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Old 11-05-2014, 12:20 PM #1
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Default Should I be worried?

First of all, let me say I'm not a laser guy, I've never really been fond of them or cared to own one. However, for some reason a friend just brought me back a green laser from Egypt, which they paid £20 for, so quite cheap, thus maybe weak.

Anyhow, they said go ahead and try it in the garden, as "it's cool, you can see the beam quite far". So I thought okay then and proceeded to point it about 20 meters across my garden onto a wall (I know not to shine them into the sky just in case). I thought it was cool but nothing spectacular.

When I got back inside my room (black wallpaper) I tried it on the walls about 5-6ft away, as it had this star like filter you could put over the lens to make it a light show vs a point. That didn't seem overlay bright or anything, then I tried it with just the point, again, not overlay bright, but instinct was saying don't stare at the dot, but of course I looked at it on the wall.

Then the friend said it could burn things, so he took it of me and tried to set a piece of printer paper on fire, which it didn't catch and I just laughed at him, although you could feel the slightest of warmth. Then I realised he was shining that thing about 2-3 away from our heads at the paper, wouldn't that be really dangerous on white paper at that range?

Finally, when I was messing with it on my wall earlier, the point did hit a metal soda can a few times, although I didn't realise that could be really dangerous until I tried to find the power of this laser online, and had no luck.

Here are the images of it, doesn't even have a warning label attached anywhere:



To test how strong it was, I pointed the laser directly into the old camera lens that took the photos for around 10 seconds (obviously shield my face and eyes completely at this point) just to see what damage it would do and maybe gauge the power, the only damage I see is the little blue/purple squiggly line you can see in the pictures.

I ended up giving it back and saying thanks, but I wouldn't use it as it is and beyond that it's very dangerous without goggles which I don't have anyway.

I didn't receive any after images, dots or anything like that, but I'm still paranoid and I bet you get loads of these posts on here all the time. I'm 25 but have had some minor floaters in my eyes since I was around 18, which my eye check-ups have said are harmless.

Coincidentally, I have my neck check-up in 12 days from now, should I mention this to them when I go, or even inform them of this beforehand?

Lastly, how strong would this laser have been?

Cheers



Last edited by Veradun; 11-05-2014 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:30 PM #2
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Default Re: Should I be worried?

Let me commend you on the decision of giving up the laser because you felt you didn't have the proper safety equipment, few people who are new to the hobby do that!

Those kind of lasers are a gamble on the power they output, as you mentioned you can do some basic tests to guesstimate it's power but only a LPM(Laser Power Meter) will tell you for sure how much it really outputs. There are plenty of members around LPF who will gladly meter it for you, FOR FREE! All you need to do is pay shipping.
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Old 11-05-2014, 04:05 PM #3
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Default Re: Should I be worried?

What he said ^.

I can't say anything about power either, but judging from the damage to the camera I'd say it's not trivial. (As a photographer I have to say, WHY THE CAMERA!? )

Depending on the power of the laser I'd *guess* you won't have any damage from the white paper as long as you didn't stare at the dot for a long time - and even then the light is still diffuse and no longer coherent.

In the end, there's little I can say, but I think you're safe.
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Old 11-05-2014, 08:56 PM #4
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Default Re: Should I be worried?

in less than a second any digital camera OR projector can be seriously damaged with a 50 mW 532 laser.

I would say in your case no damage was done and personally I might have considered NOT mentioning this to a doctor--unless your health insurance covers a second exam by an Eye Doctor--not a cheap procedure.


With just good common sense an owner of a green pointer really has little need for eyeware-- most danger would likely happen to another person --not you so much.
Looking too long at a dot from green or blue lasers poses more danger than the other visible wavelenghths.

When looking at a dot or when being audience scanned a simple test is to look away and count how many seconds it takes for any after-images to go away.
any more than 20 or so seconds tells you that the spot was TOO bright for that exposure time. BUT no indicator of possible damage to your eyes.

Reflections from mirrors or glass poses almost as much danger as a straight shot to the eyes.

BUT ....This should always be remembered- your own eye's lens if hit directly into you eyes will multiply the power by 100,000 times!!! (some say 200,000X)

the words 'eye safe' should really NEVER be used by us--NO LASER that is working is safe--may as well hand a child a loaded gun as the two have a lot in common.

Finding out this is correct the hard way is just plain stoopid.

whether yours is 30 mW or 200mW you STILL want to NEVER be careless with it AND ATM it may be good advice to just NOT use a laser after dark unless you are WAY out of 'town'. to fully realize a what can happen go to laserpointersafety.com and read a lot of what is there.
Find the section of arrests and sentences they got for what they ALL did with a simple 'legal' pointer--ANY power is a federal offence if they can show it was intentional.

Being only 5 mW is no excuse--

and is every bit as illegal, when used around helis and fixed wing aircraft.

play it safe--

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