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review 488nm 5mW Novalux Protera DPSS Laboratory Unit

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Deleted member 16589

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Recently bought a 488nm 5mW Novalux Protera DPSS Laboratory Unit
from a not so good seller on eBay.
So here is a short summery on it.

At first when I mentioned to people I was going to buy this they said it was a rip off but after talking to aryntha here on LPF, I decided to go ahead and buy it.

The seller wanted $300 for it so but he accepted my offer of $250 (he would not take any lower)
After it arrived and I figured out how to turn it on. But it only output 1mw so Aryntha told me how to boost the power.

You will want to CAREFULLY, while the laser is running in ‘full” 2mw mode—

1) Adjust, slowly, (I believe it is counter-clockwise) the pot that is covered with red goo (break the red goo) right next to SW1 on the bottom left of that picture. There are two on the bottom left. [_][x] [SWITCH] .. you want to adjust the one closest to the switch for highest brightness. DO NOT TURN IT TOO HIGH. If the brightness starts to go DOWN, then turn the screw in the other direction, slowly, until it goes back up.

Once you have reached highest brightness with THAT pot,

2) Adjust the pot in the upper right “R1” of that pic, the one near the laser head connector. Adjust this one for maximum brightness too, slowly, until you get the best output.
Here are some pictures of the head compared to my Lasever head.



The Head
When my head is turned on the indicator light does not light.
But if you take a close look inside the head
on the ribbon cable there is what looks like a missing resistor in the cable.

But when you put a jumper across the two leads the light lights up.

More Pictures


\


The Output Power
Using different configurations I got different output powers.


When the settings are
Pot DEF & switch D you get power D on the graph 1.5mw
Pot DEF & switch E you get power E on the graph 4.5mW
Pot DEF & switch F you get power F on the graph 15.5mW (F is straight up)
Pot G & switch F you get power G on the graph 13.5mW
Pot H & switch F you get power H on the graph 7mW ( for best diode life )


And now beam-shots at 15mW.



A huge thanks to twhite828 for the Graphs.
 
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Gryphon

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Very nice laser, i'll bet you had to have been nervous turning pots on that

Beamshots? :D
 
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Deleted member 16589

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ya extremely nervous.
Im bringing it to SELEM so ill have some beamshots for you then
 

Gryphon

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What does it look like next to your 473nm? Slightly greener i would assume, i've never seen and argon color beam in person
 

Meatball

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Cool laser! Cool little hack you did there! Aryntha is a very helpful member here, and it sounds like he helped you get that unit powered on up! I would like to share that I just learned that 488nm is the only wavelength available from all three main laser types! -Gas, dpss, and diodes!
 
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473 now has a diode
but i did not know there were diode 488nm lasers
 

aryntha

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Really nice, +1. Turning the pots on these lasers, you don't have to be AS worried as some systems, since its a VCSEL, but still, with a rare beast like this you want to be as careful as you can be.

This makes me want to revisit my Novalux, since I never played with that switch. :)
 
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This makes me want to revisit my Novalux, since I never played with that switch.

I am actually curios to know if your head is the same as mine. (your indicator light works.)
By the way did you get your switch to stay in the vertical position.
 
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The_LED_Museum

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The internal PCB of the PSU/driver on mine is laid out a bit differently than yours...to wit:



The position of all easily-identifiable components (the on/off/TEC swich, the 20-pin male connector at the upper left, the female DB-15 connector at the right, etc.) are in the same orientation as the ones in your photographs.

Mine measured just 14.664µW when I received it; this was later boosted to 395.20µW (0.3952mW) by opening the laser head up and tweaking the MCA (or whatever emitter assembly is adjustable within the optical train -- I believe I adjusted that screw near the red wire (the one with the blue sealant on it) but I know full well that it is capable of generating far greater output power.

Any idea about what adjustments I need to make for maximum power?
The settings for "Pot H & switch F you get power H on the graph 7mW ( for best diode life )" on the above diagram would be what I want. :)
 
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Prototype

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Don't spare the whip here -- e.g. the hell with diode life. :)

I realize it's yours to do as you wish with, but are you really going to risk a such a rare piece of laser equipment? VECSEL diodes are rare enough, but finding a replacement for this device might prove nearly, if not totally impossible, so when it dies it's gone for good, just a thought.
 

The_LED_Museum

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I realize it's yours to do as you wish with, but are you really going to risk a such a rare piece of laser equipment? VECSEL diodes are rare enough, but finding a replacement for this device might prove nearly, if not totally impossible, so when it dies it's gone for good, just a thought.

I honestly didn't realise that this is a relatively rare piece of laser equipment...in this case, the setting(s) for "Pot H & switch F you get power H on the graph 7mW ( for best diode life )" might be appropriate here. :)
 
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I realize it's yours to do as you wish with, but are you really going to risk a such a rare piece of laser equipment? VECSEL diodes are rare enough, but finding a replacement for this device might prove nearly, if not totally impossible, so when it dies it's gone for good, just a thought.
By the way its a NECSEL
"Novalux Extended Cavity Surface Emitting Laser"
I believe this is the diode
 
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The_LED_Museum

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Here is a video that allows you to see that there is a significant "turn-on delay" in my unit (the delay is 1:37 from the time power is applied until lasing occurs):



This delay existed both pre- and post-adjustment, so it was not of my doing.
But the important thing is, now it lases at several milliwatts, and I'm finally happy with it!!!
(Yes, that means I'm a happy camper now!!!) :) :D :)

{The black tape on the laser head was to help ensure that the white "emissions" indicator lamp did not wash out the picture; it very likely would not have, but one can never be too safe.}

And THIS is an audio (sound) file (in .WAV format) that allows you to hear the peculiar buzzing noise produced by the laser head at power-on.
This also existed both pre- and post-adjustment, so it was not of my doing.
 
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And THIS is an audio (sound) file (in .WAV format) that allows you to hear the peculiar buzzing noise produced by the laser head at power-on.
This also existed both pre- and post-adjustment, so it was not of my doing.
That noise is actually the 2 yellow TEC chips in the driver.

And that delay when turning on is normal.
 




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