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Need a new laser-Spectra G422?

Discussion in 'Lasers' started by Rat_Power_78, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Austin, MN
    I am in the market for a dual slope laser after the CST/Berger I bought last summer turned out to be a steaming pile of garbage. So far the recommendation I have gotten is for the Spectra G422N. Is it a good laser? Is there something better? My main use would be for building retaining walls and patios with occasional grade work and the odd pipe job here and there.

    Also, I read here that the CR600 receiver is the way to go. Why is that? I really don't know much about lasers so I'm trying to educate myself as much as possible before I buy.

    I have never used a laser attached to a machine before but would like to go that direction. Will this laser/receiver be able to do that or is there a different model I should be looking at?
     
  2. Bliz

    Bliz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2012
    Messages:
    82
    Occupation:
    Excavator/Logger
    Location:
    9 Miles from Quebec
    Rat_Power_78, You can't go wrong with a Spectra laser. I have one we have used for over 20 years and it still works great. We don't have a G422N, but a newer GL622. The CR600 receiver can be both rod or machine mounted. Check E-bay, etc. and you'll find some packages with tri-pod, case (2) receivers and a rod. Shop around because the prices can vary greatly from vendor to vendor. However, if you have a local dealer who can service it when needed, that's worth a lot.
     
  3. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Austin, MN
    My local Cat dealer is a Spectra dealer. I cannot possibly say enough good things about their service and support on everything else we have dealt with them on so I would imagine lasers would be the same with them. I know quality costs money and all that, but the price tag is the hard part to deal with. That said, a quality laser should last a long time.

    Anyone have any experience with Bosch? Their GRL 500 looks promising, just dont here about them as often as Spectra or Topcon.
     
  4. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,830
    Location:
    iowa
    Rat_Power_78, I've run spectra lasers for about 15 years now, had at least three or four of the CR600's with lasers over those years, never had a problem with them at all ever, I've got I believe the GL422 laser as my knock around and prep laser I use for making grade shots when I'm estimating or just getting an idea of what might work or be needed on a job, I have a GL722 for precise work when grade is essential, both are good lasers and have caused me no issues over the years. The 722 is a high end laser and the 422 is the cheaper version, both are dual slope. I'd guess the N series is newer than mine, not sure what they changed from the straight GL422, mine has shutter lock on it, which is nice when I'm running more than one laser on site or I don't want to look at the laser flash when running a machine not using the laser on site and my only complaint about the laser is it ONLY charges with a 12 volt cord, not 110 volt, which to me is a pain in the evening because I can't bring it to the house to warm up and so it can charge, and I can watch it and unhook it when its fully charged from the house, I have to leave it in the shop and find a battery to hook it to, meaning if all I have in the shop overnight are machines with 24 volt I have unhook a battery so I can charge that laser, everything else gets charged in the house where its warm and dry and I can keep an eye on them. I didn't know this when I bought it otherwise I'd have bought two of the GL722's instead, those charge with either 12v or 110.

    Both of mine have remotes which is really nice, I'm thinking one CR600 has grade match in it, thought I'd use that a lot turns out I don't and never have.

    First when shopping for lasers, find someone locally that fixes them and is good at it, ask if they'll loan you a laser IF yours needs repair, this alone is worth a lot, had some issues years back with a laser what was a lemon and always in the shop and if I'd have had to rent a laser to replace it every time it was in for repairs, I could have bought three instead of one in just rental costs alone, hence the reason why I have two lasers now, I'm never without at least one working laser at all times, even if one is only in to be checked out and recalibrated. If you have to ship your laser anywhere to be fixed, your in deep sh*t, they only ever need repair when you need the laser the worst and it's usually weeks to get it back, not day's or hours.

    Yes deals can be had on the internet on new lasers and receivers, but none of those offer repair with free loaners when yours is in for repairs, those also don't offer free shipping both ways to get repaired and a host of other things, I'd shop local and whatever brand that local person to you handles is what I'd buy, most laser makers today have good products, and yes they also have lemons every once in a while too. Best of luck on whatever you decide
     
  5. brianbulldozer

    brianbulldozer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    W. Washinton, USA
    I had a GL522 as my everyday, always in the truck laser from 2012 until last fall when it died and I elected not to spend the $1000 to fix it. For the most part it worked okay, but I have a few complaints to note here as well.
    Main complaint is charging and battery status. My electric toothbrush has an LED that lights up when it is charging, my electric razor has a digital display that tells me how much battery is left, my $2500 GL522 had neither. The only battery indicator was a single LED that came on at the last minute before it died and was basically useless. Mine had an intermittent problem from new where it could be connected to the wall charger all night and not charge the batteries fully or sometimes not at all. I replaced the batteries, charger, cleaned the contacts multiple times, and sent it to the dealer who could find nothing wrong. Without a charging indicator I had no idea when I plugged it in if it was going to be charging overnight, without something to tell me what the battery level is it basically meant that it went on the charger every night if it was used much during the day. Pretty frustrating to spend 10-15 minutes in the morning getting the laser turned correctly so that the slope axis is aligned with the site, go to work and then have the laser die shortly thereafter. This leads to the second complaint, which is the battery door on the bottom of the laser. Now the laser has to come off the tripod to slap some D cells in it and the alignment process starts anew. It is probably cheaper to seal the battery door against water if it is on the bottom, but I always missed the side door all my other lasers had where you could carefully swap batteries without disturbing the laser setup.

    My last complaint is a minor one: whenever you turn the laser on it would always come up with the last grade setting. More than a few times I screwed myself by turning on the laser, glancing at the display thinking I was seeing 0.000% in both axis and going to work. Then finding out later that it really didn't read 0.000%, but 0.600% or 0.800% or whatever the setting from the last time it was used. Maybe I can't blame the laser, but my other grade lasers would always turn on at zero percent.

    I can't complain too much about Spectra lasers though, I bought what I think was there first rotating laser, the EL-1, in the 80's shortly after they came out. This thing was a work horse and lasted almost 20 years. My first slope laser was a single slope Spectra 1242 that I bought after the EL-1 died. The 1242 is still going strong and I keep it as a backup laser. I recently bought a Leica 880 dual slope laser to replace the GL522. I have an older Leica Javelin-s I keep around too for precision and steep slope work. The decision to go to a new Leica rather than Spectra was as much or more about the lack of a local dealer for the Spectra, while the local Leica dealer is 10 miles away.