I would be happy with a laser of sufficient power to create a conductive plasma channel reaching an active cumulonimbus cloud. It would be much easier for triggered lightning tests vs. launching small tethered rockets. And the re-fire rate is so much better. ;)
Well I just want to make it clear, it's easy to get carried away and IMO, there's lots of novices that really shouldn't be getting class IV devices. Whether its exceeding the duty cycle or not being aware of where the beam is reaching (especially outdoors!)
Typically, I treat all of my lasers...
My 7W is a fire hazard.
Started a fire by not noticing it hitting a brown shopping bag 30' across the room! Saw smoke and flames!
Don't even think about pointing this at the little red capsule in a sprinkler head above you. Unless you want to get wet. And likely in big trouble to boot!
What is your budget?
Does the laser need to be portable or can it run off mains power? (i.e. 208V three phase AC)
Lower divergence means larger beam so you need to rethink how much power. Hint: it's going to be far more than 1W!
If you don't have mid grade electro-optical experience including...
Lithium Ion Wholesale is where I get batteries these days. There are too many counterfeit or rewrapped cells. I'm a vaper who uses predominately mechanical devices and battery authenticity is of extreme importance! Never had an issue with this supplier, they ship fast and prices are good...
Any 1W Guardian owners here (520nm)? Hows the divergence with a simple collimator? (G2, G7, etc.)
I'm trying to get something that's not as bad as MM 445 diodes.
I'd love to have something like my 100mW 405. Simple GRIN lens and I'm under .5mRad!
How's the duty cycle restrictions?
I have a 7W silver and am careful not to go too long but when burning something it's easy to do.
It doesn't need an alarm or over temp indicator though! My hands tell me quickly when it's time to shut it down. It's easily my hottest running...
I have a lot of lights and TBH for one that I keep using that's extremely versatile, durable and just plain works is this one:
It's a hell of a thrower and its LEDs look as close to quartz halogen as they come...
I did get the replacement beam expander a few days ago and it does fit flush and all is well.
It's truly impressive (and dangerous to the un-educated!) how far away this device can start a fire and destroy things.
Trigger discipline comes to mind when handling firearms.