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The economy of laser diodes

scientist

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One thing I still don't understand is this whole harvesting from projectors business. From an economics perspective it seems very out of whack as it's so wasteful.

E.g. the infamous c___o projector that's currently being harvested for its 445nm 1W+ diodes. Say the projector retails for 500 and has 18 diodes (does it have 18 or 24, can't remember). A person can make a dollar by buying this projector, harvesting the 18 diodes and sell them on ebay / LPF etc for 50 a piece. His revenue would be 900 and cost would be 500 + labour, so a very nice profit.

From the manufacturer's perspective: the projector retails for 500, costs probably 300 to make, the complete optics / control modules / power supply / case etc (all components except diode) costs 150, and the 18 diodes cost max 50 from whatever supplier they get it from, and the rest of the cost is due to marketing / warranty / distribution costs.

Now what I don't understand is whichever factory makes these diodes by the thousands, if they see these are being harvested and sold on the secondary market (ebay, lpf and other places) for like 50-60 a piece, why don't they find a way to sell these directly to the public as a component? Even if the diode factory sells these for like 10 bucks each, it's still probably a 500% profit margin.

Alternatively, why hasn't anyone been able to identify the maker of this diode and organise some sort of bulk buy to resell on ebay or whatnot? Basically this whole harvesting business is extremely wasteful and does not make sense in a free market world.
 
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Toke

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regalis

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I wonder also why the diodes aren't for sale directly to the public!? :/
EDIT: Ah ok...i see :D
 
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lasersbee

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One thing I still don't understand is this whole harvesting from projectors business. From an economics perspective it seems very out of whack as it's so wasteful.

E.g. the infamous c___o projector that's currently being harvested for its 445nm 1W+ diodes. Say the projector retails for 500 and has 18 diodes (does it have 18 or 24, can't remember). A person can make a dollar by buying this projector, harvesting the 18 diodes and sell them on ebay / LPF etc for 50 a piece. His revenue would be 900 and cost would be 500 + labour, so a very nice profit.

From the manufacturer's perspective: the projector retails for 500, costs probably 300 to make, the complete optics / control modules / power supply / case etc (all components except diode) costs 150, and the 18 diodes cost max 50 from whatever supplier they get it from, and the rest of the cost is due to marketing / warranty / distribution costs.

Now what I don't understand is whichever factory makes these diodes by the thousands, if they see these are being harvested and sold on the secondary market (ebay, lpf and other places) for like 50-60 a piece, why don't they find a way to sell these directly to the public as a component? Even if the diode factory sells these for like 10 bucks each, it's still probably a 500% profit margin.

Alternatively, why hasn't anyone been able to identify the maker of this diode and organise some sort of bulk buy to resell on ebay or whatnot? Basically this whole harvesting business is extremely wasteful and does not make sense in a free market world.

I see that you need to do a little more reading on the
Kasyo Projectors and their harvesting on the Forum...

The projectors were selling (and are still selling) for
$700-$900....

There are 24 Laser Diodes and a lot of other optical
parts in that projector...

There was an eBay member that was selling 500mW
Blue LDs for a very high price (can't remember Exactly)
and when the opportunity to get 445nm Blue LDs for
under $50.00 each came about the Laser community
jumped at the chance to get a hold of some..

Similar 445nm LDs directly from the manufacturer would
have cost over $1000.00 each in single unit prices.
(We still don't have a part number for those LDs)

I'm convinced that it would take an order of hundreds
of thousands of these LDs to bring the price down to
the price per diode in the projector off the shelf...
There are not enough LPF member for that size of a
Group Buy..

Tearing down a Projector was the least expensive way
to put the 445nm LDs in the hands of Laser hobbyists.

If you find it wasteful.... then don't do it...:cryyy:

I as a business person find tearing down that projector
a very efficient and economical way of procuring those
highly expensive 445nm Laser Diodes...

The decision to do that harvesting rests with me and is
mine alone since the money for a projector would come
from my own pockets and I can buy whatever I like that
I can comfortably afford..:beer:

After all.. like you said...it is a free market world.... and
I'm free to buy what I want and I'm free to do what I
want with it....:whistle:


Jerry
 
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scientist

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Not criticising the practice of doing it, just commenting that there should be an economically better way that involves no waste (currently each harvest produces so much waste in the form of a perfectly working new $900 DLP projector minus the diodes). Doubtful the factory would sell for $1000 each when they're supplying it to kasyo for probably $1 each - there should be an opportunity for some importer / retailer / whatever (e.g. deal extreme and their likes) to negotiate some sort of supplier contract with the diode makers. My question is why hasn't this happened yet / what is stopping this?
 
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BKarim

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"My question is why hasn't this happened yet"

i think it has already happened, but for the moment the sellers keep the prices of their 445nm pointers artificially high, since there is a strong demand...
so if you want to see the prices to drop, stop buying blue lasers at 150$ 300$ 500$ , cause in fact they cost no more than 20$ :)
 
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scientist

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"My question is why hasn't this happened yet"

i think it has already happened, but for the moment the sellers keep the prices of their 445nm pointers artificially high, since there is a strong demand...
so if you want to see the prices to drop, stop buying blue lasers at 150$ 300$ 500$ , cause in fact they cost no more than 20$ :)
haha... maybe not $20, there's real quality in some of the better hosts, and the batteries aren't that cheap either

Maybe 100-150 for a good quality host, mass produced 1Watt+ blue laser is a reasonable price. Anyway just saying there's a heap of money to be made for whoever can:

1) identify the makers of the diodes
2) negotiate a supply relationship with them and be able to buy them for their true price, which should be around $2 each (just a very rough ballpark estimate from the fact that there's 24 in a 900rrp dollar projector)
 
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lasersbee

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"My question is why hasn't this happened yet"

i think it has already happened, but for the moment the sellers keep the prices of their 445nm pointers artificially high, since there is a strong demand...
so if you want to see the prices to drop, stop buying blue lasers at 150$ 300$ 500$ , cause in fact they cost no more than 20$ :)
That makes no sense at all....

Please build me a 1 Watt 445nm Laser for $20.00.....
I'll buy 10pc right now...

If you can't... then it's time to wake up to reality and
smell the coffee...
Spewing idiotic drivel like that is pure crap... or a very
poor TROLL attempt worthy of a.....:banned:

Ever heard of profit to put food on the table and pay
employees and overhead...:eek:


Jerry
 
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BKarim

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"Please build me a 1 Watt 445nm Laser for $20.00"

it is absolutely evident that an home-made production will never be as cheap than industrial production.
 

Benm

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I think the question is valid enough: We have been harvesting (red) diodes from sleds for years, and little has changed in that practise even today.

In some cases the logical explanation is that hardware is simply sold below production cost, and the real cost is later recovered by selling consumables or software (printers, game consoles). This is probably not the case with the projectors though, as they require no investment after the initial purchase to keep working.

The likely explanation is simply volume: Manufacturers of electronic components are used to selling them by the million. Normally they are then used by some device manufacturers, which sends them to resellers by the (ten)thousands, and those send them on to retailers by the 100s or more.

Such manufacturers have no b2c channels available to sell the individual components. They might be willing to sell you a million pieces for further distribution, but this would require an investment of several million dollars to start with, and also leave you with responsibility for safety and warantee on the product - i guess that explains why noone attempts to jump in there.
 

Bluefan

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For 100,000pcs or more you may get close to $20, but that's exactly where te problem lies: there's not a large market enough for high power diodes or pointers to become that cheap. The market for beamers is big enough, helped by the fact that a single beamer needs 24 laser diodes.
 

Kmor2004

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I believe there IS one option that may work, it would still be wasteful but not as much as buying teh entire projector, and that would be to find a repair shop (I know there aren't many left these days) that support (@$h-yo projectors and ask them if it's possible to just order the diode block, it would still cost a few $100 but I bet it be at least $300-500 rather then the entire projector.
 

Toke

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I doubt you are the first to think of that, and there are quite likely some arrangement to stop that.
Like, the diode block does not exist as a spare part?

I am not sure how to articulate it but there is a huge difference between the >1mW reds for button cell keyrings and a diode that require a serious power supply, cooling, and come with all kinds of legal hassle.

Try imagine 1W lasers sold like candy/keyrings.
The production/sales price gives a lower profit and the number of injured will be huge.
 

scientist

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Good input everyone. In conclusion, no alternative other than to be wasteful

Here's an idea, could we harvest the diode block from the brand new projector, then sell the brand new projector (without the diodes) back to kasyo so they could make use of it? LOL
 
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Good input everyone. In conclusion, no alternative other than to be wasteful

Here's an idea, could we harvest the diode block from the brand new projector, then sell the brand new projector (without the diodes) back to kasyo so they could make use of it? LOL
I was just thinking about that. I wonder if they do purchase them from people and throw a new diode block in.
 

bobhaha

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I was just thinking about that. I wonder if they do purchase them from people and throw a new diode block in.
Highly doubt it... Who would want to buy a projector that has been hacked up, parts stripped out of it, then repaired and resold? :undecided:

Plus not to mention it would be cheaper to just make a new one then buy off some one on ebay.
 
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