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Sanwu Spiker Series lasers: 1 Watt 520nm and 638nm

Razako

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Got some new arrivals in the mail yesterday. My Sanwu Spikers Series 638nm and 520nm. Why? Because if you can't blind the zombies it's nice to be able to club them over the head with your laser:p

Total time from purchase to arrival of the lasers was roughly 3 weeks. These are well crafted and have excellent machining/threads from what I can tell. Everything works and the focusing rings turn smoothly. These lasers are quite impressive looking and feel very sturdy in your hand. Not ideal if you want a highly portable pocket laser though.

Link to purchase site
https://sites.google.com/site/hkfew5e22/Series/Spike

Power and Duty cycle:
The red 638nm takes two 18650's and the Green 520nm requires two beefy 26650 batteries. Both lasers are supposed to have an unlimited duty cycle per Sanwu, but I probably won't actually test that out. I have left them both on for 3-5 minutes at a time with no negative effects. The large heatsink on the green starts getting a little warm after 2-3 minutes of runtime. The red laser heats up more slowly.

Current draw measured with fluke multi-meter:
Both lasers seem to have a 'soft-start' feature where the current gradually ramps up over a few seconds. The 520nm ramps up to 1.4-1.5amps at max, while the 638nm ramps up to around .5amps.

Beam specs:
These are direct diode 638 and 520nm lasers. You pretty much get a bar shaped beam with OKish divergence. This is unavoidable without corrective optics. If you want good beam specs you gotta get DPPS lasers or lower power diodes.

Burning: Both of these lasers will easily do all of the common tricks. I haven't been able to light paper on fire like I can with my O-like 2Watt 450nm though. Either I need to focus them better, or I need that extra watt of power.

Visibility: The Green 520nm is straight up THE BRIGHTEST laser I've ever owned. The scattered light from the spot can light up an entire room at night when pointed at the ceiling(Note, I didn't actually look at the laser spot, just held the laser up over my head). When your eyes are adapted to the darkness 520 is very close to the peak visibility wavelength.
The red 638 nm has a moderately visible beam in the night sky and seems to be more of a crimson/fire red compared to the darker blood red 650nm lasers.

Accessories: I've got a beam expander for these coming, but it won't be here for a while.

Complaints:
I only have one slight complaint so far. The battery tube in the 638nm seems to be very slightly too long. As a result I need to use the extended length protected 18650's or I have contact issues.

Alright then, enough of the boring analysis. Time for some pictures:drool:
No outdoor beamshots yet. Last night there were a bunch of helicopters flying around and I didn't want to be pointing a 1 watt green laser around. Maybe tonight...
Green laser cutting paper and light a green tipped match unfocused.
Red laser cutting paper and lighting matches.


 
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gozert

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Haven't read your whole post, but just wanted to say that the hosts look awesome. Those are some quality hosts not many sellers offer. Have wanted a Sanwu laser for a long time but unfortunately cannot have one at this moment. Maybe sometime in the future.
 

RedCowboy

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They are good looking units and I will enjoy seeing that beam expander in action later, I hope you will post when you get it. :beer:
 

ElectricPlasma

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Expensive, but exceptional quality lasers that Sanwu makes. Still waiting on mine with the 3x BE from January, but there's a story behind that... If you ever see the review I make for it when it comes in you'll see why

I would have thought the 1W 520nm beam would be a bit brighter. Probably just the camera, as my 800mW 520nm beam is crazy bright.

Good review, sweet lasers!
 

Razako

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Expensive, but exceptional quality lasers that Sanwu makes. Still waiting on mine with the 3x BE from January, but there's a story behind that... If you ever see the review I make for it when it comes in you'll see why

I would have thought the 1W 520nm beam would be a bit brighter. Probably just the camera, as my 800mW 520nm beam is crazy bright.

Good review, sweet lasers!
Yeah, the camera really does it no justice. It was also in a lit room with no added smoke or fog.
 

Razako

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Alright, there were no helicopters hovering around tonight. Time for some beam shots:D All pictures were taken on a chilly night with no fog and low humidity.

The 638nm puts out a stunning crimson beam in the night sky. Easily visible and more than adequate for star pointing. Seems almost equal in beam brightness to a 50mw green(although the beam is fatter and diverges faster)
The 520nm can only be described as a lightsaber. Solid forest green beam that reaches far as you can see. Uncomfortably bright spot even on objects 100+ feet away. If you were ever lost and had to signal for help this would be the laser for you:D

638nm on tree roughly 100 feet away.



520nm on same tree. Camera really doesn't do this justice. In reality it's almost annoyingly bright to look at the spot even from this distance.
 
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Pman

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Those are really nice looking and you don't see many units being sold with an unlimited duty cycle. I'm way beyond cautious when I t comes to duty cycle. I've never ran any of my lasers long enough to even come close to its cycle limit. Kind of paranoid about it I suppose but unless i'm taking a picture I've never had the need to keep one on long
I would HIGHLY suggest you buy much better batteries for them. Does Sanwu ship with those? Everything I've seen from Sanwu has appeared to be top quality. I've been tempted everytime I look at their stuff. Has anyone bought that Saber attachment piece yet? I did buy a couple of their lenses and a tripod.
What lens came with the ones you bought? Can you easily change them to a 3-element?
Can't REP you yet.
 

Razako

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Those are really nice looking and you don't see many units being sold with an unlimited duty cycle. I'm way beyond cautious when I t comes to duty cycle. I've never ran any of my lasers long enough to even come close to its cycle limit. Kind of paranoid about it I suppose but unless i'm taking a picture I've never had the need to keep one on long
I would HIGHLY suggest you buy much better batteries for them. Does Sanwu ship with those? Everything I've seen from Sanwu has appeared to be top quality. I've been tempted everytime I look at their stuff. Has anyone bought that Saber attachment piece yet? I did buy a couple of their lenses and a tripod.
What lens came with the ones you bought? Can you easily change them to a 3-element?
Can't REP you yet.
I actually have better batteries, but they're like a mm too short to fit in the 638. I gotta use the slightly longer 'protected' trustfires in it. Maybe I could use a magnet spacer or something to make my AW 18650's work with it? I'm currently using some high quality Efest 26650's in the 520nm.

As for the duty cycles, I'm pretty convinced that the 638nm does have an effectively unlimited duty cycle. Power draw from the batteries is only around 4.2 watts, with around 1 watt of that going out the front end. The diode and driver should only need to dissipate around 3 watts of heat. Last night I gave the 638 several 20+ minute runs with no noticeable issues. At max the front of the host would get very slightly warm to the touch. Unless it was a super hot 90+ degree day or something, I'd feel pretty confident just letting the 638 run till the batteries die.

I'm not gonna take the same chances with the 520nm though. It cost nearly 3 times more than the 638 and it needs to dissipate a lot more heat. Nearly 11 watts worth of heat if I'm doing the math right. I like to limit it to 2-3 minute run times.
 

paul1598419

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Very nice review. Are you sure about the current draw on the 635nm laser? At 1 watt, it should be drawing at least 1.2 amps. I'm curious how you determined current with a multi-meter while the drivers are attached to the LDs.
 

Razako

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Very nice review. Are you sure about the current draw on the 635nm laser? At 1 watt, it should be drawing at least 1.2 amps. I'm curious how you determined current with a multi-meter while the drivers are attached to the LDs.
I took off the tailcap and completed the circuit with the meter. Just checked again with a different meter and got around .5 amps again. Soft start at around .3 amps and gradually ramps up to .5 after a few seconds.

Perhaps the red diodes are more efficient than the green? Maybe somebody knows more than I do about this.
 
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BowtieGuy

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Razako, that is definitely an impressive pair of zombie killers you have there; Sanwu has done a fine job with these Spiker series of lasers.
I've been a longtime J/L fan, but I would love to add a Spiker or two to my collection, very nice! :Do

Looking forward to seeing them with the B.E. added.

:gj:
 




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