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DragonLasers Spartan 1W 447nm Blue Laser review! (!!! VERY IMAGE HEAVY !!!)

X FLY

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UPDATED! 06.10.2010 (DD.MM.YYYY)
Added some text about batteries and safety goggles and also added new pictures and 2 videos!
If you have any suggestions how I could make this review better/what should I add post a reply.
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Hi everyone, I just got my Spartan a couple of hours ago and I can tell you that im really impressed. I don't have a laser power meter, but i'm pretty sure its upto spec :) It burned a black dot on the box it came with in a couple of secs even though the "dot" is pretty big (didn't measure it yet, but its approx 3-4mm on the wide aixis and 2-3mm on the "short" aixis) and its a nice rectangle. The beam seems to be coming out perfectly straight.


Look and feel

The Spartan feels sturdy and well built and has a nice heavyish feel. I really like the simplicity and good heatsinking of the Spartan host and would choose the Spartan host over the arctics host anyday. When you inspect the Spartan host you can clearly see that its a high quality, well built host with excellent heat transfer capabilities.


Shipping

I ordered my Spartan 11.08.2010 (11 Aug 2010) and it was shipped 01.09.2010 (1 Sep 2010) using FedEx, thats a total of 21 days or exactly 3 weeks. It took just 3 business days (5 days including weekend) to reach Finland. Im very statisfied with how fast the shipping was and it was delivered straight to my home. I didn't have to pay any additional taxes or go to pick it up at customs. Definently 5/5 stars to FedEx for the flawless, fast shipping. Here's the a picture of the shipment tracking:




Batteries

The Spartan uses 2x 3.0V CR123A batteries (3.2V works great too). I bought the Tenergy 3.2V LiFePo4 batteries + charger as suggested by LaserLight and they work GREAT with this laser. They last about 20 minutes before you see a significant drop in power and they can run the laser at >1W for atleast 10 minutes. Before I got them I used Energizer Photo Lithium CR123A batteries and they work well too, but the Tenergy batteries last longer and give a longer steady output power. Also you will save TONS of cash on the long run by getting these rechargeable batteries because regular CR123A batteries can cost over 5$ (or 5€) each. I bought mine from here: Combo Kit: 6 RCR123A 3.0V 750mAh LiFePO4 Rechargeable Batteries with a Smart Charger and I also bought two of these cheap adaptors: Euro Plug Adapter Type C E F SS402. If you don't need 6x batteries you can also get this its the same bundle just with 2x batteries: 2 RCR123A 3.0V 750mAh Rechargeable LiFePO4 Li-Ion Batteries with AC/DC Smart Charger and if you live in the UK for example BatteryJunction sells US to UK adaptors too. You can find all the adaptors they sell here: International Plug Adapters. BatteryJunction also sells very cheap regular CR123A batteries, just add a couple to your shipping cart that you can use while your batteries are charging (I bought 8 of these myself): Energizer Lithium CR123A 3V Photo Lithium Battery. DANGER: DO NOT USE 3.6V or 3.7V CR123A BATTERIES WITH THE SPARTAN, YOU COULD DAMAGE IT AND IT WILL SHORTEN THE DIODES (AND POSSIBLY DRIVERS) LIFETIME! IT WONT GIVE YOU HIGHER OUTPUT POWER, THE EXTRA VOLTAGE WILL JUST CONVERT INTO HEAT AND OVERHEAT YOUR LASERS COMPONENTS.


Safety Goggles

Because of the very high output power of the Spartan safety goggles is a MUST! Do not even think buying the Spartan without proper safety goggles, you will regret it. I recommend buying the DragonLasers safety goggles, they work very well and are the cheapest high quality safety goggles available. I already had two of them from a previous purchase, but you can just add them to your cart and buy them together with the Spartan. My spartan looks like a <5mW red/ornage laser through them (scroll down to the end of the post to see a video where I test the goggles) and these goggles will also protect you from an accidental direct hit. These goggles will also protect you from UV, Violet, Light blue (cyan) and Green lasers (190-548nm). You can get the DragonLasers safety goggles from here: Laser Glasses - UV to Green Lasers Protection 190-548nm :: Laser Safety :: Dragon Lasers. Here's a optical density (OD) graph that shows how well the goggles protect from certain wavelengths:


Optical Density (OD) is the ability of the goggles to block certain wavelengths. OD is based on a factor of 10 so OD 3 means less than 1/1000 of the light will pass through the goggles and with OD 4 less than 1/10 000. (In theory. If you have 1W of 445nm blue light the dot will not look like a 0.1mW laser because some of the power is being converted into another wavelenght when it hits something. My Spartan looks like a <5mW red/orange laser through my glasses)




Overall

I was expecting to get a really high quality product at a very good price and thats exactly what I got :) I couldn't be happier with my Spartan and I don't know about others but personally I love the Spartan host and I have always wanted a Spartan laser just couldn't afford the expensive green ones. Definently recommending DragonLasers to anyone who want's a reasonably priced top-noch laser (or some really good safety goggles for only 25$). Also Frank (the DragonLasers stuff) answered to all my emails within 48 hours clearly and truthfully.


Ratings

Ship time: 4/5 (I understand that DragonLasers have alot of orders coming in and thats why I give 4 stars)
Shipping: 5/5
Product quality: 5/5
Customer support: 5/5


Here are some pics:






















































Here are some new pics I took at night:








And here's how my box looks like after all the above pics :p:





I will try to get some better night shots when I go out with my Spartan to a forest or something.


Im really surprised how well my phone took the beam shots. When I tried to take a beamshot of my 30-50mW green in complete darkness the beam is just barely visible on the picture. The pictures are taken with my phones camera (Nokia 6600, 3.2 Megapixels) and resized to 1024 x 768 pixels before uploading. If you want the original, non-resized pics (2048 x 1536 Pixels) just PM me and I will send you a ZIP (or RAR) archive with all the pictures in it.

Hope you liked the review and the pics! If you want some more info about the Spartan (power measurements for example) take a look at LaserLight's great Spartan review here: http://laserpointerforums.com/f52/dragon-lasers-1w-spartan-54013.html


EDIT: NEW PICTURES AND VIDEOS!!!

Some new laser pics I took in my room:




Unboxing pics of the Tenergy batteries:





New videos:

DragonLasers Spartan 1W Blue Laser - Burning with a magnifying glass


DragonLasers Spartan 1W Blue Laser - Testing the safety goggles


(The videos are kinda boring, I will try to make some better ones when I get a better video camera :p)

And thats all for now. Please rate, comment, rep+ :)
 
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FenixDelta753

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Nice pictures. You're lucky you've got no scatter. Mine can get pretty bad up close.
 

vaniteux

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Wow, thanks for all the pics! Can't wait to see night pics, and can't wait to get mine!
 

X FLY

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Wow, thanks for all the pics! Can't wait to see night pics, and can't wait to get mine!
Make sure you also get some proper safety goggles. The dot is extremely bright and even looking at the dot can easly cause color blindness (due to the blue color, google for blue light hazard) and on longer exposures retinal burns (= permanent eye damage)
 

vaniteux

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Make sure you also get some proper safety goggles. The dot is extremely bright and even looking at the dot can easly cause color blindness (due to the blue color, google for blue light hazard) and on longer exposures retinal burns (= permanent eye damage)
Really cool night beam shots, hope mine will be as bright! Re: goggles, yup, ordered ones from Dragonlasers & Rayfoss, thanks for the warning :)
 

Paddy

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Placed and order for mine a few days ago, dragon lasers seem like a really easy company to work with so far.
If you send an email with a query you can expect it to be answered either a few hours later or the next day.
Just can't wait for it to ship+arrive now :)
 

SpaceCase

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Placed and order for mine a few days ago, dragon lasers seem like a really easy company to work with so far.
If you send an email with a query you can expect it to be answered either a few hours later or the next day.
Just can't wait for it to ship+arrive now :)
When did you place your order? I placed mine in the 25th and it's still in the queue, frank told me 1-2 weeks to get it shipped... so it should ship soon or at the latest at the end of next week. I just sent him another email asking how the queue is.

I can't wait to play around and post a review for this thing : ]
 

Paddy

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When did you place your order? I placed mine in the 25th and it's still in the queue, frank told me 1-2 weeks to get it shipped... so it should ship soon or at the latest at the end of next week. I just sent him another email asking how the queue is.

I can't wait to play around and post a review for this thing : ]
I ordered mine on the 27th, it's a Chinese holiday for the next 2-4 days i think so should be shipping end of next week, and from what i've heard from multiple people it takes about a week to arrive depending on where you live. still nowhere near as long as the wicked lasers are taking though :)
 

jeffreythe00

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Nice review. I talked with frank a bunch of times. He is really informative with everything. The customer support there is pretty much the best there is. Glad you like your spartan :)
 

mikeeey

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I got my Spartan too, everything about it is awesome! But do you get TERRIBLE battery life? Maybe it's just my batteries, but I got the tenergy batteries recommended by everyone.


I only get less than 5 minutes of runtime before my laser goes out (and I freak out thinking it died). I understand there are more 3.0V cr123a's made by tenergy, maybe I should try more.
 

SpaceCase

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I got my Spartan too, everything about it is awesome! But do you get TERRIBLE battery life? Maybe it's just my batteries, but I got the tenergy batteries recommended by everyone.


I only get less than 5 minutes of runtime before my laser goes out (and I freak out thinking it died). I understand there are more 3.0V cr123a's made by tenergy, maybe I should try more.
Do they look like the one in the picture? I think the recommended ones are yellow not blue. (lifepo4)

I received those battery today, but my spartan is still in this shipping queue : [


(picture of the recommended lifepo4 battery)
 

DTR

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Nice review.

I am left wondering why did they not go with the higher capacity 18650 to power this unit?
 

X FLY

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Nice review.

I am left wondering why did they not go with the higher capacity 18650 to power this unit?
Probably because of the voltage. 18650 gives only 3.7v where 2x cr123a gives 6v
 

X FLY

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I got my Spartan too, everything about it is awesome! But do you get TERRIBLE battery life? Maybe it's just my batteries, but I got the tenergy batteries recommended by everyone.


I only get less than 5 minutes of runtime before my laser goes out (and I freak out thinking it died). I understand there are more 3.0V cr123a's made by tenergy, maybe I should try more.
I have the Tenergy LiFePo4 batteries and I get a pretty good runtime with them, about 10 - 15 minutes and it should get even better because the batteries reach their full potential after about 5 charging cycles and I have charged them 3 times atm.

I bought mine here: http://www.batteryjunction.com/6rcr123a-combo.html but you could also use this if you don't need 6 batteries: http://www.batteryjunction.com/2rc375reliba.html
if you need a plug adaptor just add one of these to your cart: http://www.batteryjunction.com/plugadapters.html

EDIT: Also when buying from BatteryJunction use this coupon code to get -5% off the price: CPF2010
 
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DTR

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Probably because of the voltage. 18650 gives only 3.7v where 2x cr123a gives 6v
A boost capable driver would have no problem running off a single 18650.
 




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