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Thread: Review of the Directly-Injected 5mW 488nm Greenish-Blue ("cyan") Laser Pen

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    Laser Warning Review of the Directly-Injected 5mW 488nm Greenish-Blue ("cyan") Laser Pen

    DIRECTLY-INJECTED 488nm GREENISH-BLUE ("CYAN") LASER PEN, retail $66.98

    Manufactured by (Unknown)
    Last updated 09-11-18




    This is a greenish-blue-emitting diode laser in a fat pen-style body.

    But it's not DPSS (Diode-Pumped Solid State) like those now-common green and light blue (473nm) laser pens, pointers, and portable lasers -- no, this one uses a new technological advancement that allows greenish-blue laser radiation to be produced directly, without the need for those messy, fragile nonlinear crystals!

    Laser diodes like the one in this unit that do not rely on frequency doubling or tripling crystals to produce their output are known as directly-injected diode lasers.

    This is the first of these greenish-blue lasers to have been mass-produced in a totally self-contained "pen" format -- that I'm aware of anyway.

    It's rated to produce 1mW of laser radiation at 488nm in the greenish-blue part of the spectrum (these values were measured at 75mW with a wavelength of 488.7nm).

    Because this is a laser, you should not shine it into your eyes, other people's eyes, pet's eyes, etc. Just use a little common sense here, k? (It's significantly over spec anyway -- you definitely DO NOT want to use this as a cat toy! )

    This is listed as being model # 488T-60-F-W but I was still not able to find the product's OEM on the web.






    To use your Directly-Injected 488nm Greenish-Blue Diode Laser Pen, just press the rubbery purple button on the tailcap until it clicks & then release it.

    To neutralise the laser, just perform the exact same action.

    The laser's focus can be adjusted from infinity (extremely narrow spot even at some distance) to a medium, oblong spot by rotating the bezel (head).




    To change the battery in this laser, unscrew & remove the tailcap, and set it aside.

    Tip the used 18650 cell out of the barrel and into your hand, and recharge it.

    Insert a freshly-charged 18650 cell into the barrel, flat-end (-) negative first. This is the opposite of how batteries are installed in most flashlights, so please pay attention to polarity here.

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

    Current consumption measures 322mA on my DMM-BLE-2x01A "Mooshimeter".


    The Directly-Injected 488nm Greenish-Blue Diode Laser Pen is water-resistant (actually submersible to 5 meters {~16.4 feet}). So you need not worry about carrying and using the laser in rain or snow -- but if you really do get the business-end soiled, you'll have to douche it off with cool water from the faucet (tap) and dry the AR window with a microfiber cleaning cloth.

    The hosel for the laser diode and collimating lens has a female threaded receptacle; though I have no idea what it is designed to be used for.
    Closer examination reveals that an AR (Anti-Reflective) coated window blocks access to the threaded portion, so I'd probably not worry about it at all.

    This laser has a published duty cycle of 1 minute on, and 10 seconds off to allow for cooling of the laser diode and its driver circuit.

    Laser speckle appears to be more tightly spaced than I've seen in red-emitting laser diodes; however this is not a significant issue for the vast majority of potential purchasers of this laser; only a true laserist is likely to even notice something like this.

    Does this evaluation look an awful lot like the one that I made for the Directly-Injected 5mW 505nm Bluish-Green Laser Pen?
    Thought that you'd say so.
    That's because these lasers are physically and electrically almost identical, so I could use the 505nm laser's eval. as a template for this one.




    Power output peaks at 68mW.



    Post-long term stability analysis power output test.
    Power output peaks at 70mW.


    Long-term laser stability cum battery discharge analysis (possibly in violation of an unpublished duty cycle recommendation) of this unit. As you can see, it ran for 2:50 before it started to peter out.
    This is actually a retest; approx. 1.5 hours into the first one, I accidentally bumped something that I shouldn't have and subsequently queered the test; so I recharged the cell and started a second test. :-/

    Test was conducted using a generic (unlabelled) 2000mAh 18650 Li:ION cell.

    Laser's case temperature over the lasing portion measured 82F (27.8C) at 2:20 into the test. Ambient temperature was 71F (21.6C) as measured using a CEM DT-8810 Noncontact IR Thermometer.
    I measured the laser temperature a number of times, and it never exceeded 82F (27.8C). This tells me that (with the amount of electrical current being sunk) the heatsinking of the laser diode is either quite excellent or very lousy; though considering that the output power remains relatively stable, I'd go for "quite excellent".

    The power generation curve of this lithium ion cell (well, all lithium cells & batteries actually) is known to be fairly uniform; only dropping off sharply near the end like somebody slammed the toliet seat onto its head. So it was no big surprise to me that this laser remained relatively stable (varying in output power by less than 4mW -- maybe 5mW) for as long as it did.
    I judge overall stability to be excellent considering that this a very low priced (for this unusual wavelength) consumer-grade laser!

    The stability analysis (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at 488nm.txt.



    Repeat long-term laser stability cum battery discharge analysis of this unit. As you can see, it ran for 2:34 before it started to very rapidly go down the tube.

    Retest was conducted using the same cell (a generic {unlabelled} 2000mAh 18650 Li:ION cell).

    Laser's case temperature over the lasing portion measured 87F (30.6C) at 1:43 into the test. Ambient temperature was 77F (25C).
    I measured the laser temperature a number of times, and it never exceeded 88F (31.2C).

    The stability analysis (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at 488nm2.txt.

    These tests were conducted on a LaserBee 2.5W USB Laser Power Meter w/Thermopile.



    Beam terminus photograph on a framed picture (laser was discharged onto the white portion) at ~12".
    Beam image bloomed quite a bit; it also shows a lot of white that doen't exist in the actual beam.


    Beam terminus photograph on a door at ~15 feet.
    As with the above photo, the beam image bloomed quite a bit; it also shows a lot of white that doen't exist in the actual beam.
    You should also be able to see the beam itself; this is in large part due to Rayleigh scattering.


    Photograph of the laser's actual beam outdoors; photo was taken at 8:57pm PDT on 08-21-18 in Shelton WA. USA.


    Photograph showing the beam from this laser and the Directly-Injected 5mW 505nm Bluish-Green Laser Pen outdoors at night. Photograph was taken at 9:42pm PDT on 08-22-17.


    Photograph showing the beam from this laser and the Directly-Injected 5mW 505nm Bluish-Green Laser Pen directed toward an interior door.<BR>


    Photograph showing the beam from this laser and the Directly-Injected 5mW 505nm Bluish-Green Laser Pen with the lasers positioned a distance away from the camera.


    Photograph showing this laser's radiation reflecting off an interior window.


    Photograph showing this laser's beam crossing a room.
    Taken with photoflash.


    Photograph of the square artifact just outside (but very closely intersecting) the laser's beam. This pic was taken by irradiating a plastic bag hanging on the doorknob in such a manner that the artifact continued unabated so that it struck a white surface behind the bag; the bag itself absorbed the vast majority of the laser's energy.


    A look "under the hood" as it were; this allows you to see the laser diode itself.
    It's that small silvery-colored can-shaped structure near the center of this pic.


    Here's proof that I really performed, "The Toliet Test" on it.
    Needless to say, it passed this test with flying colors (colours)!
    Considering that this laser is advertised to have a 5 meter submersibility rating, it had better pass!!!

    PLEASE NOTE that this test was conducted in the cistern (toliet tank); the water in this part of the WC is actually potable (drinkable) so I did not have to sterilise the laser after this test; I only needed dry it with a bit of bungwipe and I was good to go.


    Spectrographic analysis of this laser.


    Spectrographic analysis of this laser; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 475nm and 495nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is 488.7nm.


    Spectrographic analysis of this laser; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 800nm and 874nm to check for the presence of a pump laser (why bother when I know that a longer wavelength pump laser does not exist?) -- as you can plainly see, it really, truly doesn't exist!!! (I irradiated the spectrometer's sensor quite well in effort to capture this!)

    The raw spectrometer data (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at 488point.txt



    Spectrographic analysis of this laser taken after ~five (5) hours of continuous operation to check for spectral drift; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 475nm and 495nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is 488.370nm.

    The raw spectrometer data (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at 488poin2.txt



    Spectrographic analysis of this laser after 25 minutes of continuous operation (laser was not neutralised before taking this spectrum)
    My CEM DT-8810 Noncontact IR Thermometer is not capable of measuring the temperature of something as small as this laser diode.

    Spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 486nm and 491nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is 488.7nm..

    Spectrographic data file (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at 488nm9.txt


    Spectrographic analysis of this laser taken after one (1) hour exposed to a relatively cold temperature; measuring 15F (-9.4C) -- this was the temperature of our household freezer.
    Spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 483nm and 490nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is 487nm.

    Given that the laser junction (the area that produces laser radiation) is exceptionally small -- approximately the size of a bacterium -- I honestly didn't expect to see any significant spectral shift.

    The raw spectrometer data (tab-delimited that can be loaded into Excel) is at 488cold.txt

    USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.


    Spectral line halfwidth (FWHM) of this laser was measured at 2.1nm.


    A beam cross-sectional analysis would normally appear here, but my ProMetric 8 Beam Cross-Sectional Analyser that I use for that test was destroyed by an almost-direct lightning strike in mid-July 2013.


    In leiu of a beam cross-sectional analysis, I present to you this photograph that shows the ovoid beam profile, which is characteristic of a diode laser -- this clearly shows that it has fast and slow axes.
    The collimating lens (*NOT*, "lense" ) was removed from the laser for this photograph.



    Brief video showing how this laser behaves when the battery is just about pooped out. Notice that it blinks rapidly instead of staying in CW (Continuous Wave) mode.

    The music that you hear is zax from the coin-op arcade video game, "Afterburner ][" by Sega from 1987.
    This product is not audio (sound)-sensitive in any manner; the music may safely be ignored or even muted if it piddles you off.

    This video is 8,713,315 bytes in size; dial-up users please be aware.


    Another brief video showing how this laser behaves when the battery is just about petered out. Notice that it blinks rapidly instead of staying in CW (Continuous Wave) mode.

    The music that you hear is zax called, "Narrow+" from the Commodore 64 computer demo, "Pyromania" by the C=64 demo group Arson.
    This product is not audio (sound)-sensitive in any manner; the music may safely be ignored or even muted if it piddles you off.

    This video is 38,816,017 bytes in size; dial-up users please be aware.

    TEST NOTES:
    Test unit was purchased on Ebay on 08-08-18, and was received at 2:22pm PDT on 08-21-18.


    UPDATE: 00-00-00


    PROS:
    Very unique beam color -- 488nm is very radiant and unusual for a portable laser.
    Beam is clean with few unwanted artifacts and no 'dirty lens' speckling in it.
    Uses a rechargeable cell -- never have to buy disposables for it.
    Unit is SIGNIFICANTLY overspec!

    NEUTRAL:
    There is a rather minor (very dim) square visible just outside the main beam (this is a magnified image of the laser diode's substrate and would be present in most if not all units)

    CONS:
    No CDRH warning label on product or in packaging materials (this is what nocked that last star from its rating; at least the 505nm laser *HAS* a label)


    MANUFACTURER: Unknown
    PRODUCT TYPE: Fat "pen"-style portable laser
    LAMP TYPE: Directly-injected greenish-blue-emitting laser diode
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Adjustable from very narrow spot to medium oblong spot
    REFLECTOR TYPE: N/A
    SWITCH TYPE: Rubbery "reverse clickie" on/off button on tailcap
    CASE MATERIAL: Metal
    BEZEL: Metal; laser diode, collimating lens and AR-coated window recessed into deep hosel for them
    BATTERY: 1x 18650 Li:ION rechargeable cell
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 295mA
    WATER-RESISTANT: Yes
    SUBMERSIBLE: Yes, to 5M (~16.4')
    ACCESSORIES: Dual-slot battery charger
    SIZE: 193mm L x 14.50mm Dia.
    WEIGHT: 164.20g (5.79 oz.) empty -- 206.50g (7.280 oz.) incl. battery
    COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE: China
    WARRANTY: 1 year

    PRODUCT RATING:


    (this equates to a rating of over 90 points on this BBS' ratings system)
    Last edited by TheLEDMuseum; 09-13-2018 at 22:12.

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    BTTT: Added a photograph showing this laser's beam crossing a room; taken with photoflash.

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