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Review of a 150mW Red Diode Laser

Nov 1, 2006
150mW Red Diode Laser, retail $TBA
Manufactured by (Unknown)
Last updated 10-29-10

This is a red (~660nm) directly-injected diode laser that includes a switching power supply unit (PSU) for operation on 110 to 130 volts AC 60Hz..

The laser itself is said to output 150mW, and has a focusable beam.

It comes in a heavy brass body; the mass is necessary for heatsinking purposes; please do not remove the lower portion or otherwise attempt to reduce the laser head's mass.


To use the laser module, just connect it to any source of 110 to 130 volts AC via the connector on the PSU (power supply unit).

There is no on/off switch; if you wish to use one you will have to supply and connect it yourself.

The beam focus is adjustable; although you're supposed to use a spanner wrench, I found that I could adjust the focus with a #0 (1.4mm shaft diameter) phillips screwdriver from my set of jeweller's screwdrivers. There are two holes - one on either side of the lens - that a spanner wrench is designed to fit. Put the end of your screwdriver into one of these holes, and attempt to rotate the inner portion of the end. You should be able to do so with only very little effort.

Because this device runs from any source of 110 to 130 volts AC, this section will contain very little additional information.

I used a "suicide cord" to connect the two pins on the end of the power supply board (at the lower left in the photograph near the top of this web page) to AC. It is advisable that you come up with a more permanent (and safer!) method to connect yours to AC power.

This is a laser, not a flashlight. So I won't abuse it in the name of science the same way I'd abuse a flashlight for the same purpose.
So this part of the post will appear significantly more bare than this section of the post on a posted evaluation of a flashlight.

VERY IMPORTANT!!! This laser is NOT a toy, and you MUST NOT shine it into your eyes, other people's eyes, pets' eyes, for that matter, the eyes of any person or animal you encounter.
Eye damage can occur faster than the blink reflex can protect them, regardless of what species' eyes you irradiate with this laser. So just don't do it.

And for heaven sakes (and for Pete sakes and for your sakes too) do not shine this laser at any vehicle, whether ground-based like a car or truck, or air-based like a helicopter, airplane, or jet. And if you shoot it at a person in the dark and he turns out to be a police officer, he may think he's being targeted, pull his gun, and hose you down with it.

This is a CDRH Class IIIb laser device. Treat it with respect, and it'll treat you with respect.

This laser is not water-resistant, so please be extra careful when using it around sinks, tubs, toliets, fishtanks, pet water bowls, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found. And you'll probably want to cover it up or otherwise get rid of it (such as by putting it in a box or bag) if you need to carry it to some destination or other in rainy or snowy weather.

There is no component on the PSU (like a capacitor) that can "bite" after the unit has been powered off for ~6 hours; so you need not handle it gingerly after it's been powered off for this amount of time or longer.

The two photographs, stability analyses, and the spectrographic analyses below may very well be it for this post - that is, until I can procure some balloons and attempt to burst them with this laser, then that will be added to this post as well.

Beam photograph on the test target at 12".
Power output is significantly greater than what my laser power meter can measure.

That red corona in this photograph and the one below are camera artifacts, and do not actually exist.
Beam spot is also red, not yellow & white.

Beam photograph on a wall at ~10'.

Those rectangular graphic things near the top are marquees from:

Midway ''Omega Race''
Sega ''Star Trek''
Williams ''Joust''
Venture Line ''Looping''
Universal ''Mr. Do!'s Castle''
Jaleco ''Exerion''
Gremlin/Sega ''Astro Blaster''
Atari ''Tempest''
Gottlieb ''Q*bert''

upright coin-op arcade video games from the 1980s.


One minute of operation.

Five minutes of operation.

Spectrographic analysis of this laser.

Repeat spectrographic analysis of this laser; newer spectrometer software & settings used.

Spectrographic analysis of this laser; spectrometer's response band narrowed to pinpoint wavelength - which appears to be 664.60nm in this case.

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

WMP movie (.avi extension) showing the laser popping a balloon.
This clip is approximately 1.0 megabytes (1,135,960 bytes) in length; dial-up users please be aware.
It will take no less than eight minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.
I cannot provide it in other formats, so please do not ask.

The game show "Hollywood Squares" was on when this was recorded, and may be ignored.

Two earlier balloon popping attempts failed; the laser punctured the balloons, but they deflated gently instead of forcefully bursting.

Test unit of this laser was sent along with my 120mW Blue DPSS Laser and was received at 2:54pm PDT on 07-31-06.

UPDATE: 10-29-10
I converted this eval. to BBCode so that I could post it on a couple of BBSs about lasers & lights.

Very high power output
Small size of laser head given its power output
Line-powered; never have to fuss with batteries

CDRH Class IIIb label is not present on laser head or PSU

LAMP TYPE: ~660nm diode laser
BEAM TYPE: Very narrow spot
BEZEL: Brass; laser & lens recessed in its end
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure



Nov 1, 2006
I got it on Ebay when I purchased this laser (the seller included it as a "freebie"); power output is too high to be measured with the instruments at my disposal. :(