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Old 07-28-2008, 06:45 AM #1
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Default The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Hi readers! Thank you for the time and attention you have chosen to spend on this introductory post of mine!

1) About Me
2) Current Laser Situation
3) From Searching to Buying
4) Pseudonomen137 (Psdn137)
5) Question/s
6) Things to Come


1) About Me

I am a 27 y/o guy who goes by the name "Michael" and I'm posting from Sweden.
I have been interested in lasers for about five years now, starting with one very old, cheap and weak key chain laser pointer. But it's only recently that I've had my eyes opened to the more powerful lasers and have begun roaming the forums and actively trying to learn more about it all. (Though right now I'm staying at a "Mild enthusiast" level. I might start crackin' at a hardware level later on.)
In the every day life I see myself as being a very careful and systematic person when it comes to using expensive, technical and potentially dangerous electronics and gadgets. I like to do things by the book, LOOOVE instruction- / user manuals and I heed to other peoples' warnings, advice and tips very much. Maybe I'm on the border of being even somewhat pedantic at times...


2) Current Laser Situation

Right now I am eagerly waiting for my first higher powered laser to arrive - a Prometheus 475 mW green handheld laser. I just made my final part payment for it and expect an e-mail any day now with a sweet little tracking number to help build up the hype even more.
Like I mentioned earlier, the only thing related I have owned so far is a <5 mW red, cheap, key chain laser pointer - which today are even considered "cat toys" if I'm not mistaken. That laser pointer has been used to;

A - Shine on walls
B - Play with the cats
C - Lately, used to test how far it can be seen outside at night as well as shining it through heavy steam/vapour with hope of seeing the faintest bit of actual laser beam

The new Prometheus 475 will NOT be used to play with any cats! It will rather begin with melting, smoking and burning things - the usual beginner stuff, as well as be adored outside at darker times and probably contribute to a couple of reviews, lots of pictures and a few movies. I have never seen a high powered laser in person before so I don't really know what to expect. Many people say that even though things might seem impressive in videos and images - it is nothing like the real thing (and believe me, MANY videos and images out there has made me really impressed!).


3) From Searching to Buying

This was not anywhere close to an easy decision at first, that's for sure!
Step one for me is usually to do a quick local search for whatever product I'm after. However, in 98% of the time, it doesn't take very long to realize that there is nothing decent or reasonably priced to get from Sweden. So I usually end up scanning the US market and they always have LOTS of whatever I'm looking for - and the same thing goes for lasers!

I have to admit, I was very overwhelmed at first by the sheer number of options available. All the different powers, colors, makes, models, retailers, safety meassures... After a few Google searches I had made a nice little list of the largest and more popular laser retailers, such as Deal Extreme, Dragon Lasers, Wicked Lasers etc. and by the looks of the price tags, I thought I had to settle for a < 200 mW unit.

In order to help me make up my mind about all this, I found and signed up on this forum. After a day's reading, I knew that I wanted a green laser (said to be seen a bit better than red ones and I feel more for the green color) - and since I'M the one who should be happy with the laser... Not long after that, I was adviced by another member on this forum that I should get in touch with "Pseudonomen137" (Psdn137) - and that's the last step I needed to take before completing the purchase of my first laser.

Due to being left with more cash left on my account than expected, I chose to go for one of his well priced 300 mW Prometheus lasers, but later on, decided to go B I G and upgraded my order to receive a 475 mW Prometheus instead. Together with this unit I ordered the obligatory protection goggles (which I'm trusting *Psdn137 wholeheartedly will give me adequate protection), two extra high quality rechargeable batteries and a small storage case.

Now, I KNOW that 475 mW is very steep for someone's first laser considering people often start out with < 200 mW and work their way up. However, I do not want to be infected by the "I want more power" bug and I also want a laser unit which will keep me satisfied for a very long time to come - and I have no doubt that the Prometheus 475 will address both these things very effectively! At an age of 27, I know that I am well grown up and have both the maturity and brains to use such a high powered laser like this in a safe and responsible way, and being prompted everywhere I look, on this forum, in videos, about the dangers of lasers and permanent eye-damage - that really kicks my respect and safety concerns into overgear! (Besides, I don't think it really matters whether you're using a 100 mW or a +500 mW laser, they'll both be hazardous for your eyes if hit by the beam.)

I also like the safety features of the Prometheus since it requires a key to operate. Even though this laser will be stored at a safe location where nobody should be able to get their hands on it without me knowing about it nor allowing it - freak occurences can happen - and due to this fact, I'll feel very safe and secure knowing that the key stays with ME, and well separated from the unit!


4) Pseudonomen137 (Psdn137)

*Psdn137 has been really great having to deal with. He has very patiently answered all my questions, responded to literally dozens of mails, taught me lots of things and given much advice! Like previously mentioned; I know that 475 mW is a very steep start for a newcomer, especially for being a first laser! However, nothing negative should fall on *Psdn137 though - he very clearly expressed his concern about selling such a high powered laser to a beginner early in our correspondence - something I really appreciate and value very much! That clearly shows that he cares more about peoples' safety than selling expensive units and possibly making the biggest profits.

*Psdn137 / A1 Lasers has great pricing - not too costly products and not too cheap either, which could make it feel as if you're buying some kids toy rather than a real, sturdy, top-of-the-line unit. He offers a great range of products and accessories, lasers of various power to suit most people out there, as well as good shipping options and the ability to make interest-free partial payments (product/s shipped after final payment). *Psdn137 also provides a certificate together with his lasers which certifies that the lasers emits the power it is supposed to (and often goes well beyond too). He has also assured me that I will most likely get my package without any problems or delays with customs or such during its way over here - and should customs interfere and seize my package, I will either be refunded or sent another package.

Things like this has made my acquaintance with *Psdn137 very positive and appreciated, and he has conduced to making this purchase as a positive experience as possible!


5) Question/s

Of course I have a couple of questions I'd like to air regarding lasers and this forum.
Most of you people here are way more experienced than me and anyone who'd like to take a shot at these questions, please do so - I would really appreciate it!

Question #1
What amount of mW draws the line for a laser unit to be either considered a "laser pointer" or a real laser?
(i.e. Everything <5 mW is a laser pointer and +5 mW is a real laser)

Question #2
I have no means of verifying the power of the laser I'm about to get - and do not take this question as me not trusting *Psdn137 - that I won't get the 475 mW I've paid for! But what should I expect out of a 475 mW green handheld laser? Can anyone give any examples?
(i.e. I should be able to light matches over X feet away, I should be able to burn (through)/smoke this and that, the beam should be how visible in a room with clean air etc.) Anything I could try and see if it manages, and then perhaps include in an upcoming review, whether the laser made it happen or not.

Question #3
About this forum; Can I make a future review on my own web-site and then post a link to that in the review-section of this forum?
Or would you rather have the review posted directly in this forum? Maybe users are not very keen on following external links (as long as they do not lead to YouTube with regards for virus risks, commercial spamming and other similar dislikes?

Question #4
If you imagine clean every day in-door air (such as the air inside a non-smoker's living room or whatever) - is there some kind of formula that shows how much a laser beam looses in power over a certain distance? I mean, a laser beam should be more powerful closer to the laser unit itself and then get weaker the further away you get. If I know that a room is XX feet long, has clean air and that the laser emits a 475 mW beam - can I use some formula to calculate how strong the beam is as it hits the opposite wall?

Question #5
Can a 475 mW green laser burn light objects/surfaces - like burning through a white plastic bag or a white piece of paper, or is that just not possible for hand-held and/or green lasers?


6) Things to Come

Well, in addition to responding to eventual responses in this thread, I will most certainly post a very detailed review of my soon to be received Prometheus 475 together with quite a few pictures and maybe even some videos - if I find Windows Movie Maker to be compatible with what I want. I might throw down some posts and replies in the future too as I become more experienced and know what I'm talking about. Right now I'm just reading and learning and enjoying other peoples' experiences (well, except for the unfortunate and negative ones).


Thank you for reading and devoting your time and attention to this ten feet long introductory post of mine!

Have a lovely remainder of the day!

/ GL

*Psdn137 = Pseudonomen137 (a registered user and laser retailer in this community)


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Old 07-28-2008, 08:45 AM #2
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

A Prometheus 475 mW. I didn't think Viasho (the manufacturer) made that model of laser powerful enough to sustain a 475mW average. I'd be very interested to see power output graphs from that laser Send them this way Pseudonomen137


Q1: Above 5mW is a portable laser, not a laser pointer. Even if it looks like a laser pointer, it is classified as a portable laser. And they are all 'real lasers'. It is exactly the same mechanics in a 5mW green that makes a 475mW green.

Q2: The only was is to spend a few hundred on a power meter. Pseudonomen137 is a trusted member, you won't have any problems

Q3: Rather you post it here. Makes it easier

Q4: Hmm, not sure. Never thought of that. Someone with power meter should test that (Maybe I should, lol)

Q5: A focused blu-ray (405nm) laser can burn white, but green has trouble with it. At 475mW you might, but don't count on it.




I did the same thing as you, my first purchase was a 125mW laser. That's pretty powerful for a first one, but I knew I would get power hungry Unfortunately, I got REALLY power hungry. Now I've got a 300mW of a similar model to your 475mW, and I purchased a 400mW version but it needed repairs and due to new laws I can't re-import it. And my next purchase will either be a 500mW green labby or a 1 Watt green labby ;D

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Old 07-28-2008, 06:57 PM #3
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Nice choice as a first laser extremely powerful though. Your <5mW keychain red in comparison isn't even a laser! ha, more like a cheap LED. I have seen someone burn a white wall and white lanoleum tiles with a 500mW labby at normal focus even.
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:46 AM #4
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

If the laser is either utilized or designed as a pointer, I'd consider it a pointer. For example, I'd consider a 1mW HeNe a laser, and a 20mW Aquarius a pointer. Even if your Prometheus was to be used primarily to point objects out at great distances, I'd consider it a pointer.

But generally, if it can burn and/or is not portable, it is not usually designated as a pointer.
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:59 AM #5
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Thank you for your replies and for answering my questions!

I know that low powered lasers works the same way as the more heavy duty ones, but - I don't know... I rather look at <5 mW units as "laser pointers" - whilst the >10 mW units can be dignified with "real laser". But that's just in my head. I would look at non-red colored units @ < 5 mW as "real" lasers since they are on a totally different height compared to the old standard red ones.


I have been thinking about the deal with the 'nm' value. Is there somewhere I can read up on what exactly different 'nm' does to and with a laser? Sure I can Google it, I was just thinking if someone knows about a good page to read about it.


As for the current situation - I'm still eagerly awaiting a confirmation mail from Pseudonomen137, telling me that my package has been shipped, together with a tracking number. Can't do much more in the mean time than to keep browsing forums and checking videos until it arrives. But good times it is!
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:35 PM #6
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

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Originally Posted by Greenline
I have been thinking about the deal with the 'nm' value. Is there somewhere I can read up on what exactly different 'nm' does to and with a laser? Sure I can Google it, I was just thinking if someone knows about a good page to read about it.
The nm (nanometers) value is the length of the light's wave (wavelength) as it falls under the light spectrum. Wavelength is essentially the color of the laser.

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Old 07-30-2008, 02:16 AM #7
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Welcome to the forums!

You seem like you may be responsible and intelligent enough to own it, I don't see a problem with a newbie such as yourself owning such a powerful laser, though I will point out, that's very powerful.
As long as you, and every living creature in the room that has eyes - is wearing appropriate protection goggles, you shouldn't have any problems.

Your beam will be *very* visible, even in clear air... My 30mW "DX True" greenie is *almost* visible in clear air with daytime lighting, and quite visible in humid, dusty, or smoky air, or with little ambient lighting. My 200mW red laser burnt through a millimeter of black plastic in under 30 seconds; Your 475mW laser should burn through black plastic much quicker, pop balloons of any color instantly, light matches instantly from many meters away.. should be able to light a cigarette unfocused... It will be a very powerful device you should not treat lightly.

The wavelength (nm) determines the color of the laser... Light travels in a wave, and the measurement in nanometers is the distance between each wave. It's the "frequency" of light. Green, as it happens, is the color the human eye sees much better than any other color, so your beam will be much brighter than a 475mW laser of almost any other color.

Also: Pseudonomen137 is a well respected member of this forum for several years, and I believe he has a power meter.. I have no doubts you will get what you paid for.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:37 AM #8
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Thank you very much for your replies and for answering my question perfectly, in such a quick time! That picture provided was very clear and informative - thanks HS! And yes pseudolobster, I know that I am responsible enough to use such a laser with enough care (even though I have yet to see exactly what I'll be working with). As it is, I happen to be a Type 1 diabetic and have been for 23 years now. Because of this, my eyes are already a bit in the risk zone over the next couple of dozen years - I would not want to do anything to make it worse! Thus, the outmost respect for the laser beam!

(Actually, I have thought a bit about your alias pseudolobster - and wondered if you have some connection with pseudonomen137 - but that may very well be too much prying, so no need to answer that here nor in a PM. Just aired my thouhgts.)


And again I wish to clarify that I have not the slightest doubt about Pseudonomen137 nor the merchandise that I have bought from him. I simply was interested in roughly what, in the areas of power and visibility, I could expect from this 475 mW unit. (Something that you gave a good answer to also, pseudolobster.)


Status Update:
Time for a small update!
I have just got a confirmation from Pseudonomen137 that he has already shipped off the package to me over 15 hours ago and I also received a tracking number. So if I'm lucky, I should be getting the unit during the first half of next week. Very exciting!
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:56 AM #9
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

I think viasho makes a 350 in the 'rpl' style, but many times they will do a much higher average than that. For example, mine is a '300' from viasho but averages close to 400 (on a full battery). This is how a lot of the laser companies make a good profit margin.
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Old 08-03-2008, 01:13 AM #10
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

I see you becoming a great helpful member.
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:51 PM #11
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

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I see you becoming a great helpful member.
Uhm, if you meant me, then I thank you very much (although I really can't say that I have had the pleasure to help anybody yet and I think it will be quite a while until I can do so too - my knowledge around this subject is pretty limited still).


Question:
I know that I will be wanting a few mirrors too, to try a few things when the laser arrives. May I ask where and how people usually get hold of mirrors and such to use with their lasers? Looking for cheap, small ones (mirror's a mirror). My thought so far is to go down to the town and check the local stores, however, it would be cool to get a mirror a tad more fitting for the purpose than a womens' pocket sized make-up mirror.

Been searching a bit on the net but nothing much so far.


Question #2:
Is it safe to "feel" the strength of the laser beam (i.e. aim the laser at your hand to feel if it's got any "sting" to it)?
Besides from maybe contracting a small burn-mark - are there any other possible dangers you might do best to avoid?
(Protective glasses are, of course, worn at all times!)


Status update:
Ohh my - when I checked the tracking service earlier today it said that my package had left the US around friday. And now when I re-checked;

"Status: Arrived Abroad
Your item arrived in SWEDEN at 9:01 AM on August 3, 2008. Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later."


This means that I may become a very happy guy tomorrow (monday) or on tuesday the latest.


Thanks for your help and attention and as promised, review and lots of pictures will be up in the near future!

Take Care!
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Old 08-03-2008, 09:46 PM #12
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenline
[quote author=nikokapo link=1217227530/0#9 date=1217725988]I see you becoming a great helpful member.
Uhm, if you meant me, then I thank you very much (although I really can't say that I have had the pleasure to help anybody yet and I think it will be quite a while until I can do so too - my knowledge around this subject is pretty limited still).
[/quote]

What I think he means is that you have good communication skills.

You don't know anything about lasers yet, but once you do you'll be able to communicate that knowledge very well to other people
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:05 AM #13
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Status update:

Received my laser a few days ago (on monday) and I could not be happier!
Not only did I get what I ordered Pseudonomen137/Carter had also included the following extras for free;

One pack with black, helium quality, balloons (15 pcs)
One <2 mW "Cat toy" laser ("pointer&quot
One 500 lines/mm linear diffraction grating
One 13,500 lines/inch double axis diffraction grating

As of now, I am ready to create a "Prometheus 475" thread in the Review-section and post my thoughts, pictutres and videos. However, I'll have to put that on hold for a little more. It says I am required to make ten posts before I can post any links (which I need in my review). (And I do not wish to spam my own thread - so I'll just keep a look out for opportunities to contribute for now.)

Just want to say that I am VERY happy with the business I've made with Pseudonomen137 and would not hesitate one second to recommend him to anyone who asks!
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:05 PM #14
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Awesome! I just found this thread and I'm glad that everything went well. I, too, made a recent purchase with Pseudonomen137 and got a 5mW blue laser 8-). It's a good thing he gave you that cat toy laser because you do NOT want to use your incinerator near your cats! (If you have any :P)
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:30 AM #15
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Sorry to bump this thread (at least I'm keeping the spamming in my own thread). Just need to reach a postcount of 10 so that I may post a link in the Buy/Sell section.
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:31 AM #16
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Default Re: The Trail of a Newcomer (475 mW and Questions)

Only need two more - again, I apologize for this non-intensional mess...
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