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New Star Laser 200mW Green Labby

Hodad

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I recently had the opportunity to check out a Lab style laser made by New Star Laser Technology:

http://www.newstarlaser.com/product.htm email: jane_newstarlaser@hotmail.com

and thought I would pass along what I learned about it, in appreciation for all the help I received from the forum.

LISTED SPECIFICATIONS:

Wavelength: 532nm with IR Filtration.
Output Power: 200mW
Transverse mode : near TEMoo
M2 : <=2.0
Beam Divergence:<1.5mrad @ 5 Meters
Beam Diameter: 1. 5mm - 2.0mm
Power Stability: 5% (over 4 hours)
Polarization ratio: >=100:1
Warm-up Time :10 Minutes
Operating Temperature: 15~35°C
Modulation: Analog
Laser Head:48x48x130mm
Power Supply:46.3*75.8*123mm
Life Time: 10000 hours
TEC and Fan cooling.

Both the power supply and head were made using very solid and well machined aluminum. It had that "industrial/professional quality" feel. Very well made.








POWER:

After I set up a precision variable voltage reference to feed 5.00Vdc to the analog input, I was ready to fire it up and see what it could do.

With my Laserbee's thermal sensor at 10cm from the aperture, the power quickly rose well past the 200mW mark and peaked at 379mW after about 2 minutes, then began to stabilize to about 275mW of pure green power! After running for over an hour the head temp was only 5 degrees (F) warmer than ambient.






I lowered the power a little closer to specifications by backing the control voltage down to 4.65Vdc and ran it again. It peaked at 308mW and stabilized at ~248mW +/- about 1%.







INFRARED FILTERING:

I used a red filter in front of my digital camera lens that, with just the right exposure settings, would block the green but still pass infrared (IR from a TV remote at least). I checked the beam spot, the aperture and all around the laser head but saw no IR.

I wasn't sure if my first IR test could detect both IR wavelengths that could be present, So I while I had the power meter set up I ran another test using a NOVA IR filter between it and the aperture. The external filter dropped the power by only 5% to 6% which is about how much visible light the nova filter is expected to block.

IR filtration seemed to be very good.


BEAM QUALITY

Next I made measurements of the beam spot to get an approximation of the divergence. I used a piece of thermal (receipt) paper to make an image of the beam at the aperture then measured it. The image was a little "oval" in shape and measured about 4mmx5mm so I split the difference and called it 4.5mm. This was definately larger than the specified 1.5mm - 2.0mm. The beam traveling through the air looked a lot closer to 2 mm or less, and that's about the size hole it would burn in paper. But I feel like the thermal image is a closer representation of where the beam intensity reaches a cutoff point that can be measured.

I made another measurement of 33mm in diameter at 95 feet. By my calculations the divergence came in at just under 1 mRad. Considerably better than specified.

The unusual shape of the beam spot had me wondering about the mode so I took a bunch of pictures of the spot and posted them here http://www.laserpointerforums.com/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1221608432 on the forum to get some opinions. I won't go into all the specifics again in this post. The consensus seems to be that it is "near TEM00" but just doesn't have the same kind of beam quality (M2) that you would find in a high end laser.

Also it may have benefitted from having the front lens or window cleaned. I initially thought that a little glue around the outer part of the lens might be causing some problems but it would seem that is not out of the ordinary.

The beam quality, divergence, and diameter assesments turned out to be much harder than I anticipated. I sought and received advice on this from several members of the forum (thanks again) and applied it to the best of my ability, but I am still not highly confident in my results in these areas. It wasn't as "cut and dry" as I thought it would be. And I don't have thousands of $$ of beam analyzing equipment laying around.

One thing I am confident of: that powerful, bright green beam traveling through the air sure looked nice! The beam shots tell the story.


INDOOR PHOTOS (you don't realize how much dust is in the air or how many dead pixels your camera has until you photograph a nice strong laser beam) No smoke/fog was used to enhance the beam.















OUTDOOR PHOTOS on a humid summer night. The beam is shining directly across my backyard, about 95 feet, hitting flat black poster board. (NOTE: At NO time was the laser pointed up into the sky, the specs you see are not stars, they are dead pixels in my camera CCD).












Same conditions but camera pointed toward the aperture. I think these may be overexposed or out of focus.









The only definate problem I found was the ground wire from the AC power cord not connected to the chassis. No big deal to correct, but potentially dangerous if left unconnected. I told New Star about this and they are looking into it.

This was a very good learning experience for me and in additon to all my questions on the forum, I bugged New Star over and over and over, but they were always polite and seemed happy to help in any way they could.

Special thanks to FrothyChimp, and numerous others, for your help. I'm well on my way to laser euphoria. ;D
 

brtaman

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Very thorough review [smiley=thumbsup.gif] Seems like you got a good deal on that labby. As you mentioned it does have that industrial look to it (feel too probably but I cannot judge that from pics :)), good to know the new star is also a good alternative to get a labby.


Thanks
brtaman
 

diachi

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The good thing about new star laser is that their modules are very cheap compared to companies like CNI, mainly because they don't have perfect TEM00 , it's near TEM00 . The quality also looks really good from the pics.

-Adam
 

Hodad

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Don't know what you had in mind, but here's a short video of the beam spot on a flat black surface at 20" from aperture. NOTE: the secondary smaller spot is a reflection of the primary spot off the camera lens.

What's cool (to me anyway) is that it's slowly burning the black poster board and it isn't even focused. The spot diameter here is about 4mm. Look closely and you can see some smoke from it in the beam.

[highlight]EDIT[/highlight] I moved the video to youtube. Here's the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoGm2ASqkO8
 

diachi

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I meant like a video of the module, almost a video review but not quite ;)

That would be good
 




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