Old 02-02-2012, 06:35 AM #1
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Default How Fragile are DPSS lasers?

Hello everyone,

I have been browsing this amazing forum for about 3 months incessantly to learn as much as I can about my new interest in lasers. Although you don't know me I feel like I know all you guys after reading so many posts on here

Having read that green DPSS 532 lasers are quite fragile as the crystals can come unaligned I was wondering how easy they can be dislodged or damaged in the "pen style" units. I would love to bring my lasers on a backpacking trip or hike to be able to shine them away from the city lights and away from attracting so much attention but I am so afraid of damaging my most prized possessions!

What are your experiences with how hardy these lasers are? Are there any wavelengths that have good beam visibility that would be more suited to a bumpy camping trip for instance?

Thanks and good to meet you all


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Old 02-02-2012, 06:46 AM #2
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Default Re: How Fragile are DPSS lasers?

Nice to meet ya!

Regarding DPSS fragility - yes, they are fragile. But, as long as you don't drop them or throw them, they will probably be fine, as long as they aren't cheaply manufactured. However, I would recommend using a high-powered 1.5W 445nm laser instead of a green one - the beam visibility on a laser of that variety is MUCH more impressive.

However, you have to be safe with lasers of that power. Get some goggles, and best of luck!
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:51 AM #3
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Default Re: How Fragile are DPSS lasers?

Pretty fragile for cheap greens. I've broken many cheap ones in my 15 years of lasing. Mostly a sudden jolt is all it takes to make them mode hop and drop output power significantly. Low power 405's aren't much more robust though. I've broken many of those too, haha. I killed a 50mW 405 by dropping it while it was in it's padded protective case from a total height of 2.5feet onto a soft shag carpet. So yeah, they're not the most fragile, but they won't tolerate dropping either.

Lab style DPSS units are fantastic as everything is bolted down and if something pops out of alignment you can realign it (with some skill).
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:15 AM #4
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Default Re: How Fragile are DPSS lasers?

Nice to meet you too Wolfman! - I drool over the thought of seeing a 1.5W 445 in person. (Actually I have never even seen a 445 at all yet)

I must admit that the only lasers in my collection so far are what I think are "Newwish" from Amazon.ca although what Amazon claims as a 100mw (or less) 532 pen is still is impressive to me!

Sigurthr - Wow that is incredible about it breaking inside the case onto the shag carpet! I guess... so 405nm isnt necessarily more hardy even though it has just one crystal as opposed to two in the 532?

Would you think that the host of a handheld unit like a Lazerer Rifle in a 532nm would be more shock resistant as opposed to the pen style or is it just the nature of 532nm no matter whether it is is portable or lab style? Is there any reason to think that 445nm or 650nm is more shock resistant than any other wavelength?

again!
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:15 PM #5
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Default Re: How Fragile are DPSS lasers?

Welcome aboard! Don't forget to get some Laser Safety Glasses, and the search function here can be your best friend; don't forget to read the Stickies.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:52 PM #6
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Default Re: How Fragile are DPSS lasers?

405nm is a diode laser, no crystals, it isn't dpss. It's just one of the most fragile diodes is all.

650nm diodes are pretty darn tough as far as impact goes. I have a waterproof 200mW one I keep in a belt holster - you could probably toss it across the yard and it would still work as long as it didn't land on stone or concrete.

I haven't tested 450s (they should really be called 450, almost none actually output at 445) as far as shock resistance goes. The case that held that 405 also held a 100mW 650 and a 50mW 450, both the 450 and 650 survived with no damage.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:02 AM #7
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Default Re: How Fragile are DPSS lasers?

Thanks electron, I will get safety glasses, I need to find something that fits ok over my bulky black rimmed glasses

For now I don't ever shine my lasers indoors at all and only turn them on outside when they are first pointed at distant treetops away from planes etc.

Sigurthr - Thanks that is very useful info! So it is possible that 450nm lasers could be as resilient as red but for now red is considered most hardy? I have read some of Sams laser FAQ and many hours of forum reading but have a little trouble following the more technical posts in the DIY sections as I don't have an electrical background. I can see this is quite a complicated Science, it would sure be neat if there were some laser documentaries on DVD or Discovery channel or youtube which explain the history of lasers and the technology that is used and the advances in the field.

I'm so glad your other lasers survived the fall onto the carpet! I guess thats something that you have to think about if you have all your lasers in one case... even if it is really soft and padded, if you drop it you could lose them all in one shot!
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