Old 12-04-2007, 04:19 AM #1
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Default Alpha 125 Review

OK I order my product on the 21 of November and have received it today.... at first I had regular shipping but then it got upgraded to tnt because they didnít tell me that my first laser didnít pass quality control and it finally got shipped out on the 30th so ya 9 days just for it to ship not to bad I guess but then again they did give me tnt shipping to make up for it so its all good maybe even better time than reg. air mail.

On to the review

I opened up the box and man was this thing packed good 3 lairs of bubble wrap one cardboard case another lair of bubble wrap then aluminum case then the foam then the laser : ) so ya I donít think any harm was done to this bad baby : ) o ya on the box the specs were 134.9 mw peak and 130.3 avg. ok... 5mw over what I bough not to bad : )

anyway after getting thro all the lasers defensive packaging I quickly read over all 4 pages of directions : ) and then installed my NIMH batteries that were charged on the 20th of November today is the 3rd of December...... the dot was about as bright as maybe a bit more than my dx50 I was really un impressed about 1/2 maybe even 1/4 the brightness of my dx200.... and was after looking over the serial number on the box and then the one on my laser they didnít match up so I thought and maybe still am thinking that they shipped the wrong laser or maybe that they just wrote it down wrong on the box its xxxx504 and on the laser in the batteries tube its xxxx405 ? I think it was just written down wrong but I am going to ask tomorrow just so that way its on paper to increase I ever have to send this thing back.

Anyway back to the power issue this thing wouldnít even sting my hand. But then I noticed that it was really bright then got dim so I figured maybe the batteries were dead. but they were just chard a few weeks ago didnít make much since but anyway I tried a fresh set of alkaline and man did the power go up it was instantly as bright or maybe a tad bit brighter than my dx200 I was ok happy since I spend 365 on a 125mw laser and 120 on a 200mw laser and they were about the same except one takes AA and the other AAA. So with the power about the same I set out side to light matches. the alpha lights matches a bit further away then the Dx does so I am happier at this point knowing that this laser is superior to my dx : )

next would be the beam specs at 13' away it was approx 1cm in diameter and at 53' it was about 3.3cm in diameter this gives me a mrad angle of 1.8 mrad the exact same as my dx :| . Here I am kind of disappointed as the specs on the web sight say <1.2 mrad. so I figured this count be right so I put both lasers side by side and ran down my 53' hall way and the end result was to identical dots, well almost the alphas dot was more round than the dx but other than that they were the same size :|

Batteries power
Ok so I decide I would try something. I put the AAA batteries inside the laser and put a spacer in their so it would touch the cap. The result. A dot that was 1/2 as bright as the dx that used the exact same batteries before and after the alpha did. The measured 1.4v. Now this test may not be all that accurate as the spacer may have added resistance or something like that I donít know but it just doesnít seem right. But also I think my meter is inaccurate to because alkaline at 1.5 volts look dimmer than NiMH AA at 1.4V but brighter than AAA at 1.4V..... Doesnít make much since I think my meter is messed up giving me inaccurate results anyway

Compare and contrast
* *ALPHA *DX
Beam appearance * *same for both
power *Seems to be same
Batteries * *AA AAA *I like the AA better they seem to last longer
Construction great * ok
Price * *ok great
Aperture cap love the feature doesnít have
3 sec delay good feature * *doesnít have
Key switch donít use it *doesnít have it
Safety remover thing * *good doesnít have

Ok now I have a question about this thing. Since the button dose not lock would it is possible to tape the button down and put a switch on the safety remover thing so I would effective have a switch instead of a button? Would that be ok to energize the thing like that? Or could the sudden introduction of power hurt it?

Ok over all I like this laser. It really is a great laser and I love the mega matrices diffraction grading that came with it its cool. But if itís worth the extra 200$ to upgrade to it from a dx version I donít know. Maybe I am one of the few that actually got a great dx product that puts some mw. If I had to choose I would pick the alpha over it just because itís built so much better and has better customer support

Hope you like my review and if theirs any questions you have I will answer them.... I donít have a good enough camera to capture beam shots so donít ask for those : ) I know that questions going to come up : ) but if I had the camera I would take a few pictures because their worth more than words : )


(just lookd but on the paperwork its got xxxx504)


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Old 12-04-2007, 03:17 PM #2
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

regarding your divergance figures: *were you wearing goggles at the time you measured the beam? *Were you exact in that? *

the reason I ask is because I thought my divergance was off, too. *I measured the spot on a black piece of paper, and thought it was around 1.8mR divergence. *But, when I put goggles on to measure it, I could clearly see the edges of the dot, and it cut my divergence in half.
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:47 PM #3
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

Yes...Unless you are wearing goggles, you really can't pick up the beam "DOT"..
Even on flat black paper your eyes will just be oversaturate with green reflection.


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Old 12-04-2007, 04:07 PM #4
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

ur the first person ive seen that likes the 3 sec delay..
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:23 PM #5
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

Uh...I like the 3 sec delay too. That's one of the reasons that I actually got this laser. Got a son that will be two in February, and on the off chance that I leave the laser lying around, with the aperture open, dongle in, and keyswitch on, that gives me a little time to react if he grabs it.
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Old 12-04-2007, 05:50 PM #6
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

Just wondering, but are those NiMH batteries giving the full 1.5V that alkaline batteries do, or the 1.2V many such batteries do? See if alkaline batteries give you better results.

I do have to say I don't like the divergence of these brands of lasers (CNI-type), as it does widen up quite quickly, especially compared to the el cheapo type DX lasers, or even a regular pointer. I wonder if there are any lenses, etc. to fix that problem.
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:38 PM #7
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

If the Alpha has as good of a driver as the X, and I am sure it does, then the battery used should not matter. Alkalines are the worst to use in these because they sag at higher currents....fully charged Nimh batteries would be much better.

E2 Lithiums would also be good and I bet Eneloops would work well too.

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Glad to know you finally received it... Thanks for the review..
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:54 PM #8
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

Oh to measure divergence you have to have glasses? hu because I did noticed tat a bit with my tented safety glasses their was an outer dot and a brighter inner dot... guess I will measure that again and yes I was precise but I will re measure just incase.... also about the batteries fully chard nimh batteries work great but they only stay fully charged for an day or so then they loose their charge.... I guess I am happier today with it since I just pulled the batteries out of the charger and it wars bright and power full a bit more powerful then my dx but not buy much... guess I was just expecting more for 360$ but donít get me wrong this is a good laser the quality is awesome way better than the dx plus it looks like a serious laser by its size but it kind of let me down in the power area and the dot size. I guess I was just hopping for a better laser thatís all but this thing good would problem buy another and I will keep this one I just have to make a trip to the store to buy some new nimh batteries as I noticed I have had these for about 3-4 years and they problem have a 300-400 charges on them.... hopefully that will make it better..... I hope

Thanks for all your suggestions.

o I have one more question is their any way to use the 3.6v lithiumís in this say one with a dummy spacer I know they peak at 4.2 volts then drop down. would their be a way to maybe put a resistor or driver in it to keep it at a constant 3.2 volts until the batteries goes under that? I am not very good at electronics yet so I would need allot of help if this is even possible. Also would it affect current? Because I believe my main problem right now is the power source because I just bough a pack of cheep alkaline and they worked fairly well and my recharged NiMH worked great.

Anyway any help with that will be greatly appreciated
Thanks Michael

O ya where did you get your end loops at? Best buy or could they be at Wal-Mart?
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:05 PM #9
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

I am not sure if best buy has them but I know circuit city does. However I have ordered all of mine from Battery Bob.

http://batterybob.com/

Using even a single li-ion battery would most likely void your warranty. I am sure you will find the Eneloops will work out great with your laser.

About the divergence...it is very hard to measure it even with goggles on. I measured my X and got about a 2. BUT I measured using a black background, and the light still spreads out so much it's hard to tell exactly where to measure.

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Old 12-04-2007, 10:12 PM #10
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

Ok so I wonít do that.
About my NiMH batteries about 20 min off the charger and its looking like a 20mw pointer but when I first got them off and they were hot it was working great. The thing is these batteries hooked up to my dx power it up fine. so I am wondering if the power is under 3v that it doesnít light up very will but if its above it works great.... u know I love the quality of this laser but I hate that it wont use the nimh batteries but yet my cheaper dx will and great at that
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:22 PM #11
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

Since your batteries do not hold a charge for more than a day, they are shot. The reason they seem to work fine in the DX is possibly because the DX isn't as well regulated. I know that sounds strange, but everyone seems to think the DX is a better burner when running on Lithiums as apposed to Nimh. Therefore the driver is not providing good regulation. With my Nova it doesn't matter. The output stays the same.

A wild guess would be the Nova starts to get dim when Nimh batteries reach .8 to 1 volt each.
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:44 PM #12
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

No itís not the batteries fault because they read 1.5 each. It was the fact that the laser was cold their for the out put was very very low after holding it on for 100 seconds the power shot up and now is defiantly brighter than by dx with better burning ability further away but the same close up. Ya ya I am happy. Never had a laser that had to warm up. The room temp is about 65-70 degrees. The case was cold but it became warm after 130 seconds
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:51 PM #13
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

But then that dosent make much since.... why would the batteries work better when they were just off the charger than if they sat for a few min.... also why does the laser work great with fresh batteries off the charger but then has to warm up after its sat a few min?
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Old 12-04-2007, 10:52 PM #14
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

That probably explains some of it. My room Temp. is 80 degrees and it takes at least 10 seconds for the laser to warm up and even a little longer before it peaks.

However your Nimh batteries are no good if they lose their charge after only a day.

A new Nimh battery will only lose 1 to 2% of its capacity per day. The Eneloops will still have appx. 85% of their capacity left after a year.
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:03 PM #15
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

Yay my alpha has hope yet to please me... as i am happy now that i have figured out it takes a wile to warm up to get its power becaus now its brighter than my dx and burns better : ) after 100-130 seconds then it gets pretty warm after 180 seconds

should hope to pick up new batteries tomorrow dont kno if they will be endloops tho. how do the dercell rechargabls work vs my enegizers i have now?
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Old 12-04-2007, 11:09 PM #16
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Default Re: Alpha 125 Review

Get Eneloops if you can. Or any low self discharge nimh would be better than a regular Nimh.

I am curious... is the capacity of your Energizers 2500ma's? If so there were a lot of reported problems with those batteries.
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