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Old 05-17-2013, 10:57 AM #1
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Question Affordable LPM for Beginners

Hey there,
Just picked up this new hobby you see , and started browsing the webs for good diodes and handheld lasers.
However, as always to buying stuff off the Internet. There will be lemons. And you'll be hating yourself for falling for it. And to make matters worse , you might become a victim without even knowing it. Or so I heard.

(silly me bought a laser from O-like)


Now I heard there are good folks out there who are willing to test the lasers for us. Brownie points to them.

However, shipping might be a problem who practically lives miles from anyone on LPF.

So I want to buy a LPM myself.

I see there are the LaserBee (expensive shipping), there are the Ophir (jolly expensive and expensive shipping) , and quite a few.

Personally I've read quite a few good things about the LaserBee, affordable and with a error margin thats more than acceptable for amateur laser hobbyists (I think).
But THE DARN CANADIAN POST!!!

So here comes the question.

Is there an affordable LPM that doesn't absolutely slaughters your piggy bank and is also situated in a place where the postal service isn't gonna sell my kidney for the shipping?
EDIT: I mean GEES! I paid $10 for the shipping using USPS .From Cedar City , Utah to Hong Kong.
Why the heck does it cost $40 C to ship it from Canada?? Thats like 4 TIMES THE shipping cost! It isn't like Canada is on the moon. Its just NEXT DOOOR! Grrrrrrrr



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Old 05-17-2013, 11:57 AM #2
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

I am not going to weigh in on the LPM question. Basically, none of them are cheap. Unless you plan on building to sell, there isn't a real "need" for them.

That being said, where in Canada are you? I know we have a member in Spokane, another in Detroit, etc...Would it be cheaper to have it shipped to a "broker" in the US, and have them ship it right across the border?
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:11 PM #3
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
I am not going to weigh in on the LPM question. Basically, none of them are cheap. Unless you plan on building to sell, there isn't a real "need" for them.

That being said, where in Canada are you? I know we have a member in Spokane, another in Detroit, etc...Would it be cheaper to have it shipped to a "broker" in the US, and have them ship it right across the border?
Well I don't want to be ripped off when I buy a 2W laser module when it turns out its churning just 500mw even before the collimation lens.
With a LPM , even the brightness of a laser isn't right I would have some basis to have the seller ship me a working one.
If not, I would pretty much be left in the dark (my jokes sucks)

Oh , I'm not from Canada mate.
Not even from the western world.
Living far in the eastern sphere at Hong Kong eh.

As with the broker option. Well I tried to do some maths about it .
To ship it from Quebec to Hong Kong its about $40.69C using the International Parcel - Surface from Canada Postes.
If I hop the shipment first at Utah using Expedited Parcel - USA and then go USPS . It'll be about 35C.
However, if I go straight from the states to where I live. It'll be just $23.95USD (not that much of a currency difference).

A MUCH MUCH lower shipping cost .
Is there a trustworthy LPM vendor that is based in the states that you'll recommend?
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:13 PM #4
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

I'm actually interested in this as well. Can you get LPMs for under $100?
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:36 PM #5
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

If there is one for under $100, I haven't found it, and I'd find its accuracy dubious at best.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:37 PM #6
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gun View Post
I'm actually interested in this as well. Can you get LPMs for under $100?
It doesn't have to be 100% accurate.
As amatuer +/-10% is well within the tolerance for manufacturing variance.
The main point is to spot the SUPER LEMONS

Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
If there is one for under $100, I haven't found it, and I'd find its accuracy dubious at best.
well considering how most of the affordable LPM uses Thermopile instead of Photometer. It isn't meant to be laboratory grade anyway.
As for the $100 below LPM... same here... no luck and wouldn't want to try.

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Old 05-17-2013, 01:01 PM #7
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

The whole problem of WAY underspec lasers can be solved by purchasing lasers only from vendors who are willing to sell it with an LPM output graph. Now, sure, you could get screwed that way, too. But, if you're buying from a source that is recognized by LPF as a good vendor, with accurate outputs, etc., you'll be well protected.

An informed consumer is a wiser consumer. This applies in ALL situations.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:29 PM #8
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
The whole problem of WAY underspec lasers can be solved by purchasing lasers only from vendors who are willing to sell it with an LPM output graph. Now, sure, you could get screwed that way, too. But, if you're buying from a source that is recognized by LPF as a good vendor, with accurate outputs, etc., you'll be well protected.

An informed consumer is a wiser consumer. This applies in ALL situations.

Well judging from the advertisement above, I guess Warnlaser and CNI are quite the hot brands in the LPF community.
However, there is still a problem .

I've read some threads about how O-like used to be one of the most trusted and commonly seen mid-range brand in the LPF community.
However , recently , it has started to slack up on QC and started to really churn some 2nd rated products.
That happens without warning , and we might fall victim without even knowing it.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:54 PM #9
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

Agreed. My point is that it comes down to whether you find spending >$200US to buy an LPM just in case you might get screwed on a purchase worth the price.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:58 PM #10
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
Agreed. My point is that it comes down to whether you find spending >$200US to buy an LPM just in case you might get screwed on a purchase worth the price.
If spending $200 means I can have a peace of mind knowing I wouldn't get screwed in the future over $400 , $600 , or even higher purchases.
I don't see why not.
BUT!
spending 1/4 of the module's cost JUST for shipping which has ZERO return value is rather..... putting people off.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:08 PM #11
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

Then, clearly you've come to the conclusion that $200 is worth it to you. Buy an Ophir on ebay.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:11 PM #12
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

Maybe the shipping terms on this one will be agreeable to you.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...E:L:OC:US:3160
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The Bastard:445nm, 2W M-140 UF KF-T60
445nm, 9mm, 3.2W Kryton Groove-Polished
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La Spada Verdi: 1st Ever PL520 MS-SSW 115mW
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:12 PM #13
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

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Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
Then, clearly you've come to the conclusion that $200 is worth it to you. Buy an Ophir on ebay.
hmmmmm ..... that'll need some calibration.
OPHIR?

Why not laserbee?

Last edited by EpicHam; 05-17-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:26 PM #14
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

There is no need for calibration. These are brand new units that are pre-calibrated from the factory.

Why the Ophir? Speed, accuracy, multiple LPM options with unlimited upgrade ability...should I go on?

The Ophir is just a sensor. You use it WITH an LPM. The LaserBee LPM can be used with an Ophir, rather that a TEC. You can also choose many other LPMs to use with the sensor, or just hook it up to a DMM for accurate readings.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:35 PM #15
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by scumbagatheist View Post
There is no need for calibration. These are brand new units that are pre-calibrated from the factory.

Why the Ophir? Speed, accuracy, multiple LPM options with unlimited upgrade ability...should I go on?

The Ophir is just a sensor. You use it WITH an LPM. The LaserBee LPM can be used with an Ophir, rather that a TEC. You can also choose many other LPMs to use with the sensor, or just hook it up to a DMM for accurate readings.
so hold your horses here.
So OPHIR is just the sensor , which means in addition to it , I'll have to buy a separate LPM for it?

So all in all , racking up the total cost for the LPM to in excess of $500USD?

Last edited by EpicHam; 05-17-2013 at 02:47 PM.
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Old 05-17-2013, 03:00 PM #16
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Default Re: Affordable LPM for Beginners

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Originally Posted by EpicHam View Post
so hold your horses here.
So OPHIR is just the sensor , which means in addition to it , I'll have to buy a separate LPM for it?

So all in all , racking up the total cost for the LPM to in excess of $500USD?
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