Newbie questions about first laser

Planterz

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Dec 14, 2005
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Tucson, AZ
I want to get a green laser. I've already decided not to get one of those cheap <$40 lasers off ebay. Most likely I'll want a "pointer", specifically a Laserglow Lyra. But then, a Wickedlasers 15mW Classic is only $10-20 more for a 15mW. It's no longer a legal "pointer", but 3X brighter has to be good for s#!ts and giggles. But since I don't plan on burning, igniting, cutting, melting, or popping anything, should I just stick with the <5mw "pointer"? I do expect to play with it outside, but I won't be doing anything malicious of course.

A few other questions that I can't really find the answers to:

Do Wickedlasers and Laserglow's lasers have IR filters?

Is one company better with customer service than the other, and is one product more reliable than the other?

Even though I don't expect to, can I actually do any destruction (to non-living objects) with a 15mW laser.

Thanks in advance, and thanks for bearing with my newbieness.

Are there any other sub-$100 green lasers I should look at?
 

Bimmerboy

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Dec 30, 2004
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Welcome to the world of lasers, Planterz! Took me 2 years of flashaholism before catching the bug, and am now totally hooked.

As far as I understand, both Wicked and Laserglow pointers are all IR filtered. For the intended purpose and price range described, you probably can't go wrong with the Wicked (I haven't looked into Laserglow enough yet to form an opinion, although I believe their testing routine is above and beyond most others). But from personal experience, I can certainly recommend an astronomy grade model from Atlasnova. I've been quite happy with mine, very much enjoyed talking with Arnold and Alvine, and the shipping was scary fast... almost like they live next door and dropped it off themselves... lol.

You won't have to worry about damage to non-living objects at powers between 5 - 40mW, as even on the upper end of that you'd have to use an external focusing lens to burn anything. The only thing to be careful about is the eyes of people and animals. Those powers can quickly and easily damage the retina with a direct, or mirror-like (specular) reflected hit.

In all, sounds like you can get something very suited to your needs for around the $100 price point. In addition to asking here, I also recommend contacting the various sellers mentioned. Happy lasing! :)
 

SenKat

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San Antonio, Texas
Planterz - It sounds to me like you are still kind of unsure about what power level you want, and what you are going to do with it. If all you want is green - and have NO desire to "burn" inanimate objects (insert advertisement here for the anti-balloon popping activists) then a 5mw from Laserglow would be the perfect fit for you. Laserglow is an incredible company - I own one of their Aries 175 lasers - incredible is not adequate to describe how awesome that laser is ! Wicked sells good producta as well - shipping is rather high, but they have great customer service from what I have heard - on their forums, all the people that have issues with their lasers get them promptly exchanged for others. Now - please read that last statement both ways, as it was intended ! Their new product lines appear to be having vast issues with stability, and perfoming up to specs. If you are only concerned about budget - go with Dealextreme's 100mw greenie for $100.00 It is a newwish "style" pointer....if it is INDEED a Newwish, then despite the bad press you may hear on here, or other places, IT DOES HAVE AN IR FILTER. If it is merely a clone, there is no telling....Even though they state that it it not filtered on their website - they are trying to make sure to cover their tails in case someone pulls a swifty on them. I cannot blame them there. Please see other threads on here regarding IR filtering, and why it is important, and for the proof backing my previous statement about NewWish lasers. All in all, you have a tough choice ahead of you - I have no doubts that whatever laser you buy, it most certainly will NOT be your last one ! They are more addicting than....well, you get the idea ! I started with a <5mw pointer that looks like a pair of nose hair clippers - despite the horrible appearance - once I saw the beam at night, I was irrevocably hooked ! Best of luck in your hunt for green....you have support here !
 

luvlasers

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Oct 29, 2006
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Hi Planterz, great to hear you are jumping on the laser band wagon.

What do you want your laser for? For the bright beam at night that looks great? Star pointing? Optical experiments?

Regardless of who you buy from, your intended use largely determines the specifications of the laser that is best for you. You'd hate to spend decent money on a 5mW only to find out you really need a 30-35mW.
 

Ashton

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Feb 14, 2007
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Just to point out, Wicked lasers are _NOT_ FDA approved and *do* have trouble with customs (especially green ones) and may get confiscated, however WL will either refund your money or reship the laser untill it DOES arrive (and if it's confiscated they also give you $100 for your troubles!). Most other foreign sellers do NOT offer this service (DX I'm told does replace any confiscated lasers). I highly reccoment WL for FOREIGN purchasing, though it's always better th buy in the USA to save yourself trouble.

Oh and on the subject of IR filtering, you can get a very nice IR filter from a proken DVD-RW drive (and a nice 200mw laser diode too!), or you can order them online for <$10 IIRC.
 

pseudonomen137

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Aug 13, 2006
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Ashton said:
Oh and on the subject of IR filtering, you can get a very nice IR filter from a proken DVD-RW drive (and a nice 200mw laser diode too!), or you can order them online for <$10 IIRC.

The problem with unfiltered lasers, IMO, is not the lack of a filter. Its the dishonest sellers calling 1064 and a little 808nm IR 532nm. "Look, its a 150mW green laser (with 20mW of green laser included)" - explain the logic there Spymode. Unfortunately just adding a filter will not solve this problem.
 

Ashton

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pseudonomen137 said:
The problem with unfiltered lasers, IMO, is not the lack of a filter. Its the dishonest sellers calling 1064 and a little 808nm IR 532nm. "Look, its a 150mW green laser (with 20mW of green laser included)" - explain the logic there Spymode. Unfortunately just adding a filter will not solve this problem.

Ah, yes, the prinicle of honesty. Sadly a large portion of eBay does nothave it (or else is horribly ignorant... prossibly both...). I agree, I would be a lot happier knowing the real output and hwo much IR and I might even but one of those ebaysers for low-ouput, pointing, situations (with the addition of a filter) but as it is, it's a grabbag of output, all we know is the acctuall ml of green is SOMEWHERE below the advertised max (and @ 150mw, that's a large range).
 

luvlasers

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Ashton said:
Just to point out, Wicked lasers are _NOT_ FDA approved and *do* have trouble with customs (especially green ones) and may get confiscated, however WL will either refund your money or reship the laser untill it DOES arrive (and if it's confiscated they also give you $100 for your troubles!). Most other foreign sellers do NOT offer this service (DX I'm told does replace any confiscated lasers). I highly reccoment WL for FOREIGN purchasing, though it's always better th buy in the USA to save yourself trouble.

Oh and on the subject of IR filtering, you can get a very nice IR filter from a proken DVD-RW drive (and a nice 200mw laser diode too!), or you can order them online for <$10 IIRC.

You'll probably find that most overseas sellers of pure laser pointers (ie not the torch style) will have issues with FDA compliance. Dragonlasers like wickedlasers will replace or refund any lost laser pointers They state this in their website at http://www.dragonlasers.com/policy probably to reassure potential buyers who are nervous :laughing:

If you are only after a 5mW and your in the US, Arnold is your man.

Still curious though, what do you want to do with your laser?
 

pseudonomen137

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Yeah, laserglow offers up some of the few fully compliant ones out there, but even so they sell some non-FDA compliants.

WL, DL, optotronics, lucentoptics, laserglow, atlasnova, spymode, etc all sell non-FDA compliant lasers. I honestly can't even think of one of these companies off the top of my head that doesn't have at least one non-complaint.
 

Ashton

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Feb 14, 2007
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I advise to shop around a lot too, I've been seeing a _LOT_ of bad press for Dragon lately (dont know how true it is) and likewise for Spymodex. WL currently has problems with it's Evolution line (I think) but otherwise seems to be in good shape. Have heard almsot nothing of the others except people will almost sing songs in praise of the Hercules lasers.
 
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