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Updated! Firefly 589nm DL Review!

IsaacT

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"Firefly"

*********ATTENTION! While past units have been excellent, it appears we have reached the end of Dragon Laser's acceptable stock. For more information regarding this, please read Atomicrox' Feedback thread HERE... Thank you for reading. To clarify. While at the time of this review Dragon Lasers was an excellent choice for 589nm Handheld Units, they are no longer an advisable source of these lasers.*********



Hello everyone! Today I want to show off the newest member of my personal collection.
It is a brand new 589nm Spartan from Dragon Lasers rated at 50mW! Something I have been dying
for ever since I found out 589's existed!

This review is going to be separated into a few parts to keep everything orderly.

Table of Contents:
Customer Interaction
Shipping Time
Build Quality of Host
Laser Specs & Measurements
Thoughts & Notes

I. Customer Interaction

One of the biggest things that affects where I will buy from is the way I am treated as a
customer. With this, Adam from Dragon Lasers did everything he could to assuage my fears
and instill in me confidence that not only would I receive my laser, but also that it would
be guaranteed up to spec and that I would be happy with it. Some of my questions included
if the beam would be clean, if power would be up to spec, and if it would actually make it past customs.
He assured me that Dragon Lasers would meet or exceed specs and that they guaranteed delivery!
Not bad, DL, not bad!

I was also afforded a Gold membership in advance as per my request with promise of media
and reviews to subsidize the remaining points I would require post transaction. Adam's willingness
to accomodate me in this regard is highly commendable and made my purchasing experience
a very pleasant one. I knew I was getting quality, and a slight price break off of the total gave me
peace of mind, even if telling the GF was still going to be iffy.

II. Shipping Time

Shipping time from DL was not bad at all! I placed my order on the 7th of May. Part of my order
was shipped on May 8th and consisted of diffraction gratings for the group buy I hosted, and the
laser was shipped on the 13th of May. I was notified of an approximate week delay from purchase date
to the shipment of the laser, so I had no problem with the timing there. The laser arrived 8 days after
it was shipped, and it even got to spend a hot minute in customs. YIKES! However when it arrived,
it did not have any customs tape over the box, which leads me to believe that customs simply processed it
rather than looking inside.

Shipping services used were TNT, and when I asked Adam about it, he assured me that it
was a faster service with just as much quality as USPS, which put my fears of a broken laser at ease.

III. Build Quality of Host

Let me be very clear when I say that I am not a fan of the DL Spartan Case. If I had my way, I would
likely remove the 589nm module and do like I have at other times and have a new host built for it with a
little more style. That being said, this host is very solid in the hand, and does not feel cheap by any standards.

The front of the laser has ridges on it, which serve to keep the laser from rolling. Very functional, and
while I don't think it is much to look at, I appreciate the fact that my alignment will not be
roughed up simply because my table has a mild case of scoleosis.
The grip on the laser has a very fine knurling on it, which is great for giving the host a very slight bit of character.
The threads are FANTASTIC! They are like butter. I am very careful with them, but it is a wonderful
thing to be able to screw in the tailcap without the slightest bit of noise. If I ever get a supressor made
for a pistol I will be getting DL to make it!
The collimating lens and/or IR filter of the laser is inset about an inch behind the aperture, and this
helps with splash and keeping the lens safe from scratches I am sure. It also worries me however, as
I have been unable as of yet to remove the front. Granted, I haven't put much effort forth, but if I
need to clean the lens I would be facing a bit of a problem. The laser does have a small screw on
aperture cover however, that I will be using at all times(when the laser is off) to maintain lens safety.
One manner in which the aperture cover could have been improved is if there was a small window of
glass on the side of it so that photons would be able to escape and warn of the laser being on
unintentionally. I am somewhat paranoid about this so I simply take the battery out before storage.

Host Measurements
Length: 200mm
Width: 26mm
Weight: 175g

IV. Laser Specs & Measurements

While I am unimpressed by the exterior of this laser, I did not buy it for its casing. Taking a look
under the hood then, we are faced with one extraordinary laser assembly. This laser uses SHG(second
harmonic generation), wherein the 808nm pump diode causes the Nd:YAG
cystal to lase at the lines 1064nm and 1319nm. These two lines are then combined into 589nm
as they pass through the non linear optic KTP. Out to the collimating lens they go, which refocuses the
slightly divergent beam into something I might actually want to spend 420 dollars on, and then to the IR
filter to clean up any stray IR output we might get from the process above. Absorption is not 100%,
which is why I don't have a 500+mW 589nm laser.

Specs:
Output Wavelength: 589nm
Output Power: Fluctuations between 65-90mW over 1 Minute
Ir Filtered: Yes
Beam Diameter: 1.7mm @ Aperture
Beam Diameter: 6.0mm @ 10m
Beam Diameter: 0.5mRad
Duty Cycle: 1 Minute On / 30 Seconds Off
Battery Setup: 1 x 18650
Polarity: Positive to Tailcap

Following Pictures Illustrate Low, Average, and Peak Powers Over a Period of 30 Seconds:







V. Thoughts & Notes

A couple things. First, if you want a laser at 589nm, you will need special glasses. Not 400-532nm
Blocking, and not 600-690nm Blocking. Trust me when I say they do not block the beam in the slightest.
The best results I had were from wearing both of them at once. Couldn't see ANYTHING....oh! Except
for the 589nm dot. Still yellow, still passes through, but at least it reduces power enough that I
don't feel endangered....





Also, you gotta stick to the duty cycle. I keep a duty cycle of roughly 35 seconds. A couple seconds
to turn lights off after engaging laser, 30 seconds for my exposure, and a few more seconds to switch
off the laser. After 3 straight sessions with merely reviewing the photos between, I had to give
her a break. She is a 5exy laser though, so I won't begrudge her the beauty rest.

All in all this is by far my favorite color wavelength ever. I love it. It is even better than my multiline
Argon, which is truly saying something. When I show my family or friends the pictures(or the laser
itself) they are always blown away by the fact that it is yellow. Red, green, blue? Meh. Give me my
golden light any day. The host may be disappointing, but I have ZERO regrets about this purchase.

V. Pictures

















------------------------------------------

UPDATE: 5/27/2014 *MORE PICS*

Hey guys, I got some more pictures tonight. This time I decided to focus on pure beamage, rather
than diffraction grating shots. They aren't all fantastic, but I enjoyed taking them and trying my
best to get the white balance settings to accurately reflect the color to my eye.













 
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Hap

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Thank you for sharing WBS, looks like an amazing laser to own! :)

Do you have a LPM by the way(not sure if you do), would love to see how much it outputs.

-Alex
 

busman2

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Well who's a lucky boy then! 50mW of Pure Gold:drool: Solid looking host too. One day I may get one of those too, but Not today! Don't stay up all night playing now Isaac, you want to be freed of that headache so that you can play all day tomorrow!:beer:
 

BowtieGuy

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Hey Isaac, glad to see your " firefly" arrived safely. :)
Looking forward to seeing some sweet golden yellow pics, now that you can create your own rays of sunshine! :D
 

crazyspaz

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

great pics! Like rays of the sun- gorgeous. Hopefully DL will continue to sell these, seeing as CNI wont sell their 80mw version to us anymore :( Although im sure you could have one ordered through DL if you really wanted.
Regardless, congrats on your new laser :p I hope someday i can get a 589 of at least 50mW. For now i will content myself with being jealous ;)
 

kilter

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

damn it can't give you rep.
 

starlight

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Thank for the pictures....the last one is what I was waiting to see.
 

bdgreenb

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take this gold from me!
(Modified joss lyrics)

Awesome addition wbs! +1
 

ChaosLord

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Oh sweet photonic gold! I've been waiting to see your review on this laser. I want to get one so bad.

Will definitely keep an eye out for the measurements, especially the output....

+rep.
 

jimdt7

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Yup, that's a keeper for sure! :beer:
Can I ask how much? :shhh:

Jim
 

Atomicrox

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Congrats on the laser, I have one of these coming as well :beer:
 

IsaacT

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Yup, that's a keeper for sure! :beer:
Can I ask how much? :shhh:

Jim
Sure! It was 420 or so after my DL discount(which they gave me after I promised to make a cool review and send them pictures) and shipping added. Nine times out of ten the shipping is almost the exact same as their gold discount. Still...that puts it at around 9 dollars per milliwatt. CNI's 80mW unit costs roughly 15 dollars per milliwatt. I would say it was a killer deal. Now to break it to my girlfriend.....yikes*

Oh sweet photonic gold! I've been waiting to see your review on this laser. I want to get one so bad.

Will definitely keep an eye out for the measurements, especially the output....

+rep.
Just do it. With all the customs problems I foresee happening to our hobby, as evidenced by our suppliers slowly refusing to play ball with us, there is not much time left to jump on it. I could be wrong, but I am very glad I jumped on it anyway. Better safe than sorry in my book.

Thank you for sharing WBS, looks like an amazing laser to own! :)

Do you have a LPM by the way(not sure if you do), would love to see how much it outputs.

-Alex
I do, and I will be posting those measurements along with divergence, beam diameter, and more. :beer:

Well who's a lucky boy then! 50mW of Pure Gold:drool: Solid looking host too. One day I may get one of those too, but Not today! Don't stay up all night playing now Isaac, you want to be freed of that headache so that you can play all day tomorrow!:beer:
No doubt! And I cannot put it down lol. You simply cannot prepare your soul for this much gold. It pours out like a stream of living energy erupting from the ethereal planes.

Hey Isaac, glad to see your " firefly" arrived safely. :)
Looking forward to seeing some sweet golden yellow pics, now that you can create your own rays of sunshine! :D
There shall be pics, and pics in abundance. I just wish my camera was better. Getting those 6 or so pics took about two hours of shooting and completely recalibrating my DSLR's white balance just for this wavelength.

great pics! Like rays of the sun- gorgeous. Hopefully DL will continue to sell these, seeing as CNI wont sell their 80mw version to us anymore :( Although im sure you could have one ordered through DL if you really wanted.
Regardless, congrats on your new laser :p I hope someday i can get a 589 of at least 50mW. For now i will content myself with being jealous ;)
For 1200 dollars, I could not stomach courting CNI again anytime soon. DL has done me right and they have a loyal customer for sure. Even if I make most of my lasers, some things I simply cannot fabricate.

damn it can't give you rep.
I'll take a rain check :beer: ;)

Thank for the pictures....the last one is what I was waiting to see.
Glad you liked it! I have some great plans for more pics! Definitely stay tuned! And I haven't even broken out the fog machine yet!

I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take this gold from me!
(Modified joss lyrics)

Awesome addition wbs! +1
You are my favorite for this comment. This laser certainly leaves me with a healthy dose of Serenity.

Congrats on the laser, I have one of these coming as well :beer:
You will love it!

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I have work tonight but I will be continually collecting data and more pics in the coming days. Any questions about it, feel free to let me know. I'll try to work in as much detail not only about the wavelength, but the Spartan host itself, into the OP.

Thanks,
Isaac
 
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trencheel303

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Well done on the yellow, your very own personal sun (or sodium light!)

I have been wantin to buy one of these for a while (and very nearly did) but due to various circumstances am having to be more "realistic" with my money. I also have a terrible habit of just throwing money at hobbies and not enjoying them, so i told myself I'll quit buyin lasers for a while :p

I probably wouldn't be bothered if the Rigel was just a bit brighter. Not easy to see a beam in clean air.
 

IsaacT

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Re: Firefly: My Dragon Lasers 589

Well done on the yellow, your very own personal sun (or sodium light!)

I have been wantin to buy one of these for a while (and very nearly did) but due to various circumstances am having to be more "realistic" with my money. I also have a terrible habit of just throwing money at hobbies and not enjoying them, so i told myself I'll quit buyin lasers for a while :p

I probably wouldn't be bothered if the Rigel was just a bit brighter. Not easy to see a beam in clean air.
Definitely my personal sun :) My phoenix, my firefly! This laser definitely has a visible beam in clean air. O do not smoke or anything and I can see it usually.

OP updated with Beam Characteristics and review writeup. There are LPM pictures coming, and hopefully some more beam pics, but maybe not tonight. The LPM readings have been added to the OP however. I am truly a happy camper!

EDIT: LPM Shots Added
 
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gismo

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Superb review, great shots, useful information. Let this thing shine all the way through the forum:wave:.

Thanks to Bruce and now you, Isaac, I suspect Dragonlasers 589nm 50mW+ laser pointer could become a potential selling hit. You two guys have made the brand and its specific product popular already:).

:gj:
 

IsaacT

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Superb review, great shots, useful information. Let this thing shine all the way through the forum:wave:.

Thanks to Bruce and now you, Isaac, I suspect Dragonlasers 589nm 50mW+ laser pointer could become a potential selling hit. You two guys have made the brand and its specific product popular already:).

:gj:
Thanks! They went a long ways towards making the product a hit when they offered such a great deal on a nearly flawless laser! I am just glad I didn't let my wallet get the better of me. :)
 
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