A closer look at the world’s most (insanely) powerful Laser Pointer

by Stephen Hobley on October 11, 2010

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I ordered a Wicked Lasers Spyder Arctic S3 back in June. It did take quite a while to ship – so if you order one, expect long delivery times.

When I first read about them, I thought it was just over-enthusiastic marketing – a blue laser in the 1W range was difficult and expensive to buy – so whatever Wicked Lasers was selling, it couldn’t be the real deal for $300.

Mine finally arrived last week, and it turns out that the deal is real. This is one of the new 445nm diodes taken from a Casio projector and remounted with a new driver in a black alumin[i]um housing.

Build quality is good – the unit feels durable and solid. It comes with a “smart switch” feature that means turning it on requires a carefully timed sequence of clicks on the smart switch button. Once it’s on you can select strobe/constant beam/high/low power with the switch. It’s a good idea, but if you are thinking of turning this laser into a display system [Or a Laser Harp? - Ed] then it actually makes this impractical. I was given the option to have the smart switch removed, but I didn’t take them up on the offer – now I’m thinking that I should.

And here’s the obligatory “Let’s burn some stuff video” (Jason, this one’s for you) :

It comes with 2 pairs of safety glasses (one for you and one for whoever you are showing it to) – which is useful. I strongly recommend that you wear them – as even looking at the reflected spot from a white surface is enough to give you temporary retina burns.

So far almost everything I have used as an absorption target has been damaged in some way – not instantaneous, but if you leave the laser pointing at the same spot, expect to smell burning. From experience I would guestimate that my laser is about 6-700mw – I don’t have accurate measuring equipment so it is difficult to be precise.

Just don't mention "Lightsaber"

Over the next few weeks I’ll be installing this device into a laser harp assembly, just to see how it performs – I would expect it to do very well – but I’ll be upgrading the gloves I use – skin exposure to this kind of radiation is not good at all.

What's in the box - training lens has the smaller aperture

Stay tuned…

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason October 11, 2010 at 11:16 am

Awesome! I am on my over with a truck load of stuff to burn! Maybe we’ll even burn the truck.

Bill Fredette October 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Can’t wait to see that in the laser harp!

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