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Old 12-23-2014, 07:45 AM #1
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Default I don't like drawing attention.

Being new to this hobby and now owning some very powerful lasers I'm realizing I feel very exposed when I use them outside at night. Of coarse I am being safe and not breaking laws. I don't shine it at anything other than tree tops or the sky and if I see or even hear an aircraft I shut it off immediately until it has cleared the airspace.

I've checked my local and federal laws and from what I understand I am not breaking any laws but I really don't like the feeling of drawing attention. I try to keep my laser use to late night and keep the beam over the dark quite neighborhoods rather than over the busier roads.

I have heard some people cheering and applauding a couple blocks away one night so I immediately shut the laser down. I don't like the idea of someone getting in their car and trying to pin point where the light is coming from. Maybe its the former Marine infantryman in me that doesn't like the feeling of drawing people right to me, the target. The other concern I have is the wrong type of people seeing my beam and getting on eBay and ordering themselves one and doing something stupid with it. Hurting a person or shining it at a plane.

I've thought about driving to more secluded places but that would possibly be worse. Anywhere I would go is probably also a place that young people cruise and drink beer, chill out smoke a bowl ext. In other words places cops patrol regularly. I usually have my camera and tripod out with me which makes me feel like I would at least have a good explanation as to what the hell I'm doing with a 2W laser but still I'd prefer to not have to even get that far with any authorities. At least at home I can turn it on for a few mins then go inside.

Does anyone else feel like this or am I just over thinking it.


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Old 12-23-2014, 08:03 AM #2
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Default Re: I don't like drawing attention.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwfreefly View Post
Does anyone else feel like this or am I just over thinking it.
Both actually I feel that way too so I minimize the time I fire mine. But I'm like that with a lot of things. I don't like attention that much. You could think along the same lines with virtually anything. Like skateboarding. You see a few guys doing some really awesome and potentially dangerous tricks and are moved to learn how to do it yourself. So you go buy yourself a skateboard and fall on your butt more times than you can count. Hell you might even break a few bones and have to sit in the hospital for a few days. Is it necessarily a bad thing? I personally don't believe so. It's in our nature to want new things we see so I wouldn't beat yourself up over it if someone buys a laser and blinds their friends while playing star wars lol

Hope that helps give you some peace of mind

Last edited by VisibleGreen; 12-23-2014 at 08:04 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:07 PM #3
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Default Re: I don't like drawing attention.

I'm the same way. Guarantee many of our members are. I RARELY bring a laser outdoors. I live in a neighborhood with lots of houses close. Wouldn't have much concern if I was out in the country. The only unit I sometimes carry with me is a 532nm purchased from Ebay that anyone can purchase.
The one thing I do if I show someone a laser at my home is do a quick scan across the road at a silvery reflective road sign that readily shows just how bright a low powered 532nm really is. Most are astonished. Do it to show how important safety is.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:14 PM #4
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Default Re: I don't like drawing attention.

I live on a mountain directly across from another mountain that's a national park. That second (uninhabited) mountain acts as a backdrop for a lot of my laser tests, so that's good. So I'm able to hit snow patches over there and get reflectivity, usually with nobody around for miles. The terrain is far too harsh for campsites, too.

That said, one summer night, I was doing some beamshots across the valley and heard someone yell, "Bobby, look, what the F*** is that??" from my side of the mountain.

Obviously, click, off, Went inside, nothing to see here.

It's definitely a shame that a bunch of protards who decided that pointing lasers at aircraft eventually won the day as far as the law/public's view on lasers. Last thing I want is a bunch of cops at the door, so I've become a bit cautious even about pointing it at the rockfaces over there.

I guess just remember, that the beam also points directly back at you.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:24 PM #5
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Talking Re: I don't like drawing attention.

Hmmm, I've never had a problem.

I have shined lasers across the Grand Canyon, Arizona Red Rocks, untold stars, buildings and natural features as a pointer, etc...

...and, when questioned, simply explain what I'm doing.

That has always sufficed.


Of course, I always be sure that what I'm doing is not putting something aloft in the beam area, or people, etc...accounting for potential reflections, etc.

I MOSTLY use the lasers outdoors, as I don't NEED to use them indoors really...or at least, the powerful ones are overkill for a class or presentation, etc...so a 5 mw maybe for indoors, I think I used a 532 nm 80 mw indoors in a large area a bit when the impact of the 5 mw red was not cutting it.

Outdoors is where a 3 w 445 nm can stretch its legs though.

Pointing out constellations with that is awesome. Being able to point out a feature way up on a skyscraper in broad daylight is awesome.


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Old 12-24-2014, 12:43 AM #6
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Default Re: I don't like drawing attention.

A Few People in my small home town know i own some high power lasers, I have shown a few friends and family the beams and although i am not to worried because i abide by my country laws and always use safely,
One thing that does worry me which is similar to the OP's querys; is if some people seen them in the night sky then tried to obtain there own then they misuse them then people may ask around town and get told that i am the culprit as i own all the high power lasers in this town etc,
Although mine are all locked away etc.
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:35 AM #7
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Default Re: I don't like drawing attention.

Granted, showing people your "super awesome GREEN LAZUR!", or even them looking up and seeing the beam can influence them
to buy their own and hurt themselves, but I don't think most people would. And if the do, it's not really your fault that they were an
idiot and looked right into the beam. And IMO not all attention you get from your lasers is bad, my friend told me a story a while ago,
while he was shining his little 5mw greenie into the sky on a camping trip, soon some other guy started shining his red laser up.
They ended up having a little laser battle in the sky above the campsite. I know I would have liked to see that.
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