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DIY collimator for 16W IR laser

me109

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I apologize to me109 for the tone of my posts in this thread. I could've made my points without being unnecessarily argumentative and accusatory.

No worries. I don't easily get offended. And you guys are right. It is dangerous and there are not many good uses for that thing as a flashlight.
I don't know how I stumbled over the Styropyros video, but when I saw it I was fascinated. I was like if he can do it can I do it too...

Now I am kind of stuck and struggling. I don't want to abandon the project and feel like a loser. Yet I also don't know how to proceed further as my knowledge of physics are inferior to my ambitions :D
 



RedCowboy

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I'm amazed at how fast people on this forum will push safety goggles on new visitors for a 10mW He-Ne yet offer immediate help to someone off the street wanting to build possibly the most dangerous laser to public safety that can be imagined. With absolutely no vetting, probing (except an appropriate "How old are you?" and essentially "don't hurt yourself or anyone else"), or possibly comments like "read a book about basic optics and lasers" or "walk before you run" sort of things. Just sayin'.

I'm not a safety nanny, but jesus freakin christ, what possible use is there for such a thing except possible mayhem or night hunting like a total pussy? Again, just sayin'. Thinking about the scene 10 years from now, this thread makes me want to push for the restriction and federal licensing of fiber lasers.

Nothing personal, just making a point. I love all lasers and applications of them, but if anything should be excluded from public forums about building them, I'd suggest IR lasers is it. Yet , I've offered support for builders of gas CO2 lasers, so there's my hypocrisy.

A lot of people want an IR spotlight for hunting and/or nightvision illumination which is becoming very common with all the inexpensive CCD to LCD stuff ( SEE HERE ), as for the danger of invisible blinding lasers in the 800-1400nm range we all understand the implications, but would you rather someone build their own breadbox to mailbox sized device and from a crude pump array with poor coherence length and gain the understanding and respect that comes with doing it yourself, or just buy a commonly available HH 1064 dpss ? Those things scare me, any a-hole with a few hundred bucks can buy something easily concealable with an available 10xBE that they don't have to build either.......how many of you have watched a glass fiber burn backwards as you ask WTF did I do wrong this time???? It was working a minute ago.......much more involved than clicking buy now and if you know where to look and have the money as well as the ability to spin a line of BS you can order a ready made shoulderable 8KW.....I much rather someone try to build their own and learn, if they can learn to do that then I trust them much more than a kid with moms credit card.

EDIT:
P.S. No offence taken, safety is always worth mentioning and talking about and we should all work to preserve our hobby.

EDIT #2:
The FAP800 has poor coherence length and it's not even knife edged, it's a bundle of emitters fiber coupled, also it has to be actively cooled for all but short duty cycle use, the unit backyard scientist built is much more powerful and he's not going to carry it in his pocket either.


EDIT #3:
There's a big difference between fiber coupled pump arrays and active fiber lasers, but the technology is evolving, quantum laser diodes and more will be ultra compact, powerful, efficient and have much better beam quality in the future......but whole human eye transplants and cyborg like electro-optic augmentation will be further away.....actually whole eye transplantation is getting close thanks to military needs and there will be more need with lasers becoming more and more common on the battlefield.....I'm surprised we haven't seen auto darkening/attenuating laser safety goggles, like the auto darkening welders helmets/visors, they could have cameras mounted and the window could also work as a VR screen as well.......with NV and Thermal.

********NOT TO BE USED WITH LASERS*********FOR REFERENCE ONLY*********NOT TO BE USED WITH LASERS**********

MV5BMTk4MDYxMjI1MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDM4MTQ0ODE@._V1_FMjpg_UX1000_.jpg
 
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RedCowboy

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No worries. I don't easily get offended. And you guys are right. It is dangerous and there are not many good uses for that thing as a flashlight.
I don't know how I stumbled over the Styropyros video, but when I saw it I was fascinated. I was like if he can do it can I do it too...

Now I am kind of stuck and struggling. I don't want to abandon the project and feel like a loser. Yet I also don't know how to proceed further as my knowledge of physics are inferior to my ambitions :D

If you can get an SMA termination installed onto your cleaved and polished fiber and work up a power supply and active cooling for your FAP then you can experiment with these ( safely of course ) > https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fr...&LH_TitleDesc=0&_odkw=sma+zoom+lens&_osacat=0

 

RedCowboy

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There's all kinds of information online and here, all you need to do is search for it, much has been done before.

 
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Unown (WILD)

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No worries. I don't easily get offended. And you guys are right. It is dangerous and there are not many good uses for that thing as a flashlight.
I don't know how I stumbled over the Styropyros video, but when I saw it I was fascinated. I was like if he can do it can I do it too...

Now I am kind of stuck and struggling. I don't want to abandon the project and feel like a loser. Yet I also don't know how to proceed further as my knowledge of physics are inferior to my ambitions :D
And that is what styro wanted to do. He makes clickbait projects to attract more viewers. It's natural to want to do what we see. Why not start small first as you're just getting into the hobby? Plenty of things to work on. Oh and welcome to the forum.
Also thanks to everyone for their participation. I really appreciate the wisdom displayed. Safety is the number one priority to any project so make sure you're set.
 

masterpj

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Worrysome thread. Refund your product or resell it.. Even if the user wears protective goggles, has a beam dump (doubt it): You'd be a serious hazard to your enviroment who is not aware a lot of laser power is present in your room or outdoor enviroment.

IR lasers are some of the most dangerous lasers because it's a hazard you CANNOT SEE or you or someone else will underestimate. Some of the shorter wave IR wavelengths (808nm) you could faintly see as a red or pink light but by that time you are looking at something that's dangerously bright scattering harmfull laser light that your eyes arent adjusting to.

On topic of the coherent faps.. most have signs of heavy use and or burned fiber ends.
 
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RedCowboy

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Thank you for taking time and responding. Your advice and links provided were helpful!

Glad to help, remember to take your time and always be careful, it's a hobby after all.

A good pair of laser safety goggles, not just glasses are needed because of the gap at the bridge of your nose and peripheral exposure hazards, you want goggles that make a face seal and your device needs to have an "ON" indicator light to let you know it's powered on and you need an aperture shutter, even if it's just a brick of piece of angle iron and be in the habit of using it.

Of course an invisible laser should never be left running unattended.

I'm sure there's other constructive advise that people can give, if/when I think of something else I will add it.
 

me109

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After opening this thread many people cautioned me that my IR flashligth project could become environmental hazard to myself and others if I were not careful. This got me thinking and I did some calculations.

Let's compare my flashlight project to 5mw laser pointer (cat toy).
If 5mw laser laser pointer has 1 milimiter beam diameter, then 5mw energy is spread over 0.79square mm area, which gives us energy density coeficient of 6.32 (5/0.79).

My 16w (16000mw) flashlight with beam diameter of 5 inches (127mm) will cover 12,661square mm and give us energy density of 16000/12661=1.26

Hense, 5mw cat laser pointer will be almost 5 (6.32/1.26) times more dangerous than my flashligh.
Am I right or is my logic flawed ?
 
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me109

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If you can get an SMA termination installed onto your cleaved and polished fiber and work up a power supply and active cooling for your FAP then you can experiment with these ( safely of course ) > Sorry I can't post links since I have <20 total posts...
If you were me, which colimator would you get? The link you provided has couple of them and I am not sure which one is the best.
Thank you
 

RedCowboy

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It's your beam dia. or beam waist between your devise and your eventual 5 inch wide spot @ ....100 feet ? That's where the greatest danger is and the biggest issue is the fact your beam is not visible, so you must insure that no persons or creatures will be in your beam path or anywhere close to it for safety.

All the information is here in the archives, here are some pics of what Chris used in his testing years ago.

I can't give you a shopping list, but from the pic it looks like this and I would also get one of the focusable kind > https://www.ebay.com/itm/143427214742?hash=item2164ed9d96:g:5V4AAOSw19NduF5L



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Screen-Shot-2020-01-20-at-12-35-40-PM.png


Screen-Shot-2019-06-23-at-7-39-03-AM.png
 
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Eidetical

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The issue will be getting a suitable 5" diameter lens with AR coatings for that wavelength, with short enough focal length to make mounting it practical. Your math's correct, but a simple twist on the focusing threads instantly brings all 16W to a focus. Not safe, especially when handheld. How about calculating the diameter a 16W beam needs to be to equal that of the cat toy beam? Building something for demonstration purposes is one thing. Building it for use in the real world is another matter.

To make it safer, I'd look for a directional diffuser for the IR to make the source larger than the output of the fiber (maybe 5mm diameter?). That'll make it hold a beam for less distance, but it'll be safer for all those people and animals not expecting to get hit in the face with an invisible death ray. I just saw "War of the Worlds" on TV again. Just a few thoughts.

By the way, did you notice the eye protection Drake's using in his video? He's apparently as scared of that shit as I am! :oops: For good reasons!
 
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RedCowboy

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By the way, did you notice the eye protection Drake's using in his video? He's apparently as scared of that shit as I am! :oops: For good reasons!

I feel the same way, the safety goggles that seal to your face are a very good idea.

Also I use shrouds and lens flare hiders on a lot of my visible units, you really want to have a clean beam with IR so the camera with IR filter delete is a needed tool as well.

Survival lasers has some ir glasses with the side curtains and nose curtain, these are the least that I would use.




P.S. I know OP said he has/uses FPV camera goggles, but having normal attenuation type goggles are also a good tool to have, plus you should have extra protective eye wear for when you show your device to someone else, which you likely will.
 
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me109

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It's your beam dia. or beam waist between your devise and your eventual 5 inch wide spot @ ....100 feet ? That's where the greatest danger is and the biggest issue is the fact your beam is not visible, so you must insure that no persons or creatures will be in your beam path or anywhere close to it for safety.

All the information is here in the archives, here are some pics of what Chris used in his testing years ago.

I can't give you a shopping list, but from the pic it looks like this and I would also get one of the focusable kind
Thank you. This was helpful I will get a focusable one and googles. FPV is nice, but googles will be easier to use. I will do some more research this weekend.

I was also wondering If I decided to pull off the fiber cable, will I break the laser? I don't want to hurt it and never tried.

And once again thank you and Eidetical. This is a nice forum. You guys genuinely try to help. I hope I will have something to contribute soon as well.
 

me109

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The issue will be getting a suitable 5" diameter lens with AR coatings for that wavelength, with short enough focal length to make mounting it practical. Your math's correct, but a simple twist on the focusing threads instantly brings all 16W to a focus. Not safe, especially when handheld. How about calculating the diameter a 16W beam needs to be to equal that of the cat toy beam? Building something for demonstration purposes is one thing. Building it for use in the real world is another matter.


By the way, did you notice the eye protection Drake's using in his video? He's apparently as scared of that shit as I am! :oops: For good reasons!
I need to learn more optics theory for calculations other than what I already did but I get the point :) His eye protection is sick. He looks like a character from post apocalyptic world in his welders helmet :D
 




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