There have been dozens of racing companies with laser alignment devices that are no longer in business.
After 19 years we are still here.
The latest in competitors laser using construction laser.
Check out Intercomp laser leveling system. Uses a discontinued Craftsman laser which is now found on Ebay for $9.99 .
They add three rulers and now it is a high tech leveling system for $249.95 WHAT!
This is their third version because the first two did not work.
So you want to use a construction laser to set up your race car?
You have probably asked yourself, “Why can’t I use a laser from Sears, Home Depot, or my local hardware store to set up my race car?” This is a very good question. However, the following will give you enough basic information to help you understand why you should NOT use them. This information that we are sharing with you comes from data we have collected over the years, by contributing countless hours of labor, and thousands of dollars spent in research and development.
Your about to find out.
First, ART has been in the business of designing laser alignment equipment and chassis setup equipment for motor sports for over ten years.
We are the first and original pioneers of lasers in motor sports. We cover almost every type of racing vehicles, from karting to Indy Car, and
sell to the most influential race teams in the world, including major car manufactures. We have over 25 years of experience in “Tool Design”,
9 US patents, and 6 publishes. All our products are designed specifically for its application. Our dealers tell us that it is estimate that 90% of
all NASCAR teams use our laser for chassis setup, chassis construction and body installation.
It is our business to know what the current laser
technology is and we are well aware of whom our competitors are. It is hard to track them when they come and go so frequent.
I will tell you this, in spite of what they all say; all my competitors use construction
lasers and are built in China. Ours are “Made in USA”. Here is a competitors construction laser you might recognize called Laser Edge - 100.
He blatantly lies about it being a construction laser and then has the never to tell you it is used by the military. OOPS, They went out of business since I wrote this article.
Why would someone in business lie to their customers?
LET ME FIRST GIVE YOU SOME BASIC LASER SPECS:
• Lasers are basically specified by wavelength, power, and beam divergence.
• The three most popular red lasers have wavelengths in nanometers (Nm).
• They are 670 nm, 650 nm and 635nm.
• The 650’s are 5 times brighter than the 670’s.
• The 635’s are 10 times brighter than the 670’s.
• The cost of the 650 is around 20 times that of the 670.
• The 635 is about 100 times more expensive than the 670.
• Power is rated in milli-watt (mW).
• More power means more money.
• The highest power allowed by the federal government to be eye safe and not require special safety glasses is 5mW.
• Beam divergence is the angle of the edges of the laser beam in radians.
Every laser has beam divergence.
The farther out the laser’s beam goes, the more the spot size grows.
Cost: the smaller the angle, the more money you have to spend.
The most common beam divergence used in construction lasers, without giving you a number, is of course the worst since it is cheapest.
• What does ART use? We know and are told by our customers that we have the most consistent and uniform beam width over the distance of the vehicle on the market.
• The most common wavelength used in construction lasers is of course, the cheapest – 670nm.
• What does ART use? 650 for most single point lasers, 635 for all laser string lasers.
• The most common power used in construction lasers is once again the cheapest 2.5mW or less.
• What does ART use? All ART lasers are the highest power allowed by law: 5mW.
In special cases we do use higher power lasers.
• Wave length is 532nm, the brightest laser to the human eye that will ever be produced, and are currently the most expensive. At this time they are typically not found in construction lasers.
• Does ART offer Green lasers? Yes
SO YOU WANT TO BUY A CONSTRUCTION LASER TO SET UP YOUR RACE CAR.
A construction laser from Sears, Home Depot, or your local hardware store is extremely inaccurate for use with any motor vehicle setup, so inaccurate that you would be better off using “string”. Construction lasers are just that – made for “constructing” a deck, hanging a picture, or putting in a fence post. For this situation, the age old phrase “you get what you pay for” holds true. I am making this statement to hopefully save you some money and a very bad experience.
Another acronym, “what you see is what you get” is a little bit different with regard to construction lasers. It is more like “what you see is not necessarily what you get.” It is what they do not tell you is where the trouble starts.
MYTH: Laser’s beam shoot straight out of the center line axis and parallel to its main mechanical axis. Yes it is a myth. They are never on centerline axis and parallel.
CASE IN POINT: A Construction Laser Level
This product has a laser that shoots a beam out of the end of the level and parallel to the edges of the level’s surface. Right? Well, sort of. They have a tolerance. I have seen specs on these levels where they are as much as +/- ½ inch at 50 feet relative to the level’s surface. So you place the level on a flat surface and at 50 feet the laser is ½ inch higher than that at the laser output.
Turn the level onto the other side and you have the opposite. Now the specs for the laser beam are relative to the level’s main surface. What about relative to the sides of the level? Well, it could be worse. Now you have a laser level where the laser beam not only can be shooting up or down but it can also be shooting left or right at the same amount or more.
When you put it up against the rear wheel of your race car, it could be shooting up or down or left or right. Get the idea? Is that string looking pretty good now? And did I mention their lasers do not have any method for calibration?
Now - go out and search all the motor sports suppliers who use (improvise)construction laser levels as a laser source for their product. Gee they all do! EXCEPT for Advanced Racing
CASE IN POINT: Laser Scale Levelers from our competitors
Their product uses a construction laser, rotating it 360 degrees to reach all 4 scale pads. BUT the laser is shooting up or down from where it is rotating. So if you are off to the side of the scales, moving it around to each pad and the laser is shooting up or down, will all the pads be at the same height? No way!
Did I mention the device they use to rotate the laser on? It too has a flatness tolerance that is added to the laser beam tolerance. Things have just gotten worse.
What about the ART Laser Scale leveler?
Well, to begin with, the laser is 5 times brighter and twice as powerful. The laser is a custom made laser head (American made by the way) with factory calibration capability. They are calibrated to +/- 30 THOUSANDS of an inch over ONE HUNDED FEET. Simple math gives you 3 thousands of an inch tolerance over 10 feet.
What does ART use for the laser to rotate on?
It is a granite surface plate with flatness tolerance in the millionths of an inch.
CASE IN POINT: Construction Laser Line or Laser Plane Lasers
Take a Sears line laser you have seen on TV. Remember what I said about what they don’t tell you. This really doesn’t apply to the laser beam itself but I want to drive a point as to the creditability. You know how on TV they show you that you JUST stick it on the wall and shoot the laser down the wall to give you a straight line to hang your pictures to? It is the “Just stick it on the wall part” that is the problem.
Ok, so you have just finished your new house with new paint on the walls, everything is perfect and you are ready to hang your pictures. You get your Sears laser out and “just stick it to the wall”.
Guess how you just stick it to the wall. You push a button in on the unit and it DRIVES 8 NEEDLES INTO THE NEW WALL TO HOLD THE LASER TO THE WALL!!!!!!!! I don’t remember in
the commercial where Bob Villa tells you that when you’re done you’ll have a whole bunch of pin holes in your new wall. So what else don’t they tell you? Point taken?
If not, here’s more information for your records:
• The laser wavelength and power they use are the same as the laser construction level. CHEAP!!
• They say the laser can be flipped 90 degrees. Well sort of.
• The laser plane is perpendicular to the base? Well sort of.
• The laser cannot be calibrated to the bubble level.
• There are no methods of calibration for anything.
HERE IS THE KICKER!!!!!!!
The laser line is NOT straight. The laser plane is actually parabolic. This means that if you drop a plumb line and shot the laser on the plumb line, the laser will not follow it from top to bottom.
So now you have a low power laser plane that is not calibrated to the bubble level, not necessarily perpendicular to the mechanical base, doesn’t swing a true 90 degrees, and the laser plane is curved.
After reading this, would you use this construction laser plane to set up your race car?
What about the ART Laser String laser planes?
They are 10 times brighter and 2 times more powerful.
They are American made and use special optics of extreme high quality.
The laser plane output is factory calibrated to eliminate curvature.
Relative to the Standard Laser String, the alignment bar is factory calibrated to the laser plane for parallelism to +/- 30 Thousands over 100 feet. The laser is also factory calibrated to the level for vertical plumb.
The Laser String is now considered to be the corporate standard with majority of all NASCAR teams.
Hub mounted Laser Strings are available through our distributor, Spraker Racing Enterprises.