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Spyder III 500 Prototype

Hemlock_Mike

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Late last July 2009, Steve at Wicked Lasers asked me to do a review / analysis of his new Spyder III 500 mW portable laser. This laser was a "beta" unit of recent design. I agreed and about three days later, it arrived with two goggles, two cells and a charger. It arrived well packaged and although I took no pictures then, everyone knows what it looks like now.
I inserted a half used 18650 cell to see if it worked and found out why he included goggles!!! It was BRIGHT -- REALLY in my living room. I plotted a graph using that cell and it is posted later. Subsequent plots peaked over 800 mW.




I was getting my courage up to measure the divergence when I noticed a power drop. Having run this portable for several 30 to 45 second shots, the power suddenly dropped to 100 mW. A charged cell didn't correct this problem but a 15 minute cooling period returned it to full power.
From a cold start, this laser came on FULL power and would hold it for over a minute. Subsequent runs like this eventually heated the crystals and power would drop until cooled for about 15 minutes.

I contacted Steve and discussed the duty cycle needs of pointers and portables. My position, as I have stated elswhere, is that we can not expect labbie performance from a pointer or portable which have limited power and heat sinking. Steve asked me to return the awsome laser for updating because some people demand longer duty cycles. The tradeoff may be a slower startup but we will see.

I returned this laser to Steve and he assures me that the replacement will have better duty cycle specs. I have no expected shipping date for the replacement but he has told me that it is near completion and I will do a complete review when it arrives.

All this returns us to a question...... What is expected of a laser pen or portable with battery power? This "beta" unit would impress anyone for a minute then let it cool a while. I was always impressed by the instant POWER and never expected it to hold for 5 minutes with that limited heatsinking.

I never posted this information because I considered this as a prototype but Steve has allowed me to provide this unusual review of a prototype. This is how some of us here help manufacturers improve new products.

I am waiting for the improved 500 mW unit Steve is working on. I hope you will enjoy the review but I still miss that beta unit..........

HMike
 
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RA_pierce

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Re: Spyder II 500 Prototype

Nice. Looking forward to your review of the next unit!
I think you may be able to edit the title by clicking edit post and then changing the subject/title field.
I'm not sure if it works on this new forum, though.
 

pseudonomen137

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Wow, did you draw that plot by hand or do you somehow use the laser power to proportionally disturb fault lines and then seismograph the result?
I grew up in a world where lines and plots only exist on computers...
 
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ossumguywill

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Wow, did you draw that plot by hand or do you somehow use the laser power to proportionally disturb fault lines and then seismograph the result? I grew up in a world where lines and plots only exist on computers
he strategically detonated specific amounts of TNT in order to plot the laser graph.

will
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Pseudo ---
Damn -- you caught me trying to disrupt fault lines to dump callyforinya into the ocean!
Hey guy -- you ferget? I'm old school. That's my heathkit chart recorder!!! Dead Nutz. Computer data can be messed with.

HMike
 

styropyro

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Normally I wouldn't expect a super stable green laser of this power in a handheld unit, but for the price they charge on this thing I would hope for better. I'm eager to see how the new unit they send you preforms.
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Styro --- When I ran it for a minute, it was quite stable and tight beam. The other choices are a Herc (Monster) or a labbie. They all have their places in the hobby.

The other problem -- Divergence testing. There's about 5' of snow out there in drifts and its damn cold. I like to make beam measurements at 40' out to ~300' to get decent readings.

HMike
 
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Nice, thanks to all the people who contributed to the info thread, they will try to match or top RPL performance (divergence, duty cycle, etc.). I'm very intrigued on how the blue units will perform.
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Niko --- This for a 500 mW green. It was a prototype from Steve.
HMike
 
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Hemlock_Mike

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Whatever change Steve is making to this 500 mW+ green must be substantial. It has been a few months. I hope he can keep it in that super looking star wars housing. That in itself impresses those who see it.

HMike
 

brtaman

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Whatever change Steve is making to this 500 mW+ green must be substantial. It has been a few months. I hope he can keep it in that super looking star wars housing. That in itself impresses those who see it.

HMike
I have also had a thing for the new Spyder host, really does resemble a lightsabre. :D

Too bad about the output stability, looks to be a complete powerhouse of a laser.
 

Hemlock_Mike

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b-man ---
I don't consider this a stability issue. It isn't a labbie. Duty cycles can be reduced based on heat sink area and battery power. Some labbies don't turn on like this test unit did.

HMike
 
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Whatever change Steve is making to this 500 mW+ green must be substantial. It has been a few months. I hope he can keep it in that super looking star wars housing. That in itself impresses those who see it.

HMike
Indeed they are changing the host size, they're going to make the head slightly bigger in diameter to allow for more heat to be dissipated.
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Therein is the problem. My prototype never got really warm. I refered to that as heat accumulation with Steve. Once again, it is a tradeoff between small portable and semi-labbie performance.
I am amazed how Steve watches this forum and tries to respond to the wishes of the majority.
I personally liked the original Spyder. :D

HMike
 




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