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Thread: Jasper always or curved?

  1. #1
    Enlightened
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    Default Jasper always or curved?

    I need a new green laser pointer and would appreciate some input on my options. I will use it for presentations (momentary on/off) but also for some simple ad-hoc light scattering experiments (where always on would be a plus). I am only interested in lasers that take either AA (no models that I know of) or 123 batteries, no AAAs for me. Furthermore, I would like to stay below 5mW. I understand that pretty much limits my choices to bigha's Jaspers.

    Having both momentary and always on operation, I should probably go with the new curved model. Unfortunately, I have a strong dislike for the goofy^H^H^H^H^H ergonomic shape (although I do appreciate that it does not roll off the table, has a lanyard attachment, and they may have done something about it accidentally turning on). Furthermore, its release has been delayed several times for months, and it may be vaporware altogether. And when it finally comes out, there may be some "version 1.0 problems", while the Jasper always appears to be a proven design that is highly praised by its owners. And I would probably go with the Jasper always rather than the momentary version, although it may be clumsy for presentations.

    While price is not my primary concern, I noticed there is a considerable mark-up on these Jaspers, more so than on their competitors, also reflected by this rewards scheme they have implemented. Will bigha run a CPF special when the Jasper curved is eventually released? Or will there be a group-buy? Or do we need to set up some chain system to take advantage of the rewards? Meanwhile, in case I make a quick decision, someone here could send me a rewards code since I rather pass the referral bonus on to a member of this board than to those I find by googling.

    Finally, while most seem to strive for brighter lasers, what I would really like to see is a dimmable green laser pointer (0.1--5mW), not via some tiny pot somewhere inside the housing but by some readily accessible well-designed on-the-fly dimming method (pot or electronically), so that the intensity can be adjusted to a room's lighting conditions, and hopefully further prolonging battery life when less brightness is needed.

    Thanks in advance for any helpful input.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    I don't have any additional intel on the Jaspers than you do, but I get your point about how even <5mW in a greenie can be "too much" if you're actually using it as a presentation pointer. Even at <5mW, they can seem bright to the point of distraction.

    Other than modding the laser with your own adjustable pot to act as a dimmer, (I think an aftermarket tailcap with a pot would be a great idea) you could just figure a way to afix a way to temporarily attach a chip broken off from a unprinted CD-ROM, or a piece of aluminized mylar, such as from a "space blanket" and make a dimming shutter over the aperature.

    It'll do nothing for battery life, and I can't say that I know what the long-term effects of having a significant portion of the light reflected back into the crystal and diode are, especialy with the regulated pointers that have a divertig mirror and a photodetector in the loop, but it does work.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    Z-Bolt BTG-10. Same body as the Jasper without the feedback regulation (which is pointless in a <5mW laser, IMO) at half the price. It's a great unit.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    Actually, the Curve is in stock and shipping (in Silver, Blue or Black at least - still no sign of the Pink or Green). This is not reflcted on the site because we want to thoroughly test each unit and prevent any of the v 1.0 problems you worry about, and if the status was "in stock" they'd sell out faster than we could test.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    I like the features of the Curve, but it's too girlie toy-ish, and would probably receive numerous comments on it's styling. lol.

    Make one in a more traditional housing please. If you made one more like the Always, I'd buy one.

  6. #6
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    [ QUOTE ]
    noah said:
    Actually, the Curve is in stock and shipping (in Silver, Blue or Black at least - still no sign of the Pink or Green). This is not reflcted on the site because we want to thoroughly test each unit and prevent any of the v 1.0 problems you worry about, and if the status was "in stock" they'd sell out faster than we could test.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Noah, thanks for your reply, this is interesting news. Could you provide a little more information? Like how you test them, and what the results of these tests are? I think candid information from vendors and manufacturers has always been appreciated and honored on these forums. I guess I need just a little more incentive to become an early adopter, and maybe even the shape of the J.Curve could grow on me... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  7. #7

    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    Up until the Curve, all lasers have been maunally tuned by a human. This is why power varies so much from laser to laser.

    The Curve has a PC board for a pot. It is programmed by a microprocessor that is much more precise than a human, with the idea being to program laser power as close as possible to the legal limit every single time.

    We produced a small amount of PC boards to start so we could easily test and make changes. It turns out while the design works as planned, an extra capacitor on the PC board makes it perform even better. We're retrofitting our current inventory by manually adding the new capacitor and have begun mass production on the slightly altered PC board.

  8. #8
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    Thanks for the explanation. Will the next version of the microprocessor board include dimming?
    Anyway, I ordered one. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* Raccoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    Would you care to elaborate if this design is one directly specified by Bigha engineers, or if you simply hold a distribution license with a manufacturer like leadlight.

    I find it very disappointing when any company claims to be the ACTUAL design team and product manufacturer, when they really turn out to be a distributor or reseller, with or without an exclusive license to sell (doesn't matter how special you are).

    So I would like to ask for clearification, on behalf of the CPF forum... Does Bigha directly [x]design, [x]manufacturer, and/or simply [x]resell the Jasper Always and Jasper Curved?
    Please check all that apply.

  10. #10
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    Well, the Jasper Always appears to be a Leadlight lithium housing with a 110 driver board. Dunno about their curved model though....

  11. #11

    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    That's a really good question. It's hard to say who should get credit for design when cooperation is involved. If the standard for design is a patent, I don't think Bigha could get a patent for the Jasper Now or Always (though we did provide feedback and advice to improve a product that was somewhat already in existence). Similalry, for all the help they provided us with the Curve, Leadlight could not be awarded a patent for this work. Using this example, I'd say Leadlight gets design credit for the Now/Always while Bigha gets credit for the Curve, though neither company really would really want to slight the work done by the other.

    The Curve is Bigha's design from conception. We made components for the laser and for Leadlight to use in production. We have no interest in manuafacturing these items. Lasers are (relatively) low priced items and domestic labor would eat up any profits immediately, though many of the components were designed and prototyped here and some manufacturing on the first few units is being done here.

    Sorry if the answer is not clear enough, but I don't really think it's a t/f question.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Raccoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    Thank you noah. No, I believe you answered my question clearly.

    We now know without a doubt the following facts. Do correct me if I am wrong.
    [*]Bigha does not manufacture lasers. Leadlight does.[*]Bigha did not design the Jasper Now/Always, but licensed it from Leadlight, with some tweeks. (The extent of this license agreement still unknown but really unimportant)[*]Bigha did design work and specifications for the Jasper Curve, which is manufactured by Leadlight and licensed exclusively for Bigha.[*]US labor is really more expensive than it should be.

    Thank you. This gives us a better understanding of your company and the laser industry as a whole.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    That's all about right. Leadlight doesn't necessarily manufacture everything either. They basically make the laser board and that's about it.

    We prototyped the first bodies in our machine shop and sent them to Leadlight. They sourced a company to manufacture the housings, another to paint them, another to make the case, another to make the lanyard, etc, etc, even though there wasn't all that much in it for them beyond national pride.

    So not only is Taiwanese labor cheap and efficient, but it seems like all the companies are connected there, and they all try to find each other work. Many westerners are bitter about the growth rate of asian economies, but I really applaud them for it. The attidude of the asian worker is something you don't find here very often.

    The PC boards are made here, as are the testing and programming units used by Leadlight in manufacturing.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    hi people. i registered here so that i can tell you first hand what a Jasper Curve is like; since i got it today.

    when it's in your hand, it feels smaller than what it looks like on the images. instead of that little LED thing being red like on the other Jasper models to show that the laser is on, it's green. the stickers and the instructions that come with it are from luckyduck.com. when you press the button and take your finger off it real quickly, it'll stay on for a sec; guess it's because of the double push you have to do to have it on "Always" mode. the narrow neck looks like you can break it in half, though it'll be kinda hard because it's made of metal. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    so if you want a Jasper model, you can always get the Always or Now for a cheaper deal. if you want to spend more money knowing that it'll say between 4.5-5.0 mw instead of the 4.0-5.0 on the Always or Now, get the Curve.

    edit: it has a nice smooth feel. it kinda adds to the suggestiveness of the design. hehehe...

  15. #15
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    I received my Jasper Curve a couple of days ago and had sufficient time to play with it. I am happy to say that the curved shape does not bother me anymore. In real life, it looks quite nice (I have one in silver finish). It is quite heavy, the whole body seems to act as one large heat sink. The beam is very consistent even over extended periods of operation. Having both momentary and continuous mode is great, I would not want to miss it.

    Minor nitpicks: The status LED could be a little more recessed than it is. I frequently find myself pushing the LED rather than the On/Off button. I also noticed the slight delay of shutting the beam off in momentary mode but it is not a big problem. Also, the stickers with the serial number and laser safety seal look like they would peel off easily.

    Overall, I am very happy with it. The combination of small form factor, lithium battery, both continuous and momentary operation is hard to beat.

    For the future, I would like to see: (1) Dimming feature (should be a minor modification of the circuit board?) in the range 0 to 5 mW; (2) class IIIB device with dimming from 0 to 15 mW or whatever the practical limit of the used module is; (3) a red laser with the same properties and qualities as this one (should be simple enough, why does it not exist? not enough demand?)

  16. #16
    Flashaholic* Cornkid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    WOW.. do all green laser cost soo much? Is there any way at all that I can get the Led for ~50???

    -tom

  17. #17

    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    Cornkid,

    The reason green lasers are so expensive is that there is no such thing as a green laser diode. It's a multi-stage process that starts with an infra-red laser diode, then two types of crystal, some using rare metals in the formula, that change the frequency of the IR laser light, and then in turn turn the new IR frequency into green, a final IR filter to clean any remaining IR out of the beam, and then the final focusing lenses. All these pieces cost extra money, and require extra labor to assemble together and get aligned properly.

    All these steps and stages require an IR diode that's much more powerful than the final green beam to punch through all these extra stages, which is why there's so much variation, all these steps create "play", and the ability for manufacturers and modders to mess with the output.

    Whoever wants to make corrections is welcome, I'm going to get the gist of this right, but will probably be off in some minor details.

    In a green pointer the stages are:

    1. IR laser diode, about .5W a.k.a. 500mw, makes an IR beam around 800nm.

    2. The beam enters a Neodymium (sp?) crystal. It's atoms electron orbits raise, absorbing, and then drop, re-emitting the beam at an even lower 1024nm IR wavelength.

    3. The 1024nm IR beam enters the KTP crystal, as in the Periodic Table symbols, K (Potassium), T[i?] (Titanium?), P (Phosphorus), these atoms electron orbits jump, in a similar process, but they convert the 1024nm IR beam and re-emit it as 532nm green light.

    4. An IR filter cleans out any residual 800-1024nm IR light getting through the KTP green crystal, so people don't fry their eyes or burn stuff unexpectedly with extra IR they can't see.

    5. Final focusing lens.

    That's a lot of things that have to work properly to make a green beam. It's amazing what Asian mass production and economic competition can do to the price! The fact that the very first green pointers were pushing $1000 US in the 90's was understandable. And it's because of all the "slop" from the corners they cut to get the price down that the extra power the modders can get is possible.

    The Jasper has extra effort that went into it's design so that the beam output is controled and regulated. It actualy checks itself by diverting a small portion of it's output beam to a sensor that sets up a feedback circuit in it's controller board. That adds to the expense.

    You can find pointers for under $75 if you look around on the net. I believe the "Atlasnova" seller people mention here is recomended.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    There is a green laser pointer powered by 2 AA batterys.Here's the E-Mail address of the guy I bought it from howieglatter@mindspring.com

  19. #19
    Flashaholic* Trashman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    What actually leaned me toward buying the Curve IS the look of it! I liked the futuristic and very simple styling. It feels good in the hand, too.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Jasper always or curved?

    Hello everyone. This is my first ever post on CPF. Although ive been on the forum a lot over the last 3 weeks. I actually used to spend a lot of time on CPF about 8 years ago when I bought my laser. Anyway after reading the last couple posts and trying for an hour now to figure out which leadlight I have, I figured I would throw a monkey wrench into what I've read so far. I have a leadlight that I bought from a tiny little laser retailer in minneapolis. (I didn't get mine from BIGHA or Z-Bolt. So which one do I have? How can I figure this out? Please any help is appreciated.

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