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Thanks! (from a newb in Michigan)

Jeffrey T

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Hi everyone,

I just wanted to say "Thank You" for all of the great info that's shared here! I'm a fresh laser newb, and have been utilizing the Search function (like all newbs should lol), and it's great to have such a resource!

A little background: I've been fascinated with lights, colored light shows, etc, since I was a little kid. When I go to a concert, It's not uncommon for me to be more fascinated by the lighting than the band! I've also been a flashlight junkie as an adult for a number of years. With flashlights, it's always been about throw distance for me.

I recently acquired a small, inexpensive 5mW 532nm pointer. And.....the combination of beautiful color and extremely long distance range appears to have done something to me :drool: Maybe you know what I'm talking about. Also, I live less than 2 miles from large dunes that overlook Lake Michigan, which is an amazing place to (very carefully) shine a laser. The key is to keep it far enough above the horizon as not to hit vessels on the water, but low enough to avoid Chicago - Detroit air traffic.

My birthday is next week, and I'm thinking about getting myself a little gift.
Since I already have a greenie, and I'm a sucker for almost anything in the world that's blue, I think I'm going for a 445 / 450nm. My challenge is, that I want more brightness / visible distance than I already have (of course), which means I'm going to have to look at something with a bit more power in the blue range.

I've been looking very closely at safety on here, as well as on Laser Pointer Safety and Laser Safety Facts websites, so I understand the implications of a laser with some power. My current process involves keeping my laser packaged up until I'm exactly where i want to be, sure footed, and well-aware of my surroundings. Then, I only activate the laser once it's safety pointed from an extended arm in a direction that I know is clear, and make sure that anyone who I'm showing off to is safely standing behind me.

I'm considering a 500mW or 1W 450nm from laserbtb, but again, am a little nervous, as I realize these things are infinitely more dangerous, than say, even your average firearm. Still though, this will probably be the last laser I purchase for a while, so I'd like to buy something that I won't feel the need to upgrade for a while.

Any input is appreciated, but mostly, I just wanted to thank everyone here for their contributions and say that I look fwd to being part of the community!

-jeff
 

BowtieGuy

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Welcome to LPF Jeffrey; great introduction! :beer:
Good to see another Michigander here, have fun, be safe, and enjoy your stay!
Laserbtb is a reputable company, but also check the BST (Buy, Sell, Trade) section for any lasers that may be for sale by fellow LPF members.
Another good choice is Jetlasers, they are IMHO the best Chinese company to buy from, and without a doubt, have the best customer service around!

Also, be sure to have proper safety glasses, such as "EaglePair" from Suvival laser, for the wavelength you are looking for.

BTW - Happy Birthday! Here's some "green" to get you started. +rep :D

Jeff
 
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Only if your into small, compact, and power, but with short duty cycles (time you can turn it on without burning the diode) -I say about 30 seconds continuous, which won't do anything when your just pointing.

Wow nice intro, if you want a good and handy laser to play around, you can buy some stuff and make your own. (Check if you have the supplies I.E. Soldering Iron & Flux and epoxy)

I very much recommend you to build a laser pen. Compact, fun, and powerful.
If you want to check the caseing out its down below.
Laser66.com/html/pointerhost.html

You will also need to buy the module from DTR. (It's a member here, go to the search bar and type in DTR, go to his profile, then on to his site. There's tons of diodes to choose from, and you will need to buy them with DIode w/x-drive and glass lens.
https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/home/diodes
For the batteries you can go with 10440 which will provide you about 8.4V (4.2V each), enough to power up your laser.

For more info, check some of these threads out, I personally like the chrome look better than the black, but it gives you an idea of how powerful these are, (at least about 60 times brighter than your 5mw laser).

http://laserpointerforums.com/f40/laser-66-pltb450b-pen-95767.html
http://laserpointerforums.com/f64/fs-new-pen-host-kits-switch-board-spring-option-nice-22561-30.html
http://laserpointerforums.com/f44/laser66-build-95896-2.html
http://laserpointerforums.com/f48/n...made-alien-laser-lpm-reading-added-95956.html
http://laserpointerforums.com/f48/pen-laser-fun-lpm-graphs-beamshots-videos-d-95995.html#post1395425
 
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ElectricPlasma

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Welcome to LPF, Jeff!

Great information about yourself, and nice to hear you're interested in lights and lasers, I myself can relate. Anything that lights up will get me interested. :p

Good job starting off small, as 5mW is always the best to start off with, as it is around the average power of your standard presentation laser pointer. Also amazing to know that a laser of this power impresses you already, you're in for a great time if that's the case! :D

It's indeed very interesting when you get your first pointer, and you see how far it can go. Not actually sure what the divergence is on those little pointers, I can't imagine it's very good, but regardless they're fun to play around with! Also props to you for being cautious of where you're pointing.

Happy birthday, I'd definitely recommend lasers from laserbtb, they've got some nice prices over there. However... I'd actually recommend putting the money for a 445nm aside and purchasing a 301 or 303 laser off eBay first, as those are arguably the most common laser that hobbyists own. They're amazing for starters because they've got enough power to see the nice, thin, 532nm beam, and some of them can burn if you can adjust the focus just right. I've got a 532nm Tesoar which is basically a re-branded 301, with a better host. Here's the one I bought:

Power Green Laser Pointer Light PEN 5mW 532nm Adjustable Laser Beam Burning NEW | eBay

Here's a basic 301 (kit):

Laser Pointer PEN G301 532nm Burning Lazer Visible Beam 18650 Charger Green KJ | eBay

I'd strongly recommend getting the 301 kit, as it gives you what you need (batteries, charger, even key lock). The one I bought is just the laser, I already had necessary accessories. Be careful though and don't use the accessories that come with the 301 as a permanent solution, get better, more quality, accessories. Especially batteries & charger, which can die on you easily.

BUT, if you do think you would really like to step up to class IV 445nm (class IV is 500mW+), go for it and make sure you take necessary safety precautions. I think you've got a good sense of safety anyway, all decisions are yours :yh:. You'll definitely be impressed on a nice class IV 445nm beam, I know I was when I first fired mine up.

You didn't mention anything about laser safety glasses, I'd also strongly recommend you get a pair before buying anything >5mW. These are considered cheap as far as laser safety glasses go, especially for their performance.

Eagle Pair® 190-540nm Standard Laser Safety Goggles
"Your eyes are more important than your wallet!" -All of us at LPF :p

Do have fun, as this is a great hobby especially with an interest in lights and lasers, you'll fit in great! I know when I first joined (not too long ago) I was very welcomed among the community, would love to pass this welcoming feeling onto you as well.

Hopefully you'll research and get more into this hobby, it only gets more interesting as you go on. You should also look into building a laser, it's a lot cheaper that buying one (only sometimes that is :yh:)

This is a great article to read whether you're considering building a laser, or even if you're just joining:

http://laserpointerforums.com/f51/i-want-build-laser-thread-52972.html

Have fun!

-Sean
 

Hap

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Welcome to the forums! :)

-Alex
 

joeybab3

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Welcome, glad you read before posting something like "how can do buy a 500w laser yellow? I tried to buy from cheap aliexpress but it didnt work?"(Obviously in exaggerating here, but glad to see that you did your research :)

Sidenote: My dads from michigan, are those dunes you are talking about called the "sleeping bear dunes" by chance? Or were those by a different lake...
 

Jeffrey T

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Wow guys!! Thanks for the very warm welcome and all of the additional info! :bowdown:

I'll definitely look into all of your links and suggestions, first and foremost getting those safety glasses that I need! I appreciate all of the specific beginner info too, and will check out all of your links in detail. I gotta say....I'm pretty excited about getting into this hobby, and all of your info helps!

I do need to upgrade my 532nm also, as I can tell just from using it / opening the battery chamber / pushing the power button, etc, that that build quality is pretty cheap and I honestly don't expect it to last long.

I actually live in Norton Shores (Muskegon) Michigan, which is on the beautiful Eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. Really, a VERY fun and relatively safe place to have lasers. I do need to be careful however, because I live about a mile from our airport (which has about 30-40 smaller flights per day, with a few United Express type and charter flights at night). Fortunately, I was born with some common sense (which I think can go along way in this hobby?), because the last thing I want to do is draw negative attention to myself, or the hobby at large. Keeping things at very safe, low-altitude nearby here is going to be key. There are some additional (yet close) places north of here also. Any input here is appreciated as well.

I went out to the edge of our largest inland lake (Muskegon Lake) pretty late last night and was amazed how I could reach some of the buoys from the shoreline. Awesome stuff! I am glad that I did start out with a small laser first, as I've learned a few things about being cautious with reflectivity.

Lastly, I've done some night photography in the past, and VERY, VERY curious as to what I may be able to do with this! :D

Again - thanks for the warm welcome (and birthday rep)!
Appreciate you guys!
 

Alien Laser

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Welcome to the forum haha / Jeffrey T and BowtieGuy are having BBQ In michigan :na:
and we are no invited :friend:
 
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trussmonkey25

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Welcome aboard. If you like small but powerful, check out the Sanwu BST threads. He has some very nice pointers in your size range. Now you will need to order batteries separate. Unlike most Asian lasers the batteries go in like American flashlight. + goes in towards the head. You make pay a little more but the quality and support are above and beyond my higher expectations. You may need to find small neodymium magnet (s) if you order certain batteries. He will explain. Check out the reviews on his lasers.
 

BowtieGuy

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Welcome to the forum haha / Jeffrey T and BowtieGuy are having BBQ In michigan :na:
and we are no invited :friend:
Hey Alien, you're invited:), but you may want to wait for warmer weather for the BBQ; you can bring the beer! :beer:
 

Mattronium

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Welcome to LPF Jeffrey T.
You're not too far away from me, actually.

So don't forget to invite me for the BBQ. :D :D :D :D
 
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Nice intro bud! Blew mine out of the water haha. Im sure your love of lasers will exponentially grow. Be safe have fun!
 
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