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LaserWave product review by Daedal

Daedal

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300mW Green and 100mW Blue laser review
A couple weeks back Laser Wave had sent me a couple of their laser modules to test.

Please allow me to first start off about their support and their responsiveness. These guys are superb. They respond quickly, they are very courteous and very professional. This was not a childish act as when I was approached by a previous laser pointer manufacturer (who shall remain nameless). The interaction between them and myself was as good as can be. The time difference is beyond anyone's control and they do their best to accommodate that. Thank you very much for the excellent treatment and the professional service.

Laser Wave was a participant in the recent laser show in Shanghai. The link for the show follows: http://www.prolightsound.com/indexen.asp

Now let's look at the lasers.

Packaging:

The packaging that they came in is very solid and just how I would expect a laser of this caliber to be packaged. Each laser came in its own box, padded all around with a material similar to memory foam that would protect the lasers from any kind of rough treatment while in transit.

The units came in 2 marked boxes. The boxes were tightly shut and were taped together.

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Once opened, the first thing encountered was a layer of foam with the contents of the box neatly enclosed

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Under that was the power supply with the wrapped power cable and the TTL/Analog cables. This was all in it's neat little enclosure at the top of this box.

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Under that laser of foam was another divided chamber that houses the laser and the driver.

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The apertures of the modules came covered with a protective tape that cleanly peels off and will easily stick back for safe-keeping.

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Once removed, the aperture appears very clean and the unit is now ready to go.

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The power plug to these units was not suitable for operation in the United States.

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A short trip to WalMart later, and there is a universal conversion plug that makes this unit usable.

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Here is the view of the from of the unit. ( I recommend the use of a grounded converter which I acquired the next day from RadioShack for about the same price. )

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Detailed Views:


The power supply is a standard power supply in a chromed case with the appropriate hook-ups for the necessary connections.

The laser driver seemed nice and well made. It was solid and had some weight to it.

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The laser driver was equipped with a nice heatsink and 2 fans to keep it cool.

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Detailed shot of the driver.

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Another detailed shot of the driver.

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The packaging of the lasers themselves were different for the 2 lasers. The green laser was slightly smaller that the blue laser. I was told the bigger case was to allow for longer operation in hotter conditions. Based on my personal experience, after a good 2-3 hour run these units were slightly warm to the touch, but the cooling fans made sure everything was excellently ventilated and provided sufficient circulation.

Using the following notation:


The dimensions of the units are as follows:
[table]
[tr][td]Reference[/td][td]Blue[/td][td]Green[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]A[/td][td]57mm[/td][td]50mm[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]B[/td][td]77mm[/td][td]73mm[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]C[/td][td]63mm[/td][td]52mm[/td][/tr]
[tr][td]D[/td][td]128mm[/td][td]128mm[/td][/tr]
[/table]


Operation:


Once plugged in, the unit immediately powers up... One light was in the power supply, another in the driver board, and the laser quickly climbed up to steady output.

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The sound of the units running was very calm and subtle. It sounds like a quiet hum. The fan inside the laser head is powerful and yet does not generate much noise. The fans on the driver board's heatsink also do an excellent job at moving the air, yet are quiet enough to be quickly ignored.

These lasers operate at a voltage input anywhere from 85~265VAC as per the manual. The voltage here is 120VAC, and thus that is what the lasers were tested on.

These units are equipped with TTL and Analog modulation up to 30kHz. They both come with the modulation/analog wires and each input is labeled on the board and in the manual.

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At first glance, these units are very nicely built, very solid, and would fit any application very nicely. The packaging is nice and sturdy, and the division of the components allows the user to easily manuever space.


Output:


These units are seriously overpowered. Their website declares in their mission statement that "Real power higher than 10-20% of the signed power" and they do deliver!

The testing took place in a typical operation environment. The A/C was set to a comfy 72 degrees, and the room lights were turned off. There are 2 servers in the same room which were left on to simulate the heat generated from the other factors such as other lasers in a projector. With the servers running, the room remains constantly at 73-75 degrees. The reading was done automatically using an LPM-1 with the data fed into one of the servers and recorded at 2 data points per second. The meter was operated using a regulated power supply set at 9V output to eliminate battery sag and any error that may be associated with it, and to maintain a steady operation for a prolonged period of time. The meter was turned on and connected, the readings start when the logging starts. Once the meter was set, the unit was then plugged in and the readings started. After the time has passed, the unit was unplugged from power and then the logging was stopped.

In my graph I took into account the beginning and trailing zeros from the log, this also helps show the rise and fall time of the output power. In my calculations, however, only the data points corresponding to greater than zero were considered.

Here is a graph showing the output of the green laser over 2 hours.

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The average output of this module turned out to be 451mW across the entire 2 hours.
The maximum output observed from the unit this run was 494.5mW, although 510.4mW was measured on a previous run.
Taking into consideration the promised 10-20% overpower of their units, a rating of 300mW puts the unit at a promised 330-360mW average. This unit is clearly much more powerful! :D :eek: :cool:


Here is a graph showing the output of the blue laser over 1 hour.

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The average power of this module turned out to be 126mW across the entire hour.
The maximum output observed from this unit this run was 139.7mW, although 153mW was measured on a previous run.
Taking into consideration the promised 10-20% overpower of their units, a rating of 100mW puts the unit at a promised 110-120mW average. This unit is also clearly more powerful that that! :D :eek: :cool:

If anyone is interested in the complete data set, I can send it to you.

The stability of the modules' operation is very impressive. They do not flicker with power or have sudden spikes. The output is steady and uniform.

Testing the units for IR leakage included testing with a silicon and a thermal sensor. Both units revealed the same measurements and output power. A second test was then conducted using an IR-sensitive camera and the beam/aperture were clearly IR free. These are well filtered laser units and the quality of these units is truly superb.


The Beam:


Most of you must be waiting for this. This is the part where the lasers are shown in operation.

Let's start with the green module.

Here is a beam shot looking into the module while it is lasing (no fog was used in this photo).

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Here is a beam shot looking away from the module while it is lasing (no fog was used in this photo).

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Here is a shot looking at the beam profile incident at a wall 12 feet away

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Here is a shot looking into the aperture while the unit is lasing.

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Let's show some blue beams.


There is a beam shot looking into the module while it is lasing (No fog was used in this photo)

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Here is a beam shot looking away from the module while it is lasing (No fog was used in this photo). The beam is incident on a black post-it note to dim the spot.

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Here is a shot looking at the beam profile incident at a wall 12 feet away

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Other Media :


Although the blue laser was outputting a steady 120mW, it was impossible to light a match using the beam. Although, and through first-hand experience, accidentally standing in the beam path will cause your skin to sting VERY quickly!

I have kept the burning test to the green laser, which was a beast! This unit, and after 10 minutes of run time pointed at my wall, had caused the white paint at and surrounding the point of incidence to turn a bronze/copper color! :-? :eek:

As was quickly found out, this laser should not be crossed, and I quickly learned the lesson to not step in front of the beam... but OVER it. ;D

Here is a short video showing the burning power of this laser at 10 feet.
http://www.lasingpix.com/LaserWave/LW_Green_paper.wmv (4.47MB)

Here is another video showing a match light at 10 feet.
http://www.lasingpix.com/LaserWave/LW_Green_match.wmv (2.48MB)

Conclusion:


Although many companies exist out there and there are many sources to buy lasers, the hardest part is the choice. Do I go with company A, or do I go with company B?

With LaserWave, I think the choice is not a matter of company, but rather a matter of what you'd like to have. The company, although recent, has built up an excellent name so far. Their products stand by their name in stride.

I highly recommend their products for the full range of uses, from novice to expert. The current leader in Chinese manufacturing to most people familiar with lasers is CNI. Adding to the heat of an already competitive market, LaserWave is a sure candidate for a stand-up comparison in build quality, output power, service, and support.

The product line of LaserWave is although not endemic to lasers alone, but also includes some excellent optics.

Here are my personal thoughts about these units:

Pros:
  • Excellent beam specs and power stability
  • Great company and very fast service
  • Superb quality and build
  • Extremely competitive price
  • Units are promised to be overpowered
  • LaserWave tests their units prior to shipping them out, unlike others... ::) ;)
  • Excellent burners... guaranteed!
  • NO IR LEAKAGE! As verified by LaserWave and by myself.

Cons:
  • The shipping back and forth in case of a problem (although highly unlikely) would cost a fortune.
  • Power plug is incompatible with US outlets


Other LaserWave tests pending:

TTL/Analog
Beam specs at far distances
Divergence

Dichro testing
PBS testing
 

H

High_Octane

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Very well done!
One thing I didn't see is pricing.
I'm curious to see how they compare to Lanling in that arena.

Oh and when is the Painting Party. ;D
 

Rhith

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O.O

How long are you going to have these? I NEED to take a trip up there to visit you and Greenie now! :D
 

Sandyaser

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:)superb, dear ddl, thank you very much for you fair reviews.

dear folks, i am working in LaserWave, i send to ddl the couple of lasers to test. thank goodness, everything goes well. you know, we are younger than some large laser manufactures, but we would like supply our quality product , professional support and good service to anyone, no matter purchase our product or not. :cool:

so if has any questions about our company or our product, even including myself ;D, contact with me without any hesitation plz.

Octane, can i send you a pricelist if you leave your email box here?

BTW, our website is under reconstructing, we will publish our pricelist in new website in 10 days around.

thank you ddl and anyone's attentiion again.


cheers mate.

Lovely Sandy in happiness today! :p ::)
 
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Nice review. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of a test with an IR filter though as that can make all the difference when using a silicon-sensor.
 

Daedal

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Rhith said:
O.O

How long are you going to have these? I NEED to take a trip up there to visit you and Greenie now! :D
Come on over... We'll have a LPF-FL meet ;D

Maybe Aseras can make it out here too :D Between us we can have enough smoke, lasers and fun to pass around ;)

Aseras... bring the 457nm to compare it to this one :p

--DDL
 

Daedal

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WahHK said:
The laser must cut your pet into half if you have one!! :eek: :eek: :eek:
Lasers on = no pet zone... :cool:

Cats love lasers... and 500mW lasers = a blind cat... and those are no fun! :-[

It's enough my legs are burnt from this bad boy ;D

--DDL
 

Daedal

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pseudonomen137 said:
Nice review. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of a test with an IR filter though as that can make all the difference when using a silicon-sensor.
Thank you Pseudo :)

If there is anything you want me to add to the review please let me know. ;)

I honestly am pretty certain there is no IR leakage from these lasers... It would be a bit odd to have a collimated IR beam because at far field the power measured about the same (minus a few mW for speckle and dust and whatnot).

A full IR test will be conducted since I have a tested IR-block filter now. It's supposed to pass ~85% green and blue and will block >95% IR ;)

I will also verify the readings with a thermal sensor. If the results disagree very badly, then it could be associated with the IR leakage from the modules :)

--DDL
 

xgeek

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Thanks for the review. The only thing I worry about with reviews like this is that they will send you their best lasers that are over spec to make them look good. There was no chance of them sending you under spec lasers knowing you would review them.

Us punters may not be so lucky.

XG
 

Daedal

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XG, good point... although, I have not seen any indication from them at all that they were attempting to stall me until they get a unit ready. When I first contacted them they offered me any of the units they had available (50-200mW blue and 100-500mW green). I chose the items I thought would represent the mid-scale of their products and the ones that would be the most famous amongst buyers (based on my opinion) and they were in a hurry to send them out rather than trying to get a unit ready for me.

I would buy from them anytime and I completely trust their business ethic based on what I have personally experienced from them. Communication is key, and although the language barrier and time difference cannot be controlled, the interaction was very smooth, timely, upfront, and very professional.

Just my $0.02

--DDL
 

xgeek

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I will send them an email to see what their prices and service is like. About to buy a blue and green for my scanner and was leaning to Lasever. Will be interesting to see what these guys are like.

XG
 

xgeek

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LOL they are not off to a good start. Just sent them an email and got this back:

Sandy@laser-wave.com
   It appears that the DNS operator for laser-wave.com
has installed an invalid MX record with an IP address
instead of a domain name on the right hand side.
That is their main sales email address on their website!!


*** Edit *** Same message for this email address marketing@laser-wave.com
Does not bode well if you can't contact them. oh well at least I tried.
 

Daedal

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xgeek said:
I will send them an email to see what their prices and service is like. About to buy a blue and green for my scanner and was leaning to Lasever. Will be interesting to see what these guys are like.

XG
I have 2 dead lasevers here... ::) (green 100mW and 150mW)

--DDL
 

Daedal

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xgeek said:
LOL they are not off to a good start. Just sent them an email and got this back:

Sandy@laser-wave.com
It appears that the DNS operator for laser-wave.com
has installed an invalid MX record with an IP address
instead of a domain name on the right hand side.
That is their main sales email address on their website!!


*** Edit *** Same message for this email address marketing@laser-wave.com
Does not bode well if you can't contact them. oh well at least I tried.
Hmmm... I'm sure Bridge or Sandy will get back with you once they see this... and I will pass the massage along. I do know that they are going through a major rework on their website and it is probably due to the testing currently happening that you would get such an error.

--DDL
 




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