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Green portable with good divergence for ~$120

bluestars

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Hi LPF,

I'm looking to buy a green portable laser that runs on 16340s, 14500s, or 18650s with good divergence (~1mRad or better). My budget is around $120. I've already got the batteries, charger, and goggles, so the $120 is just for the laser. What's the most power I can get with a good quality beam at that price? I've had good luck with LPF member builds before, so I'm up for that as well. I don't care about the particular wavelength - 532nm or 520nm or whatever. If it's a DPSS laser, I'd prefer one that is relatively stable, of course.

Thanks!
 
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Razako

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Do you require that it be new, or would you accept used offers?
 

bluestars

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Used and in good condition would be fine, maybe even preferred. That means someone else has taken the QA risk for me. :)
 

Lildutchboy7

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I think XPL has one at 500mW at 532nm for around $100. Pretty good if you ask me
 

diachi

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Someone else may want to confirm, but I'm 99% sure the Sanwu 3X beam expander fits onto those too - meaning you'd be able to further improve divergence.

Jury is still out on XPL if you ask me, we need more reviews. Although even if it's 300mW, not 500mW, for $100 that's still a good deal.
 

Sta

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Someone else may want to confirm, but I'm 99% sure the Sanwu 3X beam expander fits onto those too - meaning you'd be able to further improve divergence.

Jury is still out on XPL if you ask me, we need more reviews. Although even if it's 300mW, not 500mW, for $100 that's still a good deal.
Yes, the BE does fit into the 303s.
And the XPL's are always overspec, the problem is just divergence (which is not <1 mRad.) Also the BE does not fit onto the 532s. Though it will fit on the new hosts once they are available.
 

diachi

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Yes, the BE does fit into the 303s.


And the XPL's are always overspec, the problem is just divergence (which is not <1 mRad.) Also the BE does not fit onto the 532s. Though it will fit on the new hosts once they are available.
Thanks for confirming that! :)

It doesn't sound like the XPL lasers are particularly stable (certainly the beam mode isn't), even if they are at or above spec. Wouldn't mind seeing a power graph of one for a 2 minute cold start run. Might be one out there and I just can't find it. I guess you can't really complain for the price though. :beer:

Plus as you said, divergence doesn't meet OPs requirement.

That said, I'd still like to see more reviews before I start recommending them or pull the trigger on one myself. Any updates on the new host yet? Seems like that's been ongoing for months now.

The Sanwu option may not be all that stable either though, I have no idea and there will be some variation on that anyway due to it being DPSS/varying climates for different people - at least with that you can have a BE screwed right on the end. :D My cheap 301 has been perfectly stable thus far, we'll see what happens when we're really into winter.

Maybe one of the single mode 520nm options from LaserBTB would be a good option? Although they don't specify beam divergence for the single modes individually. Just a collective "<3.0mRad". Certainly should be more stable.

I'm curious OP, is there any specific reason you need 1mRad or better divergence?
 
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bluestars

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I'm curious OP, is there any specific reason you need 1mRad or better divergence?
I don't have a particular project in mind that requires that divergence. I'm just more interested in a stable, clean beam than I am in pure power.
 

bluestars

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Alright, for my own sanity, here are some of the green lasers that I've found and their specs:

XPL (aliexpress link) 532nm 500mW <2.0mrad $120
Notes:
  • Seems to be OOS right now.
  • Maybe a new host "coming soon" for a few months now; might be compatable with Sanwu beam expanders.
  • Not a lot of reviews - video review showed laser operating in TE02 mode - not ideal.


LaserBTB HL 520nm 120mW <3.0mrad $128.80
Notes:
  • HL for "handheld laser"
  • Runs on 2 x 16340s
  • Osram laser diodes

LaserBTB PL 520nm 120mW <10mrad $169.05
Notes:
  • PL for "portable laser"
  • Runs on 1x18650
  • Not sure why the divergence is so bad for this laser. Maybe a spec typo??

LaserBTB PL 532nm 200mW <2.0mrad $144.90
Notes:
  • Same as above link, different option
  • Make sure to get IR filter installed

LaserBTB HL 532nm 200mW <2.0mrad $128.80
Notes:
  • 532nm version of the first LaserBTB link
  • IR filter required
  • Why would I ever want a PL over an HL? Better runtime? Better duty cycle?

Sanwu 304 532nm 80mW (divergence unspecified) $18
Notes:
  • Quite cheap (+$8 shipping, probably slow)
  • Under spec or poor stability/divergence/beam quality?
  • My previous cheapo eBay overspec lasers didn't last very long - should I expect the same from a laser like this one?
  • Divergence is unlisted.
  • What's the taxonomy of 301/303/304 lasers, anyway?
  • Can accept 3x beam expander

Also, Sanwu seems to have a number of other hosts available which all claim to be able to provide some 520nm option, but the available power and price for the 520nm option varies wildly. Can anyone help me understand their huge number of series? Is one known to stand out above the rest?
 
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Koff

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If u want lowest divergence get that 120mw 520nm. It's probably like 0.5mrad. And those 532nm are really like <1.5 mrad
 

Encap

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bluestars

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Encap, do you know the divergence specs on either of those lasers? How's O-like's reputation these days?
 

bluestars

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Well, I picked up the Sanwu 304. It was a great deal and seems to work pretty well. I actually kinda like the silly pattern caps too. :) Thanks for the recommendations! Are there any other "budget" portables that I should have in my collection? I've gotten a ton of fun from this $20 pointer.
 

Razako

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Well, I picked up the Sanwu 304. It was a great deal and seems to work pretty well. I actually kinda like the silly pattern caps too. :) Thanks for the recommendations! Are there any other "budget" portables that I should have in my collection? I've gotten a ton of fun from this $20 pointer.
Sure, are there any particular colors you'd like to have? A good entry level red and blue couldn't hurt.
 

bluestars

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Yeah, I love narrow and low divergence beams too. I know that narrow beam width is at odds with low divergence, but my Sanwu 304 is actually better at both than my 445nm. I'd love a nice entry level red, although I need to get some red-proof safety glasses then. Also, maybe a 405nm, although I don't know if there are "entry level" 405s.
 




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