Could I PLEASE get a definitive answer?

wvaltakis2

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So here's the lowdown, I've got ~$500 or so to blow on a new toy and I'd like to get the best bang for my buck. I want a highly visible beam and high burning capability. I've narrowed my coices down to these:

Wicked Lasers Fusion 125mw (I know it's got a duty cycle but it's also got the incognito factor)

Lucent Optics EnVee 125mw

Laserglow Aries 100 100-125mw

Or I just say screw it and get the Aries 150 that's on sale right now. I've been researching this purchase for a while but I'd really like to get some opinions from someone with more experience. Thanks for all your help.

~Wilfred Valtakis II
 

crailtap25

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lucent optics deosnt carry a 125mw enVee.. i'd go with either the enVee 90mw or 100mw though
 

wileecoyote

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wvaltakis2 said:
So here's the lowdown, I've got ~$500 or so to blow on a new toy and I'd like to get the best bang for my buck. I want a highly visible beam and high burning capability...
I know you don't want to hear this but for ~$500 and less than 200 mW you are not going to get a highly visible beam and high burning capability. The 100+ mW beams will be bright enough at night for sure but you need 200+ mW to be highly visible in daylight and well lit indoor rooms and even those don't shine like a light saber unless it is dark. My research indicates that even 500 mW (max for Class IIIb) is going to have significant burning limitations which is why they have Class IV lasers. Even if you could afford a strong Class IV laser that had heavy burning power, it would most likely not be portable and it would be very dangerous so you wouldn't really be able to use it for much. This is sort of like saying "I wish I had some dynamite that could blow these soda cans up..."

I have come to accept the fact that I won't be lighting fireworks, starting brush fires, melting soda cans, or etching designs in metal with a laser any time soon. Sure, I could pay a fortune for a strong enough laser that would do some of these things but the cool factor wears off fast so save your money and be content with a 100-200 mW laser which is visible enough to have fun at night and powerful enough to pop a few ballons at short range without being dangerous enough to set the cat on fire or expensive enough to require a second mortgage. :grin2:
 
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wvaltakis2

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crailtap25 said:
lucent optics deosnt carry a 125mw enVee.. i'd go with either the enVee 90mw or 100mw though

I got a reply from Gary that these would be up on the site in about 5 days.

Wilee- thanks for all your info, I'll just have to accept the limitations of IIIb lasers. Given that, what do you guys reccomend I go for?
 

SenKat

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Go with the Aries ! I have an Aries 175 - and it looks better than a 250mw greenie pen I have. The safety features cannot be beat - the "bang for the buck" and the SERVICE that Laserglow offers is nothing short of phenominal. Check around, though - don't listen to just one or two opinions - read LOTS ! That way you will not be sorry you bought what you buy..hope that helps some !
 

wileecoyote

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SenKat said:
Go with the Aries ! I have an Aries 175 - and it looks better than a 250mw greenie pen I have. The safety features cannot be beat - the "bang for the buck" and the SERVICE that Laserglow offers is nothing short of phenominal. Check around, though - don't listen to just one or two opinions - read LOTS ! That way you will not be sorry you bought what you buy..hope that helps some !
I was very tempted to get the Aries 125, 150, or 175 and had pretty much decided on that when I found out about the NV-100 from LucentOptics.com. In the end it came down to price and overall value so I went with the NV-100, which costs only $300 compared to almost 3x that much for the Aries 175 yet the Aries 175 is not even 2x as powerful. The $529 sale price on the Aries 150 was tempting but that is still almost 2x the NV-100 price and only has about 50% more power.

Now that I know that even a 200 mW beam isn't going to have the visibility or burning power that I had hoped for, I am very glad that I saved the money and went with the NV-100. It is well made and has lots of safety features, which are nice I guess, but in the end it's not like I am going to leave the laser lying around anywhere or hand it to some children to play with so the safety features are more of annoyance for me. The only real safety features which I like are the 3-second delay and momentary power button since these will prevent me from bumping the power button and blinding myself, or from the laser dropping out of my hand and flashing into an unsafe area.

Save some money and get the NV-100, then if you are totally disappointed just sell it on ebay or this forum and upgrade. Chances are you will come close to breaking even if you resell it and the small amount you lose would be worth the test drive anyway.
 

Madz

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The 3 second delay is the best feature IMO. When I demo my laser to people, (the people who you know are a little less the mature) they are quick to snatch it from me and start aiming at things thinking its just a pointer. Then they click the button and nothing happens and they dont know to hold it down so I just kinda take it back from them and all is well. The key lock is not really noticable since you can leave it unlocked. The aperature I find useful more or less when you are transporting it, it helps to keep dirt from falling in on the lens. as for the dongle, that is pretty annoying sometimes. if it really bothers you, you can stick a penny inside the tail cap and you wont need the dongle anymore.
 
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FNinjaP90

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I think it's safe to say that if you want laser "destruction", you'll have output many watts of power. I have combined ~500mw from multiple lasers into one dot, and although exceptionally bright, it does not spontaneously destroy anything.

A 100mw beam will not be exceptionally bright in a lit room. Since apparent brightness increases at the square of the power, a 100mw beam only seems twice as bright as a 25mw beam, and anyone with experience with one of those will tell you it's nothing spectacular. However, compared side to side, a laser that is twice as powerful as another will be very apparent.
 

ajohnson

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FNinjaP90 said:
Since apparent brightness increases at the square of the power, a 100mw beam only seems twice as bright as a 25mw beam
er, you mean twice as bright as 10mw? (10^2 = 100, 25^2=625)
 

FNinjaP90

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ajohnson said:
er, you mean twice as bright as 10mw? (10^2 = 100, 25^2=625)

Well, I meant that it takes four times the power to achieve twice the brightness, and nine times the power to achieve three times the brightness, etc.
 

ajohnson

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FNinjaP90 said:
Well, I meant that it takes four times the power to achieve twice the brightness, and nine times the power to achieve three times the brightness, etc.
hmm...actually it sounds like you are talking about the inverse square law that's applied to light intensity over distance, but it doesn't apply to lasers. Oh well, getting way off topic so I'll stop now
 

FNinjaP90

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ajohnson said:
hmm...actually it sounds like you are talking about the inverse square law that's applied to light intensity over distance, but it doesn't apply to lasers. Oh well, getting way off topic so I'll stop now
I recollect reading somewhere that the intensity of a light source as perceived by the eye doubles as the power output quadruples. I might be wrong, so I'll stop at that.
 

SenKat

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Madz said:
i wanna get that Hercules :)

:rock: Yeah - the Herc is a bad boy for sure ! Windstrings just got one, and he is making me jealous !! Of course, when he wants to upgrade again, maybe I'll get a whack at his leftovers ! I bought my Aries 175 from him a week after he got it, so he could upgrade to the Herc...
 

532nm

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I see laser pointers as coming in three 'levels' of quality, low, medium, and high;

Low are modified 5mw consumer grade laser pointers. If you stick to lower powers, these are great value, but I suspect the really high powered ones don't last very long and are fragile'

Medium are the ones that may use similar electronics to the consumer pointers but the cases and supporting hardware were designed from the beginning to be higher-output pointers, the PGL-III (EnVee) and others come to mind. There's better heat management, better ergonomics, they take larger batteries, etc.

High are the lab-quality lasers (that generally are neither battery powered nor easily portable).

It sounds like you want to be in the medium group, but be prepared that some of these have safety features, alluded to by prior posters, such as:

-emission delay (approx 3 sec delay from when you press the button to when you get the output)

-Emission indicator (tells you when the laser is on)

-Shutter (mechanical block for the beam- can cause problems if you forget to open it)

-Key lock/dongle: additional bits hanging off the back of the laser. The lock must be on and/or the dongle must be present for the laser to fire. Also may allow you to attach a remote switch.

Some of these can be defeated or disabled, depending on the laser. I read on this forum that the 3 sec delay on the EnVee series can be disabled but it requires you to open it and remove a component, which of course voids the warrantee.

Another important decision is the location of the company; some lasers (especially those without FDA approval) are seized at customs, making ordering from overseas a tricky proposition. However, some sellers pledge to replace any that are lost this way. Also I've heard the cheapest lasers (mostly the 'low' quality ones from ebay) from overseas sometimes omit the IR filter. I believe all of the US sellers (definitely the ones I've looked in to: atlasnova and Lucent) have IR filters on all their lasers.
 

Johnawesley

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Yes, Lucent and AtlasNova use IR filters in their Lasers. You either like or dis-like safety features on a Laser. If you don't like them, then I respect that. I personally like them and feel they offer the best protection from accidents. IMHO...
 

wileecoyote

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I think some of the safety features on the NV-100 and other similar moderately-powered lasers are overkill when they are used by responsible, educated adults. It is still a good idea to have them though since they ensure full legal compliance and some of them may be useful for modifications if desired.

Storage is another concern since it wouldn't be safe to let a powerful laser lay around the home or office without at least some of the safety locks engaged. Otherwise children or uneducated / irresponsible adults might experiment with it and blind themselves or others in the process.

For my personal use I just leave it unlocked with the dongle in and the aperture shut, so to activate I just open the aperture and hold down the power button for a few seconds. For short term storage I just remove the dongle and for long term storage I remove the batteries to be sure they don't drain accidentally or corrode inside the tube.
 

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