Old 02-09-2016, 10:54 PM #1
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Exclamation I'm a noob - how dangerous are these lasers I just got?

Alright so here's what's up:

Ten years ago I was a kid in high school and thought it was cool as hell that you could get green lasers. I bought a number of el cheapo 5mw green lasers that sold for like $14 each but were of really shoddy quality. I sort of wanted one that could burn stuff, but that was out of my price range.

Fast forward to last week. I was drunk and talking to my girlfriend about getting lasers to play with our cats. We have a dinky $2 walmart red laser of crappy quality so I decided on a drunken whim to buy a green and blue/violet laser. Found two on ebay, roughly $10 a piece, and thought they'd be perfect. Only 5mw (I wasn't looking to burn anything with these), and the build quality seemed a lot nicer than the ones I owned in the past.

These are the lasers I bought:
Military Burning 405nm Blue Purple Laser Pointer Lazer Pen Beam 18650 Charger | eBay
Military 532nm 5mW 303 Green Laser Pointer Lazer Pen Burning Beam 18650 Charger | eBay

Well they came in the mail today, and up until now I neglected to do any proper research on them. Well it turns out these things are a lot more than 5mw, most people online have been saying they're anywhere from 35-100mw but I've also read people claiming they can be 150-200mw (albeit rarely). Apparently they're advertised as 5mw lasers to avoid conflict with laws regarding lasers but due to poor quality control vary wildly in actual performance.

I did verify (out of morbid curiosity) that the 250nm laser will ignite a green match when the focus is adjusted for it. At that point I became too scared of using the lasers any further and hopped online to look into them.

So, what did I get myself into? I feel pretty safe in assuming these should NOT be used as cat toys, but realistically how dangerous are they otherwise? If I avoid obvious things like looking directly at the laser or reflecting it at my eye, can I shine them at stuff around my house without fear? If not, can I use them outside at least? I don't own any safety goggles as I didn't think I'd be needing them, are these things a legitimate risk without them?

Any help is appreciated.


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Old 02-10-2016, 12:18 AM #2
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Default Re: I'm a noob - how dangerous are these lasers I just got?

These seem like some pretty powerful lasers.
Anything that has a key, or lockup function is potentially going to be powerful.
As far as their outputs I could not tell you. But I will say that podo sells greenies 50mw for $10 and 100mw for $15, so i would assume your output would be somewhere around there on the greenie.
As for the 405, I think I'm going to have to buy one😁

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Old 02-10-2016, 02:54 AM #3
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Default Re: I'm a noob - how dangerous are these lasers I just got?

Oh no! The infamous 301 and 303 lasers. Cheap Chinese crap with no quality control, the price should be a clue. The violet 405nm will probably last you years but there's no guarantee. If it lights a match it is probably above 50mW, you didn't say how easily it lit the match, it doesn't matter there's no way to accurately guess its power. Be careful with the green one, it may last hours or days or hopefully you got a good one, be sure not to drop it, it will break easy, and it may be very temprature sensitive. Some of the light from the green one is also IR and you can't see it.

Never do any burning and never look at the dot up too close without safety glasses, if the dot feels like it's too bright to look at then it is too bright to look at. These lasers are not cat safe and they are not eye safe. A direct hit to eye or reflection from a mirror can do permanent damage before you can blink your eye. So when using them inside without glasses you must be very careful.

Does the green one have a visible beam? Is it visible in dim lighting or only in the dark?

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Old 02-10-2016, 03:31 AM #4
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Default Re: I'm a noob - how dangerous are these lasers I just got?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pi R Squared View Post
Oh no! The infamous 301 and 303 lasers. Cheap Chinese crap with no quality control, the price should be a clue. The violet 405nm will probably last you years but there's no guarantee. If it lights a match it is probably above 50mW, you didn't say how easily it lit the match, it doesn't matter there's no way to accurately guess its power. Be careful with the green one, it may last hours or days or hopefully you got a good one, be sure not to drop it, it will break easy, and it may be very temprature sensitive. Some of the light from the green one is also IR and you can't see it.

Never do any burning and never look at the dot up too close without safety glasses, if the dot feels like it's too bright to look at then it is too bright to look at. These lasers are not cat safe and they are not eye safe. A direct hit to eye or reflection from a mirror can do permanent damage before you can blink your eye. So when using them inside without glasses you must be very careful.

Does the green one have a visible beam? Is it visible in dim lighting or only in the dark?

Alan
It took me a bit to get the laser to focus the right way, but I'd say it lit the match in about ten or twelve seconds just holding it by hand.

As far as the beam goes, I'd say the green one is visible both day and night when it's viewed at a sharp angle, perpendicular only in the dark.
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Old 02-10-2016, 03:47 AM #5
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Default Re: I'm a noob - how dangerous are these lasers I just got?

They are both over 5mW so they do have the potential to harm eyes if used incorrectly.
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Old 02-10-2016, 03:50 AM #6
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Default Re: I'm a noob - how dangerous are these lasers I just got?

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Originally Posted by Halfy View Post
I did verify (out of morbid curiosity) that the 250nm laser ...
So are you germ free and mutating?

Sorry. Couldn't resist. Just kidding.

Darn figners. I do it all the time.

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Old 02-10-2016, 04:22 AM #7
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Default Re: I'm a noob - how dangerous are these lasers I just got?

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Originally Posted by Pi R Squared View Post
Oh no! The infamous 301 and 303 lasers. Cheap Chinese crap with no quality control, the price should be a clue.

Alan
I bought 3 of these when my 2W broke, I tried opening one up and the damn crystal hosting piece that was glued broke.
I tried aligning it and it worked for a few but when I glued it back, guess glue got in the crystal or something. Stopped working straight up.

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Old 02-10-2016, 07:43 AM #8
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Default Re: I'm a noob - how dangerous are these lasers I just got?

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They are both over 5mW so they do have the potential to harm eyes if used incorrectly.
EXACTLY!
Do NOT let either of those get shown into anyone's face, lifelong disability could result in an instant.

I know some kids get away with an oops, likely a lot do, but damage to the retina is hidden by the brain, so much of what we see is in the brain, it fills in gaps all the time, just watch some optical illusions.

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