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Old 03-14-2017, 04:36 AM #1
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Default Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Looking for some safe, legitimate 5mW laser pointers that don't cost too much. >$15 if possible. Anyone know any good sources? I'd go for some 303s off of eBay, but I don't have an LPM and my build will be best seen without goggles on.


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Old 03-14-2017, 04:59 AM #2
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

That laserlands pointer you have on the way is most likely going to be your best bet. Cost surprisingly goes UP for true class 3R lasers. Stability also goes down on dpss greens. My laserglow anser has to be held for a minute to warm it up before it emits any green and that is a $50 <5mW 532nm green pointer.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:07 AM #3
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Quote:
Originally Posted by CynicalBrad View Post
That laserlands pointer you have on the way is most likely going to be your best bet. Cost surprisingly goes UP for true class 3R lasers. Stability also goes down on dpss greens. My laserglow anser has to be held for a minute to warm it up before it emits any green and that is a $50 <5mW 532nm green pointer.
Is that the one I sold you Brad? How come it takes so long? I've never ever had that with a LG pointer except for their 473's.

-Alex
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:27 AM #4
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Laser diodes get some of the weirdest prices and are lied about more than almost anything I've seen... Would anybody like to explain to me why we can buy $5 laser pointers, while I've only seen one brand of 532 nm diode that goes for close to that price, most being double it?
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:35 AM #5
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Yeah some people get really lucky when they purchase some 303s and some don't
I've actually thought about buying a couple on eBay just for some fun but I was worried I'd get a dead on arrival one. Lazerer also has some decent priced 532s they're relatively good. Did you check them out?
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:20 AM #6
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richie89 View Post
Yeah some people get really lucky when they purchase some 303s and some don't
I've actually thought about buying a couple on eBay just for some fun but I was worried I'd get a dead on arrival one. Lazerer also has some decent priced 532s they're relatively good. Did you check them out?
All the ones I got from eBay and Aliexpress were great, except for the part where I put in strong batteries and send them to LED heaven.

Destroyed ALL of them like that. Need to get more.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:17 AM #7
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

WhiteFang, a little confused but I think your asking why a $5 complete pointer, and at the same time you see 532 "modules" for more?
The last ebay pointers I bought have a much cheaper set up with mostly a whole plastic lens unit, way less brass surrounded by a thin aluminum sleeve thats pressed into the host. The drivers are also cheaper and have no pot screw.
If you look at really old posts, you will see that those cheap ebay pens usually had a module just like the Fasttech module you see for sale. Members then posted alot about playing with that pot screw for more power.
I'm guessing the demand has made them cheaper to buy and cheaper to build. The 301 and 303's have always bean a pleasant freak of a build, but i'm sure they are skimping somewhere with them now? But lack of quality makes them run all over the place and some coming in at over 100mw.
For $20 or so you can go to "Optotronic's" and get a true 5mw pen of very high quality.
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Last edited by GSS; 03-14-2017 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 03-14-2017, 09:38 AM #8
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hap View Post
Is that the one I sold you Brad? How come it takes so long? I've never ever had that with a LG pointer except for their 473's.
-Alex
No, that would be my 4.2mW green I already had, the one I got from you comes right on after the 5 second delay is up
I have now owned 3 laserglow lasers and actually built my first single mode 445nm AND 520nm laser out of one (same one even). The "Anser" is their lower priced and imo most attractive green pen laser. Not really a fan of fingerprint magnet shiny stuff as my OCD would make me wipe it down everytime I touch it if shiny..


Most stable lasers I have ever owned once you hold it for a minute to warm up the KTP and perfect TEM00
Many people may not need to do so, I happen to like my room at a nice comfortable 60F and dpss lasers tend to like warmer temps.
They can be found:
HERE DIRECTLY
or
HERE ON EBAY

For the OP and anyone else, the Anser is a LOT slimmer than the cheap ebay pens and also does not mind ni-mh batteries at all. If i had one of the ebay pens still I would post a size comparison picture. It is also IR filtered and a lot better then even the binned pointers from whatever site you could get the $5 lottery pointers from.

If you are after a 5mW pointer to actually want a good tool to point with, I would recommend to save up a little bit.
Not trying to hate on opto or any other company but it is still the same exact pointer as the ebay ones just binned or the pump current turned down.
Real 5mW in the common wavelengths is sadly hard to get ahold of cheaply.
Too hard to make them compared to figuratively slapping some crystals in front of an overpowered pump diode to just get some green out without regards to anything but green output.
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Last edited by CynicalBrad; 03-14-2017 at 09:53 AM. Reason: I broke formatting. Also added info.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:20 PM #9
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteFang View Post
Looking for some safe, legitimate 5mW laser pointers that don't cost too much. >$15 if possible. Anyone know any good sources? I'd go for some 303s off of eBay, but I don't have an LPM and my build will be best seen without goggles on.
Unless you are set on 5mw, maybe try the Sanwu basic green 50mw laser Pointer? only 12 dollars and great quality

https://www.sanwulasers.org/product/304green
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:53 PM #10
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

How much of an effect would adding a lens like this to a laser 303 make? It's labeled as a beam expander. 5 x Double Concave Glass Lens ?8mm 532nm Beam Expander | eBay
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:02 PM #11
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

It looks like those are just glass lenses to replace the acrylic lens on 532 laser. im assuming they mean 303 hosts 532s? I think that would be a waste of money myself. the lenses in 303/304's are more than enough for the low outpout power these lasers produce.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:47 PM #12
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteFang View Post
How much of an effect would adding a lens like this to a laser 303 make? It's labeled as a beam expander. 5 x Double Concave Glass Lens ?8mm 532nm Beam Expander | eBay
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jhop View Post
It looks like those are just glass lenses to replace the acrylic lens on 532 laser. im assuming they mean 303 hosts 532s? I think that would be a waste of money myself. the lenses in 303/304's are more than enough for the low outpout power these lasers produce.
They are concave lenses used to expand the beam out of the crystal set. They're followed by a convex lens used to collimate the beam. DPSS lasers basically have a beam expander right after the crystal set as the raw output is a very narrow, but high divergence beam.
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532nm | Gearbest 303 Pointer | 50mW Metered
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633nm | HeNe | 6mW
633nm | Spectra Physics 155 HeNe | <1mW >>Thread<<
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:00 PM #13
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Quote:
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They are concave lenses used to expand the beam out of the crystal set. They're followed by a convex lens used to collimate the beam. DPSS lasers basically have a beam expander right after the crystal set as the raw output is a very narrow, but high divergence beam.
Could it reduce the power enough to where you could safely use it indoors?
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532nm 4-5mW Z-Bolt Constant on/off pen pointer (Review as soon as I get it!)
520nm Laserlands 5mW pointer (Review)
445nm "5mW " eBay Gatling gun (Hopefully a review soon?)
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:34 PM #14
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

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Originally Posted by WhiteFang View Post
Could it reduce the power enough to where you could safely use it indoors?

It doesn't "reduce power". It makes the beam more divergent. You'd end up with more of a flashlight than a nice beam. The power is the same, the power density would get lower the further away from the lens you get.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:44 PM #15
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Quote:
Originally Posted by diachi View Post
It doesn't "reduce power". It makes the beam more divergent. You'd end up with more of a flashlight than a nice beam. The power is the same, the power density would get lower the further away from the lens you get.
Sorry, I guess disperse would be a better word. Would those lenses render a 303 harmless?

And for that matter, how overspec are the black Chinese laser pens that go for about half of what a 303 will cost? Are they generally safe?
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My fledgling laser collection :

532nm Unbranded "5 mW" Amazon laser that's probably way overspec
532nm 4-5mW Z-Bolt Constant on/off pen pointer (Review as soon as I get it!)
520nm Laserlands 5mW pointer (Review)
445nm "5mW " eBay Gatling gun (Hopefully a review soon?)

Last edited by WhiteFang; 03-14-2017 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:00 PM #16
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Default Re: Reliable, cheap "real 5mW"s

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteFang View Post
Sorry, I guess disperse would be a better word. Would those lenses render a 303 harmless?

And for that matter, how overspec are the black Chinese laser pens that go for about half of what a 303 will cost? Are they generally safe?

Sure, at a distance (impossible to calculate what that distance is with available info). But the 303 is focusable anyway, so you wouldn't need an additional lens to turn it into what's essentially a spotlight...

Probably not, there is practically no QC on those cheap Chinese made pointers. They could be leaking a load of IR or could be overspec, even if they say 5mW. If you want a true 5mW pointer you'll need to pay decent money for it.

5mW isn't necessarily safe either, just that at 5mW your blink reflex kicks in before any damage can occur.
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405nm | Banggood LT-850 | "5mW" | Review Unit | Review WIP
445nm | Sanwu Laser Pocket Series | 400mW Metered
445nm | NDB7242E Pen Build | 60mW Metered | >>Build Thread<<
450nm | LaserPointerStore - Thor H2 | 1W(?) | Review Unit | >>Review<<
488nm | Spectra Physics 163 Argon | ~30mW Metered
515nm | PL515 Pen Build | 50mW Metered | >>Build Thread<<
520nm | Laserlands 520 | 5mW | Review Unit | 3mW metered | >>Review<<
532nm | Gearbest 303 Pointer | 50mW Metered
532nm | Gearbest JD-850 Pointer | 30mW Metered (I think, need to re-test).
633nm | HeNe | 6mW
633nm | Spectra Physics 155 HeNe | <1mW >>Thread<<
650nm | Sanwu Laser Pocket Series | 200mW Metered
808nm | Melles Griot 532nm Lab Unit | No Crystals >10W | X2



Check out my Reddit Subreddit! >>/r/laserpointers<<

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