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firelight

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Hello all,

Allow me to introduce myself: my username is firelight, though those who know me call me Nick. I'm in the chicagoland area, and I'm new to the forum. Now that we have that out of the way, I'll give you a bit of info on me before I expect anyone to share information. I'm a college student, and I'm a physics major. I plan on becoming a physics teacher someday, and I love the field, I wish more than anything to spread the love I have for such an applicable science. Needless to say, I spend a good amount of time working with lasers, diffraction gratings, beam splitters, interferometers, ect in my lab work. I have always been fascinated by lasers, maybe that's part of the reason I became a physics major, though mainly, I just like taking things apart and learning how they work. There is the typical spread of engineers, mechanics and IT people in my family, so I'm not unfamiliar with mechanical, electronic, and other types of hands on work. With studies in physics, I am fairly familiar with how lasers physically operate, as well as proper safety procedures. After some time it occurred to me that maybe there was a market of laser hobbyists out there, which prompted me to go looking. I have some low power low quality lasers I have purchased and tinkered with online, though nothing serious.

After I've had all the fun one can have with cheap lasers, I believe that I would like to delve a little deeper into the hobby. When I went looking for information online, all roads seemed to point here, and I found a tremendous wealth of experience while perusing the threads. So, for anyone out there that would like to help, what do you say too a newbie to the hobby? You know my story, so now I ask if anyone wants to offer some advice. I would like to look into building my own laser from parts. I am familiar with the basics of this process, though I have never actually built a laser. I am looking for a fairly portable diode laser that isn't too costly or dangerous, but is a good entry level build for a new hobbyist. I'm unfamiliar with modding a case, or what batteries I should use, or what heat dissipation needs I will have. So, if anyone could point me to a message thread that has instructions for a good entry level laser, or has a link to a kit, or would like to give me some instructions or advice themselves, I would greatly appreciate it. :yh:

oh, also, I already have safety goggles for laser wavelengths 550nm and shorter, so I would like to stay in that color range so I don't have to get a new pair for now. I'm not sure how they fair for all frequencies, but I can say they work well with the 532nm cheap green lasers that I have bought online (<5mw). If anyone has additional advice about safety, I'm always open to suggestions, it's always the first priority.

Thanks everybody!
 

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Welcome, enjoy your time here and don't be afraid to ask questions, though with judicious use of search you may find your answers easily enough. The forums are a wealth of information and the members are friendly.
 

Garoq

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Welcome to the forum! :)

One thing to keep in mind about goggles, many green lasers produce significant amounts of IR light which is not filtered out by the typical ~300-550nm goggles.
 

firelight

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I know that many green lasers produce light in the IR spectrum, but thanks for the heads up. :yh:
 

anselm

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Hello there.
I'm unfamiliar with modding a case, or what batteries I should use, or what heat dissipation needs I will have. So, if anyone could point me to a message thread that has instructions for a good entry level laser, or has a link to a kit, or would like to give me some instructions or advice themselves, I would greatly appreciate it.
INDEX link in my sig.;)
 




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