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7 watt diodes, too powerful to have fun with?

Aydinguy

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Hi LPF,

Now that school is cancelled I'm considering returning to my laser hobby. I enjoy making laser gadgets, custom pointers, etc. I especially like making laser watches. Something about having a wrist-mounted lightsaber makes me feel really powerful. Typically they are around 1-2W.

Anyway, I just did some research and found affordable 4-7 watt diodes (wtf!!??) I want to purchase and play around with them, but I'm wondering how big of a jump 2 watts to 7 watts is, compared to, say <1 mW to 2 W. How bright would a 7 watt diffuse spot look on a white, opaque surface? I'd think it'd be too bright to even glance at without protection, but people on youtube seem to have no problem with it.

What i'm trying to say is: are 7 watt diodes too powerful to have fun with? How damaging would the diffuse spot be to the naked eye, provided the eye never directly looks at it?
 



paul1598419

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It depend on your definition of "fun". If you wish to burn the NUBM44 diode is great for that at close ranges. You can get the horrible divergence down using a 6X cylindrical lens pair. You can even get it burning many feet out with the addition of a beam expander too. If you just want to look at it get ready for a line, not anything close to a dot. Diffuse reflections reduce in intensity by the square of the distance you are away from them. Hope that helps.
 

Aydinguy

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You will need eye protection no matter what. Those people on youtube are endangering themselves, anybody in their vicinity, as well as their viewers inadvertently. Hope that helps too.
I never understood why people are so insistent on wearing eye protection for lasers that aren't styropyro tier shit. Yes, obviously you don't point it at anyone's eye. Obviously you don't point it at anything reflective. Obviously, you don't look at the spot. It's not like the laser randomly turns on by itself or anything, it's a pretty simple "point and shoot" interface. Look where you point, then shoot.
 

Aydinguy

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It depend on your definition of "fun". If you wish to burn the NUBM44 diode is great for that at close ranges. You can get the horrible divergence down using a 6X cylindrical lens pair. You can even get it burning many feet out with the addition of a beam expander too. If you just want to look at it get ready for a line, not anything close to a dot. Diffuse reflections reduce in intensity by the square of the distance you are away from them. Hope that helps.
Very helpful, thank you! I just like the look of the beam at night, so the divergence might actually be a plus.
 

paul1598419

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Laser goggles are meant to protect you from an accidental strike to an eye. Because it is accidental you can't "know" when this might happen. If you are using this at great distances the harm from accidental strikes reduces greatly.
 

trephanation

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Please read the threads about laser safety as well as the linked resources... no, you're not going to use protection at night outdoors with a 30mW green laser but you're making a thread about 7 watts. You need eye protection for that or damage is definitely going to happen no matter what. It can be a gradual loss over time and you may not even notice it, eye damage doesn't have to be "I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING EVER AGAIN."
 

Snecho

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No offense, but your "I just want to point at shit without goggles attitude" leads me to believe even 2W is too much "to play around with" for you.
 

Aydinguy

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No offense, but your "I just want to point at shit without goggles attitude" leads me to believe even 2W is too much "to play around with" for you.
Why? What do you do with your lasers? Do you perform science? High-tech, cutting-edge laboratory research? Do you develop weapons for the military? I'm curious.

I've been playing with class IV lasers since I was in middle school, they're toys to me. Using your lasers for "big boy" applications doesn't vindicate your superiority complex.
 

Aydinguy

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Laser goggles are meant to protect you from an accidental strike to an eye. Because it is accidental you can't "know" when this might happen. If you are using this at great distances the harm from accidental strikes reduces greatly.
I understand sir.

I thought it was the default to not move lasers at all when they're on, turning them off before pointing them elsewhere. I do see now, how wearing protection grants you an extra degree of freedom when manipulating them. Guess I was looking at lasers the wrong way.
 

Anthony P

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High power laser pointers are not scientific instruments. The are hobby/novelty devices. Accidents can and do happen. Everyone at LPF preaches safety because enough accidents would lead to more regulations and stricter enforcement.
 

RedCowboy

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The problem with not wearing attenuating laser safety glasses is when we make a mistake or encounter something unexpected and it happens to everyone in time, usually when you least expect it.
I have accidentally bumped something during a setup and been very relieved that I was wearing my safety glasses and when you point your beam into the bushes like you have 100 times before you have no way of knowing that this time there's a foil candy bar wrapper inside the bushes just waiting for that one in a million shot sending the beam right back into your fovea which is all it takes to destroy your detailed vision, it's a really small area of tightly packed nerve cells on our retinas and if you zap that you will not be reading this, not with that eye anyway.
You really don't want even a lifelong dead spot in your vision which can turn into a leak or a bubble in your retina and require much unpleasant eye surgery, expense, pain and recovery time with future troubles..........no amount of insisting you didn't mean it or it was just a little accident will ever fix the damage, the only thing an intelligent person can do is think ahead and protect yourself before something unexpected happens and in time it will, life is full of unexpected moments.
 
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I understand sir.

I thought it was the default to not move lasers at all when they're on, turning them off before pointing them elsewhere. I do see now, how wearing protection grants you an extra degree of freedom when manipulating them. Guess I was looking at lasers the wrong way.
Clamped off laser outputting into a beam dump? I could be convinced that removing goggles is alright then. Look I’m no purist, I love to see my lasers as more than whitish dots. But the fact is that, especially with blues, the wavelengths in question are particularly harmful. The “room glow” you get, even if you don’t look at the spot, is caused by many diffuse reflections that end up with photons in your eyes. Not enough to blind, or even make you squint, but over time it can do damage.
If your conception of a laser is something fixed to a bench and not moving while on, you’re taking big safety steps which is a great thing. I will caution you about saying that class IVs are “toys to you” - I’ve been using them since I was a kid too, and am just as comfortable with them. But the world isn’t divided into scientific instruments and playthings. I know you were probably using that phraseology to make a point, but it felt relevant.
They say every metaphor limps, so here’s one with a pretty severe limp but bear with me: An analogy to handguns. They have the potential to cause enormous, life altering harm if used maliciously or even just incorrectly, BUT, they don’t need to be handled like nukes. They just need to be handled like guns. You keep it secure, use it safely, and you can have fun shooting. Are you having fun with it? Totally. Is it a toy? Nope. As long as it gets treated with respect and caution, everyone has fun and goes away healthy and happy.
It sounds like you’re pretty on track safety wise, but this is important info to have out there, not just for you.

As for the 7W diode thing, they’re awesome for close up stuff, which it sounds like you’re doing if you’re mounting your laser in a fixed position. But they really aren’t good for anything other than burning without some serious optical tweaking. And really, the only safety differences between it and any other high power blue laser goggles is that A) the divergence is higher so there’s a larger area down range receiving dangerous amounts of laser light
B) the power means target materials will smoulder and catch fire faster than you’re expecting. Make sure you have a non-flammable beam dump any time you want to have this beam going for any length of time it won’t be moving.
(If you want advice on how to make one easily lmk!)

cheers
 

Snecho

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I've been playing with class IV lasers since I was in middle school, they're toys to me
Thanks for proving my point ;)


You come here, no one knows you, you start acting like a child and insult other members. Ok mr "superiority complex"
 
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Gianakakis

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It's another one of those styropyro fanboys. They seem to come in herds and we gotta deal with the aftermath...
I can confirm we get that type of guy in styros discord sometimes, they don't care about safety precautions and you cant change their mind in any way as you can guess not a huge pleasure to deal with. We are quite patient with them but they end up getting banned anyways a good example should be a guy named Shiiru he was not giving a single fuck about safety and was ignoring our safety advice outright he just wanted sources for powerful lasers. Then after he got banned he kept coming back with alternate accounts oh what a pleasure he was....
 




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