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i'm brand new to lasers and would like a nice one

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hello everybody! i'm new to this forum and to lasers in general and am hoping SOMEONE can help me. my girlfriend's brother came home the other day with a laser he had purchased on ebay. he didn't know the amount of mW that it had but you could only see the green beam in the dark (and barely) and only when we shined it very far away. the dot traveled very far but i'm assuming it was no more than a 5mW laser after doing some light research. well i REALLY want a nice one but there's like a million sites out there with a million types of lasers that are a million different prices and i have no clue where to begin! i don't know what brands are good and what aren't or what even seperates a "good laser" from a "bad laser." i see on some sites the 200mW lasers are only about $30 but then read consumer reviews that state the laser is only about 55mW. what should a 200mW laser really cost? what about a 100mW. does the battery type have anything to do with the quality of the laser? i clearly need some help. lol. i'd REALLY appreciate it if you guys could just give me some basic tips or give me some links to really good, cheap lasers. i want a green one with a beam that can clearly be seen but i don't wanna spend more than about $45ish on it. thank you.
 

InfinitusEquitas

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First things first... SAFETY if you get laser that produces a visible beam, it will be over 5mW. This means that if you hit yourself or someone else, you will likely do damage. So use common sense, try to only use the laser in a controlled setting... For use outside, if you point mainly UP and use common sense there is really no need to get goggles. If you plan to use the laser inside, you absolutely should get goggles for yourself or anyone else around.

For your budget this would work well: 50mW transformable green laser/adjustable/burning [OLV50] - $41.99 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products with shipping it's a little more expensive than what you want to spend but it will produce a visible beam outside, and uses a key... big safety plus.

The price of lasers actually doesn't vary all that much if you look at reputable sellers.

Start out with that laser and see how you like it. Do some more reading, and come back with with more specific questions.

Have fun:beer:
 
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rocket689

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^^^^^^X2 on the safety. You only have one set of eyes. ;)

Oh yeah, welcome to LPF :)
 
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I really appreciate your guys' concern on the safety issue. I'll be sure to be very careful and use all the necessary equiptment for safety. One question though, that laser you gave me the link for appears to have a rechargable battery. Will I need to buy a charger separately for it?
 

InfinitusEquitas

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Most of the higher power/more expensive lasers come with chargers... to be perfectly honest they are pretty crappy. Do some research on the forum and search for chargers that can take the most common battery types and are specified for 3.7V batteries. There are some good ones out there, the Ultrafire WF-188 has decent reviews from what i recall, but could be wrong.
 
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thanks for the tip. i checked out the laser that InfinitusEquitas gave me the link for and it seems pretty cool but i was playing with my girlfriend's brother's for a while tonight and noticed that the beam can be seen pretty clearly at night. i mean it's not amazingly bright but the beam CAN be seen and he got his off of ebay for very cheap (like $8) it's a pen one that runs on 2 AAA's. now i'm assuming this is a in the 1mW-5mW range obviously due to how much he paid for it but if the beam can be clearly seen at night then a true 55mW must be like unbelievably bright at night and possibly seen dimly during the day, am i correct?
 

InfinitusEquitas

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From what you're describing it sounds like the laser your friend has is probably in the ~20mW range.

Price is not in any way indicative of power. Ebay pen lasers are really no different than the laser you can buy off of a gadget site. One thing I can tell you about them is they are notoriously unreliable in terms of quality. I have 6 broken ones in my desk drawer.

If you do want a more budget option, here is a better choice than flebay: http://laserpointerforums.com/f39/new-stock-overspec-5mw-green-3-2011-batch-here-50256.html
 

InfinitusEquitas

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50mW transformable green laser/adjustable/burning [OLV50] - $41.99 : Welcome to O-Like.com, Your source for laser products

is this one good? it's right around my price range. will it burn as stated? is it truly a 50mW? will the beam clearly be seen at night? i just really need help and don't wanna waste my money!=]
I wouldn't have recommended it, if it were a lousy one;)

You will see a beam at night.

Where though, did you get the idea that it can burn?

Green lasers aren't really for burning, with 100mW+ you can burn, but it's still not a great idea since green lasers leak a lot of IR.
 
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Oh is that the one you recommended? My apologies I've just been looking around so much lately I tend to lose track of what I've already looked at lol. Well I really like that one so I'm probably gunna end up going with it. I got the idea that it could burn from the title that says "burning" lol I figured it didn't, that's why I asked=] it doesn't matter though, I'm going more-so for brightness and beam visibility rather than burning capability. Do you honestly feel that the fun and interest I'll get out of this laser is worth $50? Plus the price of a charger? I know it'll be nice but I want it to definitely be worth the price I'm paying ya know?
 

InfinitusEquitas

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Yup, it's the one I recommended in the first reply post.

Well, I started out trying to spend as little as possible on just one good laser and well... you can see by my signature that didn't exactly work out... now I'm a laser addict.

I do think you'll get your money's worth from that laser. The same model is fairly popular, it's only on if you're actually holding the button and uses a key... so that provides some added safety...

With the 200mW model I have, I feel perfectly comfortable running it for 1-2 minutes, with this one you can probably run it for 2-3 minutes without damaging it. You won't be able to do much if any burning, but it will produce a nice beam at night, and since it's focusable you'll get a preview of what that looks like for your next laser.

The 200mW version is actually the laser I use most often, and carry around with me... key is great because if a drunk friend happens to pick it up he won't be able to turn it on anyway.

If you want to start out with something less expensive, consider getting one from swimminsurfer256. I just ordered one from him myself.
 
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Yeah your collection is quite impressive. Must have cost a lot of money to get to where you're at lol but probably worth it=p I really like the whole key aspect and that you love your 200mW one of the same brand. I noticed though that you own a "532nm 50mW Ultrafire O-like (Peak 50mW" is that anything like the 50mW that you requested for me to get? Do you like that one? How much did it cost? I'm just trying to keep my options open and I like when people have had first hand experience with things and can tell me straight up what it's like.
 

InfinitusEquitas

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I bought that one off a member here recently actually. I don't think o-like makes those anymore. It's a completely different model... here's the review he did for it: O-like Ultrafire 50mw 532nm Review

It's a nice laser and I do like it, but it's not focusable. Often times the 50mW lasers are actually somewhat overspec, but that wasn't the case with the one I got. I mean it's exactly what it's supposed to be, but I was hoping for more. The IR output from this laser is at ~7mW, so not bad at all.

The fact that it's not focusable is kind of a minus, although at the 50mW output that doesn't really make that much difference.

Edit: If you don't mind waiting a bit, and are somewhat flexible with the price... You might want to post WTB (Want To Buy) thread in the B/S/T (Buy, Sell, Trade) section of the forum. Green lasers do come up for sale pretty often. I got the "mystery" laser off of a member here, and it is very nice for the price ($70). I also recently bought, though still waiting, a second 200mW transformable from a member here on the forum, also for $70.

If you do go that route, please read the stickies in the BST section though.
 
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That laser looks pretty sweet. Love the night shots and if that's a true 50mW I'd be more than happy with the 50mW that you recommended for me, especially if it's a litle bit overspec. You got it for so cheap man, is that because the guy you bought it off of dropped the price a bit because it was pre-owned by him?
 




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