I did pay for this laser but Steve knew it was me ordering. There were no special marks on the packaging to indicate a plucked cherry but it is possible.
I admit that the beam seems to dance a bit when on at full power but that's only observed with the expander lens and the power meter. When the beam is running without a lens, it is too bright to see. I'll try a shot through a goggle - good idea. Problem is that when I take the picture, it may be stable at that moment. Steve states in the instruction book that mode hopping may be observed at some temperatures and shows picture examples. He admits this condition and I may need to run it longer to heat up the innards.
Depending on your needs, the dancing doesn't bother me -- 850 mW or 1.05 Watts is way bright for most purposes. I have work to finish tonight (I have to pay for my lasers too!) so I may not have time to do more measurements now.
Didn't someone else post about current draw for this laser? He's likely pretty close - within a few mA. Holding current probes and punching in the "code" would need more hands than I have
This draws lots of current but never seems to get warm but I've only run it for about 3 minutes at a time. The battery monitor lights are quick to warn of a cell depleting but the first LED to warn doesen't seem to indicate the end. I havent run a cell to the end point. This is a portable and as such does not have unlimited on time. There's lots to test on a laser like this.
This laser is hell on an 18650! The battery condition lights start a countdown real fast on this laser. maybe I need to clean the contacts again!