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Looking for advice buying my first powerful laser.

hawks1282

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Hello everyone,

I'm planning to buy my first powerful laser (I've gone through many cheap red ones, since I was a kid) and I was hoping I could get some advice. I have my eye on a Nova X75 with the case, the lens holder with optics, and a pair of the Nova Shields Sport safety goggles. (When I looked at the site just now I saw someone else asking about the same set, kind of funny).

For starters, how dangerous of a laser is this? I plan to get goggles one way or another :cool:, but I'd still like to know if this will be -look at the dot it produces on the wall and be blind- or -glance at a reflection and be blind- or just -stare at the source of the beam and be blind-. How would one go about showing off the laser to other people (more than one pair of safety glasses or just very careful aiming)? Every time I look at the safety portion of the site I'm reminded of a poster my high school shop teacher had on the safety goggles cabinet, "The world will leave you far behind, when you mess up and wind up blind", so I plan to err waaayyyy on the side of caution.

I read a lot of concerns here about "IR Leakage" but I know little about the topic, aside from the fact that the infrared light from the laser can destroy your eyes. I assume that this laser will have an IR filter built in to prevent that, but please let me know if I'm wrong on that. Are there any good guides about the IR from these types of lasers?

According to the site, the laser will be able to burn some things ;D. Is that at any distance or does the spot become cooler further away (I'd like to avoid leaving marks on walls across the room, though it would be kind of cool :) )?

Is the lens kit they sell good for beginners to start playing with, or are there any other add ons that anyone could recommend?

What kind of interesting projects to perform are there (popping balloons and melting plastics aside, I'm already looking forward to those ;D )?

Thanks in advance, I'm really looking forward to this. Hopefully I'll get to build my own laser eventually.
 

Cxrazy

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Re: Looking for advice buying my first powerful la

I'd probably not depend on the X75 to melt plastic.

You;ll most likely need something more powerful.

I suggest you build a DIY red burner if you want to do fun/cool/burny/awesome things and use the green to show off, because they're awesome.
 

hawks1282

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Re: Looking for advice buying my first powerful la

Would the safety glasses from Nova be enough to protect my eyes from building DIY lasers? They mention protection for green and blue wavelengths, but nothing about IR protection. I definitely still plan to get the green one "because they're awesome". I'm gonna start researching DIY over the long weekend, I'll need something to do while I wait for the X75 to arrive. Thanks for the advice.
 

hawks1282

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Re: Looking for advice buying my first powerful la

Thanks for the heads up on the goggle group buy, I think I'm gonna have to figure out which color range I will need (I don't have a diode yet, I'll poke around the group buy area for that too) so I probably won't buy any goggles right now. I did pick up a pair for green when I bought the laser from NOVA so I'll be set for when that arrives. I'm still unsure about the whole IR leakage situation :-? . So much research to do, so little time.
 

Abray

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Re: Looking for advice buying my first powerful la

the IR leakage comes from the way the green laser is set up. Basically, there is an IR diode which produces a lot of IR light, and then some of that light goes through another crystal, changing the color to green. During this process, there is alot of excess IR being emitted.

BUT

your laser comes with an excellent IR filter that will protect your eyes from any IR light coming from your laser! many lower quality laser sites sell lasers that don't have these, but with NOVAlasers, you will always be safe.

your laser should be able to burn some things close up(use goggles for this!!!), but further away, the laser won't have the same burning capabilities. This is because of divergence. Basically, the spot will grow larger and larger the further away it is, making the burning ability diminish greatly over distances.

as for showing off to your friends, as long as you are VERY VERY careful, and don't have them look at the dot on white or light surfaces that are close or even remotely close to you, you should be fine. But always practice utmost caution when doing this, because this laser does have the ability to easily blind you.
 

hawks1282

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Re: Looking for advice buying my first powerful la

Thanks for the info Abray, this does make me feel more comfortable with the laser. I can't wait till it gets here :)
 

hawks1282

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Re: Looking for advice buying my first powerful la

Got my X75 (95.1mW peak, 92.4mW average) laser from Nova last night ;D (one week to the day after ordering) Very very cool. Definitely the great service that everyone has been talking about here, they were sold out of the sport edition safety glasses I wanted, but gave me a pair of the professionals for no extra charge :cool:. Haven't tried popping balloons yet, but it's lighting matches with no problem. It does melt the electrical tape a bit but doesn't burn through too easily. The lens adapter works pretty well, but it's tough the get the threads lined up on the aperture, I nearly cross-threaded it. I think I'll leave the lens holder on, it doesn't cause any problems if there's no lens in it. No regrets here :)
 




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