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1.1W 445nm laser from Wannaburn

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A couple of weeks ago I purchased one of the lasers Wannaburn had for sale in this thread (http://laserpointerforums.com/f39/sale-3-mode-445nm-200mw-1-1w-heavy-pix-video-63308.html). I hadn't been around the forums for a very long time and upon my return I had discovered that 445nm had become both very affordable and very powerful in my absence. So I decided to take the plunge and get myself a nice 445nm laser, and this seemed like a good deal. I ordered about a week before Memorial day and received the laser about 2 weeks later (because Joe didn't have the right lens to complete the laser at the time I placed my order; otherwise once shipped the package got here very quickly).
So the laser and all associated accessories (goggles, battery and charger) arrived a couple of days ago and to my surprise I found the battery to be already charged, even though I knew it would be a few hours until sunset. I did fire it up once indoors but didn't want to risk looking at the dot on a wall not far away, at least while it was in high power mode, so at that point I knew it worked (I looked at the dot on the wall with the goggles on) so I waited until it got dark.
And wow, was I ever in for a surprise. I lucked out too weather-wise since it had been very humid and hazy to help make any beam more visible. In high power mode (full 1.1W) this laser is incredibly bright (I haven't yet tried them side-by-side but I'd guess that's it's probably almost as bright as my half-watt green labby) and still shows up really nicely in low power mode. The pulse mode is really wild looking as well. I took some pics that night and a few more the other night, all in humid summer air, but even indoors the low power beam is still visible, perhaps as much as a greenie of a few mw.

As I waved the laser around I did notice a curious pattern of dots (see photo); I wasn't aware that this particular diode operated in pulsed mode (pardon my ignorance, have been out of the loop here for a while, perhaps all 445's operate that way?). But the pulsed operation isn't visible to the naked eye unless you move the beam around (you can see it with your eyes as well as in the photos, that's about how it looks) rapidly. Sort of reminds me of my old WL forum days where the first 405's were only available in pulsed mode. I also love the color of this laser - it is a true blue (I'd say it is a royal blue, whereas my 473nm is a lighter color and my 488 argons are blue-green) and not purple like a 405nm. It's nice to have this color available for a good price and high power, unlike DPSS lasers. The dot itself is the typical oval diode pattern, like various reds and 405s, though this model can be focused to a pin-point. I did do some basic burning with it, in fact the beam ate thru a newspaper very easily even w/o being focused well. I will be trying out some tougher materials to see what it can do as this is now my most powerful visible light laser.

The laser itself has a nice clean design and is very small and lightweight (considering I have some other pointers of much lower power that are comparatively huge and heavy like old flashlights). It's hard to believe that you can fit a watt of coherent light into something not much bigger than a penlight! If someone had told me that 10 years ago I'd have laughed at them!

The only thing I'm not real crazy about with this laser (and this is a very minor thing to even mention, but I thought I'd mention it anyway) is that the focus knob is kind of tough to access without getting your fingers into the path of the beam. Of course I didn't try to focus it while in high power mode but still didn't want to get my fingers in the path of the beam because even some very low powered lasers can sting and burn, especially that close to the aperture. The focus knob is recessed so it's tough to get your fingers around it to turn it with the laser on (which really helps so you can see if it's focused), but I'd figure the problem could be solved if you used some sort of an object, like a pencil point, to turn the focus ring while the laser is operating.

That said, I'm very happy with this laser and the service I've received thus far. If you've never seen 445nm in person you really should get yourself a "royal" blue laser

The top pictures are high power mode (the white light in the first one is the moon), the 2nd 2 are low power mode:



 

DarkSide

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Some dont own or have seen the close group of wave lengths you compared and articulated upon. Nice review
 

Eudaimonium

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Just a heads up, no - it's not usual for 445nm diodes to work in pulsed mode of operation.

Reading Wannaburn's sales thread, I see he made the 200mW low mode pulsed on purpose (helps create the "low" mode itself I guess, by pulsing the normal mode, but that would mean each pulse is 1W of power, average power over time of several pulses is 200mW, my guess).

But generally, no, 445nm diodes are meant and used as Constant Wave diodes. Pulsing is commonly seen in 473nm DPSS lasers, though.

Nice review :)
 




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