Review of my EXTREME, 100mW and 5mW from CNI

bg2vo

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Hi everyone. I'm new here and this is my first post in the forum which I am reading for sometimes. I have the same hobby as many of us here and like to share my experience. Sorry for my English because its not my mother tongue.

I got the EXTREME from Wicked Lasers a month ago and very happy with it. Here is it with my 3W LED flash.
01-45-3W.jpg



Then I got a Changchun CNI 5mW and 100mW in a group buy. Here is my three GLPs got together for the first time. In this hand held shot with normal room light, the beam from CNI 100mW(left) and the EXTREME(right) is clearly visible. However, you can barely see the 5mW's.
02-3glps-.jpg


I measure the output with my own Power meter. By adding a diffuser/absorber to a digital lux meter sensor, it read quite linearly with input laser power. I calibrate it by assuming that the EXTREME is 42mW. I also checked this with my best Green LED power meter which agree with the "1mw per 2.8uA" formula well. Actually the reading is 0.048mW per lux.
03-meter3.jpg



I hooked up my lux/power meter to my HP34401(6.5 digits multimeter) and it in turn connected to my Notebook thru RS232 to get the result against time with 1 second sample interval.
04-meter4.jpg


For my poor 5mW(before replacement), here is the graph. All you can expect is way below its specified power and very heat sensitive.
05-out005.gif


For the EXTREME, I regarded it as very stable.
06-out045.gif



For the 100mW, it is not stable at all. The curve is also different each time I measure it.
07-out100.gif



This is the 'dot' from 100mW in 1.22km. It's less than 1.5m in diameter and is beam divergence is therfore under 1.3mrad(=1.5/1.22), matching the specified <1.2 mrad well.
(pic deleted)


I had the 5mW replaced and soon the new one arrived. I measured it by similar way and comes out very nicely: the reading reached 7.2mW in 5 second and increasing all the time(within 2min). It's a good sign that this GLP "likes" hot environment and withstand large current. Here is one of my recent measure:
08-5unmod.gif



After several days of play, I decided to modified them. Modification for the 5mW is straight forward. The most difficult part is to open the case. After the board and the pod is exposed, I tried different current and finally settled to 394mA. Things to notice: the pod locate differently than pictures I saw here(from other threads) and turn the pod clockwise will increase the current.
09-mod05.jpg

10-mod05.jpg

11-mod05.jpg

12-mod05.jpg

13-mod05.jpg

14-mod05.jpg



After the mod, the current is 394mA, the power is over 40mW and show no sign of decreasing after 70 second!
15-5modout.gif



Now this little 5mW can cut thin black trashbag and penetrate 16 layers in 5 seconds. It also smoke black plastic easily.


When I open the EXTREME, the pod is already at its maximum current position. I located the current-sense resistor(0.5 ohm), parallel it with a 1 ohm, and turn the pod to a position which I believe the output is good and fairly stable.
17-mod45.jpg



The power is now over 60mW at 33 degree Celsius(91F) and increased to over 80mW when I chilled it to 22 degree(72F).
18-45modo1.gif

19-45modo2.gif


Now this EXTREME can cut thin black trashbag 1 meter away and penetrate 16 layers in 2 seconds. It also slowly cut black tape (0.13mm thick).

Both of these can now burn wood with proper lens added(I use 35mm DC lens). Top left is the trace from the 5mW, bottom right is the EXTREME.
20-burnwood.jpg



A few days ago, one of my other friend brought a 10mW at CNI and I modified it for him as well. The result is a stable 53mW with 362mA current.

There is no good news for the 100mW. Increasing the current barely change the output and power become even more unstable.

All this is summarized in the table below.
21-taball.gif



This is another measurement describe how the power is vary with current for CNI 5mW. Firstly, threshold is 116mA and there is nothing below this current. Secondly, There is a point where the output does not increase with current increase and even decrease! Thirdly, the output is going up rapidly after 330mA and still going strong at 390mA. Lastly, this modified GLP works well at voltage as low as 2.22V. Therefore, two rechargeable AAA will give out 80% of their energy before starting to dim.
22-tabVI.gif


-lymex zhang
 

Bengal

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Very good post!
Reviews like this get rid of personal bias.
Unarguable evidence of performance.
I would look forward to your reviews of other lasers if you can put them to the test
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif
 

Kiessling

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bg2vo ... very nice review and welcome to CPF !
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

However, as there are regulations in the USA forbidding the use of a >5mW laser outside in absence of a proper license, I ask you to remove your (beautiful) pic of the beam at 1.22km, sorry. CPF is a US-based forum and given the current events with lasers we have to protect ourselves and should prevent dumb people from doing stupid thnigs with lasers, for example shining them around in town and claiming they saw this here.

bernhard
 

LaserMod

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bg2vo, welcome to CPF!

A very good post and some really interesting info /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/clap.gif

But yeah the first thing I thought when I saw the PGL-III flying off into the sky... eeek /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif not the best pic to post. A good example of how lasers will pinpoint your exact location though... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

For the rest of them /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/kewlpics.gif
 

liteglow

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wow

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/goodjob.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/happy14.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bowdown.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/kewlpics.gif

This was a great post /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
About that picture of laser into the sky, u can clearly se that the laser is pointing at a hill where the picture is taken (u can se the trees there) and at the next pic u can se the DOT hitting a wall (not a plane) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
(ok, that was only me trying to explane for people so stupid thinking that he was shooting a laser up in the air DAA) /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif


Anyway... great that u did share all this to all the other here /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif how did u modify the 100mW laser ???

Thanx
 

senecaripple

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Re: wow

well illustrated, in laymen's term, sorry i missed the some of the pix, it's understandable to err on the cautious side.
 

bg2vo

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Dalian, China
Thank you all for the compliment! I feel quite honoured. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

I've edited my first post to removed the outside pic(as soon as I saw the feadback from Moderator) and also correct some phrases. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

StevieRay, I got my CNI 5mW at here: http://www.cnilaser.com/_private/ep_pointer.htm
Although they guarantee 5mW output, I doubted that all their GLPs are well tested and classified. As a matter of fact, 2 out of 6 of this group-buy 5mW were far under 5mW by my measurement and had them replaced. The replaced two are all above 7mW.

Bengal and liteglow, thanks, I'll add some information regarding my unsuccessful 100mW modification this evening(my time).

wolfensteinx, yes but difficult. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon23.gif
 

bg2vo

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drpepper1024, the price for 100mW is xxxxRMB(plus p&p, 'cos both CNI and I are in China), which is 500US$. This is a group-buy price. I'm in Dalian, China and we receive the goods by a domestic mail.
 
Last edited:

Bond007

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Dalian? You've heard of Dong Fangzhou then /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
 

bg2vo

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Modification of the 100mW.
1, disasemble: take out the batteries, unscrew the head, unscrew the screw on the back, take out the blue button, press the button to 'on' position, take out the head unit, tear it apart.
28-glp100.jpg


2, pod modify. by connecting an external power(I use CC-CV power suply), carefully adjust the pod while monitoring the current and the output until satisfied.
29-glp100.jpg


3, assemble it.
 

liteglow

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pot mod on my laser did not work.. been there done that /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif
 

bootleg2go

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Jan 26, 2005
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Hi bg2vo,
What do you mean by "pod modify"? did you mean "pot modify"?
Were you just adjusting the pot? You said you monitored the current and output, was there a specific current you were adjusting to or not wanting to exceed? or did you just adjust the pot for maximum output power?
Sorry for all the questions, I'm just trying to better understand how you tweaked your laser.
In the end, what kind of output power increase did you get?

Thanks
Jack
 

bg2vo

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Dalian, China
bootleg2go, Sorry for the typing mistake, it should be pot mod.
I guess this 100mW uses 0.5W pumping diode. By looking to the specification of Sony SDL322V(also 0.5W 808nm), the operating current is 0.75A typical, 1.2A max. Therefore I don't want the current exceed 1A. From the experience I learned by adjusting my 5mW and 45mW, small percent increase in current will result in large percent of output increase. It's different for this 100mW. The output power does not increase very much with current. Also, the output is changing all the time. I believe that the conversion crystal is not very good. At the end I just stopped at 960mA and for one time it read 115mW after turn on for 5 second. Pls refer to the last chart in my first post.
 

sharkeeper

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Your observations match the 3 CNI products that I have had pass through my hands...

The first sample (all which were toted as >50mW devices by CNI) measured 138 mW but that laser should have been named "Seabiscuit" as it was all over the place. It would swing wildly from 35 mW to over 200 mW and finally stabilise at around 92 mW if left on. It lasted about a week and stopped producing green.

It was sent back to CNI and repaired. It came back doing 85-95 mW; slightly more stable but producing a strange beam. It also dropped in output power to under 30 mW in a few days! Again, it was sent back (each time to send back to Changchun costs $65!) and they had it for nearly 1 month. They apparently had a mixup and forgot about it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif

After exchanging a few emails, the THIRD unit (this one with a different SN) was on the way and arrived. This one did nearly 50 mW but was not stable after a few minutes and the power went into a tailspin. The beam is also elliptical indicating poor alignment of the Vanadate / KTP /OC mirror components. The divergence is higher than it should be too. This could be a misadjustment of the focal length between the beam expander and collimator, however.

My Jasper at 7.7 mW has a higher power density on a target 20 feet away than this CNI PGL-III currently! I don't even want to waste any more money sending it back to them. I think it's time to scrap this POS. Perhaps Leadlight will be making some portable units? I don't know. I'll stick with flashlights. At least they last longer.

Modifying these units is just plain crazy. The purpose of buying a higher powered unit is so you would not have to modify it!

Personally, the laser that has the best wow factor IMO is the Jasper. The beam divergence is superior, it 's compact and you can run it continuously without fear of burning something out. The unit appears much brighter than most lasers pointers I've used including modified ones from Chris.

Here is a comparison of beams; Jasper vs. PGL-III. Remember the PGL is defective and doing about 22 mW in this picture.

jasper-vs-pgl31.jpg


In case you have a hard time distinguishing, the PGL is on the upper right an Jasper lower left.

I cannot recommend this product at this time due to my experience.

I will add that the first laser I received was the best - until it broke. If you have a PGL-III and it works well, be careful with it! If you have it repaired, you probably won't be happy! I realise that the original order was >50mW units and they all were doing over 100, one doing almost 200! I guess CNI has fixed their power meter and learned how to bin them. Now they just need to learn how to fix their damn lasers! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif (The only colour I can see right now is 694 nM from thinking about this!)

Cheers!
 

bg2vo

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Location
Dalian, China
Thank you sharkeeper for all the information. We bought two of these PGL-IIIs and the other one is better than mine with higher power(150mW) and better stability. Here is my PGL-III at its worst(sampling rate is 1 second):
25-out100wst.gif


There is one thing I don't understand. My 100mW PLG-III can light up a match in less than 1 second but the modified EXTREME(now >80mW) cannot do that at all in 10 seconds time. I've just tried this once more.
 
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