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Alternative to Arctic in terms of sexiness?

Aizen

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I was tempted by the new Arctic from Wicked Lasers, not to use, but because I have a hardon for shiny technology and to "collect" it. But I've decided I can't be trusted with it, so am wondering if I can get the same sexy effects in a safer form.

What I'm looking for is a laser with a beam easily visible, even in broad daylight without fog etc, but one that's safe enough to use without goggles, for myself and others.

I doubt I'll ever get into the building of lasers myself - I hate fiddly things - but I'm quite interested in the theory and figure I should start safe and simple and take it from there if I'm still interested.

So could anyone recommend and link to a first portable laser which is visible in daylight, safe (not requiring goggles, if that's possible with the beam still being visible - naturally even with a "safe" laser I won't be pointing it at my eye or staring at the dot), and ideally green (color most visible to the eye etc)? Preferably one you guys have experienced, rather than hoping the one I buy based on quoted specs will be as good as it sounds.

Since I am new to this I'm not yet bothered about buying one for the novelty of unique specs, just the aesthetics of the device - a clear, easily visible, safe beam is what I care about for my first purchase.

Thanks in advance!
 

Solonar

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Any laser easily visible in broad daylight WILL require goggles. It takes more than 1/2 watt of green to be easily visible in daylight. Other wavelengths will require much more.
 
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As for visibility i would go green 532nm, as its the closest to 555nm.

Building you own lasers is pretty easy... you will probably kill a few diodes but thats a required steps.

There is no such thing as safe lasers with no goggles. Well, unless you want a Class IIIa or Class II.

Use search button pal.
 

Aizen

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Ranged, sorry this has likely been done before, but searching for generic terms like "first" seemed like it'd return a lot of irrelevant posts and I couldn't see anything in the likely-looking forums.

I don't want to build my own laser, especially as a first attempt (as in, would rather buy one, take it apart and have a look to see how it goes together), I'm really bad at anything small and fiddly and requiring a steady hand; anything DIY really. Plus, I don't yet know if I want to get involved actively or am just enamored with the idea of possessing something so shiny and trying to justify the expense to myself by thinking it'll be a lifelong hobby (see stages one and two - Rules of Acquisition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). So I don't want to buy the equipment before I know it'll be used.
 

Morgan

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As for visibility i would go green 532nm, as its the closest to 555nm.

Building you own lasers is pretty easy... you will probably kill a few diodes but thats a required steps.

There is no such thing as safe lasers with no goggles. Well, unless you want a Class IIIa or Class II.

Use search button pal.
Just to be clear, you cannot find a laser diode that is at the hobbyist level of 532 or 555nm. These will be DPSS, (Diode Pumped Solid State), lasers. I know that is not what rangedunits meant to imply but I read it like that so just to be aware. Searching DPSS should get you a decent explanation.

@ rangedunits - I know that's not what you meant there so no offense. I just thought I'd head off a question on where to get green diodes! :D

M
:)
 

Aizen

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So, taking on board the comments of Solonar and Rangedunits, it seems like my best bet is the Arctic after all. Since apparently anything visible is going to require goggles, trying to find something safer but still effective is moot.

Therefore, does anyone have advice on which goggles I should obtain for the Arctic? From what I've seen, the free goggles included in the price are OD4 and insufficient, with OD7 being preferable? Is that true? If so, do you guys know of any sites with good deals on such goggles (or indeed whichever ones you feel are safer)?
 

Aizen

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Thanks for the link, Prototype. One question though, are the lenses from that site compatible/comfortable sitting over regular spectacles?
 
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As ranged said, you won't be able to get a laser that you can see in the daylight without its power being low enough for it to be considered "safe" (less than 5mW).

Aizen, I suggest you get a 50mW green laser to start. A DX or Rayfoss will do fine. The beam at night will be impressive for a first laser. Also, you'll be able to learn how to safely handle it. Also get a 5mW 405nm to experiment with fluorescence. After some time when you get accustomed to handling your pointer you can go up in power.


DO NOT USE SUNGLASSES. Buy proper goggles, focalprice has them for cheap (don't have link, sorry).
 

Aizen

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Thanks for your advice, Niko, I'll certainly look into lesser lasers before I do anything with the Arctic. Besides which, I just plain like green laser beams. Blue isn't a favourite color, and red lasers are so 1984, so I'll need a green anyway.

Naturally, goggles are a priority - my eyesight is bad enough as it is, and I'm genetically likely to go blind at some point anyway, so since I can't imagine a worse kind of hell, I'm not going to do anything (like use sunglasses) that will send me packing to a Swiss suicide clinic any sooner than necessary.
 
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Things

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Why not buy the arctic, and have it sent to someone and they can turn the power right down for you? I don't know what drivers WL use, but they should all have potentiometers on them ...
 

Aizen

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My attraction to the Arctic is the clarity of the beam for such a great price - I suppose even if I did have its power reduced, it would still be cheaper than buying a 500w new, but what would be the point?

My purpose was originally to ascertain if I could have the best of both worlds; a laser with the Arctic's clarity but without its dangerous aspects - which is to say, a laser visible in daylight but not dangerous to the eye. Since Solonar first established I'm not going to get that, I'll go with the original plan and buy an Arctic (and goggles) and be careful with it.
 

RA_pierce

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My attraction to the Arctic is the clarity of the beam for such a great price - I suppose even if I did have its power reduced, it would still be cheaper than buying a 500w new, but what would be the point?

My purpose was originally to ascertain if I could have the best of both worlds; a laser with the Arctic's clarity but without its dangerous aspects - which is to say, a laser visible in daylight but not dangerous to the eye. Since Solonar first established I'm not going to get that, I'll go with the original plan and buy an Arctic (and goggles) and be careful with it.
If you want the best beam for the least dangerous output, you want green.

While the 445nm wavelength will be very bright, it still will not be as "crisp" as a bright green beam... Especially since the divergence and beam quality of these lasers is poor in comparison to a DPSS green. The reality is that nobody knows how these Arctic lasers will perform... the specs claim <1W. That means that you are probably going to see 600-700mW on average (maybe as bright as 200mW of green in the dark). I have doubts about the <1.5mRad divergence they claim, too.

I love pointing at night with my 445nm, but I still think that green is the best option, especially since the high visibility at low power makes it a little more eye "safe."
Short wavelengths like 445nm will bleach the photoreceptor pigments in your eye. This could lead to accumulated and permanent photochemical damage.
Blue will me much more "hard" on they eyes than green, yellow, and red.
Also, note that the shorter the wavelength gets, the more "near-sighted" you will be to it. At a distance, 445nm may appear blurry to your eyes because the lens of your eye will focus short wavelengths in front of your retina rather than on it.

If you want the brightest beam for a decent price and the "minimal" danger, you would probably be satisfied 100-200mW of green.
I recommend this:
X100 Compact Portable Laser - X-Series - Novalasers Inc.
It is a reliable laser.

It was my first "high power" laser.
You can get 5% off with the coupon code "WARP5."

If you REALLY want blue, consult some members here and see if anyone would be willing to build a "low power" 445nm laser for you. It would likely be in the $150-180 price range for parts.
 
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Aizen

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Actually, green was my first choice for color before I was aware there was any difference other than human perception of the colors. I didn't want the Arctic because it's blue, I wanted it because it has a powerful clear beam. If you guys are saying a weaker green one has a more impressive-looking beam, that's good enough for me.

So I know for sure, RA, does the X100 you linked to have a clearly visible beam day and night? Part of my attraction to the Arctic was not having to wander around at night or hope for fog.

I do like the look of this green one and will definitely consider it. Plus, if I ever do upgrade, I'll then have this one to take apart to get a feel for putting them together, and a free host if I decide to start a project.

Thanks for the link, and for the discount code.
 
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RA_pierce

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So I know for sure, RA, does the X100 you linked to have a clearly visible beam day and night? Part of my attraction to the Arctic was not having to wander around at night or hope for fog.

Thanks for the link, and for the discount code.
It does have a very clearly visible beam.
NOVA tends to send out units that sometimes do 20% more than they are rated for.
Mine was stable around 118-120mW.
100mW of green is plenty for star-pointing.

During the day, the beam will not be visible when viewed from the source, but the point of light will be bright enough to see for at least a couple hundred yards. If viewing from the point of termination, you may be able to see the glimmer of dust in the beam path in moderate sunlight.

And you're welcome.
 




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