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bird

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Hi

First time poster hoping you guys could help me out with some good advice.

At work we want to use laser pointers for some scientific testing (measure alignment with millimeter precision). We have tried some different "cheap" laser pointers, but the roundness of the dot and the dimness at the required distance makes them very hard to work with.

Primary requirements:

Basically we're looking for a well rounded, and preferably as small as possible and well illuminated dot at distances from 15-20 meters (~49-65ft).

The laser should be small in size (lenght ~1-2 in, diameter ~1/2in or smaller). Separate (stand alone) battery/power supply is OK and preferred.

Secondary requirements:

The color of the laser doesn't matter.

First and foremost they will be used indoors in a lab, but they should be able to be used outdoors, especially in cold weather (below freezing point), and be visible in sunlight at the mentioned distance.

They should preferably be somewhat rugged, they will be mounted on a dynamic system which will be moving and experience small jerks and shocks.

Lab safety is an issue, and they should preferably be eye safe, but it is of higher importance to fulfill the above mentioned requirements and safety goggles can be used if necessary.

Price range? Everything between 100-1000USD each might be acceptable depending on how many of the requirements that can be fulfilled.

Impossible task? :)
 

ApexProxy

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I don't see one on that list that has a portable battery pack. I honestly think for your requirements you may be best off having one custom built. You want the module to be very small and run on an external battery pack which can be done easily enough.

I imagine something like this:
40mW Compact Focusing Red Laser Module (12mm) - Detailed item view - OdicForce Lasers Online Shop
to be wired to 2-4 of these in parallel for runtime:
3.7V 1 x 18650 Battery Holder Case Box with Leads - Free Shipping - DealExtreme
and the battery pack housed in this:
PTH-11810-G Bud Industries | 377-1725-ND | DigiKey

Add a switch to the pack and drop some high gauge rugged wire between the module and the battery pack and you are ready to go. This could be made with a 100-200mW module instead if 40mW isn't enough. I would not suggest the use of a green laser as they do not run well cold.
 
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InfinitusEquitas

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Hmm, personally I would go for a single mode diode laser, diode lasers tend to be very durable with regards to temperature.

A loc build doing ~100mW, or more, if in a larger host, and a beam expander would work.

Edit: Obviously goggles would be needed.... over 5mW, not eye safe.
 
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bird

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Thank you all for taking your time to answer :thanks: I'll have a look at the suggestions.

EDIT: And the reason why I would like a portable battery pack is to easily replace batteries during a test without having to touch the laser itself which could cause misalignment.
 
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ApexProxy

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A battery pack is easily doable and makes perfect sense. Multiple battery packs could easily be done with hot swappable plugs.

A custom micro host could also be built to house a wide verity of designs as well. It would essentially just be a heatsink that holds the circuitry and could be made to use a tripod mount or something similar.

It would be easy enough to get a single mode 650nm that can output in upwards of 300mW and that would work as well. I think since goggles would basically be a default that if you pump out some extra power you could expand your range further as well. After further thought I would forgo the little module and just go for making the whole thing custom.
 
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