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Old 07-06-2007, 07:38 PM #1
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Default Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

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As a moderator on here, I do lots of things [smiley=engel017.gif]- but one of the things I really try my best to do is help people out. Part of helping people out is - I get some emails and PM's from time to time, and try to answer some questions - I recently received this email, and I am stumped - so I need everyone's help to figure out how I can help this forum member out, please !

Here is the email he sent to BFG lasers, shortly after receiving his new BFG :


Hey,

I ordered my laser on June 5. It is really amazing at night. I was a little shocked that it didn't pop baloons as good as 150mW should. I didn't get it to light matches good either. Anyway, I got a power meter today and measured my homemade red which reads 201mW. I fell really confident about it. My BFG is only showing 100mW on startup with NEW lithium batteries. It is averaging 80-90mW. Is there anything I should try, or do I maybe just have a problem, like I see so many others have been having?

Now - after reading that, I assumed he would be offered an RMA - instead (and in addition to an RMA) he received this :



There are several things I should explain, in case you are not familiar with it.



1. The lasers are tuned to an output of 140-150mW maximum. Due to FDA regulations, the labelling must show the maximum (not the average) output. I know Wicked Laser uses the average, but that's because they are based in China and not subject to US regulations for laser labelling. In fact, you may be aware that because of this, and other factors, WL items sometimes gets confiscated at the border.
Okay - I am confused -What border ? The company is in Canada, and FDA rules apply to him, how ? Why even mention Wicked ? I don't get that...He ordered from a Canadian company, not Wicked. Every laser shipped into the US has the risk of being confiscated at customs.

2. IR filters will remove the IR light, but it will also filter about 10-15% of all other light, including the green. Assuming the laser was exactly 140-150mW. it would remove around 15mW, making the maximum measurable output as 125-130mW.
I beg to differ - I own an inexpensive IR filter, and the loss ratio is only approx 5% MAX for 532nm light, and I am sorry - it is LABELED at 150mw, right ? Then it should put out 150mw !! Or at least pretty damned close to that.


3. Green lasers contain crystals to create the beam. Although the construction of the laser itself is done by my people, the parts themselves are manufactured independently from other companies. The crystal quality is often inconsistent, no matter the supplier. This is also the same problem all other laser companies have, even WL (you've prob heard stories of WL RMA's as well). The crystal quality inconsistencies are universal in the laser industry.

Please notice the words above : inconsistencies are universal

Based on that, the output itself you are experiencing is not out of the ordinary, although it is a little on the low side. Other times, people get extremely high quality crystals Wait - WHAT ?? I htought they were universally inconsistent ? and the laser manages to exceed it's labelled output. But this is fairly rare, just as a low rating is also fairly rare. Keep in mind also the laser specs. Assuming your meter is accurate, a 100mW or 150mW does not necessarily mean it can light matches In who's world ?? YES IT DOES !!!. There are other related factors such as beam diameter and beam divergence that play a role. The measurement that determines whether it can light a match or not is the beam density. You'll notice the listed beam diameter and beam divergence is <1.5mm and <1.5mRad respectively. In comparison to WL, the specs are a little bit higher, meaning a higher output is required (or a lens to focus the beam) to light matches. But I don't claim it can light matches, although some people have found that their's do.
At the rated specifications, if it cannot light matches, it is not performing at the expected, and advertised output levels. I own several 50mw greens that light matches instantly, and the beam specs are a far sight worse than the BFG's are



Anyway, based on that info, I would be happy to resolve the situation. I would keep in mind, that although the laser is a little weaker than you expected, I'm guessing that if you were not using it to light matches, you would be satisfied by the brightness and overall quality of the laser. For it's cost, it's still a bargain at it's current output. I have found overall, the average tends to sit around 110-130mW. Which is normal with the IR filter in place and given the crystal quality variations. But even at that, the beam typically does not light matches even if it hits 130mwWRONG !. If we were to RMA your laser and get you one at the normal specs, it would not do what you wanted it to without a magnifying lensIf this is true, then they are advertised wrong, and the demo I was sent was a freak, and was not indicative of the quality of the laser - which to me is falsly representing the laser.



So it would be a waste of money to send it back to replace with another and pay for the shipping back and forth. I can offer to reimburse you $20 to keep the laser as is. The profit margin is quite thin on the lasers, as my intent was to supply laser enthusiasts like yourself with safe and affordable lasers, rather than for personal profit, which is why the price is competitively low. Otherwise, I can refund your money minus the shipping costs if you decide you do not want the laser anymore, provided you send the laser back.


Now, I will switch back to normal colors. If the above comments seemed like a personal attack - fine. I am pretty pissed off - I was asked to review a product, and was sent what I thought was a representative sampling of this company's laser - evidently I was wrong. I cannot believe some of the stuff that was tossed out in that note. I am extremely upset at BFG lasers for treating people like that. True, he DID offer a refund - but he essentially said that the BFG lasers were worthless, and will not do what they are supposed to do. Granted, I knew, and reported that the BFG was performing at under it's reported 150mw - but STILL. Sorry to be a bearer of bad news like this - but if this note is indicative of the way he is going to treat people ? well, then I wholeheartedly remove my endorsement of his products, and his company. I will cross post this note to all my review threads - so others can be forewarned about it. If people then still feel comfortable about buying a laser that is essentially a green flashlight, with no other uses ? Go for it !



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Old 07-06-2007, 08:01 PM #2
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

yea why did he mention WL so much? if i was treated like that i would b pissed
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:08 PM #3
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

Well after reading that I won't be considering getting one of those instead of an X105. I probably still would have went with the X105 to start out with but the BFG would have been a future purchase. I appreciate you posting that so other members can see this.
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:15 PM #4
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

Well as you know I am new to lasers my self. But even my old X65 would kill matches. My furthest match light was about 5 feet away and the beam was half cm in diameter and it took a little over 15 secs. But it did light it. So I would think that a 130mw laser with same beam specs as mine would just own it.

Anyway he comes off like a jerk to me. He even said in his e-mail that it should be around 110 to 130mw so all that other crap is really not needed. He sold an under spec laser and a RMA is justified.

But what really gets me is when he says this
"I'm guessing that if you were not using it to light matches, you would be satisfied by the brightness and overall quality of the laser"

Does he not advertise them to light matches and pop balloons? I was just on his site and I did not see anything other than Lighting matches Popping balloons. Nothing about star pointing or anything other than what I just listed.

So if I went to his site and decided to purchase a laser from him, I would expect it to light matches and pop balloons right?

All done
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:23 PM #5
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

Well, I certainly want everyone to make their own decisions - but I need to be perfectly clear when I say this : I do NOT endorse his products, or company after seeing that crap.
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Old 07-06-2007, 08:30 PM #6
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

Yikes... I was thinking about moving up to this once i had my dx200 for a while. maybe not.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:10 PM #7
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

well the webpage clearly advertises it as 150:
Quote:
532nm power output : 150mW
and i'm very disappointed, i was going to get one of these, they seemed great. now i'll probably get a nova x105 instead.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:26 PM #8
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

Well the part that gets me is he says it measures at 100mw. If his meter is accurate then the laser should kill matches. Sounds like there is something else going on. Either his meter isn't accurate, or the beam isn't focused right. Aside from that I do agree BFG needs to treat their customers better. There is a lot of misinformation in BFG's reply to the customer.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:29 PM #9
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

I suppose I should consider myself LUCKY then at having the bfg that is rated closer to 130mw. I'd be pissed if that were me. I personally am not too impressed with the warranty time period he has set for his lasers. it just seems to short for me. I cannot imagine that a laser like this one is going to start experiencing any problems before the warranty is up and will as soon as it expires start having problems. *Note* he doesn't even have the warranty listed on his site any longer.

Now I'm a big perterbed. He used my match light video without askin my permission. grrr. He has got on there very clearly light matches and pop balloons. Man I can't believe that.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:41 PM #10
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

It's all about the beams diameter with the BFG mine only smokes matches but will do balloons at 20 feet. I will add that mine is kicking out 163mw with lithiums and 158mw with alkalines. I'm not bothered as this was the one I won In the competition. On the upside the beam divergence is brilliant for astronomy purposes, it has no mode issues and the 100% duty cycle is needed for telescope work. I would use my Aries for this but I can not find a bracket large enough to fit the Aries on my telescope. :
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:48 PM #11
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

I love this part:

WE TEST EACH LASER prior to shipping for a trial run for a constant 5 minutes. Lasers that burn out their diodes usually do so within the first 5 minutes. If it survives this test, your laser will likely last you for years with proper care.

Bull*hit!
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:01 PM #12
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

F_CK! SHIT! I just bought two of the BFGs! DAMN! This sucks! Will my laser suck? Can I still do shit about it then. I want my money back. I am really PISSED!

****EDIT****
Watch the F bombs, please
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:22 PM #13
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crips
F_CK! SHIT! I just bought two of the BFGs! DAMN! This sucks! Will my laser suck? Can I still do shit about it then. I want my money back. I am really PISSED!
not necessarily
all companies ship out defective or underpowered lasers from time to time
and believe or not all laser companies lie about their product at some point
even wl and dl...

****EDIT**** removed F bomb
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:27 PM #14
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

Why would anyone buy one of these lasers in the first place? They suck! The laser in Senkat's review sucked!

It was underpowered.
It ate Lithium batteries at an incredible rate, getting weaker as it went along.
It has a 30 day warranty.
The manufacturer has no proven track record.

These lasers suck! Why would anyone expect theirs to not suck after reading the review?

The guy is offering a refund, so what's the big deal? His lasers suck, and he's full of s__t, but so what?

Don't be so angy, Senkat, unlike this guy's lasers, you rock! Keep up the good work!
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Old 07-07-2007, 03:06 PM #15
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

Thanks, Placebo for the vote of confidence on this ! I am sorry to have been so harsh in my original post, but I needed to get that off my chest - I kinda felt connected to him since I was the first to review his laser, and talking with him, etc. I am sorry it has taken a turn for hte worse like this - I assure everyone that this is only personal in the point that I feel like he is abusing the customers that he has - I hope he stays in business a long time - I am not out to ruin him, but I cannot support him either - not after seeing that email. If he retracts it, and proves to me, and everyone on here that he is doing the right thing ? Then I still will not support him, but I will not openly oppose him if he turns this all around and does what is right. Doing what is right to me, means that he would stand behind his products a little, not make excuses for why a unit fails - and offer RMA/refund where appropriate. He DID offer a refund, but at the same time, he attempted to talk the individual out of it. The consumer tends to trust the business that they deal with - and I feel like that was violated. I am sorry if I offended anyone with my original post - but the facts remain true.
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Old 07-07-2007, 04:32 PM #16
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Default Re: Odd issue I want to share...{MAJOR RANT}

You're welcome, Senkat. Just remember that you have no obligation to him or us or anyone else around here. It is the buyer who must beware. The same goes for the vendor. You can't expect him to change his policies based on whether or not he gets acceptance from you or me or George Clooney.

You do, however, have an obligation to yourself to be professional, so you can keep getting opportunities to do your fair and unbiased reviews. Let your credibility ride high like it's supposed to, and don't imply that there's a value to your approval, (even though there is).

You got a hell of a rep and I'd hate to see that cheapened, but hey, do what you gotta do. You da man, and I mean that. I know you feel that somehow you have a responsibility, "a connection", but that's just because you're a responsible and connected guy!
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