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Old 10-18-2010, 08:47 AM #1
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Default Cheap visible beam

G'day mates,
I had a friend inquire about the possibility of using some kind of cheap laser system to produce some fairly visible beams of laser light for an art project. This got me thinking, I have a PHR-803t laser 100mW 405nm and although it's beam isn't very visible, if a florescent liquid was sprayed through the beam it might become easily visible, do you think that would work? Also, does anybody know where to find some cheap fluorescent liquids or fluorescent solids that dissolve in water?

Roughly 5 one metre long beams need to be made using mirrors, seeing as intensity is lost with each reflection a few lasers might be needed. What sort of milliwatts for a green laser do you think is required to produce these fairly visible beams?

Any ideas or suggestions on how to produce cheap visible laser beams?

Thanks for your time,
John


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Old 10-18-2010, 03:55 PM #2
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Default Re: Cheap visible beam

You could try opening a fluorescent marker and dumping the contents into a bottle with some water to spray. Of course it'll leave a residue.

Mirrors won't decrease the intensity noticeably. Visibility will depend on what is in the air, and what power you're using. 15mW will usually produce a visible beam, but it will still be somewhat faint. It really depends on what you have in the air. Maybe get a fogger if you want a very visible beam.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:26 PM #3
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Default Re: Cheap visible beam

That's a pretty bad idea. It lasts two seconds and you make a mess.

Use fog or incense
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:47 PM #4
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Default Re: Cheap visible beam

Smoke cartidges
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:06 PM #5
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Default Re: Cheap visible beam

Wait for a foggy night. This time of the year when night is cold, there is a chance of fog.
It is always fun playing lasers in the fog. Like you have a ubercool lightsabre.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:30 PM #6
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Default Re: Cheap visible beam

You can use tonic water as spray, it contains quinine and it fluoresces blue, and is easy to find, but also messes around. You could also use a humidifier, this uses water and doesn't smell, but has less effect than incense. Use green lasers, they are the most visible ones to the human eye. You can also make the lasers go into a fluorescent liquid medium. Or you can also use transparent plastic sheets alternated in the way of the beam, on darkness you will see a dotted beam without requiriments of fog; short length of the beam though...

Or you can call a smoker...
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:54 PM #7
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Default Re: Cheap visible beam

I am a smoker and have a hallway with two mirrors facing each other.

Alternately you could look for a smoke generator, they work on a 230V heating element and bananana oil. They should be available from disko stores.
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Old 10-31-2010, 08:59 AM #8
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Default Re: Cheap visible beam

Thanks for the comments, dipping highlighters into water and spraying turned out awful, you cannot see the fluorescence unless you are wearing protective goggles that block out the 405nm light, then you can see a slight coloured beam. The reflection of the 405nm light overpowers the weaker fluorescence light. So Cyparagon was quite correct, it's a terrible idea.
Looks like a green/red laser in smoke/fog is going to be the best option.

Oh, and might I add, I tried spraying deoderant in front of red, blue, and 405nm lasers, the results were dazzling, the beam is very clear even for low power red lasers. Give it a try if you haven't.
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