Old 01-29-2008, 08:30 PM #1
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Default S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

This review was accidentally deleted, and it was requested again, so here it is:

With so many portable lasers available now, and many sporting >100mW ratings, it can be difficult to find a true value performer in the hype. Which lasers have IR filters? Which lasers actually put out their rated power? Which lasers are overdriven knockoffs that will die in a few weeks? This reivew sets out to determine whether the PG-200 from S-KY (formerly laserbtb) is a true value, an island of refuge in the sea of laser choices.

First, S-KY as a company seems to be very eager to break into this market, and their communication is very good for a company so far away. They even have MSN chat communications if you happen to be up late and have a question. The laser in question is covered by a 6 month warranty.

The packing: Packing for this laser was good, it came in its own storage box with foam cutouts for the keys, interlock, charger, and laser. On the sides were marked '532' and '200mW'.

Large Version

The laser itself was wrapped in antistatic shielding material:


Large Version

The charger is an automatic Li-Ion 18650 smart battery charger, it has an LED that is red during charging and turns green when charging has completed. I personally like the 18650 battery choice as they have a high energy density and are commonly used in laptop battery packs, so replacements are readily available from many sources.

The laser has a very good feel in the hand. It is constructed out of aluminum, I estimate the battery wall thickness to be about 3mm, with a plastic tube insert around the battery as insulation. The battery goes in with the positive end towards the tailcap/interlock. The outer shell is coated in a hard black textured finish that provides a decent grip and will help keep the laser looking good after it's been around the block.


Large Version

Safety mechanisms include a tailcap interlock, key switch, bright blue 'lasing' indicator light, and shutter. There was no perceptible emission delay. Fortunately the key switch is not captive while on, which means you can turn the keyswitch on and remove the key. The red operation button is a toggle switch, so it will lock in the on position for extended and hands-free operation. I had no trouble depressing the switch halfway for a momentary operation mode. The tailcap interlock is a standard 3.5mm headphone jack style, and if you find it unsightly, a plug could be fashioned that would serve to engage the interlock while not protruding from the tail.

Dimensions: 38mm dia by 195mm length:

Large Version

For the emission tests, I ran the laser for 3 minutes continuously and recorded the results on a Scientech 365 thermopile bench laser meter. I ran 3 tests using a fully charged battery, and one test with a regulated supply set to 4.1V. Although the head never got too warm to the touch, in between tests the laser was allowed to return to room temperature (21.5 C) for 10-15 minutes.



As you can see, this beast starts off at an incredible 310-340mW and stays above 200mW for over a minute and a half. As the crystals continue to heat, efficiency then drops and levels out around 150-160mW at 3 minutes. Many laser manufacturers choose only to show laser power for the first 10-30 seconds or so, and after that you never know what you'll get. This laser maintains its rated power for much longer, and when it does drop off, it does so smoothly, without changing modes. At no point in the tests did the laser drop into multimode or split beam operation. Output stayed gaussian the entire test. This is one of the benefits of using higher quality crystals over the common MCA (microchip assembly) design in smaller lasers. When this laser is used in momentary mode (a few seconds on and off continuously), its output remains above 200mW. If this were a lab laser with cooling, it would probably be rated for 250-270mW and could do 320mW out of the box. Very nice.
I'm thinking of building a TEC mount adapter for just this purpose.

There was no significant IR output measured, so IR is less than (&lt5% in the beam.


The beam output diameter was about 1.5mm at the aperture, and focused to a burning spot of about 0.7mm 3 feet in front of the laser. From there, the divergence was measured to be 1.2mrad. I beleive the spec of <1 mrad could be acheived with tweaking of the focus, and eliminating the 3 foot focal point. As it stands, though, the divergence is good enough and it provides a very nice focused spot for burning, if that's your bag baby.

With a constant current draw of 1450mA, a 2200mAh battery will be consumed in a total of 1.5 hours of operation. After that the output will begin to drop off. Fortunately, the Li-Ion batteries have no memory effect so it is easy to pop it in the smart charger at any time.

Every portable laser company has a different method of rating their lasers. While lasershow lasers are rated to put out at least the rated power over their lifetime, portable lasers with a limited cooling (no TEC) and power source are usually different, so the value of the laser is considered the true output over time, not necissarily the rated output. Comparing this laser to an aries-150 at $689, but getting the power output of a $1000 hercules for the first 30 seconds is a great feat for this $355 (Group Buy) laser! Well done, S-KY! You exceeded my expectations, as this is a very good laser for the money.


Here is one more beam picture taken with incense burning in the room to really solidify the beam:


Large Version



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Old 01-30-2008, 03:49 PM #2
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

Hmm, wasn't there a thread on the dissassembly of the unit somewhere? I guess that part was lost as well?
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:33 PM #3
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

Ref --
The PG 200 is a 8itch to take apart. I don't recommend it. Wait until delivery and ask q's if there's problems. It has a 2mm crystal stack and the glue in there is quite strong over the C-mount driver. DrLava & I have worked with S-ky to insure a good GB.

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Old 01-30-2008, 11:53 PM #4
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

Oh, trust me, I have no intention of taking my investment apart. ;D There were just a bunch of disassembly pics and discussion that I had the urge to look over while at work, today. I guess I could always check the S-KY dir on lava's page.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:54 AM #5
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

guys all of the stuff is right here

http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...ead.php?t=3533
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:51 AM #6
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

Ah, merci!
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:41 PM #7
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

Seem that this model is not more in production... (at skylaser.cn/pointer) :-?
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:12 PM #8
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

I must corect me... PG-200 exist !!! and....

... WOW !!! the specification are very very fine:

- Beam divergense, full angle (mrad) < 1.0
- Beam diameter at aperture < 1.2

etc.. etc... Seem be a very good pointer for the price!!! (but only 200/250 nominal mW)

I'm waiting for 350-400 same quality (and low prices)...
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:50 PM #9
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo60
Seem that this model is not more in production... (at skylaser.cn/pointer) :-?
Its a portable laser, not a laser pointer.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:52 AM #10
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

Quote:
Its a portable laser, not a laser pointer
Sure Ref !!! I find this model and his specification on the productor site

I'm very surprise: this is the first time that i see same product on sale-site and same product on productor-site, and last: the name is same!!! I admire this...

Other portable laser with BIG NAME (in reality only fantasy name of the seller...) you not know who is the real productor and official specification... Surfing in the web i find many china industry that product identical object and all is very confuse...

I think that is poor seriousness in the portable laser market...
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:19 PM #11
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Default Re: S-KY 200mW 532nm handheld PG-200 Review

http://www.laserpointerforums.com/fo...num=1196846233

The group buy of a bunch of these is nearing completion. Half of the order has arrived in the US, so expect reviews, soon!
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Many 5mW greens and reds, one of those 70mW red modules in the Al heatsink from DX, etc..
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