Old 06-02-2012, 01:42 PM #1
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Default Help choosing first laser(s)

Hi guys, I am new to the laser world and I have always wanted to get a laser since I was a little kid. When I was 13 I asked my parents for a laser but they said it was dangerous and told me to wait until I was older to get one.

Fast forward 4 years, and I am 17 now and finally ready to become a laser owner. My parents have agreed to allow me to purchase 2 lasers for my graduation present this year.

So, if you expert laser enthusiasts would help me choose my first 2 lasers that would be much appreciated!

Since I am new I will not be getting lasers of that high power, so I would like a laser that is 5mW and one that is 50mW. Color of the laser is not much of importance to me but I would prefer if it were green or blue. However, I am kind of picky about the appearance of the laser, and would prefer if one was chrome. I would like both of them to be pen-shaped.

I have also have a few questions to anyone that can help me:

1.) I have read that there are legal issues in the U.S. with lasers >5mW. Would there be any trouble buying a 50mW and getting it shipped to Florida?

2.) Since I am an absolute beginner in lasers, would it be difficult to assemble a laser on my own? I know for a fact I would like to build one someday, should I gain a little knowledge before attempting?

Thank you guys at LPF, I hope you guys can get me started in lasers!

John


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Old 06-02-2012, 01:53 PM #2
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

If you want a really good, sleek, high quality 5mW green pointer, have a look at the Core from Wicked Lasers. It's probably the only laser they make that's worth looking at, it's a great little laser.

Building your own laser is not difficult, however having some basic electronics background is required if you don't want to blow it up the second you put a battery in. There's plenty of tutorials to get you started if you want to build your own - however green lasers, being more complex, are usually bought directly from a manufacturer, or you can get a complete module and put it in a host of your choice.

I started with lasers at 13, and I'm 18 now. Building lasers when I started was limited to basically <200mW red diodes, you can get a much wider variety of wavelengths and higher powers for much cheaper these days - so don't be too annoyed if you decide to DIY and accidentally pop a diode. But like I said, if you want to build your own, do some reading around here and it'll be very painless.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:01 PM #3
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

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Originally Posted by Things View Post
If you want a really good, sleek, high quality 5mW green pointer, have a look at the Core from Wicked Lasers. It's probably the only laser they make that's worth looking at, it's a great little laser.

Building your own laser is not difficult, however having some basic electronics background is required if you don't want to blow it up the second you put a battery in. There's plenty of tutorials to get you started if you want to build your own - however green lasers, being more complex, are usually bought directly from a manufacturer, or you can get a complete module and put it in a host of your choice.

I started with lasers at 13, and I'm 18 now. Building lasers when I started was limited to basically <200mW red diodes, you can get a much wider variety of wavelengths and higher powers for much cheaper these days - so don't be too annoyed if you decide to DIY and accidentally pop a diode. But like I said, if you want to build your own, do some reading around here and it'll be very painless.
Thank you for your quick reply.

I have been looking at the Core and also the Lyra from Laserglow. I am leaning toward the Core because of the price, but I have heard some bad things about Wicked Lasers, like how they take a long time to ship. Is this true that it will take a long time to ship, or is that for the higher power lasers?
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:07 PM #4
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

If you don't catch them in the middle of releasing a new product, or aren't buying a new product, then their shipping is usually pretty quick.

Most of the complaints about them taking forever to ship was from the Arctic fiasco last year, where they had thousands of sales for the same laser and simply couldn't produce them fast enough. The core has been available pretty much right from the start.

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Old 06-02-2012, 02:44 PM #5
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

10X 532nm chrome pen laser [532PN50] - $39.99 : Cajunlasers Store This is, chrome, a pen, 50mw, and green! Also, cajunlasers is US, so shipping would be faster and not have to go through customs. I cannot speak for the quality of it though, but, if you were considering spending $40 for a 5mW from Wicked Lasers... haha
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:46 PM #6
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but, if you were considering spending $40 for a 5mW from Wicked Lasers... haha
That's the difference, I, and many others can speak for the quality of the core - and it's great. Best $40 I've ever spent on a laser.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:51 PM #7
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

No doubt, I've heard some bad things about Core's as well (not to scare OP). I've definitely heard more good than bad though,
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:20 PM #8
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

And when you want to upgrade to your first high powered laser check out Survival Laser Home. Very good quality US product lasers.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:22 PM #9
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

HAHAHA EVERYONE in this thread joined in May!
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Old 06-04-2012, 02:39 PM #10
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

Combo Breaker!

Don't get the Core. I've had terrible experiences with them.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:35 AM #11
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

I have decided to just purchase a 30mW green from Optotronics. I decided to drop it to a lower power because I read that Optotronics are mostly overspec anyway so if I purchased a 55mW I wouldn't want it to be like 65-70 .

Still looking for a 5 mW "show laser".
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:42 AM #12
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

And those are a graduation present?!
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:53 PM #13
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

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And those are a graduation present?!
Yeah, its the only thing I wanted for a while and I can finally get them.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:56 PM #14
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Default Re: Help choosing first laser(s)

Ya I know how it is?
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