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Old 05-14-2014, 11:24 PM #17
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

these are the source of much of the hobbie's woes. I understand both view points, they both have valid concerns. in the U.S. we keep hearing about the increasing frequency of laser attacks. most with 532nm. why? duh, because they are $5 and everyone thinks it's only 5mW which couldn't even hit a plane (it can). there have been a few incidents with non 532 lasers, but if there were no more cheapo pens, how many fewer "attacks" would there be? I'm willing to bet a lot.

consumer responsibility. who will be more responsible, in gerenal, the person who spent $5 on their laser, or the one who spends $150+? availability plays a role here too.

as others said, it's really hard to crack down on this without cracking down on the rest, which is going to happen methinks. in general, companies value profit over safety. at $5 a pop, they don't give a damn about your eyes, or anyone elses. I expect the U.S. to be more like new zealand or australia in the near future, those places have little tolerance for lasers, not a good place to live if this is your hobby

5mW can still damage your eyes, they are just weak enough that blinking can prevent it. don't stare into them


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Old 05-14-2014, 11:48 PM #18
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakenawake View Post
these are the source of much of the hobbie's woes. I understand both view points, they both have valid concerns. in the U.S. we keep hearing about the increasing frequency of laser attacks. most with 532nm. why? duh, because they are $5 and everyone thinks it's only 5mW which couldn't even hit a plane (it can). there have been a few incidents with non 532 lasers, but if there were no more cheapo pens, how many fewer "attacks" would there be? I'm willing to bet a lot.

consumer responsibility. who will be more responsible, in gerenal, the person who spent $5 on their laser, or the one who spends $150+? availability plays a role here too.

as others said, it's really hard to crack down on this without cracking down on the rest, which is going to happen methinks. in general, companies value profit over safety. at $5 a pop, they don't give a damn about your eyes, or anyone elses. I expect the U.S. to be more like new zealand or australia in the near future, those places have little tolerance for lasers, not a good place to live if this is your hobby

5mW can still damage your eyes, they are just weak enough that blinking can prevent it. don't stare into them
I'm afraid your right. When they outlaw lasers. Only outlaws will have lasers. Maybe that's why I don't understand the laser pointer thing. I have one little pointer on a keychain. Thing is worthless to me. I use a 2.3w 445nm as a pointer. "See that 24x24 junction box 30 feet in the air ? That's where we are going to set the tugger up. See that box over there ? That's where we are feeding the wire from." Those little pointers just make me wish I had a laser

I agree they should be labeled correctly. But that still isn't going to prevent someone from causing eye damage with a laser. The only thing that will prevent eye damage is responsible use. That falls on the person who has it.

I bet cars just drive some people crazy. Zipping all around the place. People putting chips in the computers to make them faster. Everybody has one. They are potentially lethal weapons.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:17 AM #19
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

CHOOSE THE BEST ANSWER TO FILL IN THE BLANK:
"___________ are potentially dangerous when used carelessly, improperly, or with deliberate intent to cause harm."
  1. Guns
  2. Cars and motorcycles
  3. Knives
  4. Pointy sticks
  5. Rocks
  6. Water
  7. Fluffy soft pillows
  8. Lasers
  9. All of the above, and everything else
But seriously... I understand and share the concern of misuse harming innocent third parties. But how is worrying about some idiot waving a 100mW laser pointer around and potentially blinding someone any different from some idiot waving around a gun (or knife, or hammer, or...)? Your recourse in all those situations is the same: Remove yourself from the situation, or confront them, or get someone else (like law enforcement) to confront them.

If it were possible to ban idiots and aholes, that might solve the problem. Short of that, we either live in society and accept certain risks, or we move to an island and become a hermit. Life isn't perfectly safe. Or if it is, you are doing it wrong.

Correct labeling and education can help, and I am for those things. But it can never eliminate misuse, just as it hasn't for many other things.

In fact... Speaking about the U.S., I could argue that the current "ban" on selling high-powered lasers is counterproductive, in that it makes possible a sort of "gray market" for the overseas companies. It would have been more effective to allow U.S. companies to sell in the U.S. market, but regulate labeling, educational materials, and perhaps age restrictions. The existing ban on sales in the U.S. actually makes the problem worse.

If we keep letting our legislators ban things that "may potentially cause harm when used improperly or maliciously", there will be literally nothing left but butterflies and rainbows in a few more years. And I'm not so sure about those F-ing butterflies being completely safe.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:26 AM #20
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

Mis-labeling of output power, however, is a serious safety hazard.

If you presume a laser to be 5 mW and get a back reflection off a window in your eye you should be perfectly fine, but if that laser turned out to be actually 200 mW you could have a problem.

Unfortunately part of the cause of these problems is actually safety concern: In some cases lasers will be more likely to be confiscated by customs if labeled as '200 mW', most likely in countries that allow importing <5mW lasers but not more powerful ones.

The vendor gets around this customs issue by putting a false label on the unit, but the customer has to know about this. This could easily go wrong when a vendor gets hold of a batch of lasers that are far more powerful than their label says, but doesn't really know about that... and just sells them on ebay or such believing they actually are only 5 mW and communicating that to the customer as well.
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:43 AM #21
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

I am sure the bureaucrats of Health Canada will eventually be able to protect you from yourself.

Health Canada is actively involved in injury prevention by:

Supporting the development of safety standards and guidelines.

Enforcing legislation by conducting investigations, inspections, seizures and prosecutions.

Testing and conducting research on consumer products.

Providing importers, manufacturers and distributors with hazard and technical information.

Publishing product advisories, warnings and recalls.

Promoting safety and the responsible use of products.

So they say anyway. I don't know about you but that sounds terrifying to me. Did you all see what happened to ru124t? Canada Customs Seized My Laser

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Old 05-15-2014, 05:03 PM #22
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifter View Post
So..... Today I received in the mail my first real lasers(from laserglow Laserglow Technologies)

The only lasers I had owned previous were cheap Chinese ebay lasers the 2xAAA pen style ones that actually look very similar(ignoring quality) to the laserglow units. I have one green and one red one from ebay, both made in china, both VERY CLEARLY LABELED 5mw MAX class IIIA.

Now that I have my laserglow units which multiple people on here have stated are very accurate in there power ratings, and know what a true 5mw unit looks like I can say with confidence that my ebay lasers are seriously overpowered.

Until I get my LPM(RE x4) later this week or next week I guess im not going to know for sure but if I had to guess I would say the red ebay unit is 3-5 times more powerful than the laserglow unit and the green at least 10 times.

Both have very crappy beams and fluctuate in power often in comparison to the LG units but both are very clearly over spec.

The thing that bothers me the most about this is I was treating them as toys for years until I found this site a few weeks back and realized they were likely overspec, and dangerous.

So why the hell is this allowed to happen?
Well- its china-- so being USA or Canadian...

IMHO aside from the 'lipstick' red lasers NONE should be ever considered to be 'toys' and even that should be treated like one
that IS dangerous... as doing otherwise sends the wrong messge-

I have a true 5mW 532 green pro pen pointer -- it was a gift but I found them FS at $140....

due to EEKbay and PP rules no laser is allowed over 5 mW- so they list them as such..

most here have know all this for a long time now- its in the search--

do some homework


Hak

FYI

to double the brightness of a true 5 mW it takes 20mW (not 10mW) to double that you need 80mW to double 80 mW you need 320mW
YES!!!320 mW---its a factor of 4 NOT 2..- (& this is in the same wavelength)

when comparing different colors its different
50mW of 532 is equal 'brightness' to ~1W of blue--(only to our Eyes)
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:21 AM #23
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

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I think the only real point is you should have done your homework before buying a potentially dangerous item. 5mW can still cause vision damage. Its only considered eye safe because your blink reflex can kick in before any major damage occurs. This doesnt mean it cant be dangerous.
Surely it can be dangerous, but the 5 mW marking should tell you -how- dangerous it actually is. So many things we use in our daily life are potentially dangerous, but in most cases they are properly labeled.

Lets say you wanted to go rock climbing and used a cord that is labeled to take 10 kN, you'd expect to be able to to hang off that cord safely, wouldn't you?

But what if customs only importing cords with a rated strength of 10 kN or above, so chinese vendors start re-labelling shoelaces as 10 kN ropes? I'm sure you'd hit the deck pretty hard if you relied on that information.

A key difference is that you can SEE the difference between a climbing rope and a shoelace, where you cannot see the difference between a 5 and 200 mW laser, certainly not before you turn in on (and not with absolute certaintly after either, unless you have some reference/experience).
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:47 AM #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benm View Post

Surely it can be dangerous, but the 5 mW marking should tell you -how- dangerous it actually is. So many things we use in our daily life are potentially dangerous, but in most cases they are properly labeled.

Lets say you wanted to go rock climbing and used a cord that is labeled to take 10 kN, you'd expect to be able to to hang off that cord safely, wouldn't you?

But what if customs only importing cords with a rated strength of 10 kN or above, so chinese vendors start re-labelling shoelaces as 10 kN ropes? I'm sure you'd hit the deck pretty hard if you relied on that information.

A key difference is that you can SEE the difference between a climbing rope and a shoelace, where you cannot see the difference between a 5 and 200 mW laser, certainly not before you turn in on (and not with absolute certaintly after either, unless you have some reference/experience).
My question is, if you were going rock climbing and your safety depended on a rated line. Would you order it from China and trust it ?
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:04 AM #25
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

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Originally Posted by IWIRE View Post
My question is, if you were going rock climbing and your safety depended on a rated line. Would you order it from China and trust it ?
Or, for a similar analogy... If you were using lasers and your eye safety depended on proper goggles, would you trust cheap, untested, no-name goggles from China just to save a few bucks?

Unfortunately, for too many the answer is Yes.

That's the biggest problem. Too many people shop with price as the #1 priority, and that makes quality and safety a "race to the bottom".
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:12 AM #26
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Originally Posted by ScottW View Post

Or, for a similar analogy... If you were using lasers and your eye safety depended on proper goggles, would you trust cheap, untested, no-name goggles from China just to save a few bucks?

Unfortunately, for too many the answer is Yes.

That's the biggest problem. Too many people shop with price as the #1 priority, and that makes quality and safety a "race to the bottom".
I know ! It's a trip ! Supply and demand. People complain about cheap Chinese laser pointers, yet they are the ones who bought them and are supporting the market they are complaining about.
I'm doing my part. I've never bought one. But if they really are over spec I might start
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:54 AM #27
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Originally Posted by BubonicCronic View Post

The Chinese are very good at making shoe laces look like 10 kN cord.

I would not buy cord off eBay or a random Chinese web site. I'd do research to find a trusted source and buy from them. Labels can say anything. Only research can separate the facts from fiction. This goes for all purchases. Thats why we have reviews on items. When you're spending good money on something or buying something potentially dangerous you'd be a fool not to do some research. And like the old saying goes you get what you pay for. Thinking you're getting a metered 5mW green laser shipped all the way from China for $3 is not very intelligent. A simple 30 second search would tell you that.
Exactly. Ignorance is not an excuse. Even when it comes to lasers. The bad thing is when you point a finger at the cheap laser pointers, there are three more fingers pointing right back at us. No one is twisting anyone's arm and forcing them to buy an over spec pointer. Apparently safety is an after thought with some purchases for some people. Now that I have bought it. I think I'll research it and put the blame anywhere but me for buying it.
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:59 AM #28
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

Since when does an average laser pointer buyer seek out:
1) A power-measured and feedback-controlled laser pointer ensured to remain below 5mW?
that will
2) Be less bright as a result?
and also
3) Cost significantly more to purchase and be difficult to source?
I could probably count the times I've seen that request on one thumb.

Even if people were aware of the dangers, I don't think many people are willing to pony up the cash to get less power for their money. It's like paying for a speed governor on your car, even if the laser is usually always going at max power.

If we were really trying to regulate lasers, we'd probably adopt a regulations that Australia uses. Even a true Class 3a/r is not eye-safe, and laser pointers should probably be in the 2mW or less realm. I'm not looking forward to those days.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:14 AM #29
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Default Re: Why does no one care cheap chinese lasers are trying to blind us all?

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Originally Posted by IWIRE View Post
My question is, if you were going rock climbing and your safety depended on a rated line. Would you order it from China and trust it ?
Probably not. Not that i wouldn't order it, but i'd definetely try to hang a significant weight on it in a safe situation before using it. Perhaps tie a short length over a beam and try to hang off off that with a few people and see if it actually holds. This doesnt prove 10 kN, but at least a few kN.

I guess you could do something similar with laser pointers: if its rated 5 mW, point it towards some black plastic tape or paper and see what happens. If it starts to smoke or melt, it likely is -way- over 5 mW, regardless if that power is actually green or IR light leaking out.
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