Old 02-23-2012, 12:29 PM #1
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Default Newbie asking advice

Hi all,

Just wanted some quick advice please. I am looking at purchasing a pointer and wanted to ask the experts a couple of things first.

I will mainly be using the device as part of an astronomy group to point out various objects.

So my questions/concerns are:

What power laser should I consider? I looked at the LZTN - 532nm 5mW Smallest Green Laser Pointer from Lazerer as a starting point. Any comments on this?

I am also concerned about eye damage. Obviously, shining into an eye is dangerous but is their any chance of damage from "leakage", if that is even a correct term? i.e. can light enter your eye even if you are not staring at the end of the beam? Sorry if this sounds like paranoia its just that there will be children around me and I want to be 100% sure of the saftey of their eyes (and mine come to that, as I will be shining the thing).

Finally, is Lazerer a reputable company? I dont want to order something and find it is a cheap rip off.

Many thanks guys.


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Old 02-23-2012, 12:34 PM #2
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Default Re: Newbie asking advice

Hey,
Welcome to the forum. I am new here too, but I can help you here.

First up, if you want to be using the laser for star pointing, I would suggest something around the power of 10mW, as the beam outside becomes visible enough. 20mW would be plenty, but the higher the more of a visible beam (generally).


If you are using a laser outside, you don't need goggles. The only reason you would need goggles is in case you cop a reflection. You can stare at the beam/dot forever, but if you get a reflection then your in danger of losing your vision (depending on the power of the laser).

Lazerer is a good company, and I would suggest stuff from there.

Hope I helped, this was a mission to type on my phone, so sorry for any spelling mistakes, my Android isn't good.

Last edited by LesPaul; 02-23-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:37 PM #3
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Default Re: Newbie asking advice

Hi,

Thanks so much for the reply. Not bad speed from a phone!

Thats helped a lot. It was the danger to the eyes that was freaking me out!
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:42 PM #4
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Default Re: Newbie asking advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibex View Post
Hi,

Thanks so much for the reply. Not bad speed from a phone!

Thats helped a lot. It was the danger to the eyes that was freaking me out!
Your welcome! However, if you do plan on using the laser inside, please get goggles. If you look around there are a few people who have been hit in the eye with a high powered laser, and it's bad.

Make sure to read around, there is lots of information; look at the stickies, popular threads etc.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:29 PM #5
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Default Re: Newbie asking advice

Hello.

I can suggest buying from Lazerer.com its a very good company and has fast shipping time.
You should always use safety googles when using a laser inside or very close to the eye, example: trying to light a match or anything like that.


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Old 02-23-2012, 06:05 PM #6
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Default Re: Newbie asking advice

Welcome!

Yes, 5mW is considered the maximum for "eye safe" because at that level you'll blink before damage can be done.

No, you don't need to be hit by the beam directly for damage to happen at higher levels. The exact level where reflectice dangers pop up is determined by the beam divergence, the type of object it is reflecting off of, and the distance you are from the object. So there is no one level or guideline. Over 5mW goggles are advised for this reason even though you can safely point a <50mW laser around most non-shiny things and be safe from reflective danger (but not direct exposure danger!). At sufficiently high levels (>50mW) even looking at the spot on a matte wall can do some damage to your eyes unless the wall is pretty far away.

One important factor to consider is that MOST chinese sources for green lasers label their lasers as 5mW but can be up to 90mW in reality. A buyer without an LPM or a first time buyer would never know.

Secondly, cheap pointers don't have IR (infrared) filtering and can leak out an invisible ray of 1064nm light at VERY dangerous levels. So a 5mW unfiltered pointer can have 5mW of green but 40mW of invisible IR. When shopping for a 5mW laser that NEEDS to be 5mW it is best to go with a top of the line company where you KNOW it will be IR filtered and confirmed 5mW.

For that reason I recommend LaserGlow Technologies in Canada (Laserglow Technologies - Handheld Lasers, Alignment Lasers and Lab / OEM Lasers). They have some really nice 5mW greens in various price ranges and both the quality and customer service is out of this world. The standard "Lyra" <5mW green starts at $50 and goes to $60. They also have the 5mW "Anser" which is more plain looking but only $40. These lasers are CRDH certified and legal to import in to the US, so no worry of confiscation either.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:45 PM #7
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Default Re: Newbie asking advice

Hi. That's superb advice. Thanks so much for taking the time to write such a detailed reply.

Im actually in the UK so will see if they deliver here.

Thanks again.
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