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Spyder III BLUE portable

Hemlock_Mike

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This is an analysis of a Spyder III, 60 mW DPSS Blue laser sent to me for review by Steve at Wicked Lasers. I did not ask for this laser and I do have to return it to a WL site in the US when I'm finished.

The laser arrived in good condition well packaged as typical for Wicked Lasers. It came with goggles and a charger but no 18650 cells as typical for shipping restrictions.
This is the Spyder III configuration we have seen before. It also comes with a power graph docummenting output from the company. For those unfamiliar with the Spyder III, it has a tail clicky push on - push off switch plus a removeable side safety pin which also prevents it from rolling. It weighs 14.7 oz with 18650 cell installed. Three power lights indicate cell charge and there is a large front window which appears to be an IR filter. Using an IR pass filter, no IR emission was found.
The IR, non-contact thermometer shown in the picture is used later in power measurement.



Front view showing window.



When first turned on, I noticed a low power output which climbed to full power over about 2 minutes. After another minute, the power began to drop slowly. After graphing power several times, I noticed that I was not getting the same results for graph slopes. I let the laser cool to 65 Deg F and using the IR thermometer, noted head temp at the start of the run. Understand that this reading does not give a temperature of the crystals inside.
I am including 3 of the power graphs with different starting temps listed so the nature of this technology can be observed.
"Aryntha" has posted some of his experiences in my GLP-473 review and I will add some of his findings throughout this review to help understanding. His comments will be in quotes and preffaced with an *.
*"Extremely temperature dependent (more so than 593.5's which are just unstable no matter what temperature) - but once they get going they can be well over-spec."

This is graph 1 in which the laser starts at 74 Degrees F head temperature. It exceeds the 60 mW spec in ~ 20 seconds and then rises to 96 mW after ~ 70 seconds. It remains above spec for almost 2 minutes. End temp was 77 Degrees F.



Graph 2 is made letting the laser rest for 3 minutes. The head remained at 77 Deg F. Note that the power quickly goes past 60 mW and peaks at 98 mW. The effect of temp is observed by the down slope and the spec power is held for about 70 Seconds.



Graph 3 shows how temperature effects a DPSS 473. Starting at 83 Deg F, the power jumps to only 77 mW and very quickly drops down. Along about here, a good cool down period will help.



Starting at 65 Deg F, The laser needs about 2 minutes to get to MAX (above spec) power and will sustain for several minutes This laser always reached 60 mW spec in no more than 30 seconds even when cold.
*"When cold, (and room temperature is almost always 'cold' to a 473) - they start out very weak; 5mW-10mW even, and as they warm up (say 10-20 seconds in) they reach their full potential for that cycle."
This appears to be the nature of both DPSS 473 portables I have reviewed.


Now into beam quality -- Before I mention divergence testing, the shape of the beam needs to be addressed. Unlike a DPSS green, the blue displays a somewhat oval beam. The spec on this Spyder III 473 is 4 x 6 mm Beam Diameter. It is difficult to measure because of the intensity but I measure 2.10 x 3.37 mm.
*"Beam spot size for me never seems to be perfectly gaussian, much like your observation. They seem to want to shift oblong as they "fight" to stay Tem00 vs Tem01."
This picture uses a piece of flat black charcoal as a target.



This picture compares the Spyder III against a lesser powerful blue at 50' .. Note the oblong characteristics of both. Hint --- The Spyder is the dot on the right!



For divergence testing, I measured the wide part of the beam at 25' and 156'. Not being consistent with the measurement will affect the divergence calculation.
At 25', I measured 8.87 mm. At 156', the beam was 48.83 mm.
Using the calculator, this indicates 1.0008 mRad Divergence. Much better than the reported spec in the book of 4 mRad.
From 150' and no fog, the beam looks like this. The spill is due to the camera lens.



As a final note, this is a pulsed laser somewhat similar to my other portable. According to my O'scope traces, this laser is ON for about 80% duty cycle. No information is available related to how or if the PWM is activly controled.





So concludes my review of this Spyder III Blue laser before I send it back. I want to thank Steve at WL for the opportunity to test it and input from Aryntha and others in making this possible and more complete.
DPSS Blue is a new technology and perhaps not for the "pop and burn" members here. BUT, if you have advanced into colors, this is a way over spec laser if you respect the science that makes it happen.

HMike
 
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I hope the graph can be a little more stable.
I am glad you finally got that unit.
 

XCreedX

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I think that host is the best WL has ever came out with. Can't wait to see balloons popping :cool:
 

MarioMaster

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Looks like great results considering how temperature intolerant the 473nm DPSS process is.

Mike I've got a blue RPL if you want I can post power test results in the other thread.
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Mario ---

Your data will likely support that of Aryntha and I. Seems there's few of us who have really tested this technology. I didn't plan on showing extra power curves and beam info but you won't detract from this Spyder III. It's a good unit. Go ahead and post.

HMike
 

ninja_tux

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Nice review as always Mike! Really interesting seeing the different graphs based on head temperature...DPSS lasers fascinate me, especially the more "complex" systems that are used to produce blue or yellow wavelengths. I only wished they weren't so gosh-darned expensive for my budget! *sigh* ... maybe in a few years when the manufacturing costs go down to more reasonable prices.
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Ninja --

I dumped every idea for testing I could think of. For anyone with a pulsed laser, put an LED across your O'scope probes and read the PWM duty cycle. Remember back when we used an LED as a cheap power meter? Watch for stray light input from the new funny Algore lights -- they will input noise.

Oh -- Ninja ---- Get a high power laser for yourself !!!

HMike
 

Pontiacg5

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Ninja --

I dumped every idea for testing I could think of. For anyone with a pulsed laser, put an LED across your O'scope probes and read the PWM duty cycle. Remember back when we used an LED as a cheap power meter? Watch for stray light input from the new funny Algore lights -- they will input noise.

Oh -- Ninja ---- Get a high power laser for yourself !!!

HMike
IIRC that didn't work too well. I bought so many diffused green LEDs and never got a consistent reading :D
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Pontiac ---
Using the LED is not for measuring power but only duty cycle. I was looking only for a fast responce "solar cell" to provide on/off info to the O'scope.
three years ago, the LED trick was the best power refference available to us pre-vets!

HMike
 

Hemlock_Mike

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Pontiac --- Looking at your join date, I think you should remember ! Those were the days when everyone was an experimenter and not an appliance opperator.
Help keep the hobby alive.

HMike
 




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