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Review of the Tinker brand Yellow-Amber/Yellow-Orange 593.5nm DPSS Laser Pen

The LED (& Laser) Museum

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Tinker brand Yellow-Amber/Yellow-Orange 593.5nm DPSS Laser Pen, retail $85.00

Manufactured by (unknown)
Last updated 11-20-23


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This is a 593.5nm yellow-amber (yellow-orange to some viewers) SFDPSS (sum frequency diode pumped solid state) laser pen that is designed to output 5mW but appears to generate 7mW to 9mW when powered with one 10440 Li:ION cell plus a dummy cell. It is made primarily from brass, covered with what I believe is a black baked enamel finish. It also has a gold-colored tailcap, bezel, ring around the barrel, and pocket clip -- these accents look very nice (classy!) on this laser pointer.


I love the yellow-amber beam color!!!
I actually first saw this laser wavelength in late-summer 2004, but I still think it's kool. :)

The color could best be described as a "very strong urine yellow"; though there are probably some more gentle terms that could be used to describe the color - like...er...uh..."sunset yellow". ;)
It isn't "lemon yellow", but it really isn't orange either.


The second pic above is of the ornamental* brass "badge" that was furnished with the laser.
I wanted to rotate the original pic -- a better one -- 90º clockwise, but I do not have the necessary software (I am forced to use a Linux box; I do not own or have access to a Windows box which would have made this an easy proposition.)

The third photo shows that the front of this laser is solid, not threaded to fit those "star" diffraction caps like the ones furnished with this laser.


Feed the laser pen a pair of AAA cells or a single 10440 Li:ION cell plus a dummy AAA cell first, and then you'll be ready to rock.

To use the laser pen, just aim it at something you wish to point out, and press & hold the button on the barrel. Release the button to turn the laser pen back off.




To change the batteries in this laser, unscrew the tailcap, and set it aside.

Tip the used AAA cells or the 10440 cell + dummy cell out of the barrel and into your hand, and dispose of, recycle, or recharge them as you see fit. Please do not under any circumstances flush them down a toliet or throw them into a dolly varden-filled stream or those tree-huggers might hunt you down and then beat the living tweedle out of you. :)

Insert two new AAA cells (or one 10440 cell plus one dummy cell) into the barrel, flat-end (-) negative first. This is the opposite of how batteries are installed in most flashlights, so please pay attention to polarity here.

Screw the tailcap back on, and be done with it.

I had to use 2xAAA alkanine cells in order for this laser to function.
I later found that reversing the 10440 cell and dummy cell gave me great joy (the laser functioned as intended).



This is a laser pen, not a flashlight meant to be carried around, thrashed, bashed, trashed, and abused, so I won't try to drown it in a toliet tank, run over it with a 450lb Quickie Pulse 6 motorised wheelchair, stomp on it, send it to the Daystrom Institute for additional analyses, sit down really hard on it, or perform other indecencies on it that a flashlight might have to have performed on it. So this section of the web page will be a bit more bare than this section of the web page on a page about a flashlight.

From a laser engineer who emailed me about this laser almost twenty years ago, comes the following text:

The technology behind the yellow laser is a bit more involved than in the green laser, involving a process called sum frequency generation. It uses the same
components that the green laser has, but the coatings are much different.

There are two particular "tricks" in making a sum frequency laser. The first is to get a single laser crystal (the Nd:YAG or Nd:YVO4) to lase simultaneously at two different wavelengths, both 1064 nm and 1342 nm.
While we do this with gas lasers (Argon and Krypton) frequently, this is pretty rare with solid state. The relative powers of the two have to be in a reasonable range for the sum frequency process to work. The two waves are introduced in to the KTP crystal, which generates the 593.5nm output.


This is why yellow DPSS lasers are so much more expensive than red diode lasers. Lots of itty bitty parts, and they all need to be very carefully aligned by hand. If the polarisation is "off", one or both crystals need to be turned.
With red diode lasers, you just slap in the diode and slap a lens in front of it.

This laser is not water-resistant, so please be extra careful when using it around sinks, bathtubs, toliet bowls, fishtanks, mud puddles, wet washrags, pet water dishes, dripping raincoats 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 pocket or bag) if you need to use it in rain or snow.

There are no current usage, optical power output measurements or spectrographic analyses because I no longer own or have access to a DMM, LPM, or spectrometer.

I was not able to measure wavelength with a diffraction grating and a meter stick because there is insufficient space here, and an outdoor measurement is not possible because I'm in a wheelchair after falling prey to a crippling stroke on 03-21-22 and my physical ability to measure with a meter stick is extremely limited at best.)





Beam terminus photograph on a wall at ~80".





Beam bouncing off of a standard 2nd-surface household mirror at ~5 feet.

Some unwanted movement occurred; I may attempt to reshoot this pic on the evening of 10-04-23.

(I may not be successful in this endeavour because I may not have something heavy enough to actuate the button.)



Note that the laser operates for ~15 seconds and then peters out.​
A known-freshly-charged 10440 Li:ION cell was used for these tests.
After a brief resting period, this same sequence can be repeated without changing or recharging the battery.

I believe that this may indeed be related to the inherent instability of this laser, and is not really a fault of the unit.




TEST NOTES
Test unit was sent to me by tinkertavernco on Ebay on 09-25-23 and was received at 1:53pm PDT on 10-03-23.

This person appears to know his {vular slang term for shit} about lasers, so I believe you can buy with confidence.

* Ornamental because I do not see a designated use for the object.

Does this evaluation look an awful lot like the one I made for this product?
Thought that you'd say so.
That's because they're electrically and optically somewhat similar and they're from the same retail source, so I was able to use its evaluation as a template for this one.

My sister (whom I live with strictly for medical reasons) was very much against me obtaining this laser; my brother-in-law opened the box while I was having lunch though so there were no fireworks.

I was, however, later forced to dispose of the ornamental brass "badge" that was furnished with this laser. :(

Nevertheless, this might very well be the last laser that I ever write about either here or on my website. :(


UPDATE 10-11-23
Unit appears to have gone to pot -- see video a bit farther up


UPDATE 10-12-23

Added another video of this laser going down the tube.


UPDATE 10-16-23
I believe that the laser malfunction demonstrated in the videos may indeed be related to the inherent instability of this laser, and is not really a fault of the unit.


UPDATE 11-20-23
For reasons as-of-yet unknown, my sister decided to throw the metal storage case in the dustbin (garbage can) this afternoon.




PROS:
Color is extremely radiant and unusual for a portable laser
Has a hefty, "not cheap" feel
Nice beam quality -- beam is exceptionally clean with no unwanted "nasties" (artifacts) in it
Uses batteries that are common and relatively inexpen$ive


NEUTRAL:

Not waterproof or submersible - but most laser pens aren't. Will not figure into my rating
More delicate than directly-injected diode laser pointers/pens. Again, will not figure into my rating


CONS:
High current usage; expect battery life to be a bit on the brief side -- that's what nocked off that last ½ star.
Button appears to be a bit more difficult to actuate than it is in other "pen-style" lasers




PRODUCT RATING:


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tinkertavernco

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Thanks so much for the review! I’m sorry that you had to throw out the badge. If you ever decide you want another one, let me know, because we usually have around 500 of them sitting around at any given time :)

As for the battery life concern, it’s unfortunately a bit tough, because you need a big infrared diode to get just a little bit of yellow. But, I have heard that there may be some improvements in efficiency in the next few months, and we will absolutely be the first to get in on those!
 
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These are great little lasers, I’ve been able to see the 532nm and 671nm lines with a diffraction grating. The red is super dim but definitely present
 

The LED (& Laser) Museum

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As for the battery life concern, it’s unfortunately a bit tough, because you need a big infrared diode to get just a little bit of yellow. But, I have heard that there may be some improvements in efficiency in the next few months, and we will absolutely be the first to get in on those!
I'm already aware of the potential for short battery life because of my prior experience with 593.5nm SFDPSS laser technology; I'd be extremely interested to hear about the improvements when they come to fruition. (y)
 

The LED (& Laser) Museum

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BTTT: For reasons as-of-yet unknown, my sister decided to throw the metal storage case in the dustbin (garbage can) this afternoon.
 
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I'm glad you got to keep this irrespective of your sister's feelings. Very nicely done review.
 




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