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Old 02-27-2011, 02:12 AM #1
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Default WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

Greetings!
I hate doing this, but I also hate trolling though hundreds and hundreds of forum posts to find that one that actually applies to me if it exists.

Is anyone selling currently, or planning to sell within the next 6 months a laser whos minimum output is ~200mw?

Color is a vanity, i would prefer green, however yellow or red is okay.

I'm not an expert on the internals, but is a green laser with an output of 200-600mW with an average battery life fully charged ~1hr too much to ask?

200mW is my floor, 600mW being ideal. Anything brighter than 600 i feel would be too bright and unnecessarily strong to point out stars and other such things at distance, anyone beg to differ?


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Old 02-27-2011, 02:23 AM #2
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

With desires like that, I hope you have deep pockets!
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:07 AM #3
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

well "deep" is relative, when comparing the price of a laser built here by a member to the price of a commercially available laser it should be cheaper.

I see you own a 600mW how much did that cost you? Brand new? DIY?
I'm assuming "labby" means its a lab laser, can you compare those to handhelds?
It still a diode, lens, ect. They cant be terribly different.

I see alot of 600mW + lasers in blue. Is this due to some mechanical limitations? Are the majority of 600mW+ lasers a single color? Will color adversely effect price?( I'm sure it effects price to some degree as creating light to such a degree of wavelength accuracy cant be cheap and im sure if slightly different for different colors.)

Edit: what is your display picture of? Is it one of those "star generators" that sit on a table and use lasers instead of a light-bulb to project "stars" on the ceiling? My wife and I have wanted to get something similar for our nursery, however the light bulb models are cheaply built, and usually give off too much light for a pretty "iffy" display on the ceiling.

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Old 02-27-2011, 03:24 AM #4
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

P Ming you later.
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Old 02-27-2011, 03:49 AM #5
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

- Different colours have substantially different levels of visibility at the same power. 200mW of green is a REALLY BRIGHT BEAM. But 200mW of red has a beam that is tough to see. 200mW of violet has a beam that is pretty much invisible without fog and darkness.

- Different technologies go into different colours. Some more expensive to produce, and some harder to produce at higher powers.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:16 AM #6
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhd View Post
- Different colours have substantially different levels of visibility at the same power. 200mW of green is a REALLY BRIGHT BEAM. But 200mW of red has a beam that is tough to see. 200mW of violet has a beam that is pretty much invisible without fog and darkness.

- Different technologies go into different colours. Some more expensive to produce, and some harder to produce at higher powers.
Thank you for your insight. However I already knew that.

I realize its a different technology to create a red laser over a blue laser.
I also realize that green is more visible than red and red is generally more visible than blue.
The differance in technology required to create a color is perfectly evidenced by the currently available colors and the the fact not all those colors have been around for ever.
Correct me if im wrong but was the progression not
Infrared-red-green-blue-violet? I dunno where yellow came into play.

LEDS are also similar in this regard.

What I dont know is:
-the actual cost difference between a green and a blue laser ( cost being production costs)
-what percentage of construction is different between a green and blue. (for all i know it could be one small component or it could be a whole array of components)
-operating differences between colors

All of this is why i said "color is a vanity". At the end of the day I need to point things out ( and yes i want to pop balloons with it ). Which is why i specified an output, not a wavelength.
If it ends up being that a red laser is 100$ or more cheaper to produce than a green laser of the same wattage then ill go red, however if its a 10$ difference then ill go green.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:31 AM #7
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerrSticks View Post
LEDS are also similar in this regard.

What I dont know is:
-the actual cost difference between a green and a blue laser ( cost being production costs)
-what percentage of construction is different between a green and blue. (for all i know it could be one small component or it could be a whole array of components)
-operating differences between colors
Continuing with the LED comparison, in this case a white led would be somewhat similar to a Green Laser (blue -> white conversion)... somewhat. I'll go into detail.

A super high power blue laser (assuming 445nm) will be much, much, MUCH, cheaper than a high power green laser. At the moment, there are diodes that can directly emit 445nm coherent light, but there are NO diodes currently on the market that can emit green ~532nm coherent light.

A "green" laser is composed of many, many more components than a blue.

If a White LED has a royal blue base,
we can say that a green laser diode has a 808nm IR diode base - the laser light is then pumped through a gain medium (YAG or YVO4), and wavelength double by a ktp crystal. see: Why is my green laser putting out red light?


see the picture going into detail about a green laser?
remove the pump focusing lens, crystal assembly, (Nd:YVO4/KTP), expanding lens, and IR filter. then you've got the simplicity of a diode 445 blue laser. simply the diode and a focusing lens.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:38 AM #8
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

So if its brightness im looking for green is the way to go
If its cost im worried about go blue?

Technically any laser over 50mW will suit my "needs" the only reason i want one over 200, or closer to 600 is for the "fun" aspect. Please dont "flame" or berate me on using the word "fun". I know lasers are extremely dangerous. Hell if the state of Minnesota thinks im smart enough and level headed enough to license me as a police officer and allow me to carry a firearm I think i can safely manage a laser.

So if i NEED a laser to adequately point out stars and other such things at extreme distance.
I WANT a laser that is capable of popping a balloon or cutting tape( I've gathered the threshold for this is ~250mW, does that sound about right?).
I WANT a green laser, but as previously stated color is a "vanity" and i am open to more knowledgeable input on color.
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:52 AM #9
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

Here's my advice for what you're looking for.

- First of all, red and violet should be off the table. Low visibility. Expensive and rare to find a bright enough red, and even the most powerful portable violet pointers are just too close to the edge of the spectrum to have a high degree of visibility.

- If you want the most impressive laser for a small amount of money (< $50) go with a green. You can buy a low cost green laser that will actually give you ~100mW for under $50 that will be highly visible and impressive.

- If you want the most impressive laser for a larger amount of money ($120 +) go with a blue.

Visually, both options have similar "awe" value. They could both have fairly visible beams. The blue option will be higher mW power, which also then adds greater ability to create heat and burn things, if that matters.

Personally, I'd go green for one reason. It's way more fun to play with. You can own a 50mW green laser, and you'll be able to see the beam. At the same time, while you still have to be careful with a 50mW green, you don't have to be as absolutely freakishly paranoid as you do with a similarly visible high powered blue. You really can't play with a high powered blue laser the way you can with a green. Green is just way more fun in that respect.
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:24 AM #10
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

my biggest concern with a blue laser is the fact that for whatever reason (im not a doctor) blue light is one of the "worst" lights and subsequently lasers to have due to the fact that blue tends to damage eyes far more than the other colors.

i dont know the exact numbers off the top of my head, but I remember reading somewhere that light between I THINK it was like 420-460nm is some of the worst for your eyes.

I guess what im trying to say, does risk increase with a blue laser if its same output as a green? IE a 50mW green will do less damage than a 50mW blue?
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:26 AM #11
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

Quote:
Originally Posted by HerrSticks View Post
well "deep" is relative, when comparing the price of a laser built here by a member to the price of a commercially available laser it should be cheaper.

I see you own a 600mW how much did that cost you? Brand new? DIY?
I'm assuming "labby" means its a lab laser, can you compare those to handhelds?
It still a diode, lens, ect. They cant be terribly different.

I see alot of 600mW + lasers in blue. Is this due to some mechanical limitations? Are the majority of 600mW+ lasers a single color? Will color adversely effect price?( I'm sure it effects price to some degree as creating light to such a degree of wavelength accuracy cant be cheap and im sure if slightly different for different colors.)

Edit: what is your display picture of? Is it one of those "star generators" that sit on a table and use lasers instead of a light-bulb to project "stars" on the ceiling? My wife and I have wanted to get something similar for our nursery, however the light bulb models are cheaply built, and usually give off too much light for a pretty "iffy" display on the ceiling.
You are very right when you say price is "relative". The comment I made was directed at your desire for yellow or green. Yellow being about the most expensive.
The labby you asked about was a "relatively" cheap one. I bought it from a seller on ebay called aerodynamics. They are based in Australia. I paid $600, shipping included. They often have lasers even more powerful. As far as green labbies are concerned mine has poor divergence, but for the price, I'm very pleased.
As for the innards of a green laser compared to that of a red, a green laser is what is called a DPSS which means that it has an infrared laser that is "pumped" through a set of special crystals before it is emitted as green light. This all requires very precise alignment and is sensitive to temperature and vibration.
You can't really compare labbies to handhelds because labbies need to be plugged into your mains. Also labbies can be left on for long periods of time where handhelds often require a duty cycle.
The 600+mw blues that you are seeing are being made by gutting a projector then putting the diode into a host. These blues operate at around 445nm and are not to be confused with another different blue which emits light at 473nm. The 473nm variety is also DPSS.
As for my avatar, I wish that I had a creative, elaborate explaination for it. I shinned my green laser at my daughters pom pom and noticed that it made a nice reflection so I took a picture of it.
Welcome to the forum and forgive me for being short with you innitially. We often get youngsters here that want to get the most powerful laser they can, and then take them out and act irresponsible with them and this has an adverse effect on our hobby. Use the search function often and ask questions freely. There are many members here that know multitudes more than me. You will probably become a laser addict!
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:38 AM #12
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

yea i have a small green laser that just does not cut it for what i need for star gazing and to point out things on a range.

Its funny that you say temperature will effect a laser. I've noticed quite a number of times that when its cold my green laser turns into a "red" one.

Hey dont worry about the shortness.
1. If you go on the internet looking for nice chummy folks, youre looking in the wrong place.
2. Dont even get me started on idiots (i dont like to segregate based on age, however the younger the age group the higher percentage of idiots there are) who can take something and ruin it for everyone. Not only have I experienced this time and time again on the job but also in my personal life.

okay so, after reading all these wonderful comments can some one more or less tell me what i want/need? ( wow that sounds stupid, but "you people" know much more about this than I do.)

My NEEDS are
to point out stars
to point out targets on a range
both of these are fulfilled by what a 50mW laser?

My WANTS are
the "awe" factor
the ability to pop balloons, burn/cut tape, light a match ( which ive gathered is about 250mW?)

ALSO see my above post about blue light and its effects on eyes

EDIT: PS you mention two different wavelengths of blue, other than a slightly different shade is a 445 the same as a 473? I'm assuming one is a blue, and one is a teal/cyan/sky blue?

Last edited by HerrSticks; 02-27-2011 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:01 AM #13
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

If you want to pop balloons and burn/cut tape (quickly, not slowly with patience), they you're going to find that in a GREEN, it will take bigger $$$.

You can burn with under 250mW, but it's slow, and requires a steadier hand. To get a 250mW green will cost you a lot of money ($300 + ?). Meanwhile a blue of 750mW could be had for ~$150, or built yourself for < $100.

So you've really got three competing factors here that you have to weigh -
- Price
- Power
- Visibility

Green:
- At under ~200mW they're cheap ($50-$100), will sort of burn, but not super well, and are highly visible.
- At above ~200mW they're expensive ($200 +), will burn well, and are of course also highly visible.

Blue (445nm):
- They're all the same diode that costs around $50. You're pretty much only going to see 750mW or higher (though you could turn down the power if you want). The final product laser pointers are ~$150 (less if you build it yourself), will burn very well, and are probably about as visible at 750mW as a green at 100mW.

That's basically all the info you need to balance it out and choose your laser (I think).
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:28 AM #14
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

well at the end of the day I feel better having some one on this website build it.
Not only would a privately build laser be cheaper, I also feel like the actual act of building a laser will benefit some one here more. By benefit i mean they may learn something, hone their skills more, and most likely will enjoy it as its a hobby rather than their livelihood.

So i guess I will repost in a week or so looking for one of two options
option 1. Green laser @ ~200mW
option 2. Blue laser ~600+ mW

Am I wrong or mistaken to look for a laser built on an order to order basis by a hobbyist in his garage, with tender loving care, with love of lasers driving them? Or should i be looking in retail land where its mass produced and the profit is the driving force?
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Old 02-27-2011, 06:36 AM #15
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

I may have what you're looking for. I have a 650nm LCC @ 420ma for $150, and a 445nm @ 1210ma for $250. The black is the red, and the silver is the 445nm. I can provide more details if You are interested.

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Old 02-27-2011, 06:37 AM #16
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Default Re: WTB: Handheld laser @>250mW

Maybe you would consider getting a cheap green to hold you over until Hakzaw starts his next group buy.

There is a seller on ebay called Item Quick Ship. I recently bought a unit called the "super 100" from him for $25 and this laser hits 130mw on my meter. While this amount of power doesn't burn well, you can see the beam good enough for star pointing. It comes with a 3 volt battery. However, I bought rechargable 3.6 volt batteries that when fully charged, go up to 4.2 volts, these are the batteries that I used to get the 130mw.

Another member here named Hakzaw does us a great service by holding "group buys". He goes through a good company called JetLasers. They sell several colors in many different power levels. The prices are fantastic and the lasers are always more powerful than what they are rated at.
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635nm 800mw in a Cree C3 w/mosquito thanks RHD
635nm 300mw labby

600mw JetL PL-C 880mw Peak Thanks Hak and Gray
445nm 1550mw Wolf800 Thanks Flaminpyro
405nm 600mw in a Cree C3 Thanks Daguin
Plus a handful of miscellaneous cheapy handhelds

Last edited by madog; 02-27-2011 at 06:39 AM.
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