Old 10-07-2009, 11:58 PM #1
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Red face Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

Hey guys. First of all, I am new to these forums. Like, literally, I just joined about 5 minutes ago. However, I have done some browsing in the past so I should know my way around pretty decently.

So anyway, forgive me if these questions sound stupid; which is better, Dragonlasers or Skylasers? The thing is, I was thinking about buying a laser so I could see the beam at night. I am a little paranoid about hitting reflective surfaces, and also hitting objects that aren't stars by accident, but I think if I'm extra careful I will do fine. Otherwise I would go for the 55mw DL, since that is only 10 bucks more expensive.

Also, are laser safety goggles necessary for 35mw lasers? And are there any companies with better deals than DL or SL?

The thing about SL is that I like the fact that there's a key for high (normal), low, and no power. It would make it really convenient just to point it around with low power, and then to point it in the sky with high power.
But then again, I think DL has better focusing abilities, making burning a little better (even though the most a 35mw laser probably couldn't do much) and the beam to look a little better. I also don't know how good the quality of SL lasers are, since there aren't many reviews about them. (Like, if they're as bad as a generic laser, I would probably go with DL. Although I am pretty sure that they're no since they have an ir filter.)

Again, any help would be appreciated.


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Old 10-10-2009, 03:42 PM #2
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

Buy the safety glasses if you are afraid to hit reflective surfaces for any laser. I personally purchased the skylaser because of the cool power feature. If you are only buying a 35mw you should buy the skylaser because there is no need to focus a laser with only 35mw of power.
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Old 10-10-2009, 04:36 PM #3
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

I got a 50mW (from megalaserUK and no IR filter, so how poweful it actually is is anyone's guess) but it's absolutely amazing. It was 44 delivered to UK or $84 worldwide. At night the beam is STUNNING. Dot is easily seen on clouds, etc. Just be sensible and there is nothing to worry about.
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:29 PM #4
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

If I were you I would contact Glenn aka Scopeguy in the "GroupBuy" section of the forum. Dragon lasers is just a reseller for the company CNI, so he organizes a group buy every once and a while from CNI to get lasers at a discount. He meters all the lasers on a LPM (laser pointer meter- checks the out put of a laser in mw-milliwatts or W-watts) to check that they are up to spec and he makes sure you will be getting what you paid for. You will be able to get a whole lot more for your money and between you and I most of the lasers that people get form the groupbuy are over spec, meaning more power! He is a great guy and has done business with a LOT of people on the forum. He come highly recommend by everyone!


EDIT} For most members the name CNI brings to mind top of the line lasers!
So either way buy from DL or the GroupBuy ( you wont be disappointed by the GB)
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Old 10-10-2009, 06:55 PM #5
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

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Originally Posted by SerpantSlayer View Post
Buy the safety glasses if you are afraid to hit reflective surfaces for any laser. I personally purchased the skylaser because of the cool power feature. If you are only buying a 35mw you should buy the skylaser because there is no need to focus a laser with only 35mw of power.
Ugh, I was trying to avoid spending $40 on safety glasses... Are you sure it's a necessity for only 35mw?
Also, isn't it better to have better focusing capabilities so that the beam travels farther? Or does it not work like that?
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:03 PM #6
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

Focus is usually used to burn things easier. I guess you wouldn't have to use the glasses as long as you are careful. I dont think 35mw can really do permanent damage if you shine it for a small amount of time at your eyes accidentally.
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:18 PM #7
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

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Originally Posted by SerpantSlayer View Post
Focus is usually used to burn things easier. I guess you wouldn't have to use the glasses as long as you are careful. I dont think 35mw can really do permanent damage if you shine it for a small amount of time at your eyes accidentally.

CNI pens are not focusable. I'm not sure what this talk of focus is about...

35mW IS enough to do damage... hence the power classes. Class IIIa is <5mW and is considered the "safe" limit for momentary direct exposure. With <5mW your blink reflex is fast enough to prevent damage. When dealing with Class IIIb from >5mW <50mW I would not recommend safety goggles. If you use anything >250mW up to Class IV you should definitely invest in some.
I hardly ever use safety glasses unless I'm playing with >500mW up close, but I use lasers responsibly regardless of power.
AS long as you avoid direct and reflected exposure, you should be fine.

Edit: Re-read original post...
The initial beam diameter of CNI pens is usually around 1-1.2mm. With a small beam diameter at the aperture, close range burning will be much easier. This is not the same as a focusable laser. When a laser is focused, it means that the beam converges at some point. At the beam waist, power density is highest, so burning power is greater.
Also, Divergence and beam diameter are inversely related... meaning that if you decrease the beam diameter, the divergence will increase. In my opinion, the CNI pens (DL, NOVA) are a good balance between a sharp, thin beam and decent divergence.
In your case, I would look for a low divergence pointer, since burning with <100mW is not that great anyway.

Like others have said, jump on the next CNI GB. You will get the most bang for your buck and likely an over-spec unit.

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Old 10-10-2009, 07:47 PM #8
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

OP - You might better off with an "el-cheapo" green laser if you're only after a visible beam and general "pointing around". If you read around the green lasers section, there's a good selection of cheap lasers in your power range. IMO, buying a "premium quality" greenie under 50mw is somewhat a waste; comparable quality lasers in the same power range can be had for a fraction of the cost(Of a "premium quality" laser)
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:20 PM #9
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

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Ugh, I was trying to avoid spending $40 on safety glasses... Are you sure it's a necessity for only 35mw?
Also, isn't it better to have better focusing capabilities so that the beam travels farther? Or does it not work like that?
Think of it this way. Can you fix your eyes for $40? A 35mw is enough to damage your retina, yes. If your pointing it out side a distance objects, though you should be fine (if your careful), though I wouldn't think defused light would be damaging.

But, hey. You don't need safety glasses for a 125mw. It's just better safe than sorry.

Also, do what gotwake424 said and do a group buy with Glenn. I guarantee you will save at least $40, so that you can add goggles with no extra cost.
Btw, DragonLasers sales some for $25

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Old 10-10-2009, 08:25 PM #10
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

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OP - You might better off with an "el-cheapo" green laser if you're only after a visible beam and general "pointing around". If you read around the green lasers section, there's a good selection of cheap lasers in your power range. IMO, buying a "premium quality" greenie under 50mw is somewhat a waste; comparable quality lasers in the same power range can be had for a fraction of the cost(Of a "premium quality" laser)
I was actually starting to think about that... I may buy a 20/30mw laser from BudgetGadgets. (Probably the 30mw models since it's really going to be about 25mw. I just hope it would be visible enough.)
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Old 10-10-2009, 08:40 PM #11
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

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Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
I was actually starting to think about that... I may buy a 20/30mw laser from BudgetGadgets. (Probably the 30mw models since it's really going to be about 25mw. I just hope it would be visible enough.)
You may be disappointed with anything less than 30-40mW.
50mW is the perfect brightness for pointing at night IMO.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:55 PM #12
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

If this is your first laser why not start with 1mw or 5mw? You will have plenty of fun in relative safety. Also if you start off with lower power lasers then you'll have something to look forward to! Plus you can trade lower power for higher quality.

For a light sabre effect you really need 50 mw although much depends on the weather. In fog even 5mw is quite a sight.

Goggles are primarily used for close range work such as burning, beam spot and divergence measurements etc. You are unlikely to be able to burn with an unfocused 50mw but you might want to measure the spot and this is impossible at close range without goggles. Obviously you do not use goggles for general viewing since they make the spot barely visible and the beam totally invisible.
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:12 PM #13
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

A beam is visible even with something as diminutive as 5mW; no fog or smoke needed.
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Old 10-10-2009, 11:04 PM #14
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

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A beam is visible even with something as diminutive as 5mW; no fog or smoke needed.
Only in really dark conditions though.
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Old 10-11-2009, 01:06 AM #15
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

Many of us have no experience with Skylasers under 150 mW. My Sky200 needs warm up and very clean connections to hit 200 mW. My Dragon95 which I have carried for ~3 years always works.

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Old 10-11-2009, 12:29 PM #16
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Default Re: Dragonlasers vs Skylasers

I have no experience of Sky-lasers, but my Dragon (CNI) "Viper" 125 is a joy to use. Well built, nice to look at and very narrow beam which consistently outputs 150mw +. The Dragons also allow the option of using a beam expander (enables focusing at 2metres+ for medium distance burning, or a 2cm fat beam for low divergence and thus a spot that can be seen from very long distances).

A 5mw (and even a 1mw) beam will be visible if you look along the beam from the aperture, but will only be weakly visible from the side. From about 25mw + the beam is easily visible from the side and from about 50mw+ you start to get the light sabre effect (an impression of solid green).

But I would seriously consider starting with a nicely made low power laser as your first purchase. You can build up from there.
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