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Old 08-03-2009, 10:59 PM   #1
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Default Advice for buying a laser

Hello forum, I after 1 year am still ashamed of my pathetic green ebay laser. Advertised at 100mW for $76 US dollars, I bought it out of ignorance, as do most first time laser buyers. It didn't pop balloons or light matches as advertised. It really doesn't do anything. The beam is barely visible even at night, unless u stand right behind it. The dot is only visible up to about half a mile. I was very dissapointed to say the least. So... I need everyone's help!

I want a handheld laser that can burn the sh** out of stuff. Not just because I like the idea of burning things with light, but it looks AWESOME. Anybody that knows a GREAT site or that can build me an extremely powerful burner (no IR please, I cant buy new eyes, even at wal-mart), please post! I am tired of being asked, will it sting if you point it at my skin, and replying no. I'm tired of people asking " can it burn stuff!" and replying no. I would really like to be able to answer "YES, it will burn the sh** out of ur skin and basically anything you put in front of it!

I'm sure everyone here has at some point had the same desire as me, and however foolish it might be to desire this, I will not be happy until I can burn stuff with a laser. I live in the US, so nothing that customs will grab. I was thinking 200mW AT LEAST, preferably 4-500mW. red or green, I don't care. Although, my problem with red is that they don't really exist above 200mW, and I am unsure whether 200mW of red is enough to satisfy my pyro personality . My budget is flexible but with college payments, I would like to stay under $350 US. Well, enough talk, its your turn forum. Please help me out!
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

You want to burn? and with a budget?! Build a bluray! A PHR build (100-150mW.. don't kamikaze the diode like me) will burn VERY VERY well with a good lens. That can be built for around $110 with a sweet host. If you are after more power then that, go with a GGW build (200mW approx~) which will run you about $180. If you want to max the budget.. build a BDR (8x) which members have had over 500mW.. YES HALF A WATT in a pocket size host. The BDR will destroy everything it touches.. even when not focused to a pin point.

I highly suggest looking into a DIY bluray build if you are after some serious power. Hop on down to the bluray forum and do some research. There is much information to be had!

Also, with a DIY build you don't have to worry about customs! Now don't shine this thing at a plane or the FBI will be crawling you... >.>

Dont worry.. even a PHR will "sting" your skin (said mildly). Build a 500mW BDR and put your hand in front of it... it wont sting you skin.. it will make it smoke :P.

-Mike

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianoman View Post
Hello forum, I after 1 year am still ashamed of my pathetic green ebay laser. Advertised at 100mW for $76 US dollars, I bought it out of ignorance, as do most first time laser buyers. It didn't pop balloons or light matches as advertised. It really doesn't do anything. The beam is barely visible even at night, unless u stand right behind it. The dot is only visible up to about half a mile. I was very dissapointed to say the least. So... I need everyone's help!

I want a handheld laser that can burn the sh** out of stuff. Not just because I like the idea of burning things with light, but it looks AWESOME. Anybody that knows a GREAT site or that can build me an extremely powerful burner (no IR please, I cant buy new eyes, even at wal-mart), please post! I am tired of being asked, will it sting if you point it at my skin, and replying no. I'm tired of people asking " can it burn stuff!" and replying no. I would really like to be able to answer "YES, it will burn the sh** out of ur skin and basically anything you put in front of it!

I'm sure everyone here has at some point had the same desire as me, and however foolish it might be to desire this, I will not be happy until I can burn stuff with a laser. I live in the US, so nothing that customs will grab. I was thinking 200mW AT LEAST, preferably 4-500mW. red or green, I don't care. Although, my problem with red is that they don't really exist above 200mW, and I am unsure whether 200mW of red is enough to satisfy my pyro personality . My budget is flexible but with college payments, I would like to stay under $350 US. Well, enough talk, its your turn forum. Please help me out!
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Last edited by cust11; 08-03-2009 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

I like the sound of a half a Watt in my pocket, but do you think I, being a novice laser hobbyist can build one? Also, I would rather go somewhere around 400mW, since the goal is not to umm... smoke my skin, although that is quite impressive. If someone wants to feel the power for themselves, I don't want them getting injured, just "shocked"
Thanks for the great response!
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

If you really want a sweet DIY build I would suggest you start with a PHR. They are cheap enough to screw up and replace while learning ($10 mistake). A BDR is a high risk even for a pro- builder. Ruining a diode that costs $200 is not easy for anyone.

Start with a PHR in a jayrob pocket mini and you can't go wrong. He even offers to set the driver's current and connect it in the host. (for a small additional cost). All you have to do is solder the diode to the driver, add a battery, and start burning stuff.

I am a huge fan of 405nm light so I will try to pressure you into a bluray, while others may suggest a green or red pointer. You wont have a super bright beam like a green (532nm) but you will have a sweet project to call your own, as well as a powerful burner.

-Mike
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

The PHR idea will give you an excellent burner. You could build this, a 6x (GGW), and buy a 200mW red burner from o-like (ships to US) and still be inside your budget. The fluorescence effects from bluray are another great laser demo.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

Why is it that Bluray is a better burner than other colors? My family told me if I spent more than 100 or 2 dollars im a tard cuz I have to come up with several thousand for college SOON. So I guess right now, my best bet would be the red waterproof on o-like. Its only 54 bucks. Has anyone checked to see if its power rating is really 200mW? I am just afraid I'm going to spend and be dissapointed again. NO MATTER WHAT, i don't want my next laser to be a dissapointment! I really really don't. So, knowing this, what do you guys think?
btw, I will definately try to build a bluray this semester once I get in college, aclimated (im a freshman) and get a job.

Are there any enthusiasts in TN? the nashville, or chattanooga area?
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:52 AM   #7
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

O-like have a good rep on this board. I have seven of their green modules. None was a problem. Try to search out some recent postings about o-like's red 200mW models. Look in red lasers and reviews sections of the forum. Tesla coils ? Great stuff, I've made a few, SSTC and SGTC's.
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

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Originally Posted by billg519 View Post
Tesla coils ? Great stuff, I've made a few, SSTC and SGTC's.
Yeah, I'm just building a SGTC as a first, next I will build a much more complex SST. My goal is to be able to modulate the sound with a computer, much like arcattack. (check em out! arcattack.com) If I can play the piano (hints my username) have a lasershow going, and play in sync with my tesla coil, I might be able to make some money as an entertainer!

*please if there is anyone from TN in the areas previously posted let me know*
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

Mic the piano and run this to the audio modulation. Now you've got a grandtesla piano! That'll get people's attention. I got FM radio playing through a flyback arc ...
SGTC's are great fun, I'm just finishing up on a 6" coil. Made another HV transformer from 4 x industrial MOT, gives 10kV at nearly an amp. Also have NST's for testing and tuning. HV and Lasers are great.
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pianoman View Post
Why is it that Bluray is a better burner than other colors? My family told me if I spent more than 100 or 2 dollars im a tard cuz I have to come up with several thousand for college SOON. So I guess right now, my best bet would be the red waterproof on o-like. Its only 54 bucks. Has anyone checked to see if its power rating is really 200mW? I am just afraid I'm going to spend and be dissapointed again. NO MATTER WHAT, i don't want my next laser to be a dissapointment! I really really don't. So, knowing this, what do you guys think?
btw, I will definately try to build a bluray this semester once I get in college, aclimated (im a freshman) and get a job.

Are there any enthusiasts in TN? the nashville, or chattanooga area?
Althought 200mW of red is still more than 130mW of bluray, bluray is generally better absorbed by most of the things we try to burn so at the end 130mW of bluray usually outperforms 200mW of red.

Just as example, the bluray burns white (light skin included) a thousand times better than red.

Yours,
Albert
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

alright thanks al, appreciate it. I will let you know soon. Still thinking about it. I have seen plenty of reds so I will probably go for the bluray, im just torn cuz being able to take a red underwater is kinda cool. haha

BillG: Go to 4hv.org and look under the tesla coil forum page. Find my post, Almost finished, need some last minute advice(4hv.org: Forums / Tesla Coils / Almost finished need some last minute advice). I have a picture of my almost completed coil. It's rather large, runs off a 12kv NST, but only 30mA. I like ur idea of micing the piano. that with a sweet laser show and some fog would rock like there was no tomorrow. Anyone want to help make this idea a reality? Anyway, to youtube, search for Jonathan Dennis in Spring Recital #2. The poster is birdlady423. It's a cool song, check it and give it 5 stars!
please comment. Piano is what I'm an expert at anyway, lasers... not so much, YET.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

Blue Rays are great burners thats true. But they are almost invisible. You will not be impressed with the beam.

May I suggest an alternative. Build a red using a Long Open Can (LOC for short) red diode. And then purchase a Meredith Lens for it. That will set you back 60 bucks. But the diode is only 20 bucks. With this setup you can easily see the beam at night and with the Meredith Lens it will be amazingly thin and very impressive.

Run it at 400ma's and you should easily be over 300mw of red ooze. And this sucker will burn very well as good as or better than a 120mw blu ray. It may not burn white objects as good but it will smoke any darker objects better than the blu ray

You will be much happier with the beam at night. With the blu ray you will not be able to see the beam shining on anything greater than a few hundred yards. But with the red easily see it a mile or so.

regards
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Last edited by sbdwag; 08-04-2009 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:09 AM   #13
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

wow...$350 budget?
go to o-like.com and buy a module
then go to the BST section and have eghemus build you a host....and you'll have one badass green laser.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbdwag View Post
Blue Rays are great burners thats true. But they are almost invisible. You will not be impressed with the beam.

May I suggest an alternative. Build a red using a Long Open Can (LOC for short) red diode. And then purchase a Meredith Lens for it. That will set you back 60 bucks. But the diode is only 20 bucks. With this setup you can easily see the beam at night and with the Meredith Lens it will be amazingly thin and very impressive.

Run it at 400ma's and you should easily be over 300mw of red ooze. And this sucker will burn very well as good as or better than a 120mw blu ray. It may not burn white objects as good but it will smoke any darker objects better than the blu ray

You will be much happier with the beam at night. With the blu ray you will not be able to see the beam shining on anything greater than a few hundred yards. But with the red easily see it a mile or so.

regards
sbdwag
I agree with everything you said SBDWAG except for one thing. Burning power.. I would match up my GGW(approx 1/4w) with the 405-G-1 lens against any other spectrum laser with power >500mW for pure burning power. While talking to piano via PM I did mention that I am biased towards 405nm so my opinions will sway more that direction.

You seem to be more of a red/IR guy where as I am the violet/ultra violet guy. Reminds me of the great ole' nitrous/supercharger/turbo/huge displacement debate.(myself being the nitrous enthusiast) Opinions that all reach the same end goal. I guess it will be up to piano to decide which wavelength to pursue first.


-Mike
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GGW Open can 6x 196mA (405-G-1 Lens)
(metered results coming soon!)
DL V-75 75mW Green handheld
150mW o-like in Ehgemus host (in progress)
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Last edited by cust11; 08-04-2009 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

I also have a GGW running at a conservative 190ma's with a 405-G-1 Lens on it and Its definitly a great burner. To be honest I spend most of my time on my home built Red Labby burning things with it .

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Old 08-04-2009, 04:25 AM   #16
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Default Re: Advice for buying a laser

Thanks guys, the only problem with BUILDING my own is that, well that involves time, research, KNOW HOW, which I don't yet have, and SKILL with these parts, which I dont yet have. I can get an already assembled blue ray 130mW or waterproof red 200mW both for less than $100. I would like to eventually build my own, but with 3 weeks left until I start college, I don't think I have time to learn the necessary skills to DI myself. Both have their charecteristics that I really like. One the one hand there is bluray, with superior burning power but less visibility, on the other, a red with slightly less ability to burn, but the ability to go underwater and superior visibility. It's really hard to decide.

BTW if I post pics of my piece of shi* green laser from ebay, could u guys help me figure out how to take it apart and see if there is any hope yet for it? It does not have a removable head I don't think, that or it's glued down REALLY good. inside the battery compartment behind the spring, I think you can gain access, but it seems like all the parts are glued in and nearly impossible to remove. I'll post a picture.
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