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My first lasers (from eBay) - Don't use these goggles/glasses

TheD

New member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
12
Points
3
Like many people who find there way into tech as a hobby, from a non-professional background. I often start off with something that is fairly easily attainable and then pull that to bits, learn and move on to bigger and better aspects of it. I am not very good at putting stuff back together. :p

That's really my intention at the moment. I see most of the things on the forum that I need, leaving me somewhat silent. I therefore, thought I'd share my starting point. Perhaps this will be an insight and a warning for people who are looking to purchase their first laser. Who knows, I just hope it's interesting and entertaining!

So before purchasing, I carried out some research into cheap lasers. As most know, cheap, unreliable but fairly powerful lasers are available on eBay. I identified two main types, 303 style 532nm and the awful looking Gatling style laser. I narrowed my sellers down and finally decided which ones I wanted to waste my hard earned cash on.

They came quick but I had to wait for some safety goggles first.

Before ever turning these things on, I took advice here on the forum.
I joined up here and ArcticDude was kind enough to recommend a chap in the UK to grab a pair of Goggles from. After a really helpful and informative chat to Jonathan at OdicForce I settle on a pair of Eagle Pair Goggles.

Safety Goggles/Specs I purchased:
  • Laser Safety Goggles EP1 190-540nm and 800-2000nm (Blue, Green, Infrared (IR) and Blu-ray Lasers)


Let's start with the green laser:
  • Listed as - '990Miles 532nm 303 Green Laser Pointer Pen Star Beam Lazer Rechargeable+Charger' :ROFLMAO:
  • Power as listed - 1mw (yeah right, and i'm 21)
  • Wavelength - 532nm
  • Power source - 18650 (generic light weight blue one)
  • Charger - included, mains powered and guaranteed to burn your house down if left unattended
  • 'Assassin' etched onto the host instead on 303 (this has to be removed, says all the wrong things)
  • Switch lock to prevent operation via key to rear of host (this will be broken in a few days)
IMG_8854.jpg

IMG_8855.jpg

IMG_8857.jpg


So where to begin with this. Upon receiving it, it was loose in bubble wrap envelope (god knows how it survived the journey).
I have no doubt that this is 532nm. I imagine that its not a direct diode laser and therefore omits potentially harmful levels of IR.
As expected, this thing is nowhere near 1mw, or 5mw. It quite freely burns, the beam is almost visible in daylight and it is highly visible in the night sky (observing that no aircraft or animals are in the immediate vicinity).
Like other 303's it's a momentary switch and comes with a screw on cap so enable the potential blinding of many lifeforms at a time (that's in the bin).
I am sure time will tell with this and I will eventually take it to pieces for further inspection.

Now for the blue laser (this one is entertaining, comes with lots of goodies):
  • Listed as - Powerful Blue Laser Pointer Pen High Beam Diode Burning Light Visible Chargeable.
  • Wavelength - 445nm, 450nm, 465nm, 488nm
  • Power as listed - 100mW, 500mW, 1000mW, 1500mW, 2000mW, 3000mW, 5000mW, 7000mW (Woooooooooooow!)
  • Power source - an battery of magical abilities
  • Charger - yes
  • Gatling style host
  • Accessories included
    • James Bond style brief case made from some generic metal, foam cutouts are for another shape laser. Can't wait to get my Spy on and 007 this thing. :poop:
    • 5 screw on diffusers to allow 5 different ways to blind other lifeforms
    • Outrageous, no charger or generic blue battery despite the piece of paper with instructions stating their should be two!!!
    • 1 pair of 'laser safety' goggles. 😣
IMG_8818.jpg

IMG_8819.jpg

What can I say, it's an interesting looking device. I guess the first thing to approach is the lack of battery and charger. Well there is one, I just didn't spot it at first. Unlike others I had seen, in place of the on/off switch on the back, there is a transparent cap.

IMG_8820.jpg

Once removed, this gives you access to the on/off switch, a micro USB in for charging/burning your house down and a USB 2.0 out for using the laser as a Powerbank to charge/explode your high end phones/burn your house down.

IMG_8821.jpg

IMG_8847.jpg

Ignore the stop, it's the back of a ceramic tile and temporary.

Something that staggers me is that this laser seems to be switchable between 4 different wavelengths and through 8 different power levels. 100mw through to 7 whaaaaats!!!! In such a small package too. ⚡☄💥

So after receiving my shiny new pair of certified goggles, I decided to give them a switch on. Who knows what actual power rating the blue one is or what wavelength. I am guessing from what I have seen, it's going to be around 450nm and way more powerful than 1mw. It's also way more intense than than the green laser, with a wider more visible beam. It burns almost instantly, with no focusing adjustment from a range of distances. When pointing to the sky (insuring no animals, aircraft, UFO's or Flat Earthers are in the vicinity), holy hell did this thing put out a beam. Very bright, even more so than the green and lights up the whole area. I struggled how to switch between all the diffferent wavelengths and powers though... :ROFLMAO::LOL:

IMG_8842.jpg

The included Goggles, we will come onto these further down. If you got this far and are new, or are considering this package - bin the goggles.

The switch seems to have several modes:
  1. On
  2. On a bit brighter
  3. Flashing
  4. Off
At first, this feels like a negative to me. I would much prefer a simple on/off operation and the flashing mode just means one more step to turn it off and another possibility for an accident.

My Newbie Conclusions (all expected to be honest with you):


As you can see from the video above, the goggles serve little to no protection from the blue laser. The green was similar.
As the blue laser passes through the goggles included in the kit, it immediately burns the box. Within a second, the laser has completely melted a hole straight through the 'safety goggles' and you can see the spot on the box flare as this occurs. I would hazard this would have the effect of worsening eye damage than if you were not wearing them.

IMG_8825.jpg
On the left, a Eagle Pair EP1, on the right, the included goggles that are simply dangerous.​

Green Laser:
  • Poor quality, laser pointer that will cause blindness. I certainly won't be operating inside or in a confined area without the Eagle Pair goggles on and will bevery conscious of what it's directed at for fear of burning something.
  • The battery charger needs to be watched like a Macaw with a hand grenade.

Blue Laser:
  • Probably of poor quality inside, from what I understand.
  • Strange visual design, feels a bit kinky. 🙋‍♂️
  • I trust the internal charger, battery and powerbank capabilities like i'd trust hungry wolf with my kids.
  • Who knows what power output this thing is pushing and how quick it is likely to cook itself. It's certainly more powerful than the green and will cause blindness in the blink of an eye.
  • THROW AWAY THE GOGGLES IMMEDIATELY.

Although I am partly ashamed that I have bought these, they are actually quite good with the caveat that you know what you are buying, or not as the case may be. These are very dangerous in the wrong hands and the included goggles should never ever ever be used for anything other than trying to look like someone out of the Thunderbirds, at a fancy dress party (social distancing observed of course). Even that is questionable...

All in all though, I think these might serve a good way to get started and I look forward to learning how to disassemle them andmore about what goes into lasers. Perhaps even build a high quality one. Let's see!

D.

 



ArcticDude

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
2,536
Points
113
....
That's really my intention at the moment. I see most of the things on the forum that I need, leaving me somewhat silent. I therefore, thought I'd share my starting point. Perhaps this will be an insight and a warning for people who are looking to purchase their first laser. Who knows, I just hope it's interesting and entertaining!

They came quick but I had to wait for some safety goggles first.

...

View attachment 69713
On the left, a Eagle Pair EP1, on the right, the included goggles that are simply dangerous.​


Blue Laser:
  • Probably of poor quality inside, from what I understand.
  • Strange visual design, feels a bit kinky. 🙋‍♂️
  • I trust the internal charger, battery and powerbank capabilities like i'd trust hungry wolf with my kids.
  • Who knows what power output this thing is pushing and how quick it is likely to cook itself. It's certainly more powerful than the green and will cause blindness in the blink of an eye.
  • THROW AWAY THE GOGGLES IMMEDIATELY.


All in all though, I think these might serve a good way to get started and I look forward to learning how to disassemle them andmore about what goes into lasers. Perhaps even build a high quality one. Let's see!
Hi D,
I'm glad that you ended up looking for more information from this forum and ordered those Eagle Pair goggles from OdicForce.. It's always nice to see that new members are aware of possible dangers that lasers can do for you and they are not a toys. -As you saw most of those cheap chinese "safety goggles" are just a garbage and should be illegal to sell as a protective safety gear.

Building a laser is quite straight forward and there are many members here who are willing to help you out, if you have any questions or if you're just looking for more information for specific components etc..

If you think you have some basic knowledge of electronics and have little bit of soldering skills you can build something cool projects like this one here >>

Looking forward your future postings and possible laser projects!
 
Last edited:

Jim H

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
76
Points
8
I have a 405 nm that looks just like your 532. Be happy it has that cheesy key, as my push button got stuck in the on position, so I had to use the key to turn it off. I tried to get the module out, but just ended up making the laser so it wouldn't focus to a tight beam. Just tonight, I was poking around inside it again and used a long screw driver to push it back forward. Now it will focus again :) And for whatever reason, the button started working as well, although I don't trust it. I bought mine years ago, and the sticker says <200 mw, although I don't remember what it was advertised at. So I imagine yours is probably in the same ballpark power range. Enjoy!
 

hakzaw1

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2009
Messages
10,333
Points
113
...First time I saw those hosts I wondered... what device came in these before before they were used for lasers???
BECAUSE I could not accept that these were ACTUALLY made for lasers..
re :OP
welcome x3
1) great pics -keep 'em coming
2) well laid out thread.
3) some parts made me 'smile' . (could not write 'laugh')
but these are minor inaccuracies. (is that spelled right?)
and I had the some of the same ideas not all that long ago.
EDIT-
I felt USB should have been used LONG AGO>>
Has anyone seen this in any laser before?
So for that-- I must give them one 'hats off'.
Ugly laser with an interesting feature.


Very glad you joined us-- we have lost a few Vets of late and need new members.
Any vet here will help you with any questions.
We will give you a key to the VIP bathroom soon.

PM coming too

best
hak

________________

update edit

Over time I have changed my mind about these cheapo laser glasses.
While , for sure, they are not as good as an Eagle Pair-- they are better than nothing..MYB slightly better than sunglasses. Tests show that they do help some. I have a few I never use for ME. I call the 'guest goggles' .
As donny said : 'they are what they are'

I would never use these to align , measure, or any higher risk uses.
ONLY OKAYish for guests-- which will only be exposed in very limited ways.
Never looking at the 'dot' or be anywhere near the place where the beam is terminated.


Reflective surfaces need to be taken into consideration.
Windows are nearly the same as mirrors. While far from scientific-- the crude test of looking at the dot then closing the eyes and see how long it takes for the 'after-images' to go away.. try this first with a low power laser to get a 'base line'-- Most pen-pointers will work. Green dots last longer than other wavelengths at the same mW. Someone new to high power 405s may not understand how very dangerous 405 is. They make the smallest dot at great distances. Small means concentrated.


You do NOT want any 405nm beam to enter your eyes... The .25 seconds for the max time of exposure will not help much with 500mW + 405nm. (or even less mW)

Remember that many eye-'hits' will not cause much pain- there are not many pain receptors in our eyes(if any). Doctors have special equipment to look into your eyes .
There are two spots where seroius damage is very likely - there place where the nerves come together and go to the brain the other is the fovea.
The doctors can see scars for hits in other places. Minor injuries that we never felt or knew about.. While there certainly are not good, they happen and we need to view them as 'warnings'... signs of a close 'calls' and need to be heeded. Getting our eyes checked often is smart--especially when we know we have taken a 'hit' and we need to make the eye doctors aware of our use of lasers.

About 10 years ago I went to my first SELEM and afaik few of the attendee were mostly pointer users. They were laserists who felt that the carelessness of some may cause lasershow folks harm.

I had two sets of eyewear around my neck...I wanted to show them that 'we' are safety conscience too
. So I was somewhat amazed to see dozens of attendees w/o any eye protection even apparently on their person. So I asked about this and most said : " It takes time but eventually we develope a 'second sense' of knowing how to be safe w/o glasses.''

Dont get me wrong they were NOT truly ignoring the danger, just always staying away from the most dangerous situations. IF they wanted to walk thru a beam they averted thier eyes or covered with a hand etc.

Prolly the most risky place was in the balcony where most of the beams were terminated. A place that you can go to get the most awsome pics, but at a risk.
My way of being as safe as possible was to peek over my glasses and squinting , there was NO place there that is totally safe. n( a bit of a crap-shoot. I tried looking only thru my camera=still a big risk--not only to the eyes but to the camera==many pixels have been destroyed taking laser pics with a digital camera.

I often suggest the we do not use our most costly cameras. At least until our 'second sense' kicks in and is some kind of limited protection.
At SELEM the beams are going everywhere- there is no place were you are 100% safe when/where lasers are showing. This is during the hundreds of beam shows seen made by dozens of projectors at all SELEMs.

I have convinced many LPF members to attend a SELEM-
NONE felt it was no worth the effort to go. Some there owmn show companies - they ofyten give up a paying gig to come, bring their gear, set it up and take it down. AND they pay the same as all others. Real VIPs like Dr Sam (twice) and others are guests. For Sam he got his attendee fee waived and got a shirt. 'WE' chipped in to cover his meals and lodging
and transportation. Sam does not drive much (especially at night) so this had to be taken into consideration. It was a group effort and worthy of our work.

ps
IF you don't know SAM you dont really know much about lasers.
Sam and outstanding members like Steve Roberts and complied a ton of info--there for us to use freely==no ads==and a lot to take in- I have been going there to read for many years and no way near done.

HE DOES like getting questions to answer-- his addy can be found at Sam's Laser FAQ- BUT if the answer is there for you to read-- the questions are not nearly as welcome.

Search Sam's and you will see a large number of links -- hundreds-
You should just ignore the links to Sam's Walmart. The rest are Sam.

Once the pandemic is over there will be more LEMs.
Sadly there will be no more SELEMs at the same venue.
This year afaik would have been #14!!

We all need to thank Adam(buffo) for all the hard work he has done for us.
Adam will be a 'guest of honor' at any LEM I am involved with. But knowing him, I know he will resist. And we will insist.

If you are interested in hosting a LEM-- bless you!
I did mine a month or so, after my first SELEM . (made 5 in a row btw)
Finding a good venue (that we can use again)is not easy.

But we have learned and can count on Adam for advice.
I had NO IDEA how much work and knowledge it takes.
Every year I went to back to SELEM I had questions and Adam had the answers.
Pretty sure I became a pest..
PLEASE PM me if you want help hosting your LEM.
Know that your first is likely to be small ( I that got three forum attendees and just two RGB Full color PJs ( or more) is a bona fide LEM. It was just one night-- ended at 4 AM. I invited a few of my local friends who were happy to sign the insurance waivers like they do at (almost) every LEM.

wish I had some pics to share but they were taken on a new & very spendy digital camera that got stolen from a rental car. A window was smashed and had to be replaced-- fortunately EVIL300 knew how to do this- bought the glass and installed it himself- HAD he just returned the rent car w/ the broken window would have cost many many times more.
He and Dad had flown to Houston (to do a job there)and rented the car to come down to Freeport. Jonathon (Platinum) flew in from the north west just to be there and bring a second PJ.. we had an outstanding LEM.

cheerz
Len
There camera and its pics were a different story.
 
Last edited:

TheD

New member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
12
Points
3
Hi D,
I'm glad that you ended up looking for more information from this forum and ordered those Eagle Pair goggles from OdicForce.. It's always nice to see that new members are aware of possible dangers that lasers can do for you and they are not a toys. -As you saw most of those cheap chinese "safety goggles" are just a garbage and should be illegal to sell as a protective safety gear.

Building a laser is quite straight forward and there are many members here who are willing to help you out, if you have any questions or if you're just looking for more information for specific components etc..

If you think you have some basic knowledge of electronics and have little bit of soldering skills you can build something cool projects like

Looking forward your future postings and possible laser projects!
I am the type that likes a constant stream of new information. I guess that's why I like engineering in general, lasers being another wonderful part of that scientific world. It's rather ironic that something that looks so cool, really shouldn't be looked at in all it's glory. Does that even make sense?
I think a simple laser build will be the next logical step for me. Thanks for sharing the link, RGB looks like it could be fun! :)
 

TheD

New member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
12
Points
3
I have a 405 nm that looks just like your 532. Be happy it has that cheesy key, as my push button got stuck in the on position, so I had to use the key to turn it off. I tried to get the module out, but just ended up making the laser so it wouldn't focus to a tight beam. Just tonight, I was poking around inside it again and used a long screw driver to push it back forward. Now it will focus again :) And for whatever reason, the button started working as well, although I don't trust it. I bought mine years ago, and the sticker says <200 mw, although I don't remember what it was advertised at. So I imagine yours is probably in the same ballpark power range. Enjoy!
Your point about the key and the sticking button is a good point actually! I hadn't thought about that. Another reason to avoid poorly engineered parts I guess.
 

TheD

New member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
12
Points
3
...First time I saw those hosts I wondered... what device came in these before before they were used for lasers???
BECAUSE I could not accept that these were ACTUALLY made for lasers..
re :OP
welcome x3
1) great pics -keep 'em coming
2) well laid out thread.
3) some parts made me 'smile' . (could not write 'laugh')
but these are minor inaccuracies. (is that spelled right?)
and I had the some of the same ideas not all that long ago.
EDIT-
I felt USB should have been used LONG AGO>>
Has anyone seen this in any laser before?
So for that-- I must give them one 'hats off'.
Ugly laser with an interesting feature.


Very glad you joined us-- we have lost a few Vets of late and need new members.
Any vet here will help you with any questions.
We will give you a key to the VIP bathroom soon.

PM coming too

best
hak

________________

update edit

Over time I have changed my mind about these cheapo laser glasses.
While , for sure, they are not as good as an Eagle Pair-- they are better than nothing..MYB slightly better than sunglasses. Tests show that they do help some. I have a few I never use for ME. I call the 'guest goggles' .
As donny said : 'they are what they are'

I would never use these to align , measure, or any higher risk uses.
ONLY OKAYish for guests-- which will only be exposed in very limited ways.
Never looking at the 'dot' or be anywhere near the place where the beam is terminated.


Reflective surfaces need to be taken into consideration.
Windows are nearly the same as mirrors. While far from scientific-- the crude test of looking at the dot then closing the eyes and see how long it takes for the 'after-images' to go away.. try this first with a low power laser to get a 'base line'-- Most pen-pointers will work. Green dots last longer than other wavelengths at the same mW. Someone new to high power 405s may not understand how very dangerous 405 is. They make the smallest dot at great distances. Small means concentrated.


You do NOT want any 405nm beam to enter your eyes... The .25 seconds for the max time of exposure will not help much with 500mW + 405nm. (or even less mW)

Remember that many eye-'hits' will not cause much pain- there are not many pain receptors in our eyes(if any). Doctors have special equipment to look into your eyes .
There are two spots where seroius damage is very likely - there place where the nerves come together and go to the brain the other is the fovea.
The doctors can see scars for hits in other places. Minor injuries that we never felt or knew about.. While there certainly are not good, they happen and we need to view them as 'warnings'... signs of a close 'calls' and need to be heeded. Getting our eyes checked often is smart--especially when we know we have taken a 'hit' and we need to make the eye doctors aware of our use of lasers.

About 10 years ago I went to my first SELEM and afaik few of the attendee were mostly pointer users. They were laserists who felt that the carelessness of some may cause lasershow folks harm.

I had two sets of eyewear around my neck...I wanted to show them that 'we' are safety conscience too
. So I was somewhat amazed to see dozens of attendees w/o any eye protection even apparently on their person. So I asked about this and most said : " It takes time but eventually we develope a 'second sense' of knowing how to be safe w/o glasses.''

Dont get me wrong they were NOT truly ignoring the danger, just always staying away from the most dangerous situations. IF they wanted to walk thru a beam they averted thier eyes or covered with a hand etc.

Prolly the most risky place was in the balcony where most of the beams were terminated. A place that you can go to get the most awsome pics, but at a risk.
My way of being as safe as possible was to peek over my glasses and squinting , there was NO place there that is totally safe. n( a bit of a crap-shoot. I tried looking only thru my camera=still a big risk--not only to the eyes but to the camera==many pixels have been destroyed taking laser pics with a digital camera.

I often suggest the we do not use our most costly cameras. At least until our 'second sense' kicks in and is some kind of limited protection.
At SELEM the beams are going everywhere- there is no place were you are 100% safe when/where lasers are showing. This is during the hundreds of beam shows seen made by dozens of projectors at all SELEMs.

I have convinced many LPF members to attend a SELEM-
NONE felt it was no worth the effort to go. Some there owmn show companies - they ofyten give up a paying gig to come, bring their gear, set it up and take it down. AND they pay the same as all others. Real VIPs like Dr Sam (twice) and others are guests. For Sam he got his attendee fee waived and got a shirt. 'WE' chipped in to cover his meals and lodging
and transportation. Sam does not drive much (especially at night) so this had to be taken into consideration. It was a group effort and worthy of our work.

ps
IF you don't know SAM you dont really know much about lasers.
Sam and outstanding members like Steve Roberts and complied a ton of info--there for us to use freely==no ads==and a lot to take in- I have been going there to read for many years and no way near done.

HE DOES like getting questions to answer-- his addy can be found at Sam's Laser FAQ- BUT if the answer is there for you to read-- the questions are not nearly as welcome.

Search Sam's and you will see a large number of links -- hundreds-
You should just ignore the links to Sam's Walmart. The rest are Sam.

Once the pandemic is over there will be more LEMs.
Sadly there will be no more SELEMs at the same venue.
This year afaik would have been #14!!

We all need to thank Adam(buffo) for all the hard work he has done for us.
Adam will be a 'guest of honor' at any LEM I am involved with. But knowing him, I know he will resist. And we will insist.

If you are interested in hosting a LEM-- bless you!
I did mine a month or so, after my first SELEM . (made 5 in a row btw)
Finding a good venue (that we can use again)is not easy.

But we have learned and can count on Adam for advice.
I had NO IDEA how much work and knowledge it takes.
Every year I went to back to SELEM I had questions and Adam had the answers.
Pretty sure I became a pest..
PLEASE PM me if you want help hosting your LEM.
Know that your first is likely to be small ( I that got three forum attendees and just two RGB Full color PJs ( or more) is a bona fide LEM. It was just one night-- ended at 4 AM. I invited a few of my local friends who were happy to sign the insurance waivers like they do at (almost) every LEM.

wish I had some pics to share but they were taken on a new & very spendy digital camera that got stolen from a rental car. A window was smashed and had to be replaced-- fortunately EVIL300 knew how to do this- bought the glass and installed it himself- HAD he just returned the rent car w/ the broken window would have cost many many times more.
He and Dad had flown to Houston (to do a job there)and rented the car to come down to Freeport. Jonathon (Platinum) flew in from the north west just to be there and bring a second PJ.. we had an outstanding LEM.

cheerz
Len
There camera and its pics were a different story.
Great post! Thanks for sharing and taking the time to respond!
Apologies if there are some inaccuracies in my post. Feel free to point them out, it's the only way I will learn. :)

While I perhaps came across a little negative about the strange blue laser and the USB, it's a notable feature. Let's face it, many devices such as bicycle lights now feature integrated USB charging. I think for me, much of my issues come down to a question of trust. I don't trust the quality control, build quality in the first place, or any of the information provided by the sellers. There's no provenance whatsoever. In terms of lipo battery and the potential for a fiery demise to my house, when charging or using it as a power source, I imagine it's unlikely to do much damage since it's enclosed in quite a strong aluminium case. The external charger for the green laser is more of a worry to me.
 




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