I recently recieved a Hercules-450mW unit from www.LaserGlow.com. I am now reviewing it.
The box is big, and when I first opened it the first thing I noticed was - - - foam. Tons of it. Shock resistant foam. Inside all of that is a static resistant bag with the Hercules inside of it. It comes with instructions and guidelines. Its a large unit, but it beats my benched modules by far. Here are some pics:
Next to a pop can:
It runs on 3x "D" Batteries:
Next to an Inova X5:
The next thing that I noticed was the keys. One of them has a key ring with two keys on it. The other is like a DC jack with a bit of wire on the back. The first one fits rather loosely, but is secure. The second one is VERY secure.
The moment of truth: I turned it on. The blue indicator LED is REALLY bright. The delay is actually more like five seconds than two. But the wait is worth it - - - WOW.
I was so proud of this pic that I actually sent it to LaserGlow.com!
Matches, less than a second.
Tape, 0.5 seconds.
Trash bags, wrote my name in the same time i could with a pencil.
Popcorn, 4 seconds
Baloons, how fast can you say pop?
I am going to take shots tonight of it outside. When I take it to my lab on friday I will measure power. VERY stable, right out of the box. No visible fluctuations at all. Beam diameter is very tight, you can see that from the pics.
Over the coming weeks I will continue to update this review, with more pictures and opinions.
One more thing - - - To all laser owners - - - when your laser came it was really bright, right? Did it seem to degrade slightly in power? I think that its just my imagination, and I am just getting used to the beam's brightness. Has anyone else experienced this? Will measure power tomorrow.
Hey Spyder, get out of the way.
May 1st, 2006: I have noticed an interesting characteristic of this unit. When left alone for a few minutes, the internal fan slows down upon the next powerup. But when turned off and than on a few times, the fan is so good that the laser actually vibrates. The speed of the fan makes only about 30mW of difference, but I just wanted to point this out. Also, I laserchecked it on friday. Its seems that laserglow.com was spot on with their average readings, I am getting an average of about 456mW. Also, laserglow.com informed me that putting a small fan next to the heatsink helped power and stability. Boy were they right. The output power jumps about 23mW and the stability increases significantly. Even blowing on the heatsink with your own breath raises the output slightly. Wanted to point that out as well. Its raining right now, its expected to stop around 8:00 tonight. Guess what? FOG! Will take pics. On a final note, the hercules is working very well for the application that I am using it for, and I will take it back next friday for another series of usage.
May 9th, 2006: I noticed something interesting that might affect all green lasers. I took it out on my porch and I shined it up in the sky, and I noticed that it actually looked alot brighter against the lighter areas of the sky than the darker ones. I live on the outskirts of the city of Chicago, and the clouds reflect street lights. They look brown. Definately lighter than the pitch black sky. And yet the beam is alot brighter against them than the clear sky. Also, another interesting feature. The divergence on this laser is fabulous. But it seems that right at the very end of the beam it seems to widen more than along the length of the beam. Sort of like this:
..................................,,,,,,, I just thought that I would post this, has anyone else noticed this?
May 9th, 2006
Just tested it randomly, peak output with a fan is 477mW.