Old 01-25-2010, 12:07 AM #1
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Default TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Alright, I have a sudden interest in lasers due to a physics class I had. I have recently been looking up all types of articles and videos about wavelength, power and other things concerning lasers. I have also been looking at TONS of different sites such as nova lasers and laser glow. I was ready to purchase a laser, HOWEVER, I recently found that lasers are illegal in the US. SO, I'm wondering if you really CAN'T get lasers in the US, or if you have a small chance of the FDA actually ruining your fun.

Another thought I had was to build a laser, like some other people have suggested on this site. This is a problem because I know NOTHING on how to get the parts, much less how to actually ASSEMBLE the laser.

I am looking for general answers about if lasers are illegal, what you need to build a laser, where to get the parts for a laser and how to build a laser.

I kind of lied in the title of this thread. I'm not TOTALLY new, like I know what wavelengths are what color, what power is high and low, but aside from that, I'm pretty stupid. PLEASE HELP.


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Old 01-25-2010, 12:12 AM #2
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Lasers are not illegal, it's just illegal to import lasers over 5mw.

It's also illegal to use them in harmful ways, like blinding pilots, drivers, cops, etc....

for power, the bigger the number, the higher the power. MW=milliwatts

The link below is like "lasers 101" it's great information.

http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/laserfaq.htm#faqtoc Sams laser FAQ (it's awesome!)



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Last edited by photonaholic; 01-25-2010 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:21 AM #3
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Oh my god thanks man, this is perfect!
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:24 AM #4
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Your very welcome.

for the most "fun factor" a 5 MW green pointer is a great place to start.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:47 AM #5
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

lasers are not illegal in US.
selling over 5mw handheld laser needs FDA license.
if you want to buld a laser, i think a laser module should be needed. then a house for the module. laser module is not handheld laser. and it is can be sold on ebay us site

welcome! please don't say you are stupid. we all start from 0
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:48 AM #6
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by photonaholic View Post
......... MW=milliwatts......
Mw=milliwatts
MW=MEGAwatts
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:57 AM #7
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

how many megawatt lasers do we converse about here on any regular basis
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:25 AM #8
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

So, a 5 Mw green laser pointer is a good start? Haha that's good because its "legal" I guess
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:27 AM #9
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Wait so what are laser pointers' power measured in? Milliwatts or megawatts?
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:27 AM #10
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

When I got my first green pointer I was very impressed by it.

The megawatt is equal to one million watts.

The milliwatt is equal to one thousandth of a watt

A one million watt pointer would be nice, but not even buck rogers has one.
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Last edited by photonaholic; 01-25-2010 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:28 AM #11
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

My SSY-1 is supposed to put out ~2 MW...... for about 40 micro seconds ....

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Old 01-25-2010, 03:32 AM #12
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Yeah, I'm pretty into this one right now. DealExtreme: $10.43 True Green Laser Pen 5mW
The customer reviews are pretty impressive too
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:44 AM #13
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

That's a great starter. And the price cannot be beat.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:51 AM #14
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB_Productions View Post
Mw=milliwatts
MW=MEGAwatts
Actually mW = milliwatts.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:54 AM #15
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB_Productions View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by photonaholic View Post
MW=milliwatts
Mw=milliwatts
MW=MEGAwatts
mW = milliwatts, MW = megawatts, Mw doesn't really mean anything...lol



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Old 01-25-2010, 03:58 AM #16
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Default Re: TOTALLY new to lasers PLEASE HELP

Thanks guys, this is an excellent forum
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