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Looking to get a hand-held (portable) 3B laser in the U.S.

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I had a 400mw 405. I was able to light fireworks with it no problem! I had no trouble finding the focus either. Once you focus it and light a few fireworks you get a good feel where the focus is and you really don't have trouble finding it again. A 405 laser is a great starter laser. PLUS you can do all sorts of neet things with 405 that you can't do with other colors. Like make peanut butter glow in the dark :D or write on a glow board!
 

Stryker295

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well it sounds like that's the kind I want then. I can always put a slight defocusing/focusing lens on it to turn it into a sort of weak UV flashlight, right?
 

Wolfman29

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Actually, you can just pop off the lens and then you get a pretty hefty UV flashlight! :D
 
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You don't need to put a defocusing lens on it if the laser is focus able. Doing so would just be silly. So yes you could use it as a UV flashlight. You can even use it to find your way around in a dark room (defocused that is)
 

Stryker295

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WikiPedia said:
Violet
Main article: Blue laser

Lasers emitting a violet light beam at 405 nm may be constructed with GaN (gallium nitride) semiconductors. This is close to ultraviolet, bordering on the very extreme of human vision, and can cause bright blue fluorescence, and thus a blue rather than violet spot, on many white surfaces, including white clothing, white paper, and projection screens, due to the widespread use of optical brighteners in the manufacture of products intended to appear brilliantly white. On ordinary non-fluorescent materials, and also on fog or dust, the color appears as a shade of deep violet that cannot be reproduced on monitors and print. A GaN laser emits 405 nm directly without a frequency doubler, eliminating the possibility of accidental dangerous infrared emission[citation needed]. These laser diodes are mass-produced for the reading and writing of data in Blu-ray drives (although the light emitted by the diodes is not blue, but distinctly violet). As of September 2011, 405 nm blue-violet laser diode modules with an optical power of 250 mW, based on GaN violet laser diodes made for Blu-ray disc readers, had reached the market from Chinese sources for prices of about US$60 including delivery.[9]

At the same time, a few higher-powered (120 mW) 404–405 nm "violet" laser pointers have become available which are not based on GaN, but use DPSS frequency-doubler technology from 1 watt 808 nm GaAlAs infrared diode lasers. As with infrared-driven green laser pointers above, such devices are able to pop balloons and light matches, but this is as a result of an unfiltered high-power infrared component in the beam.[10] See the section on hazards below, for the difficulties with frequency-doubled IR-pumped lasers.
Very interesting to hear about the IR ones. How much does that really affect higher-powered ones (like in the 300mW range, which is what I'm thinking I'm getting)?
 

Atomicrox

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I would think, with proper goggles, it would be easier to focus, no? Especially with the fluorescence getting through the goggles and the 405nm not?
Yeah, with those yellow goggles the dot's very clear up to a couple meters away. I find the flourescent dot a bit weak after say 4m but my 405nm is 200mW and most likely underspec.
I figured since he was doing it out in the open from a distance he wouldn't want to use goggles to be able to see the fireworks afterwards. Putting the googles, lighting it up and taking them out seems like a good choice :)
 

Stryker295

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Yeah, with those yellow goggles the dot's very clear up to a couple meters away. I find the flourescent dot a bit weak after say 4m but my 405nm is 200mW and most likely underspec.
I figured since he was doing it out in the open from a distance he wouldn't want to use goggles to be able to see the fireworks afterwards. Putting the googles, lighting it up and taking them out seems like a good choice :)
also, if I'm the one setting up the show and triggering various ignition events and points, I'm there to focus on the timing and trigger points, not watch the pretty show :p

Goggles seem to be a must, and I have no idea how you pair the right color with the laser, but I'm SURE if I look a little on the forum I can find that out.
 

Stryker295

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Survival Laser R 660nm Parts Bundle - Laser Components Only

After adding up the price of their cheapest laser (or so I could find), a battery, a charger, and +10% (to cover tax and shipping; just a rough estimate obviously), it's $180+. Wow.

Is this really a good laser, worth that much? Or should I try my luck with the builders on this forum? I've never participated in forum-based custom commissions for anything and a little nervous at the thought of trying to do that.... :/
 

Atomicrox

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I like Survival Lasers and also have one of their 445nm but that red laser is very overpriced. If you want to buy from SL get a >1W 445nm, much better burning ability and cost/benefit.

Buying from ==LAZERER== Leading Laser Pointer Retailer - We Offer Power Certificate for Green Red Blue Laser Pointer | Laser Module | is a much cheaper option, they ship from China but quality is good and power ratings aren't fake.

You can also buy from one of the builders here, they sell some really powerful blue lasers. The problem is that these might even be dangerous to the other people around watching the fireworks.


As far as goggles go the safest < $100 option is the Eagle Pairs @ Survival Laser. For 405nm I have these, they're great for fluorescence but no one knows the actual OD. They do seem to filter my 200mW laser completely.
There are also those Amazon goggles that other members have tested, they're cheap if you're in the US and seem to work for both 405nm and 445nm.
 
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Stryker295

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I like Survival Lasers and also have one of their 445nm but that red laser is very overpriced. If you want to buy from SL get a >1W 445nm, much better burning ability and cost/benefit.

Buying from ==LAZERER== is a much cheaper option, they ship from China but quality is good and power ratings aren't fake.

You can also buy from one of the builders here, they sell some really powerful blue lasers. The problem is that these might even be dangerous to the other people around watching the fireworks.


As far as goggles go the safest < $100 option is the Eagle Pairs @ Survival Laser. For 405nm I have these, they're great for fluorescence but no one knows the actual OD. They do seem to filter my 200mW laser completely.
There are also those Amazon goggles that other members have tested, they're cheap if you're in the US and seem to work for both 405nm and 445nm.
LZCS 445nm - 1W Classic Focusable Blue Laser Water Proof

You mentioned that 'really powerful' blue lasers could be a danger to those around... how powerful is 'really powerful'? I would assume anything over 500mW would create a dot bright enough to be dangerous, but then again I have very little knowledge on this topic. :undecided:
 

Atomicrox

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That depends on how far away the other people would be and what precautions you'd take to avoid stray reflections.

The official danger classification is that class 4 (>500mW) is dangerous when looking at the diffuse reflection (dot on a matte surface).
 

Stryker295

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That depends on how far away the other people would be and what precautions you'd take to avoid stray reflections.

The official danger classification is that class 4 (>500mW) is dangerous when looking at the diffuse reflection (dot on a matte surface).
Ok. I should be fine with reflections, since it's all on concrete, dirt, etc. That's good.
 
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so I first considered a red lowish power kit from SL (the cheapest one) but was told it was way overpriced, and to either buy elsewhere or get something like this one. Someone also mentioned Lazerer, and I found this one which seems extremely powerful, and now I've got to thinking: is there some way to decrease the amount of power this is putting out, while maintaining a collumated beam or even a focal point? I thought maybe lightly frosted glass, and then a nearly dead battery, but I'm not sure the glass would weaken the beam so much as diffuse it, and I thought the whole purpose of the drivers was to maintain the same voltage and amperage (or switching or whatever, clearly I have no idea what I'm talking about) constant despite the battery's strength, up till the point it died, pretty much.

Thoughts?
 

Wolfman29

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Again, I would suggest a 405nm laser, and I would suggest builders from the forums. If you go with a respected and well-known builder (you can tell by how much rep power they have), you're sure to get excellent customer service and a cheaper build than you can get anywhere.

Also - if you end up not getting what you wanted or they end up scamming you, you can always file a dispute with paypal and get your money back.
 




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