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PGL-III-M Review

moneyLeu

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Thanks, Trevor.
I've been coveting a kinda middleweighted laser without too much feature.
 

Trevor

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Latest news on this laser - it's been shipped back to Glenn, and I'll get a safety-featureless unit soon for review.

-Trevor
 

Traveller

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Great review :beer:
I'd rep you but it seems I already have elsewhere... consider this a raincheck!

I don't understand this four-point safety business. Maybe somebody already mentioned the reason (Federal regulations, maybe?), but I don't get it.

Safety is a great idea, but functionality is important too, so my perfect host will have a key-lock and a side-clicky. Laser stored without key, all is well.

As for this 5s delay... that is just the oddest thing... I'm just waiting for someone to press the button and after 2s of no output, turn the laser to look at the aperature* - while still holding down the button... :eek:

*old reflex from years of mankind using flashlights... *taps side of flashlight, looks directly at the lamp, mutters a few choice words*


I'm also not down with these firms advertising one thing and sending something else. Notice that I didn't specify "Asian" or "CN" because many Western companies include an "actual item may be different then what appears in image" disclaimer, etc.

This is again one of the "luxuries" you pay for when buying a laser from Optotronics and colleagues: you get what you pay for. I would think though that Glenn could get them to be more specific with the units on behalf of LPF members... maybe this can happen with GB#9 and all future GBs.
 

RA_pierce

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With most lasers, I think it's a 5-point safety system (aperture shutter, LED activation indicator, key switch, remote connector, 2-5 second output delay).

Personally, I like the safety features. The LED indicator is aesthetically pleasing to me and the aperture shutter is good for more than just blocking the beam- it keeps dust out of the aperture.
The "remote connector" and key switch are easy to bypass if needed.
The only feature I don't like much is the output delay, but I can live with it.
This feature is a little confusing, I will admit. It is pretty unsafe if you are expecting the beam to come out as soon as you release the button.
Sometimes it is inconvenient, but the delay has actually protected others and myself on a few occasions.

While aiming my (Class IV green) laser down the hall for some beamshots, I opened the shutter and pressed the button... at that moment, my girlfriend turns the corner. If the beam were to activate instantaneously I would not have had time to shut it off before I saw her, and the laser was aimed at face level (for a short girl) on a tripod.
I normally open the shutter last, once all is clear, but I was "comfortable" with this laser.

Another time I was outside playing with the very same laser and a beam expander. I set up the laser on a tripod on the roof, took aim at some clouds and pressed the button (the shutter must be left open when the beam expander is attached). At that moment, a low flying plane emerged from the clouds in what could have been the beam path.
Once again, because of the delay, I had enough time to shut off the laser before something bad happened.

All in all, I think it is a useful feature, especially for a Class IV laser.
With lower power lasers (<400mW) I can see why it and some of the other safety features would be a nuisance, but I think at least some safety features are a must on anything >350mW.

Another thing I like about the features is that it gives the laser a more "serious" appearance. When someone sees me insert a key and don some safety goggles, they expect something incredible (and it is).

Anyway, regarding the PGL-III-M, I think the main thing that subtracts from functionality is the momentary switch. I have no idea why they thought a momentary switch for such a laser was a good idea.
Perhaps CNI assumed the safety features were wanted, since the lasers were being shipped to the USA. But I have contacted CNI before with a few questions and communication is difficult (language barrier and time zone difference).

Good review, though. I'll be looking out for the next one.

Great review :beer:
I'd rep you but it seems I already have elsewhere... consider this a raincheck!

I don't understand this four-point safety business. Maybe somebody already mentioned the reason (Federal regulations, maybe?), but I don't get it.

Safety is a great idea, but functionality is important too, so my perfect host will have a key-lock and a side-clicky. Laser stored without key, all is well.

As for this 5s delay... that is just the oddest thing... I'm just waiting for someone to press the button and after 2s of no output, turn the laser to look at the aperature* - while still holding down the button... :eek:

*old reflex from years of mankind using flashlights... *taps side of flashlight, looks directly at the lamp, mutters a few choice words*


I'm also not down with these firms advertising one thing and sending something else. Notice that I didn't specify "Asian" or "CN" because many Western companies include an "actual item may be different then what appears in image" disclaimer, etc.

This is again one of the "luxuries" you pay for when buying a laser from Optotronics and colleagues: you get what you pay for. I would think though that Glenn could get them to be more specific with the units on behalf of LPF members... maybe this can happen with GB#9 and all future GBs.
 
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placebo

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Just wanted to add some info about the safety features from CNI:

I just ordered a 200mw PGL-III-A-532 directly from Sara at CNI (Ava is on vacation). I asked about having the keylock removed and I was told that they would have to design a replacement end cap which would add to the price.

I was also told that it would have to be shipped as a 5mw laser and that they would not be responsible if any problems with shipment arose.I don't know why they just can't ship the "'designed" cap uninstalled. Does this liability exist on Glen's GB?

I decided on having it shipped with the safety features intact so that the wad I plunked down will be ....safe. I kind of figured that the key would be easy enough to bypass, am I incorrect on this assumption? I also did not ask about the other safety features and after reading your excellent review, I'm starting to wonder...

I ordered just before they broke for their extended holiday, so there should be time for me to change my mind.

So!

Anyways, I noticed that all portable lasers are available with focusing options. Any thoughts on this? I am considering having this option installed if it's not too late.

I want to add that so far, CNI's customer service has been first rate. Did I mention that your review was likewise? Well, then I mentioned it twice. Thanks!

EDIT: Removed pricing information, I think it might be against LPF policy, at least on this forum. Is it? I think I better RTFM.
 
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