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O-Like 120~150mW 532nm Module: "Mini" Review

Traveller

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Preface
After writing my recent IgorT 6X review, I realized I've almost reached my typing quota for the month (and your review-reading quotas too, :p)... so I'm going to try the "less is more" approach for this review ;)



Intro
A while back I decided to get myself JayRob's "Kryton Groovy Green" kit which seamlessly mates a 532nm module (used in standard Laser pointers) with Kenom's popular Kryton custom hosts. JayRob suggested O-Like as a good place to get the 532nm modules, so I went ahead and ordered their 120~150mW module. At $105 + an extremely modest $4 for traceable shipping, it's a good deal. You can't complain when you're paying less than a dollar per mW :)



The Customer is King
Before I review the module itself, I would like to introduce Susie (aka Standstone11, LPF member since Jun '08), the main force behind O-Like. Shortly after placing an order at O-Like, Susie will send you a confirmation mail which, among other info, contains an estimated shipping date. Once she ships you your product, she again notifies you via email. she is also quick to respond to any questions you may have. I'm pleased to state that I've always received a reply from her no later than the next business day. That goes for "issue management" too (see below). The whole process was almost flawless, but If I had to split hairs, I would say that Susie is a bit overly-protective of her products and reputation. But then again, which seller isn't.

Customer service-wise, Susie's top-notch :beer:



130 mW of 532nm goodness
The original module I received came in perfect condition and worked flawlessly, etc. At the time, I didn't have an LPM so I couldn't verify it's true output, but to be honest, it didn't look a whole lot different than my Megagreen <50mW laser pointer. I was later on able to verify this when I received my Kenometer LPM, noting that the actual output power was only in the upper 70s.

But thanks to Susie's efficient issue management as well as her confidence in me as an honest customer and LPF member, she sent me a replacement even before she could verify the module I sent back was indeed "under-powered" (not to mention, still working...).

The replacement module fared a lot better on the Kenometer, settling down at 130mW. The measurement was taken at the end of a 60s cycle, using a 3.7V CR123A. I won't lie, I would have preferred to see a slightly higher figure, particularly since the Kenometer measures slightly higher (~+5%), but it's of course still within the advertised range.

The module emits a clean, thin beam which, at 1.6mrad, tends to diverge a little more than say, a high-quality laser pointer (<1mrad). As was known to me at the time of purchase, the module does not incorporate an IR filter. Consequently, I have noted the module's output to be 17% IR. I'm no expert in this area but 17% "sounds" reasonable to me ;)



Conclusion
I would sum it all up by saying that O-Like's customer service and sales process is great! However, the module(s) themselves are merely good. When I take into consideration the highly competitive pricing though, then I should immediately add that the modules are certainly worth the quoted price!



[Imagery]
I've added images of the module, beam/dot and LPM measurements. The 169mW reading is a spike after 10s, the 130mW it's "stable" output (seen between 30-60s) and a post-IR filter reading of 112mW. The smaller dot / thinner beam are from my ~70mW "<50mW" laser pointer, included for comparison purposes.

You can review the original-sized images over at my Flickr site. All images taken with a Canon 50D and EF-S 60mm Macro lens.
 

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Jaseth

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Very very nice and honest review! I am surprised to hear that the first module was underspec and second one only at the lowest part of the spec.. mine have all turned out in the highest region of their estimate or even higher than that! But obviously, because of Susie's brilliant customer support, it all went well in the end :D
+1
 

Traveller

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I am surprised to hear that ... at the lowest part of the spec... mine have all turned out in the highest region...
Why are you surprised? That's simply the luck of the draw. If all their modules would hit top range (or higher) then the module wouldn't be advertised as 120~150mW, but as <150mW ;)

Btw, what batter(ies) are you using to power the module and what LPM did you use to measure the o/p?

p.s. Oh and :thanks:4 the compliment!
 

gotwake424

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I think it is about time to crown you "Kind Of Reviews". Another great review cannot wait for more. I would give you some rep but i can't :(. Great review tho!
 
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Nice review, keep them coming!!

Cool macro pics!!


(How can you allow your Canon get anywhere near 130mW of raw power?)
 

Traveller

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Btw, the battery you use can make a big difference. The above-noted stable output of 130mW was achieved using a 3.6V CR123A rechargeable battery (measured at 4.2V fully charged!) Using a 3.0V CR123A (3.7V fully charged) the module's stable output only managed 96mW... .

At first, I didn't think much about it, but Daguin's module managed 140mW - using a 3.0V CR123A... :huh: So I don't know what to think about that. I also noticed that two resistors on the driver were bridged with solder (see attached pic, comparing the driver from the first and second modules). I don't know how critical this is, if at all, since these resistors may be used in serial on the same electrical path... :thinking: I'll have to take this question down over to the Help & Repairs sub-forum...


p.s. Thx to all for the compliments, I'm doing what I can to contribute to the community ;)

EDIT - updated "fully-charged" values due to a faulty DMM...
 

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realista

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Btw, the battery you use can make a big difference. The above-noted stable output of 130mW was achieved using a 3.6V CR123A rechargeable battery (measured at 5.4V fully charged!) Using a 3.0V CR123A (4.3V fully charged) the module's stable output only managed 96mW... .
can i say that you said wrong things???
... a 3.6v rechargeable battery can only be 4.2v FULLY charged... and not 5.4v... it is impossible!!! and a 3v battery can reach MAX 3.6/3.7v FULLY charged...and not 4.2/4.3

maybe you will be angry ....but this is the reality.....everyone know that the truth is 3v(fully 3.6) and 3.6v(fully(4.2)....... :)

however.. nice review and test......but i don't understand how much power can do this module into a 2xaaa pen host..... with 2.6volt from 2 nimh battery. that could be interesting to test :)
80% of laser owners use NIMH batteries...and not alkalines....
 

Traveller

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... a 3.6v rechargeable battery can only be 4.2v FULLY charged... and not 5.4v... it is impossible!!! and a 3v battery can reach MAX 3.6/3.7v FULLY charged...and not 4.2/4.3
Hi,
thanks for pointing that out - I realized a while back that my expensive DMM was dying & reporting incorrect values. At the time I wasn't sure what the max values for said batteries were so hence, I posted the values I read off my DMM... :eek:

I bought a new DMM in the meantime and yes, you're absolutely right, I get 4.2 & 3.6V respectively! I will go ahead and update my above post so as to avoid further confusion... ;)


...i don't understand how much power can do this module into a 2xaaa pen host..... with 2.6volt from 2 nimh battery. that could be interesting to test...
Are you referring to my 70mW LP? Yes, I use 2 1.5V AAA alkalines... .Tell me why I should use NiMH again... :thinking:
 
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