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Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.3 w / LPT

VW

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Like I said, now I've had a bit more time to use this laser, here's a more complete review of the Spartan BP 40mW from Dragon Lasers.

Firstly, Dragon Lasers them selves.  I have bought a couple of laser from Dragon Lasers now, the first time was a bit nerve wrecking as you never know what you're buying first time round.  They turned out to exceed me expectations with the excelent customer service and support with your order or technical questions.  Shipping times are roughly 4 - 14 days depending where you are and when you order, but it always arrives well packed and on time.  The first SBP40 I order was actually faulty, the tail switch didn't function properly and didn't turn on the laser.  The threads also crossed super easy on the tail cap, causing it to jam.  Of course, I RMA'd the unit and Dragon Lasers offered a replacement without any questions asked.  It took around two to three weeks to complete the process due to shipping the items back and forward, but that asside the RMA went through smoothly and without a hitch.  If you ever get a faulty unit you're guarenteed a fast replacement.  


Spartan BP

Now onto the laser.  Upon arrival, it was shipped in a nice sized box, wrapped in lots of bubble wrap and placed into a foam box (no fancy cases here), so plenty to protect it from damage.  Inside the box was also the charger and batteries which came as part of their package.  The first thing you notice when taking out the Spartan is how good it feels in your hands, the build quality is extremely sturdy and the rough metal provides plenty of grip, without making it uncomfortable to hold.  It's roughly half the diameter of the larger flash light style (RPL, Hulk etc) and around 3/4 of the size, so it's quite small in comparison.  


Hulk with Spartan

The Spartan's Main Build features are it's tail cap switch, and removable protective lens/IR Filter.  Firstly, the front lens can be removed by unscrewing, leaving an unprotected (IR leaking), open face laser.  There is no real reason to do this, as I can't notice any difference in beam quality, other than more glare from the laser head.  Also the tail cap/switch combo unscrews at the bottom, for you to place one LI-Ion battery.  The switch it's self is pretty simple, which you just switch on and switch off.  This is not a preasure switch so you can not apply preasure to turn the unit on, it's either on or off.  In the long run I guess this helps keep it in good condtition, as it's not repeatedly being switch on and off more than it needs to.  


Lens cap


Tail cap

This laser is 473nm, is pulsed at 2000Hz and has a tranverse mode of near tem00.  Because this laser is so sensetive to temperature, it will some times operate in tem01 or part tem01 instead if it's too cold, or too hot.  This however isn't much of a problem, as the beam brightness doesn't seem to drop all that much (although more observations might say otherwise) and the laser dot remains well diverged.  If you're using this laser in colder temperatures, it might take a second or two to lase as like I say, they're very sensetive.  But if you're in the right conditions you get full power and tem00 almost straight away.  


Beam shot at night

I'm currently awaiting a laser power meter in the next couple of weeks where I'm going to test that actual power of this unit, to see where it peaks, where it averages and were it drops etc.  So I'll get back to you guys with more accurate stats when the time comes.  But for now, I'm pretty confident that this laser puts out what they're saying it is, as for a pulsed laser, it's incredibly bright and stable.  

The only cons I find is that I wish tem00 was guarenteed and that brightness is most likely sacrificed with being pulsed action.  I realy wish I could truely compare it to a constant wave laser of the same output.  At the time I bought this laser it was $899 and at that price, it was worth every penny saving $300 - $400 off of Optotronics' price for the same power.  But now with this laser being priced at $1099, I'm not so sure I would be convinced to buy one over the RPL Blue 35.  Over all this is a great laser, has great portability, great beam quality, divergence and incredible brightness, but the competition is hard.    

In the end (in a biased opinion) I'd say this laser is no worse or no better than the RPL Blue 35, it's different.  Before you buy a blue laser, you need to ask your self what exactly you want the blue laser for and what effects you can create with it.  Take note of the stats of each blue laser on the market, not only mW, and then you'll be able to make your own decision.  Personally I don't regret buying this laser and look forward to all the fun experiments I can have with it; all I can say is that I'm not dissapointed.  

4/5 ****
 

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

Thanks for the review, I'm looking forward on seeing the power meter results.
Could you please take a pic while holding the laser in your hand to see how partable it is.
 

VW

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

Thanks.  I'll update pictures when I can, as my camera isn't around right now.  But about portability, it's slightly longer (+3cm) and twice as thick (+13mm diameter) as the CNI pen.  So while it's not as slim line, it's still extremely portable and easilly fits in your pocket.  As you can see it's conciderably smaller than the large flash light style lasers, so certainly doesn't cramp your space, or style.  
 

styropyro

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

Good review! I'm glad you were open to sharing the little problems with the laser even if they aren't a problem to you. The pics were good also.
 

Ace82

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

Nive review. How do you feel about the pulsed operation? If you move it quickly along a wall, it becomes dashed right?
 

Petrovski

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

Indeed nice review. Love the blue beamshot!

@ ace: isn't 2000hz a frequency that's way too high for a human eye to detect?
 

Razako

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

Petrovski said:
Indeed nice review. Love the blue beamshot!

@ ace: isn't 2000hz a frequency that's way too high for a human eye to detect?
The 2000hz means the laser switches on and off 2000 times per second. It has nothing to do with the wavelength.
 

Petrovski

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

I know, I was not asking about wavelength? The way I read ace's reply is that he asked if the pulsed operation of the laser can be seen. AFAIK the human eye cannot detect frequencies higher then ~100hz, hence my question. :)
 

VW

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

It can indeed be seen.  To a camera it looks like this, but to the eye I would say it's about a cm each block of light...

Personally I quite enjoy the pulsed action.  It has the effect that it's actually trailing, where as I find with constant wave, it's just like a line.  Also, I plan on making a time tunnel, at the time I didn't know too much about the pulsed action, but looking back now, the striped effect will be quite spectacular...
 

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

2000 Hz is very fast. Do they indicate the pulse width? If we knew that we could do some simple calculations to determine peak pulse to achieve your average output as well as determine actual duty cycle.
 

VW

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

FrothyChimp said:
2000 Hz is very fast. Do they indicate the pulse width? If we knew that we could do some simple calculations to determine peak pulse to achieve your average output as well as determine actual duty cycle.
Nope, only says pulsed, 2000Hz on their site from what I can see. I'm sure that's something I can ask them...
 

Benm

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

Determining duty cycle of the pulsed operation is fairly easy - just move the dot across a wall and take a picture with long shutter time. The on/off ratio is immediately apparant.

I think the 40 mW spec should be an average, which could be 80 mW peak at 50/50 duty cycle.
 

VW

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

Benm said:
Determining duty cycle of the pulsed operation is fairly easy - just move the dot across a wall and take a picture with long shutter time. The on/off ratio is immediately apparant.

I think the 40 mW spec should be an average, which could be 80 mW peak at 50/50 duty cycle.
It'll certainly be interesting to find out for sure, should have this power meter in a week or so, I'm deffinately looking forward to see how it performs...

Review edited for typos, grammer etc...
 

VW

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

Here's a couple of line shots so you can see the pulsed action a bit better.  Sorry the batteries were low so I had no flash, I'll get a hand shot (sounds a bit messed up :-/) when I get round to replacing them.
 

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VW

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Re: Honest Review: Spartan BP 40mW V.2

If moved slow enough the camera doesn't even notice...

Pretty fast if you ask me, shame we can't see it like that though.  It's merely a few or so between each pulse, shall you put it, to the eye when shone at a wall, so it looks fast even to the human eye.  I can't compare it to a 700Hz laser but you can deffinately tell the rate it pumps out.  Hopefully I'll have some good footage of a time tunnel soon as that will show it off perfectly...

Does anyone have an Aurora who can do the same thing?  It would be interesting to see the difference...
 

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VW

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So here's the results of the power tests.  I wanted to do it a few times in a few different locations to see the variability of it as it's been very hot the past few days, but I get the same results every time now so I think that's all I'm going to get out of this equipment.  

473nm - pulsed 2000Hz - advertised power 40mW

Off the bat I'm using a Scientech 362 with a Scientech 360001 thermopile.  I ran this particular test for 45 seconds, marking off the time as the needle reached set power levels.  In this I took a marking at 30mW, 40mW, it's peak and when it dropped back to 40mW, it's advertised power.

30mW = 05.35
40mW = 15.12
47mW = 28.53
40mW = 46.48

<20mW = lowest reading on extended tests

So good news and bad news really.  What basically happens is upon being switched on, power quicky gets up to 20mW and from there, slowly rises untill it peaks, at 47mW - 48mW, from there power drops slightly to around 45mW (average?) where it sits for 5 - 10 seconds, and then power slowly drains at roughly the same rate it rises.  The lowest reading I ever read off this laser (at 60 seconds plus) was around 20mW.  

I don't really know what to say as far as this laser goes.  On one hand I'm glad that it steadilly gains power over the first half as this kind of ensures that it wont be going up and down like crazy.  On the other hand, I'm disssapointed that it can't hold an average for very long.  However as far as brightness and beam quality goes, I can't notice these fluctuations much.  If I look carefully you can see a change some times, but to be honest, I would never had been able to tell if I didn't buy the LPM.

To me, some mathamatics are going to be required to gain the correct average power of this laser.  Anyone got an idea on how to work that out?
 




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