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Gearloose

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My main interest in lasers is related to my astronomy hobby. I was at a Messier Marathon star party last weekend with my brand new 12" scope and I saw two people using green lasers to point out objects in the sky. One laser was a 50mw & the other was a 5mw. I ordered a 5mw with batteries & charger from an Ebay seller for under $20.00. I hope I get something useful, and not a piece of junk. Since ordering that, I've decided to also get a 50mw model, and therein lies the confusion. The more I read & research, the more confused I get. :yabbem:

I'll read several good recommendations about a seller, then research a little more and read opinions that the seller's products are junk, or has horrible customer support. The major astronomy equipment companies all offer 5mw green lasers, but at (to me) ridiculous prices. Laserbtb.com and Sci-Fi Lasers seem to be two of the more respectable companies, even though their prices are higher.

I'd consider a DIY, but haven't yet found a good tutorial that explains enough for me to understand what I'm looking at from the online sellers.

Any advice or help you care to offer to a newbie is much appreciated. I may be an old dog, but I can still learn a new trick or two. :yh:
 

SteveT

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Welcome to the forums! Which 50mw did you go for? Building a laser couldn't be much easier these days. Plenty of people on here who specialise in fabricating custom hosts, supplying top quality components at great prices and those that can offer full custom builds for you; the limit is normally the depth of your pockets!

If you choose to take on your own build then the only tool and skill required is a soldering iron and the ability to use it.

Have fun :)
 
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Gearloose

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I ordered this 5mw laser from Ebay: 10 Mile 532nm 5mW 301 Green Laser Pointer Lazer Pen Beam 18650 Charger | eBay

I haven't ordered a 50mw yet, but was leaning toward this one from Sci-Fi Laser, but it's currently sold out according to the website.
http://www.sflasers.us/SF501B_532nm_Green/p2035127_12002399.aspx

My second choice is a Laserbtb 520nm/50mw model, but it's a lot more expensive: HL 520nm 30mW-500mW

I need to do a lot more reading & research before I tackle a DIY. I have no idea what to order, or from where at this time.
 
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SteveT

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You will find that your <5mw Laser 301 will actually be closer to 40-60mw, perhaps more. If you search these forums (use searchbar at bottom of the page) you will find quite a few reviews on the 301 and 303 series. They are mass-produced in China so pot luck on quality. My 303 532 couldn't burn the fuzz off a peach yet others can light matches almost instantly.

In regard to your prospective purchase I don't think Eitan (Sci-fi owner) has sold the 532 501b unit for a while but might be worth getting in contact to check. The laserbtb is also a good unit from a reasonable seller.
 

Gearloose

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The 301 arrived in this afternoon's mail, exactly when it was supposed to. There was enough charge on one of the batteries to give it a quick test and determine it was not DOA. :) Both batteries are in the charger now. I'll give it a little more thorough test later this evening after they are charged.
 

marcuspeh

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Welcome to LPF. Make sure that you are weari safety goggles when you test your 301
 

Gearloose

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Ok, quick informal test report:

The batteries must have been near full charge when I got them, After only an hour on the charger, they tested at 3.97 volts ea. I do not know what the actual output is, but the laser will not ignite a wooden kitchen match. The match head gets warm to the touch, but is nowhere near ignition temperature. The beam is clearly visible in the dark, and is considerably brighter than my Home Depot red laser/LED flashlight. After checking for aircraft, I turned it to the stars and picked out the stars of a couple of constellations. The waxing moon washed out all but the brightest stars. My main purpose is for astronomy use, and for that it seems perfectly suitable. FYI: It shipped from Sacramento, Ca. and arrived on the day my ship notification said it would arrive.
 

Hap

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Welcome to the laser family! :D

-Alex
 




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