snowing.

The case is made from 6061-T6 Aircraft-Grade Aluminum, and is treated with a black HA-III (hard anodized) finish.

The beam has a divergence of less than 1.5mRad (milliradians), and has a diameter of 1.50mm when it exits the product.
According to the web page on the S3 Spyder Arctic, it produces a TEM00 (transverse electromagnetic mode 00) beam - that is, it produces a beam with a Gaussian power distribution; circular with a central hotspot and dimmer corona. This is a typical laser mode, and is how many lasers (well, most lasers for consumer use anyway) are designed to operate.

The beam from the Arctic is not perfecly circular; it is oval (somewhat egg-shaped) like beams from all directly-injected diode lasers that do not have special beam shape corrective optics.

The high-power lens ("window" actually) is AR (antireflective) coated on both sides; this helps greatly with minimising loss of intensity due to reflective losses in the window.

Operating temperature range is between 32°F (0°C) and 100°F (38°C).
Using the Arctic beyond this temperature range is a rather severe no-no!!!




From somebody who knows their s**t about lasers, comes the following information about this laser:

A spot on a perfectly white wall, assuming the wall does not char:

At 7 inches, should your pupil fully dilate, the spot hits the border
between effectively Class II and effectively Class IIIa. Maximum safe
time to stare at it from that distance, should your eye focus the spot
that close, is 1 second. Probably less due to the blue factor.

At 29 feet, the spot is at the border between effectively Class I and
effectively Class II. At this distance, the spot is safe to stare at for
2,500 seconds, even with a fully dilated pupil. At greater distances than
that, it is safe to stare at indefinitely. This is according to 21 CFR
1040.10.

================================================== =============

Aim that laser into a white high power LED, and maybe about half a watt
of yellow light will come out. That is about 200 lumens. The LED will
not be safe to stare into. With such an LED of the usual lambertian
radiation pattern, I figure around 60 candela or 60,000 MCD. You may get
somewhat more.

This laser will fluoresce most magenta, pink, red, orange, yellow, and
green fluorescent objects. Some green-glowing yellow objects could
produce 300-400 lumens of light, with an intensity of 80-125 candela
(80,000-125,000 MCD).

For comparison, if you look broadside at the filament of a clear 75 watt
120V light bulb rated to produce 1190 or so lumens and to last 750 hours,
that is about 120 candela. The ratio of candlepower to lumens is less
with the light bulb because it distributes light more widely and evenly
than a "lambertian" source does (such as a fluorescing or
beam-illuminated spot on a diffusing surface like a piece of paper).

With a light bulb having a visually straight linear filament, ratio of
lumens to candela is close to and ideally the square of pi, which is 9.87.
With a lambertian radiator such as a beam-illuminated or fluorescing
spot on a diffusing flat surface, the ratio of lumens to candela is
ideally pi (3.14).









Measures 256mW (low) and 821mW (high) on a LaserBee 2.5W USB Laser Power Meter w/Thermopile.


Short-term stability analysis of the Arctic, low-power CW mode, 10.5 minutes.



Short-term stability analysis of the Arctic, high-power CW mode, 12 minutes.



Long-term stability analysis at maximum power; operated until the freshly-charged 16850 cell pooped out.
Laser temperature was 87°F (30.55°C) at an ambient temperature of 74°F (23.3°C); the ambient temperature measurement was taken less than ten minutes in; laser temperature measurement was 4,440 seconds (74.0 minutes) into the test.
Total duration of this test was 6,175 seconds (102.9 minutes; 1:42 hours).



Long-term stability analysis at minimum power; operated until the freshly-charged 16850 cell pooped out.<br>
Total duration of this test was 24,240 seconds (404 minutes; 6:44 hours).



Beam photograph on the test target at 12".


Beam photograph on the test target at 12"; line effect lens used.


Beam photograph on the test target at 12"; cross-effect lens used.


Beam photograph on the test target at 12"; galaxy effect (starfield generator) lens used.


Beam photograph on the test target at 12"; focusing (burning) lens used.


Beam photograph on the test target at 12"; flashlight effect lens used.


Beam photograph on the test target at 12"; floodlight effect lens used.

All 12" beam images except the lower two bloomed; the beam spot is also not white in the center like these photographs depict.



Beam photograph on a wall at ~10 feet (low).


Beam photograph on a wall at ~10 feet (high).


Photograph of a room taken using the Arctic as the only light source.
The beam was directed (aimed) at the ceiling ~4.50 feet away.
The image actually appeared significantly brighter in the viewfinder and the actual scene looked brighter too.



Battery discharge analysis: Beacon mode on low power setting.
Runs for 1 day 23 hours 31 minutes (47:31).


Battery discharge analysis: High-power CW mode.
Runs for 1 hour 49 minutes (111 minutes).



Short-term stability analysis of the Arctic, low-power CW mode. 10.5 minutes.



Short-term stability analysis of the Arctic, high-power CW mode. 12 minutes.



Photograph of the safety and instructional materials furnished with the Arctic.





Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Spyder Arctic (on low).


Same as above; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 430nm and 460nm to pinpoint wavelength.


Same as above; spectrometer's response narrowed again to a range between 445nm and 450nm to more accurately pinpoint wavelength, which appears to be 448.170nm.


Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Spyder Arctic (on high).


Same as above; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 430nm and 460nm to pinpoint wavelength.


Same as above; spectrometer's response narrowed again to a range between 447nm and 453nm to more accurately pinpoint wavelength; which appears to be 449.052nm.



Spectrographic analysis of the <a href="http://www.ledmuseum.candlepower.us/36/arctic3.htm">S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0</a>'s laser diode after two ***CONTINUOUS*** hours on maximum power to check for wavelength drift (low mode); spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 447nm and 453nm to more accurately pinpoint wavelength; which appears to be 449.711nm.



Spectrographic analysis of the <a href="http://www.ledmuseum.candlepower.us/36/arctic3.htm">S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0</a>'s laser diode after two ***CONTINUOUS*** hours on maximum power to check for wavelength drift (high mode); spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 447nm and 453nm to more accurately pinpoint wavelength; which appears to be 448.436nm.



Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Arctic on on low mode; newer spectrometer software settings used.



Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Arctic on low mode; newer spectrometer software settings used -- spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 445nm and 450nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is 447.649nm.



Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Arctic on high mode, newer spectrometer software settings used.



Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Arctic on high mode; newer spectrometer software settings used -- spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 445nm and 450nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is 449.055nm.



Spectrographic analysis of fluorescence of a spray-painted rock; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 570nm and 620nm to pinpoint peak fluorescence wavelength, which is 591.624nm.



Beam cross-sectional analysis (slow axis {X-axis}; low power).


Beam cross-sectional analysis (fast axis {Y-axis}; low power).


Beam cross-sectional analysis (slow axis {X-axis}; high power).


Beam cross-sectional analysis (fast axis {Y-axis}; high power).

In the two "high power" analyses, those circular "blotches" in the beam really do exist;
I believe they are due to motes of dust on the laser diode's output window or collimating lens.

Images made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.




Video on YourTube showing all nine modes of the SmartSwitch™ v2.0 on the Wicked Lasers Arctic 445nm blue portable laser.

My voice sounds bad because of the brain surgery I had in 2002.

This video is approximately 22.677456237724 megabytes (22,832,040 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than one hundred thirteen minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.



TEST NOTES:
Test unit was sent by Steve of Wicked Lasers on 01-30-12 (or "30 Jan 2012" if you prefer), and was received at 10:38am PST on 02-09-12 (or "09 Feb 2012").



The very high output power isn't the only eye injury hazard here...you also need to be aware (or made aware) of potential photochemical damage to the eyes and skin from exposure to very intense radiation at wavelengths ranging from 500nm (blue-green) to 400nm (violet) -- and shorter wavelengths of course:


(CLICK ON THE GRAPHIC TO READ MORE!!!)


UPDATE: 00-00-00


PROS:
EXTREMELY POWERFUL output for such a small, self-contained unit
Color (royal blue @ ~448nm) is exceptionally vibrant and unusual for a handheld laser
Battery it uses is rechargeable; never have to find disposables for it


CONS:
A bit under spec; but not by as much as my other two Arctics
Timing for using the SmartSwitch™ is somewhat critical; if your timing sucks, you can't get this laser to fire off
(This is a crucial safety feature, and can rather easily be overlooked!)





MANUFACTURER: Wicked Lasers
PRODUCT TYPE: Portable directly-injected royal blue-emitting (=448.170nm {low} and 449.052nm {high}) diode laser module
LAMP TYPE: Casio blue-emitting laser diode
No. OF LAMPS: 1
BEAM TYPE: Very narrow spot; it's a laser, remember?
SWITCH TYPE: Arm/disarm button & interlock dongle on tailcap; pushbutton on/mode change/off on barrel
CASE MATERIAL: Hard-anodized aluminum
BEZEL: Metal; has aperture (hole) for laser beam to emerge
BATTERY: 1x 185650 rechargeable cell; I believe 1,400mAh capacity
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 40.02mA (quiescent), 361mA (minimum CW output) and 989mA (maximum CW output)
WATER-RESISTANT: Yes
SUBMERSIBLE: No
ACCESSORIES: Belt holster, protective "LaserShades" laser eyewear, zippered pouch for them, cleaning cloth for them, "Class IV LASER" sticker, 18650 cell, charger
SIZE: 35.80mm D by 228mm L
WEIGHT: 378 grams
COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: China
WARRANTY: 1 year


PRODUCT RATING:




Update 12-12-02: Added a video of the modes available using the SmartSwitch™ v2.0.

Update 02-15-12: Performed multiple battery discharge analyses.

Update 02-16-12: Performed multiple short-term output stability analyses.

Update 02-17-12: Performed multiple post-runtime test spectrographic analyses to check for wavelength drift.

Update 03-03-12: Performed a long-term stability analysis at maximum power.

Update 03-04-12: Performed a long-term stability analysis at minimum power.

Update 03-19-12: Added a photograph of the laser in its semi-rigid belt holster.

Update 04-12-12: Performed repeat spectroscopy with newer software settings.



Last edited by The_LED_Museum; 04-12-2012 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Performed repeat spectroscopy with newer software settings.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:06 PM #2
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Default Re: New evaluation: S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0

Wow wee.......your mailbox is overflowing with free Lasers
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:04 PM #3
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Default Re: New evaluation: S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0

Great Review as Always.

Would it be possible to take a few pictures of the lens they are using.?

Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:17 PM #4
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Default Re: New evaluation: S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0

Once again nice review. You are the king of reviews. What are the manufacturers specs for the output of this laser? Also what are your other Arctics putting out?
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:05 PM #5
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Default Re: New evaluation: S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0

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Originally Posted by yobresal View Post
Once again nice review. You are the king of reviews. What are the manufacturers specs for the output of this laser? Also what are your other Arctics putting out?
Thank you, backward Laserboy!!!

The manufacturer's specs for power range from a minimum of 500mW to a maximum of 1000mW.
The other two units I have came in at 719mW and 708mW, respectively.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:06 PM #6
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Question Re: New evaluation: S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0

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Originally Posted by lazeerer View Post
Great Review as Always.

Would it be possible to take a few pictures of the lens they are using.?

Thanks.
Are you referring to the internal collimating lens, or one of the external screw-on lenses/windows/optics?
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:14 PM #7
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Default Re: New evaluation: S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0

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Originally Posted by The_LED_Museum View Post
Are you referring to the internal collimating lens, or one of the external screw-on lenses/windows/optics?
The Internal Lens.

Iam wondering if this could be why the more power Possibly. Or could be as simple as a more efficient diode.

Normally you seem them ~750mW.

So maybe the New "Arctic" has a better lens then the old.

Since you have an one of the older ones i guess you can just compare them and say if they are using the same exact lenses s before.
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Last edited by lazeerer; 02-11-2012 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:40 PM #8
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Default Re: New evaluation: S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazeerer View Post
The Internal Lens.

Iam wondering if this could be why the more power Possibly. Or could be as simple as a more efficient diode.

Normally you seem them ~750mW.

So maybe the New "Arctic" has a better lens then the old.

Since you have an one of the older ones i guess you can just compare them and say if they are using the same exact lenses s before.
As far as I'm able to determine (by "looking down the barrel of a gun" so to speak), the collimating lenses on both my earlier Arctic G2 and the new one are identical in every way. Same apparent magnification, and same AR coating on both of them.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:45 PM #9
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Default Re: New evaluation: S3 Spyder Arctic G2 445nm Blue Laser (3) W/SmartSwitch™ v2.0

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_LED_Museum View Post
As far as I'm able to determine (by "looking down the barrel of a gun" so to speak), the collimating lenses on both my earlier Arctic G2 and the new one are identical in every way. Same apparent magnification, and same AR coating on both of them.
Thank You.
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445nm 3.6W Monster Freak TEC 9mm, 3.1W Fat Boy Build , 2.9W Big Stainless , 2.7W Big Black, 2W Arctic G2 , 1.8W C13
473nm 178mW CNI-PGL-III-C , 56mW CNI-PGL-III-C
488nm 52mW OPSL SAPPHIRE 488-50, 59mW SS Melles Griot BCD-50&BCD-25 35mW
515nm 83mW Direct Green Diode Fully Custom Host
532nm 617mW RPL Style , 213mW CNI-PGL-III-A , 120mW DIY SS C3
589nm 130mW CNI-PGL-III-A
594nm 13mW CNI-PGL-III-C
632nm 4mW HeNe
635nm 1130mW Fenix TK35 ML501P73 , 918mW Small Sun ZY ML520G71
650nm 1056mW Polished CNI-PGL-C Mod, 5W Custom Build Red Devil
658nm 430mW LOC 826 Brinyte A20 , LCC 390mW C3 3 mode
660nm 500mW SS LQ ignis
671nm 800mW PowerModulem, 9mW Black Pen
685nm 44mW MXDL 2x AAA Pen, 41mW, 130mW Stainless Shadow
780nm 127mW Pen
808nm 758mW Fire Dragon From DJNY
LPM's 2W/5W Ophir
SPECTROMETER - 390nm to 980nm



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