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Intro and need advice for goggles

twelti

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New to lasers. I am interested in learning more about lasers, and probably building a couple, and see if I get the "Laser bug" for real. I just think they are beautiful and fascinating, and powerful.

I just bought a "5W Thor High Power 450nm..." blue laser from Ebay. The price is very low, so I'm shocked if it actually outputs 5 W. I'm still shopping for a better quality but still pretty inexpensive laser, but thought I'd get this (cheap) one on order now. I have seen goggles from $8 to $100 or more. Is there a good one that is safe and relatively cheap (I don't care if I don't look stylish!). I also want to buy several of them so I can show my laser to friends safely (therefore the desire to find a relatively inexpensive model - as long as it is still safe). I should add that I am very cautious by nature and have read and taken to heart the warnings about ability of lasers to blind.

Second, any up to date recommendations on a good vendor for entry level priced lasers in the 1 w range? I can solder and so on so maybe a nice beginner kit?
 
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paul1598419

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When showing beam shots out of doors you won't want, or need, goggles to protect your eyes from the scattered light refracted back at you and others from the air. If fact, with goggles you will not be able to see the beam at all. The beam's profile off a matte surface will look much closer to the actual dimensions of the profile, but you won't be able to see the actual color of your laser through them. Once you are more familiar with lasers, you will know when goggles are appropriate and when they are not. Good luck and welcome to the LPF.
 

hakzaw1

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Sad that this is what you choose for your first ever post...
you failed to complete your profile aside from 'skipping' an intro in the newcomers/welcome section--you are 'new' correct?
and you sure want to be 'welcome' true?

its wise to also put your location in the TITLE of your intro. Did you even check out that section??
READ intros from others..
btw are you saying you bought a '5W' laser but have NO eyewear??? wow

This forum is about laser safety if nothing else.. what you are 'doing' is not OK.

but I just scrolled back up and saw that this thread IS in the welcome section.. By reading it I did not get much 'intro' but lots of advice wanted... questions like your has a section not in WELCOME
smh
if you wanted... you can get a 'do-over' using edit.. add location into the title and actually introduce your self just like we would when attending a big swell party
and WE are the hosts and YOU just walked in.. you will not regret.
hak
 
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twelti

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Dang, I haven't even RECEIVED the laser yet, nor would I use it without goggles. I would have thought that was abundently clear from my post, and in fact that that's why I'm asking about goggles! Please don't make assumptions. I have not yet got around to filling out my profile, I prefer to leave it with default setting for now, if you don't mind. I can certainly add more details to my initial post (though there is not too much to say yet). A simple suggestion would have sufficed.
 

Immo1282

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We're cautious and tend to make assumptions on that side of the argument because far too often, people's introductions are on the side of "I've been playing with this xxxxmW laser and now my eyes hurt and I've got dark spots in my vision, what gives?" or "Can I point a laser at my neighbours cause that's what we did with the enemy when I was in the military".

Idiots like those guys ruin it for the many of us here. If any assumptions have been made it's because of precedent, not because we're trying to attack you - We don't know you yet, so we'll read into what you're saying perhaps deeper than you actually meant.

Hak is a very well respected member here - and his posting style might be a bit intimidating to someone who's not used to it (heck it was for me for the first couple of weeks here :p) - but I honestly don't think he's trying to antagonise you. We want everyone here to be able to enjoy their lasers for as long as they want - and not have that cut-short by sudden unexpected vision loss, or by irresponsible laser use.
 

hakzaw1

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my bad..
I read it again and its not clear about the 5W. no matter..
if your 5 W is on the way as well as your 'white laser' .. You will still have laser(s) and be waiting on eye protection. Still not good but many here did it the same way.. and I got cheapies,, Then better and better again and use the older ones as 'guest goggles'.
You will need the ones that protect from all visible wavelengths and even the cheap versions are spendy.. and you kinda need them ASAP.

I could help search some For Sale used and in the USA..atm I still do not know your general location..zip codes are plenty and I DO respect any members reluctance to give up location for any reasons.. but an IP trace would tell those who look up you location..I have never done one but was told it is easy.
and how much good can you do if no lasers are being bought-sold or traded. gotta have address for that. LPF is a family forum -may not seem that way but give it time.


oh and the $100 kind ..they are NOT the high (est) priced.. there are some for >$400.

myb you should grab cheapies (locally)for blue and while for waiting broadband goggles be extra careful with the RGB -should be easy =it is not a handheld. China is two weeks away. Treat your new 5W just like a loaded gun.... and bullets do not bounce of mirrors-glass -etc and cause eye injury so in some ways the laser needs to be used with extra caution.
TBH very few of the vets here use eyeware 95% of the time .. when working they maybe hung around ones neck or on top of their head-- But workers (roadies of laser show)
must have them on their person by FDA rules.

It cost a operator I know $2000 because one of his guys left his eye protection in the car.

your concern is safe use w/ or w/o friends.
keep your beams aimed down or up but NOT horizontally above 4 feet or under 7 or 8 feet from floor. NEVER at 'eye level'.. IF you get 'flashed it is alot like watching some one arc weld for too long --after images are actually a way to gauge a possible eye injury (if they do not go away) and power-

IF afterimages stop in a min or two (or less)your exposure was not too bad.
I have a long tutorial on Laser safety (LSO) in the tutorial section..

and check this place often. lots of new news on laser safe use and more.
laserpointersafety.org let your friends know what can happen if laser 'pranks' etc happen
and they get caught.. not a joke. No Federal Offence is a joke.
Who can blame LEs- some lasers are mounted on guns!
I have a list of 101 fun things (projects) to do w/ a laser (and not go to jail).. lemmie know if you want it. and we want pics!!!
lase safe

hak
ps
you will need IIRC a 12 vdc switching AC to DC PS @ at 1 to 3 Amp. ~$7usd
unless yours is coming with one. Wall warts are not used very much by vets here.. you can guess why. If they were OK we would be using them. You could build a power pack out of 3 or 4pcs 18650 Li-ions and have a 'porta-labby.' lol
 

twelti

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Wow, thank you for all the good advice! I appreciate it much. I also can't believe the stories I hear of people aiming lasers at airplanes, and the like. Unfortunately, I expect we will be seeing more of this, with stupidly powerful lasers available for very little $$$.

I have scanned through the laser safety thread(s) and will be going back over it in more detail before doing anything else. I have ordered already a pair of the good quality laser goggles from Survival Lasers for the blue laser, based on what I've read here in the forums. I will be going through the several lasers I have on order, tabulating frequencies (labeling each laser too) and then going through the several goggles I already have (i ordered a couple cheap ones and one that came with a laser) and making sure I have what is needed. I'd like to test them too - I ordered an LPM. I have not even ordered any green lasers yet, since reading about the possible UV issues with some of them (DPSS). I will need the full spectrum goggles, will be open to suggestions if there are used ones on sale (thanks).

I am an electrical engineer (specialty in Acoustics), so I have access to power supplies for the RGB. No issue there.

My location is not secret :) I'm in Thousand Oaks (near LA). I just normally don't immediately fill out the profile. I like to have a look around first. So far, it seems like a very active forum!

Cheers
 

GSS

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Don't also forget to mark the battery position on each laser also.. Reverse polarity protection just might protect the diode but fry the driver.
532nm DPSS laser's are "positive ground" and will not recover if you put the cells in backword's. I think you meant IR issues but its really not that big an issue as it colominated with the beam and spot. Same place that you bought the Eagles pair for your blue laser at Survival Laser has glasses that cover the blue and green with IR protection from 190nm - 540nm and 800nm - 2000nm..
Good plan:)
 

Immo1282

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No UV light in a DPSS - they start with IR laser diodes. UV Laser Diodes cost thousands at the moment... IR issues are generally overstated - as GSS said, the IR laser light will be in the same profile as the green beam. If you can see the green light then you are being exposed to some IR if the laser you get has no IR filter. Wavelengths from a DPSS 532nm laser will be at 808nm, 1064nm and 532nm, and you can get goggles which block all of these wavelengths. There is really no such thing as a complete wideband goggle as blocking all visible wavelengths of light enough to provide safety from lasers of any colour would mean that you wouldn't be able to see anything!

There are direct diode green laser diodes between 505 and 520nm that emit no IR if you're concerned :) No reason to avoid Greens completely as they're the most visually impressive due to the high sensitivity of the human eye near those wavelengths.
 

twelti

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Yes, I meant to say IR. So, the higher power green direct diode lasers should not have issues, but they are more expensive?
 

GSS

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There's 510nm - 520nm direct diode ranging from 10mw to 1W+ and yes no IR.
The high power ones are up there in prices though, be prepared for over $100 if your bidding for one. Or go direct to DTR and get one that's brand new and and warenteed. Low powerd up to 150mw are very relatively cheap.
 
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I got the Eagle Eye goggles and the Blue 5 w gatling laser a few days ago. It also comes with cheap goggles. Wow, the Eagle Eye goggles are so much better. I can't even see any blue color in the dot, just sort of a weak yellow. With the cheapies I can sorta tell it is a blue laser. The Eagle Eyes are so much better, only issue so far is fogging up, since they practically are sealed around the edges. So far I have just had the laser securely held in place and aimed at a charcoal block. A couple of thoughts:

It is a little ironic that in using the very good goggles, the beauty of the laser beam color is all but lost. Now I'm realizing that the lower power lasers may be more interesting in some ways since a lower spec goggle or no goggle could be used, and color more visible. When I say "no goggles" that would be no time soon, but eventually under certain circumstances, with very low power lasers.

With regard to burning, I have burned a few things (electrical tape, paper, black foam, and Popsicle sticks), but it seems to get old quickly. I mean it is cool as can be, but once you have burned a few things, it is getting repetitive. I'd like to get more into the science behind it all. I'm wondering what sorts of interesting things you vets are doing once you build and acquire these lasers? Is it all about the building and collecting, and comparing, or is there more? I assume so. It would be cool to build an interferometer or diffraction slit experiment, or something of that nature. Or a cheap projector of some sort.

I'm in the Thousand Oaks area (91360) if there is anyone around here who would be interested in showing me what they are doing...?
 




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