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Space Coast Electronics 50mW OEM Green Laser, retail $450 (
Modified by Space Coast Electronics (
Last updated 04-10-12

It looks like a laser pointer. It feels like a laser pointer. But it puts out power like... well, like no laser pointer I'd want to shoot at people or use as a cat toy. This sucker is powerful, as green portable lasers go!!!

Rated at 50mW by Space Coast Electronics, this is a CDRH Class IIIB laser device, which is intended to go inside of equipment away from prying eyes, but is fully self-contained (power source, switch, and laser guts) in a handy, pen-style case so you can use it to point out things even in broad daylight.

The OEM laser pointing device comes in a brushed aluminum "flight case" and a pair of Energizer E2 alkaline AAA cells, all fitted in form-fitting receptacles in a foam type material.

The portable laser is serialised; the serial number of mine is 0900075.


Remove the laser and batteries from the foam cutouts in the flight case, install the batteries (see below) and it's ready to roll right away.

Aim it at something you need to point out. Push and hold in the small button on the barrel to get a laser beam; release the button to not get a laser beam.

Because this is a Class IIIB laser, don't shoot it into any person's or animal's eyes, don't shoot it at any moving vehicles, and for heaven sakes, please don't shoot it at any airplanes, jets, or helicopters.

To change the batteries in this admitted battery hog (dry cell pig), unscrew & remove the tailcap, dump out the two dead batteries, and insert two new alkaline AAA cells, negative (-) flat end first. This is opposite of how most flashlights work, so it might look a bit funny to you. Screw the tailcap back on firmly, and be done with it.

Current consumption was measured at 480mA on nearly-new alkaline batteries.

One of the first things I noticed was a slight ticking or rattling sound when the unit was manhandled or shaken. I quickly found that the sound was coming from the silvery pushbutton switch, so I don't think there's anything to worry about.
Many other devices that use this kind of switch also have a slight ticking or rattling sound too, so it's no biggie.

A slightly more concerning thing was noticed when the laser was first activated - the unit produces a bright central beam like any good laser would produce, but also produced a slight but noticeable "waste" light outside the main beam. This "waste" light consists of a sort of "halo" around the main beam, and a speckly green light that extends for 15 or 20 beyond that. The amount of "waste" light is probably only around a hundred microwatts or so maximum, and doesn't affect the main beam, so I'll drop the subject right here and do not feel the need to return my laser.

Green diode lasers are a lot different than those common red lasers you see all the time.

In a 640nm red laser pointer, there's a red-emitting diode and a lens to collimate (focus) the beam.

In a 532nm green laser (pointer or larger size), there's a BIG infrared laser diode that generates laser light at 808nm, this is fired into a crystal containing the rare-earth element "neodymium". This crystal takes the 808nm infrared light and lases at 1064nm (yes, deeper in the infrared!). This 1064nm laser light comes out of the NdYV04 (neodymium yttrium vanadium oxide) crystal and is then shot into a second crystal (containing potassium, titanium, & phosphorus, usually called KTP) that doubles the frequency to 532nm - the bright green color you see. This light is then collimated (focused) by a lens and emerges out the laser's "business end". Just before the lens, there's a filter that removes any stray IR (infrared) rays from the pump diode and the neodymium crystal. You don't want that stuff in your green beam, trust me. :-)

This is why green diode lasers are so much more expensive than red ones. Lots of itty bitty parts, and they all need to be aligned by hand. If the polarisation is "off", one or both crystals need to be turned. With red diode lasers, you just slap in the diode and slap a lens in front of it.

The Space Coast Electronics OEM green laser isn't water resistant, so be extra careful when using it around tubs, toilets, sinks, fishtanks, pools, or other places where the laser could fall into the water. For an additional charge, you CAN get this laser in a submersible housing; but the model shown on this page is not in one of those cases. So I'll be extra careful when using the laser around tubs, toilets, sinks, fishtanks, pools, or other places where it could fall and go spash glub glub glub.

Beam photo at 12" from the target, against a regular 5mW laser.
The SCE laser is on the left, a regular laser is on the right.

Beam photo at 12', against a regular 5mW laser.
The SCE laser is on the right, a regular laser is on the left.

Beam photo comparing the 50mW SCE laser against a 15+mW competitor.
The target is just under 1 mile away, and the camera was set for 3x mag.
Camera was on a tripod, both lasers were handheld.
Now I done forgot which one was which.
{Imitating Bart Simpson} Hell damn fart. Crap boobs crap.
Now I'll have to reshoot this and pay attention to which is which.

The spot size on the target (12") and on the wall (12') is about the same, but the SCE OEM model overloaded the camera more than the other one did, and that's why the beams look different in size. When conditions are right, I'll try to "hit" the cloud deck with the SCE laser and see what happens. With pictures if possible.

Power output measurement
Power output: 58mW.

This measurement was performed on a LaserBee 2.5W USB Laser Power Meter w/Thermopile.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of this laser.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of this laser; newer spectrometer software & settings used.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of this laser; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 529nm and 537nm to pinpoint wavelength, which is 532.490nm.

Spectrographic plot
Spectrographic analysis of this laser; spectrometer's response narrowed to a band between 800nm and 820nm in a futile attempt to capture the laser line from the pump diode -- which this laser is obviously extremely well filtered for.

USB2000 Spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

ProMetric analysis
Beam cross-sectional analysis.

Image made using the ProMetric System by Radiant Imaging.

Unit was purchased in mid-April 2003, and was finally received yesterday (June 19 2003).

This is an OEM component that was designed to go inside equipment rather than be seen by human eyes, and the end user (you) assumes all responsibility for its safe use.

* Legal Notice: This green portable laser and others like it are designated solely as OEM components for incorporation into the customer's end products. Therefore, they do not comply with the appropriate requirements of FDA 21CFR, section 1040.10 and 1040.11 for complete laser products. The customer is responsible for compliance with FDA requirements.

I got a reading of 57.6mW using a solar cell, a DMM (with the solar cell connected and the meter set to read milliamps), and a mathematical formula that translates the meter reading to watts of output power. The mathematical formula I used was:
(current in amps as shown on meter)*1239.7/532/0.97

UPDATE: 07-25-03
I experimented with the laser. Ok, I acted like a dumbass and played with it.
A few days ago, I took a little piece of black electrical tape and affixed it to the front of the table holding up my computer, so it hung free. Then I took a positive (magnifying) lens and held it on the front of the laser. Then I turned the laser on, and adjusted the distance so I got what I believe to be the smallest spot size I could get on the tape.

Within three or four seconds, a small amount of smoke began to issue from the tape. A few seconds later, I shut the laser off and quickly examined the tape. Although there was no hole burnt through it, there was a small shiny area on the tape where it started to melt and burn. So this laser can produce a hot beam, though it needs the help of a lens to do so. Shining the laser by itself (with no lens in front) onto bare skin probably won't do any damage, but you really do need to keep it out of your eyes, out of other people's eyes, and out of pet dog, cat, mouse, rat, hamster, sugar glider, gerbil, or any other animal's eyes.

UPDATE: 07-30-03
Word from SCE is that this laser should be run for 30 seconds, followed by 1-2 minutes (60-120 seconds) of "off" time to allow it to cool. This represents a 25% to 50% duty cycle, if used in this manner. For very intermittent use like briefly pointing at things, you probably don't have to worry too much about this.
This laser does not have a TE cooler in it, and you don't want to pop the laser diode or crack the KTP or NdYVO4 crystals inside due to excessive heat. That's why there is a duty cycle recommendation on it.

UPDATE: 11-07-03
I've heard from several potential buyers over the last month or so that SCE is apparently no longer in business - the telephone is disconnected, the website is offline, and they won't return any emails or snail-mails. If you paid for a laser and did not receive it, I don't know what the best course of action to take is, so please don't ask.

UPDATE: 08-23-04
Using known-new Energizer Max alkaline cells, I obtained a reading of 59.09mW from this laser, using the same apparatus and mathematical formula I described earlier.

UPDATE: 01-29-07
Using a laser power specifically made for this purpose and a pair of known-new Duracells, I measured 57.255mW.

Green laser beam is very bright
Small and discreet
Batteries are cheap and readily available

Not water resistant, but most portable lasers aren't. Will not affect my rating.
Can't use in public without a variance
Hogs batteries
More delicate than directly-injected diode portable lasers
Warranty service might be difficult to obtain if SCE is really gone (that knocks at least 1 1/2 stars off)

    RESELLER: Space Coast Electronics
    PRODUCT TYPE: Green DPSS Laser Pointing Device
    LAMP TYPE: Diode-pumped NdYVO4+KTP
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Vary narrow - it's a laser, remember?
    SWITCH TYPE: Momentary pushbutton on/off on barrel
    BEZEL: Aperture for laser beam to get out
    BATTERY: 2x AAA alkaline cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: 480 milliamps
    ACCESSORIES: 2x AAA cells, aluminum "flight case"
    WARRANTY: Not yet known


    Star Rating
    (Product is good, but the company that sold it has apparently gone tits-up.
    Warranty service, if required, may therefore be difficult or even impossible to obtain.)

SCE 50mW Green Laser *

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