Old 01-18-2011, 07:44 PM #17
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

Something I really probably should have mentioned is that I never gave them a power level they just refuse to listen to me if I say the word laser.


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Old 01-18-2011, 07:50 PM #18
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

My best advice is to lay low, and give it sometime before bringing up the subject again. They may never agree, but if you hound them the answer will always be NO.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:53 PM #19
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverno View Post
Something I really probably should have mentioned is that I never gave them a power level they just refuse to listen to me if I say the word laser.
It's a long shot, because schools and stuff don't really do this as much these days. But is there a "back door" you could take? Getting involved in some science function at your school, or something like that?

When parents stonewall and refuse to listen, outside opinions from the internet are just going to make them be more firm in their decision, not less.

I think it's probably detrimental for them to absolutely squash your interest, even in the matter of 5mW greens or say a 5mW 635.

Physics, optics, wave theory, color theory, electronics, electrical engineering -- it's obvious that lasers have uses or they wouldn't be made.

While I don't think it's unreasonable for them to be denying you access at this time to a 100mW green, i've seen some pretty fancy 5mW collections around here...

Get friendly with a science teacher at your school? That's actually how I did it after the above "pointer confiscation" incident. He let me borrow a 10mW HeNe for the year to do some projects. (diffraction, measuring the speed of light, etc)... it's worth a shot?
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Old 01-18-2011, 08:20 PM #20
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

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reverno -- I don't think you know how fast the time will go by. At 14, the time until you're 18 seems like forever.

But once you hit it, you'll go "wow, when did that happen"
So true. I remember 14. It felt like forever until I got my license (16), and I thought that I would never hit 18.

But I am almost 21 now. Been graduated for almost three years. And it feels like I was just 14.

From my experience, your parents will lighten up a little around 16. Once I got my license and started driving, I started gaining more trust from them.

I got my first laser (above 5mW) when I was 18. I was never really into lasers before this though. But I wouldn't worry about it too much..

Try and see if you can get a 5mW green. Or something smaller to start. By the time you earn enough trust from your parents to get a high powered laser... we will have much better, cheaper, and probably cooler colored lasers. It will most likely be worth the wait.

Don't let it bother you to much. Before you know it, you will be wishing you were that age again. Wondering where all those teen years went.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:42 PM #21
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by aryntha View Post
It's a long shot, because schools and stuff don't really do this as much these days. But is there a "back door" you could take? Getting involved in some science function at your school, or something like that?

Get friendly with a science teacher at your school? That's actually how I did it after the above "pointer confiscation" incident. He let me borrow a 10mW HeNe for the year to do some projects. (diffraction, measuring the speed of light, etc)... it's worth a shot?
Interesting idea and one I have considered but my schools science department is lacking in everything they have nothing going on that I could get involved in and no teachers who actively do any science outside of teaching. I guess I could ask around or think up a project.

Thanks for the response guys it's been nice reading everyones views
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:30 PM #22
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

What i would suggest you do is some how prove to them that you are responsible enough to own a laser. "Not saying you are not Responsible but from there point of view"

You can ask them to give you some responsibility's to do around the house Like baby sit "If thats an option" or ask you parents to assign you choirs to do etc. Things of that nature.

Make sure to do it Right & On Time and once they see that you have Been doing everything correctly and on time maybe they will let you get it then.

Its almost like Proving to them that your are "Responsible".

I would give this a try if you like. I would first start of by saying that if i can prove to you that iam "Responsible" enough to get it will you let me. Then tell them what i stated above or whatever you have in mind that you can do around the house to prove to them.

I dont think this is going to happen over a week. But i say a month or two of work should do it.

Hope this Helps.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:32 PM #23
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

It's a bit of a shame that your parents are like that. My first DIY laser was bought via my own PP account at around your age (maybe a little older) - I didn't have to ask my parents' permisson - and when I showed them that, they were a little dubious as to the safety, but quite interested in it too. It does help that my mum has a science background though

Whilst I can't speak authoritatively, based on your posts and the fact that you've done your research beforehand, I'd guess that you would be pretty mature about them (when on your own - social context might change things - see below). You could possibly build a fixed (lab) laser and present it as an electronics/physics project, or take a temporary side-step into the LED world instead - plenty of the concepts applied to LEDs are also really relevant to laser diodes, and vice versa. Perhaps your parents would be more amenable to you building it from scratch rather than simply buying one pre-made?

One thing that comes with experience is learning how other people behave in general, too - whilst you might be fine, in some situations your friends might not be so sensible - and with that risk comes the maturity of deciding whether or not to bring them into contact with the laser at all, regardless of whether or not you've given them a "safety briefing".

Sounds like your parents won't be easily brought around to your point of view - perhaps side-tracking off into LEDs would be a good way to go. Would help you pass the time, get used to working with semiconductors, electronics, and suppliers of parts, and should hopefully still be interesting.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:00 AM #24
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

Can you buy a pre-paid visa card? If you have those in England you can just order it yourself!
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:35 AM #25
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

This is what I do, if you have the money go to Giant Eagle or The bank and buy a pre-paid visa. My parents dont like my laser but they pretend not to mind because they know its not to put me down psychologically The only trouble you might have is getting to the store or a bank?

Now thats my suggestion, you dont have to listen just a suggestion



I didnt realize the post above me pretty much said the same thing

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Old 01-19-2011, 12:46 AM #26
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

Although doing an End-Run-Around on the Parental Units May have DIRE consequences!
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:14 AM #27
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

There are many cheap green lasers these days. If you save up for long enough, you can buy one yourself.

You can't have your parents buy everything for you, ya know?

edit: I see that you're using your own money. The good thing is, there are many laser companies that accept PayPal.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:17 AM #28
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

I have found that my parents fear what they do not understand. I am personally into a lot of things that my parents know absolutely nothing about (I'm not saying that teenagers know everything, just that my parents do not know anything about lasers, electronics etc..). Try to educate them and hopefully they may eventually see that your interests are genuine.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:19 AM #29
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

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There are many cheap green lasers these days. If you save up for long enough, you can buy one yourself.

You can't have your parents buy everything for you, ya know?
Um. Clearly you are not following the discussion. He was not asking that his parents purchase a laser for him. He was asking how to convince the parents to let him buy a laser.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:28 AM #30
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

Yeah, I just saw that, hence my edited post.

@OP

There are many laser companies that accept PayPal. U.S. PayPal accounts do require a credit card before they can be used to send money, but it's possible to create a foreign PayPal account even if you live in the U.S. If you can get money into your PayPal account, chances are you could buy whatever you want without having to go through your parents.

If all else fails, give your money to a trusted friend and have him or her buy the laser. If your parents confront you about it, say it's a "gift."
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:47 AM #31
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

They are your parents. They know if your responsible enough to own and operate one. I say listen to what they say before they spank your ass for being disobedient!
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:30 AM #32
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Default Re: Parents and lasers

@OP

Did you talk to your father as well? Just because Mom says "no" doesn't mean Dad will.

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Interestingly related story - when I was around 13, (back in the late 80s heh) -- we had a science fair of sorts at my school. My project involved polarized light and a 0.5mW HeNe pointer run off of two 9v batteries. (Yeah. Half a mW!)... The principal of my school confiscated it, kicked my project out, and sent me home with disciplinary action for having something "so dangerous" in school.

No matter what I did to make him understand that 0.5mW wasn't going to hurt anyone, he wouldn't listen. I ended up having to give in, and use a halogen flashlight instead.

... I'm still bitter about losing a HeNe battery operated pointer. As you can likely see by browsing the forums here, those things are very rare. It's probably STILL in some drawer at that school.

Though even though he didn't "get it" in my mind at the time - he likely had his reasons, and it was up to him to run the school.
Well, why did you even submit to the confiscation in the first place?

Anyways, do you still live near the school? If so, you could go back and ask. I'm sure that schools would be a lot less willing to give a graduate a hard time.
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Check out my laser media here.
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