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Longtime laser fan looking to get started on things

I3ig Al

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Hi there people! So glad I found this forum after rediscovering how awesome lasers are.

I grew up in the 90s when lasers were really popular at places like bowling alleys/skating rings and I always had some crappy radioshack pen laser with me. After going through high school and college I really kinda forgot about lasers until last year when I bought a generic green laser from Amazon and needless to say I was majorly disappointed and quickly forgot about it again.

This last month I was at my in-laws house with my new puppy and couldnt believe how crazy the dog was going for the red laser they had. Soon as I got home I went searching for quality lasers and found this site, and have since spent hours just randomly reading stuff here. I had no idea of the world outside pet lasers and no-brand junk chinese things.

Right now I am looking for a basic 650nm and 432nm laser to start playing with again and share with my kids because they have never really seen anything outside of the cat laser we have had. Would really love to get maybe 20-50mW so the beam is visible, but nothing too powerful right now.

After that I would like to get a 450nm pointer but it seems like those are still very expensive. I am thinking it might be better and more rewarding to build one from a JAD or even a whole build project if I'm feeling confidant.

I am actually thinking very hard on either buying the 5mW red/green combo from LaserGlow or two separate higher power laser from FastTech. I found both sites by searching the forums and it looks like LaserGlow are a much higher quality product, but I suppose it wont matter as long as they last more than a couple weeks. Any opinion on which route I should take to get started?
 

Hap

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Welcome back to the hobby!

I will give you my opinion of the LaserGlow pointers since I own both of them. Let me just say they are some of the highest quality pens I have ever owned. I have had them for almost 1 year now and they work like new, no matter what the weather, sun or rain just pop the batteries in and you are sure it's ready when you are!

Nevertheless, some people find the price pretty steep for 5mW pointers but for something which will last you your entire life(if treated well obviously) I think it's worth it! :)

-Alex
 

I3ig Al

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wow Greenlander I didnt expect a near immediate reply! right after I put up my thread I actually searched the forum some more and found a thread with you and another person discussing the chinese "301" lasers from FastTech: http://laserpointerforums.com/f44/good-starter-laser-90750.html

I will admit I am torn between having a high quality basic point to start with, and having something with a fully visible beam, but I am afraid of going for a "200mW" device, safety concerns. Also I do not understand how a 200mW pen laser is feasible running off AAA batteries, and I can't really afford 2-4 18650 rechargables and a charger at the moment either. I have ~80$ to spend right now and really I don't think I will have much more splurge money until next Feb/March with tax return money.

Are the LaserGlow 5mW beams visible in light out rooms or after sundown? is there any decent visible beam lasers for my starting budget?

Last question, can you give me insight on 450nm lasers? i cannot find them in a pointer housing, and the keyed portable ones are very very expensive compared to red/greens. I was hoping to get a solid pointer in each color for as close to 100$ as possible but that is an unreasonable expectation I am finding.

Thanks again for the fast and warm welcome!

EDIT: Oh! I just remembered one more thing, what is up with all the links are the top of every page. the color coded stuff about Top 50 Laser Companies. Everything on this forum with the URL toplaserpointers.com just point to a blank page. I have tried it with different computers and browsers so I do not somehow have them blocked. Are they really just broken?
 
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Hap

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wow Greenlander I didnt expect a near immediate reply! right after I put up my thread I actually searched the forum some more and found a thread with you and another person discussing the chinese "301" lasers from FastTech: http://laserpointerforums.com/f44/good-starter-laser-90750.html

I will admit I am torn between having a high quality basic point to start with, and having something with a fully visible beam, but I am afraid of going for a "200mW" device, safety concerns. Also I do not understand how a 200mW pen laser is feasible running off AAA batteries, and I can't really afford 2-4 18650 rechargables and a charger at the moment either. I have ~80$ to spend right now and really I don't think I will have much more splurge money until next Feb/March with tax return money.

Are the LaserGlow 5mW beams visible in light out rooms or after sundown? is there any decent visible beam lasers for my starting budget?

Last question, can you give me insight on 450nm lasers? i cannot find them in a pointer housing, and the keyed portable ones are very very expensive compared to red/greens. I was hoping to get a solid pointer in each color for as close to 100$ as possible but that is an unreasonable expectation I am finding.

Thanks again for the fast and warm welcome!

EDIT: Oh! I just remembered one more thing, what is up with all the links are the top of every page. the color coded stuff about Top 50 Laser Companies. Everything on this forum with the URL toplaserpointers.com just point to a blank page. I have tried it with different computers and browsers so I do not somehow have them blocked. Are they really just broken?
Hey I3ig,

Concerning the visibility of the beams you won't be seeing a 5mW 635/532 outside during the daytime. Right after sundown 532 becomes slightly more visible but it's not anything HUGE 635 is still barely visible. At midnight 5mW of 532 will be visible and 635 will ONLY be visible if you look closely enough. Basically, if you are looking for something with a visible beam 532 will beat 635 mW per mW.

Concerning the 450nm lasers. laserbtb sells some 450nm pointers, link is below(be aware it isn't cheap):
LP 450nm 1-80

Concerning the links at the top of the page, those are just ads which help support the forums :D

-Alex
 

I3ig Al

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Thanks again Green for the reply. Yes 450 is just out of my budget for now.

For the visible beam, I guess I really just want the green visible, and not exactly in broad daylight but in the evenings it would be cool to play with and show others without needing total darkness.

I was looking at laserbtb last week but was put off by the shipping costs, mixed comments on customer service, and unknown quality.

would the 50mW green from this laserbtb page fit the bill?

LP 515nm 532nm 1-150

and then I could add on a 50mW or 80mW red from this page

LP 638nm 660nm 5-130

This would come out to ~75$ and I assume the quality is good enough even if its not as high as the 5mW laserglow pointers.
 
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Hap

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Thanks again Green for the reply. Yes 450 is just out of my budget for now.

For the visible beam, I guess I really just want the green visible, and not exactly in broad daylight but in the evenings it would be cool to play with and show others without needing total darkness.

I was looking at laserbtb last week but was put off by the shipping costs, mixed comments on customer service, and unknown quality.

would the 50mW green from this laserbtb page fit the bill?

LP 515nm 532nm 1-150

and then I could add on a 50mW or 80mW red from this page

LP 638nm 660nm 5-130

This would come out to ~75$ and I assume the quality is good enough even if its not as high and laserglow.
Yep. LaserGlow honestly is targeted toward laser "professionals" and not hobbyist which is why their prices are quite high! laserbtb is still of good quality and their shipping is really quick(I got my packages in 4 days with regular AirMail)!

Also, make sure to check the "IR Filter Included" for the 532 pointer :)

-Alex
 

I3ig Al

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Well thanks for your time Green, I took the plunge and got the following

650nm 80mW pointer

432nm 50mW pointer, IR filtered

I had to take the slower shipping but I am so excited and will definitely put a couple pictures up when they come in!
 
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ru124t

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Welcome to the forum Big Al! Remember, the custom search bar on the bottom of the page is your friend and can answer most all questions. Also take the time to read the stickies here on the site and dont forget to put your location in your info. Safety first, make sure you have correct safety goggles and have fun!!!!
 




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