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Thread: The best portable laser supplier, and model?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default The best portable laser supplier, and model?

    Hi guys.

    I've just found this fantastic new passtime and learning fast; I hope my questions aren't too basic or unuseful.

    I'm at the point where I'm ready to make my first big purchase, but it all seems a bit of a minefield compared with other hobbies.

    My main concern is quality; I'd rather pay a little more for reliability and durability than anything else.

    I have a budget of between $400 and $700.

    I much prefer the concept of using standard batteries (sizes, AAA, AA, C, and D etc...) rather than 18650's because of the more stable future battery source.

    I was thinking about 18650's in the sense that I might just get a lifetime's supply from the start (say 10 batteries), but told by someone that they only last a short while before losing charge ability for not being used. Is this correct?

    Does anyone else think that 18650's are more risky than C's?

    My main problem with 18650's is protected Vs unprotected (some lasers insist on non-protected as they already have protection circuits built in, apparrently.

    Also, the supply of 18650's; in the uK there isn't a single reliable supplier I can find. I might have to go international each time I need new batteries, and with such a non-mainstream battery as the 18650, it seems like a real risk.


    As for the ideal brand? I was thinking of Laserglow, but they ask for almost 40% more than rival, identically specced units from the likes of Dragon Lasers and Techlasers.

    I find it really hard to justify such a huge price-hike for brand alone.

    Does anyone else think it's really worth the extra cost to buy from Laserglow?

    Also, there's the Techlasers Infiniti series that look exactly the same as Dragon Lasers Viper series, and Nova Lasers X-series. Are they all the same?

    Techlasers do go out of their way to prove that theirs are genuine CNI's, so I'm pretty convinced there, only that I have no idea how good CNI are?

    Anyone have any idea how long I ought to expect a Infiniti/Viper/X 125mW unit to last for with proper use and care?


    Finally, there's Optotronics and their PPL/RPL series.

    Does anyone have any opinions about them and their models?

    They appear to have high quality and reliable models at good prices, although they also seem to be a smaller, less professional outfit. For example, their stance on 7 day satisfaction periods. Absolutely don't support this issue, even though in the UK it's a statutory obligation for all distance sellers such as Optotronics.

    Anyway guys, I hope you can help me find my way here and I'll happily carry out an extensive review (short and long term) on whichever unit I buy.

    All the best.

  2. #2
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    May 2008
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    Wisconsin
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bbshamsa View Post
    I was... told by someone that they only last a short while before losing charge ability for not being used. Is this correct?
    That sounds more like a characteristic of NiMH than Li-Ion to me.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2007
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    Rotorua New Zealand
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    Default

    HI,

    I have some CNI lasers and the company enjoys a good reputation.

    There is also Viasho (Frank here on PL) and Laser-Wave (Bridge here on PL). I have these as well.

    These are all known good companies looking to improve their product and talk to us guys on a regular basis.

    One trick that seems to come up on this forum quite often is when a "third" party builds a laser projector or "on sells" a laser. Just be careful that the model and output are what they say is inside the box.
    For example simply saying its a CNI laser only assures you that it is a good manufacturer. CNI make many lasers of different models.
    Most of the above good companies supply lasers that do more output than the stated power for eg 100mw laser may do 120mw...
    So on this basis some bum resellers have been know to sell a person an 80mw that is doing say 100mw and tell you its a 100mw..not exactly a lie but pretty deceitful as they pocket the money difference.(they only paid for an 80mw you get to pay for the 100mw ...get it ?)

    Suggest you deal either direct with the companies or with well known suppliers like LaserShow Parts (Dave and Aijii here on PL) or OneStopLasershop. Both have websites.
    Keep your money in your wallet until you have all the facts first to avoid disappointment....

    Good luck and come back with any queries there are a heap of guys and girls here that can help.

    Cheers

    Ray
    NZ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default Optotronics

    I can't answer most of your questions, but I have an RPL-400 Optotronics and I can tell you that it is an amazing laser. After running 5 minutes, it is cranking out an average output of 451mw. If you're into burning things, it will pop balloons as far as I can separate them in my house (about 35 feet). It lights candles, cigarettes, matches, etc. etc. It is very well built and I couldn't be happier with it. If I would have bought this laser from Laserglow it would have cost over $2500.

    Good luck.

    Moon-raker

  5. #5
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    May 2008
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    Default THANKS :)

    Hey guys.

    Thanks so much for your advice.

    In the end it came down to Optotronics, and Laserglow for me. I was pretty torn between the two, but in the end, Laserglow won out and I got a great deal on an Aries 100+.

    I know it's not the most powerful, but it lands on the threshold for burning, and is supported by what I believe is the better company, overall.

    Now I have what I consider to be a reliable laser, I'm already thinking about getting a higher power model soon, but this time maybe from Optotronics.

    In fact, I'm kind of obsessed with improving the range and power with optics at the moment, so watch this space in case I come up with something worthwhile!

    I've managed to bodge together a bolt-on lens setup that's really simple and made up of a velcro cable-tie, and a spectacle/glasses loupe. It takes seconds to fit, really basic, works a treat as a focusing point that is TINY as well as broadening the beam to act as a "dazzler"... In case I ever need such a thing

    I'm just playing around with it a bit more before I post some pics and opinions etc...

    I'm determined to make a reproduceable setup that comes somewhere near the performance and reliability of Laserglow's bolt-on lens system (X10DR), for the Aries and Hercules.

    So far so good with Laserglow, their attitude was totally professional and really helpful throughout. I even got a couple of phone calls to the questions I emailed them; I'm in Liverpool btw!

    By the way, does anyone have any suggestions towards making or finding an X10DR alternative?

  6. #6
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by bbshamsa View Post
    works a treat as a focusing point that is TINY as well as broadening the beam to act as a "dazzler"... In case I ever need such a thing
    You should *never* need such a thing. Furthermore, if you get caught using it to dazzle anything (or any one), know that they will probably confiscate the laser in addition to whatever other charges they file against you.
    By the way, does anyone have any suggestions towards making or finding an X10DR alternative?
    Not too many pointer jockeys here. We're more into lab and bench lasers. Try Candlepowerforums.com or Laserpointerforums. com.

    Adam

  7. #7
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    May 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    You should *never* need such a thing. Furthermore, if you get caught using it to dazzle anything (or any one), know that they will probably confiscate the laser in addition to whatever other charges they file against you.

    Not too many pointer jockeys here. We're more into lab and bench lasers. Try Candlepowerforums.com or Laserpointerforums. com.

    Adam
    Thanks very much for you helpful suggestions "buffo".

    It's great to know where I can come to be patronised and reminded of my "place" by such learned individuals as yourself.

    I believe I may have misunderstood the point of this forum and especially the title of this section as being "Lasers, All Kinds"

    Anyway relax; there's a difference between harmless experimentation and having intent to do harm.

    I choose to use this forum because I hope to learn from experienced people who know what they're talking about, as well as try and contribute something.

    Well, I still think there's merit in seeking to find an alternative to existing beam expansion components or ones that are more accessible, financially.

    Furthermore, surely there're also advantages, in terms of learning, by trying to build your own solutions.

    In any case, if anyone wants to share, I'd be really grateful

  8. #8
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    Default All Hail The Pointer Jockey!!!!

    ................... VIVE LA DIFFERENCE !!!!!!!!!!










    ... in a non-gender context of course

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by bbshamsa View Post
    Thanks very much for you helpful suggestions <snip> It's great to know where I can come to be patronised and reminded of my "place" by such learned individuals as yourself.
    Don't get your knickers in a wad. You come in here breathlessly talking about high-powered laser pointers and the possibility of "dazzling" things with it. What sort of reaction did you expect? Your comments demonstrated a lack of safety awareness, and I (gently) called you on it. Grow up.
    I believe I may have misunderstood the point of this forum and especially the title of this section as being "Lasers, All Kinds"
    Not at all. I simply pointed out that there are not a lot of pointer jockeys here. Since you are interested in specific information related to pointers, and given that you had not yet received an answer to your questions here, I suggested you try those other forums. You have a better chance of getting an answer there. That doesn't mean you have to leave PhotonLexicon. I was merely pointing you to another resource that was more likely to have the information you were looking for.
    Anyway relax; there's a difference between harmless experimentation and having intent to do harm.
    Indeed there is. But in 3 years on this forum, I've never heard anyone mention "dazzling" something with a high-powered laser pointer. Given the media hysteria and increasingly draconian laws governing lasers in general (and laser pointers in particular), that sort of talk *needs* to be addressed. It only takes one loose cannon to ruin the fun for everyone. Forgive me if you misspoke, but from the tone of your post it sounded like you were considering using your high powered laser pointer as a means of personal defense (dazzling an attacker, for example), if not something even more mischievous.
    I choose to use this forum because I hope to learn from experienced people who know what they're talking about, as well as try and contribute something.
    A laudable goal, no doubt. But as I already mentioned, you appear to be most interested in hand-held lasers, and there isn't as much information about hand-held lasers here as there is on other sites. I'm not trying to get you to leave PhotonLexicon, I'm trying to point you in the right direction so you can find the answer you are looking for.

    Seriously, you're taking this way too personal. Yes, your comments about "dazzling" things with a pointer were irresponsible and reckless, and yes I rightfully addressed those comments. But the rest of my post was intended to help you find the answer you were looking for. You chose to take my comments as a further attack, but that was not my intent.

    Adam

  10. #10
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    Apr 2007
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    Toronto Canada
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    Default

    I'd better have my testicles marinated then buying from laserglow. Their prices is outrage.! They charge double for everything.
    I hired an Italian guy to do my wires. Now they look like spaghetti!

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