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Old 04-11-2009, 03:51 AM #1
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Default Help request - broken laser?

Hi to all of you

First of all: Newb alert... I am very new to this laser thing, and I am also new to this forum (sent here courtesy of google). If I'm in the wrong place or otherwise have fouled up, please let me know

I just recently purchased a cheapo "50mw" (at about $45) greenie from an online store here in Norway and have a few questions about this thing. After placing my order from this seemingly serious online shop, I started to have a few suspicions when I discovered the pointer was sent to me directly from Hong Kong. No company name, not even on the shipment, only an address. Rather quick (and free) delivery though, and since it isnt a huge amount of money I decided not to cancel the order and just see what I got.

First thing I noticed out of the box, was the complete lack of any classification information or any other of the usual "approved for use" info you normally find on any electronic equipment. As a matter of fact, there is no marking whatsoever on the pointer itself other than the words "Laser Pointer" on the pocket clip. It did come with a short leaflet and a sticker that basically said "be careful" (that's about all it said actually, not much shortened by me...) To be honest, knowing what these things can do, I had expected a lot more hooplah about safety. Also, there's no delay on it, no safety measure whatsoever basically. It does feel solid though, it has a metal casing, it feels heavy and solid in your hands, nothing loose and overall not a cheap feel at all.

Problem with this thing is that it doesnt seem all that bright to me, at least not anymore and only periodically seem like anything I would classify as a "laser" (more accurately a really narrow and weak green flashlight). At first (first day) it was really powerful and lived up to the expectations I had from the videos on youtube and other info I read before buying. Then I could easily tag a mountain that is 4 kilometers away from my house (no people to harm there, dont worry, safety first). But then, on the second day, it seemed to die down a lot. Now when I light it, it can barely outperform a regular flashlight, with no more than 2 meters range, at least at first. If I leave it on for a while, it does get a little better, but only slightly. To get it to perform as it did the first day, I now first have to keep it lit for 4-5 minutes. When that is done, it will still be really weak, but now if I press hard(er) down on the button it will eventually go from what looks like a really weak green flashlight, into a laser. Unfortunately, to achieve the powerful green beam I know it can produce, I have to press so hard on the button it hurts my finger. And even then it's very unstable, I can have a powerful beam pressing hard down on the button and then for no reason (without me moving a muscle) go back to being a bad, narrow green flashlight. This usually means I have to fiddle about with it for a while, and all of a sudden it starts working again. Also, if it means anything at all, when it is in "low mode" it sometimes looks like it has split, when i point it at the palm of my hand I can make out two distinct dots instead of just the one. This is not permanent tho, if I turn it off and back on again, the "split" might be gone and I am back to the one (very weak, unless I press hard down) green dot. When I press down hard and it's on "full mode", it's too bright to look directly at, and at least I cant tell if then is split or not.

Being very new to this and having read both in the half a page leaflet that came with it, and around the net, that it can take some time for these things to heat up before they reach max output, I'm really uncertain whether I got a faulty unit, or if I am simply doing something wrong or have the wrong expectations...

Anyone able to shed some light on this for me? If this really is (as I suspect) some kind of defect (bad connection somewhere?) I am not completely adverse to having a look myself, but I thought I'd ask here first

//n0s


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Old 04-11-2009, 04:06 AM #2
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Default Re: Help request - broken laser?

Uh, did you try replacing the batteries?
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:09 AM #3
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Default Re: Help request - broken laser?

Yeah, Don't order from Hong Kong.
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:23 AM #4
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Default Re: Help request - broken laser?

Always assume batteries as BB said above, the ones that are packed with the pointer are usually very poor quality.
There is nothing wrong with buying cheap lasers from china as long as you don't expect too much. I bought 100mw one around 2 years ago, it still works fine.... the only ones that have died had a bit of help from me :.

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Old 04-11-2009, 12:58 PM #5
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Default Re: Help request - broken laser?

Ok, I guess should have added that in the orignal post... Yes, I have replaced the batteries (duh). I've worked in computer tech support for 12 years, so I'm pretty used to catching the obvious (hello, welcome to tech support, have you tried turning it off and on again?) I've even shopped around for different brands and types just to make sure. It uses 2xAAA 1,5V and even the batteries that came with the pointer is measured with a multimeter to juuuust have started draining. On the Duracell ones, the results from the Duracell measure thingie on the outside of the battery is confirmed by my multimeter, almost full. It basically behaves exactly the same no matter what batteries i stuff in it, or the level of charge in the batteries.

Yes, I do realise I shouldn't order from Hong Kong, but in this case I really had no way of knowing, the store where I ordered it was completely in Norwegian and the domain is owned by a Norwegian individual, their terms does not mention anything about their merchandise being delivered from overseas. As I said, I did not know where it was coming from until I got the tracking number by email almost a week after ordering, at which point I didn't bother with cancelling the order, $45 isn't really a big fortune.

Then, with that cleared up, back to my original question... From what I can interpret from the answers here, it seems to me at least it's not just me doing something obviously wrong... Am I the proud owner of a defective cheap piece of cr*p? Being somewhat of a hobby electronics buff and a total computer geek, I do know my way around a soldering gun and a multimeter, so you know

The thing looks awesome when it does work, hits the clouds easily, but my thumb is starting to hurt quite badly after 2 minutes...
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Old 04-11-2009, 01:14 PM #6
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Default Re: Help request - broken laser?

You could put a ty-rap around the case and slide it onto the button
to hold it for extended periods...
When you say... that by pushing the button harder you get better output..
leads me to believe that some thing may be something intermittent on the
driver..

Do you have a Laser Power Meter to check your laser's output...

Here are some options....

http://www.laserpointerforums.com/fo...1238860908/0#0

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Old 04-11-2009, 02:16 PM #7
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Default Re: Help request - broken laser?

There's nothing wrong with the chinese websites like Dealextreme, I quite enjoy what they have to offer, but you also can't expect much for the price either.

To the OP: have you tried contacting the company? Tell them it's defective and you want a replacement or your money back. You can call your credit card if they don't cooperate (assuming you paid with a credit card) and dispute the charge... tell them they sent you a defective item and refuse to give a refund, they'll probably tell you to send it back (with proof of delivery) and they'll reverse the charge.
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Old 04-11-2009, 04:32 PM #8
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Default Re: Help request - broken laser?

Yea, I sent a mail to the company here in Norway i ordered from. Surprisingly, they answered me within a couple of hours asking me to send it to them for a check and replacement if they find the same fault as i have. And even better, it turns out the company is situated only 20 minutes drive from here... Why on earth they sent it to me from HK then, I dont know.

They seemed very forthcoming and serviceminded, so it looks like it will fall into place. Thanks a lot for the help
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