Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers



Laser Pointer Store

Review of the Laser 2000 Protera Model 488-15 Blue-Green Laser

Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
499
Likes
172
Points
43
This is a long page with at least 40 images on it; dial-up users please allow for plenty of load time.

Laser 2000 Protera Model 488-15 Blue-Green Laser, retail $299.00 (www.laser2000.de)*
Manufactured by Novalux (www.novalux.com) **
Last updated 06-03-12






This is the Novalux Laser 2000 Protera Model 488-15 Blue-Green Laser. It was made to be a direct replacement for those bulky, heavy, power-hungry argon ion lasers.

It is a DPSS (Diode Pumped Solid State) laser. It is rated to produce 15mW at a wavelength of 488nm (plus or minus 10nm). It uses NECSEL (Novalux Extended Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) technology, which is a means of getting laser radiation at 488nm without too many of those messy nonlinear crystals and other extra components you'd find in traditional DPSS lasers, such as those common 532nm green laser pointers, and less common 593.50nm amber and 473nm blue laser pointers.

* This website is in German. Use www.laser2000.de for an English version of the website, and www.laser2000.de/index.php?id=373430&L=1 to the laser's web page on that website.

** The Novalux website is offline as of 07-06-10 (or "06 Jul 2010" if you prefer) for an as-of-yet unknown reason.


SIZE




You MAY need to have on hand or procure a cable terminated in male DB-15 connectors at both ends before you can use this laser. This cable is relatively easy to obtain: a fairly standard VGA cable used to connect a VGA computer monitor to your computer ought to do the trick here.

The cable you'll need can be found at Digi Key, part number AE10183-ND.



This is the type of cable you'll want.

=========================================================
***CRITICALLY IMPORTANT!!!***
From a member of this BBS that I trust very highly, comes this information:

Might want to note -- not every VGA cable will work for this interconnect.

VGA cables vary A LOT in their internal construction, as not every pin in the HD-15 connector is important in actual video transmission. VGA only uses a few of them.

Some manufacturers leave them floating -- others tie all of the extra pins to ground.

In my initial experimentation with this laser, using a 'normal' VGA cable resulted in some very angry smells coming from the power supply; to this day it still smells like an airport lounge from 1975 due to this.

The Digi-Key cable is correct, but I wouldn't recommend trying just any VGA cable you have laying around unless you get a multimeter and check continuity on every pin (and for tie-together on every pin) before plugging it in.

The power supply puts out a considerable amount of current, and the result of using, for example, a thin Dell VGA cable with several of the 'wrong' pins shorted to braid, is, shall we say, "exciting".

=========================================================

Plug one end of this cable into the female DB-15 receptacle on the laser head itself, and plug the other end into the female DB-15 receptacle on the controller.

Plug the small cord coming from the power supply "brick" into the matching receptacle on the controller.

Plug the female end of the furnished IEC cord into the matching (male but recessed) receptacle for it on the power supply "brick", and plug the other end into a standard (in north America anyway) 110 volts to 130 volts AC 60Hz household receptacle (or "wall outlet" or even "wall socket" if you prefer).

On the same end of the power supply the IEC cord goes, you'll see a small metal toggle switch. Flip it to the "ON" position to get your beautiful blue-green beam. A white LED "emission" indicator located directly above the laser aperture should also be illuminated.

Flip it to the "TEC" position to operate the laser at a lower power level, but at a signifigantly lower operating temperature thanks to the TEC (thermoelectric or Peltier cooler) built into it.

When finished using the laser, return the toggle switch to the center "OFF" position.



This laser is designed to be operated from 110 volts to 130 volts AC 60Hz and not batteries of any type, so I do not have to tell you how to change them.

The beam is a single-line, mode
(a very common laser operating mode in which the beam emerges with a gaussian power distribution {bright center falling off to extinction at its perimeter}) with an
of less than 1.2.
Pointing stability is below 30 µrad

IR filtering (for the 976nm NIR laser line from the pump diode) is excellent. Although the wavelength is beyond my spectrometer's response band, I would have at least seen a rising "tail" when irradiating the instrument at point blank range had there been any significant NIR emission.
When I had the unit opened for adjustments, I saw this filter affixed to the inside of the case covering the laser aperture.



A graphic showing how the NECSEL (Novalux Extended Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) process works.
From the OptoIQ website.
This graphic was used without permission, but it is not "hotlinked" and is not being used to make $$$.




Beam photograph on the test target at 12".
Measures 18.6992µW (yes, MICROwatts) on a Sper Scientific Pocket Laser Power Meter # 840011.


Another beam photograph on the test target at 12".


A third beam photograph of this unique laser on the test target.


Beam photograph on a wall at ~10'.

Those colored graphics toward the left are my "Viva Piñata" posters, and that clock on the right that looks like a gigantic wristwatch is my Infinity Optics Clock.
You may also be able to see two of my SpongeBob SquarePants plush (Squidward Tentacles & Patrick Star) and two Digimon plush (Greymon and Calumon).



Power output measures 15mW on a LaserBee 2.5W USB Laser Power Meter w/Thermopile.



Power output measures 15mW.



Following the new analyses (all performed between 06-01-12 and 06-02-12), power output measures 7mW.

During all of the short-term stability analyses and the first mid-term
stability analysis, power output never exceeded 4mW.

And after running nearly 20 hours, power output measures 4.2016mW on a Sper Scientific Pocket Laser Power Meter # 840011; this is consistent with the power output measurements made using my LaserBee 2.5W USB Laser Power Meter w/Thermopile; laser temperature was a cool 85.0°F (29.4°C).

All measurements were taken on a LaserBee 2.5W USB Laser Power Meter w/Thermopile.


Now, here are the charts you've been waiting for
(Don't deny it!!! You know you want to see them!!!
)


Short-term stability analysis (700 seconds).



Short-term stability analysis (660 seconds this time ), after "tweaking" some
s in the laser driver ass'y.



Mid-term stability analysis (1,370 seconds this time ), after "tweaking" some
s in the laser driver ass'y.



Mid-term stability analysis (3,555 seconds this time ), after "tweaking" some
s in the laser driver ass'y once more.

Laser temperature shortly after this test (but while the laser was still lasing) measured 121.00°F (49.45°C) on a CEM DT-8810 Noncontact IR Thermometer.



Long-term stability analysis for exactly 12 hours of continuous runtime.

Measurements were automatically recorded at 20 minute intervals; unit still
lases with only a very minor long-term degradation visible in the chart.



Long-term stability analysis (18,600 seconds {310 minutes} this time ).

Laser temperature at 6,795 seconds into this test measured 89.00°F (31.67°C) on a CEM DT-8810 Noncontact IR Thermometer.

The second long-term stability analysis and all short- and mid-term stability analyses were performed on a LaserBee 2.5W USB Laser Power Meter w/Thermopile.




Photograph of an oscilloscope screen showing that this is a pulsed laser, not a CW one.


Another photograph of an oscilloscope screen; this time with the laser running hotter.



Spectrographic analysis of this laser.

Note that there is no line from the pump diode -- this shows that IR filtering (which I noted when I had the unit's case opened for adjustments) is doing its job very well!!!
I attempted to find this line by deliberately "overloading" the spectrometer's input, and saw no evidence of it.



Spectrographic analysis of this laser; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 475nm and 495nm to pinpoint wavelength, which appears to be 486.98nm.



Post-adjustment spectrographic analysis of this laser.



Post-adjustment spectrographic analysis of this laser; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 475nm and 495nm to pinpoint wavelength, which appears to be 489.80nm; which is 2.82nm longer than the pre-adjustment wavelength value.



Post-adjustment spectrographic analysis of this laser; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 781nm and 874nm (the longest wavelength my spectrometer can resolve) in a futile attempt to show the NIR emission from the pump diode -- clearly, the IR filter is doing its job very well.
Input was drastically "overloaded" so if there was significant emission at the 976nm pump diode, it would have shown up as the leading edge of a "hump" toward the right of this chart.

Output power when these spectra were taken was measured at 3.633mW.



Post-adjustment spectrographic analysis of this laser; newer spectrometer software & settings used.



Post-adjustment spectrographic analysis of this laser; newer spectrometer software & settings used.
Spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 475nm and 495nm to pinpoint wavelength, which appears to be 489.40nm.
This is 0.40nm shorter than the last spectrographic analysis showed.

Output power when these spectra were taken was measured at 15mW.



Spectrographic analysis of this laser; newest spectrometer software & settings used.



Spectrographic analysis of this laser (using newest spectrometer software & settings); spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 485nm and 495nm to pinpoint wavelength, which appears to be 489.924nm. Wavelength tolerance for this laser is +-10nm, so it is ***WELL*** within manufacturer's specs.

Output power when the above two spectrographic analyses were performed was measured at 2.90992mW.


ALL NONLASER SPECTRA HAVE BEEN MOVED TO THEIR OWN WEB PAGE RIGHT HERE IF YOU WISH TO SEE THEM.

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.



Beam cross-sectional analysis.
Laser's beam was widened as far as I was able with the aid of not one, but two lenses.



Repeat beam cross-sectional analysis.
Different lens was used (the one furnished with this laser) to dramatically widen the beam.


Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.


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):



The video is approx. 25.111453489756 megabytes (25,301,054 bytes); dial-up users please be aware. It will take no less than one hundred twenty six minutes to load at 48.0Kbps.

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.
I have been informed by a laser expert that this noise is from the two yellow TEC chips on the driver board, and that this is nothing whatsoever to be concerned about.
However, using the admittedly crude method of holding the driver circuit near one ear and the laser head itself near the other and then energising the unit, this short-lived noise is definitely coming from the laser head itelf in this unit anyway.

(Update 12-30-10): That buzzing I've been hearing at power-on is not the laser head or the driver -- it's actually coming from the power supply unit!!! I placed each component directly up to my ear to pin down the true source of this short-lived sound.





TEST NOTES:
Test unit was purchased on Ebay from SuperTechShop on 07-06-10 (or "06 Jul 2010" if you prefer), and was received at 11:12am PDT on 07-12-10 (or "12 Jul 2010").
Although I list this laser as obsolete, you can still obtain it via this vector.

The Ebay listing indicates that you'll need to procure this cable yourself; however, the cable was included with this unit.

This laser (the head itself, not the controller or PSU) was destroyed during shipping, and does not emit laser radiation at any wavelength. I contacted the seller regarding possible resolution to this problem.

The seller shortly thereafter furnished an RMA number and shipping instructions to return the bad laser head -- actually, the entire laser system -- for a replacement.






UPDATE: 07-26-10
The replacement arrived today.
Although the power output is very low (initially measured at 14.664µW, after tweaking the MCA inside, measures 18.6992µW), it *DOES* lase, so the seller's contractual obligation as per their Ebay listing has been fulfilled (it was guaranteed to lase, but not guaranteed as to how much power you'd get).




UPDATE: 08-02-10
I noticed the unit was ***CONSIDERABLY*** brighter yesterday morning after approx. 95 minutes of continuous operation, so I remeasured the power output: 395.20µW (0.3952mW).
The unit's case temperature was measured at 140°F (60°C) at this time.



UPDATE: 12-28-10
I attempted to boost the output power by adjusting pots and flipping a switch on the inside of the driver as described in this thread on this BBS, but saw no change whatsoever.



UPDATE: 12-28-10
No, you aren't seeing things.
Yes, a same-day update.
After fiddling around with the pots & switch on the driver board for a fair length of time, I saw the laser dramatically brighten -- so I took a measurement: 4.9497mW.

The laser is operating with a significantly lower case temperature as well -- after several hours of continuous operation, it measures just 78°F (25.55°C), with an ambient temperature of 68°F (20.0°C)


The pot that I adjusted is the one on the upper right in this photograph: a blue box with some red gunk on it, and the switch I flipped is the whitish cube with a small black rod protruding from its top near the lower left of this photograph.

After ~8 hours of continuous operation, power output measures 3.5952mW and a couple of hours after that, came in at 3.6351mW.
So I have no significant concerns about the long-term stability of this laser -- though "methinks" it's time to start one of my stability analysis charts...in fact, I just now (6:19pm PST 12-27-10 {or "27 Dec. 2010" if you prefer}) started one.
This is pretty much on par with what I'd have expected, so I'm now officially a happy camper!!!





UPDATE: 12-30-10
Performed spectroscopy of fluorescence of the 2009 NIA Commemorative Insulator in uranated glass when irradiated with this laser; please see the link directly below the laser spectra to get to this plus all other nonlaser spectra concerning this product.

That buzzing I've been hearing at power-on is not the laser head or the driver -- it's actually coming from the power supply unit!!!




UPDATE: 12-31-10
Performed spectroscopy of fluorescence of two objects when irradiated with this laser; please see the link directly below the laser spectra to get to these plus all other nonlaser spectra concerning this product.




UPDATE: 01-01-11
Performed spectroscopy of fluorescence of two objects when irradiated with this laser; please see the link directly below the laser spectra to get to these plus all other nonlaser spectra concerning this product.




UPDATE: 01-02-11
Performed spectroscopy of fluorescence of two objects when irradiated with this laser; please see the link directly below the laser spectra to get to these plus all other nonlaser spectra concerning this product.



UPDATE: 01-03-11
Performed spectroscopy of fluorescence of two objects when irradiated with this laser; please see the link directly below the laser spectra to get to these plus all other nonlaser spectra concerning this product.



UPDATE: 01-04-11
Performed spectroscopy of fluorescence of three objects when irradiated with this laser; please see the link directly below the laser spectra to get to these plus all other nonlaser spectra concerning this product.



MANUFACTURER: Novalux
PRODUCT TYPE: 488nm DPSS laser
LAMP TYPE: Laser
No. OF LAMPS: 1
BEAM TYPE: Very narrow spot
SWITCH TYPE: Toggle switch TEC/off/on
CASE MATERIAL: Metal
BEZEL: Metal; laser recessed into hosel for it
BATTERY: N/A
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
WATER- AND DIET PEPSI-RESISTANT: No
SUBMERSIBLE: FOR CHRIST SAKES NO!!!

ACCESSORIES: Controller module, power supply "brick", IEC cord for power supply, *POSSIBLY* the VGA connecting cable
SIZE: (Laser head) 96mm L x 42mm H x 48mm W
WEIGHT: Unable to weigh (Laser head is avertised to weigh 300g)
COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: Germany
WARRANTY: Unknown


PRODUCT RATING:

Product is obsolete, so a "star" rating will not be furnished.
However, it is still easily found on Ebay.



Update 08-31-11: Performed additional spectroscopy and remetered its power output w/ a LaserBee LPM.

Update 06-02-12: Performed additional spectrographic plus and short-, mid-, & long-term stability analyses.
 
Last edited:

mhakali

New member
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
371
Likes
34
Points
0
Re: Review of the Laser 2000 Protera Model 488-15 Blue Laser

Lotsa reviews from you lately! :) detailed as always. Thanks for a very nice read!

Shame about the <1mW power output (did I read that correctly?) :(
 

X FLY

New member
Joined
Aug 18, 2009
Messages
338
Likes
12
Points
0
Re: Review of the Laser 2000 Protera Model 488-15 Blue Laser

Lotsa reviews from you lately! :) detailed as always. Thanks for a very nice read!

Shame about the <1mW power output (did I read that correctly?) :(
Yep, 18μW = 0.018mW :DD
 

Hemlock_Mike

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2007
Messages
6,275
Likes
313
Points
83
Re: Review of the Laser 2000 Protera Model 488-15 Blue Laser

Good review and Pix. Much of it ran off the right screen of my monitor.
I wish more was visable but that's how it seems to happen here anymore.

HMike
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2009
Messages
11,871
Likes
447
Points
0
Re: Review of the Laser 2000 Protera Model 488-15 Blue Laser

Raise the resolution of your monitor Mike. Then increase the font size to what you're comfortable with. His pix are under 800 pixels, so they are not big. Your monitor resolution is at its lowest setting.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
499
Likes
172
Points
43
Re: Review of the Laser 2000 Protera Model 488-15 Blue Laser

BTTT: Added info. about how well it works now, plus audio & video files.
Another "bump" will occur tomorrow as some rather important spectrographic analyses plus a long-term stability chart will be added.
 

aryntha

New member
Joined
Nov 17, 2009
Messages
2,027
Likes
259
Points
0
Might want to note -- not every VGA cable will work for this interconnect.

VGA cables vary A LOT in their internal construction, as not every pin in the HD-15 connector is important in actual video transmission. VGA only uses a few of them.

Some manufacturers leave them floating -- others tie all of the extra pins to ground.

In my initial experimentation with this laser, using a 'normal' VGA cable resulted in some very angry smells coming from the power supply; to this day it still smells like an airport lounge from 1975 due to this.

The Digi-Key cable is correct, but I wouldn't recommend trying just any VGA cable you have laying around unless you get a multimeter and check continuity on every pin (and for tie-together on every pin) before plugging it in.

The power supply puts out a considerable amount of current, and the result of using, for example, a thin Dell VGA cable with several of the 'wrong' pins shorted to braid, is, shall we say, "exciting".
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
499
Likes
172
Points
43
Thank you very much for the information regarding this -- I'll add it both to the evaluation of this laser on my website and to the O.P. on this BBS in the morning. :)
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
499
Likes
172
Points
43
BTTT: Added three post-adjustment spectrographic analyses, a 12-hour stability analysis, some critical info. about the interconnect cable, and some info. about the momentary "buzzing" sound that's audible at powerup.
 
Last edited:

The_LED_Museum

Active member
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
499
Likes
172
Points
43
BTTT: Performed additional spectrographic plus and short-, mid-, & long-term stability analyses.
These analyses (in particular, the stability analyses) were deemed worthy of a thread bump.
 




Top