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Thread: Dragonlasers laser pointers: The good, the bad and the ugly

  1. #1

    Default Dragonlasers laser pointers: The good, the bad and the ugly

    (i'm a political refugee from candlepowers seeking asylum here, smuggled my thread over with me)

    After carefully watching from the sidelines and doing a fair bit of research (unavoidable on a low budget but want high power), I eventually opted for a 125mW from www.dragonlasers.com

    www.wickedlasers.com has a reputation for excellent service and they have a large following but the price of their higher end laser pointers was too much for me. www.laserglow.com has some great lasers (love the Hercules) but nothing around the 100mW mark in the laser pointer style. Checked out a few other sites such as www.megalasers.com and decided against them. It goes with out speaking that I did not even contemplate www.ebay.com

    The Dragonlaser itself

    It is very elegant with the gold and black coloring. The kind of style youíd expect to find in an expensive parker pen. It would make a good gift for some one who wanted a classy look. I Ďm more partial to something sleek and high.

    Iíve heard that it is the same type of laser that was sold by wicked. Has the same look.



    Burning ability

    For bursting balloons, it can burst any color at a range of at least 3 meters. Using a sharpie on the white colored and lighter balloons does help a little. Matches are easy and can be lit in less than a second. Very quick to sting naked skin. Iím not sadistic enough to see if it will burn. Smokes leather and can burn holes in foam cups.

    The beam

    Wow, the beam is mesmerizing. Using this at night can give you a god complex. The beam is so bright and seems to go for ever. No problem reaching the bottom of low clouds. Haha you can keep your starwars death ray.

    Heat and duty cycle

    So far to be safe, Iíve kept with in the 100sec/10sec duty cycle. It does get warm but I canít see any drop in power. Have not being willing to try for longer.

    Divergence

    I was initially worried that I might have a divergence problem so I read up, got some advice and did a few divergence tests and used a divergence calculator. Panicked over nothing, no divergence problem. Just a bit higher than the specified divergence.

    This thread was a big help http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...d.php?t=143261

    In summary

    Great power and burning ability, brilliant beam, excellent quality and best prices.

    On the down side, I would prefer a cooler looking laser. I find that its style is a bit too formal but thatís just me. My friends keep bugging me to borrow it. NO WAY.

    Pictures

    Donít have any decent photos myself so the pictures used are links from www.dragonlasers.com (unauthorized cough cough)







    If any one else has a dragonlaser or the equivalent wicked laser, post your feedback. We can form a self help group
    Chat at www.laserpointerforums.com and here
    Read the news at www.theage.com.au
    Shop at www.dragonlasers.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Just wondering... Why go with the pointer form factor? If you're looking for more power, you can get it in a table-top design for a lot less cash than you'll spend on a hand-held unit of the same rating. Plus the table-top unit will be able to run continuously without overheating.

    As an example, here is a 250 mw DPSS laser for sale on E-bay right now starting at $400. (Well, the shipping might be significant, since the seller is in the UK.) But the seller is also a member here on PhotonLexicon, and the laser itself is a good quality unit, so you're pretty safe with this listing. And 250 mw would put your 125 mw pointer to shame. (Though you'll need some good quality laser safety goggles with this one - you're well into the danger zone at that power level!)

    I know that souped-up pointers are cool the first couple times you play with them, but I think that the table top modules offer a lot more bang for the buck. (It's darned near impossible to do a laser show using only pointers...)

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    ny united states
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    I cant speak for anyone else but for me I wanted my first laser to be a pointer so I caould bring it with me were ever I went. I love it that much. Theres times when I have a few minutes to relax I'll whip out the laser and entertain myself.
    But the duty cycle does suck and now that I have gotten past the initial fascination Im more interested in setting up some cool projector shot to photograph and video. So anice table top modle is going to be the next move.
    I do have a cni modle from WL. Allthough its not what I had expected as WL was touting there new lasers designs with good culmination and better divergance, which is what I wanted. Alas I was given the shaft and handed off a cni from the shelf and when I sent an email to WL I was told IM basically out of luck and that they sold me a laser that was pictured on the website.
    IM not a big fan of WL as a result butI wont go to much into that. I have made a stink about it elsewhere which wasnt to well recieved.
    This particular laser has terrible divergance I havent dared test it yet cause I just dont want to know :x . It also has a noticeable amount of scatter. I have tried cleaning the lense but to no avail. I may take this unit apart in the future and try and install a better colminating lense. That should fix the scatter and give me the divergnace I was looking for in the first place.
    But this thing does indeed burn nice and hot. But only from short distances. I would say it would max out at around 3 or 4 feet for the simplest of burning tricks, black plastic, sharpied ballons and foam cups. It will smoke leather or just about anything else darkly colored up close no problem. I have light matches with it but its much easier to do with the focusing unit I made for it.
    All in all im happy with as the beam is very visible at night outside, just like you described. Plus I cas still use it to do some of the effects I had planned to build so I have lots left to do with it. But there will defintaly come a time when I outgrow this puny hand held pointer. Then its time to move on to bigger and better lasers. Thats my cni story.
    I plan on cutting my teeth on some holography.I also have plans for a simple scanner.

    ps sorry to ramble somuch but i like to tell the whole story.
    ops:

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Laser Pointers did bring me where I am today
    So enjoy the pointers...

    Becouse one day no pointer can fill your need of power
    Then you start buying modules...

  5. #5
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    Mr Boticron;

    If your laser will only burn things when they are just a few feet from the head, then you're probably leaking a lot of IR. If you were burning them with the visible output of the laser you could do it from across the room. But IR spreads out a lot faster, and so once you get away from the head you can't burn anything anymore because the power density of the beam falls off.

    Yeah, I'm not to keen on Wicked Lasers either. They cater to the pointer jockey crowd, and that's just not my cup of tea. I'll admit that it's cool to burn things the first few tries, but after that you find yourself wanting to do more. And for that, you've got to get a laser that doesn't run on batteries...

    BTW, that 250 mw laser that Lostgalliyfreyan is selling on E-bay will light an ordinary paper match from 30 feet away in less than a second with no lens, and it will pop just about any color ballon you can find - without having to use a magic marker!

    Adam

  6. #6
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    buffo
    These CNI's are supposed to have decent ir filters, but since you mention it I might as well test the theory. I will hook up the camera tonight and test it with the ir setting to see if it has any noticeable output.
    My disapointment with WL goes beyond the fact they cater to pointer jockeys as you put it. If you want to know more about my grievances look here http://www.lasercommunity.com/viewto...958&highlight=
    The topic of this forum was changed from its orignal heading of unfair business pratices, but the quote unquote unbiased forum turned out to be slightly less then that. This is the last im going to mention this, im not here to bash other forums or laser companies. I just figure its fair to mention why I have the opinion I do. Im not disgruntled Im not a head case I just believe in telling the truth whenn it comes to doing business.
    The reason I am here is to learn more about lasers and to take my hobby to the next level and pointers as you point out (no pun intended) just wont cut it.
    Let me ask you this. If money was no object and you were looking for a 300 mW green module what manufacturer would you go with? Also on the other end of the specturm if you were on a budget what module and what output would you settle for?

  7. #7
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    Hey Mr_Boticron!

    Sounds like you got a raw deal. Sorry to hear of it. But I agree that the best thing to do is to move on, and move up to a table-top laser.

    If money were *no object*, then I'd probably buy a Coherent DPSS unit. But you're talking $1800 for just 100 mw of green if you go that route. (There's on on E-bay right now for about that price.) I don't know how much a 300 mw unit would cost, but my guess is that it would be at least as much as a good used car!

    However, since money *is* an issue for just about everyone, I'd say that Lambda Pro, Lasever, CNI, and Vashio would be brands that I would look at. There is a 300 mw unit on E-bay right now that has a pretty good price on it. The seller is in Canada and bought it to do holograms. (Dumb... DPSS units normally have short coherence lengths - unless you spend a fortune - so they aren't very good for holograms.)

    What do you want to do with the laser? Are you thinking about buying some galvos and a DAC to connect them to a computer, or are you more interested in static effects (diffraction gratings, that sort of thing)?

    Adam

  8. #8
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    well i am very interested in hologram effects. But I also am having lots of fun with projecters. I do want to work with galvos as well. Right now I feel my next step is to buy a cheap scanner kit like this one http://www.midwest-laser.com/html/op..._scanners.html
    I was hoping to buy a laser that would work for both the scanner and later when i want to get to work with the holograms.
    In this case what kind of laser would you recomend?

  9. #9
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    or even something like this for my first scanner kit http://www.cheapdjgear.us/Laser_Wido...er%20widow.htm
    i was thinking I could take out the modules in it and replace them with higher quality units.

  10. #10
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    Don't bother with the widow. You already have half of one built. The widow s just a motor mirror trick like you have. Build another motor/mirror like you have and bounce them off of each other. Then start looking for ways to control the speeds of the motors.


    Chad

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