Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers



Laser Pointer Store

How can I convince my parents to let me get a burning laser?

jkguest

New member
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
38
Likes
0
Points
0
Yes. Maybe towards the end of my lifetime. But at least they still have some basic ones such as the one at MIT that takes up a massive room. But quantum mechanics is still going to be applied to other things. For example, they are developing touch screens that use quantum tunneling to complete a circuit with the touch of a finger.
 
Last edited:

HitShane

New member
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
696
Likes
40
Points
0
I'm sure if you are responsible and trustworthy they would not have issue. If they have an issue maybe they have reason to. All you can do is futher your study on the subject. Believe me, by the time your old enough to do as you wish, you will want to be young again...
-Shane
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
909
Likes
41
Points
0
Waving a 2000mW 445nm laser around is about as dangerous as waving a loaded pistol around. Granted, blindness may not seem fatal, but it might feel fatal to some. The liability (read getting sued) and potential for damage is HUGE.

I am the father of two teenagers. Were I to see them operating a lower-power laser with care, safety and responsibility, BEFORE they came and asked me for a dangerous high-powered one, I think I would be much more open minded about it.

On the other hand, if they come home in excitement some afternoon, asking for $800 so they can buy a Wicked Laser that burns the ass hairs off (a properly restrained) cat at 3 meters, I gotta say, I would be disinclined to acquiesce to their request.

The advice already given to start with something smaller, be patience, and demonstrate to your parents you can handle a bigger one, seems sound to me.
 
Last edited:

jkguest

New member
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
38
Likes
0
Points
0
Waving a 2000mW 445nm laser around is about as dangerous as waving a loaded pistol around. Granted, blindness may not seem fatal, but it might feel fatal to some. The liability (read getting sued) and potential for damage is HUGE.

I am the father of two teenagers. Were I to see them operating a lower-power laser with care, safety and responsibility, BEFORE they came and asked me for a dangerous high-powered one, I think I would be much more open minded about it.

On the other hand, if they come home in excitement some afternoon, asking for $800 so they can buy a Wicked Laser that burns the ass hairs off (a properly restrained) cat at 3 meters, I gotta say, I would be disinclined to acquiesce to their request.

The advice already given to start with something smaller, be patience, and demonstrate to your parents you can handle a bigger one, seems sound to me.
Good advice but the problem is now not the highpowered ones (which I wouldn't have bought from WL, with my parents money, or that high of power) but now they have even taken away my 5mW greenie because of their fear of it being overspec or releasing IR. I was willing to take the steps to test for that and to fix it but they were stubborn and wouldn't allow it. I never did point it at anyone or even use it around anyone for fear of an accident whiile I had my low powered one.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
102
Likes
4
Points
0
Good advice but the problem is now not the highpowered ones (which I wouldn't have bought from WL, with my parents money, or that high of power) but now they have even taken away my 5mW greenie because of their fear of it being overspec or releasing IR. I was willing to take the steps to test for that and to fix it but they were stubborn and wouldn't allow it. I never did point it at anyone or even use it around anyone for fear of an accident whiile I had my low powered one.
Your parents are worried and are looking out for your best interests. They are probably thinking about how they would bear the responsibility should something go wrong. Since you are living under their roof you have to abide by their rules. If they say "no lasers" then it's no lasers.

When I was your age I was also interested in lasers but, in those days the only way to acquire one was to build one. And we were very limited in what we could build. I read a few articles about building a ruby laser and I would have like to have built one but at the age of 12 or 13 the cost of even attempting such a build was way beyond my budget. So I just had to bide my time and read and study about lasers. Eventually, when I was 18 or 19 I did manage to acqure a 0.5 mW Helium-Neon laser.

You sound as if you have already done a great job in the studying and learning. Keep it up, be patient, and before you know it you will have your own lasers to experiment with. Not to mention the stuff you'll be seeing in the labs when you get to MIT. :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 29, 2008
Messages
1,557
Likes
46
Points
0
Hey jkguest!
First of all, welcome to the forum. Well, a bit late on my part, but better late than never!

Before I start spewing advice left and right, I should probably say a few things about myself. I was first interested in lasers right about at the age of 12, when I got my first little red cat-chaser. I had seen and heard about lasers before, but was never too keen on it; after all, I didn't really know what lasers were all about. Despite its simplicity, it fascinated me for hours. I shined it on nearly everything reflective and refractive, observing its properties. I learned about diffraction, refraction, reflection, focusing, interference, you name it. Within a few weeks I tried taking it apart, but my novice hands just broke the toy. Which was good, because now I could dissect it without feeling guilty. It was all fun and games, and I asked my parents for another one, which they gratefully bought since it amused me so much.

Little did I know that it would be a fascination that was a big part of my life.

After playing around with the red laser pointer, it sat on the shelf for a while, never really being used. Then, one day I was browsing the internet and found a fabled green laser pointer on thinkgeek.com. I thought it was the coolest thing! But it was $80 and I didn't have that kind of money. From then I read about lasers: how they work, where to buy them, what kinds exist. I then joined the laser enthusiast forum (which is long gone) and then LPF (you can calculate when I joined knowing that I'm 18 now), and asked around about which lasers to buy. I was directed to laserglow, optotronics, and dragonlasers. At this point I was pretty keen on getting a 50mW green laser from dragonlasers, so I told my mom all about green lasers and how I was so eager to buy one. Big mistake.

"That laser can burn things!?" My mom was perplexed. "There is no way you're getting that laser!" I was distraught. I turned to the forum for help, but it seemed that no matter what I did, she would not let me buy the laser. I made it very clear what I was going to use it for -- just general pointing and burning -- and that I would use safety goggles at all times, not show it to my friends, etc. None of this worked.

You might ask: "But Jimmymcjimthejim, if your mom never let you buy any laser, then why do you have so many lasers now?"

Well, that took time. Lots of time, and lots of money. And time is money, so mainly extra lots of time.

If you want to someday have a burning laser just like I managed to do, it's really simple. Here's what you need to do (summarized):

1. Have complete knowledge of the subject.
2. Explain to your parents everything about lasers.
3. Have your parents trust you.
4. Slowly prove to your parents that you are responsible.

In more detail:
1. Make sure you know nearly everything about lasers. Read as much as you can. Read about different powers, wavelengths, etc. Remember, you are the laser expert in the house.

2. Make sure your parents know that:
a) You are knowledgeable about lasers.
b) Lasers are not as harmful as they seem.
This is the step where things start getting a little tricky. If your parents are like my parents, then all they know about lasers is that they will blind you as soon as you look into them. Explain to them how different classes have different safety precautions. Explain how different wavelengths relate to the different safety precautions. Explain how with a 5mW laser, brief exposures to the retina will not cause permanent damage. Explain how lasers are in many household devices that they use, such as DVD drives and barcode scanners. Explain that lasers are just light. You'll need to educate your parents (as silly as it seems) to the point where they are familiar with lasers and their uses. People tend to be more scared of things that are unknown, so by exposing them to this information, they will automatically feel more comfortable about lasers.

3. Make sure your parents know that you won't do anything you didn't tell them with the laser. This part requires a bit of lying, since of course you'll be tempted to burn things with the laser, but that's something you probably shouldn't tell your parents. Tell them about different experiments that you can do with lasers, such as refraction and diffraction. Tell them how you can do different experiments with different powers and wavelengths. This step, along with 2, will probably take some time to get across. But if you convince them that lasers are part of a learning experience for you (which they were for me), then they might even encourage you to buy them.

4. This is the hardest and trickiest step, by far. You need to be incredibly responsible with lasers so that your parents will trust you with them. This means that you can't bring them to school, show them to friends (maybe ones that you trust), or point them without being careful. Over time, your parents will learn that you take lasers seriously, and that you are mature about it. Again, this will take a lot of time and patience, but the reward is bigger than anything else.

So, back to my story. After following the first three steps and explaining to my mom what lasers are (I doubt she paid any attention), I asked her if i could buy a power adjustable 7mW violet laser. I told her that I would keep it at the lowest power around other people, and only turn it up in my room. And thus my first real laser pointer was bought. My mom actually liked the laser, as it caused ordinary things to fluoresce, making lots of pretty colors.

Of course, I wasn't satisfied. I wanted a green laser too, so I waited until laserglow was having a sale and bought a 5mW from there. I showed her that the laser is very safe, has no IR, and is power regulated.

From there, I slowly bought more lasers. I built my first high power laser from parts I bought online. I included a switch on the laser to change it from high power to low power, so nobody would know that the laser is high power. I also included a safety switch that disabled the laser, so that if anyone tried to turn it on, nothing would happen. After explaining to my mom what a sled is (it just contains the laser diode in a disc drive), I bought a few sleds and got to work.

Over time, my mom trusted me more and more. Even though she is still scared of lasers for whatever reason, she knows that I know what I am doing. Again, it takes a lot of time, but I promise you that you will eventually get your hands on a high power laser. Just remember that there is a lot more to lasers than just burning!

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you need me to clarify anything :)

Regards,
Grant

P.S. In case you're wondering, the reason why I wrote so much (this post is a monster!) is because I share many of the same interests that you have. One of the main aspirations though is your eye on going to MIT. For me, it was a dream that seemed to be ever-elusive. I had always wanted to go there since I learned about its involvement in research and technology. Just keep your mind to it and maybe, hopefully, you will go to MIT just like I do :)
 
Joined
May 13, 2011
Messages
102
Likes
4
Points
0
Once you say "this laser can burn" people get scared. They envision the beam hitting something and bursting into flames and setting the house on fire.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
909
Likes
41
Points
0
Once you say "this laser can burn" people get scared. They envision the beam hitting something and bursting into flames and setting the house on fire.
And JayRob's working Star Trek Phaser is precisely what they're visualizing. They'll, no doubt, develop concerns it may be used to burn the ass hairs off a (properly restrained) cat at 10 feet. :crackup:
 

jkguest

New member
Joined
Nov 5, 2012
Messages
38
Likes
0
Points
0
Hey jkguest!
First of all, welcome to the forum. Well, a bit late on my part, but better late than never!

Before I start spewing advice left and right, I should probably say a few things about myself. I was first interested in lasers right about at the age of 12, when I got my first little red cat-chaser. I had seen and heard about lasers before, but was never too keen on it; after all, I didn't really know what lasers were all about. Despite its simplicity, it fascinated me for hours. I shined it on nearly everything reflective and refractive, observing its properties. I learned about diffraction, refraction, reflection, focusing, interference, you name it. Within a few weeks I tried taking it apart, but my novice hands just broke the toy. Which was good, because now I could dissect it without feeling guilty. It was all fun and games, and I asked my parents for another one, which they gratefully bought since it amused me so much.

Little did I know that it would be a fascination that was a big part of my life.

After playing around with the red laser pointer, it sat on the shelf for a while, never really being used. Then, one day I was browsing the internet and found a fabled green laser pointer on thinkgeek.com. I thought it was the coolest thing! But it was $80 and I didn't have that kind of money. From then I read about lasers: how they work, where to buy them, what kinds exist. I then joined the laser enthusiast forum (which is long gone) and then LPF (you can calculate when I joined knowing that I'm 18 now), and asked around about which lasers to buy. I was directed to laserglow, optotronics, and dragonlasers. At this point I was pretty keen on getting a 50mW green laser from dragonlasers, so I told my mom all about green lasers and how I was so eager to buy one. Big mistake.

"That laser can burn things!?" My mom was perplexed. "There is no way you're getting that laser!" I was distraught. I turned to the forum for help, but it seemed that no matter what I did, she would not let me buy the laser. I made it very clear what I was going to use it for -- just general pointing and burning -- and that I would use safety goggles at all times, not show it to my friends, etc. None of this worked.

You might ask: "But Jimmymcjimthejim, if your mom never let you buy any laser, then why do you have so many lasers now?"

Well, that took time. Lots of time, and lots of money. And time is money, so mainly extra lots of time.

If you want to someday have a burning laser just like I managed to do, it's really simple. Here's what you need to do (summarized):

1. Have complete knowledge of the subject.
2. Explain to your parents everything about lasers.
3. Have your parents trust you.
4. Slowly prove to your parents that you are responsible.

In more detail:
1. Make sure you know nearly everything about lasers. Read as much as you can. Read about different powers, wavelengths, etc. Remember, you are the laser expert in the house.

2. Make sure your parents know that:
a) You are knowledgeable about lasers.
b) Lasers are not as harmful as they seem.
This is the step where things start getting a little tricky. If your parents are like my parents, then all they know about lasers is that they will blind you as soon as you look into them. Explain to them how different classes have different safety precautions. Explain how different wavelengths relate to the different safety precautions. Explain how with a 5mW laser, brief exposures to the retina will not cause permanent damage. Explain how lasers are in many household devices that they use, such as DVD drives and barcode scanners. Explain that lasers are just light. You'll need to educate your parents (as silly as it seems) to the point where they are familiar with lasers and their uses. People tend to be more scared of things that are unknown, so by exposing them to this information, they will automatically feel more comfortable about lasers.

3. Make sure your parents know that you won't do anything you didn't tell them with the laser. This part requires a bit of lying, since of course you'll be tempted to burn things with the laser, but that's something you probably shouldn't tell your parents. Tell them about different experiments that you can do with lasers, such as refraction and diffraction. Tell them how you can do different experiments with different powers and wavelengths. This step, along with 2, will probably take some time to get across. But if you convince them that lasers are part of a learning experience for you (which they were for me), then they might even encourage you to buy them.

4. This is the hardest and trickiest step, by far. You need to be incredibly responsible with lasers so that your parents will trust you with them. This means that you can't bring them to school, show them to friends (maybe ones that you trust), or point them without being careful. Over time, your parents will learn that you take lasers seriously, and that you are mature about it. Again, this will take a lot of time and patience, but the reward is bigger than anything else.

So, back to my story. After following the first three steps and explaining to my mom what lasers are (I doubt she paid any attention), I asked her if i could buy a power adjustable 7mW violet laser. I told her that I would keep it at the lowest power around other people, and only turn it up in my room. And thus my first real laser pointer was bought. My mom actually liked the laser, as it caused ordinary things to fluoresce, making lots of pretty colors.

Of course, I wasn't satisfied. I wanted a green laser too, so I waited until laserglow was having a sale and bought a 5mW from there. I showed her that the laser is very safe, has no IR, and is power regulated.

From there, I slowly bought more lasers. I built my first high power laser from parts I bought online. I included a switch on the laser to change it from high power to low power, so nobody would know that the laser is high power. I also included a safety switch that disabled the laser, so that if anyone tried to turn it on, nothing would happen. After explaining to my mom what a sled is (it just contains the laser diode in a disc drive), I bought a few sleds and got to work.

Over time, my mom trusted me more and more. Even though she is still scared of lasers for whatever reason, she knows that I know what I am doing. Again, it takes a lot of time, but I promise you that you will eventually get your hands on a high power laser. Just remember that there is a lot more to lasers than just burning!

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if you need me to clarify anything :)

Regards,
Grant

P.S. In case you're wondering, the reason why I wrote so much (this post is a monster!) is because I share many of the same interests that you have. One of the main aspirations though is your eye on going to MIT. For me, it was a dream that seemed to be ever-elusive. I had always wanted to go there since I learned about its involvement in research and technology. Just keep your mind to it and maybe, hopefully, you will go to MIT just like I do :)
Thanks. I'm already trying to do that and it's interesting to actually find someone who goes there and is intrested in the same type of carrer ideasd I have.
 




Top