Old 07-26-2010, 01:14 AM #1
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Default Recommend a Green Laser?

I need a couple green lasers, but I am just to the point where I've picked up a few of the basics. I could use some recommendations based on my needs.

My primary use will be this: I will use two lasers to help me align a high-speed camera. This camera will be mounted about 12-13 feet in the air, and I need to align it within a specific plane (and line on the ground), and to an accuracy of about 1/8 inch. There will be a person up on a ladder aligning the camera (where lasers will be attached), and there will be second person on the ground measuring to see that the two laser dots are equal distance from the line on the ground. I was given this idea by someone a few months ago, and I'm itching to give it a try.

- This will be done during daylight, so green is a must.
- If I am fortunate enough to see a faint beam during an overcast day, that is a big bonus because it will help the person on the ladder make adjustments without needing as much feedback from the person on the ground. My understanding is that a person should be able to see the beam of a 50mw laser just fine when it is a bit darker. Will going with a 100 or 150mw laser increase my chances of seeing the beam during the day (if it's a little overcast)? If it helps, I'd be willing to go with a higher power, but popping balloons and burning stuff is a lower priority than keeping the cost reasonable(even though it sounds fun).
- The alignment process can take 10-20 minutes if things go poorly. If it goes smoothly, it takes 5-10. With the lasers, I am hoping to keep it to 5 minutes consistently. That said, something with higher than average duty cycle would be very helpful so i don't have to turn them off and on 10+ times per alignment.
- Having not owned a good laser before, I'm not sure what to expect for basic functions. I need an on/off switch that I can simple turn on (even if it turns itself off after a bit). My alignment person will be standing on a 10 foot ladder, and cannot use two hands to hold in the buttons on the lasers.
- Smaller is probably better because I think they'll be easier to mount (they will only be mounted for the alignment process, not permanently). However, I'm guessing that I'll be limited on duty cycle by a small pen style? Durability is a concern as well. If I happen to drop one, It will be from about 13 feet in the air (albeit to grass, in most cases), and I don't wish to replace them.


Secondary application (This is just to get some extra use out of them...I'm buying them mainly for camera alignment): I want to use lasers to scare away Canadian geese from my pond at dusk and at night. The pond is about 1000 feet from my house. I've read that as lasers move across the water toward the geese, they get very nervous as this mimics the reflections on the eyes of predators.

Lastly, just for hobby sake, it sounds like fun, so I might be willing to look at something a little nicer if it's worth the extra cost...though keeping costs down is an important consideration. I figure on the lowest end, I'm looking at around $60 for two cheap 50mw pens. I'd like to stay under $200 total for sure unless somebody really convinces me otherwise.

Hopefully this is enough info to stir up a few recommendations (I know I can't have everything I want). THANKS!!!


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Old 07-26-2010, 02:14 AM #2
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Default Re: Recommend a Green Laser?

For alignment like this you might want to look at one of the green gun sight lasers that are designed for pointing accuracy. However, a lot of "knockoff" gun alignment lasers are out there that have threads/focusing marks that don't actually work.

If you're hanging a camera overhead, you really don't want to use a high powered laser - especially if someone is going to be walking or working underneath. Someone looking up while you're aligning the camera and catching a laser in the eye is a recipe for disaster; but the thing is, something that would be safe and purposed for alignment likely won't have the "throw" you're looking for to scare geese off your property 1000ft away.

Two applications here; you'd probably have to get two separate lasers to do this.
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Old 07-26-2010, 02:57 AM #3
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Default Re: Recommend a Green Laser?

Not sure if this helps but: Laserglow Technologies - Handheld Lasers, Alignment Lasers and Lab / OEM Lasers
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:20 AM #4
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Default Re: Recommend a Green Laser?

The camera is a bit of an odd application. It is for timing the finish line in track & field and other racing sports. It is aligned precisely at the front of the finish line and it takes a photograph that is about 1/16th of an inch wide, then it repeats that about 1000 times per second and recompiles them to record the finish of the races.

The short of it is that the camera must be aligned within a precise plane, not just aiming at a certain center point. That's why I am looking at two lasers. I can level the camera from left to right to avoid tilt, then having two lasers on sides will help adjust left to right adjustment and pivot. A single scope would only help me aim at a single point. I do know someone who uses a standard gun scope mounted on top and it helps get him in the general ballpark, but it's the finer adjustments that are tough.

I have considered the issue of safety. This is not something that will remain "on" with people around. It would just be used for a few controlled minutes to do initial alignment. I have 2-3 trained people that I work with on this, and it would not be a problem to have them be especially careful AND wear protective glasses. It would not be a scenario where I'd be shining lasers at random, unsuspecting people. Nonetheless, "if" a lesser powered laser can do the job, then perhaps it would be somewhat safer, just in case.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:26 AM #5
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Default Re: Recommend a Green Laser?

Two of those green crosshair alignment lasers would be incredible, but "starting at $329" (each) makes it unrealistic since I'll only use it about 6 times per year. I can keep using my plumb bob and string for free.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:28 AM #6
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Default Re: Recommend a Green Laser?

Bird control: Article at Laserglow Technologies

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Old 08-03-2010, 04:35 PM #7
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Default Re: Recommend a Green Laser?

You shoud've made your point more clear if you try a bit to make it more precise. We get your point anyway.

If longer duty cycle and key switch features are preferred, I wonder if the pen lasers can stand the heat. I'm not sure if this 150mw green laser, the pioneer series at the FREAKLASERS fits your expectation. I am only sure of the point that you neednot worry about it when you leave it on there for mins. But the figure seems to be way too bulky.
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Last edited by moneyLeu; 08-03-2010 at 04:36 PM. Reason: adding detailed info
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:56 PM #8
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Default Re: Recommend a Green Laser?

I've got your solution. Ebay.

Get 4 green 5mW. This will cost you $20 shipped. Use two for your leveling and keep the other two as back ups incase one burns out but i doubt they will. Unless its very bright out you will still be able to see the dot and 5mW won't blind anyone accidentally.

Then spend the rest of your budget on a 50-150mW green from rayfoss etc for scaring geese...which sounds fun by the way!

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Old 08-14-2010, 12:24 AM #9
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Default Re: Recommend a Green Laser?

A 300mw can be seen during a cloudy day. Also, lasers are *much* more visible to the person "downbeam".
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