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Old 06-27-2010, 09:51 PM #1
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Default California laser owners

Have you people ever shined a laser into the night sky, obviously when there are no aircraft around? I plan on shining at stars and taking some awesome pictures... But i dont want to have cops show up at my house.

TL;DR should i shine my laser (100 mw green) into the sky at all in california?


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Old 06-27-2010, 09:58 PM #2
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Default Re: California laser owners

I play with my lasers in the sky all the time, when I see or hear aircraft I don't take them out, now I have no idea what the Calif laws are but I feel I'm hurting no one.
I don't shine them on the buildings around here and only very seldom on the ground so as not to bother anyone.
And if Calif wants to make a criminal out of me for bothering no one that is there right after all I'm standing on there ground, if I don't like it I will move !
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:05 PM #3
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Default Re: California laser owners

Alright you gave me the courage to take pictures, i will most likely go out though at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, i dont want neighbors to know i have a nice laser you know?
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:25 AM #4
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Default Re: California laser owners

Yeah dont worry, I live in Anaheim Hills, California. Always use my 200mW green laser. The only response i get from peolpe would be, "WOAH! WHERE DID YOU GET THAT!" or, "Let me try it!" Theres no laws regarding using lasers here, unless you point it as vehicles, aircraft or people. Common sense.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:30 PM #5
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Default Re: California laser owners

I'd suggest it's the tracking of aircraft that's the problem. If you're waving a laser beam around playing Jedi with it, the constant motion makes exposure to it by anyone in an aircraft insignificant. It's only when someone tries to keep the beam on someone, whether in an aircraft, on stage or walking down the street, that there's a problem. A BIG problem.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:34 PM #6
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Default Re: California laser owners

It's mainly only a problem when hitting low flying helicopters or tracking a landing airplane. If you were to accidentally hit the bottom a plane flying at cruising altitude with a 500mw laser they probably wouldn't even notice. Still you don't wanna go out of your way to attract attention as it IS technically not legal.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:02 PM #7
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Default Re: California laser owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razako View Post
It's mainly only a problem when hitting low flying helicopters or tracking a landing airplane. If you were to accidentally hit the bottom a plane flying at cruising altitude with a 500mw laser they probably wouldn't even notice. Still you don't wanna go out of your way to attract attention as it IS technically not legal.
How about following FAA guidelines to make your decision to use?

Evaluate if your within 5-7 miles of a Airport. If you are, keep it out of airspace, if its more then a few milliwatts.
Nice simple rule... Based on FAA's own rules for outdoor use of lasers.

Find a FAA "sectional" chart on line for your area, example,

Here is a partial FAA sectional for LA:

AeroPlanner.com

Purple solid circles with lines in them are airports. Circles with "H" in them are heliports. Purple solid circles with bigger yellow circles around them are controlled airspace airports, ie the larger airports.



Wicki has a picture for once.

File:FAA laser-free-zone.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is not a 100% cure, as the flight routes into the airport may take a aircraft over your location, but its a start.

How's that for a simple answer?

This doesn't cover local laws, nor is it a 100% fix, but it is a start.

Steve
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:12 PM #8
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Default Re: California laser owners

If it is above 5mW and you shine it above the "horizon" it is illegal

If you shine it at an animal, person, conveyance, or "other way open", it is illegal

If they cannot find a specific charge to use against you, they will resort to the old "public nuisance" ordinances to cite you and confiscate your property.

Use it VERY carefully, get a variance, or take your lumps when they are delivered.

Peace,
dave
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:10 AM #9
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Default Re: California laser owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by daguin View Post
If it is above 5mW and you shine it above the "horizon" it is illegal

If you shine it at an animal, person, conveyance, or "other way open", it is illegal

If they cannot find a specific charge to use against you, they will resort to the old "public nuisance" ordinances to cite you and confiscate your property.

Use it VERY carefully, get a variance, or take your lumps when they are delivered.

Peace,
dave
How hard is it to get a variance? Have you ever tried to have one? would you need a lawyer ? O_O
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:25 AM #10
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Default Re: California laser owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by LA5ER View Post
How hard is it to get a variance? Have you ever tried to have one? would you need a lawyer ? O_O
If it's just for having some fun with a pointer outside it's not worth the effort. Basically a variance is a ONE-TIME-ONLY deal that you would get if you wanted to do an outdoors lasershow stating that no planes will be in the sky where the lasers will be going.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:06 PM #11
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Default Re: California laser owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Razako View Post
... Basically a variance is a ONE-TIME-ONLY deal that you would get if you wanted to do an outdoors lasershow stating that no planes will be in the sky where the lasers will be going.
Actually a variance lasts for 3 years normally unless you ask for a longer period when you submit. Also, the variance has nothing to do with planes. If you want to do an outdoor show you need to sent notice to the fda at least 30 days in advance letting them know where you will be shining the laser. They will then take appropriate action to keep planes safe OR tell you that you cant do it b/c of restricted air space. Also, people doing outdoor shows often will use flight radar to track planes. There area bunch of websites that do the tracking for free.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:25 PM #12
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Default Re: California laser owners

To all; FAA rules apply to commercial laser shows and non commercial demonstration venues. Not to the hobbyist.
Unless there has been a revision there is no federal law stating you cannot shine a class 3b - 4 laser into the sky even near airports. Just don't intentionally interfer with the flight crew and common sense would say don't interfer with any other airport personel.

Here's part of a conversation I had a few years ago. It concerned whether or not it was illegl to shine a class 3b laser into the sky which at that time were the highest output handheld lasers available.
Here's a conversation I had with *Greg Makov [

> Dear Mr. Makov,
> I'm writing too inquire how this article you wrote applies to the
> hobbyist ? All of the articles I've read at the various government
> non-government sites appear to consider only commercial uses or
> situations. Specifically do you know of a federal law(s) that states it
> is unlawful to shine a laser >5mw into the sky ? I've searched for a
> definitive answer and posted this question and the answer I received
> was 'never heard of one'. If you know the answer or can point me in
> the right direction I'd certainly appreciate it.
>
> Sincerely.
>
> Steve


Sorry for the late reply, today is my first day back in the office in
about 1-1/2 weeks.

Concerning your question, this was a question that I posed to FAA
officials many years ago when I was involved with the G-10 committee and
helped re-write the FAA 7400.2 document. The general answer is that it
is illegal to "interfere with a flight crew" and that the local tower
could call the local police to arrest anyone who did so interfere. More
recently, there was federal legislation that made it directly a criminal
activity to "shine" a laser device at an aircraft. Note that this does
not have any power limit or irradiance value associated with it. In
other words, with this new law, it does not matter what you are
"shining" at the flight crew, it matters that you are interfering with
their normal operation.

The 5 mW limit you cite is based on the CDRH limit for manufacturers of
laser pointers. There is a lot of misinformation about this. It is
perfectly legal to sell or to buy a laser that emits more than 5
milliwatts, just don't call it a laser pointer. Moreover, how you use
it is not regulated, unless you interfere or injure someone else with
what you are doing. In other words, if you direct a laser beam into the
sky, and no one notices it, there is no problem. If the beam
illuminates a plane, you might be in for a bit of trouble.

If you need specific statutes or regulations, I recommend the CDRH
website to you:

<http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/comp/rad_consumer.html>

And the FAA Advisory Circular site:


<http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraff...es/advisory_ci rculars/>

Also note that some states have additional regulations, such as New
York's Code Rule 50, which requires that a licensed operator be present
for all laser operations (including 5 mW lasers). Enforcement is
always another issue...

If you have a more specific question, feel free to contact me.

But I am curious, who is this person who keeps stating that directing
> any class 3b or 4 laser into airspace is illegal? Anyone I know?


Greg Makhov
President, Lighting Systems Design, Inc.
greg@lsdi.com
http:\\www.lsdi.com>

Me:

I'd like to also add this document. Lasers Aimed at Aircraft Cockpits: Background and Possible Options ...
Carefully read the paragraph titled Relevant Criminal Statutes. You'll see that there are no specific statutes at this time that prohibit John Q. Public from shining a class3b-class 4 laser into the sky exception being if you purposefully target an aircraft.
Conclusion:
Unless there are new laws since this article was written which specifically state it is against the law to shine a laser class 3b - class 4 [there appears not to be] then it is ok to shine a laser into the sky.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/RS22033.pdf

* Greg in this case was a person held in high esteem by the person I was arguing with. Only with Greg's input did the other person stop.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:57 PM #13
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Default Re: California laser owners

Quote:

"Unless there are new laws since this article was written which specifically state it is against the law to shine a laser class 3b - class 4 [there appears not to be] then it is ok to shine a laser into the sky."

End quote.

Ok, your pointer is a demonstration/entertainment laser. If someone wants to be anal about it, 7400 could be stretched to apply to the pointer, not just laser shows, searchlights, and scientific lasers

Read chapters 1 and chapter 6,

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...iBKJobrbmMhByg


There may not be a specific law, but there are good practices. One thing that buys you trouble is when you follow the letter of the law and not the intended spirit of the law. "There is no law against it" is not a defense about applying common sense.


Rev G of 7400, and within 5-7 miles of a airport, or with a low flying aircraft, it becomes a no-no when the flight crew reports you as annoying. It becomes a no-no if you strike the aircraft or distract the pilot. The charge is interfering with a flight crew, and individuals have been charged. Since human beings are NOT good detectors of aircraft, it is wise NOT to do it within the critical flight zone. Pilots ARE required to report a visible sighting of a laser per FAA directive, even if it does not strike the aircraft, unless its a NOTAMed outdoor laser. For the sake of the industry, respect the critical and sensitive zones.

Aircraft strikes nationwide are a problem. A friend of mine is a aviation consultant, and he says the pilots are royally POed, incident counts world wide are climbing. If voluntarily following the same guidelines required of commercial and scientific users saves us a incident, is it not worth it? If things are not curbed you get a new law.

Yes, there is NO specific law. But there are ones that come close.

I would not waste my time applying for a variance for a pointer. But I would take the time to read a map.

Fair enough?

Steve

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Old 07-02-2010, 02:31 AM #14
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Default Re: California laser owners

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSRFAQ View Post
Quote:

"Unless there are new laws since this article was written which specifically state it is against the law to shine a laser class 3b - class 4 [there appears not to be] then it is ok to shine a laser into the sky."

End quote.

Ok, your pointer is a demonstration/entertainment laser. If someone wants to be anal about it, 7400 could be stretched to apply to the pointer, not just laser shows, searchlights, and scientific lasers

Read chapters 1 and chapter 6,

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...iBKJobrbmMhByg


There may not be a specific law, but there are good practices. One thing that buys you trouble is when you follow the letter of the law and not the intended spirit of the law. "There is no law against it" is not a defense about applying common sense.


Rev G of 7400, and within 5-7 miles of a airport, or with a low flying aircraft, it becomes a no-no when the flight crew reports you as annoying. It becomes a no-no if you strike the aircraft or distract the pilot. The charge is interfering with a flight crew, and individuals have been charged. Since human beings are NOT good detectors of aircraft, it is wise NOT to do it within the critical flight zone. Pilots ARE required to report a visible sighting of a laser per FAA directive, even if it does not strike the aircraft, unless its a NOTAMed outdoor laser. For the sake of the industry, respect the critical and sensitive zones.

Aircraft strikes nationwide are a problem. A friend of mine is a aviation consultant, and he says the pilots are royally POed, incident counts world wide are climbing. If voluntarily following the same guidelines required of commercial and scientific users saves us a incident, is it not worth it? If things are not curbed you get a new law.

Yes, there is NO specific law. But there are ones that come close.

I would not waste my time applying for a variance for a pointer. But I would take the time to read a map.

Fair enough?

Steve
Common sense is a given I thought that was clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSRFAQ View Post
Ok, your pointer is a demonstration/entertainment laser.
Quote:
Hand-held lasers promoted for entertainment purposes or amusement also meet the second definition, that of “demonstration laser products” as defined by 21 CFR 1040.10(b)(13):

“Demonstration laser product means a laser product manufactured, designed, intended, or promoted for purposes of demonstration, entertainment, advertising display, or artistic composition.”

If a laser product is promoted for pointing purposes, either of these definitions can apply.
There's a loophole I think to the above. Do you see it ?
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Old 06-04-2011, 06:52 PM #15
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Default Re: California laser owners

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Originally Posted by laserx323 View Post
I know this is a late comment but I live in CA and the cops never come at me. There aren't many stars but it s still fun to ht far targets. I have a 179mw green.
Necropost:

You should never shine your laser at Anything that has people in it Or could possibly in any way what so ever have the chance of someone in it. Nothing flying nor a building. What are you shining it at?
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:44 AM #16
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Default Re: California laser owners

I don't know about California (used to live there but now I live in Maryland) but what I do when I want to take my lasers outside (like if it's a really foggy/hazy night and I can't resist) is I shine the beam into trees on my property. Trees make a great beam stop (in summer for leafy trees, or evergreens in winter, I have both on my property so I'm covered in all seasons) and you can aim your beam high up enough that there's no danger of hitting anyone in the eyes. This way you can have a good length of space to play out your beams and not be in any danger of injuring someone or drawing complaints. I have also shot beams across the field behind my house (40 or 50 feet above the ground, again, where no one will be) onto a stand of trees on the other side, but I try to limit doing that because I don't own that field and some really jerky person could complain or call the cops.

However, with all of the illegal fireworks around here (in this state anything that doesn't stay on the ground, like a sparkler, is illegal) no one would have a leg to stand on, so to speak, if they made a stink about any of my lasers - you know the old saying about living in glass houses and throwing stones. But still, I would never point any of my beams anyplace where it could hit anyone.

It's not so bad if you live out in the country (as I do, the nearest commercial airport is maybe 40 miles from here, and the closest private one about 15 miles) and are far from an airport. I will also admit to firing the occasional beam into the sky but only if I can't hear or see any planes or other aircraft. One other thing to consider is that if the sky is completely cloudy you would be in no danger of hitting a commercial aircraft since their cruising altitude is always above the cloud deck - even if they could see your beam at 36,000 ft (besides, it would take one hell of a potent laser to be able to injure someone's eyes thru several miles of atmosphere, not to mention one that has very little divergence!).
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