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GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow (More Pictures)

RA_pierce

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CNI GLP 589nm 5mW
I ordered this laser directly through CNI.
I’ll spare the details on customer support and shipping, since the review is focused on the laser, of course. But as always, I had a good experience dealing with CNI.






If you just want to look at the pictures, here is my Flickr set:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dkpierce/sets/72157624445518710/
Clickable thumbnails are provided throughout the review.




Here are CNI’s listed specifications:



  • Wavelength (nm): 589±2
  • Output power (mW): >5
  • Transverse mode: TEM00
  • Operating mode: CW
  • Beam divergence, full angle (mrad): <1. 5
  • Beam diameter at the aperture (mm): ~1. 5
  • Switch: Push button
  • Surface color: Black
  • Power supply: CR2 lithium battery (1pcs)
  • Expected lifetime (hours): 5000
  • Warranty: 6 months

Here are the specifications I have measured:


  • Output power: 9-11mW average, 13mW peak
  • Transverse mode: TEM00, etc. (mode shift during stabilization)
  • Beam divergence: 0.9mRad
  • Beam diameter at the aperture: ~2mm
  • Current draw from Battery: 1.28A

Overview of the Purchase:

I ordered this laser to round out my collection. I needed a yellow laser but I didn’t want anything that was too dangerous or bulky to play with casually. I went with the 5mW version of the 589nm pen CNI offers. I have not been disappointed with any purchase and I knew I would get >5mW.






Appearance and Build Quality:

The finish is great. It arrived with a little sticky stuff on the body and on the tail cap, but it was easily removed with a soft cloth. The gold accents are well plated and there are no cosmetic defects.
The laser is larger in diameter and about the same length as the classic CNI black & gold pen, but this one does not have a clip and uses CR2 batteries instead of AAAs. This is both a pro and a con, since the capacity of CR2 primaries is a little better, but they are more expensive. I am using some cheap rechargeables that don’t seem to last very long with the high drain. I’ll have to pick up some higher quality batteries later.






The “objective lens” is AR coated glass. The coating is neat, because it reflects cyan-green light when viewed at the right angle. I’ve always thought AR coated glass is pretty.
Nothing rattles or shakes and the electrical contact is perfect. The button requires a firm press, and gives a good “click” when depressed.
The beam is aligned well with the body, but does exit to the right about 2 degrees of center. This is such a small deviation that I don’t notice it during use. This is common, so I will not consider it a defect.

Beam Characteristics and Power:

On my Laserbee I, I measured 13mW peak. This laser likes to fluctuate between 9-11mW spending most of its time at 10mW. This is pretty good. I’ll admit, I was hoping for a little more (~20mW) but this output is still pretty bright at 200% the rated power.
This laser never drops below 9mW unless the duty cycle (~60 seconds continuous) is exceeded or the batteries are too drained. It is surprisingly stable, at least more so than I expected.






One thing that I did notice is that the beam goes in and out of TEM00 as it powers up. Peak power is reached within 5 seconds, usually, and the mode will then switch to some high-order modes (always circular). This is not noticeable unless the beam is expanded, but it is pretty cool to watch. As it stabilizes, it returns to TEM00. It is not a defect as far as I’m concerned.
The divergence is much lower than I expected. It is on par with my best DPSS lasers. I measured approximately 0.9mRad at 40 feet.






I don’t worry about the duty cycle since it doesn’t heat up much. The mass is sufficient for displacing the heat generated by the pump. If I feel like it really needs a break, I’ll let it sit for a couple minutes and get back to it. CNI recommends that it is not run continuously for more than 30 seconds, but I think that is just to be “safe.” I have no problems running it longer (not that I need to).
I’d like to note that I have managed to produce some smoke with a convex lens, focusing the beam on some electrical tape. No, this laser is not a “burner.” I purchased this for the novelty of the unique color.
The brightness comes close to a 532nm of equal power, and is about almost bright as my 170mW 405nm (which actually seems closer to 400nm). Compared to a DealExtreme yellow LED, it is a bit more yellow. The LED is more on the amber side. This laser is also significantly brighter than the LED.




My Impressions:

Over the past couple days of using this laser, I have to say that I love it. The color is warm and mesmerizing. I would say it lies between amber and gold – sorta the color of the inside of a juicy peach. It is more on the orange side than I expected, and I love that, since I am partial to orange over yellow. It’s definitely one of my favorite wavelengths - the others being 473nm and 532nm.
I like that it is “safe” to play with and easily portable. The color is definitely unique and so far, everyone who has seen it has liked it. While red, green, and now blue lasers are becoming more and more common, the yellow band of wavelengths is still the rarest - which makes this item a gem in my collection.
Unfortunately, I am parting with my 473nm laser, but I managed to get a few shots before I packed it up. I will certainly get a 473nm again, most likely a 5mW GLP just like this 589nm.





Bottom Line:


There is nothing about this laser that I do not like. There are a few characteristics that could be “cons” to some, but considering the nature of this technology and my intended use for this laser, my expectations are exceeded in every way that matters. I’m having a hard time putting it down. It was worth every penny.



  • Appearance/Build: 5/5
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Wow Factor: 5/5
  • Overall: 5/5 It's badass


 
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Pilgor

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

Good job and the review, really well put together. I like your rainbow, hope to have one like it some day. +1
 

DJNY

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

Nice laser you got there! I should also bite the bullet to get one!
May I ask you how much did you pay for it?

Great review!!!
 

Tech_Junkie

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

Nice laser, and great review. The way my finances are going, I dont think I'll ever see a yellow pointer. :(
 

RA_pierce

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

Thanks, guys. :)

Nice laser you got there! I should also bite the bullet to get one!
May I ask you how much did you pay for it?

Great review!!!
After shipping, it ended up being about $50/mW at 10mW. :eek:

Nice laser, and great review. The way my finances are going, I dont think I'll ever see a yellow pointer. :(
Yeah, I could really use the money now. I got in a tight spot after I made the purchase, but I ended up selling my blue.
This color is just too unique to let go of.
 
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sandidgepatrick

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

nice review!!!!i purchased averys (coldshadow) 1mw yellow awhile back didnt keep it long but loved the color...i really wanted more power your 13mw sounds much better than 1mw..
 

RA_pierce

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

...i really wanted more power your 13mw sounds much better than 1mw..
Yeah. It likes to sit at 9-10mW mostly. I was going to get the 1mW version but decided the extra $ would be worth it in the long run.
Now that I have it, I'm glad I paid more. 1-5mW wouldn't be as satisfying. ~10mW is just right, IMO. I finally have a unique laser that won't melt my skin.

Was your yellow the 593.5nm or the newer 589nm version?
 

DJNY

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

Was your yellow the 593.5nm or the newer 589nm version?
He got an 1mW GLP-593.5mW version afaik.


I should try to get my dichro550 working. I swore myself that I don´t pay more than my GLP-473nm cost, hope 589nm is going to get cheaper soon :cryyy:
 

sandidgepatrick

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

Yeah. It likes to sit at 9-10mW mostly. I was going to get the 1mW version but decided the extra $ would be worth it in the long run.
Now that I have it, I'm glad I paid more. 1-5mW wouldn't be as satisfying. ~10mW is just right, IMO. I finally have a unique laser that won't melt my skin.

Was your yellow the 593.5nm or the newer 589nm version?
593.5 is right!!!! yahh will prob. wait till prices come down a bit...
 

RA_pierce

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

Updated post with more photos!




 

RA_pierce

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

That is such a cool set of pictures...all pens too! I like it! All you need now is a 473nm :p
I just sold my 473nm.
It was an 80mW PGL-III-C. Peaked above 160mW.
 

udanis

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

I just sold my 473nm.
It was an 80mW PGL-III-C. Peaked above 160mW.
Oh alright lol That answers that!

[thread-jack]
How is 473nm compared to 445? It's it worth it? lol
[/thread-jack]
 

RA_pierce

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Re: GLP 589nm 5mW Yellow

Oh alright lol That answers that!

[thread-jack]
How is 473nm compared to 445? It's it worth it? lol
[/thread-jack]
It's a "better" blue, IMO. Much closer to cyan than 445 and is brighter (assuming equal power) but "softer" on the eyes.
I will be getting another 473nm when I can afford it again.
 

Chicxulub

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This was an amazingly useful review, thanks. :)

How would you say that that laser stacks up to the 3-5mw APC 532nm Leadlights that 99% of my co workers have? I want yellow, but I don't want an $80 greenie to out shine it....
 

RA_pierce

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@quadcam
It's definitely brighter than 7mW 635nm by a lot. So a 5mW red will be no competition.
I don't have a 5mW green to compare it to. The closest I have is a ~20mW green. With low batteries this greenie will put out just over 10mW.
I would say that 10mW of 589 is pretty close to 10mW of 532nm. Tonight I can turn down the greenie for 5mW and compare it. It should outshine your typical APC 5mW 532 no problem - if the uniqueness of the color isn't enough. You may get lucky and get a >15mW unit, though.

Edit: In the rainbow pictures, the lasers are as follows: 170mW 405nm, 150mW 445nm, ~20mW 532nm, ~10mW 589nm, 7mW 635nm, 10mW 650nm.
The "dot shot" rainbow includes a 473nm attenuated to ~25mW.
 
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