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low power eye safe infrared laser?

Moilergy

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I'm looking for a cheap and cheerful infrared laser pen for a university experiment; I basically want to point it at an ir receiver diode (the same type you get on most ir controlled rc toys) 60 meters away and send pulses to it for the sake of communication.

As this is what I want to do I don't need anything capable of burning etc, just an eye safe pen that i can play around with without worrying too much about the risk of being blinded, however all I seem to be able to find at the moment are high powered burning lasers.
Can someone possibly point me to something closer to what I've described?

Many thanks in advance.
 

diachi

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Moilergy

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Magic those are just what I need, I take it apart from the lack of blink reaction, an ir laser is no more dangerous to your eyes than any other colour? Is there a way to test a laser for power once you've got it, probably best to play it safe and check?
 
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If you go to Uni, then your Physics or something similar might have a LPM handy for you to test. If you want to spend the time, you can send the laser to one of the members on the forum.

Personally, the most dangerous wavelengths are Green and IR. The reason for IR would be because people could think that you're playing with a little 1mw red laser but you could very well be using 1 watt of power. IR is invisible so you actually don't really 'know' where the beam is, and because IR recognizes glass as opaque; it will reflect and could hit your eyes. DPSS is also dangerous because it outputs IR.

The lesson is that any wavelength is dangerous, for instance UV could cause skin cancers or blues, because they seem dimmer than they actually output.

The main point here is just don't point the laser into your eyes and you should be fine, and if you are paranoid; send it to a member or get goggles to protect your eyes.

Have fun with lasers, and I hope we see more of you around here :beer:

-Dread
 
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Hap

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Green is also dangerous because our eyes are the most sensitive to green and because of that, more damage is done to the eye.


-Dread
Green isn't the most dangerous because it's brighter. A laser's brightness per mW dosen't determine how dangerous it is. Take for example 405nm, which is located at the end of our visible spectrum. It's quite a lot dimmer then green, but actually, is mistakenly considered safer by many people due to it's lower perceived brightness(which is a HUGE MISTAKE)!!!

Common greenie's(520nm/532nm) can in some cases be actually safer as many people will find it's light(at higher powers) to become uncomfortable to view for a prolonged period of time.

I do agree with you that all lasers which use a DPSS process are quite a big more dangerous then regular diode based lasers as if not properly filtered, the IR(although spreads out rather quickly) can cause invisible damage :)

-Alex
 
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Green isn't the most dangerous because it's brighter. A laser's brightness per mW dosen't determine how dangerous it is. Take for example 405nm, which is located at the end of our visible spectrum. It's quite a lot dimmer then green, but actually, is mistakenly considered safer by many people due to it's lower perceived brightness(which is a HUGE MISTAKE)!!!

Common greenie's(520nm/532nm) can in some cases be actually safer as many people will find it's light(at higher powers) to become uncomfortable to view for a prolonged period of time.

I do agree with you that all lasers which use a DPSS process are quite a big more dangerous then regular diode based lasers as if not properly filtered, the IR(although spreads out rather quickly) can cause invisible damage :)

-Alex
Thats true, let me edit the post to make it more accurate.
 

Tre

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Green isn't the most dangerous because it's brighter. A laser's brightness per mW dosen't determine how dangerous it is. Take for example 405nm, which is located at the end of our visible spectrum. It's quite a lot dimmer then green, but actually, is mistakenly considered safer by many people due to it's lower perceived brightness(which is a HUGE MISTAKE)!!!

Common greenie's(520nm/532nm) can in some cases be actually safer as many people will find it's light(at higher powers) to become uncomfortable to view for a prolonged period of time.

I do agree with you that all lasers which use a DPSS process are quite a big more dangerous then regular diode based lasers as if not properly filtered, the IR(although spreads out rather quickly) can cause invisible damage :)

-Alex
Isn't the higher frequency more dangerous? I was taught that that lower wavelength = HF = more energy. That is why we are concerned about UV radiation from the sun and x-rays are able to go through soft tissue.
 

Hap

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Isn't the higher frequency more dangerous? I was taught that that lower wavelength = HF = more energy. That is why we are concerned about UV radiation from the sun and x-rays are able to go through soft tissue.
Yes! 405 is "more" dangerous then 532 due to it's stronger energy of it's photons when compared to a longer wavelength then...let's say 655.

Honestly though, most wavelength's in the visible spectrum are relatively safe when proper laser safety is being used. Once you start going into UV/IR this is where the silent killer comes in :D

-Alex
 
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Laser Chick

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@ Tre,

You are correct in stating that the higher frequency is more dangerous but there is such a slight difference in the spectral span of UV/Visible/IR that other factors usually have a larger play in the realm of handheld lasers and the harm they can do.
 

Atomicrox

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For crying out loud guys...

Blue/violet lasers can't cause skin cancer. No laser a hobbyist can buy will, unless you've got a lot of money to buy a UVB/UVC laser.

It's debatable whether blue/violet lasers can cause more eye damage, though I find it unlikely. Search for blue light hazard.

Maximum permissible exposure for 400-700nm is the same, so they're equally dangerous as far as burning power. Doesn't make a difference if each photon has more energy - if a laser has the same power it will just emit more or less photons, the total energy will be the same.

MPE for IR is actually slightly higher (less dangerous), the problem is that they look harmless.

 
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Tre

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I know what you are getting at, The danger is not the brightness or color of the laser so much as the power and how much respect it is given. I can imagine a noob looking into the aperture of a high powered IR laser thinking it is a very low power red laser. Good thing is the op is already looking for a 'low' power IR laser (unlike another post that was looking for high power IR or UV to pop balloons as a magic trick).:eek:
 




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