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Review: CNI 473nm Pen / Scopeguy20's GB

G Fourty

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I took some time to put a review together of my new 473nm CNI Pen, but also wanted to offer a review of my first experience with Glenn a.k.a Scopeguy20 here on LPF. I say first experience because there is no doubt we will do business again as long as he is running this group buy.

I don't think Im alone when I say I have wanted this laser for years. The only thing holding me back was pretty much the price tag. This is my first experience with a 473nm laser.

My Experience with Glenn

I got into the 5th CNI group buy at the last minute, literally. I pm'd Glenn, asking if I still had time to get in, and I was informed that he was just about to place the order and I had to send my payment immediately. The problem was I wanted to use a money order instead of paying the paypal fee's. So listen to this... Glenn spots me $300+ dollars, and takes my word that I would send the money order immediately. I thought that was incredibly nice of him, it saved me from having to wait another 2 months to get it.

Glenn is great to deal with, friendly, helpful, and ships your stuff out at what seems like speed of light. I cannot say it enough, if you want the quality products that CNI has to offer, and a laser that will almost always be over-spec... Go with this guy!

Review of <5mW 473nm CNI Pen a.k.a " The Aquarius "

Picture Courtesy of LaserGlow:


  • Model : GLP-473
  • Wavelength: 473nm
  • Specified Output Power: 5mW
  • Average Output Power: 16mW
  • Battery type: 1x CR2
  • +/-: Case positive
  • On/Off: Momentary push button
  • Beam diameter: 1mm
  • Divergence: 1.2mRad
  • Mode: Tem01
  • Dimensions: 155 X 25 X25 mm
  • Finish: High Gloss Blue / Gold
  • Price: $315 USD Shipped


My Impressions:drool:
  • Beautiful Design
  • Heavy & Durable
  • Loose Floating Button (A Good Thing)
Once I put the battery in and fired it up for the first time, I was amazed. The color of the beam and dot is just beautiful. I had been waiting for this for a long time... The moment when owning a 473nm laser became reality and not just a dream, another thanks to Glenn. My laser tested in at an average of 16mW, I would compare the brightness of the beam and dot to rival that of a 5mW green. The beam is quite visible when looking down the barrel or from the users point of view, but even more visible when looking toward the laser while its on. At the aperture of the laser you can see it operating in TEM 01, however right after it's like it becomes one solid tight beam. When shining on any wall or object the dot appears perfectly round. There is a very small amount of splash which is hardly noticeable. The beam on my laser appears to come out pretty close to center and straight, contrary to the picture on CNI's website where it appears crooked. As far as being pulsed, I love it. I will admit I had some mixed feeling's about the pulsed operation. Never seen or used one before and wasn't sure if I would like it. Believe it or not I like it more because of this. To me it makes an already unique laser (because of wavelength) even more unique. When moved quickly on a wall you can see the pulses quite clearly looking like this - - - - - - - - . Its quite cool. It also has an extremely stable output, I notice no power fluctuations.

I recently picked up a fog machine, and while you don't need smoke or fog to see the beam and enjoy this beast, you can really get your money's worth by adding some. I reviewed walmart's $25 fogger a few days ago, and it's posted along with this in the review section.

Here's the link: http://laserpointerforums.com/f52/review-25-walmart-fog-machine-44068.html

Even in a well lit room, adding some smoke or fog really brings out the great color of this laser. Its so bright and solid, it's hard not to love the color. Something so different from the red, green, and blu-ray were all so used to. It looks nothing like 405nm blu-ray. The only time you can compare the two, is when blu-ray laser is shined on something white. They result in the same color. So if you have a blu-ray, shine it at a white shirt or something, and thats what us 473nm owners experience all the time. I tried to take a lot of pictures. I have probably taken over 50 in the past couple days, from different angles, lighting, and using various amounts of smoke. Ill post the some of the better ones since Im limited to uploads.

Comparative Pricing
:beer:

Glenn's Group Buy Price: $315 USD Shipped

Dragon Lasers: $399.99 + Shipping

LaserGlow Pricing:


My 16mW unit would have cost me $900-$1800. However I only paid $315 through the CNI Group Buy. I feel quite fortunate.

Overall

If you can afford to shell out $315 this is a must own. Even if you can't afford to shell out $315... its still a must own. In all seriousness though, its worth every penny. Even without being able to pop balloons, light matches, and burn random stuff this guy is my new favorite. I have fallen in love with thing. Its given me a feeling similar to what I went through when I got my first red and then green lasers, but better. If your thinking about it buying one, but not sure whether or not it's worth it, I advise you that it is. I will most likely by another one down the road, and if Glenn still does his thing I will order it through him.

  • Overall Look Physically: 9/10
  • Beam Divergence: 10/10
  • Beam Brightness: 9/10
  • Stability: 10/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Fun Factor 10/10
  • Overall 10/10

Im sure many of you cannot justify the cost, or think that spending that kind of money on such a low power laser is crazy. However you have to realize what kind of work is put into designing and creating a pointer like this. It is not diode driven, which means IR laser is converted to the 473nm wavelength that comes out of the aperture. They have to use and align crystal's and optics to achieve this... Which means time and energy spent on making each unit, in addition to the technology. Thus a I gave a 10 for value. I consider the price I paid to be a steal. Thanks once more Glenn, and If anyone has any questions or would like any additional pics or info, just ask...

Thanks for taking the time to read this...

Enjoy the pic's, # 7 shows the 16mW 473nm CNI next to a 150mW red, and my Optotronics 150mW green pen. Its actually quite bright next to the two more powerful lasers. As promised heres a link to the you-tube video..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt5IXzXFwks

-Greg
 

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styropyro

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Great review! When I read things like this it makes me want to try out 473nm, I just can't bring myself to spending over $100 on anything laser related at once anymore...
 

rpaloalto

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Well, that review has me sold. That sure is a good deal from cni. Those group buys really do pay off.
How visible is the beam, more or less than a 405nm?
Does the button really stick up that high? In the picture it looks more like a switch.
 
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Moptsp

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Nice review! I'm starting to want one of these my self. But I don't have $300 to spend now. At least not after getting in on the 6th GB by Glenn. :eek:

-Moptsp
 

jnrpop

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Nice review, im off to talk to glenn once again after reading this!! hope im as lucky as your where with the av output!!!
 

G Fourty

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Great review! When I read things like this it makes me want to try out 473nm, I just can't bring myself to spending over $100 on anything laser related at once anymore...
Yea I can understand, it is a lot of money to drop on a 5mW laser lol.. I think the price tag through Glenn was right around my limit. My next purchase will be the 593.5nm yellow CNI, but I will most likely wait until I get a job first.

Well, that review has me sold. That sure is a good deal from cni. Those group buys really do pay off.
How visible is the beam, more or less than a 405nm?
Does the button really stick up that high? In the picture it looks more like a switch.
Well before I shipped my 110mW blu-ray off to dark I had a chance to play with it. My 16mW 473nm is brighter than the beam on that. However its tighter too. Most BR lasers are similar to red, they are collimated so the beam has a larger diameter at the aperture, but stays tighter over long distances. 473nm blue, and 532nm green lasers have a tighter beam diameter and are set to infinity. Everyone see's 405nm differently though, its right at the end of the visible light spectrum.

As for the button its pretty close to that. Its not really stiff though, its loose and almost feels like its floating. This is good if it were solid and stuck out like that it could break easier.

Nice review, im off to talk to glenn once again after reading this!! hope im as lucky as your where with the av output!!!
Im sure you will be, they have all been over 10mW I believe. Goodluck!!


BTW I realized that I didn't really go over CNI in this review, but they need no introduction. Most of you know the quality product that CNI puts out. I may revise and add some things to this review as time go's on, along with some more pic's.

Thanks for the feedback,

-Greg
 
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scopeguy20

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Thank you G Forty, good review! (+1 rep) Also thanks to all the folks who made the GB's possible by joining in.

btw, I hope LaserGlow does not mind use of the top picture. I would also add that LaserGlow is sometimes the best way to go for a CNI Laser, as they do a lot of quality checks, are known for great customer service, (extreemly important if fast shipping or a quick replacement is needed), and include a sturdy attractive case as well. The Group Buys are good for the more casual and patient, who need a rock bottom low cost. Thanks Again all!! -Glenn
 

Tabish

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That's very nice. Great review / pics.

Why are 473's pulsed ??
 
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I'm not sure if this is actually the reason, but the higher pulse power can allow for a higher efficiency rate within the crystals.
 

MarioMaster

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That's very nice. Great review / pics.

Why are 473's pulsed ??

The aquarius is the only pulsed 473 that I know of. Nearly all other 473nm systems are CW. I imagine it's done for efficiency since you can't cram TEC cooling into a small pen.
 

G Fourty

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Thank you G Forty, good review! (+1 rep) Also thanks to all the folks who made the GB's possible by joining in.

btw, I hope LaserGlow does not mind use of the top picture. I would also add that LaserGlow is sometimes the best way to go for a CNI Laser, as they do a lot of quality checks, are known for great customer service, (extreemly important if fast shipping or a quick replacement is needed), and include a sturdy attractive case as well. The Group Buys are good for the more casual and patient, who need a rock bottom low cost. Thanks Again all!! -Glenn
I thought about the picture as well, it just looked so good lol. I will remove it if asked. This was in no way a bash of laserglow, they are a great company and you hit it right on the head Glenn. I just wanted to show the value of your group buy..

The aquarius is the only pulsed 473 that I know of. Nearly all other 473nm systems are CW. I imagine it's done for efficiency since you can't cram TEC cooling into a small pen.
Another 473nm handheld laser that comes to mind would be dragon lasers Spartan BP, which is also pulsed, at 2000Hz. I love the host too.. Thanks again for the feedback guys!
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Quit giving Glenn such great reviews. He will start raising prices!!!! He responds to PM's only once a day and shipping is a Looong 3 days at most. Look at all the neg reviews :)

HMike
 

Moptsp

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I thought about the picture as well, it just looked so good lol. I will remove it if asked. This was in no way a bash of laserglow, they are a great company and you hit it right on the head Glenn. I just wanted to show the value of your group buy..



Another 473nm handheld laser that comes to mind would be dragon lasers Spartan BP, which is also pulsed, at 2000Hz. I love the host too.. Thanks again for the feedback guys!
I know, I love the Spartan host too.

lol @ Hemlock_Mike. :p
 
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So cool, man. Everybody's getting awesome 473's through those GB's. I'm adding this to the RT :)

Sorry for not being able to comment further, I've got no time, I'm checking stuff at the office and I'll be leaving in like 10 mins.

One thing you should know, though: This laser IS diode driven, it's not classified as a semiconductor laser (in fact, it's DPSS) but they do use an IR diode to get to 473nm. But of course as you pointed out, the hard part is growing the crystals and thus makes it very expensive (and COOL :D).
 
D

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you say 2 opposite things is the laser 16 mW or 5 mW

# Specified Output Power: 5mW
# Average Output Power: 16mW

that is enough difference to become in a lot of legal trouble which is it ;)
it can not be both its physically impossible :)
 

RA_pierce

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you say 2 opposite things is the laser 16 mW or 5 mW

# Specified Output Power: 5mW
# Average Output Power: 16mW

that is enough difference to become in a lot of legal trouble which is it ;)
it can not be both its physically impossible :)
I believe he means the laser was sold as a 5mW but it's actual average is 16mW.

G Fourty- That is an impressive laser... I'll be getting a blue sometime soon hopefully... I've got my sights on a 50mW. :)
 




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