Old 07-03-2015, 05:40 PM #1
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Default Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

am new on this site. While I have a general knowledge about lasers, electronics, and science in general, I have no experience in either building or purchasing lasers.

I am interested in purchasing ready made lasers and potentially building them from kits.

I have seen a lot of lasers for sale on Alibaba and had been thinking of getting a couple but have no idea about their quality. I have seen 5 watt? blue lasers selling from around $900 to $60 which on the surface look like the same product...but I certainly do not know.

Can someone advise me about the best place to purchase either kits or completed lasers. One problem I have is living in the US, in fact, not too far from those folks who call themselves the FDA. As a physician, I have already had my share of encounters with them!


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Old 07-03-2015, 06:12 PM #2
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

First off, welcome!

I suggest you to build your own lasers because it's much more fun and exciting. There are companies that ship to the US and guarantee delivery however. Alibaba can be a great site to get parts or lasers, but you really have to know what you're doing before buying there.

What I would recommend it getting a laser module with driver from DTR (link) and parts from Budget Beams LLC or Survival Laser USA Home.

Of course there are some great host builders here too that can make a custom host that fits your needs.


That are just a few of all the available sources to get parts from. Aside of all this, I would recommend you to get a pair of safety goggles from Survival lasers.
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Old 07-03-2015, 09:01 PM #3
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

Thanks for your reply. I have seen a lot of stuff on Alibaba. Some companies say they have 10 W blue laser pointers...I can't believe that. You could not fit in a heat sink. However, there are some manufactures that have gotten good feedback (if it is real) that suggests the lasers may work.

Generally, I know the basics. However, where do you guys go for details in construction?

If you saw my bio, you know I am doing work on my grandfather's legacy. He came to the US from Luxembourg at the dawn of the 20th century to sell a battery. Initially, he was an inventor. Then he became a publisher and started the genre of Science Fiction. It is this for which he is best known. He was also a proponent of amateur radio and had the first wireless set for sale. He was a friend and colleague of Tesla, Edison, Marconi, Sarnoff, DeForest, among others. He had one of the first radio stations, WRNY and one of the first TV transmissions for amateurs.

Anyway, I am creating websites, one for education about him and many interesting materials as well as a memorial society. I know he would be absolutely wild about today's lasers. So, promotionally, I may create or have created some laser and call it the Gernsback..something like that...sell them or have them sold. I am not interested in any financial gain...just for promoting his legacy.
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Old 07-03-2015, 11:32 PM #4
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

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Originally Posted by Andrew124C41 View Post
Thanks for your reply. I have seen a lot of stuff on Alibaba. Some companies say they have 10 W blue laser pointers...I can't believe that. You could not fit in a heat sink. However, there are some manufactures that have gotten good feedback (if it is real) that suggests the lasers may work. Generally, I know the basics. However, where do you guys go for details in construction? If you saw my bio, you know I am doing work on my grandfather's legacy. He came to the US from Luxembourg at the dawn of the 20th century to sell a battery. Initially, he was an inventor. Then he became a publisher and started the genre of Science Fiction. It is this for which he is best known. He was also a proponent of amateur radio and had the first wireless set for sale. He was a friend and colleague of Tesla, Edison, Marconi, Sarnoff, DeForest, among others. He had one of the first radio stations, WRNY and one of the first TV transmissions for amateurs. Anyway, I am creating websites, one for education about him and many interesting materials as well as a memorial society. I know he would be absolutely wild about today's lasers. So, promotionally, I may create or have created some laser and call it the Gernsback..something like that...sell them or have them sold. I am not interested in any financial gain...just for promoting his legacy.
1 piece of advice never buy from aliexpress lasers. They can rate a 100mw laser to be 10w. As for building lasers, check this out
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Old 07-04-2015, 01:35 AM #5
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew124C41 View Post
Thanks for your reply. I have seen a lot of stuff on Alibaba. Some companies say they have 10 W blue laser pointers...I can't believe that. You could not fit in a heat sink. However, there are some manufactures that have gotten good feedback (if it is real) that suggests the lasers may work.

Generally, I know the basics. However, where do you guys go for details in construction?

If you saw my bio, you know I am doing work on my grandfather's legacy. He came to the US from Luxembourg at the dawn of the 20th century to sell a battery. Initially, he was an inventor. Then he became a publisher and started the genre of Science Fiction. It is this for which he is best known. He was also a proponent of amateur radio and had the first wireless set for sale. He was a friend and colleague of Tesla, Edison, Marconi, Sarnoff, DeForest, among others. He had one of the first radio stations, WRNY and one of the first TV transmissions for amateurs.

Anyway, I am creating websites, one for education about him and many interesting materials as well as a memorial society. I know he would be absolutely wild about today's lasers. So, promotionally, I may create or have created some laser and call it the Gernsback..something like that...sell them or have them sold. I am not interested in any financial gain...just for promoting his legacy.
Wow that's awesome. I wish my ancestors did something like that .
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:54 AM #6
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

Welcome to the forum. Loved reading what you wrote, WOW!!
You have a great avatar, what a piece of technology she is.
The members here will give you great advice, guidance and links to build kits.
Have fun and be safe.
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Old 07-04-2015, 03:42 PM #7
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew124C41 View Post
Thanks for your reply. I have seen a lot of stuff on Alibaba. Some companies say they have 10 W blue laser pointers...I can't believe that. You could not fit in a heat sink. However, there are some manufactures that have gotten good feedback (if it is real) that suggests the lasers may work.

Generally, I know the basics. However, where do you guys go for details in construction?

If you saw my bio, you know I am doing work on my grandfather's legacy. He came to the US from Luxembourg at the dawn of the 20th century to sell a battery. Initially, he was an inventor. Then he became a publisher and started the genre of Science Fiction. It is this for which he is best known. He was also a proponent of amateur radio and had the first wireless set for sale. He was a friend and colleague of Tesla, Edison, Marconi, Sarnoff, DeForest, among others. He had one of the first radio stations, WRNY and one of the first TV transmissions for amateurs.

Anyway, I am creating websites, one for education about him and many interesting materials as well as a memorial society. I know he would be absolutely wild about today's lasers. So, promotionally, I may create or have created some laser and call it the Gernsback..something like that...sell them or have them sold. I am not interested in any financial gain...just for promoting his legacy.
good luck andrew
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:09 AM #8
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

Generally, you can build a laser for a lot less than it would cost to purchase a finished product.
and by "build" I mean solder two wires.

A simple 1W 445nm laser using a budgetbeams kit and DTR's 1.8W diode would cost you about $59 (plus cost of 2 batteries, a charger, shipping on the two orders, ect...)

A lot of people enjoy building them. For me, that's the funnest part.
Other people just want a powerful laser, and would rather pay the extra money to have one already built.
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Old 07-07-2015, 05:54 PM #9
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

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Originally Posted by Mohrenberg View Post
Generally, you can build a laser for a lot less than it would cost to purchase a finished product.
and by "build" I mean solder two wires.

A simple 1W 445nm laser using a budgetbeams kit and DTR's 1.8W diode would cost you about $59 (plus cost of 2 batteries, a charger, shipping on the two orders, ect...)

A lot of people enjoy building them. For me, that's the funnest part.
Other people just want a powerful laser, and would rather pay the extra money to have one already built.
For a beginner this is definitely the way to go.

Cost, reliability and getting what you actually paid for!

If you are handy with a soldering iron you can save a few bucks more, but then you accept the responsibility if you destroy it.
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Old 07-15-2015, 11:47 AM #10
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

In this laser education kit is a real laser and a laser is a very specialized piece of equipment so whether you are preparing for the zombie apocolypse or world domination
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:14 PM #11
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

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In this laser education kit is a real laser and a laser is a very specialized piece of equipment so whether you are preparing for the zombie apocolypse or world domination
Wat.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:51 PM #12
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

What Moh said. I basically just build and build and put them away in cases. I've got 4 I finished in the last couple weeks and haven't even bothered to measure their outputs yet lol.
There are some very respectable sellers/manufacturers of complete lasers such as laserbtb, jetlasers, CNI and even more respectable builders right here and we have members too that sell all the necessary pieces parts to build from simple like Moh said to more complex where you put all the components together yourself but that requires a bunch of things such as soldering iron, shrink tubing, test load, variable AC/DC power supply, multimeter, driver for the diode, pill, contact board, heat-sink etc...
So, I would recommend for someone just starting out to either buy one from a reputable seller, buy one from the Buy/sell/trade (but this require some discernment) or do what Moh said so it's a very simple 2 wire connection. You will still need batteries (preferably good quality) and a charger (preferably good quality) but the batteries are not that expensive and a good quality 4 port charger will run around 35-50 but that's also a good investment because once you have one it can charge pretty mucheap any of the different size and capacity we use.
Most important of all though is the appropriate safety glasses and reading up on how to safely handle the different power units which mostly comes down to whether you are over or under 5mW. Hope this helps
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Old 07-15-2015, 08:55 PM #13
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

@Pman. I decided to build for all the reasons everyone said, not to mention the fact that I have been tinkering with electronics since I was a child. My grandfather had something called the Gernsback Library and Radio Electronics Magazine. I was about 8 years old and build a DC motor from a spook using one of his books. Of course today, that is nothing. Compared to these kids curing cancer and making nuclear material I am a moron. lol. I was into CB and amateur radio fooling with that stuff. Now I build PCs. So, what's wrong with a laser? lol Additionally, I need to design a Gernsback or Hugo promotional laser...something uniqu....special...so might as well start now!
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Old 07-15-2015, 09:14 PM #14
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

Well I didn't make nuclear material but was a Nuclear Reactor Operator in the USNavy for 10 years before being medically retired due to kidney issues. That was back 86-96.
It's really not that hard to build once you have what you need. I would still suggest starting with what Moh suggested for your first one to see what you are getting into a specially since his 3 kits are an outstanding deal. I like to build but bought a couple kits from him just because I couldn't get the parts that cheap. If you buy a complete module from DTR that includes a diode lens and driver that are already wired in a 12mm module it's just tightening down the module in the heat-sink, connecting your + and - wires and putting the batteries in the right direction. You would also be able to see how it is all put together too. Just a suggestion to get you going. They both ship quick.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:48 PM #15
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

I also found these posts useful and relevant, thanks all.

I also owe Andrew's Grandfather a posthumous thank you for his contributions to my favorite genre (and arguably the most influential in human history). Thank you Hugo Gernsback!

Andrew, I intend to start as was suggested here, with a budget beams kit and a DTR module. I think for about $40-$50 you can have a complete laser in the 1W range.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:12 PM #16
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Default Re: Purchasing Lasers or laser kits

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Originally Posted by Andrew124C41 View Post
@Pman. I decided to build for all the reasons everyone said, not to mention the fact that I have been tinkering with electronics since I was a child. My grandfather had something called the Gernsback Library and Radio Electronics Magazine. I was about 8 years old and build a DC motor from a spook using one of his books. Of course today, that is nothing. Compared to these kids curing cancer and making nuclear material I am a moron. lol. I was into CB and amateur radio fooling with that stuff. Now I build PCs. So, what's wrong with a laser? lol Additionally, I need to design a Gernsback or Hugo promotional laser...something uniqu....special...so might as well start now!
Re : promotional lasers for sale in USA---anything over 5mW can not be sold or distributed in USA and you would need to comply wtih all the FDA rules and regulations for manufacturing lasers for any laser regardless of output. See FDA rules here: Laws, Regulations, and Standards

Re kits -- Nobody can even supply a complete kit including laser diode in USA that when assembled outputs more than 5mW ---you will need to buy host from one source and diode from another for anything more powerful.

Here are the current FDA rules concerning pointers : Does FDA regulate these new powerful laser "pointers" and are they hazardous?

If you want a top shelf laser that is manufactured have a look at JetLasers ---they are highest quality available, professional level lasers and customer service is the best that there is see: JETLASERS.ORG

Last edited by Encap; 07-22-2015 at 09:29 PM.
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