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Review of the Wicked Lasers Evo (532nm green DPSS laser)

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This is a long post at least 22 images on it; dial-up users please allow for plenty of load time.

Evo Smartphone-Controllable Green DPSS Portable Laser, retail $299.95 (www.wickedlasers.com...)
Manufactured by Wicked Lasers (www.wickedlasers.com)
Last updated 11-14-13







The Evo Smartphone-Controllable Green DPSS Portable Laser (hereinafter, probably just referred to as the "Evo") is a rather powerful self-contained, handheld laser. It has the SmartSwitch™ v2.0 which includes several additional modes besides just "on" and "off".

It is also fully controllable with your Iphone or Android smartphone! And if the preprogrammed modes piss you off, you can CHANGE THEM without significant disassembly of your laser (you only need to remove a plate, pull out the jumper, and screw on a little module) because of its open source firmware!!!

It is rated to produce up to 0.1W (100mW) of laser radiation at 532nm (spectrographically measured at 532nm) in the green part of the spectrum.

It comes in a very sturdy aluminum body that has been hard-anodized, and feeds from a pair of ordinary AA cells that you supply yourself.


SIZE



To use your shiny new Evo, feed it a pair of AA cells first (see directly below), and ***THEN*** you can go lase something

To use the portable laser (it has multiple operational modes thanks to its SmartSwitch™ v2.0), follow these instructions:


1: Press the rubberised tailcap button until it clicks, and then release it.
2: Click the SmartSwitch™ three times in rapid succession; then click it two more times significantly more slowly (hold the button in for approx 250ms {¼ second} with those last two presses).

This arms the laser and turns it on in steady-on mode at minimum power.

The SmartSwitch™ prevents accidental and unauthorized activation of the laser by requiring a short sequence of clicks and click-holds to unlock the laser.

o Low, Medium, High power mode - Pressing and holding the SmartSwitch will cycle through the power modes.


o Tactical Standby Mode - 1 quick click will set the laser to standby mode and another quick click will turn it back on.

o Strobe Mode - Double clicking the SmartSwitch button will set the laser to strobe mode. To exit, just double click on the button again.

o Full-power / Momentary Mode - Hold the SmartSwitch and press the button on the tailcap then proceed with unlocking the laser. The laser will only operate while the SmartSwitch button is pressed. The laser must be turned off to exit this mode.


To control the Evo with your SmartPhone, you'll first want to download this app (for iOS) or this app (for Android).

You may also connect the laser directly to your smartphone using the furnished A/V cable and these instructional materials (this is a .PDF file; you'll need Adobe Acrobat or other PDF reader to view this).

Next, you'll need to connect the Smartport to the laser itself; this process is rather straightforward.
1: On the side of the laser's barrel directly opposite of the SmartSwitch, you'll see a plate held on by two Allen screws. Use the furnished Allen key to remove these screws. Then lift the plate straight off.
2: Toward the rear of the opening you now see, you'll find a curved black jumper. Pull it straight out and set that aside too.
3: Push the Smartport straight down, orienting it so that the end with the projecting rectangular piece goes in toward the back of the laser -- this is the plug that fits those pins in the laser's body.
4: Secure it in place with the furnished screws.

***VERY IMPORTANT!!!***
Everybody in this family (and my friends) has a dumbphone™, so I am simply not equipped to show you how the Evo would be used with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.



To change the batteries in your Wicked Lasers Evo, unscrew and remove the bezel (head), and set it aside.

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

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

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

Due to how this laser was constructed, I am not able to furnish current usage values.


***EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!!***

This laser is a fairly powerful (measured at 96mW) CDRH Class IIIb instrument, and the photons generated by it are much higher in energy than the photons generated by a red laser of equivalent power (not that you'd want to shoot your eye out with a 300mW red laser anyway!!!); so you definitely do not want to 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 ¡para los motivos de Cristo! (and for heaven sakes and for Pete sakes and your sakes too) do not shine the Evo (or any other laser for that matter!) at any vehicle, whether ground-based like a motorcycle, 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, unholster (pull out) 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 water-resistant but not submersible, so please be careful around sinks, tubs, toilets, fishtanks, pet water bowls, or other places where water or water-like liquids might be found. However, you need not worry about using it outdoors when it's raining or snowing.

The case is made from 6061-T6 Aircraft-Grade Aluminum, and is treated with a black HA-III (hard anodized) finish.

The beam has a diameter of 2.00mm when it exits the product.
According to the web page on the Evo, it produces a TEM00 (transverse electromagnetic mode 00) beam - that is, it produces a beam with a Gaussian power distribution; circular with a central hotspot and dimmer corona. This is a typical laser mode, and is how many lasers (well, most lasers for consumer use anyway) are designed to operate.

Divergence is stated as 1.50mRad.


I said this once already but it bears repeating: Everybody in this family (and my friends) has a dumbphone™, so I am simply not equipped to show you how the Evo would be used with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.








Measures 9mW (minimum) and 96mW) (maximum) on a LaserBee 2.5W USB Laser Power Meter w/Thermopile.



Beam photograph on the test target at 12".



Beam photograph on a wall at ~15 feet.



Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Evo at minimum power.


Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Evo at minimum power; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 528nm and 538nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is 532nm.

The raw spectrometer data (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/44/evol.txt



Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Evo at maximum power.


Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Evo at maximum power; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 528nm and 538nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is again 532nm.

The raw spectrometer data (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at http://ledmuseum.candlepower.us/44/evoh.txt


Spectrographic analysis of the S3 Evo; spectrometer's response narrowed to a range between 800nm and 874nm to check for NIR emission from the pump diode -- which, as you can see, there is none!!!

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

A beam cross-sectional analysis would normally appear here, but the computer that hosted the ProMetric 8 Beam Cross-Sectional Analyser was destroyed by a lightning strike in July 2013 (the monitor had this big-ass hole blown right through its viewscreen); although a replacement computer is already en route (it just came the other day actually), there's a fairly significant chance that the beam cross-sectional analyser itself was also wiped out because both the computer & test instrument shared the AC power at the same outlet on the same power strip.


Video on YourTube showing how the Evo is "connected" to your smartphone.
This video was used pending permission from its creator.



Video on YourTube showing how the Evo is "hacked" via being connected to your computer via a USB port.
Again, this video was used pending permission from its creator.


TEST NOTES:
Test unit was sent by Steve of Wicked Lasers on 10-20-13 (or "2013 20 Oct." if you prefer), and was received on 11-06-13 (or "2013 06 Nov." or even Nov. 06, Twenty Stick-Tits" if you prefer).


UPDATE: 00-00-00


PROS:
Unique remote controllability via your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone
Easily, on-the-fly adjustable power output (from ~10mW to ~100mW)
Attractive to look at whether on or off
Uses batteries that are common and relatively inexpen$ive


NEUTRAL:


CONS:
None that I've yet to discover





MANUFACTURER: Wicked Lasers
PRODUCT TYPE: Portable DPSS green portable laser that's smartphone-controllable
LAMP TYPE: DPSS green laser
No. OF LAMPS: 1
BEAM TYPE: Very narrow spot; it's a laser, remember?

SWITCH TYPE: Arm/disarm button on tailcap; pushbutton on/mode change/off on barrel
CASE MATERIAL: Hard-anodized aluminum
BEZEL: Metal; has aperture (hole) for laser beam to emerge
BATTERY: 2x AA cells
CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
WATER- AND URANATION-RESISTANT: Very light splatter-resistance at maximum
SUBMERSIBLE: ¡¡¡PAPÁ NOEL CAGANDO POR UNA CHIMENEA, NO!!!
`

ACCESSORIES: Belt holster, LaserShades laser safety goggles, smartphone connection module (Smartport), programming (hacking) kit, numerous small screws, Allen key
SIZE: 226mm L x 25mm Dia.
WEIGHT: 189.10g (6.670 oz) incl. batteries
COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: China
WARRANTY: 1 year

PRODUCT RATING:


 
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KRNAZNBOY

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Nice review! Good video too...

Yes WL does make good lasers. just a bit too expensive for me. Would love to see someone make a smartswitch like button that we could use in custom lasers!
 

Hap

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Great review, did an awesome job of explaining all the details! Plus rep for you!
 

Trevor

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Nice review of an interesting laser! I'd love to write some code on one of these things... it looks pretty interesting! :D

Trevor
 

DJNY

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ZRaffleticket

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Still not repaired enough... you might still need a web address in there ;)

For as cool as the concept is on these, I still wouldn't imagine paying that much for the laser. Also I'd bet its pretty fragile...

Good review nonetheless :beer:
 

Cyparagon

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Great review as always. But you're trying to extract more data from your spectrometer than it will allow. The Nd:YVO4 line is 1064.something, so your spectrometer is off by a hair. You cannot accurately quote a wavelength to three decimal places anyway. The extra decimal places are an artifact of the calibration constants. You only have so many pixels to work with - 2048 to be exact. You would need hundreds of thousands of pixels to get that resolution over the whole visible spectrum. It also means you cannot quote FWHM any less than the rating of your device. Light spilling over onto other pixels does not mean the laser has a 1.5nm linewidth. 1.5nm is the minimum your unit will display.
 
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cheech226

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very thorough review and nice pix. i would really like to see how it interacts with a smartphone tho. however i would never pay $299 for a 100mW dpss green unless it cooked breakfast too.
 
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Great review as always. But you're trying to extract more data from your spectrometer than it will allow. The Nd:YVO4 line is 1064.something, so your spectrometer is off by a hair. You cannot accurately quote a wavelength to three decimal places anyway. The extra decimal places are an artifact of the calibration constants. You only have so many pixels to work with - 2048 to be exact. You would need hundreds of thousands of pixels to get that resolution over the whole visible spectrum. It also means you cannot quote FWHM any less than the rating of your device. Light spilling over onto other pixels does not mean the laser has a 1.5nm linewidth. 1.5nm is the minimum your unit will display.
My spectrometer's upper limit (longest resolveable wavelength) is 874nm.

I extract the wavelength by using the data file itself (which extends to two decimal places); the trailing zero is added by me because I've always added leading and trailing zeroes to numeric data. Therefore, the trailing zero may safely be ignored. :D

Anyway, I've taken the liberty of removing the trailing zeroes from my review wherever they appear. :)
 
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Cyparagon

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All decimal places can be ignored, actually. We already know it is off by at least 0.5nm, so quoting something to two decimal places is silly. You only have about three pixels per nm, so the absolute most you can rely on is a third of a nm, see?
 




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