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Deciding between lasers, any help appreciated

ElectricPlasma

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I've put together a basic budget of under two hundred USD.

I will go to 300 if necessary.

What I'm looking for is the best bang for my buck, the most power I can get with the lowest price possible, but hopefully try to keep the quality not bad.

I've made a few posts querying about lasers, as I am a bit new to the hobby, but I think I've got the basics down. Not completely sure if I will get a laser yet, just trying to see some available options. :yh:

So hopefully, I would like 532 nm, with the most power for under 200, however as I said above I will go up to 300 if there's a large increase in range from 200-300. I chose 532 nm because I do admire beam brightness.

I've been told a few nice places to buy lasers on here, but I would like to know what you think is good for what I'm looking for! :D

Thanks to everyone on here, I'm loving the help and support!
 

Gabe

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Check out laserbtb, if all you're after is power they have some cheap but powerful, fairly quality lasers. Usually over spec, too.
 
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You will also need batteries and a charger. Don't rule out getting a 520nm if you see a good deal on one, they don't break as easily as a DPSS 532nm and aren't temperature sensitive.

Alan
 
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I am running a group buy for 500mW 532nm labbies from CNI, they are ~$250, including shipping, so if your ok with a labby (not handheld, but one that you plug into a wall outlet and which can run for a very, very long time without overheating) I would highly reccomend it.

Otherwise, if your going for a handheld laser, go for a direct diode 520nm laser, it's cheaper at high power, more stable, and produces less heat.
 

ElectricPlasma

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Check out laserbtb, if all you're after is power they have some cheap but powerful, fairly quality lasers. Usually over spec, too.
I've heard about laserbtb and saw it was pretty popular within the forums, I hadn't checked it out until just now, and damn! They've got some nice deals :drool:

You will also need batteries and a charger. Don't rule out getting a 520nm if you see a good deal on one, they don't break as easily as a DPSS 532nm and aren't temperature sensitive.

Alan
That's actually a good idea, direct diode seems more reliable. I'll keep it in mind!

Which is a great feature if you're in Canada ... :D
Hahaha. Gotta love Canadian lifestyle! :p True though! :san:

I am running a group buy for 500mW 532nm labbies from CNI, they are ~$250, including shipping, so if your ok with a labby (not handheld, but one that you plug into a wall outlet and which can run for a very, very long time without overheating) I would highly reccomend it.

Otherwise, if your going for a handheld laser, go for a direct diode 520nm laser, it's cheaper at high power, more stable, and produces less heat.
Currently I'm focusing on handheld, but thanks for the feedback! I'm definitely starting to consider the benefits of 520nm. I'll take a look at the GB!
 
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Hap

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Otherwise, if your going for a handheld laser, go for a direct diode 520nm laser, it's cheaper at high power, more stable, and produces less heat.
I also found 520nm to be slightly more eye appealing then the good old' 532nm lasers. Honestly though, and I don't think I've seen it noticed here, is that 520nm handhelds can have pretty short run times whereas a 532nm handheld of the same power *in most cases* can run for a lot longer.

I.e: I used to have a 4mW PGL-III-A 520nm and could only run it for about 60 sec. :)

-Alex
 
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I also found 520nm to be slightly more eye appealing then the good old' 532nm lasers. Honestly though, and I don't think I've seen it noticed here, is that 520nm handhelds can have pretty short run times whereas a 532nm handheld of the same power *in most cases* can run for a lot longer.

I.e: I used to have a 4mW PGL-III-A 520nm and could only run it for about 60 sec. :)

-Alex
Really? Huh, I wonder why not. I figured the high power pump diode vs the lower powered direct green diode would generate less heat. Maybe the IR diodes are just much more efficient.
 

Hap

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Really? Huh, I wonder why not. I figured the high power pump diode vs the lower powered direct green diode would generate less heat. Maybe the IR diodes are just much more efficient.
No clue either :eek: I think it's because 520nm diodes require a higher current to operate?

-ALex
 

diachi

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No clue either :eek: I think it's because 520nm diodes require a higher current to operate?

-ALex
Higher voltage maybe - as far as I know the 515/520nm diodes are significantly less efficient than an 808nm diode. For example, the rating for the PL515 is something like 7.5V@180mA for 30mW output or 1.35W electrical input. An 808nm diode consuming that sort of power is going to be doing somewhere closer to 0.5W output, which in a best case scenario will get you ~150mW at 532nm. So you're getting three times the output for the same input.

Those numbers make sense right? I need more coffee...
 
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I just got a 200mW 532 Spartan from dragon lasers and I am da,m impressed. I didn't think I could love a handheld more than my BTB Pl series but the Spartan is the nicest laser I own. Incredibly reasonably priced and cheaper and faster shipping than BTB. MY 200mW avg 300+mW and peaks at 426mW cost was 200$ plus shipping. They also offer a 300mW version that I would bet does 500mW easy. The host feels like it can take a nuke blast and has a long duty cycle. The 300mW is 269$ I believe and Adam has been really great to deal with.
I can't say enough good things about this laser. I may even buy the 300mW version as this is my new survival camping back country laser.

I own a 400mW 532 from Olike which is a nice laser and in spec but I swear somehow the Spartan is noticing you brighter. I think it has to do with a higher quality beam.

But all that aside if you choose BTB you also can't go wrong. They're both really nice lasers but the Spartan will cost less and is a bit more compact.
 
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Gabe

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but the Spartan is the nicest laser I own.
Good to hear Dragon Lasers is coming back somewhat, haven't heard any bad things about them for a while. Is it a major drawback not having the laser focusable? By camping, do you mean starting fires as well, or just signalling/scaring off predators?
 
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Good to hear Dragon Lasers is coming back somewhat, haven't heard any bad things about them for a while. Is it a major drawback not having the laser focusable? By camping, do you mean starting fires as well, or just signalling/scaring off predators?
Yeah DL has been great to buy from lately. My wife and I do a lot of multi night backpacking trips on Mt Hood. It's a pretty serious mountain 11'900 feet and a few people a year either die or go missing so I feel safer having a high powered green laser with us for emergencies. When we register our itinerary at the trail head I always write I have a green survival laser with me so in the event we get lost aircraft can locate us. Also there are lots of frozen waterfalls that look beautiful lit up with green light. It's interesting to see how far the beam can make a spot by hitting the mountains peak or sheer walls. It's actually much less than I expected.
 

Gabe

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Yeah DL has been great to buy from lately. My wife and I do a lot of multi night backpacking trips on Mt Hood. It's a pretty serious mountain 11'900 feet and a few people a year either die or go missing so I feel safer having a high powered green laser with us for emergencies. When we register our itinerary at the trail head I always write I have a green survival laser with me so in the event we get lost aircraft can locate us. Also there are lots of frozen waterfalls that look beautiful lit up with green light. It's interesting to see how far the beam can make a spot by hitting the mountains peak or sheer walls. It's actually much less than I expected.
Cool! I'd imagine a laser like that to be a really effective signalling tool. Have you measured the divergence of it yet?
 
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RedCowboy

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Safety glasses that attenuate the wavelength you are working with are a must.

Be aware that some 532nm lasers can leak ir, so if burning up close I would use a direct diode laser, but for a beautiful beam 532nm is hard to beat.
Here is a seller I have bought from, check him out if you want a ready to use unit rather than a build.


https://sites.google.com/site/hkfew5e22/
 




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