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5mW Blu-Ray Laser Pointer from DX - Detailed Review

styropyro

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DealExtreme 5mW Blu-Ray Laser Pointer

The Basics
This laser is one of DealExtreme's newest additions to their lasers. This laser comes in advertised powers from 5mW up to 100mW, with very low prices increases between most powers. For US buyers, the 5mW version is the only one available so I decided to give it a shot.

Shipping/Packaging
Shipping took about a month from China, but I ordered this while the website said it was back ordered so this should come in faster to buyers when it is in stock. Like I said earlier, this laser is legally shippable to the US. The packaging was a padded envelope. The laser itself came in a cheap black presentation box with spots for the laser and two AAA batteries (included).


Overall Appearance/Feel
This laser overall looks like your typical NewWish brand laser pen.


The switch is a momentary push button which has a solid click. The laser is very heavy for its size which is a big plus IMO because it feels well made. The warning sticker is accurate by showing a violet beam instead of the standard red beam.


Visibility/Output
Visibility is what you would expect for only 5mW of 405nm, not very bright. My original intention when getting this laser was to pot mod it, but then it would be just like any violet laser we have today. With a somewhat "eye safe" pointer I can bring it into public if I want and still demonstrate all of the tricks it can do. Also, at only 5mW the color of the violet won't wash out the fluorescence color of some objects. Here is this laser fluorescing on paper (My camera can't pick up straight 405nm very well so all of the pictures of this laser will show it fluorescing on something.)


In a well lit room from up close, the violet appears about as bright as a cheap red laser pointer. Thanks to daguin for the red pointer!


There beam is pretty clean, the only artifacts are almost invisible and aren't any worse than out DIY builds.

The beam diameter of this laser is fairly large because of it being just a laser diode with a lens slapped in front, but because of this the divergence is great. I have seen many complaints on the DX forums about this laser having crappy divergence, but I can almost guarantee that this is just the 405nm fuzzy dot eye trick that is just messing with them. Human eyes have trouble perceiving this color correctly, so this laser is not good for distance pointing because the dot appears blurry over a distance.

The beam at night is actually pretty visible as long as where ever you are using it is pitch black. The beam doesn't have a violet color like higher powered violets have, it appears more gray than anything. Here is a beam shot in some fog:


Fluorescence
As you would guess, this laser is perfect for fluorescence tricks! At only 5mW, the color of the violet won't wash out the color of some objects that only fluoresce a small amount. Half the objects sitting around the house will glow under a 405nm beam, usually glowing blue. Here is a picture of this laser shining off a Vaseline glass marble:


This laser also works great at "charging" Glow-in-the-Dark items, I have a GITD board that this works perfect with.

Innards
This laser is not easy to disassemble, so don't try it unless you have to. I use the wood blocks/vise trick which works great. From the outside, the module itself resembles the green modules used in NewWish pointers.


The board is a boost driver so it looks different than the typical drivers in NewWish lasers. It has a pot which would probably work if you wanted more power out of it, my theory is that all of these violet pointers up to at least the 50mW use the same laser diode pushed to different currents. Here are some pictures of the driver:



The laser module disassembles into three main parts: the driver/laser diode, the lens, and the part that screws into the pen cap.


The lens appears to be an AR coated Aixiz lens! It has the same threads that fit in an aixiz module, and it even has that back part that most of us cut out for more power.


Burning
Even at only 5mW, this laser can pull off some minor burning tricks when focused down with an external lens. I am able to get a couple puffs of smoke from my leather wallet, and thats probably about it. Don't buy this if you expect it to burn.


Overall: This is a great laser for the price, it would be impossible for us to try to DIY something like this for the price that runs of AAAs. This laser costs less than the flexdrive alone and is easily wroth the money.

Video:
 
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daguin

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Good review!

We need to find out what the driver is capable of. Soon these little pointers will be less expensive than buying a driver.

Peace,
dave
 

randomlugia

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Nice review! Looks like a nice laser. With these things out now, PS3 diodes will probably become extinct.
 

styropyro

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Good review!

We need to find out what the driver is capable of. Soon these little pointers will be less expensive than buying a driver.

Peace,
dave
Even if these drivers are capable of only 120mA they will be worth the money, it would be as easy as throwing in a PHR and having a 100mW blu-ray pen for $30! This entire pen alone is less money than a flexdrive, and the driver is still pretty small too. The price of these will drop in the future too, I remember when the True 5 was around $20 and now it's down to $10. There could be some potential in this driver.
 

lazerov

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Nice review!
What is the colour of AR coating? It looks bluish on the picture.

I think this is the driver:
http://www.o-like.com/b2b_cpinfo.asp?id=1034
The picture is from O-like site:

Only difference except the PCB colour are the one extra cap and the "strange black thing" (on the other side of PCB) instead of switch on the O-like driver.
 
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Excellent review!

Adding to RT immediately!

Thanks for taking the plunge with these :)
Will you tweak the pot to try increasing the power? (I have the same theory).

I was gonna buy some 50mW pens but I'm waiting for them to become widely available like the 30mW True Green, see how cheap it is now. When I first bought mine it was like 24 bucks, and even then it was cheap!
 

styropyro

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Video added!

I'm not going to mess with the pot just yet because I only want this to be a pointer, but if I get more I'll try modding one. I have some more DX points to spend so I might get another one of these soon.
 
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Video added!

I'm not going to mess with the pot just yet because I only want this to be a pointer, but if I get more I'll try modding one. I have some more DX points to spend so I might get another one of these soon.
How do you use the DX points?

I've got like 190 points (43 available, don't ask me about the other ones, IDK what they're doing with them) and I can only use them on those cheap useless redeemable (most out of stock :p) items.
 

styropyro

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How do you use the DX points?

I've got like 190 points (43 available, don't ask me about the other ones, IDK what they're doing with them) and I can only use them on those cheap useless redeemable (most out of stock :p) items.
I have like 2000 pending too, there is a bug in the system that doesn't activate the points. The only way I have found that works to use the inactive points is to first start a ticket complaining about how your points won't activate, then in a week when they reply they will tell you that you can use your inactive points as long as they are over 60 days old at the rate of 1pt = 0.10 USD. Then you make an order for something (it can be anything, something under $1 if you want to save money), give them the order number and the sku of the items you want. If all of your points are over 60 days old, then you have $19 in store credit.
 

Gryphon

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Thats pretty neat how theres an Aixiz lens in there. I wonder how hard that driver/diode can be pushed.
 
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I have like 2000 pending too, there is a bug in the system that doesn't activate the points. The only way I have found that works to use the inactive points is to first start a ticket complaining about how your points won't activate, then in a week when they reply they will tell you that you can use your inactive points as long as they are over 60 days old at the rate of 1pt = 0.10 USD. Then you make an order for something (it can be anything, something under $1 if you want to save money), give them the order number and the sku of the items you want. If all of your points are over 60 days old, then you have $19 in store credit.
Thanks, I'm going to try it :)
 
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Nice review. But its kind of sneaky adding your DX member points number to your link. So everyone who clicks your link gets info added to their cookies and you make points off anything they buy. Now and in the future. So users should delete their cookies after they have clicked the link. Unless they want to donate to your DX fund, that is.
What's the big deal about it? I don't know why it bothers you, it's either:

A: Member buys something off DX, nobody gets points.
B: Member buys something off DX, styropyro gets points.

B >> A ; I'd rather somebody having points than nobody.
 

G Fourty

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What's the big deal about it? I don't know why it bothers you, it's either:

A: Member buys something off DX, nobody gets points.
B: Member buys something off DX, styropyro gets points.

B >> A ; I'd rather somebody having points than nobody.

Totally agree with you Niko, Pyro reviewed the laser for everyone.. He should get the points. I can understnd how it may look "sneaky" but why does it bother you? If you made a DX purchase you wouldn't want a fellow forumer to get some DX points? BTW Tech before you buy anything from Optotronics, be sure to click the link in my sig. ; )

-Greg
 

styropyro

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I've always thrown in my DX referral link in my reviews, I don't see it as sneaky. I'm doing a favor for DX by reviewing and advertising their product, I do the same thing on my Youtube reviews. This is how the DX referral program is supposed to work, I review their product, if people like it, they buy it and I get a little bit of the cut. I've made over $400 with my DX referral points, and those points funded the laser in this review which shows others what it's like.
 
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Who the hell rated this thread as 1/5? And why the hell can't I rate any threads? "You have already rated this thread" WTH.
 
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Yeah when I try to rate threads it says I already voted. I was going to post a thread about it, but its not important.

Ive seen you guys chew out people a bunch of times who had their DX reference numbers in a link. So what is different now? And it is kind of sneaky. You have this giant link with no reference to the DX points shown.
"You guys"? Please be more specific.
 




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