Old 11-29-2007, 04:52 PM #1
SenKat
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
SenKat
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Nova Lasers Alpha-85 Portable laser review !

Well folks, it is that time of year again.... Time to make up your mind about what to buy yourself for Christmas, Kwanza, Chanukah (sp??) etc..... This year, if the laser elves are doing their job correctly, I should receive a nice care package from NOVA ! I mean, I am not being Greedy I don't think....I am being sensible ! I think a complete matched set of all their offerings would look FANTASTIC up on my shelf ! Going from little, to bigger, to biggest !

Nova sent an Alpha-85 to review and post my findings, and I am eager to share the information with you. First impressions go a long way, and naturally Nova stuns you in the first split second of opening the package as per their norm ! The little metal storage cases that we have all come to know and love evidently comes in other sizes as well :-)

The case has foam cut out for the laser itself, two batteries, and two smaller “squarish” cut-outs for the keys, and possibly a diffraction grating cap as well :-)

The Nova Alpha is a hardy laser, built by CNI for Nova, and up to the standards of Nova's quality that we have become used to. Other companies may market this laser labeled under different names, but I would recommend the Alpha over the others based solely on Nova’s customer satisfaction, and level of service.

SAFETY

The Alpha-85 has several safety features. Some call them annoying, I lean more towards the “liking them” area instead of not liking them. There is a twistable aperture shutter on the front (erm…the aperture end, of course ! ) that I REALLY like ! Not only does it prevent the laser’s beam from hitting anything on accident, but it also keeps debris and pocket lint outta the aperture ! I LOVE that ! As a nice coincidence, the diffraction gratings that Nova sells fit right on the end of the laser, and you can control the aperture shutter by turning the whole diffraction grating when it is installed.
Another feature is the emissions indication LED near the button – it lights up to let you know that you have energized the laser, and if it were not for that spiffy little aperture shutter, you would be lasing all over the place right now !
There is a “Dead man’s switch” installed on this laser – or a “dongle” if you will – it is simply a 2.5mm headphone type jack that inserts in, and completes the circuit. I DON’T like the way that sits on the side of the laser, and I think it would improve the looks of the laser overall if there was a way to move it to the end of the unit. OR maybe somehow find a way to make it internal to the entire unit, but still have the feature – well, that will be for a future edition of the laser perhaps !
There is also a keyed switch in the tail cap. The issue with that is you can remove the key from the switch in either case – when it is on, or off. That strikes me as defeating the purpose of the keyed switch, if you can switch it on, and leave it that way ? Hmmm….another thing for the concept folks, perhaps !
The last, but certainly not least would be the 2.5 second delay for emissions. GAH ! That is certainly annoying, but not devastatingly so in my opinion. When describing it for others – you can always infer that the emissions delay is a great indicator of danger…..depends on how much you want to hype it up for your pals, I suppose !

USABILITY

The Alpha-85 is powered by 2 AA Batteries, Lithium, NiMh, Alkaline, etc – as long as they are 1.5v cells (approx) you will be fine with them….you definitely do NOT want o pop in 2 of those AA look-alike batteries that pump out 3.6v EACH ! POP…I am fairly certain that idiocy is NOT covered under the warranty from Nova [ch61514] The battery run time has not been measured by me – as I do not really stress out my lasers to that extreme where I run them to the max every day ! I can tell you that the tested output for 532nm light is pretty close to matching with Nova’s tests that are printed on the outside of the box. I used a few different meters to validate my test data. I used the LPM-1 on the 532nm setting (using an external ND filter, and doing the math myself !!) and I used a Die-4-thing thermal meter (This particular Alpha-85 (please keep that number in mind, as the model numbers coincide with the output power of the lasers in question !!) tested out at 110.8mw Peak (Nova tested it at 109.6) and the over-all average of this laser is 101.8mw (Nova tested it at 98.2mw) !!!
I LIKE the way this laser feels in the hand. Don't get me wrong, I think I am the original X-series #1 fan :-) BUT...The Alpha is winning me over, and FAST ! It is more substantial, LOOKS more like a portable laser, rather than a "pointer" I know those are merely words, but it means something to me, and might mean something to you as well if you give this laser series a shot. My tastes are graduating, I suppose - I want it to feel more powerful, and more useful - even though it is rated EXACTLY the same as my X-series was ! Now, with the Alpha series, you get a little bit longer run time (200 seconds on, and 20 seconds off) and it never even feels warm when you approach that time limit. I stuck fairly close to the duty cycle on this laser to test the temperature - I may have ran it 5 seconds over or under the duty cycle, but there was NO increase in temperature with this laser. The laser consistently put out the specified power levels, and came on EVERY time to max power pretty fast. I was warned that previous models of this laser from CNI were not very stable – and had even experienced that once before with a different companies’ rendition of the Alpha Series. Evidently, Nova shook up CNI a bit and has them handing out the best of the best to them !

I purchased the Mega-matrix diffraction grating that fits on this laser, as I am thoroughly addicted to Nova’s diffraction grating selection ! The grating “cap” slides perfectly on top of the aperture cover, and you can rotate the cover with the grating, all in one motion. Makes it SUPER easy to use the gratings with this laser, and I do not anticipate the lens ever getting dirty, since I use the aperture cover consistently. I have heard of some folks either asking Nova, or modifying them by themselves to remove the 3 second delay, or the aperture cover, etc…to me, that is kinda crazy, as the laser LOOKS better as-is, factory fresh from the box ! And it looks dangerous with all of those safety features ! I showed it to my neighbor, who immediately corralled his kids, telling them – “....get back – that thing is powerful” before he even was told what power level it was !

If I was faced with the decision of X-series and Alpha-series with the same output levels, I would go for the Alpha, hands down. You do not need an external case in order to carry it in your pocket, the aperture cover handles the lint protection gig pretty well ! I like the size difference, the run time difference, the fact that it seems to run very stable, and does NOT get hot like the X-series does ! I give this laser series an overwhelming recommendation !!! Buy this laser if you want rock solid performance, and value.


  Reply With Quote


















Old 11-29-2007, 04:53 PM #2
SenKat
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
SenKat
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Nova Lasers Alpha-85 Portable laser review !

Reserved for a pic montage
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2007, 10:54 PM #3
f22warzone's Avatar
Class 2M Laser
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 761
Rep Power: 53
f22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via AIM to f22warzone
f22warzone f22warzone is offline
Class 2M Laser
f22warzone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 761
Rep Power: 53
f22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via AIM to f22warzone
Default Re: Nova Lasers Alpha-85 Portable laser review !

Wow sounds great

Cant Waite to get mine 130mw : ) order the alpha 125 though only +5 better but still great [ch61514] .... Should be here Saturday anyway good review and thank you

Michael
__________________
X-125 Doing 136 Avg with 138mw peak..... Most stable DPSS I have ever seen by +-2mw
1.5W 523nm Viasho doing 1.78W : )
f22warzone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2007, 08:03 PM #4
Class 1M Laser
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 158
Rep Power: 13
stackingmont has a spectacular aura aboutstackingmont has a spectacular aura aboutstackingmont has a spectacular aura about
stackingmont stackingmont is offline
Class 1M Laser
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 158
Rep Power: 13
stackingmont has a spectacular aura aboutstackingmont has a spectacular aura aboutstackingmont has a spectacular aura about
Default Re: Nova Lasers Alpha-85 Portable laser review !

dang sounds like a nice laser... im debating with myself on whether i should get it... $239 is a lot for a 14 year old kid!
stackingmont is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 05:04 AM #5
SenKat
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
SenKat
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Nova Lasers Alpha-85 Portable laser review !

$239.00 is a lot for ANY age kid :-) But - if you are going to get into higher powered lasers at all, and if you expect quality, Nova's price cannot be beat, especially for that model !
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 12:31 PM #6
f22warzone's Avatar
Class 2M Laser
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 761
Rep Power: 53
f22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via AIM to f22warzone
f22warzone f22warzone is offline
Class 2M Laser
f22warzone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 761
Rep Power: 53
f22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via AIM to f22warzone
Default Re: Nova Lasers Alpha-85 Portable laser review !

239 is a lot but 369 is even more : ) 17 and still no job but have a 4.56 gpa : )

Anyway I have a question
When you put you some rechargeable in that laser how long will it continue to light matches if it even lights them at all..... Mine won’t light matches when i get the batteries out of the charger so I think it’s a battery problem well I hope it is....

Thanks Michael
__________________
X-125 Doing 136 Avg with 138mw peak..... Most stable DPSS I have ever seen by +-2mw
1.5W 523nm Viasho doing 1.78W : )
f22warzone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 05:06 PM #7
SenKat
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
SenKat
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Nova Lasers Alpha-85 Portable laser review !

It has no problems lighting matches - you have to use the correct methods to light matches - aim at the point where the match head material starts on the stick - some types of matches you have to "warm up" first by rubbing the protective coating off of them - others will light right out of the package !
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 06:36 PM #8
f22warzone's Avatar
Class 2M Laser
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 761
Rep Power: 53
f22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via AIM to f22warzone
f22warzone f22warzone is offline
Class 2M Laser
f22warzone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 761
Rep Power: 53
f22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond reputef22warzone has a reputation beyond repute
Send a message via AIM to f22warzone
Default Re: Nova Lasers Alpha-85 Portable laser review !

Well the matches I have light easily with my dx but not with my alpha I sure hope it dose better because I agree with you this thing feels like a real high powered laser and it looks way better plus I love the ability to close the lens off. Un like yours though mine did get warm to the touch after 3 180-20 sessions but that was just to test it and it really didn’t get that warm. and not even as warm as my dx gets after only 40 seconds : ) anyway thanks for your review and for any body out their I would seconded this that it is a remarkable laser and you have to feel it to believe it because it does have an awesome feel to it the only thing I don’t like would be the removable 'dead mans switch' but I do have some plans maybe when my warranty runs out such as maybe buying a 2.5mm head phone jack and hooking it up to my 3v battery pack I made for my dx and just putting 2 dummy cells in the laser. So then I would effectively have a nice portable laser show that doesn’t sacrifice run time or power plus I want to make it run both lasers so I have a really nice laser show. Also I got the mega metrics to and its awesome I love all the tinny beams that shoot up in the air (watch for airplanes because theirs hundreds of them).
__________________
X-125 Doing 136 Avg with 138mw peak..... Most stable DPSS I have ever seen by +-2mw
1.5W 523nm Viasho doing 1.78W : )
f22warzone is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply





Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

























Privacy Policy | Advertising Disclaimer | Terms of Use


 


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:03 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO
Privacy Policy | Advertising Disclaimer | Terms of Use
Copyright (C) 2017 Laser Pointer Forums, LLC