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Dragonlasers Spartan 50mW 589nm

Cyparagon

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I bought it new from dragon lasers *here* for $420 + $25 shipping. I don't know how long it took to arrive, because it came while I was away on business. Somewhere between 1-3 weeks.

Payment was a pain in the ass. Both of my credit cards (in good standing) were declined by their payment service, and I ended up having to email them requesting a paypal invoice.


Size comparison with the CR2 model





Website beam specs claim 2mm and <1.5mRad. I measured the beam as ~2mm at aperture, and ~8mm at 11m which makes 0.55mRad. Not bad at all. Beam focus is not adjustable, by the way (at least not without modification).

My camera can't properly pick up the laser dot, so I didn't try. Beam profile is typically not Gaussian. Mode shifting happens often... every second or two while warming. Beam profile is always round, however.

IR output is negligible, and barely shows up on NIR camera. Estimated <0.1mW. Pump wavelength showed up on spectrometer as 807-808nm as expected.

Driver is linear. Site claims operation of 3.7V, but it regulates very well at 2010mA (+/- 5mA) anywhere between 2.6 and 4.5V. Note: 4.5V increases power dissipation over 3.7V and is probably not a good idea for long durations. Driver operates most efficiently at 2.6-2.7V. Unfortunately, that means if you wait until the laser goes out to recharge your cell, an unprotected lithium cell will be damaged from under-voltage.





Website specs instruct use no longer than 1 minute at a time, which is complete nonsense. Total power dissipation is roughly 7-8W, and a large chunk of aluminium can handle that without a problem. I left the pointer on for 30 minutes, and temperature rise topped out at 27C above ambient. (18C to 45C or 65F to 113F).


Time lapse thermograph of the first 10 minutes:





That was made snapping a photo every 10 seconds, and combining the frames with gif software. Next is what everyone is concerned with: POWAR.





It is very unstable, as many are aware. As such, a simple 30 second reading does not show the whole picture. Even the 1 minute sample above doesn't. Temperature plays a huge role in the output. So it is very difficult to pin down any succinct power output for this thing. I only ran a single 10 minute power test, since my meter does not log, and I enter data into a spreadsheet by hand. But here are the results.

Starting at 18C:

30 second average: 26mW
1 minute average: 40mW
2 minute average: 58mW
5 minute average: 57mW
10 minute average: 41mW
peak: 130mW

So a 30 second reading starting from cold would leave a user very disappointed, while a 2 minute reading starting from warm-ish could yield averages of >70mW and would leave a user delighted.




Each datapoint above is the average over 10 seconds. Best I can say is that power typically falls between 20mW and 90mW depending on on-time and temperature. :undecided:

I'm happy with it, overall. My smaller yellow (pictured way above) takes 20 seconds from cold to output any light at all, and averages <0.5mW, althought it averaged 3mW when I first got it. So this is a big improvement. :D

Equipment used:
FLIR E8 thermal imaging camera
Gentec TPM-310 laser power meter
Science-Surplus spectrometer
Tenma 72-6908 bench power supply
 
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Hap

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Awesome review of an awesome wavelength Cyp! It's amazing it peaked at over 2X times it's advertised power(50mW)! :eek:

+rep to you

-Alex
 

BowtieGuy

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Congratulations on your new Spartan 589, and thanks for the testing! :)
Glad to see there were no problems after a fairly lengthy run time, I think most owners of the Spartan have been afraid to run for longer than a minute or so.
 
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ChaosLord

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Wow, thank you for this thorough and illuminating review. Prior to this, I was concerned about running this laser for any substantial length of time. I will not be so concerned now.
 

starlight

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Good god......I've never had mine on more than 20/30 seconds. This review is a warm welcome of information on a laser I own. +rep
 

crazyspaz

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Glad to see a good review (thats not just "dar heres pic of lazor"). I'm glad I didnt get one of these, just too unstable for my liking. Yea 589 is touchy by anyones definition, but even the PGL-III-C's weren't near this bad.
 

brucemir

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The thermograph is really cool (no pun intended) and super useful info!. I usually run my DL 589's for 5 to 10 minutes at a time with no problems while photographing them. My 5mw Spartan 589 can be on for over 5 minutes with no problems. Whlle using my units last night, the temperature in my garage was in the 40's F and the cooler temps does give me much longer run times. Great review.
 

sinner

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Always impressed by the quality of your reviews Cyp, Brilliant piece of technology you got there.
 

Cyparagon

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30 minutes at 2A is only 1Ah, so even an ultrafire could manage that fine. Battery life could be 100 minutes with a fresh modern cell. The pack-pulls I use could do 60-80 minutes no problem.
 

Sigurthr

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Now that is how you do a proper review, kiddies! Excellent job, Cyp!

I'm amazed that you got one that likes it warmer. Your power x temperature graphs are almost inverse of mine. After about 90sec the case temp rises above 27C (from 20C starting) and output drops from ~90mW to 40mW. Once case temp reaches 30C output is down to ~25mW. I stopped the measurements at ~20mW which was around 32C or roughly four minutes time.

It is my understanding that it isn't the MCA which is feeling the huge temperature swings, but rather the poorly heatsinked pump diode and the NOT HEATSINKED driver IC. IR thermal measurements pointing into the battery compartment where the exposed driver lies, combined with the fact that it is a linear driver seems to corroborate this supposition.
 

TheGreaterWatt

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Yeah mine is just like Sigurthr's starts at 130mW then over a span of about 2 minutes it will drop to 60mW. Weirdly enough the power drop is pretty linear.

Edit: I think it just proves that these units are not all the best quality and all of them have their own little quirks.

+1 rep for super in depth review
 
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Atomicrox

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Interesting. Mine usually stays around 30-40mW, I'll try running it for a few minutes straight to see if output increases like yours.
+rep!
 

mortuus

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i wonder when there will be yellow diode lasers? maybe never.
 

Hap

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i wonder when there will be yellow diode lasers? maybe never.
Not for a long time I don't think, there simply is no need for them(currently). If yellow diodes do come out, I don't think hobbyist would be able to afford them for awhile(at least me) :(

-Alex
 

xirrious

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Absolutely one of the best reviews I've seen. Thabks cyp, I have this same laser as do many members since Isaac T advertised th e good deal DL was offering. Glad someone took these measurements! I'd like to add my unit personally mode hopes only during warm up which is roughly 15 seconds, and then maintains tem00 for the duty cycle. However I've heard not all thsee DL 589nm were built equal.

Edit, duty cycle would be 5 mins as far as I've pushed it, I may push further after this but as I can't afford another at the moment I will probably just keep it safe.
 
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