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Old 07-02-2010, 02:37 AM #1
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Unhappy Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

I purchased an Optotronic's 150mw pen pointer about 8 months ago, and i have made sure to take good care of it (keep it in the case, observe duty cycle + power sources, never shook it/spammed the button...) etc

Optotronics Green Pen Pointers

I recently took it out of the case after not playing around with it for a while, and the beam has green scattered all around it, and the point is not as sharp/small as it used to be... and you can tell how it diverges pretty dramatically in a short distance. Another interesting thing the laser does is sometimes the "beam" splits into two beams.

EDIT: The image doesn't really help, the "dot" isn't quite as big, but that green that is around the laser is shown pretty good.


I called Optotronics and asked (jack?) if he knew what could be wrong, and if i could send it back and have it fixed for a fee (to replace the diode or w/e). He said they are not made to be fixable, which i don't think should be true. I am disappointing because i thought my 200$ would have of been a good investment. :[

Now i'm asking you guys, what do you think is wrong with my laser... and is it possible to fix? Could i replace the internals?



Last edited by SpaceCase; 07-02-2010 at 03:14 AM. Reason: adding images
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:02 AM #2
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

If you haven't touched it, I'd assume it's something going on, on the surface of the lens, from what it sounds.

It could be mineral deposits from humidity / condensation on the lens. This would be easy to clean off. If you live in a normally humid area though, it could also be lens fungus (as seen in DSLR lenses sometimes) - in which case the lens would be 'etched' and the issue would be permanent.

Have you looked at the lens at all? (... with the laser off.)
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:10 AM #3
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

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Originally Posted by aryntha View Post
If you haven't touched it, I'd assume it's something going on, on the surface of the lens, from what it sounds.
That would probably be it, but according to his description, it's going into TEM01 on occasion. Of course it could be a combination of the two....
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:13 AM #4
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

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Originally Posted by aryntha View Post
If you haven't touched it, I'd assume it's something going on, on the surface of the lens, from what it sounds.

Have you looked at the lens at all? (... with the laser off.)
Yes, it's dark inside and i cant tell too much but from what i can tell everything looks fine.
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:18 AM #5
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

My suggestion would be to try compressed air to see it cleans out the lens and try turning it on again.

If not try a lens brush or pad.

If that all fails I would think that something else is wrong and may need to be sent back.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:01 AM #6
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

Yeah i think it may be mildew/water damage because i have used my laser in pretty thick fog before. That's probably why it is doing the scattering/green specs everywhere. :[

Why was my laser splitting into two beams though? This was happening long before the supposed midew/water damage. I probably noticed it a week after i purchased the Optotronics laser.

That being said, is there any way i could fix/replace it? I called Jack at Optotronics and he can't take the laser back for repair, even if i would be willing to pay whatever fee needed.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:16 AM #7
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

The beam splitting is mode hopping.

That happens if the crystals are not warm, or if the crystals are damaged and/or misalgined.

What you could do is buy a new module, and install it into the pen.

I'm sure someone here is experienced in working with Newwish-style pens- they can help you with replacement of the modules.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:26 AM #8
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Question Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceCase View Post
Yeah i think it may be mildew/water damage because i have used my laser in pretty thick fog before. That's probably why it is doing the scattering/green specs everywhere. :[

Why was my laser splitting into two beams though? This was happening long before the supposed midew/water damage. I probably noticed it a week after i purchased the Optotronics laser.

That being said, is there any way i could fix/replace it? I called Jack at Optotronics and he can't take the laser back for repair, even if i would be willing to pay whatever fee needed.
IF you "probably" noticed it a week after you bought it, why then did you wait all this time to ask Optotronics about it?
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:31 AM #9
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

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Originally Posted by electron View Post
IF you "probably" noticed it a week after you bought it, why then did you wait all this time to ask Optotronics about it?
It would only happen occasionally, like the other guy said it would go away after the laser was warmed up. It didn't bother me too much.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:54 PM #10
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

hey bro. sorry to hear about your laser and i wish i had an answer but honestly i am just getting in on this topic because i just myself had the pleasure? of dealing with jack at optotronics. the end result of which led me here to see if i was not alone in my concerns about this guys integrity or at the very least what value he places on customer service. my 220 mw laser stopped working when i was changing out the battery one day and the housing surrounding the battery came out right along with it. when i contacted jack he immediately got on the defensive saying i must have attempted to disassemble the laser and thus voided the warranty in doing so. when i assured him this was not the case and said that would be obvious once he actually looked at it. i sent it in and he immediately agreed that the failure was not due to me having taken it apart but referenced a tiny nick on the base of the housing and said it had been dropped and that was why it had stopped working. he went on to say that the internal components that had come loose would not prohibit operation of the laser. the only problem here is that i was present and in possession of the laser the last time it worked up until 30 seconds later when it stopped working and there were no traumatic incidents other than a normal battery swap that took place in that time frame. sorry about the length here, the reason i even started writing this though was to inform you that there is in my belief a possibility that your suspicions about the answer you recieved may be valid and if i have to pay to fix my laser that was not dropped because i voided the warranty by dropping it i will begin a campaign against this guy to prevent anyone else from being ripped off by purchasing from optotronics and wanted you to be aware of it because there is a good possibility something could arise from it that addressess your issue and may be of some help to you hopefully. again sorry but when i know im in the right i get a little carried away. good luck buddy.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:36 PM #11
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

I'm sorry that your 532nm pen broke, that sucks.

Have you tried cleaning it yet?
As far as fixing it, by replacing the laser module would be more trouble then it is worth.
You could get a 150-200mW module from o-like and swap it out. However the swapping part would be hard. Usually those modules are pressed so tight and or glued in that you would most likely damage the host in the process. Hence they are not designed to be replaced. Your better off buying a o-like green module, and putting it in a flaminpyro or jayrob host
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:45 PM #12
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

I see two possible problems with your laser. 1 the lens may be dirty I had the same problem with my green laser pointer as the guy who wrote the thread "dirty HeNe dot"
2 it is also possible that the collimating lenses may have been knocked lose or out of place. Unfortunately if cleaning doesn't help or fix the problem realigning the lenses is a difficult task.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:59 PM #13
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

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Originally Posted by sir leal View Post
hey bro. sorry to hear about your laser and i wish i had an answer but honestly i am just getting in on this topic because i just myself had the pleasure? of dealing with jack at optotronics. the end result of which led me here to see if i was not alone in my concerns about this guys integrity or at the very least what value he places on customer service. my 220 mw laser stopped working when i was changing out the battery one day and the housing surrounding the battery came out right along with it. when i contacted jack he immediately got on the defensive saying i must have attempted to disassemble the laser and thus voided the warranty in doing so. when i assured him this was not the case and said that would be obvious once he actually looked at it. i sent it in and he immediately agreed that the failure was not due to me having taken it apart but referenced a tiny nick on the base of the housing and said it had been dropped and that was why it had stopped working. he went on to say that the internal components that had come loose would not prohibit operation of the laser. the only problem here is that i was present and in possession of the laser the last time it worked up until 30 seconds later when it stopped working and there were no traumatic incidents other than a normal battery swap that took place in that time frame. sorry about the length here, the reason i even started writing this though was to inform you that there is in my belief a possibility that your suspicions about the answer you recieved may be valid and if i have to pay to fix my laser that was not dropped because i voided the warranty by dropping it i will begin a campaign against this guy to prevent anyone else from being ripped off by purchasing from optotronics and wanted you to be aware of it because there is a good possibility something could arise from it that addressess your issue and may be of some help to you hopefully. again sorry but when i know im in the right i get a little carried away. good luck buddy.
Just to set the record straight and let everyone hear both sides of the story.
About 1 month after buying an RPL-260 with reduced 90 day warranty I got an email from from Mr. Leal telling me his laser was no longer working as well as assuring me it had not been dropped. Within 2 hours of getting this email, I replied back asking him if it broke while he was using it or if it failed when he just tried to turn it on and no longer worked.

I then did not hear back from him for just over 3 weeks, then I got this message.
-----------------------------
"he was changing the batteries and when he took the battery out the metal housing surrounding the battery came out with it and he said the screws looked stripped out and it no longer worked. the light was not dropped though. i am on my way to send light and battery and charger back and will send you the tracking number as soon as i return home in next few hours. i will include insurance on the package as well.
-----------------------------

Notice how it was mentioned again that it was not dropped, even though I hadn't even asked.
There are 2 very small screws that hold a cover plate over the battery sleeve. These screws are steel with very fine thread and the laser body is aluminum. They will strip if over tightened which has happened with several customers who had to just open the laser to see how it works and when they put the screws back, it's very easy to to strip them out.
In my replay to Mr. Leal, I mentioned this and that these screws are checked by myself to make sure they are perfect or it doesn't get shipped and that I suppose that by a very rare occurrence it might be possible for one of these screws to work their way loose, but not to strip themselves, let alone both of them. I warned that it might not be a warranty repair, but that I would hold off judgment until I had the laser in hand and inspected it. I arrived right before the 4th of July weekend, so it was not inspected until the Tuesday afterwords.
When I removed the tailcap of his laser, the sleeve cover plate was missing along with the screws and the sleeve itself had a dent in the side of it as if a screwdriver or something was used to pry it out of the laser. It was also installed back in the laser upside down as the serial number which I attach right after checking the screws was now at the bottom end of the laser. So it was not even returned with all of it's parts.
On top of all of this there was a series of small deep marks in the tailcap like those persent if the laser was dropped tail 1st onto concrete or pavement.
I then proceeded to check the threads of the laser body where the cover plate is mounted. I used a screw I had on hand as it didn't have the original screws. The screw just fell completely in the thread hole on both sides, absolutely no threads remained...not only stripped, but stripped completely bare. If it had been like this before hand, it would even have gone together period.
I then emailed him and told him it would almost for sure not be a warranty repair as not only was it returned without all of the parts, but that it had tell tail signs of being dropped.
I gave him an estimated repair cost of $125 to $150 provided the missing parts were mailed to us. I did not hear back for ~5 days, and emailed him every day or two asking about whether we should proceed with the repair based on this estimate.
Early this morning I got the following reply.
-----------------------------------------
i definitely want the laser repaired and i do not have any problem with paying for the repair if i did something to cause the warranty to be voided. however, your assumption that the lasers failure is due to it being dropped is incorrect. i understand you are far more experienced than i in this field and you are entitled by all means to your hypothesis, but the simple fact is i was there when the laser ceased to work and it absolutely was not dropped. i took the battery out to replace it with the spare and with it came the housing surrounding it. i believe it is true when you say that there are pieces missing and also that the screws were stripped because i did attempt to put the screws back in and in doing so felt that i must have been missing something too. i was outside when this occurred and its very possible that i lost the plate you are talking about when it fell out of the laser body as i stated previously. i did also misplace the screws so that is completely my fault. i accept that no problem. what i am getting at here is if i am to pay for the repair due to my voiding the warranty by dropping the laser then i will do so. i do insist though that i be provided with written documentation from the facility doing the repair stating that their findings at the time of repair are consistent with the findings of your initial inspection as well as an invoice of all parts replaced and work performed that supports the same. if this is not possible for any reason please let me know before proceeding further with the repair.
thank you,
------------------------------------------------------------------
I have not had time to answer Mr. Leal today, but will post here what I was going to send him as I'm sure he'll read it.
Hi Bill,
If you say it wasn't dropped and it hadn't been, the repair cost will almost for sure be much less than the quoted amount. I know you said you didn't drop it and that may be the case, but often as this has happened in the past is that the owner does not have complete control of the laser at all times. I say this because I've had customer find out later that someone like their kids or a friend got a hold of their laser and dropped it while showing off to friends. I don't know if this was possible in your case or not, but someone could have gotten ahold of it, dropped it and then tried to fix and stripped the screws in the process.
------------------------------------------------------------------
The following comments were not planned for the email, but just arose after a good customer forwarded this post to me.
Going onto a forum and promising a campaign against us is not going to help your case. Have you ever heard that you will gather more bees with honey than with vinegar (or something along those lines).
I think if you ask around, you will find our customer service to be tops or very near it.
In fact, I've had several customers who have come right out and told me that they dropped their brand new RPL and ruined it. I got them a great deal on fixing it in all cases and with one fellow I was able to fix it for free. I don't think there is a laser company around where you can just send it back in pieces back and expect them not to get on the defensive let along sending it back with some physical damage and pieces missing.

Even though you chose to post here and try to start a one man campaign against us I am going to do my best to keep the costs as low as possible. I had already mentioned that altough it was not likely a warranty repair, we would cover the expensive portion of the shipping from the USA to China and back.

The rest of this message is directed to the original poster who had a scattering problem with his pen pointer. I think you mentioned high humidity and from the picture, this looks to be the case, just a dirty lens. The beam splitting into 2 parts could be the state of the battery change/ voltage level or temperature related and not a bg deal. If it happens at all times, temperatures and voltage levels and did so from the begin or early on, you would have needed to contact us right when it happened and maybe it would have still been under warranty and we would have sent a new one, but there is not much we can do 8 months later when the pen pointers only have a 90 day warranty.
It will be repaired and if it hadn't been dropped, no worries, the cost should be much less

thank you

Last edited by bootleg2go; 07-11-2010 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:13 AM #14
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Thumbs down Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

@ sir leal

You are way off base with Jack of Optotronics, he will bend over backwards in customer service for you. Fact is though stripped screw holes, two of them no less just can't happen by themselves, not possible.

Dings in the tail cap did I read? I haven't seen pictures of it, but sounds like a dropped unit to me. You had it outside and lost the screws & plate, you didn't happen to drop it on the sidewalk while you were out there did you?

Just saying, what else would ding up the tail cap and then the screws & plate go missing like someone was trying to "fix it" themselves and now has not only stripped the threads, but lost the parts.

Try this scenario, bring a new i-Pad back to Apple that is dinged-up and with parts missing and with holes stripped out and see IF they will even help you out at all. "Geezz Mr Apple / Best Buy, I didn't drop it or anything, it just fell apart all by itself, and now it's missing parts & the holes are stripped". See how far that will take you, I think we all know what would happen, cause by the story you posted, that is what it sounds like you are trying to tell Jack.

Yet Jack on the other hand is still willing to work with you on this Laser by the sounds of this post, and yet you reply back in a heavy handed manner and want documentation, old parts, etc......Sounds like You must have had a bad dealing with a Used Car Salesman on a car repair.

Well this is not a Car and Jack is not a used Salesman, he is a Professional that will go above & beyond. He could have easily taken the path that Apple or Best Buy would have taken, and believe me I have know a few people in my life that have done stuff like that, and they REFUSE to work on it warranty or not; it simply does not happen.

You may have noticed I have not one, but two RPL's from Optotronics along with many Optics, Beam Expander,etc. I have purchased from Jack many times over the last few years and the picture you are trying to paint of him or his company is Bull.

I call BS on your story as to the Laser simply fell apart all by itself.

Jack is one stand up guy that personally I think you owe a huge apology to.

This should have been handled by you over the phone or emails and not in a public forum, very bad choice.

Now go and apologize to him and get your Laser repaired.

Peace
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:04 AM #15
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

Now that is excellent customer service (seeing obvious abuse and still willing to repair the item in question for a fee) I do believe you've obtained a future customer.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:23 AM #16
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Default Re: Optotronics 150mw pen laser... beam skattering/broken??

I too call BS, and "sir leal" is way off base. What a load of crap.

My own experience with Jack has been nothing but awesome. I dropped my blue RPL and sent it to Jack for repair, fully expecting to pay for whatever it took, or buy a replacement. Jack was able to fix it, and charged me a whopping ZERO. All that my clumsiness cost me was shipping one way.

All you clowns who expect awesome for pennies, then lie and make lame threats such as "campaigns" against someone you don't even know are the biggest reason I quit wasting my time here. I'm only here now to back Jack up. He is honest and will do whatever he can to support his products and his honest customers.
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