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All in one thread for beginning hobbyists

gozert

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New members often ask simple questions that have been answered countless times already. They usually get pointed towards the search bar on the bottom of the page, or get told to read stickies. But what if those search results or stickies are outdated? They make another thread, asking basically the same question because they couldn't find exactly what they were looking for, or because the thread contained lots of dead links/images. This thread is meant to address that issue and will instead of dead links and outdated info have links to up to date threads, companies, members etc.

This is a work in progress and I will be adding more and more to it as time passes.



Where to get quality lasers

Dragonlasers: A well known reseller of CNI lasers. Their lasers are of excellent quality and usually overspec. They aren't the cheapest around for sure, but you will definitely not be disappointed with it. Customer service is overall pretty good, with a few exception here and there.
Reviews for Dragonlasers: Spartan 445nm 1W, Spartan 532nm 200mW & 637nm 90mW, Spartan 589nm 50mW 1, 2, 3, Spartan 637nm 90mW, Viper 532nm 95mW, 2x Beam expander


Jetlasers: Extremely good customer service with nice lasers. They offer many different lasers with neat hosts, although some may find their hosts a tad bit too big. Some of their 532nm DPSS lasers tend (or used to) have problems with the tailcap not working properly, but other than that they're great lasers.
Reviews for Jetlasers: PL-E Pro 532nm 300mW, PL-E Pro 532nm 1W, PL-E Pro 473nm, Ti-B 532nm 150mW, 10x Beam expander


LaserBTB: Nice lasers with decent customer service. People tend to receive bad lasers every now and then, which is why I avoid them myself. However, when you do receive a good laser (which is usually the case), then there's nothing to complain about. The lasers often have a key switch and a shutter in front of the lens.
Reviews for LaserBTB: LP 532nm 150mW, PL 445nm 1.6W, HL 520nm 50mW, PL 650nm 1W, PL 532nm 200mW.


Optotronics: Definitely one of the best companies out there. Expensive, but you really get what you pay for with this one. Their RPL series lasers offer the best divergence and beam specs in a handheld laser out there. The pen lasers are quality units too, and won't disappoint you. Customer service is excellent without a doubt.
Reviews for Optotronics: Pen pointer 532nm 150mW, RPL 532nm 450mW 1, 2, RPL 532nm 260mW, RPL 473nm 30mW Viasho upgrade, Pen pointer 532nm 120mW.


Laserglow: If you live in a country where >5mW lasers are legal, then this is definitely a great company to get your lasers from. Also a CNI reseller, but with better quality control than Dragonlasers. The lasers they offer are rather expensive for a CNI reseller, but in return you are guaranteed a good working laser with a nice box to keep your laser in and the company logo along with laser's name will be engraved on the body of the laser. Customer service is also very good. Sadly they won't ship to any country that restricts >5mW lasers, so if that's the case then you're out of luck on this one.
Reviews for Laserglow: Polaris 447nm 100mW, Rigel 6 593.5nm 5mW, Rigel HV-Pro 589nm 50mW, Hercules 532nm 650mW, Electra 405nm <5mW.


Ultralasers: Another CNI reseller that offers pretty much everything you may want from CNI at an affordable price. Their lead time is usually >2 weeks, but that's no different when ordering from CNI directly. Their customer service, for as far as I and a few other members have seen is good. They're less known than the companies above, but not a bad choice to go with.
One review for Ultralasers is all I could find: Lab Style DHL-G500N 532nm 500mW.



Complete lasers from LPF

There are several laser builders here on LPF that sell nice pre-built lasers so you won't have to build them yourself. You won't find yourself a rare DPSS wavelength here, but otherwise they offer great laser in nice hosts.
I'm not going to recommend one over another here because, just like with the companies above, every builder has it's pros and cons.


Grainde: Well known for his unique Kryton Grooves. Offers very cool GITD (glow in the dark) hosts which you can have him build your desired laser in. Based in France/Germany but of course ships internationally just like everyone else.


Blord: Sells several different hosts to have your laser built in. Known for his Dominator and 501B builds. Some of his lasers have multiple modes for 10%, 50%, 100% power and flashing. Ships his lasers quickly and is based in Belgium.


Podo: Sells his own branden Sanwu Lasers. Offers good looking unique hosts with multiple power modes. Even sells waterproof lasers. Ships from China.



Laser related parts, custom hosts and diodes

DTR's laser shop: A shop being run by our well known member DTR. Sells many different diodes, modules and drivers. Also offers various tools for building your own laser such as diode presses.


Lazeerer: Need a good driver? This is the guy to go to. He sells some of the best quality drivers out there at good prices.


Flaminpyro: Also sells various quality drivers along with many laser related tools such as diode presses, module pullers silicone wire and much more.


Survivallasers: Known shop for everything you need to build a laser. From hosts to diodes, test loads and various safety glasses.


Jayrob: Offers many unique kits for building your own laser. Some of his kits: Star Trek Phaser, Maglites and many other builds.


Eudaimonium: Good machinist who makes heatsinks for any host you may need one for. From simple standard heatsinks to fully custom. Take a look at his machine shop here.


Grix: Owner of Bitlasers. Sells several lasers of different wavelengths and has the option to pay with Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and a few others. Aside of that he also accepts Paypal as payment method.


Odicforce: Sells many useful things. From battery chargers to safety glasses, some drivers and even a few hosts.


Soldering guides and tips

How to Solder Correctly - and Why

How To Solder - Soldering Tutorial

Surface Mount Soldering


Info on various diodes datasheets included

BDR-209, 405nm 900mW: No datasheet to be found. LPM test/info

OSRAM PL450B, 450nm 120mW: Datasheet, LPM test/info
OSRAM PLP450, 450nm 250mW: No datasheet to be found. LPM test/info
OSRAM PLTB450B, 450nm 1.6W: Datasheet, LPM test/info
M140 A-Type, 445nm 1.8W: No datasheet to be found. LPM test/info
M140 M-Type, 445nm 2W: No datasheet to be found. LPM info/test
NICHIA NDB7875, 445nm 3W: Datasheet,
NICHIA NDB7A75 / NDB7K75, 445nm 3.5W: Datasheet, LPM test/info
NUBM44, 450nm 6W: No datasheet to be found. LPM test/info


NICHIA NDB7675, 462nm 1.4W: Datasheet, LPM test/info
M462, 462nm 2W: No datasheet to be found. LPM test/info
NICHIA NUBM07E, 465nm 2.9W: Datasheet, LPM test/info



OSRAM PL515, 520nm 30mW: Datasheet, LPM test/info
OSRAM PL520, 520nm 50mW: Datasheet, LPM test/info
NICHIA NDG4216, 515nm 100mW: Datasheet LPM test and info
OSRAM PLP520-B1, 520nm 120mW: Datasheet, LPM test/info
NICHIA NDG, 520nm 700mW: No datasheet to be found, LPM test/info
NICHIA NDG7475, 520nm 1W: Datasheet, LPM test/info
NICHIA NUGM01T, 520nm 1W: Datasheet, LPM test/info


Opnext/Oclaro HL63603TG, 638nm 120mW: Datasheet, LPM test/info
Opnext/Oclaro HL63133DG, 638nm 170mW: Datasheet, LPM test/info
Mitsubishi ML520G55, 638nm 180mW: Datasheet
Opnext/Oclaro HL6388MG, 638nm 250mW: Datasheet
Mitsubishi ML501P73, 638nm 500mW: Datasheet, LPM info/test 1, test 2
Opnext/Oclaro HL63193MG, 638nm 700mW: Datasheet, LPM info/test



Info on batteries and where to buy them

http://laserpointerforums.com/f67/battery-information-you-may-want-know-95217.html

http://laserpointerforums.com/f67/h...es-how-measure-internal-resistance-57576.html

http://laserpointerforums.com/f67/t...sonic-aw-efest-ultrafire-batteries-93672.html

Buy batteries: Fasttech

Buy batteries: Gearbest

Reviews and info about many batteries and chargers



Laser safety

http://laserpointerforums.com/f53/i...don-t-turn-blind-eye-laser-hazards-71299.html

http://laserpointerforums.com/f53/get-some-safety-goggles-now-75799.html

Laser safety guide

Different lasers’ hazards compared

Buy your safety glasses here: Survival Laser Eagle Pair goggles, Laser Safety Industries


Useful links

How to Select a Laser




I'm sure there are things that I should've included but forgot to, so if you have something to add to the thread feel free to reply or PM me. For the builds, sellers etc. If you want me to add a specific link next to your name or anything else just PM me.
 
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joeybab3

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I think we need a better thread explaining drivers. Im still trying to learn myself...
 

Podo

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Wonderful guide. At least now they know where to buy good lasers instead asking around!
 
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gozert

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Hap

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Nice thread!

I do agree with the fact that we have many threads like this already on the forum. But making sure we have one which is up-to-date is important! :beer:

-Alex
 

gozert

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Nice thread!

I do agree with the fact that we have many threads like this already on the forum. But making sure we have one which is up-to-date is important! :beer:

-Alex
Yeah, there indeed are many threads like there already. But most still contain members/companies that haven't been active in years. It would be useful if multiple members could edit this though.
 

Lifetime17

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Hi G,
Awesome job now all we need is to steer the new folks to start reading and searching.
Do they do that anymore beats me G..
Great thread kudos to you once again all in one..

Rich:)
 

gozert

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Added quite a few diodes. All of which are easily available, otherwise there would be no point listing them.
 

trussmonkey25

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Kodos for you. Great place for noobs and newbies to get their feet wet. I like that you organized it a bit. Can you add the link for soldering tips?
I vote this gets stickied
 

gozert

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Kodos for you. Great place for noobs and newbies to get their feet wet. I like that you organized it a bit. Can you add the link for soldering tips?
I vote this gets stickied
Thanks, will do that as soon as I get up tomorrow morning.

Edit: Thank you too, Eitan!
 
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Pman

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Larry sells some batteries.
Anything that helps organize this information is a good thing. No guarantee it will make someone use it though:( In the world of instant information how long will someone actually look for an answer. Sorry, sound like a downer but the reality is many people become quickly intimidated by how much information there is and lose their patience.
That being said, thanks for doing this;)
 

gozert

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Yeah, people will probably still ask simple questions often, but it makes it faster to answer them by either linking them to this thread or give them a specific link from this thread. I've PMed new member with this kind of info many times, and it always takes a while typing it all down. From now on I just send them a link and they can look up whatever they were looking for without having to search for it.
 




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