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KaneHau

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Sorry - you are correct.    I *thought* the Energizer C's were E2's (probably cause they were on the same shelf as the E2's) but inspecting the batteries show them to be just plain old Alk. C's.

I purchased the Accupower 6000's from ThomasDistributing.com (as per the recommendation from Jack at Optotronics).  The price was ok ($12 for a 2-pack) and I picked up the recharger for them (which is an interesting beast in itself).

The first charge of the 6000's took overnight (8 hours+).  However, I am very pleased with the response.

I have not left the laser on for extreme time - however, it certainly has been on over 3  or 4 minutes continuously - havn't noted any problems.
 
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I honestly can't see any difference in performance from using lithium e2's verses good quality 1000mah AAA NiMH titaniums.
These titaniums have not relation to everreadys.

Thomas Distributing has good batteries... if you get a Herc and need D cells, these are the best based on my research..
http://www.thomas-distributing.com/mh-2d110.htm

they are commercial.. if used as regular retail, they would be 12000mah rated, but since they are for high discharge, they rate them as 11000mah.

And they are "exactly" the right length.. some lasers are very picky on not having batteries that are a tad too long.

Here are the titanium AAA's I use that are very highly rated:
http://www.amondotech.com/

However, the C cells that they sell are about 1/16 inches too long, so two of them makes 1/8 too long... that won't work in an Aries.
 
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ctalmadg said:
I also was considering Optotronics, but have emailed them 3 times without response. They lost my business. I received a quick response from LaserGlow..they got my business.
Hi ctalmadg,
Every email sent to Optotronics (with the exception of spam) gets a personal response within 24-48 hours and usually within 12 hours or less.

Perhaps your ISP or mine is blocking certain IP address ranges. If you PM me your email address I will check. It's also possible that I answered your emails and the replies got blocked by your ISP. This is especially true of emails from AOL domain.

We are not in the business of ignoring any product inquiry, I don't know of a business who would.
 
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windstrings said:
Another question.. I know the RPL's have a very limited runtime of around 2.5 minutes... what are you finding for your PPL?.. does it have literature or can you say by experience yet?
Hi Windstrings,
Actually the run time has been increased.
It was found that in many cases level 9 was too much current. This not only reduced the output and affected stability, but also increased the heat a great deal.

When the owner adjusts their RPL only up to the point that brightness no longer increases, they will find that point produces the highest output, best stability and much increased run times. Usually 3 minutes minutes minimum for the highest output units of the RPL-300. Typical runtime for other RPL-300s with output of less than 315mW average will be ~4-5minutes, with may able to run until the battery goes dead (100% duty cycle) if the current level is optimized by the user.
I will be adding this documentation to my site very soon.

On the duty cycle of the PPL, they are all 100% duty cycle.

Thanks
Jack
 
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Before I comment.....let me first say I definately think optotronics is a very fine product.. although I"ve never owned one, they appear to have some good qualities.

Now my disclaimer!
I am just a nobody nonprofessional making comments based on my limited knowledge.


All that being said, there are pros and cons to any company or product as as long as the pricing is fair in consideration of those strengths or weaknesses, then all is fair in love and war.

Adding that info you mentioned will definately help folks decide what they need... most hobbyist like myself don't need near 2 or 3 minutes runtime anyway... I know I don't... its just nice to have continous duty cycle and knowing I can always turn it up if desired.


I wasn't aware your PPL were continous duty now.... if thats the case, it appears you are now competitively priced... roughly 100.00 less than laserglow when you consider you have to add 89.00 to yours to get the 6 month warranty thats standard with laserglow.
However, one must remember they are paying for a power rating thats averaged over 20 seconds instead of 10 minutes!.. thats a biggy!

I once asked you how you rated your units, your reply was....
I use a Coherent Field master-GS power meter coupled to a Coherent LM-3 HTD thermal power sensor that is calibrated to NIST standards annually. I measure the output power over a period of 20 seconds (beginning 2 seconds after power on so as not to include any initial output power spikes) with samples taken at 0.1 second intervals (200 samples). The average power output of these 200 samples, (not the peak power at turn on as many lasers are rated) are then recorded.
This is done 3 times and then the high and low 20 second sample periods are discarded and the remaining (middle sample) is used to detrmine the power rating.

However, lets talk about the RPL.. because that still has issues.
The competitive edge on price on your RPL's are still not there when comparing a 300mw that will run for 5 minutes against one that will run continuous.... since the prices are nearly the same as your competition "your 40.00 less".. laserglow.
I have questions about the peak outputs.. the optotronics seem to be less or lower than a similiar Herc 300mw... that makes me think the optotronics are turned up to near full to get that rating since they have less headroom, yet run the same size diodes "2.5W".

You mentioned that "sweet" spot where the beam is the brightess without extra power... is that the spot and power that the units are sold as, or are they turned up higher?.... I would be good for the customer to know what the parameters are.

I also don't understand why the warranty is not transferrable between owners... if someone buys one of your units and decides to upgrade and so sells it to a friend "like I did" why should the warranty suffer?

Also, the choice to extend the warranty up to 12 months is only offered for the first 30 days of ownership.... laserglow offers it for the first 6 months.

My favorite thing I like about the RPL units is the smaller size as compared to the Hercs, the main thing I "don't" like is the limited runtime and possibly less headroom above rated power purchased.
It makes me think they are turned up more to sell for more since the diodes are the same sizes...
Maybe its the heat sink in the two units that make the difference?.. I really don't know.
That combined with the short 20 second test to get thier ratings makes me think I'm getting much less laser for my money.

I could be completely in error.... its just my viewpoint based on my limited knowledge.

Please correct me where I am wrong. I really don't want to misrepresent your product.

The RPL unit is rechargable,with Lithium batteries, but I believe you have to take the batterys out to charge them as it comes with an external charger?.. if so, it somewhat defeats the benifits to verses just using NiMh like other lasers do..... I do like the smaller size.... if the runtime of the laser is only 5 minutes, the battery capacity is not as important.
if they do in fact have a charge port, then that would be nice advantage to have IMO.
I hate switching batteries.


Until runtimes are close to the same, they are not apples and apples, but one is an orange.

I think a little addition of a internal fan could make all the difference with the RPL's, but I don't know that.. merely a guess. The Herc have tons of battery reserve to handle that with thier 3 D cell capacity, yet Lithium are very efficient for thier size and weight, so maybe they could handle it too?

Its interesting that even that Aries are advertizing
The Aries series lasers are built from the ground up for continuous high powered operation.
In fact they also advertize they did a test again with the Aries "which have no fan"
The Aries Series Certified Portable Lasers have undergone tests where several units were run for 200 days continuously in order to determine the minimum 6,000 hour life span. All of the units tested were still operational after this period.
I"m not pointing this out to say Optotronics are "bad"... in fact most lasers "do" have a duty cycle and as I stated.... except for commercial use, few need runtimes over a minute.

But with that being said... the optotronic manufacture needs to be made aware of the competition and either drastically lower thier price of thier RPL's to be competitive or bring runtimes up to par with that competition.
I know you too are limited by thier price.

If they continue to ask nearly the same prices, they will stuggle IMO only pricing themsleves out of the market.. at least to the discriminating buyer who studies the differences.

I hope you see what I"m trying to say?..... if you don't agree or if am I being unreasonable or if I'm missing a vital element in the equation here please let me know.

One thought...... laserglow does not turn thier units "all the way up" on thier Hercs....thus shortening the duty cycle, but they turn them down to be quite stable and to give continous runtimes.... but then the important thing to consider here is they sell you a laser thats "turned down and stable" with a competitive price for that power rating.

I don't think its fair to sell a laser at a given power rating "if" the unit has to be cranked up to the max to get that power rating with a short runtime.... aren't you getting much more for your money if you get one thats turned down?
I'm sure optotronics doesn't turn all the way up, but is it possible it could be more than that most stable spot?

I have a 300mw Herc.. I don't know how far it will turn up, but it does have a pod to adjust... so do I really have a 400mw or 450mw?.. I don't know.. but I do know I only paid for a 300mw and the price was fair.
Mine peaks above 400mw for almost 5 minutes ...so did I really buy a 400mw since it will run at that for 5 minutes before dropping to 360ish and then settleing on 320mw for continuous?

It makes sense that a laser should be turned up till the highest brightness is reached and then stop.. any more only overdrives the given efficiency of the crystals and so developes waste and heat.
No two units are the same... even though the circuitry is the same and the diodes are the same, the crystals are always the missing element in the equation that allows more or less "turn up".

What many don't realize is that a 225mw laser with the 2.5 W diode etc is exactly the same as a 400mw laser from the same company "except" for the efficiency of the crystals?.. At least thats my understanding?
Good crystals allow more power to pass without internal heatup.


With that being said, any manufactures can "crank" up the power to sell it for more, but it won't have as much headroom if they do and runtimes will be shorter.

You mentioned the customer should tune the power.... I don't know how optotronics sells thier units as compared to power ratings, but don't you think the company should pretune the units themselves in advance to be the most powerful with total stablity and good runtime and then put the price on the given laser to reflect that power to sell to the customer.

I know for a fact thats what laserglow does... when they get thier shipment in.. they cannot even tell you what they have until they "tune" them all and see what the power ratings are after they are tuned?

Exactly "how" a company rates their power is quite important.

Some of these difference here does not imply one is honest and the other not.. I see it more as "commercial rated" verses "retail".

One last comment to bring up again....and maybe the most important!.... selling a laser at a giving power rating over 20 seconds is a far cry different game than selling one that been averaged over 10 minutes!.......

If my Herc would have been sold to me with a 20 second rating.. I would have had to pay for a 400mw laser!... as mine peaks at 426 "after" the initial peak.

The 300mw is 1389.00, the 400mw is 2989.00 a difference of 1600.00!!!

If laserglow rated thier units over 2 minutes instead of 10.. they could make "tons" more profit?... Why don't they?

I"m just trying to be objective.... I'm trying to do my best to let you see through the glasses of the customer to improve your business even furthur. Getting into the customers head is always the best tool for success if the company is willing to pay the price to do so.
 
S

SenKat

Guest
To the best of my knowledge, Optotronics is the only company I have seen that offers an Upgrade program....very nice if you have one of their products and are looking to upgrade your laser for at the very most, 50% of the price. That is very appealing to me, being "cost concious" like I am - okay, CHEAP ! If I owned one of their products, and wanted to upgrade, being the power hungry sort that I am, the trade in would get 50% of the resale value subtracted from my total instantly - OR - being the gambling sort that I am, I could have them evaluate it, place it in their bargain bin, and sell it for me - minus a small brokerage fee, etc.....I encourage everyone to take a look at their upgrade program - it looks very fair, considering how much of a pain in the A$$ it would be to list it on Ebay, and possibly get WAY less than what you wanted for it !
I DO like the rechargeable ones, too - it would not be that difficult (post warrnaty, of course) to install a small DC power jack to recharge the batteries while they are still in the unit...I can only see that increasing the resale value of the laser - in my opinion !
 
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Re: Optotrics

KaneHau said:
Could you expand on your comment?

I was under the impression for Class IIIb that you needed the following:

  1)  Some type of keyed turn-on switch
  2)  3 second delay between pushing the button and the beam coming out
  3)  Manual or electronic shutter on the beam end
  4)  Appropriate warning stickers

The unit I purchased had all the above (manual shutter) - what is missing to make it FDA compliant?   (and methinks it is at least more compliant/safer than the units without those features).
Hi, these are the places I see the RPL and PPL fail to comply with 21 CFR 1040.10:

- The key can be removed from the key switch while in the on position
- No 3 second emission delay
- No saftey interlock (I think this is what you are referring to as the deadmans dongle, and it is mentioned in 21 CFR 1040.10)


That said, these are great lasers, though they aren't fully compliant for IIIB. The laserglow lasers offer more power, compliance, more options, etc. However when you want sheer power with the best, and least hyped, beam specs, optotronics is the way to go IMO. They can't advertise some important things like duty free, or IIIB compliance, but during its run time, the laser beam you get out of an RPL is the best there is for portable greenies IMO.
 
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Maybe there is something I"m missing..... if they overheat in less than 5 minutes, it must be a quick blaze of glory?

My concern is if its merely turned up more.. do I have to pay for it "turned up?"... or does it come with a much longer duty cycle and I can choose to turn it up?

It would be fun to compare the two.

If anyone has an RPL in Texas or Oklahoma.. let me know... 300mw range.
 
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windstrings said:
Before I comment.....let me first say I definately think optotronics is a very fine product.. although I"ve never owned one, they appear to have some good qualities.

Now my disclaimer!
I am just a nobody nonprofessional making comments based on my limited knowledge.


All that being said, there are pros and cons to any company or product as as long as the pricing is fair in consideration of those strengths or weaknesses, then all is fair in love and war.

Adding that info you mentioned will definately help folks decide what they need... most hobbyist like myself don't need near 2 or 3 minutes runtime anyway... I know I don't... its just nice to have continous duty cycle and knowing I can always turn it up if desired.


I wasn't aware your PPL were continous duty now.... if thats the case, it appears you are now competitively priced... roughly 100.00 less than laserglow when you consider you have to add 89.00 to yours to get the 6 month warranty thats standard with laserglow.
However, one must remember they are paying for a power rating thats averaged over 20 seconds instead of 10 minutes!.. thats a biggy!

I once asked you how you rated your units, your reply was....
I use a Coherent Field master-GS power meter coupled to a Coherent LM-3 HTD thermal power sensor that is calibrated to NIST standards annually. I measure the output power over a period of 20 seconds (beginning 2 seconds after power on so as not to include any initial output power spikes) with samples taken at 0.1 second intervals (200 samples). The average power output of these 200 samples, (not the peak power at turn on as many lasers are rated) are then recorded.
This is done 3 times and then the high and low 20 second sample periods are discarded and the remaining (middle sample) is used to detrmine the power rating.

However, lets talk about the RPL.. because that still has issues.
The competitive edge on price on your RPL's are still not there when comparing a 300mw that will run for 5 minutes against one that will run continuous.... since the prices are nearly the same as your competition "your 40.00 less".. laserglow.
I have questions about the peak outputs.. the optotronics seem to be less or lower than a similiar Herc 300mw... that makes me think the optotronics are turned up to near full to get that rating since they have less headroom, yet run the same size diodes "2.5W".

You mentioned that "sweet" spot where the beam is the brightess without extra power... is that the spot and power that the units are sold as, or are they turned up higher?.... I would be good for the customer to know what the parameters are.

I also don't understand why the warranty is not transferrable between owners... if someone buys one of your units and decides to upgrade and so sells it to a friend "like I did" why should the warranty suffer?

Also, the choice to extend the warranty up to 12 months is only offered for the first 30 days of ownership.... laserglow offers it for the first 6 months.

My favorite thing I like about the RPL units is the smaller size as compared to the Hercs, the main thing I "don't" like is the limited runtime and possibly less headroom above rated power purchased.
It makes me think they are turned up more to sell for more since the diodes are the same sizes...
Maybe its the heat sink in the two units that make the difference?.. I really don't know.
That combined with the short 20 second test to get thier ratings makes me think I'm getting much less laser for my money.

I could be completely in error.... its just my viewpoint based on my limited knowledge.

Please correct me where I am wrong. I really don't want to misrepresent your product.

The RPL unit is rechargable,with Lithium batteries, but I believe you have to take the batterys out to charge them as it comes with an external charger?.. if so, it somewhat defeats the benifits to verses just using NiMh like other lasers do..... I do like the smaller size.... if the runtime of the laser is only 5 minutes, the battery capacity is not as important.
if they do in fact have a charge port, then that would be nice advantage to have IMO.
I hate switching batteries.


Until runtimes are close to the same, they are not apples and apples, but one is an orange.

I think a little addition of a internal fan could make all the difference with the RPL's, but I don't know that.. merely a guess. The Herc have tons of battery reserve to handle that with thier 3 D cell capacity, yet Lithium are very efficient for thier size and weight, so maybe they could handle it too?

Its interesting that even that Aries are advertizing
The Aries series lasers are built from the ground up for continuous high powered operation.
In fact they also advertize they did a test again with the Aries "which have no fan"
The Aries Series Certified Portable Lasers have undergone tests where several units were run for 200 days continuously in order to determine the minimum 6,000 hour life span. All of the units tested were still operational after this period.
I"m not pointing this out to say Optotronics are "bad"... in fact most lasers "do" have a duty cycle and as I stated.... except for commercial use, few need runtimes over a minute.

But with that being said... the optotronic manufacture needs to be made aware of the competition and either drastically lower thier price of thier RPL's to be competitive or bring runtimes up to par with that competition.
I know you too are limited by thier price.

If they continue to ask nearly the same prices, they will stuggle IMO only pricing themsleves out of the market.. at least to the discriminating buyer who studies the differences.

I hope you see what I"m trying to say?..... if you don't agree or if am I being unreasonable or if I'm missing a vital element in the equation here please let me know.

One thought...... laserglow does not turn thier units "all the way up" on thier Hercs....thus shortening the duty cycle, but they turn them down to be quite stable and to give continous runtimes.... but then the important thing to consider here is they sell you a laser thats "turned down and stable" with a competitive price for that power rating.

I don't think its fair to sell a laser at a given power rating "if" the unit has to be cranked up to the max to get that power rating with a short runtime.... aren't you getting much more for your money if you get one thats turned down?
I'm sure optotronics doesn't turn all the way up, but is it possible it could be more than that most stable spot?

I have a 300mw Herc.. I don't know how far it will turn up, but it does have a pod to adjust... so do I really have a 400mw or 450mw?.. I don't know.. but I do know I only paid for a 300mw and the price was fair.
Mine peaks above 400mw for almost 5 minutes ...so did I really buy a 400mw since it will run at that for 5 minutes before dropping to 360ish and then settleing on 320mw for continuous?

It makes sense that a laser should be turned up till the highest brightness is reached and then stop.. any more only overdrives the given efficiency of the crystals and so developes waste and heat.
No two units are the same... even though the circuitry is the same and the diodes are the same, the crystals are always the missing element in the equation that allows more or less "turn up".

What many don't realize is that a 225mw laser with the 2.5 W diode etc is exactly the same as a 400mw laser from the same company "except" for the efficiency of the crystals?.. At least thats my understanding?
Good crystals allow more power to pass without internal heatup.


With that being said, any manufactures can "crank" up the power to sell it for more, but it won't have as much headroom if they do and runtimes will be shorter.

You mentioned the customer should tune the power.... I don't know how optotronics sells thier units as compared to power ratings, but don't you think the company should pretune the units themselves in advance to be the most powerful with total stablity and good runtime and then put the price on the given laser to reflect that power to sell to the customer.

I know for a fact thats what laserglow does... when they get thier shipment in.. they cannot even tell you what they have until they "tune" them all and see what the power ratings are after they are tuned?

Exactly "how" a company rates their power is quite important.

Some of these difference here does not imply one is honest and the other not.. I see it more as "commercial rated" verses "retail".

One last comment to bring up again....and maybe the most important!.... selling a laser at a giving power rating over 20 seconds is a far cry different game than selling one that been averaged over 10 minutes!.......

If my Herc would have been sold to me with a 20 second rating.. I would have had to pay for a 400mw laser!... as mine peaks at 426 "after" the initial peak.

The 300mw is 1389.00, the 400mw is 2989.00 a difference of 1600.00!!!

If laserglow rated thier units over 2 minutes instead of 10.. they could make "tons" more profit?... Why don't they?

I"m just trying to be objective.... I'm trying to do my best to let you see through the glasses of the customer to improve your business even furthur. Getting into the customers head is always the best tool for success if the company is willing to pay the price to do so.
Hi Windstrings,
Wow that was a long letter, but good reading.
I'll try to answer everything, but if I missed something I'll add it in later.

Yes, all the PPL units at or below 225mW have always been rated for continuous 100% duty cycle.

Yes, that was the power measuring procedure I sent you and use, but I think you're mis-interpreting it a little. To get the best resolution out of my meter, I set it to do a 20 second run. It is capable of only 200 samples at a time, so for 20 seconds this is a sample every 1/10 of a second. Setting the meter to a longer run time will reduce the resolution of the samples, so that a 1/3 or 1/4 second drop or rise in power would bve missed completely. When I said I run the 20 second test 3 times and average the results, I am not turning the laser off and letting it cool in between these 3 tests, it remains on. It takes me a few seconds to write down the statistics and restart the next test. So really it is 3 20 second samples where the beam remains on and 5-10 seconds between each 20 second run of the trend function. I state only the truth as to how I test and I know even when I only test as I do, each laser ends up taking 20 minutes or more to test completely (ask my wife). Each laser is spot checked for beam quality and divergence (if it's not obviously in spec it does go to any customer).

As for over-driving, thats not the case here. The RPL uses 2.0 amps of current at full current power (level 9). If you look at the spec on the n-light site, you will see that for the 2.5Watt diode 2.0amps is not even at the 80% level. Yes crystal purity, alignment and also the alignment of the GRIN lens mounted on the IR diode are the biggest factors for power output , otherwise they are all identical.

NIMH even if they were 2 D cells, cannot provide the amount of power that one 18650 high capapcity lithium cell does. The advantage the RPL does have over the Herc, is portability. The RPL is much light and smaller and pack a great amount of power and is easy to carry on a coat pocket or bag. The Herc is not portable at all really, sure it can be carried, but not as easily. Also like you said most of time people only need a few minutes of use before a minute of cooling. If high output is needed for extended time periods, a bench A/C powered laser is a better choice.

Our lasers are tested at their optimum current output...ie. the current level which produces the most output power. With the RPL units and the current battery brand with a full charge, this is typically level 4-5; but each laser is silghtly different and temperature affects this as well. It does no good to turn the current up to level 9 for the output power tests as level 9 current will produce a higher 532nm output power, it will only increase the 808nm output going into the crystal set. Once the crystal set is "what I would call saturated" throwing more IR at it does nothing more except increase heat and decrease stability.

That said, if our lasers were produced with a higher typical beam diameter of say 1.5 to 1.8mm rather than the typical 1.25mm or less beam diameter and a higher divergence of say 1.1mrad rather than the typical 1.00mrad or less, we could get more power from the crystals as the beam would be covering a larger area of the crystal and not saturate at level 4-5, but maybe go up to level 7-9 before saturation. This would give an output of higher raw value, but it would be less irradiance or light density(power per sq.mm). Turning up current to get more output is something you can do with leadllight pointers as they are usually using a 250mw IR diode that can easily output 10mW or more and have to be tweeked down at the factory to get under the 5mW limit.

About the warranty transfers.
It is only extended warranties that are not transferable, the original warranty is transferable provided the original owner contacts me to update the warranty information at the time they sell the laser.

The 30 day limit for buying the extended warranty gives the buyer the chance to "break in" the laser (not break, hehehe) and see if they really want additional coverage. By that time they will usually know if it's something they want or not.

I don't think that LG rating at 2 minutes rather than "10" that they claim gives them any increased profit margin. For the most part a laser works or it doesn't.
The peak output is not something that happens for the 1st minute a laser is turned on, but rather it is usually a peak that lasts for less than 0.5 seconds (at least in my experience). You said that LG does not turn their lasers all the way up, thus no shrt duty cycle. We don't turn ours up either (in fact I've never even opened one up inside as that would void the warranty I have with the manufacturer). What does affect the duty cycle of the RPL most is one the smaller beam diameter and low divergence and two, which is the most important, is that the manufacture is way too conservative in it's shut down circuit temperature settings. I've seen this on the schematics but am under non-disclosure to give out the simple procedure to change the circuit. (I still don't know how to get inside to do this mod without affecting alignment, but knwo it can be done.

There are probably some questions I missed, but that's all the time I have right now. I'll read this thread in the next day or so and add anything else thats needed.

Thanks Windstrings for asking these things so I could hopefully clarify for you.

Take care
 
S

SenKat

Guest
WOW ! Very nice ! Great questions, and great answers, too ! I am happy to see a good, informative dialog going on here - perhaps this can help to clear up some common misconceptions between the two brands, and assist in making folks' jobs a little easier in making a choice ! Thanks to both of you - GOOD READING !
 
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Thanks for the reply..I appreciate you remaining professional and not freaking out too bad about some of my strong statements of challenge.

Someone said you didn't reply soon enough.... I know life gets quite busy and I too felt shunned at one time with my honest questions about your product as all I got was One short reply without finalizing my questions and concerns.
I then was asked to question via PM which made me feel that open scutiny was not welcome concerning your reply.
It made me feel like there "were not good answers" so I turned elsewhere also.

I have actually conversed very little with you and I appreciate your professionalism.



Yes, all the PPL units at or below 225mW have always been rated for continuous 100% duty cycle.

Excellent... thats a plus!.. I wasn't aware of this... maybe I didn't catch that proclaimation on your site when I was in the market.. I apologize if I overlooked it.



Yes, that was the power measuring procedure I sent you and use, but I think you're mis-interpreting it a little. To get the best resolution out of my meter, I set it to do a 20 second run. It is capable of only 200 samples at a time, so for 20 seconds this is a sample every 1/10 of a second. Setting the meter to a longer run time will reduce the resolution of the samples, so that a 1/3 or 1/4 second drop or rise in power would bve missed completely. When I said I run the 20 second test 3 times and average the results, I am not turning the laser off and letting it cool in between these 3 tests, it remains on. It takes me a few seconds to write down the statistics and restart the next test. So really it is 3 20 second samples where the beam remains on and 5-10 seconds between each 20 second run of the trend function. I state only the truth as to how I test and I know even when I only test as I do, each laser ends up taking 20 minutes or more to test completely (ask my wife). Each laser is spot checked for beam quality and divergence (if it's not obviously in spec it does go to any customer).

It does indeed sound like your meter is extremely accurate, but still the test is only over 20 seconds?
Don't your lasers put out 30% more power for the first few minutes than after that?.. especially the first 20 seconds?

My concern is... I don't want to pay for a laser thats rated for 20 seconds "if" it will drop 20 - 30 % over the next couple to five minutes.

You said either a laser works or it doesn't....... I think I have to disagree here unless I don't understand what you mean.
All lasers that I have ever played with perform quite differently the first 20 seconds verses how it does 5 minutes from then.


As for over-driving, thats not the case here. The RPL uses 2.0 amps of current at full current power (level 9). If you look at the spec on the n-light site, you will see that for the 2.5Watt diode 2.0amps is not even at the 80% level. Yes crystal purity, alignment and also the alignment of the GRIN lens mounted on the IR diode are the biggest factors for power output , otherwise they are all identical.

My assumption that could be the case was simply because a laserglow laser at 300mw will peak over 30% of its rated output and keep it for at least 3 minutes if not up to 5 minutes.... I do see a nice peak with optotronics, just not that good and since the circuitry seems similiar.. I was trying to figure out why the difference.

NIMH even if they were 2 D cells, cannot provide the amount of power that one 18650 high capapcity lithium cell does. The advantage the RPL does have over the Herc, is portability. The RPL is much light and smaller and pack a great amount of power and is easy to carry on a coat pocket or bag. The Herc is not portable at all really, sure it can be carried, but not as easily.
I agree with this statement up to this point.. the Herc is indeed a whopping piece of hardware... the RPL is almost the size of the Aries.

Also like you said most of time people only need a few minutes of use before a minute of cooling. If high output is needed for extended time periods, a bench A/C powered laser is a better choice.
The Herc has an external powersupply intended for long term use by doctors, medical or other commercial applications.... I am not qualified to say if a bench is better... but that is a very general statement just to say "bench".. I'm sure the Herc is much better than some Bench lasers when ran by external power...... but I am not qualified to debate such a claim or challenge.


Our lasers are tested at their optimum current output...ie. the current level which produces the most output power. With the RPL units and the current battery brand with a full charge, this is typically level 4-5; but each laser is silghtly different and temperature affects this as well. It does no good to turn the current up to level 9 for the output power tests as level 9 current will produce a higher 532nm output power, it will only increase the 808nm output going into the crystal set. Once the crystal set is "what I would call saturated" throwing more IR at it does nothing more except increase heat and decrease stability.
I appreciate your explaination..... I was wondering if this "optimun current output" you discover thats unique with each laser... is this also the setting that optotronics uses to rate their units for selling?
In other words.... when you do find the optimum setting for a unit, do you then sell it at that power rating?


That said, if our lasers were produced with a higher typical beam diameter of say 1.5 to 1.8mm rather than the typical 1.25mm or less beam diameter and a higher divergence of say 1.1mrad rather than the typical 1.00mrad or less, we could get more power from the crystals as the beam would be covering a larger area of the crystal and not saturate at level 4-5, but maybe go up to level 7-9 before saturation. This would give an output of higher raw value, but it would be less irradiance or light density(power per sq.mm). Turning up current to get more output is something you can do with leadllight pointers as they are usually using a 250mw IR diode that can easily output 10mW or more and have to be tweeked down at the factory to get under the 5mW limit.

Again, a nice explaination, but I understand all your units could be turned up to the max ... some would tolerate much better than others based in individual crystal efficiency within, while others would be much worse with too much current applied as the lesser quality crystals in the lower rated units would cause a nasty temperature curve to kill otherwise useful power out the unit.


About the warranty transfers.
It is only extended warranties that are not transferable, the original warranty is transferable provided the original owner contacts me to update the warranty information at the time they sell the laser.

The 30 day limit for buying the extended warranty gives the buyer the chance to "break in" the laser (not break, hehehe) and see if they really want additional coverage. By that time they will usually know if it's something they want or not.

Fair enough......

I don't think that LG rating at 2 minutes rather than "10" that they claim gives them any increased profit margin. For the most part a laser works or it doesn't.
I'm sorry if I put 2 minutes... I mean't 20 seconds, as I understand thats the parameters you guys use to rate your units?
I think I disagree with what your trying to say here... IF LG rated my 300mw for 20 seconds, they could have sold the same laser to me at the 400mw price.. since it will do that for about 5 minutes before creeping downward towards 320mw where it finally settles.
So there is a huge profit margin to rate units at 20 seconds rather than 10 minutes!....

I summed it up quite simply as one being "commercial" grade verses not.

Not many doctors or medical personnel could do well with a laser that would shut down in 5 minutes in the middle of a procedure due to overheating...... since that not what most of us use them for.. its not so much of an issue.

However when I bought my 52" riding zero turn radius lawnmower.. I bought a "commercial" grade unit... why?.... its common sense to expect higher reliablity from something with thicker metal and stronger points of stress.


The peak output is not something that happens for the 1st minute a laser is turned on, but rather it is usually a peak that lasts for less than 0.5 seconds (at least in my experience). You said that LG does not turn their lasers all the way up, thus no shrt duty cycle. We don't turn ours up either (in fact I've never even opened one up inside as that would void the warranty I have with the manufacturer). What does affect the duty cycle of the RPL most is one the smaller beam diameter and low divergence and two, which is the most important, is that the manufacture is way too conservative in it's shut down circuit temperature settings. I've seen this on the schematics but am under non-disclosure to give out the simple procedure to change the circuit. (I still don't know how to get inside to do this mod without affecting alignment, but knwo it can be done.

Fair enough..... since most of us never need that long of a runtime, the safety measure should never come into play.

There are probably some questions I missed, but that's all the time I have right now. I'll read this thread in the next day or so and add anything else thats needed.

I know you are very busy and I don't want to "exhaust you with unending questions and rebuttals".. I do appreciate your time to come out here and represent your fine product.

I appreciate your points of honesty and candidness.

Trust is the most valuable commodity these days...... as long as everyone understands the issues... some folks will need one type of laser for thier applications, while another prefers another....
Its nice to avoid "buyers remorse" due to uninformed buys....

I seems whoever has bought an optotronics laser have always been estatic with the results.... I have only read postive reviews.

Thanks again.....
 
S

SenKat

Guest
Windstrings - NOT busting your chops.....but (you knew that was coming, didn't you ? )
I disagree with one point...but, only a little bit !

You said "trust" is the most valuable commodity - I agree to a certain point - but, to me, trust is earned by good, open, and honest discussion. Does that make sense ? I guess I am not really disagreeing with you on that point, after all !
 
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SenKat said:
Windstrings - NOT busting your chops.....but (you knew that was coming, didn't you ? )
I disagree with one point...but, only a little bit !

You said "trust" is the most valuable commodity - I agree to a certain point - but, to me, trust is earned by good, open, and honest discussion. Does that make sense ? I guess I am not really disagreeing with you on that point, after all !

Exactly.... discussion is always a hassle by a manufacturer... it takes time, stress, and just plain hassle.

It nice when the product itself is merely promoted by the customers and no interjecting is needed on behalf of the retailer or distributor... but on the other hand... every house needs cleanup from time to time to keep it in order.

I'm sure someone else will come along in 6 months to a year asking the same questions that are not already plainly explained on their web site.
Another reason why effort answering questions on the faq page of the website is well worth the hassle and effort... its like.. do you answer every person in the classroom that raises their hand over and over every day and term, or do you just write it on the chalk board so everyone can see if you know its of global concern?

NOT providing obvious information only genders concerns of "why" that info is avoided.

Releasing info means more exposure and accountability.

Most of these questions are not outlandish weird questions that everyone doesn't consider in thier purchase.
If there was no competition out there, some of these questions would not be necessary.... but each manufacturer raises the par for the next.

What I mean is.. if one manufacturer puts detailed specs or claims on their website, then the customer is going to want to say... Ok.. now what about yours?...as they compare apples and oranges at the market.

It would behoove each manufacturer to study in detail each others websites and claims and offer balanced information that rebutts or confirms the competition.

Now that we have forums and the internet, the market is a different world for all products.

No more is it as easy to sell snake oil without being found out soon.

Trust is "earned" like you say.... and so is "respect".

There will always be grey areas of unanswered questions or concerns.... that trust and respect makes the customer give the manufacturer the benifit of a doubt and to make his expensive purchase anyway.
 
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Hi Windstrings,

Someone said you didn't reply soon enough.... I know life gets quite busy and I too felt shunned at one time with my honest questions about your product as all I got was One short reply without finalizing my questions and concerns.

I don't have tons of time going though the several forums on a daily basis, but I do try, I think anyone would visiting the forums often would agree that I'm more active in the forums than most other laser dealers. The easist way to contact me with questions is via the online form at my website. If I had asked that something be taken to a PM in one of the forums, that could have been the case. I and others, especially in the CPF forums have been asked to take communication offline to a PM if it is going to turn into a discussion about sale or presale or if it is going off topic.

It does indeed sound like your meter is extremely accurate, but still the test is only over 20 seconds?

I don't think you understood what I said on the test run time.
The meter I use will only run for 20 seconds at it's highest resolution. So after 20 seconds of run time, I record the meter results and restart another 20 second test, then do the same thing again and then one last time, all without ever turning the laser off. So in all the beam is left on for about 90 seconds while data is being collected.

Don't your lasers put out 30% more power for the first few minutes than after that?.. especially the first 20 seconds?

No they don't.
Typically during the first 1/2 second or less there is a peak, but I would call it more of a "turn on spike". After you test as many lasers as I have, you find out that each laser has it's own "personality profile" so to speak; at least the one without seperate TEC control on both the diode and crystal. The reason being is that as the diode heats up, its wavelength shifts by a small amount for every degree the temperature increases; at the same time the crystal's tuned frequency is also shifting, but they change by different rates. So the trick is to get them to work together best once the system reaches an equilibrium.
In fact the RPL works better when warmed up a bit. By this I mean at level 4 current(customer adjusted) which allows a nice long run time, the laser will slowly increase it's output over several minutes before it levels off.

My assumption that could be the case was simply because a laserglow laser at 300mw will peak over 30% of its rated output and keep it for at least 3 minutes if not up to 5 minutes.... I do see a nice peak with optotronics, just not that good and since the circuitry seems similiar.. I was trying to figure out why the difference.

I'm not sure what you mean by you seeing a nice peak with optotronics?
Have you tried one or did someone post this?

I do have to say, that whatever you read on the internet, don't accept only one source as fact. Many of the laser dealers "embellish" their product while trying to find issues with others, or even posting specs or data that may not be actual measured data. This is especially true if competitor names, models and serial number of those models and their source are not listed. Anyone can post graphs saying "typical results of general xxx style laser . A case in point is the power plot over time showing 3 lasers over 15 minutes. When I look at the plot, it does not look very typical of any lasers, the output power changes I see when doing trending (I've done hundreds of my lasers and lots of lasers that customers have sent me). I've never seen slopes and line that look like those, but I have seen some weird things, but none with those triangular type slopes. A customer emailed me yesterday on the LG plot saying they had put a laser on this plot that was presented as being an RPL type laser (model not mentioned). After seeing the plot, I can tell that they have never tested an RPL as thats not the output profile of any RPL I've ever sold, they just don't look like that.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it's easy for an unscrupulous person to take someone in when it is a topic in which they are not an expert, but one profession can easily pick out "embellishments" in others of the same profession.

The Herc has an external powersupply intended for long term use by doctors, medical or other commercial applications.... I am not qualified to say if a bench is better... but that is a very general statement just to say "bench".. I'm sure the Herc is much better than some Bench lasers when ran by external power...... but I am not qualified to debate such a claim or challenge.

Was it mentioned that the Herc is used for medical purposes?
I'm sure it wasn't in the USA or any other developed nation with control over medical devices. Having the basic safety features does not mean it's approved for any medical use. Medical lasers are usually not 532nm green CW, they are usually not visible light and they are pulsed lasers of very high power for very short time periods, they are also very highly controlled and regulated for power via TEC on both the diode and crystal (if diodes and crystals are actully used).

I can tell you that the typical bench laser is much better than any hand held unit (there could be some cheap bench lasers with which this would not be true). This is because they have much better cooling and control, a fan is nice, but nothing compares to a good bench laser. In fact I had a customer who recently special ordered a 5 watt system from me (TEC cooled). After getting a couple of weeks to test and certify it; it kind of ruined me on anything less than 5 watts with TEC. Portability is nice and handy, but a powerful bench system is really something to behold.

I appreciate your explaination..... I was wondering if this "optimun current output" you discover thats unique with each laser... is this also the setting that optotronics uses to rate their units for selling?
In other words.... when you do find the optimum setting for a unit, do you then sell it at that power rating?


Yes, with the adjsutable RPL this is true.
The non-adjustable RPL is not adjustable, so it gets tested as is. With the adjustable, the laser is turned on at level one and slowly turned up until output no longer increases (usually level 4-6) and that level is used for the tests to follow. The customer is then told to do the same when they use it as this level can change depending on battery type, state of charge and ambient temperature.

Again, a nice explaination, but I understand all your units could be turned up to the max ... some would tolerate much better than others based in individual crystal efficiency within, while others would be much worse with too much current applied as the lesser quality crystals in the lower rated units would cause a nasty temperature curve to kill otherwise useful power out the unit.

There's no reason to turn it up to the max. Why would want to over drive the diode/crystal nothing to be gained there except instability and excess heat, not extra power output. Some units might tolerate the higher level better and not drop off in output as much, but why force more current than is needed?

I summed it up quite simply as one being "commercial" grade verses not.

Not many doctors or medical personnel could do well with a laser that would shut down in 5 minutes in the middle of a procedure due to overheating...... since that not what most of us use them for.. its not so much of an issue.


This is retail vs. commercial is just marketing propaganda, I already mentioned the medical stuff.

I've spent about an hour on this reply as I'm not a fast typist, so I may not get back here today, I've got lots to do.

Thanks for the interaction, I enjoy it.

Jack
 




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