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Advice needed on the purchase of a moderate to high power laser pointer

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Hi guys,

I just found this forum... but have been looking around the various laser websites for a couple weeks now, and was just about to make a purchase from Wicked Lasers... until I saw all the negative comments on this board, so I thought I would post my needs and get some advice on where to buy (and what, for that matter!)

I am a retired engineer living in S.E. Asia, and when I was young I had a real love of lasers - wen't so far as to build 2 myself - a HENE and a pumped CO2. The first always worked fine... the second had cooling issues lol (I was only 15).

I am now looking for something to start off a new collection that I hope will grow to include some more home built once I get back in to the scene, but for now... I want something to liven up the parties here. :D

I am looking for something hopefully with 2 settings - low/moderate and high, to prevent accidents. In the high setting (the only important setting really - if it does not have a low/high switch then I will go with power) that is strong enough to pop balloons at a distance of about 30' or so. Say across a small bar :)

After researching I was about to go with a 300-400mw laser. Color is probably best to be green, since most of the balloons here tend to be red/orange - tho you do get some blue ones from time to time.. There will always be red ones about :)

So... what are your recommendations and why? Cost is not too much of an issue - the cheaper the better really (always!!), but if I had to fork out $500 for a laser I would. Its well worth the entertainment value i'm sure it will be. Lasers are very popular here - street vendors sell them every day/night, but usually in the 5-20mw range (I saw a 100mw once - but he wanted 9000 baht - $300)

Anyhoo - Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

(Shipping will be to the USA, where it will be packed over here by a friend in his carry on luggage)

Thanks!


Dave
 

BKarim

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you will never get a real 100 mW with a street vendor. there is a FAQ and a list of good vendors on the "green lasers" forum.
 

Kevlar

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Welcome to LPF!! :wave:

If you're looking for a green with 300mW to 400mW and have up to $500 to spend, you should be able to find a nice unit.

I think you will get the most for your money from Jetlasers. I would get in on a group buy they are running here: http://laserpointerforums.com/f55/jetlasers-gb-3-now-58971.html I don't think there has been one complaint about their products, just praises.

There are a lot of companies out there but only a few with very good quality products.

Take a look in the Companies section and the Reviews section to get a good idea on what companies to buy from, and which ones to stay away from.

I'm sure some other members will chime in with their opinions as well.

Good luck!! :beer:
 
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405nm would pop all colors of balloons with the exception of clear, and it might pop them also. The shorter wavelengths pack more energy per milliwatt. 400mw 405 will burn most anything you want. If You want 2 power settings You might have to go with a custom. Check with DTR here on LPF.

Welcome to the forum.
 

Ash

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Hey Dave. Welcome to the forum. :D

While it would be great to have a 400mW green laser to show off with, it seems overkill and impractical for just lighting matches and popping balloons from a distance.
Really, you can do this with a 100-150mW laser, and even then, the possibility of permanently injuring the eyes of on-lookers is very high. Not to mention the possibility of a large amount of IR (infrared) laser light that comes along with non IR-filtered green lasers.
Any laser that can pop balloons (even some that can't) will permanently damage your vision if the laser (or a reflection) hits your eye for even a split-second. Everyone here who has high-powered lasers also has safety glasses to protect their vision (while burning/popping/lasing) from stray beams entering their eye.

Just so you are aware:
Red glasses are used to protect against green lasers.
Orange glasses are used to protect against blue lasers.
Green or blue glasses are used to protect against red lasers.
Strangely enough, almost all the cheaper lasers we purchase are manufactured in China, and take about 2-weeks (or more) to arrive in the US. You may be able to order a laser from one of the trusted sites (in China) and have it shipped to you (S.E. Asia) much faster than having it shipped to the US and brought to you by a friend.

OK. So, enough with the safety lesson. Here are my recommendations for lasers:
1. o-like is a great company that tests their lasers and guarantees the output will be up-to-spec. I would go with a 100-150 or 200mW green 532nm (and red safety glasses) from them.
Link--> 100mW transformable green laser/adjustable [OLV6100] - $81.99 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products - New cute pocket Green laser 150mW /adjustable [OLCGL150] - $99.99 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products or 200mW transformable green laser/adjustable [OLV6200] - $122.99 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products
safety glasses: 405nm,450nm,473nm,532nm laser safety goggles [OLGLG532] - $19.99 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products (personally, I use multi-wavelength glasses for un-filtered greens: Multiple Wavelength )
You could go with a higher-powered laser but IMO 200mW of green is plenty.
If you want burning power with less beam visibility, you could go with a 200mW red 660nm.
Link--> New Style red laser 200mW /adjustable [OLNRL200] - $45.99 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products or www.rayfoss.com
safety glasses: (personally, these are what I use: Protection Glasses for 650nm Red Laser
Right now. There is a great deal of interest in blue lasers, as a new 1Watt 445nm diode has recently been made available to the public, and there are numerous places selling ~1W (1000mW) blue lasers for around $200.
Link--> www.rayfoss.com or Real 1W 445nm blue Laser torch/waterproof/focusable [OL-1W-445] - $209.00 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products
and safety glasses: 405nm,445nm,808nm,1064nm safety goggles/200-450,800-2000nm [OLLS1064] - $45.99 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products or the multi-wavelength ones (what I use for 445nm): Multiple Wavelength
But, you need to be extremely careful with 1Watt of laser power, you can really injure yourself with this one if you are not careful. Even looking at the spot from this one on a white wall can cause permanent damage to your vision.
Good luck finding a laser that will fit your needs. :)
 




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