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Review of the "<5mW" 445nm Blue Portable Laser from Laserlands

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"<5mW" 445nm Blue Portable Laser, retail $59.88
Manufactured by: (Unknown; possibly Osram) for Laserlands (www.Laserlands.net)
Last updated 07-02-12




The "<5mW" 445nm Blue Portable Laser (hereinafter, probably just called a "blue portable laser" or even just a "blue laser") is a royal blue-emitting, directly-injected diode laser. That is, it produces deep blue laser radiation directly, without the need for messy, fragile nonlinear crystals like those green laser pointers and the amberish-yellow and slightly greenish-blue ones as well. It uses a pair of AAA cells to feed its laser diode with.

It is advertised on Ebay to output <5mW (0.005W) of laser radiation at 445nm; it was measured at 187mW (that's why I enclosed "<5mW" in its name in quotes) at 450.421nm (spectrographically measured). You should know though, that the furnished instructional materials are labelled as to this laser emitting 80mW at 450nm so it's still overspec as far as output power goes but not by nearly as much!!!

This is the reason I call it a "portable laser" on this website instead of a "pointer". Lasers designated as "pointers" must -- by US law anyway -- have a power output that does not exceed 5mW.

The instructional materials are also "stamped" in blue ink with the following text (inside of a rectangular box):

Tested by Laser Power Meter
Laserlands Quality Guaranteed

It comes in a handsome aluminum body with a black matte finish and brushed chrome-colored accents.

SIZE



To get the laser to turn on, first load it with two AAA cells (see directly below), and THEN you can go lase something.

Aim the laser well-away from your face first.
Press & hold the chrome-colored button on the barrel to turn the laser on; release the button to neutralise it (deactivate it).



To change the batteries in your blue laser, unscrew the laser at the halfway point, and set it aside.

Tip the used AAA cells out of the barrel and into your hand, and dispose of or recycle them as you see fit.

Insert a pair of new AAA cells into the lower half of the barrel, nipple-end (+) positive first. This is the opposite of how batteries are installed in most flashlights, so please pay attention to polarity here.

Screw the two halves back together, and be done with it.

Unable to measure current (amperage) due to the way this laser was constructed.

This is a directly-injected laser (which by their very nature are more rugged than DPSS lasers!), who's active components are the inverter circuit, the laser diode, and the collimating lens. So it should withstand accidents better than a DPSS (diode pumped solid state) laser - the type of laser assembly found in deep red (671nm), yellow (593.5nm), green (532nm), and light blue (473nm) laser pointers. These lasers have several additional components (crystals, filters, etc.) in the optical train, and you can knock them out of alignment by doing little more than looking at them the wrong way. And if any of these components are knocked out of whack, you'll no longer get your deep red, yellow, green, or blue laser beam.

Though you still do not want to intentionally drop your blue-emitting portable laser because it's a precision optical instrument.

The biggest downside to this laser is the fact that while this is clearly a CDRH Class IIIb laser (making it somewhat dangerous!!!), there are no safety features at all that are normally required in Class IIIb lasers; e.g., there is no "emissions" indicator, no startup delay, no interlock of ANY type, and no mechanical beam shutter. This laser behaves like a Class IIIa laser pointer in this regard, which I believe is a rather severe no-no!!!



Beam terminus photograph of this unique (well, "not-so-unique" now) laser on the target at 12".
Beam image bloomed ***SIGNIFICANTLY*** even though it was daylight when the photograph was taken. That white color does not actually exist.
"Not no way, not no how" as they say.
Those "spots" you see (that aren't part of the main beam terminus) in this photograph & the next one are artifacts from the camera, and do not exist in the actual beam.


Beam terminus photograph on a wall at ~10'.
Again, that white color does not really exist, and beam image bloomed fairly significantly.



Power output peaks at 167mW.



Power output peaks at 187mW.
Batteries for this analysis tested at 100% on my ZTS Pulse Load Battery Tester.

Both tests (plus the stability analysis below) were conducted on a LaserBee 2.5W USB Laser Power Meter w/Thermopile.



Short-term (600 seconds {10 minutes}) stability analysis of this laser.



Spectrographic analysis of this laser.


Spectrographic analysis of this laser; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 445nm and 455nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is 450.421nm with a spectral line halfwidth of ~3.44nm.


Spectrographic analysis of the fluorescence of a uranated glass marble while being irradiated with this laser.


Spectrographic analysis of the fluorescence of the 2009 NIA Commemorative Insulator in uranated glass when irradiated with this laser.

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.


Beam cross-sectional analysis with beam widened (fast {X} axis).


Beam cross-sectional analysis with beam widened (slow {Y} axis).

Images made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.



TEST NOTES:
Test unit was purchased from Laserlands via an Ebay listing on 06-01-12 (or "01 Jun 2012" if you prefer) and was received at 11:43am PDT on 06-21-12 (or "21 Jun 2012").

UPDATE: 07-02-12
I've noted that the switch button can be a bit difficult to actuate sometimes, and this is why:



See how the internal PCB (printed circuit board) is a bit cockeyed with relation to the external switch button?
The button presses against the switch at a slight angle, rather than being truly perpendicular (oriented at a perfect 90° angle). I've made some attempts to correct this, but have failed; and I do not want such a nice little laser to become broken, so I'm just going to leave it be and press the button somewhat right of center (as I have the laser pointing away from me); this assures correct operation every single time and reduces potential stress on the internal pushbutton.


PROS:
Color is very radiant & unusual for a pen-style handheld laser
The price is right!
Somewhat overspec from the advertised specs in the furnished instructional materials
Uses batteries that are common and relatively inexpen$ive
Color is very radiant an unu...o wait, I said that already!!!


CONS:
No laser warning labelling of any type -- that's what nocked ½ star off its rating
No safety features required of a CDRH Class IIIb laser -- this is what lopped another ½ star off


MANUFACTURER: Unknown; possibly Osram
PRODUCT TYPE: Blue-emitting laser
LAMP TYPE: Unknown-type blue (450nm) laser diode
No. OF LAMPS: 1
BEAM TYPE: Very narrow spot
SWITCH TYPE: Momentary pushbutton on/off button on barrel
CASE MATERIAL: Aluminum
BEZEL: Metal; laser & lens recessed into a hosel for them
BATTERY: 2x AAA cells
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
WATER-RESISTANT: Light splatter-resistant at maximum
SUBMERSIBLE: No
ACCESSORIES: Hard-sided cardboard storage case
SIZE: 142mm L x 12.50mm D
WEIGHT: Unknown/not equipped to weigh
COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: Not stated; but very likely China
WARRANTY: Unknown/not stated

PRODUCT RATING:



Update 06-23-12: Performed a short-term stability analysis.

Update 06-24-12: Performed a second power output analysis.

Update 06-25-12: Performed spectroscopy of fluorescence of a uranated glass marble; also added an update about the switch.

Update 07-02-12: Performed spectroscopy of fluorescence of the 2009 NIA Commemorative Insulator in uranated glass.
 
Last edited:

ryansoh3

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Wow, it's been nearly a month since you've written the review and the first comment was written today!

Anyways, excellent review! I love all the technical analysis of the laser. :drool:
Cheers!
 
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This great review deserves a bit Thank You! :)
I am actually considering now buying this laser from this company.
 




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