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Need help choosing a laser!

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Ok, well first of all, I'm a high school student working to pay for college, so I don't have a lot of money to spare. $200 is about the most I can spend on a laser. However, quality is most important...I don't want something that won't last. I want a laser for a bunch of things. #1 most important is beam visibility. I want something *hopefully* visible in day and definetly needs to be visible at night, I want to be able to use it for astronomy. My number one choice would be a red laser, then blue, then green, but like I said beam visibility is most important. I also want a laser I can use for burning. Lighting matches, etching plastic, etc. I would also lie it to be, if possible, waterproof, and very durable. I want something as powerful as I can get that will still be safe to play around with around other people, and accomplish all those other tasks. I would also prefer something that took a common battery, or one that can be recharged, and the longer the battery life the better.

So far I've only ever played around with a >5mW generic red laser. It would be sweet if I got one with both a high power laser and >5mW red built into one unit. But I doubt anything like that is in production.

Thank you for your help and I hope to have a new toy soon!
 

S

SenKat

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Well, what you ask for on your budget is impossible. You ca nbuy an X series from Nova - but NO laser is safe to use around others, and it would be most likely TOO bright to use for astronomy with dark adapted eyes. They use AAA batts, so those are farily cheap, no green laser will be "durable" due to the very nature of them - fragile crystals, sensitive electronics, etc. Waterproof ? Naw...don't go there, unless you place a laser in a ziplock :) Too expensive to take them under water, unless you buy one specially made for that, then you are talking BIG bucks, for very little light. X-65 and up can burn stuff fairly easily, and Nova gives us a 5% discount to use. So, to summarize - NOTHING, not even a 1me red pointer is really that safe to use around others - one shot in the eye, and you are gonna be "looking" for a doctor. IF you use it safely, you can use any laser around others. But don;t pass it around - that is asking for problems.
 
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as far as safe around others, i'm talking about something that i could bring into physics class and wouldn't blind people just from seeing the dot on the wall. I will not let anyone use the laser but me.

is something like "50mW Flashlight-Style 10-Meter Waterproof Diving Green Laser (CR123A)" from DealExtree too wimpy, or poorly made?
 

Rhith

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There is actually a new review on that same unit on this forum. It would be an alright unit to have as an extra. For visibility though you would want to get a green laser. I have a True 5mW from Deal Extreme and I can faintly see the beam in day and at night you can see a nice thin beam. Using a lens I was even able to pop a balloon. You can also look into all of the topics here on making your own Red laser for burning. Maybe split your money between a True 30mW and make your own red, and if you have enough get the waterproof 50mW. Blue lasers are very nice as well but you won't be able to find one for <$200 for sure let alone <$500 for a decent unit.
 
S

SenKat

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ANYTHING from DX is like rolling the dice, unfortunately :( Some of their lasers come in - and work great right outta the box, but it really is an unknown :( I THINK someone on here bought that exact laser - with poor results :( I may be mistaken though...not 100% positive if it was that one or not. As far as the blinding with a dot on a wall goes - each person has their own tollerence level with looking at hte green lasers....anything over 5mw is gonna be REALLY bright on a white wall, though. I THINK I would recommend you getting TWO lasers...one ofr everyday use, and worry about the diving part later, to be honest.
 
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Yea green is fine with me. I don't want it want it for diving, I want one that I can use in the rain, and in my pool. being waterproof isn't super important but it would be cool. Also, burning isn't as important as the beam, and overall stability of the unit. I'd rather one of the flashlight style or keychain style lasers than the pen type.
 

Rhith

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Well the keychain lasers uses small watch type batteries, where they are cheap in bulk, would require constant changing just due to the amount of charge they can hold. I would say go for the waterproof 50mW laser from DX and just ass some silicon caulking around the lens and anywhere else it may leak just to be safe.
 
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Alright that's probably what I will do.

Does anyone else know of anything else that would fit my wants?

Thanks again

EDIT: Does anyone know if this Deal Extreme laser "90mW UltraFire WF-501B Flashlight-Style Green Laser (CR123A)" is water resistant?
 

shawn

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Maybe Ultralasers DH-100 (100mw ,532nm) is a good option for you.
, there are lots of pics on their website, and I think their price is the lowest. :)
 

iLikeLight

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I suggest keeping in mind the price of goggles:
$50 from NovaLasers
$53 shipped from Optotronics

IDK where to find cheaper ones.
 

Rhith

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Nes shades! $29 shipped in the US if I remember correctly.
The "90mW UltraFire WF-501B Flashlight-Style Green Laser (CR123A)" should be water resistant to the point where if you bring it in the rain you shouldn't have to worry too much, but I wouldn't bring it into the pool or anything. You could try sealing around any parts that can open up and make it water proof however. Basic rule is, if you're wiling to burn the same amount of money, THEN you can try it. ;D
 
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what mW do you guys think I should go for?

basically, I want to know weather i should get the "90mW UltraFire WF-501B Flashlight-Style Green Laser" or the "50mW Flashlight-Style 10-Meter Waterproof Diving Green Laser" (from DealExtreme)

rember, I would like to be able to use it around other people (i.e. in classroom for optics in physics), for astronomy, and burning. I like the look of the 90mW better but I am more concerned about functionality.

also, does anyone know if those have an IR filter, what class laser this it - i'm assuming IIIb, and how many hours of use i would get out of them if i used rechargable batteries (hours per charge)?

Thanks everyone for all their help and paitience.
 

percboy

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Rhith said:
Nes shades! $29 shipped in the US if I remember correctly.
wanted to order some Neshades.. seems to be out of stock. Any suggestions for a decent priced pair for a X105?
 

LarryQ

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iLikeLight said:
I suggest keeping in mind the price of goggles:
$50 from NovaLasers
$53 shipped from Optotronics

IDK where to find cheaper ones.

Wickedlasers Lasershades are the only others that come readily to mind.

LarryQ
 
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Would you guys reccomend EMS shipping or no? I;m not asking if it's worth the price, but will it ship well and fast and everything? thanks
 




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