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Review: LaserGlow Rigel-6 >5mW 593.5nm Laser Pointer - With Video!

Sigurthr

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Hello everyone,
I'm proud to announce I'm the new owner of a beautiful LG Rigel-6! I just got it in today and am in love with it! I need to get some proper 1.5V batteries for this beauty though, 1.4V NiMHs are not really ideal.

The Order:
I placed my order with LaserGlow on Friday, February 17th, after emailing both Tom and Scott at LaserGlow. Both replied and answered all my questions and gave me excellent customer service. Tom even offered to cherry pick me a good one since I was concerned with stability within the reported output level and it possibly not being >5mW. I must say he picked well!

My order processed very timely even with a holiday on the following monday, and was shipped out Tuesday, February 21st. I received my laser today, February 23rd! Now that is some amazing shipping time, I must say. It arrived via UPS. I missed the initial delivery ay 10:47AM and went online and requested to pick it up at the facility, they called back and told me I could pick it up after 6:30pm. I got a call around 4:35pm from the UPS driver who asked if I would like to meet him to pick it up since he was near my area. I accepted and met at a gas station only 6 miles out. (Town is >20miles from home.) I quickly brought it home and allowed it to warm up to interior temperatures gradually.

The Laser:

The host feels well made and solid and this pointer has the nicest side clicky I have ever felt. It feels rubberized and solid, there's no feeling of the driver moving around inside when you depress the button like every other pointer I've ever owned had. The host actually does a really good job of wicking heat away as well, it very gradually warms up to the touch which is what you ideally want.

Tom said it peaks are 9mW and averages 7.6mW.





Batteries:
I have two "good" pairs of NiMH AAAs which register in at 1.4V fully charged and 1.445V fully charged. I used my 1.445V cells off camera while enjoying my new prized posession and popped in the 1.4V cells for the video. The very first powerup I used a "standard" pair of NiMHs which measured in at only 1.35V/cell and I immediately noticed the laser failed to stabilize within the 30second suggested duty cycle. Even at 45seconds it never sat stable for more than 3 seconds or so. I popped the batteries out and put in the higher good pair then and it stabilized after ~27seconds to a nice bright lovely beam and stayed stable up until the 45sec mark when I turned it off. I am using a 45sec ON / 1min off duty cycle with the higher voltage cells and a 50sec on / 1 min off duty cycle with the lower voltage "good" cells. I'm not sure what the duty cycle would be for the crap "standard" cells but I don't plan on using them.

Right now I'm looking for some quality 1.5V cells. I can get Duracell PROCELL AAAs for 50c/cell which I think I will go with. There are also the "deluxe" alkalines of various brands which have a peak voltage of 1.6 to 1.65V which I could get but I don't know if the driver can handle 3.3V input.

I am curious how a single 10440 Li-Ion (4.2V top) + AAA spacer + one 0.7V diode + one 0.5V diode would do in this laser. I'm not planning on trying it though, I don't have 10440s or AAA spacers or even any diodes which clock in at the exact Vf needed. But it is a thought.

Videos of it in action: (Beamshotz)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHr6zvCDUZs

Note that the HeNe beam was MUCH closer to the camera - mere centimeters away, and it was also facing the camera. In person the fully warmed up Rigel was much brighter. Also, disregard the duty cycle info stated in the video, I had not yet learned all of this laser's personality.

MOAR VIDEOS XD:







Duty Cycle:
Update: With good batteries it seems the advertised 30sec ON / 15sec OFF is indeed ideal. After the first cycle (which can be extended to 50 ON / 30 OFF for a very cold start) the laser warms up and stabilizes at about 8 seconds and stays very bright until about 40sec of total ON time, then it's output wavers. I haven't pushed it more than 50sec on from cold start or 45sec on once warmed up, so no idea if it stabilizes again after being on for a while. If you try to run it ON for 45 instead of 30 once warmed up, it takes more than 15 to cool down and you only end up extending your warm up time for the next cycle by having it off for so much longer or risk damage by not extending the off cycle. So; with good batteries 30ON/15OFF is perfect. With crap batteries you can get a longer ON time but it takes much longer to stabilize (27sec vs 8sec!) and reach full output, which means you also need a longer OFF time to compensate.

My Thoughts:
I'm very pleased with this laser so far. I don't really mind the initial instability - you can't expect it to be like a normal DPSS laser at all because it IS NOT. This kind of output level in a pen sized form factor is a feat of engineering and science. The laser is solid, attractive, accessibly priced, has an amazingly low divergence (I can't even accurately measure it - it is less than 1mRad!), and a VERY bright TEM00 output once warmed up. That's all I ask for - great beam specs and quality build for my money. Batteries do make a HUGE difference on this laser, so keep that in mind. If I ever get a more stable and higher output handheld version of this wavelength I'll do some tinkering and rebuild this laser's module into a massively heatsinked host with a regulated CCCV 3.0V power supply circuit. Until that far off day... this laser is my pride and joy!

Thank you to all the folks at LaserGlow for the awesome customer service and amazing laser!
 
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Lase

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Re: LaserGlow Rigel-6 >5mW 593.5nm Laser Pointer

Nice review, needs moar Beamshots! :D

I'm still eagerly awaiting my 593.5 which should be here by monday, need my fix NAO though :na:

Lase
 
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Sigurthr

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Re: LaserGlow Rigel-6 >5mW 593.5nm Laser Pointer

Hehe, thanks. It's coming, I don't know what's up with YT right now but a 16MB file is taking HOURS to upload. I'm going to cancel and retry soon.

Edit/Update: Video is up!
Efit/Update: MOAR VIDEOS UP!
 
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Event_Horizon

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I love seeing reviews like this on the forums. It really helps me feel like the lasers actually GO somewhere. I usually just see them go into a box and get carried out the door, never to be seen again. It's very cool to see what happens after that!

Enjoy your laser!
 

Sigurthr

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It REALLY is, I can't get over it. I put a biconvex 28cm fl lens in front of it so I could look at the beam modality on a far wal and the spot was only about 1.5cm in diameter at >10ft away.

I made this face:
 
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LesPaul

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Nice review. I really like that color, and in the future I plan on getting one of these.
 

snoutke

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Good review, :thanks:

30 seconds is a little bit short duty cycle IMHO.

You can't even LPM it properly, since the response time of the hobbyists LPMs are not less than 45 seconds :thinking:

But it's a cool laser.
 

Sigurthr

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30 seconds is a little bit short duty cycle IMHO.

You can't even LPM it properly, since the response time of the hobbyists LPMs are not less than 45 seconds :thinking:
.
Well you simply need a new technique for measurement: Set up a stable output laser with a long or full duty cycle on the slow thermopile LPM and let it warm up and stabilize. Now while the stable output laser is on and being measured turn the Rigel on and point it at the sensor as well. The change in the reading will be the output of the Rigel. Granted the thermopile will not see the fast spikes and dips in power but you'll get a good average. This is a good method to accurately measure lower output lasers that would barely register on a thermopile lpm.
 

offroadfreak8582

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very nice review! +1

also when i saw you move the laser in the last video past the green one the beam seemed yellow :drool:

also what does this laser cost? (pm me)

greetings,,
 

Sigurthr

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Yeah, when you mix 532 and 593.5 you get this brilliant bright yellow color. What you see in the video is the two spots being in close proximity as I'm moving it.
 

Smeerworst

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Nice review... i like the whole presentation :drool:

I like those equipment in the back aswell.

+1

cheers sm.
 
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