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The State of AwesomeLasers

Trevor

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Okay, so at this point I’m pretty sure most of you are aware that I’ve been working with Ian of AwesomeLasers, trying to get the company on track again. This actually culminated in me making a trip up to their facilities this past weekend. I’d like to provide a brief, relatively disorganized summary here so that people know where the company is, and where they’re trying to go.

First things first, Dave is gone. He’s reached the point of being a really bad joke among the employees there. The company is definitely not any sort of front for Mr. Todeschini.

I spent a few hours working with the designer of their “pill,” discussing things like heat management, drive current, lifetime expectations, and many other unrelated things. He’s quite an interesting guy – he’s been in embedded development for some thirty years, so I found talking to him especially interesting and informative.

One of the things that I was particularly curious about was the driver. When I talked to Tom (the designer / engineer type), he told me that the driver was a buck driver. This, of course, means that instead of delivering more current the more voltage is supplied, it just draws less current from the supply to give longer battery life. However, every time I talked to Ian he talked all about how the lasers would get more powerful when you added a third battery.

This always troubled me, as these two things I thought were mutually exclusive. From talking to Tom more in-depth, I found that it’s a buck driver that has some linearity to it. So, when you add 50% more supply voltage you get about 5-10% more power out. I let Ian know that a large sample of lasers will need to be tested and graphed according to Vin and Pout so that the “more batteries means more power and more battery life” can be properly noted.

I also briefed him extensively on what the hobbyist community is looking for out of a laser and how easy it is to lose one’s reputation as a seller of lasers. I told him that every reputable company we deal with – Laserglow, Optotronics, CNI, Viasho, Laser Wave, and many others – always delivers lasers slightly or very overspec. Plus or minus is not acceptable – it MUST stay at or above the rated power over the rated duty cycle.

I made sure that he knew that even playing the card of natural variations in laser diodes is not going to be an acceptable excuse for a laser coming in under rated power – they need to be binned for output so that a customer always gets what they pay for.

I explained that the hobbyist community cannot be won over by a few up-to-or-over-spec review units – especially if it surfaces later that an underspec laser has been shipped to a customer. I explained that many people do own LPM’s – LaserBees, Kenometers, meters by nospin, and even a handful of professional systems by Coherent or Newport – and that people can and will test lasers themselves or send them to people who can.

I explained that as little as one negative review can uncover what’s really going on or what’s really being shipped out – and that that one negative review can completely destroy a company’s reputation. I explained that keeping those negative reviews from happening means delivering a product that is qualitatively and quantitatively up-to-par.

I also sold him my Kenometer Pro with LumenOS installed. So, he is now completely equipped to deliver a product that meets rated specifications – in fact, with such equipment there is no excuse not to.

Conclusions / TL;DR

I took a hard line with Ian and explained exactly what our expectations are as hobbyists. He knows that in order to function within this market, he must meet and exceed these expectations. He knows that if he does not, the talk here about his company will be quite negative – and since LPF is highly ranked in Google searches, it will eat away at or altogether cease sales.

He’s now equipped with the right knowledge and tools to perform at the level that we require, but it is his responsibility to run with it.

I’m sharing all this so that people at least know what’s going on if or when the name “AwesomeLasers” starts to crop up more than it used to. Since we know what used to be the deal with them, it’s helpful to know what is now the case and where it seems they’re trying to go.

-Trevor
 
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daguin

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I've got one unit to be repaired on my desk.

I've got one "working" unit on the way.

I'll be waiting and watching

Peace,
dave
 

rhd

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Very cool report - thank you :)

"So, when you add 50% more supply voltage you get about 5-10% more power out."
So, they aren't constant current drivers then?

I don't understand why this would be desirable. Two 18650s should be able to provide more than enough to max out a 445. So is their buck driver just really inefficient? I can't think of any other reason why a third 18650 (even if they were really crappy ones) would be required to get more current than our 445s can handle in the first place.
 

benmwv

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Yeah I would think it would be much more desirable to just have a switch that changes the sense resistor or have them set at a higher current to begin with.
 

daguin

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Very cool report - thank you :)

"So, when you add 50% more supply voltage you get about 5-10% more power out."
So, they aren't constant current drivers then?

I don't understand why this would be desirable. Two 18650s should be able to provide more than enough to max out a 445. So is their buck driver just really inefficient? I can't think of any other reason why a third 18650 (even if they were really crappy ones) would be required to get more current than our 445s can handle in the first place.
Gimmicks to impress the ignorant? :whistle:

Wouldn't that excess voltage have to be converted to heat somewhere?

Peace,
dave
 

danefex

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As rhd said, very cool and detailed report - very much appreciated +:beer:
(sorry to copy you rhd, I just thought the same thing)
 

Trevor

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"So, when you add 50% more supply voltage you get about 5-10% more power out."
So, they aren't constant current drivers then?

I don't understand why this would be desirable. Two 18650s should be able to provide more than enough to max out a 445. So is their buck driver just really inefficient? I can't think of any other reason why a third 18650 (even if they were really crappy ones) would be required to get more current than our 445s can handle in the first place.
It's constant current at a given input voltage. It's a very slightly linear buck driver. Think of a buck driver that has one linear grandparent.

As far as I know, the driver is set to 1.9A. I believe it functions at that current on two 18650's, but when you add a third, it rises somewhat higher. I'll add that to my list of questions to ask Tom. Or, I'll put together a test load to test for myself... :eek:

Wouldn't that excess voltage have to be converted to heat somewhere?
Well, not necessarily. It's a buck driver - so when supplied with an input voltage higher than the Vf of the laser diode, it draws less current from said supply voltage. With this driver, the current just rises slightly with higher input voltage also. According to Tom, it's a peculiarity of the design rather than an outright feature.

Well at least now I know who bought your LPM. Lol
Heh, yeah. :p

-Trevor
 

daguin

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Quote:
Originally Posted by daguin

Wouldn't that excess voltage have to be converted to heat somewhere?

Well, not necessarily. It's a buck driver - so when supplied with an input voltage higher than the Vf of the laser diode, it draws less current from said supply voltage. With this driver, the current just rises slightly with higher input voltage also. According to Tom, it's a peculiarity of the design rather than an outright feature.

And THAT"S why I teach communication instead of elecronics :crackup:

Peace,
dave
 
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I thought we agreed to walk away from this one? It makes me angry just reading the name. I keep seeing Dave Ts picture in my head, and what he did to children. THE GUY WHO STARTED AWESOME LASERS BRUTALLY RAPED A CHILD. Sorry, but it wont leave me. I dont care if Obama bought this company, I never want to read its name again.

Whats in it for you Trevor? What was the price it took to get you involved with this company? No matter what is was, they bought your integrity cheap. Man I have the highest respect for you, and I've told you that, but this makes me sick. Nothing will wash the stain of Dave T off that company. We spent soooo much time trying to take that company down, including you, (you wrote a complaint to the FDA) now you're the freakin spokesman?? WTF man.

Edit: There is under 10 members here that I consider honorable, respectable, high integrity, and whould never sell out. You sir are off the list. This really sucks man, I looked up to you in ways. I'm serious. I'd give you a - rep but the system wont let me.
 
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Trevor

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Oh man. :(

Let me just start by saying that I'm not on the payroll, and that I've not been bought.

I originally got in touch with Ian after the major drama thread in which he left a phone number. I called knowing that whatever transpired, it would at least be interesting.

I ended up hearing his side of the story, and tried to explain the chain of events that had left him banned.

As far as I'm concerned, Ian is yet another person to fall for Dave's deception. The key mistake Ian made was deciding to buy a random laser company without researching it, and failing to properly background check the "owner."

Dave's past came to light when he got thrown in jail for not reporting a change of residence - a major issue if you're a registered sex offender. Dave wanted Ian to post bail, but Ian refused and let him rot in jail instead. Ian basically told him to screw off and that he never wanted to see him (Dave) again.

When Ian came on the forum again, he was immediately run off because we believed it to still be Dave. Fair enough, really - we had not seen adequate proof that Dave was no longer involved and we did not want to be associated at all. Even having that thread was too much.

The long and short of it is... I've done what I've done because I believe it to be the right thing to do. In retrospect, I shouldn't have done what I did when he came back on the forum.

The least I could do is do my part in trying to set affairs right. This thread is not here to plug the company; this thread is here to let everyone know that I did my best to get them on track, and that anything past that is Ian's responsibility.

I believe what I've tried to do is right, and I'm standing by that. If I have to take a fall for it - and it appears I might - well... so be it.

If anyone else believes that I've sold my integrity, weigh in. That's a blow that I can't recover from, and is an indicator that the time for me to hang up my hat may be here.

-Trevor
 

Kevlar

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Thanks for this informative thread Trevor. :wave:

It is good to hear that Dave isn't the owner, or associated with this company anymore and the fact Ian let him sit in jail instead of bailing him out is a bonus.

First thing, they MUST get a new name for their company.
That's exactly what I thought after reading through all of this. It might be in Ian's best interest, wash that company of anything related or known to Dave. As T.J. said, and is with most, people hear the name Awesome Lasers and think of Dave and his pedophile ways.
 
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ped

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First thing, they MUST get a new name for their company.

THAT is the only other step this company should take.

Ive kept out of the various threads about this BS company as much as i can because i have a 10 yr old daughter, and what he did disgusts me to my core, as it does most other people, and I didnt want to appear to be ranting.

T_J and DJNY are right, the name " Awsomelasers" will ALWAYS be associated with a paedofile, no matter matter what goes on behind the scenes.

It was started by a POS , and will continually be associated with that POS, no matter what color you paint it, mud sticks.

The Titanic isnt remembered for being an an engineering marvel, its remembered for sinking.

Just my .02c .
 

Trevor

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I agree 100% with the name change. It's definitely not optional if the company wants to even have a shot at staying afloat here.

I've brought it up several times and eventually conceded defeat, though... :undecided:

Anyhow. Now that I've checked everything out and laid out all of our expectation, I'm out of the picture. If Ian returns to the forum I'll point him to this thread.

Now I can wash my hands of this and return to writing code and taking beamshots.

Pew pew pew.

-Trevor
 




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