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Thread: A Vintage Pointer Profusion

  1. #1
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    Default A Vintage Pointer Profusion

    Laser pointers have been with us essentially since the beginning. I figure the first one to be the 1963 Spectra-Physics 130. It was the first laser with a DC power supply, an integrated head and power supply, a handle, and a switch on the side. It was also the first laser advertised for use as a pointer. Until the mid-'70s, people used small lab lasers for the application. The Hochuli cathode gave He-Ne tubes the lifetime needed for this use, with the Spectra-Physics 133 being a very early example of this. Also available then were cylindrical heads like the Coherent 80. By the end of the '70s, the Bergen LP-6 was available. This is the first laser model that included a momentary "on" switch on the side. In this case, it's a mechanical blade that extends inside to the front to cover the output.

    In the '80s, He-Ne pointers evolved a bit, to run off of batteries and to include smaller plasma tubes. The 1982 RMF pointer to start the center row uses a few 9v batteries. The 1987 Draper Blinds LLP uses a NiCd battery, and is the same as the Laserex LLP-05 seen 6th from the left. The rest of the pointers in the center row are from 1989, starting with the Kodak "Ektalite", The Soviet LG-73 with its cool rocket styling, and "The Point" from Laser Photonics with its unique shape and included handle. The final two in the row are the Creatron "Highlighter" and the Polytech "Polypoint", which has a plug-in module that screws onto the rear end in place of the rechargeable battery module. The pointer along the bottom is the 1987 Aerotech model 120R, that's 19" long with its battery module installed.

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    Starting in 1989, semiconductor lasers served the application. The Holospectra HSD-1 "Spot" was the first, but the Kodak "Ektalaser" and D.O. Industries "Navitar" followed immediately. Pointers from 1992 included the Altai LP-100 (which I believe is Russian, and includes an extending metal pointer too), the Laserex LDP-300, and the Sun Laser SL-6. Finishing out the top row are the Draper Blinds "Linear 1" and the identical Laserex LDP-150AV. All of these pointers use a 670nm laser.

    The center row starts with the Emerging Technologies "Laseraim" LAP-300, the Metrologic ML-211, a Da-Lite Screen Company pointer, the Laserex SM-2 that features a 635nm laser, and the Sharper Image HL-300 that uses its pocket clip as the switch. All of the above are from 1994. The 1995 Apollo "Bullet" was my first pointer, and the YCT pen type pointer is from the same year. The final two in the center row are the 1996 Toko TLP-200 that's very different, and a 1997 Alpec-Team plug-in pointer that also has a 635nm laser. The Toko TLP-200 has a scanner inside that projects either a line or a circle of adjustable size, as well as the typical laser dot.

    The bottom row starts with a 1997 Ednalite plug-in pointer with a 650nm laser, a pointer from 1998 made by Coherent, and the Laserex LDP-400UB from the same year. Then there's a nice pointer from an unknown maker with an unusual shape, a Russian pointer from Beaomo, a cheap Chinese pointer with an LED lamp on a flexible shaft, and a Laserlyte pointer made for Raytheon. I'm guessing the last four were all made in this century. To finish we have a cheap Chinese green laser pointer and the 2010 Wicked Lasers "Arctic" Spyder III blue high powered hand-held laser. I avoid referring to anything over 10mW as a "pointer", but include it here because it's not the laser's fault GaN is so efficient!

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    Last edited by Eidetic; 12-04-2016 at 18:50.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Monroe, Mi USA
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    Wow...Nice review !!! Believe it or not...I had the Holospectra HSD-1 "Spot".......Still have the parts around...somewhere...what...now worth about $ 25 USD ....if we ever see one !! I wonder what this technology will evolve into ??? MMMMM ??? Ask DARPa....bet they know !!!!!!!

    We can outlaw these Pointer things....but...we cannot outlaw immature idiots !!! Evolution used to deal with them !! Sigh !! CDBEAM
    Beam Axiom #1 ~The Quantum well is DEEP ! Photons for ALL !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #2 ~Yes...As a matter of fact...I DO wear tinfoil on my head !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #3 ~Whe'n dout...Po ah Donk awn et !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #4 ~A Chicken in every Pot, and a Laser Lumia in every Livingroom !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #5 ~"Abstract Photonic Expressionism"....is "Abstractonimical" !!
    .
    Beam Axiom #6 ~ "A Posse ad Essea" ~ From being possible to being actual ...is the beam target !

  3. #3
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    Save those old Holospectra "Spot" parts! I'm sure it'll be a "Holy Grail" for someone's collection in the future. It was for me. I paid $115 four years ago, and would've gone higher if necessary. When all those laser pointer guys hit 50, there will be an interest.

    By the way, it's usually the drunk buddy of a laser pointer guy who points it in stupid directions. All of those above (except the final two) were only an issue for unwitting cats.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Sacramento, California
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    I have one of the melles-Griot 670 red laser pointers. It runs on an N cell battery. I think I killed the diode years back. Im still debating on pulling the 670 and pressing in a 445 or 520.
    Fun times!
    Will there be three phase!!!!

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