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CNI vs. DL, a tough decision for 589nm.

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Ive been thinking about getting one the past few weeks and have some hard earned extra money coming in from side work and I sold some paintings. After reading a recent review about Dragon Lasers 50mW 589 and CNI's not getting back to me yet with a price quote I thought I was ready to pull the trigger and order the Spartan. But then Clansley informed me that among the myriad of happy Spartan owners I have read reports and reviews from there were a couple not so nice threads I should read and I am very glad I did.

Bottom line, RHD and Atomcrox got screwed pretty bad by Dragon Lasers which is a disappointment because the only other viable option is twice the price. When Clansley first linked these threads my initial thought was, "okay 2 un happy customers but dozens of very happy ones probably wont dissuade my buying choice" but it has.

On one hand my concerns with choosing DL is the more UN-likely than likely event that I get a problem under spec 589 and have to deal with getting the run around, screwed, or forced to file a claim with Paypal. On the other hand, lets say I get a good one, well I'm giving my hard earned money to a company that chose to lose customers over shipping charges and even tried to not fully refund the purchasing price with some pretty shady further run around and what sounds to me like intentional lies.

I'm not okay with this for a couple reasons. I don't support bad business practices and possible dishonesty, and I don't mind paying more for not only quality but more important to me, customer service and integrity. But, it is a lot more money and I have to look at that realistically and not radically. I'm not made of the stuff and it doesn't grow on tress here in Oregon.

Any company stupid enough to screw two well respected long time members of the leading laser hobby communities forum gives me concern. Granted , I understand that the odds are I will get a good laser and also that most people here have had great service from DL but the 2 people that didn't IMO really got done wrong. This is exactly why in business one dissatisfied customer will out weigh 100 happy ones. Its basic business 101.

So now I will sit on this all for a few days. I don't like to make important decisions from emotional responses. I will wait for CNI's quote as well as send DL a pretty thorough email. Its only a hard choice because we aren't talking about 20-30% price difference but rather double. So is CNI's cutomer service as good as I have read about here? Also I would appreciate feedback or your thoughts if you care to, opinions, facts whatever you think may be helpful for a person deciding which company to go with
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I am aware CNI no longer ships to the USA. My wifes family is in Birmingham England so can have it shipped there then to me. I already cleared this with CNI on chat.
 
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clansley

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The reason I knew of those threads is that I had a moment of weakness and was about to order one from DL; I've been trying to ignore 589nm for ages as I can't justify the expense, but everybody keeps posting pics of them!
Anyway those posts helped me to stop - spending a lot of cash is one thing but gambling is quite another.
Now I need to find a YA group (Yellow-laser Anonymous)...
 

GR3EN

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I read the same threads and had the same questions and concerns. For me the fact of the matter came down to price per mw. I don't have a lpm to test mine yet but I convinced myself with the through process that the 50mw is only about $100 more than the 5mw pen. Say the 50mw is underspeced to an average of about 30mw. To me that's still 6x the power of the pen for not that much more and still cheaper than CNI. Not everyone can think this way and be satisfied, but for me its how my brain works. I do really need to get it tested though just out of curiosity.

So basically would DL be wrong for selling power other than advertised? Yes
Can I live with that fact after weighing all my options? Yes

Also remember 589nm is so unstable its going to fluctuate so much in power it seems pretty tough to get an average base-line reading. Just from visually watching mine. I turn it on and as I watch the dot/beam within 30 seconds you can watch become noticeably brighter after warm and then if you watch it closely you can see it fluctuate ever so slightly.
 
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Smeerworst

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Here's a video of the on i have, made it for you.
Don't know if it's any help...

Starts low power ... get's to 50mW, and then ''bam'' ''flash'' it goes in the ~100mW and stay's there a little while.

It's alway's like this, so mine needs a warmup i guess ^^
So i think not all behave the same, (aldo PGL's are know to be on or overspec)

Ignore the spartan in the back ^^

 
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Yes subscribing to this thread. I am looking for a 589 also and I will be interested to see what CNI quotes you.
Good luck!

Smeerworth, if you turn that laser off then back on again after its warmed does it maintain the higher output?
 
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GR3EN

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Isn't it also to my knowledge cni doesn't ship whole lasers above 5mw to the u.s anymore. And only sometimes they offer to ship it in pieces
 

Hap

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^I would like to add CNI will ship any lasers, no matter the wavelength if they are under <5mW. Not in pieces, but the entire laser itself. Knowing CNI your <5mW laser will most likely be above that :)

-Alex
 

clansley

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starlight - yours seems stable enough to me!
Starlight/Smeerworst - Thanks for doing the videos!

I wonder if there's enough people for a group buy? I see previous CNI GBs for the 589nm have managed to get big discounts. [Although I don't completely understand how the group buys work - I presume everything is shipped to one location and then they have to ship to everybody else, what if it's lost on the second leg?]
 
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vortish

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Personally I would look around the Interweb and see if there are any other companies out there that are making 589. Those two dragon and cni can not be the only ones making that wavelength. Hell try digikey and see if you can find the diode and then make one your self? You never know you may come out with a cheaper 589. Just my opinion. I think that TX instruments also sells diodes. It is worth a shot
 

trencheel303

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I don't know where this idea has come from that DL 589s are just binned CNIs. Mine is great and someone just got one recently which is also nice and bright.
 

Robert S

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I wonder if there's enough people for a group buy? I see previous CNI GBs for the 589nm have managed to get big discounts. [Although I don't completely understand how the group buys work - I presume everything is shipped to one location and then they have to ship to everybody else, what if it's lost on the second leg?]
If there will be a GB sometime i might jump on and get one myself, but i have been spending way to much money on differnt things lately. :D


Personally I would look around the Interweb and see if there are any other companies out there that are making 589. Those two dragon and cni can not be the only ones making that wavelength. Hell try digikey and see if you can find the diode and then make one your self? You never know you may come out with a cheaper 589. Just my opinion. I think that TX instruments also sells diodes. It is worth a shot
Like trencheel303 said, DL doesnt even make them, they are all from CNI. I have searched for different WLs a few times already, and everytime i found something like 473, 589 or 593nm, the sold lasers were from CNI..
 

Hap

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Personally I would look around the Interweb and see if there are any other companies out there that are making 589. Those two dragon and cni can not be the only ones making that wavelength. Hell try digikey and see if you can find the diode and then make one your self? You never know you may come out with a cheaper 589. Just my opinion. I think that TX instruments also sells diodes. It is worth a shot
That's a good idea vortish. Thing is, as you know 589nm is a difficult wavelength to produce and if there was a more efficient way, it would have been found. That being said, IIRC buying all the crystals to convert 808nm light to the desired 589nm light cost more then an already built 589nm laser from CNI.

That being said, if you have the extra funds and time this could be a fun project & I wish you the best of luck! :)

-Alex
 
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Thanks for all the replies everyone.
Treech, I think the binned 589 theory came from RHD thread regarding his conflict with DL.he did say it was just his opinion. Even if that is the case it wouldn't be the reason I chose not to buy from DL but is something to consider. Binned modules isn't exactly a bad thing.

From reading all these cases and reviews its clear that 589 is a very unstable laser and kind of a crap shoot. I'll be able to better decide once I get replies from the two companies. People have payed between $800-1100 for their CNI 589's and $440 for DL and it seems that the CNI is more stable and has better customer service.
 




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