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Seeking a functional astronomy pen laser recommendation after getting screwed by LPS

VitoPettito

New member
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
7
Points
3
Hey all,

I have a huge dobsonian telescope and I really want to use a 20-50mW green laser as a starfinder. The scope came with a nice finderscope but it has an aperture (it's a mini telescope with cross-hairs) and it's impossible to pick out the star I want to point at since they all look the same brightness. It's a push-to scope with a computer, so a laser would actually give me the quickest and easiest alignment, and also be a cool combination of my two little hobbies (astro and lasers!).

I bought the orion laser bracket but their 5mw astro laser, while probably really nice, is pricey as hell and boooooooring and WEAK. I don't want to wait for my eyes to become dark adapted to follow the beam all the way up to the star, so I want to put a stronger pen style green laser in the bracket instead. So, I tried out the model 202 lasers from LPS; they were PERFECT, powerful but modest, the right size to fit in the bracket and with a toggle switch instead of a press-and-hold button. Everything would be perfect that is, if they worked at all. Which they don't. And then LPS deleted my account in their update problems and screwed me out of 30 bucks (because I bought some safety goggles too, which the lasers shine right through...)

TLDR...
SO, I'm here to ask the big question: I'm basically looking to find a laser similar to the Orion Skyline Deluxe Laser, but a couple times more powerful. My biggest criteria is obviously it has to fit in the skyline bracket (which any standard sized pen laser should), toggle instead of press and hold button, and a lot more powerful than "3-5mW" ((n)🤮). I don't need it too insanely strong though, it is for pointing at the sky and I just want to be able to easily see the beam all the way up to the star. It doesn't have to have that fancy pants beam brightness stabilizer like the orion laser has, but I should add that it might need to be able to be on for a few minutes without pooping out on me, and I'd like for it to be built well. If it can do okay on cooler nights too that would rock. And one more thing to add, I'm not going to be leaving it on, I plan on clicking it on, swinging the scope, and once I got my eyepiece looking at my target it'll get flipped off. I have had airplanes fly through my eyepiece randomly so I'm definitely going to be very careful with it, and it's also why I don't want something too strong.

I'm willing to shell out $$ for a well built pen laser, and am also willing to commission a build for anyone who thinks they can put it together. I'm still new to the laser game though, I basically have a small collection of 303's and 202's (2/3 don't work though). Thanks a ton for reading this and double thanks if you give me any advice!
 



Joined
Feb 8, 2019
Messages
80
Points
8
Hey all,

I have a huge dobsonian telescope and I really want to use a 20-50mW green laser as a starfinder. The scope came with a nice finderscope but it has an aperture (it's a mini telescope with cross-hairs) and it's impossible to pick out the star I want to point at since they all look the same brightness. It's a push-to scope with a computer, so a laser would actually give me the quickest and easiest alignment, and also be a cool combination of my two little hobbies (astro and lasers!).

I bought the orion laser bracket but their 5mw astro laser, while probably really nice, is pricey as hell and boooooooring and WEAK. I don't want to wait for my eyes to become dark adapted to follow the beam all the way up to the star, so I want to put a stronger pen style green laser in the bracket instead. So, I tried out the model 202 lasers from LPS; they were PERFECT, powerful but modest, the right size to fit in the bracket and with a toggle switch instead of a press-and-hold button. Everything would be perfect that is, if they worked at all. Which they don't. And then LPS deleted my account in their update problems and screwed me out of 30 bucks (because I bought some safety goggles too, which the lasers shine right through...)

TLDR...
SO, I'm here to ask the big question: I'm basically looking to find a laser similar to the Orion Skyline Deluxe Laser, but a couple times more powerful. My biggest criteria is obviously it has to fit in the skyline bracket (which any standard sized pen laser should), toggle instead of press and hold button, and a lot more powerful than "3-5mW" ((n)🤮). I don't need it too insanely strong though, it is for pointing at the sky and I just want to be able to easily see the beam all the way up to the star. It doesn't have to have that fancy pants beam brightness stabilizer like the orion laser has, but I should add that it might need to be able to be on for a few minutes without pooping out on me, and I'd like for it to be built well. If it can do okay on cooler nights too that would rock. And one more thing to add, I'm not going to be leaving it on, I plan on clicking it on, swinging the scope, and once I got my eyepiece looking at my target it'll get flipped off. I have had airplanes fly through my eyepiece randomly so I'm definitely going to be very careful with it, and it's also why I don't want something too strong.

I'm willing to shell out $$ for a well built pen laser, and am also willing to commission a build for anyone who thinks they can put it together. I'm still new to the laser game though, I basically have a small collection of 303's and 202's (2/3 don't work though). Thanks a ton for reading this and double thanks if you give me any advice!
Honestly go with the Sanwu pocket series. I just purchased a 405nm 500mW Sanwu pocket and the build quality like all of sanwu products is amazing. They have many wavelengths and they are usually always over spec in output. If you want something with more power they have the striker saber series which you can get a 1.2 watt 520nm if you really want green that is. They also have a few other pen like builds that are seriously amazingly well built. I can't say good enough things about Sanwu. also jet lasers has some very nice lasers that are exceptionally well built. I own lasers from both companies and while personally I prefer sanwu lasers because they seem beefier being made out of stainless steel and aluminium some of the more seasoned members here prefer jetlasers.


Edit: if your looking for a custom build then Lifetime17 is the man to talk to. Go to the search icon on the top of the page and type his username in the search by member field. Then click his name and send him a personal message. You can also email him. If he dont get back to you in a reasonable amount of time send me a p.m and I will call him and have him get in contact with you.
 
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VitoPettito

New member
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
7
Points
3
Honestly go with the Sanwu pocket series. I just purchased a 405nm 500mW Sanwu pocket and the build quality like all of sanwu products is amazing. They have many wavelengths and they are usually always over spec in output. If you want something with more power they have the striker saber series which you can get a 1.2 watt 520nm if you really want green that is. They also have a few other pen like builds that are seriously amazingly well built. I can't say good enough things about Sanwu. also jet lasers has some very nice lasers that are exceptionally well built. I own lasers from both companies and while personally I prefer sanwu lasers because they seem beefier being made out of stainless steel and aluminium some of the more seasoned members here prefer jetlasers.


Edit: if your looking for a custom build then Lifetime17 is the man to talk to. Go to the search icon on the top of the page and type his username in the search by member field. Then click his name and send him a personal message. You can also email him. If he dont get back to you in a reasonable amount of time send me a p.m and I will call him and have him get in contact with you.
I will look into the pocket series! As long it will fit in my bracket it would be a great choice, but it would be $120 for a 150mw green, which is probably overkill for a telescope pointer. It sure would be nice though! The strikers won't fit in my telescope bracket but I was still looking at them for a fun burning laser... probably not a great idea to point that much output up in the sky all the time though! Might draw a lot more attention than a weaker laser. I really only need about 50mW of green output. Thanks for the reply!
 

hakzaw1

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
9,840
Points
113
Unless you hold down the button or make something that does that.. myb you should get a green that's a 'clicky' NOT momentary.
A rough gauge for duty/rest cycling is IF it feels very warm to the touch --its time to 'rest' (about same amt of time you had it on (duty).
IMHO 50 mW is a good choice. Less than $8 from KingKube 'Alan' he has two about that power listed at 'blab1391' ebay seller..
His 532s are very likely ~50mW but due to ebay rules almost all are listed as 5mW.
I think the $7.70 one is clicky I have the cheaper version & iirc its momentary side button w/ key lock out on tailcap. His shipping is faster than average. He is a LPF member. (his site is shared with the 'wife' so-- use the search once there ///lol)

Hope this helps-- we would love to see any pics you care to share.
 

VitoPettito

New member
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
7
Points
3
Unless you hold down the button or make something that does that.. myb you should get a green that's a 'clicky' NOT momentary.
A rough gauge for duty/rest cycling is IF it feels very warm to the touch --its time to 'rest' (about same amt of time you had it on (duty).
IMHO 50 mW is a good choice. Less than $8 from KingKube 'Alan' he has two about that power listed at 'blab1391' ebay seller..
His 532s are very likely ~50mW but due to ebay rules almost all are listed as 5mW.
I think the $7.70 one is clicky I have the cheaper version & iirc its momentary side button w/ key lock out on tailcap. His shipping is faster than average. He is a LPF member. (his site is shared with the 'wife' so-- use the search once there ///lol)

Hope this helps-- we would love to see any pics you care to share.
I actually just realized that the bracket does come with a little ring for depressing and holding down clicker buttons that aren't single mode. So I can actually work with press on buttons as long as they are on the side of the laser. I'll check out the ebay seller, thanks! I might be making a post about that 202 since I actually like the design and I might rip it apart and see if I can figure out what's loose. I've done it with all three and haven't fried anything with static yet! If I can get them to work for me I might hold off on upgrading until I wear them out (I'm assuming they won't last too long...)
 

lasersbee

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
17,628
Points
113
LPS?? I guess you are referring to LaserPointerStore...
No surprise... his LPM sucks as well.

Some good suggestions from the above members...

Jerry
 

VitoPettito

New member
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
7
Points
3
Alright, time for a small update! I ripped the lasers apart after doing some reading about disassembly and anatomy and whatnot. I tightened some loose threads but that didn’t appear to be the problem. Turns out the threads in the tube are catching the batteries with the lip and keeping them from making good contact. I pulled them apart again and pulled on the spring so it holds the batteries tighter and experimented with adding spacers and wrapping the batteries in electrical tape in an effort to keep the beam at the intended brightness.

I got one to work a bit more reliably, although the other is still dimmer and seems more prone to getting the batteries stuck under the lip of the threads. I took the scope out for a first light and the laser is actually the one thing that worked!! Had to fix some other parts of the scope but it’s all up and running now. The laser does die at the first touch of cold but I can wrap the front of the laser in a hand warmer/hot hands thing, wrap a small towel for insulation and rubber band it together, and the laser starts right up again.

DAMN the thing is bright, especially after your eyes are dark adapted. But it makes aligning the computer a breeze! And once the computer is calibrated (vertical and two known stars in order for it to get the map of the sky) I don’t actually need to keep pointing it at the sky unless I need to recalibrate the computer.

When this setup dies, I’ll probably go for a 50mW 520nm Sanwu Pocket! They are short but still about a half inch longer than the brackets so I’m pretty sure it’ll fit. Or I’ll get one built, but I’m interested building (much more likely just assembling) my own burning laser, but I’m new to electronics so lasers will be my outlet for learning how circuits and electronics and such work. Either way, even though I got them working you all were a great help in figuring it out and working out a backup when these cheapoZ $5 lasers poop out on me.

Thanks for the help!
 

cornweda

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
21
Points
3
Hey all,

I have a huge dobsonian telescope and I really want to use a 20-50mW green laser as a starfinder. The scope came with a nice finderscope but it has an aperture (it's a mini telescope with cross-hairs) and it's impossible to pick out the star I want to point at since they all look the same brightness. It's a push-to scope with a computer, so a laser would actually give me the quickest and easiest alignment, and also be a cool combination of my two little hobbies (astro and lasers!).

I bought the orion laser bracket but their 5mw astro laser, while probably really nice, is pricey as hell and boooooooring and WEAK. I don't want to wait for my eyes to become dark adapted to follow the beam all the way up to the star, so I want to put a stronger pen style green laser in the bracket instead. So, I tried out the model 202 lasers from LPS; they were PERFECT, powerful but modest, the right size to fit in the bracket and with a toggle switch instead of a press-and-hold button. Everything would be perfect that is, if they worked at all. Which they don't. And then LPS deleted my account in their update problems and screwed me out of 30 bucks (because I bought some safety goggles too, which the lasers shine right through...)

TLDR...
SO, I'm here to ask the big question: I'm basically looking to find a laser similar to the Orion Skyline Deluxe Laser, but a couple times more powerful. My biggest criteria is obviously it has to fit in the skyline bracket (which any standard sized pen laser should), toggle instead of press and hold button, and a lot more powerful than "3-5mW" ((n)🤮). I don't need it too insanely strong though, it is for pointing at the sky and I just want to be able to easily see the beam all the way up to the star. It doesn't have to have that fancy pants beam brightness stabilizer like the orion laser has, but I should add that it might need to be able to be on for a few minutes without pooping out on me, and I'd like for it to be built well. If it can do okay on cooler nights too that would rock. And one more thing to add, I'm not going to be leaving it on, I plan on clicking it on, swinging the scope, and once I got my eyepiece looking at my target it'll get flipped off. I have had airplanes fly through my eyepiece randomly so I'm definitely going to be very careful with it, and it's also why I don't want something too strong.

I'm willing to shell out $$ for a well built pen laser, and am also willing to commission a build for anyone who thinks they can put it together. I'm still new to the laser game though, I basically have a small collection of 303's and 202's (2/3 don't work though). Thanks a ton for reading this and double thanks if you give me any advice!
Hey all,

I have a huge dobsonian telescope and I really want to use a 20-50mW green laser as a starfinder. The scope came with a nice finderscope but it has an aperture (it's a mini telescope with cross-hairs) and it's impossible to pick out the star I want to point at since they all look the same brightness. It's a push-to scope with a computer, so a laser would actually give me the quickest and easiest alignment, and also be a cool combination of my two little hobbies (astro and lasers!).

I bought the orion laser bracket but their 5mw astro laser, while probably really nice, is pricey as hell and boooooooring and WEAK. I don't want to wait for my eyes to become dark adapted to follow the beam all the way up to the star, so I want to put a stronger pen style green laser in the bracket instead. So, I tried out the model 202 lasers from LPS; they were PERFECT, powerful but modest, the right size to fit in the bracket and with a toggle switch instead of a press-and-hold button. Everything would be perfect that is, if they worked at all. Which they don't. And then LPS deleted my account in their update problems and screwed me out of 30 bucks (because I bought some safety goggles too, which the lasers shine right through...)

TLDR...
SO, I'm here to ask the big question: I'm basically looking to find a laser similar to the Orion Skyline Deluxe Laser, but a couple times more powerful. My biggest criteria is obviously it has to fit in the skyline bracket (which any standard sized pen laser should), toggle instead of press and hold button, and a lot more powerful than "3-5mW" ((n)🤮). I don't need it too insanely strong though, it is for pointing at the sky and I just want to be able to easily see the beam all the way up to the star. It doesn't have to have that fancy pants beam brightness stabilizer like the orion laser has, but I should add that it might need to be able to be on for a few minutes without pooping out on me, and I'd like for it to be built well. If it can do okay on cooler nights too that would rock. And one more thing to add, I'm not going to be leaving it on, I plan on clicking it on, swinging the scope, and once I got my eyepiece looking at my target it'll get flipped off. I have had airplanes fly through my eyepiece randomly so I'm definitely going to be very careful with it, and it's also why I don't want something too strong.

I'm willing to shell out $$ for a well built pen laser, and am also willing to commission a build for anyone who thinks they can put it together. I'm still new to the laser game though, I basically have a small collection of 303's and 202's (2/3 don't work though). Thanks a ton for reading this and double thanks if you give me any advice!
 

cornweda

New member
Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Messages
21
Points
3
I have both the Sanwu Pocket 50mw 520nm green laser and the Laserlands 5mw 510mw Laser Pointer Pen (the small pen format). They both are green diode lasers and work in cold weather (I am in cold country Canada). The Sanwu Pocket laser is shorter and both fit in the Orion laser pen mount (I have Celestron Nexstar SE8). I think I paid $17 dollars for the Laserland laser pen and it is very rugged, though the build quality of the Sanwu laser is better, but not less fragile. The Sanwu laser was over $90 dollars at the time. I use the Laserland on my telescope for a few reasons. 1) 5mw is legal limit in Canada. Green 5mw is bright enough for star finder if you look along the line of sight of the laser. It uses regular pen light batteries (AAA) and if it is very cold you can switch to lithium batteries (AAA). 2) It seems very rugged and it is cheap so if I break it I won't be upset. 3) I also find the longer pen length is easier to align in the Orion laser pen mount than the Sanwu shorter pocket laser.

I tested both lasers in my freezer with lithium batteries (AAA for Laserland and 10500 for Sanwu) and both worked fine. The 50mw Sanwu laser is better for pointing out stars to people in a group (not looking down the line of sight), but would be illegal. Some star parties ban lasers altogether and some sights frown on them. I love it to get the initial close location and then use my reticule 50mm finder scope to more precisely align, since Nexstar is F10 scope and magnification is usually high. Above 50mw is over kill for green laser and could attract the law if you get reported.

Note:
The cheap $7 532nm dpss pen style eBay laser all work, but not in the cold. These lasers also vary wildly in their power output. I have 532nm laser pens that go from 1mw to 100mw all called less than 5mw on eBay. EBay does not allow them to list their lasers for powers over 5mw. They all work in the Orion laser pointer mount too.
 
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