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Old 11-06-2014, 07:13 PM #1
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Default A few noob saftey and legal questions.

I've used the search feature and can't seem to find the information I'm looking for. Perhaps I just don't know the proper search terms. Perhaps you can help me out.

From searching around LPF I've found that it's illegal to point lasers at aircraft (obviously), however it seems that the general consensus is that it is OK to point lasers into the sky as long as you avoid contact with aircraft. What are some general guidelines to avoid aircraft at all costs? It seems to me if you might still get into legal trouble if you hit an aircraft with a laser that you didn't know was there? Is it reasonable for me to be this concerned or am I just paranoid?

My other question is how does one go about seeing the beam safely for higher power lasers? I'm assuming that the proper procedure for beam viewing would to mount the laser in a fixed stand to avoid having it roll. Then make sure that the surface the laser is pointed at isn't reflecting too much of the beam to cause eye damage. I figure after the laser is secure and you are certain that there are no dangerous diffuse light coming from the surface you could take a peek at it without safety goggles? Are there devices that will measure the amount of laser light being reflected off a surface to determine "eye safeness"?

What is the technical term for laser light being reflected off a non-reflective surface (not a mirror or glass)? For example laser light being reflected off a wall or the fence in my yard?



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Old 11-06-2014, 10:38 PM #2
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Default Re: A few noob saftey and legal questions.

There are android and iphone apps that show current air traffic around your location. Theres a thread around that mentions it. I believe it's called flight radar something or other. If you want to make absolutely sure no planes are around, give it a shot.

Yes, if you secure the laser and make sure the beam path is clear of any potentially dangerous surfaces, people, animals, ect.. then you can veiw the beam. You may want to leave the glasses on when you fist power it up to make sure it's safe. Also be aware that some surfaces can reflect dangerously that may not seem like they would. If in doubt, keep glasses on till you're sure.

Specular reflection? Not sure if that's the term you're looking for, but the only one off the top of my head.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:44 PM #3
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Default Re: A few noob saftey and legal questions.

The dot reflected off a matte surface is a diffuse reflection, at high power these are only dangerous at very close range because the light is no longer coherent, but I wont take my chances 3 meters away from my 445.
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:06 AM #4
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Default Re: A few noob saftey and legal questions.

So, what kind of matte surfaces would be acceptable to look at a 1-1.5w 445nm laser from?

Most of the walls in my house are painted matte white. Would looking at the specular reflection off the wall from 10-15 feet away be a reasonably safe thing to do? Or perhaps there is something that I should buy to use as a beam stop?

I'm just trying to figure out what kinds of surfaces/distances will be eye safe with my laser. I'm new to all this so I really don't quite have a feel for what the specular reflection will be like on a given surface for a given power.

Also, is there any reason I couldn't mount my laser with it pointing into a fixed spot in the sky and then look at the beam without goggles?
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:18 AM #5
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Default Re: A few noob saftey and legal questions.

10-15 feet is fine, white well, that's gonna reflect the most. I could be wrong but I think the point of this is so you know not to try lighting matches and stuff without goggles, at that range it's too close. If you see after images it's too bright.
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:52 AM #6
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Default Re: A few noob saftey and legal questions.

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Originally Posted by USAbro View Post
10-15 feet is fine, white well, that's gonna reflect the most. I could be wrong but I think the point of this is so you know not to try lighting matches and stuff without goggles, at that range it's too close. If you see after images it's too bright.
That makes sense. I've heard that some materials become highly reflective as they melt and refletions from close range burning. I'm more after trying to simply see the beam and where it's pointed at without the goggles. I'm just learning how to try and set things up properly to avoid and "oops" moments from specular reflections.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:54 PM #7
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Default Re: A few noob saftey and legal questions.

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Originally Posted by thestug View Post
...... 1-1.5w 445nm laser from?

Most of the walls in my house...............
I'm not real educated on this stuff but 1w inside a house sounds kind of scary
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:28 PM #8
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Default Re: A few noob saftey and legal questions.

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Originally Posted by notsobrightbob View Post
I'm not real educated on this stuff but 1w inside a house sounds kind of scary
If you have safety goggles on, no mirrors around where the laser could reflect back, and be 100% sure no living thing/person can cross it's beam there isn't much to worry about

That being said, nobody should be using 1W in this house without safety goggles in any case. That would be scary & dangerous to the user & others!!

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