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First green laser...can't decide

mcfehn

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I'm in the process of purchasing my first green laser. I almost fell into the $36 ebay trap. But then I discovered the more reputable companies such as WL, DL, NL and LG. I've decided to go with Laserglow but now I can't decide on which model to buy. I don't need anything that burns, cuts or melts. I just need something that will produce a decent visible beam in dim conditions and a bright dot in lighted conditions. I'm looking at the Galileo 5 and the Aires 20. Just how much of a difference am I going to notice between the two and is it worth it to go with the Aries for casual use?

Thanks.
 

N00B

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If your going with around 20mw of power, dont get the aries, in my opinion it would just be a waste to have a 20mw laser that big. As far as visibility goes, a 20mw will be about twice as bright as a 5mw. If i were you, i would stick with the good ol' CNI pen lasers (those are what dragon lasers and nova lasers mainly carry)
 

mcfehn

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When you say a 20mw beam is about twice as bright as a five...I guess I need to ask just how bright will a 5 be? Is it barely visible or is it pretty noticable? Also, one of the reasons I was considering not going with a pen style is that a lot of them can only be on for a certain amount of time. I need one that can stay on for extended periods of time while keeping a constant power output without having to be turned off for cooling purposes.
 
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In that range I'd recommend you just get a good leadlight or WL core and save your money. In lit conditions, no portable laser fares very well but in dark even a 5mW can get a decent beam. Best is if you can add some fog though.

I also suggest a cheap 5mW because at least then if you figure you need more power, you won't be out more than ~$40-80.

As for stability, you won't really be getting that on a pen portable. Green DPSS is inherently very unstable and to get stability you end up paying big bucks for TEC regulated modules. A 5mW leadlight would have a decently long duty cycle though and stability shouldn't be so bad that you'd notice a change without a power meter on it.

Good luck!
 

N00B

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Another suggestion i have is the BFG lasers, these things kick ass! They have no duty cycle and are rated at around 140mw. The price: $280, heck of a deal. I have one and i LOVE it. Very solid and the build quality cant be beat for the price! www.bfglasers.com

The beam of a 5mw is not visible under any daylight conditions and barley visible at night.

If you want a visible beam, one that you and others around you can see, i would go with a 30mw or greater laser.

Good luck with your search, i know it can be hard!
 
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N00B said:
Another suggestion i have is the BFG lasers, these things kick ass! They have no duty cycle and are rated at around 140mw. The price: $280, heck of a deal. I have one and i LOVE it. Very solid and the build quality cant be beat for the price! www.bfglasers.com

The beam of a 5mw is not visible under any daylight conditions and barley visible at night.

If you want a visible beam, one that you and others around you can see, i would go with a 30mw or greater laser.

Good luck with your search, i know it can be hard!
I should mention though that although a retailer may not post a duty cycle, it doesn't mean you shouldn't use one. I'd be surprised if you could keep that laser on continuously without heavily overstressing the diode.

For higher power portables with unlimited duty cycles, I'd recommend going with one of the tried and true, heavily heatsinked lasers like the Aries/PGL3/whatever else all the other resellers call it, or the Hercules.

PS: N00B, the link makes it sound like those lasers incorporate a TEC. Any chance you could confirm or deny that?
 

mcfehn

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Never in a million years did I think it would be this difficult to make a decision.  I appreciate everyone's input and I think I've decided I definitely do not want a 5mw model.  I'm now thinking somewhere in the 20-30 range just for the coolness factor.  As I stated above, I don't need to burn, cut or melt anything...nor do I want to cause an airplane to crash.  But I want a relatively bright beam.  I think a 20 or 30 will serve my needs more than adequately and make a heck of a conversation piece.  Here are the ones I'm now considering:

Dragon Lasers
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Viper 35mw

Wicked Lasers
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Executive Series 35mw

Nova Lasers
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Alpha 15
Alpha 25
Alpha 45

Laser Glow
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Aries 20
Aries 35

I'm not spending the 280 dollars on a bfg.  And even thought I've listed a couple of them above...I'd really like to stay away from the pens if possible.  Now, out of these 7 models, what's the best beam for my buck?
 
K

kingzilla

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Hmm, I think that if you don't need to cut anything, but want a cool beam, you should get the Dragon Lasers Viper 35mw. It will have a beam visible at night and very bright dot. It also dosen't cost that much! :D
 

mcfehn

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Ok, I just got finished chatting with a customer service rep from dragonlasers. They tell me their Viper 35mw model can be used for 100 seconds without any dropoff and that the peak output is actually higher than 35mw. Anyone own this model who can vouch for this? Also, the pictures did not reflect this but I'm hearing the Aries 35mw is actually full flashlight sized and takes two c batteries to power. Is this true?
 
S

SenKat

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I can confirm both the duty cycles of hte Dragon, and the size of the Aries....The aries can be run without any duty cycle at all - just keeps on going and going and going !

Check out NOVA Lasers, too - we have a forum discount with them - it takes 5% off the total for you if you order from them, and use our discount code.
 
K

kingzilla

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Yeah, the aries is diffinatly flashlight sized.I don't own a 35mw but I used to ahve a 15 and it was very stable, althought I don't really have the equipment to measure output.
 
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Heh, I can definitely understand the more power bug - I'm pretty sure I have it myself. Now perhaps you see why I suggested a 5mW though? Maybe not:

Well with a 5mW leadlight or WL core, you can leave the laser on forever - no big worry about duty cycle. The cost? Well the cores are ~$40, the leadlights can be all over the place in the <$100 range. If you up to one of the stronger pen units you have to deal with duty cycle and all those concerns.

To get a good 20-30mW that's truly duty free you can go with the Aries, but thats $200 just for the 20mW version.

The way I see it is for $40 you can get a laser that may meet your needs, and will introduce you to green lasers. If you then feel you need more power you can then start looking into the biggest lasers, and you'll only be out $40 - as opposed to $200-300 on the entry level Aries lasers.

Another option is perhaps the WL Evo. The price is very steep for the mWattage, but the larger aluminum case is a good heatsink and you shouldn't have to fret about the duty cycle on 15-35mW models
 

mcfehn

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Ok, I've taken my original 7 choices down to two. I'm still willing to shell out a little more money for something other than a 5mw model. That's a risk I'm willing to take because you can never have two much power. But I do want to stay in the 100-130 dollar range. With that said, my final two choices are fron Nova and they are the x25 and x45. I'm probably still a couple of weeks away from making my purchase and am still open for suggestions...but after all my research and the advice here, these are the two that I think will not only meet my needs but allow for a bit of fun as well.
 




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