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Newbie question... do lasers just... start to suck?

MapsAndLegends

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Sep 15, 2019
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Hi y'all. I recently purchased my first few lasers, cheap 303-style from Ebay. A couple of them, a red and a violet one, seem to have lost some burning ability. Like, when I first got them I was definitely able to light matches with them, particularly the violet, when focused. A week later... no chance in hell. I can't even get black plastic to smoke, with a fresh battery. It's like the whole thing is dying. (The red one was never that good to begin with but it was at least able to burn stuff at first and lost that.)

Is this a thing that happens? Cheap lasers just die quickly?

Thanks, and I hope this is the correct forum for a newb question like this.
 





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How long have you owned them?
Is the lens clean?
Can you adjust the focus?
Have you replaced/recharged the batteries?
What duty cycle have you been using? How long do you run the laser before you turn it off?
 
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I have some cheep lasers for almost 4Y+ and the all still going strong i even drop 1 in water then i placed it in the freezer for almost 1y just to see if it will work and in a strange way its still working :alien:
 

MapsAndLegends

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> How long have you owned them?

About 2 weeks

> Is the lens clean?

I think so? Hard to tell. I did stick a moistened screen wipe in the hole and swirl it around but it didn't seem to change anything. Honestly one thing I worried about is that the focus was such that I needed to hold it very close to the match to get it to light, and I worried that the blast of fire from the match as it lit might affect the lens. But the lens is far enough inside the housing that it's hard for me to see whether it's clean or not.

> Can you adjust the focus?

Yep, this is with the focus adjusted the same way it was before when it could burn.

> Have you replaced/recharged the batteries?

Yep, swapped out and/or recharged the batteries, to no effect.

> What duty cycle have you been using? How long do you run the laser before you turn it off?

I haven't paid a lot of attention one way or another to this. I've sometimes run it for a considerable amount of time trying to get things to burn when it wasn't working.

Out of all of these, it sounds like maybe the lens could be an issue, but it's not very accessible for cleaning purposes.

Thanks for the response!
 
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Hi
Those are mass produced and quality control is hit or miss
You get what you pay for wish you the best
Rich:)
 

Encap

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What do you expect from a lowest price, low/toy quality, mass produced, throw it away if it breaks or malfunctions laser that costs about the same as a good cup of coffee at retail price including shipping and maybe 25% of that to make by the 10s of thousands?

If only 2 weeks old see if you can return them for a refund if not, at least for replacement.
Failing that, purchase a better quality product.
For a good quality laser see: https://www.jetlasers.org/index.php and https://www.sanwulasers.com/
 
Last edited:
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If you purchased the cheap batteries with your lasers, that is likely your problem. The ultrfire, trustfire or other cheap batteries don't hold a charge long and often die after using them for a short period of time. Try some Panasonic batteries in place of the cheap ones. They make a 3400 mAh capacity battery that works well for these lasers. I have many of these 18650 batteries for use in these 301 or 303 style lasers.
 

Encap

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What Paul said above ^^^--good quality batteries are a must for optimal functioning of any hand held laser.
 

MapsAndLegends

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Thanks guys. I have one good store-bought 18650 battery and I'm pretty sure it was weak with that one too but I can give it another shot.

It's fine if these were just bad quality, I don't mind losing $12 on a less than awesome laser. If thems the breaks then thems the breaks. I just wanted to see if that was all it was, or if it was something I did and can avoid doing in the future.
 

MapsAndLegends

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Sep 15, 2019
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OK, I double checked with a fresh battery and my violet laser's burning days are defintely behind it. Even with a store-bought, regular battery. Ah well. Writing that one off as bad luck.
 




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