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Old 08-09-2010, 12:25 PM   #1
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Default Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

Edit: The Optotronics unit in this review is apparently defective, possibly from shipping. This review will be updated when a new unit arrives.

This is a detailed one-on-one comparison of the Optotronics Premium +150mW Green Laser against the Novalasers X100 Compact Portable Laser.

Both of these lasers are 532nm green pointers that cost about the same, $196 USD for the Optotronics and $209 USD for the Novalasers. Both Novalasers and Optotronics are regarded as being high quality products, so I thought it would be interesting to compare the lasers against each other.

---------------

We'll start with a comparison of specs.

Optotronics Specs:

IR filter Coatings block >96% of all IR
Laser diode power 1000mW
Average Output Power > 150mW
Laser diode lifetime 5,000 hours MTTF
Beam Diameter (1/e2) <1.5 mm
Beam divergence <1.2 mrad
M2Beam Quality <1.1
Duty cycle @ 21 C 60/60 sec on/off
Operating temperature 15C to 30C
Warranty 90 days

Novalasers Specs:

IR Filter Built-in, 99.5%
Pump Diode 808nm 500mW
Average Output Power > 100mW
Expected Lifetime 3000-5000 hours
Beam Diameter <1.0 mm
Beam Divergence <1.2 mRad
Recommended Duty Cycle 100 sec ON/10 sec OFF
Operating Temperature 15-30 degrees C
Warranty 3 months

These specs are from: Optotronics Green Pen Pointers
and Untitled Page respectively.

The factors that one looks to immediately are average output power, beam diameter, and beam divergence. The Optotronics boasts an output power 50% higher than the Novalasers. But with the smaller beam diameter on the Novalasers, the Novalasers unit actually has an irradiance 50% higher than the Optotronics! This higher irradiance results in a more visible beam as well as better burning power. The divergences of the beams are listed as being the same. Neither company claims their lasers operate in TEM00. More on that later.

Note also that the Novalasers product boasts better IR filtering, and (if it is to be believed, a better duty cycle: I tend to stay well under duty cycles to preserve the integrity of my units.)

Both lasers I received were overspec. The Optotronics laser came with instructions that had "verified 171mW 8/2/2010" written by hand at the top. But it is not clear if this refers to peak or average power. The Novalasers had a printed label stating: "Tested Average Power 115.3mW. Tested Peak: 136mW." The Novalasers product gets points for including both power ratings, not just one unspecified rating. It should be noted that for $30.00 more, one can get a detailed power over time chart from Optotronics detailing a laser's performance. I did not want to pay $30.00 more.

------------

Power.

I do not have a laser power meter to check the power, although I can probably get my hands on one for a test. If I do, I will update this post.

-----------

Irradiance.

Both lasers are very bright at night, with the Novalasers product having a somewhat "greener" beam. This is difficult to capture photographically, and I do not have a picture to illustrate this. I inerpret this "greener" appearance to be due to its higher irradiance. Irradiance is defined to be power per unit area, and thus varies with the distance from the collimation lens of the laser, as the diameter changes with distance. The irradiance decreases with distance (at least past the beam waist).

Since I do not know the actual average power of the Optotronics product, I use the minimum average power of 150mW for calculating the irradiance of the Optotronics laser and the minimum average power of 100mW for the Novalasers laser. (The actual irradiances are naturally somewhat higher.)

Irradiance = Power/Area.

Optotronics laser Irradiance = 150mW/(Pi *(.75mm)^2) = 8.488 W/cm^2.

Actually the above calculation of the Optotronics irradiance is not to be taken to seriously as the beam is not circular, as it does not seem to operate in TEM00.

Novalasers laser Irradiance = 100mw/(Pi*(1mm)^2) = 12.323 W/cm^2.

Thus Novalasers irradiance/Optotronics Irradiance = 1.5. In other words, the irradiance of the Novalasers laser is 50% higher than the Optotronics laser. (EDIT at close range.)

This is dramatically illustrated by the following video in which the lasers fight a book match:



You might wonder if the batteries were a factor in the above test. This was not the case as I measured the batteries immediately after the test:



I notice a lot of people on this forum focus mainly on the output power of their lasers. Since many of the same people are concerned about beam visibility and burning power, they should be more interested in irradiance, not power. Cutting the beam diameter in half increases the irradiance by a factor of 4. Doubling the power only increases the irradiance by a factor of 2. Naturally lenses can be used to focus a beam and obtain a smaller beam diameter, but it is distinctly less impressive to have to put a lens in front of your laser to achieve ignition. Irradiance is the key, not power.

For both of these lasers I am assuming that the lenses in the lasers are collimation lenses and that the beam waist is near the exit point on the front of the lasers. Visual inspection of the beams seems to bear this out. I have been able to light matches with the Novalasers unit from over 10 cm, but I have never been able to light any match with the Optotronics laser at any distance. (I can with a focusing lens, however.)

Remark1: Some inexpensive burning lasers available have lenses that focus the beam near the front of the laser to make dramatic burning easy. This does not seem to be the case with the Novalasers unit. Such lenses usually result in bad divergence a little further away. The Novalasers unit has a spot size at long range that is about the same size as the Optotronics unit.

Remark2: Some inexpensive burning lasers have high IR emissions that aid in burning. If the IR filter specs on the Novalasers unit is correct, it is not burning through its IR emissions.

Burning and beam visibility (irradiance): Advantage Novalasers!

--------------------

Divergence.

I have not yet been able to make a careful measurement of beam divergence for these lasers. This is due to my not having access to a beam profiler, nor had a chance to measure beam diameters past a known far field range. Note, beam diameter measurements made at distances closer than the far field distance are unreliable. In general the far field distance for a laser is given by the formula

Far Field Distance = 100 * d^2/lambda, where d is the diameter of the output aperture and lambda is the wavelength.

For these lasers, I do not know the output apertures, so I don't know the reliable distance for making diameter measurements. Any suggestions on the correct values to use for output apertures for these lasers would be helpful.

Taking the company specs. at face value, one concludes that they have similar divergence behavior.

Advantage: tie.

--------------

Mode behavior.

The Optotronics laser operates consistently in TEM01 (or TEM10, depending on how the laser is rotated.) Here is a picture of the Optotronics beam after 33.3 meters:



I have never seen the Optotronics laser to operate in TEM00. Here is a video of the beam spot at closer range (about 1m with the beam spread through a simple magnification lens):



The Novalasers laser mode hops between TEM00 and TEM01. Here is a shot of the beam at 33.3m operating at TEM00:



Here it is at the same distance operating at TEM01:



Here is a video of the Novalasers unit under operation (with the beam spread through a simple magnification lens) that shows the TEM00 spot:



In general, I have found the behavior of the the Novalasers beam to be quite unpredictable. On some days it seems to stay TEM00, while on others it hops to TEM01 after a few seconds. I have not yet determined the factors which control the mode hopping.

From the above picture, the TEM01 on the Optotronics seems rather muddy; one suspects that several modes are present. The TEM01 on the Novalasers unit seems to be a rather classics double Gaussian image. (The TEM00 on the Novalasers unit also seems to be a rather clear Gaussian image as well.)

Neither company specs their lasers to be TEM00, and Novalasers even states in their printed specs that the beam is multimode. Optotronics makes no mention of mode in their specs.


Mode behavior: Advantage Novalasers!


-----------------

Duty Cycles

Both laser companies give duty cycle information, which is typically missing from lower quality companies. The Novalasers lists a longer duty cycle, with shorter cool-down. Novalasers duty cycle: 100 seconds on / 10 seconds off. Optotronics duty cycle: 60 seconds on/ 60 seconds off.

But I must add that I always stay below duty cycle on-time to avoid damaging my units.

Advantage: Novalasers!

------------------

Host Quality

Aesthetically I like the look of the Novalasers host over the New Wish style host of the Optotronics device. I find the New Wish hosts to have the perennial problem where the internal battery contact spring slips into contact with the outer host and shorts the batteries. This has happened to every laser I have owned with this kind of host, including the Optotronics laser.
I have never had this problem occur with the Novalasers host.

It should also be noted that the Novalasers host has a removable front opening, enabling one to clean the lens, or add accessories. This is not the case with the Optotronics host.

Advantage: Novalasers by a long shot!

--------------

Supplied documentation.

The Optotronics unit came with two little slips of paper giving battery insertion instructions and an over voltage warning. The battery instructions had the power scrawled at the top.

The Novalasers unit came with a zip-lock bag containing four full sheets of paper of instructions and information, including peak power, average power, serial number, legal issues involving laser use, and the specs.

Advantage: Novalasers!

--------------

Packaging and Shipping

Both were well packed, although the Novalasers laser storage box was wrapped loosely in bubble wrap which was contained in another larger box, which also containing the instruction sheets. Also the Novalasers host box is filled with a dense foam which seems to offer more protection than the host box of the Optotronics unit.

The Optotronics unit was contained in its storage box, which was wrapped in bubble wrap, then shipped in a padded envelope.

Both units were shipped quickly, the Novalasers unit in two days and the Optotronics unit in one day.

Advantage shipping: Optotronics
Advantage packaging: Novalasers


----------------------

Subjective feelings.

Quite simply, I am disappointed by the Optotronics laser. I have had the Novalasers unit for about a month now and the Optotronics unit for only about a week, but after experimenting with both, I am decidedly much more impressed with the Novalasers unit. Optotronics gives a power rating, but doesn't state whether it is peak power or average power. For my unit it only says "Verified 171 mW". Is that peak or average? The website doesn't make that clear, although from the example given on the website, one would think it means peak power. This should be made more clear.

Novalasers, while having a small offering on their website, seems specifically targeted to serious hobbyists as well as educators. Both companies have similar prices and warranties for similar products, although Optotronics has many more products available, including serious lab units.

Finally I want to say, that this comparison is based on only one unit from each company, so it is definitely not a large enough sample for a real comparison of companies. It is just my experience with similar units at about the same cost from both companies. The companies seem to have somewhat different markets anyway.

-------------

A question for forum members based on the above review.

Does anyone here know of a company that sells a portable 532nm laser with 100% duty cycle, a collimated beam diameter < 1mm, with power of 150mW or greater? Please don't bother replying with any links that do not meet all three criteria.

I looked over the offerings of companies listed here as being high quality, and didn't see any with such an offering, although I might have missed something.

I may just have to build one myself. It seems that one could start with a diode and lens assembly from one of the Novalasers Alpha HP series and put them into a better host with exceptional cooling to obtain such a portable laser. But I don't know which diodes and lenses are used for these lasers. I also don't know if such a thing is possible with the particular diode used in the Alpha HP lasers; the diode can might heat up too fast for any cooling to make a 100% duty cycle possible. Also, I don't know anything about advanced cooling in hosts.

Any suggestions or thought would be welcome. Thanks!

-------------

About me.

I am a educator and professional technical person in a different field from laser technology, although I have had training as a laser technician in the past. I consider myself a laser hobbyist and have been using lasers since high school (then college physics lab units), but have only recently purchased some of the nice diode/DPSS units that have lately become readily available. I look forward to building and experimenting with many more lasers in the future. This is my first post on any laser hobbyist forum.

Last edited by Analogue; 08-11-2010 at 05:12 PM. Reason: corrections
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

ib my opinion you received a not real 150mw opto pen. it is impossible that in the video you can't light a match......... i lighet a match with a 50mw laser peaked at 80mw....

the beam of opto is tem00.... your unit is not correct. get another one. and about power of 171mw... i know it is the AVERAGE power... not the peak. yes... in the site is written 150mw.. typical peak 170.. BUT IT IS AN EXAMPLE. your unit is averaging 170.. and peak 180.. 185....(but i repeat.. imho it is not real 150mw because it could be damaged or the crystal is desyncronized with some crash in the shipping period).

about host... smaller beam... yes the CNI pen is the best.... but... for the same price you have 50mw less than opto..... i would prefer to spend 200$ for a 150/170mw unit. a lot of members received a TEM00 beam.

about the removable front opening...yes... cni allows to add a beam expander this is wonderful option....
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

Yes, you have a good point. I'll edit my review about the power rating. Re. shipping: the host box for the Novalasers unit is filled with a kind of dense foam that probably makes it more shock resistant. The Optotronics unit rests on cardboard inside the host box. I can well imagine crystals getting knocked out of alignment during shipping.

Edit: If I can get another unit from Optotronics, I'll adjust my review accordingly.

Last edited by Analogue; 08-09-2010 at 02:06 PM.
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

Quote:
Originally Posted by Analogue View Post
This is a detailed one-on-one comparison of the Optotronics Premium +150mW Green Laser against the Novalasers X100 Compact Portable Laser.

Both of these lasers are 532nm green pointers that cost about the same, $196 USD for the Optotronics and $209 USD for the Novalasers. Both Novalasers and Optotronics are regarded as being high quality products, so I thought it would be interesting to compare the lasers against each other.

---------------

We'll start with a comparison of specs.

Optotronics Specs:

IR filter Coatings block >96% of all IR
Laser diode power 1000mW
Average Output Power > 150mW
Laser diode lifetime 5,000 hours MTTF
Beam Diameter (1/e2) <1.5 mm
Beam divergence <1.2 mrad
M2Beam Quality <1.1
Duty cycle @ 21 C 60/60 sec on/off
Operating temperature 15C to 30C
Warranty 90 days

Novalasers Specs:

IR Filter Built-in, 99.5%
Pump Diode 808nm 500mW
Average Output Power > 100mW
Expected Lifetime 3000-5000 hours
Beam Diameter <1.0 mm
Beam Divergence <1.2 mRad
Recommended Duty Cycle 100 sec ON/10 sec OFF
Operating Temperature 15-30 degrees C
Warranty 3 months

These specs are from: Optotronics Green Pen Pointers
and Untitled Page respectively.

The factors that one looks to immediately are average output power, beam diameter, and beam divergence. The Optotronics boasts an output power 50% higher than the Novalasers. But with the smaller beam diameter on the Novalasers, the Novalasers unit actually has an irradiance 50% higher than the Optotronics! This higher irradiance results in a more visible beam as well as better burning power. The divergences of the beams are listed as being the same. Neither company claims their lasers operate in TEM00. More on that later.

Note also that the Novalasers product boasts better IR filtering, and (if it is to be believed, a better duty cycle: I tend to stay well under duty cycles to preserve the integrity of my units.)

Both lasers I received were overspec. The Optotronics laser came with instructions that had "verified 171mW 8/2/2010" written by hand at the top. According to the Optotronics website, this is the laser's peak power. The Novalasers had a printed label stating: "Tested Average Power 115.3mW. Tested Peak: 136mW." The Novalasers product gets points for including the average power, not merely the peak power. It should be noted that for $30.00 more, one can get a detailed power over time chart from Optotronics detailing a laser's performance. I did not want to pay $30.00 more.

------------

Power.

I do not have a laser power meter to check the power, although I can probably get my hands on one for a test. If I do, I will update this post.

-----------

Irradiance.

Both lasers are very bright at night, with the Novalasers product having a somewhat "greener" beam. This is difficult to capture photographically, and I do not have a picture to illustrate this. I inerpret this "greener" appearance to be due to its higher irradiance. Irradiance is defined to be power per unit area, and thus varies with the distance from the collimation lens of the laser, as the diameter changes with distance. The irradiance decreases with distance (at least past the beam waist).

Since I do not know the actual average power of the Optotronics product, I use the minimum average power of 150mW for calculating the irradiance of the Optotronics laser and the minimum average power of 100mW for the Novalasers laser. (The actual irradiances are naturally somewhat higher.)

Irradiance = Power/Area.

Optotronics laser Irradiance = 150mW/(Pi *(1.5mm)^2) = 2.122 W/cm^2.

Actually the above calculation of the Optotronics irradiance is not to be taken to seriously as the beam is not circular, as it does not seem to operate in TEM00.

Novalasers laser Irradiance = 100mw/(Pi*(1mm)^2) = 3.183 W/cm^2.

Thus Novalasers irradiance/Optotronics Irradiance = 1.5. In other words, the irradiance of the Novalasers laser is 50% higher than the Optotronics laser. (EDIT at close range.)

This is dramatically illustrated by the following video in which the lasers fight a book match:



You might wonder if the batteries were a factor in the above test. This was not the case as I measured the batteries immediately after the test:



I notice a lot of people on this forum focus mainly on the output power of their lasers. Since many of the same people are concerned about beam visibility and burning power, they should be more interested in irradiance, not power. Cutting the beam diameter in half increases the irradiance by a factor of 4. Doubling the power only increases the irradiance by a factor of 2. Naturally lenses can be used to focus a beam and obtain a smaller beam diameter, but it is distinctly less impressive to have to put a lens in front of your laser to achieve ignition. Irradiance is the key, not power.

For both of these lasers I am assuming that the lenses in the lasers are collimation lenses and that the beam waist is near the exit point on the front of the lasers. Visual inspection of the beams seems to bear this out. I have been able to light matches with the Novalasers unit from over 10 cm, but I have never been able to light any match with the Optotronics laser at any distance. (I can with a focusing lens, however.)

Remark1: Some inexpensive burning lasers available have lenses that focus the beam near the front of the laser to make dramatic burning easy. This does not seem to be the case with the Novalasers unit. Such lenses usually result in bad divergence a little further away. The Novalasers unit has a spot size at long range that is about the same size as the Optotronics unit.

Remark2: Some inexpensive burning lasers have high IR emissions that aid in burning. If the IR filter specs on the Novalasers unit is correct, it is not burning through its IR emissions.

Burning and beam visibility (irradiance): Advantage Novalasers!

--------------------

Divergence.

I have not yet been able to make a careful measurement of beam divergence for these lasers. This is due to my not having access to a beam profiler, nor had a chance to measure beam diameters past a known far field range. Note, beam diameter measurements made at distances closer than the far field distance are unreliable. In general the far field distance for a laser is given by the formula

Far Field Distance = 100 * d^2/lambda, where d is the diameter of the output aperture and lambda is the wavelength.

For these lasers, I do not know the output apertures, so I don't know the reliable distance for making diameter measurements. Any suggestions on the correct values to use for output apertures for these lasers would be helpful.

Taking the company specs. at face value, one concludes that they have similar divergence behavior.

Advantage: tie.

--------------

Mode behavior.

The Optotronics laser operates consistently in TEM01 (or TEM10, depending on how the laser is rotated.) Here is a picture of the Optotronics beam after 33.3 meters:



I have never seen the Optotronics laser to operate in TEM00. Here is a video of the beam spot at closer range (about 1m):



The Novalasers laser mode hops between TEM00 and TEM01. Here is a shot of the beam at 33.3m operating at TEM00:



Here it is at the same distance operating at TEM01:



Here is a video of the Novalasers unit under operation (with the beam spread through a simple magnification lens that shows the TEM00 spot:



In general, I have found the behavior of the the Novalasers beam to be quite unpredictable. On some days it seems to stay TEM00, while on others it hops to TEM01 after a few seconds. I have had success burning in both modes. I have not yet determined the factors which control the mode hopping.

From the above picture, the TEM01 on the Optotronics seems rather muddy; one suspects that several modes are present. The TEM01 on the Novalasers unit seems to be a rather classics double Gaussian image. (The TEM00 on the Novalasers unit also seems to be a rather clear Gaussian image as well.)

Neither company specs their lasers to be TEM00, and Novalasers even states in their printed specs that the beam is multimode. Optotronics makes no mention of mode in their specs.


Mode behavior: Advantage Novalasers!


-----------------

Duty Cycles

Both laser companies give duty cycle information, which is typically missing from lower quality companies. The Novalasers lists a longer duty cycle, with shorter cool-down. Novalasers duty cycle: 100 seconds on / 10 seconds off. Optotronics duty cycle: 60 seconds on/ 60 seconds off.

But I must add that I always stay below duty cycle on-time to avoid damaging my units.

Advantage: Novalasers!

------------------

Host Quality

Aesthetically I like the look of the Novalasers host over the New Wish style host of the Optotronics device. I find the New Wish hosts to have the perennial problem where the internal battery contact spring slips into contact with the outer host and shorts the batteries. This has happened to every laser I have owned with this kind of host, including the Optotronics laser.
I have never had this problem occur with the Novalasers host.

It should also be noted that the Novalasers host has a removable front opening, enabling one to clean the lens, or add accessories. This is not the case with the Optotronics host.

Advantage: Novalasers by a long shot!

--------------

Supplied documentation.

The Optotronics unit came with two little slips of paper giving battery insertion instructions and an over voltage warning. The battery instructions had the peak power scrawled at the top.

The Novalasers unit came with a zip-lock bag containing four full sheets of paper of instructions and information, including peak power, average power, serial number, legal issues involving laser use, and the specs.

Advantage: Novalasers!

--------------

Packaging and Shipping

Both were packed adequitely, although the Novalasers laser storage box was contained in another larger box, which also containing the instruction sheets.

The Optotronics unit was contained in its storage box, which was wrapped in bubble wrap, then shipped in a padded envelope.

Both units were shipped quickly and arrived in a couple of days with expedited shipping.

Advantage: Novalasers, by a hair.


----------------------

Subjective feelings.

Quite simply, I am disappointed by the Optotronics laser. I have had the Novalasers unit for about a month now and the Optotronics unit for only about a week, but after experimenting with both, I am decidedly much more impressed with the Novalasers unit. The quality is all around better and even the information about the device from the company feels more honest to me. Why does Optotronics give peak power, instead of the more useful average power? Both powers are displayed on most laser power meters; it would be no problem for Optotronics to supply the average power as well. But instead they only give the transient peak power. This seems like a kind of advertising designed to appeal to people who are almost completely ignorant about lasers, and comes off as a little insulting to someone who knows a little bit about lasers. It seems like they are appealing to people who want to say, "My laser is more powerful than your laser," since for such people that peak measurement is the kind of number they can brag about. For a company that is marketing to more serious hobbyists and professionals, they should, imho, give the average power, or, like Novalasers, give both. It wouldn't cost them a dime.

Novalasers, while having a small offering on their website, seems specifically targeted to serious hobbyists as well as educators. Both companies have similar prices and warranties for similar products, although Optotronics has many more products available, including serious lab units.

Finally I want to say, that this comparison is based on only one unit from each company, so it is definitely not a large enough sample for a real comparison of companies. It is just my experience with similar units at about the same cost from both companies. The companies seem to have somewhat different markets anyway.

-------------

A question for forum members based on the above review.

Does anyone here know of a company that sells a portable 532nm laser with 100% duty cycle, a collimated beam diameter < 1mm, with power of 150mW or greater? Please don't bother replying with any links that do not meet all three criteria.

I looked over the offerings of companies listed here as being high quality, and didn't see any with such an offering, although I might have missed something.

I may just have to build one myself. It seems that one could start with a diode and lens assembly from one of the Novalasers Alpha HP series and put them into a better host with exceptional cooling to obtain such a portable laser. But I don't know which diodes and lenses are used for these lasers. I also don't know if such a thing is possible with the particular diode used in the Alpha HP lasers; the diode can might heat up too fast for any cooling to make a 100% duty cycle possible. Also, I don't know anything about advanced cooling in hosts.

Any suggestions or thought would be welcome. Thanks!

-------------

About me.

I am a educator and professional technical person in a different field from laser technology, although I have had training as a laser technician in the past. I consider myself a laser hobbyist and have been using lasers since high school (then college physics lab units), but have only recently purchased some of the nice diode/DPSS units that have lately become readily available. I look forward to building and experimenting with many more lasers in the future. This is my first post on any laser hobbyist forum.
Hi Anlogue,
The output power recorded is the average output, not the peak. Where did you read this as the peak value? if it's on the webpage I need to change it as the only laser we sell at peak value are the Viasho GB lasers.

What type of batteries are you using? You need to make sure they are NOT Lithium batteries. I'm not sure why, but the more expensive lithiums actually result in lower output of around 125-130mw on the +150mw pens. Just use a fresh set of energizer or duracell alkalines for highest output power.
If it is not TEM00, then make sure the correct duty cycle is being used so that it doesn't overheat. If it's still not working correctly, then send it back to us and we'll take care of it right away.
In short, if a nova 100mw is performing better than our +150, then there's a big problem as I regularly get comments from customers telling us how their Opto 150 pen outperforms their Nova x-150 by a great deal and even one customer who told us his Opto 150 out performs his Nova endeavor 175mw.

Douglas,
Something is going on here.
I just saw your oval beam shape and that shouldn't be, it needs to be fixed.
For some reason both your laser and another customers laser that was shipped form use on 8/2 are behaving this way. I've never seen this problem in our products in the past and I suspect that since this happened to both of you, they may have been mishandled in shipping.

In all fairness, as far as speed of shipping, I think we may have them beat.
Our laser was delivered to you in one day.
Your order was placed around 4:00am on 8/2, it shipped that same day and was delivered to you at 11:08AM the next day (8/3), I don't think you can get any better than that unless you pay hundreds of dollars for same day shipping and delivery.
What day was your Nova order placed and what day did it arrive to you, I'm sure it took at least a day or two longer since it needed to go through customs?

Last edited by bootleg2go; 08-09-2010 at 02:13 PM. Reason: added more text
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

To bootleg2go: I edited my post correcting my "peak power" misunderstanding. I think, as realista pointed out, that since the power listed on my unit was 171mW and optotronics listed an example as 170mW peak, I assumed that 171mW was peak.

The batteries I was and am still using are Energizer alkaline batteries. Not rechargable. Their voltages are shown on the second video.

How should I go about getting the problem fixed?

Edit: Also, I am very careful about duty cycles on these pen lasers: I know heat is a real issue on them.

Last edited by Analogue; 08-10-2010 at 10:52 AM. Reason: grammar
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

Quote:
Originally Posted by Analogue View Post
To bootleg2go: I edited my post correcting my "peak power" misunderstanding. I think, as realista pointed out, that since the power listed on my unit was 171mW and optotronics listed an example as 170mW peak, I assumed that 171mW was peak.

The batteries I was am using (still installed) are Energizer alkaline batteries. Not rechargable. Their voltages are shown on the second video.

How should I go about getting the problem fixed?

Edit: Also, I am very careful about duty cycles on these pen lasers: I know heat is a real issue on them.
Hi Analogue,
Where is the 170 peak mentioned? was that on our website?
Email us and we'll send you the return information and get it replaced right away.
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

Peak power mentioned at the end of the quote from this link:

Optotronics Product Details

"Output power is verified with a Coherent FieldMaster GS
power meter and test results are recorded on the instruction sheet.
These lasers typically have 1-4mW of IR; however this is not counted
towards the +150mW total of 532nm.
Average output >150mW
Typical peak output up to 170mW"

I'll send an e-mail to Optotronics about this today.

Edit: you guys might want to be clear on the power rating shipped with the units that it is average. I was confused by this ambiguity.

Edit2: Just noticed your question about shipping time. It seems the Novalasers unit was shipped from Canada on July 20 and arrived in my town on July 22 when I received it. So, yes, you beat them on shipping by one day!

Last edited by Analogue; 08-09-2010 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Additional text
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

Quote:
Originally Posted by Analogue View Post

Edit: you guys might want to be clear on the power rating shipped with the units that it is average. I was confused by this ambiguity.

Edit2: Just noticed your question about shipping time. It seems the Novalasers unit was shipped from Canada on July 20 and arrived in my town on July 22 when I received it. So, yes, you beat them on shipping by one day!
I'll make sure they are marked as Average output from this point forward so there is no question.

About shipping from Nova,
It took a day longer for shipping, but did you place your order the same day it was shipped to you?
How long from the time you ordered until the time it arrived at your door?
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Old 08-09-2010, 10:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

Yep, somethings not right with the Opto Pen. At an average of ~170mw, you would be able to light a match no problem. Even with a <1.5mm beam diameter.

I'm sure Jack will get you taken care of.

Quote:
Optotronics laser Irradiance = 150mW/(Pi *(1.5mm)^2) = 2.122 W/cm^2.

Actually the above calculation of the Optotronics irradiance is not to be taken to seriously as the beam is not circular, as it does not seem to operate in TEM00.

Novalasers laser Irradiance = 100mw/(Pi*(1mm)^2) = 3.183 W/cm^2.
Don't you mean:
150mW/(Pi *(0.75mm)^2)
And:
100mw/(Pi*(0.5mm)^2)

?
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Old 08-09-2010, 11:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

bootleg2go-- yes, ordered July 20 as well, so two days.

Moptsp-- but of course! No wonder those numbers "felt wrong". Thanks.

I'll edit in the appropriate changes to the review.

Edit: BTW my mistake of using diameter instead of radius (duh!) in the irradiance calculation did not affect the ratio of irradiance between the units. The Nova pen still comes out at 50% higher. Also, it's great to see this excellent responsiveness of Optotronics (Jack!) on fixing the problem, as well as the changes to future power descriptions in Optotronics orders. +points for customer service! Also, I'm going to add a note to the start of the review (till a new pen arrives) stating that the Optotronics unit is apparently defective, likely from shipping. (I tested it on a match out of the box and the results were the same as in the review. I was surprised as I expected 150+mW to ignite a match, but wasn't sure as I had never tried that experiment with a 150+mW laser before. I have experienced burning with multi-watt gas lasers in the past, but nothing near 150--200 mW.)

Last edited by Analogue; 08-10-2010 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: Optotronics vs. Novalasers: Shootout in the $200 green corral

Yeah, Jack's great. If you can, please do an update with your new pen once you get it. Hope it all works out for ya.
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Modded 5mw-532 WickedLasers Core ~15mw - Back down to 5mw for fun

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