VCSEL IR Laser 850nm illuminator for long distance spot IR 250+ ft

Bitslizer

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6/3 Update

So.... the 9 laser chips illuminator arrived today, it works and it is good! run lurk warm (not hot at all, i can hold forever) even in my chilly basement but since it will only be on at night with no Sun, that should not be an issue. Same great tight and bright as the 4 chips one. I was able to knock down my gain to 25 with 1/1000 shutter (enough for my head on application) and 100% open iris. It seem to be a case of diminishing return though, upping the shutter to 1/2000 some plates start to become dimmer than I would like. Seller claimed he customized it for 15w output, but my killawatt show 19.5w

-- Original post below

I have this thing throwing TIGHT and BRIGHT 850nm IR out to 250ft for my LPR camera. about $42 shipped from China, 2 days to ship out and 4-5 days in transit, final delivery for me was via UPS ground. I'm not affiliated with this seller/company and I paid out of my own pocket for this unit (NOT a free after review shill)

Claimed 10w, Kill a watt show 8.6w without a dimmer so probably 4x 2w chips with some conversion lost.

Some dissection pix. pretty typical construction, a plus is that every opening have a gasket to keep water out. The glass is actual glass (not plastic) and pretty thick too.
The Lens looks like convex lens with silicone glue to the PCB, I was able to take them off with a little twisting action. The LED PCB appears to be glued to the housing somehow, I guess this will help with heatsinking.
Driver PCB looks clean but typical of this type of illuminator, its attached with 1 screw and a stand off, so any heat sinking will mostly be by convection to the housing (ie not good)





on closer examination I do believe it is vcsel. The enlarged view show the typical vcsel grid/array that I don't think we see on ir led chips. Tried my best to take a pic but you can see the stagger grid pattern toward the bottom of the chip, it is much more visible to my naked eyes

Short range basement test with the 7 degree secondary lens and without, it is very tight and very sharp cutoff compare to typical narrow focus IR LED illuminator


Without 7 degree secondary lens, (only the on chip primary lens)


Real world 250ft results, taken with my overview camera
Without Laser

 
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Bitslizer

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I wanted to be more focus in this thread. For those interested I have additional pictures spreaded throughout the pages in the thread linked below comparing the DIY 8 degree 4w IR LED illuminator. Short version is that this laser one blow the led one out of the water

 

wittaj

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What does it look like looking at it - do you see any red glow or something similar like when looking at IR?
 

Bitslizer

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What does it look like looking at it - do you see any red glow or something similar like when looking at IR?
With the V1 20mm 8 degree TIR (Total internal reflection) lens or those similar "type" be it 60 or 90 degree with the "cones" forming the reflectors, you see a bright "red ring" then maybe a central red dot depending on the degree of the lens.

With the V3 laser 7 degree lens which I think is the convex type, there's no cones, just a central area with a bubble like magnifying lens to focus the light. when you look at it fairly head on you get mostly a central red dot, with a very very weak ring that I think more from scatter than by design.

I don't want to risk pointing my phone's fancy camera to take a picture and burn the sensor :D
 

TheSwede

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I like your tinkering and DIY.

Is there any red glow as in leds or is it clean 850nm ?

The IR lasers that I have emits radiation in about 90 degrees of what you show, not up from the substrate but alongside the substrate.

And good with laser as is much more powerful an more narrow by default, thanks for sharing your experiments.



I will follow and copy your setup for hunting ;-)



Brgds TheSwede
 

Bitslizer

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I like your tinkering and DIY.

Is there any red glow as in leds or is it clean 850nm ?

The IR lasers that I have emits radiation in about 90 degrees of what you show, not up from the substrate but alongside the substrate.

And good with laser as is much more powerful an more narrow by default, thanks for sharing your experiments.



I will follow and copy your setup for hunting ;-)



Brgds TheSwede
Was replying to your first try when it disappeared on me lol.

The red glow is a function of the wavelength. If the illuminator is 850nm doesnt matter laser or LED, you WILL have a red glow when you look at the lamp. Human eye is barely sensitive to 850nm and when it is bright enough like from a led, you will notice the glow. But once it is shinning on target it is so diffused you won't see it. I guess if you have a 850nm laser that is 100% collimated like a laser beam you can see it at the target

If you wish to be totally stealthy you need to get the 940nm instead. The drawback is that camera are less sensitive to 940nm so fit the same wattage, you will think it's less bright, less distance.

The laser you have is the older tech call EEL edge emitting laser. VCSEL vertical cavity surface emitting laser only recently become affordable to be used for flashlight and illuminator
 
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TheSwede

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Ok about vertical
Missed wittajs question also.
I thought the red glow was due to ”unclean” led chemistry so the wawelength had a small portion of visible red but laser was only the desired frequensy/wavelength.
I mean broader Spectrum or harmonics.
It dissapears when i decrease the current throu the led (and also the emitted ir).
Maybe the new type laser is like leds? Or your explanation?

yes i have 940nm leds around the house and on my IR sight but emitted power is lower and also the sensitivitet of the CAMs at 940.
Thats why i’m curius about this lasers also on the new PTZ cams

Need to order and check it out. Maybe also a 940nm laser.

/T
 
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Bitslizer

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Ok about vertical
I thought the red glow was due to ”unclean” led chemistry so the wawelength had a small portion of visible red but laser was only the desired frequensy/wavelength.
I mean broader spectrum or harmonics.
It dissapears when i decrease the current throu the led (and also the emitted ir).
Maybe the new type laser is like leds? Or your explanation?

yes i have 940nm around the house and on my IR sight but emitted power is lower and also the sensitivitet of the CAMs at 940.
Thats why i’m curius about this lasers.

Need to order and check it out.

/T
I see

in theory the LED is less clean, maybe 810-880nm



i don't have a frequency tool to confirm the wavelength. but yes i can see red light on the laser still.

This is not directly related but may be interesting. when in experimental condition, our eye respond to IR light as long as 1000nm+

 

TheSwede

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Interesting !
i bought som optical Bandpass filters for 850nm that is rather selektive.
Pointed at the sun and its full spectra its is completely black to the eye.
I will give it a try on these lasers when i get them in a month or so.
 
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TheSwede

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”They tested the lasers on 30 healthy volunteers” , healthy. before or after...?

the eye may fool us, i tested some laserpointers years ago and the lowerpower red burned balloons but the much brigther green did not.
Even when i tried to focus it more exact.
 

Bitslizer

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”They tested the lasers on 30 healthy volunteers” , healthy. before or after...?

the eye may fool us, i tested some laserpointers years ago and the lowerpower red burned balloons but the much brigther green did not.
Even when i focused it more exact.
Lol good question o_O
 

Bitslizer

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What does it look like looking at it - do you see any red glow or something similar like when looking at IR?
Here's the best I can do, note that the LED looks brighter because it has more scatter/diffusion and less focus than the laser, I'm no where near the "hot spot" focus area of neither illuminator.

Captions in the picture refer to how it look to my naked eye compare to the camera picture
 

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Bitslizer

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I messaged the seller, The seller is willing to customize most of the other similar infrared illuminator he carries with vcsel laser. Roughly extra $1 per pieces of laser chip. Slightly more than $1 per chip with less number of chips and slightly less than $1 with more chips. :love:

Although these are 2w chips, I think depend on the housing use may affect the actual entire unit wattage due to heat dissipation capacity? D8x18-9 have 9 chips for 18w but d8x26-20 have 20 chips for 26/27w
 
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Purduephotog

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I messaged the seller, The seller is willing to customize most of the other similar infrared illuminator he carries with vcsel laser. Roughly extra $1 per pieces of laser chip. Slightly more than $1 per chip with less number of chips and slightly less than $1 with more chips. :love:

Although these are 2w chips, I think depend on the housing use may affect the actual entire unit wattage due to heat dissipation capacity? D8x18-9 have 9 chips for 18w but d8x26-20 have 20 chips for 26/27w
Since you're a good POC now (haha!) if you would ask, I would like more beams run at less power. I know the circuit he's got in the back end there and shiver while it's OK, there's a reason laser power supplies have a few more components. The chip is the standard one used in most of those IR illuminators- I found spec sheet once- it has an option for a CdS sensor to turn on/off. Otherwise you have to use a relay to the 12V adapter.

So... yeah... these MCPCBs fit the standard housing too- you could run it at 1/3 the current per Laser and they should last forever.

Also- you said the 2ndary lense was removable ? I'd want to buy a batch of the 'next focal' length up. I think 7 degrees would work, but 15 or 30. I don't care if they sit on my shelf, they can join all the other stuff :)
 
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