Old 05-18-2011, 01:32 PM #1
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Default Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

Back storey -
I live in the woods. Because of how tall the trees are around my house It gets very dark at night. It's Perfect for shining lasers on and around the trees, and with some dust from my gravel driveway the beams are that much more breath taking *cough*.

So what's the problem? Well, I live in the flight path to (Regan) National Airport, and I worry that there could be a problem if I were to shine a beam uip past the tree tops to point out star constellations to my kids - potentially getting the attention of air traffic. I's not like there's windows on the bottoms of planes - but there's also helicopters.

Recently I've heard stories of people shining lasers at planes and getting in trouble, and I'm not about to be the next - so I don't go into the sky.

My trees are dense so I'm not worried about a beam getting through.

Does anyone have a guide or link to local regulations pertaining to lasers use outdoors for MD, USA? I'll be Google-ing at lunch time.

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Old 05-18-2011, 01:58 PM #2
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

I work less than 2 minutes from an airport, and I sure wouldn't be shining it in the sky here.
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Old 05-18-2011, 02:37 PM #3
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

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Originally Posted by Lotus_Darkrose View Post
I work less than 2 minutes from an airport, and I sure wouldn't be shining it in the sky here.
The traffic is much less at night with some nights seemingly flightless. Still I don't think I'll be waking the kids up at 3am to look at stars.

I wonder if I call the airport asking for their flight schedule - so I could wait for the last flight - would that would grab some eyebrows...hmmm...

Dang, I almost forgot, there's those other two airports (45 miles away each) - Dulless & BWI...

So where are all these people "star gazing" ?!?!

cad602
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:37 PM #4
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

They are gazing without lasers

For actual star gazing - pointing out constellations - in the environment you describe a 30mW greenie should work very well. I personally use a 20mW green pen... with no light pollution the beam is just bright enough to see, without affecting my night vision.

The big concern in aviation are not so much the accidental fraction of a second hits but that idiots who shine the laser specifically targeting the airplane. My town happens to be in the cross hairs of approaches for newark airport, although where I am they are still pretty high, and much closer is teterboro - there was already an incident with lasers there.

Anyway, stick to a low power green for star pointing, and make sure not to actively follow any planes.
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:35 PM #5
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

So as long as I'm not being reta- a slow adult I should be fine if I slip while shooting targets in my yard with my 750mW 445....(usually with the glasses) and I might want to buy a lower power green for star pointing...
I like people too much to want to hurt anyone - especially in the air!, but I will make doubly sure before handing it over to a friend or (gasp) my kids.

Both my greens are between 50 & 60 mW and the one I've ordered from O-Like (hurry up!) will be way to much for this unless maybe if I put a couple pieces of glass in front of it to slow it down (& retest w/ my LPM of course).


Do you think 50mW is too much? It's only dark below the tree line since I'm in a suburb of Washington D.C.

Thanks!

cad602
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:56 PM #6
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

50mW, depending on the IR content should be fine... It really depends on the ambient light pollution... Like pointing at stars from a low nyc rooftop... in all honesty just pointing since stars are hard to see i prefer 150mW+ 532nm but there is so much light around...

When I go camping, and there is no other light around, aside from the moon, I find 20mW to work well... but I'm usually carrying a 50mW on me as well... 50mW I find is too bright because if I hit any branches my night vision is ruined... but I don't think it's too strong to use at all.

Did you get the 400mW o-like? I'm waiting to get a replacement for mine, shipping is driving me nuts, officially into week three now.

I find that the 1.1W 445nm I also use, is just too harsh for pointing at stars, but I love it in the park
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:04 PM #7
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

I went with the 200mW Transformable - but I suspect I will want more eventually....if I get a bonus this year perhaps! (I'll prolly just buy more A140's though).

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Old 05-18-2011, 05:12 PM #8
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

You can find flight schedules from airports yourself
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:32 PM #9
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

Real-time Air Traffic in 3D
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:43 PM #10
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeGT View Post
You can find flight schedules from airports yourself
And I will be doing this. I actually have a friend who works at the airport in some sort of a liason-ish capacity, and I was going to look him up first. Anyway, thanks for the help.

Keep it fun,

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Old 05-18-2011, 05:43 PM #11
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

The 200mW transformable is good... I actually need to update my sig... LPMed all my lasers last night, and I'm not sure why, but all of them did slightly better - ambient temp was 4 degrees less.

My 200mW transformable peaked at 192mW and leveled out at 188mW. That's the good news. The bad news is this thing has some serious IR issues... ~40mW or so. Still my favorite carry laser though.

Once this one breaks, I'm gonna pay extra and ask susie to install IR filter on the next one.
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:50 PM #12
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

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The 200mW transformable is good... I actually need to update my sig... LPMed all my lasers last night, and I'm not sure why, but all of them did slightly better - ambient temp was 4 degrees less.

My 200mW transformable peaked at 192mW and leveled out at 188mW. That's the good news. The bad news is this thing has some serious IR issues... ~40mW or so. Still my favorite carry laser though.

Once this one breaks, I'm gonna pay extra and ask susie to install IR filter on the next one.
Wow, I've heard these things can have a significant amount - and that certainly sounds significant! I have one filter left so I will see what it'll do w/ and w/out the filter...

One more thing, is that Susie on the home page of O-like.com?

cad602
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405nm 12x - from scratch - in an Ultra Fire WF-501B Host - 353mW
635-660nm Red Laser Module (focusable dot) 3-5V W/Built in Driver Circuit in Home Made Host 220mW+
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:53 PM #13
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Default Re: Lasers Safely Sharing the Sky

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One more thing, is that Susie on the home page of O-like.com?
LMAO - I highly doubt it.
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