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My first post (Ok 2nd technically) lol

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Hello all and nice to meet you! Just wanted to introduce myself to you fine people. My name is Ted and I am a 35 y/o restaurant designer. I work from home as I have my own business and love all things techy. As I am sure most here are, I am originally a flashlight fanatic but have always loved lasers. I just recently got a little more serious about buying them lol. Thru the years I have had little rinky dink laser pointers (the kind you buy from Rite-aid or the ice cream man) but now own a supposed 50W and supposed 5W lol. I say supposed because they are from China and were fairly cheap. Well one was $63 and the other was $6. I look forward to learning enough to build one from scratch and hope I can offer some help along the way. Thank you and I look forward to meeting you all!

Edit: Ok after a little more research here I know my gold shiny bad boy is not 50W lol. It is bright and powerful though. Its prolly 450nm (Blue) and will cut through plastic and cardboard easy though and it will burn the hell out of skin haha. Powered by 2x 16340's

Here are my babies...

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7Ox4Xc-ygYiaktsRTJtbkFpNmM

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7Ox4Xc-ygYiZC1ZempWUGRwMlE

The Golden dildo as I like to call it lol
 
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RedCowboy

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Now that you have had a taste, welcome to the addiction, it's a happy place.

Building your own may seem daunting but we can build all kinds of things once we start doing and learning, I have way more cool ideas than funding for them all, but that's enjoyable too, and refining those ideas into the best most useful package is enjoyable as well.
Not every job can be done with 1 tool so you may want a compact for stargazing and a heavy for long duration wood art, but designing and building is part of the fun, as is seeing what others come up with, there are some talented artistic people who make really nice looking and working units.

Enjoy and stay safe.

Here is where a lot of us buy out glasses : Safety
 
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Thank you all for the welcome and thank you Red for the insight. One of the 2 first questions I had was about goggles lol. My high power pointer is about 450nm and will burn things very fast. The other lower powered is a 532nm and won't burn anything. I do however think after reading here that the low powered laser can do more harm to my eyes than the blue since I can almost say with 100% certainty that the green laser is not IR filtered. How do I know which goggles will be adequate for eye protection? My 2nd question is, where can I get a damn LPM that will measure both of mine and not cost me a fortune lol!?!?

Thank you again!
 
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Now that you have had a taste, welcome to the addiction, it's a happy place.

Building your own may seem daunting but we can build all kinds of things once we start doing and learning, I have way more cool ideas than funding for them all, but that's enjoyable too, and refining those ideas into the best most useful package is enjoyable as well.
Not every job can be done with 1 tool so you may want a compact for stargazing and a heavy for long duration wood art, but designing and building is part of the fun, as is seeing what others come up with, there are some talented artistic people who make really nice looking and working units.

Enjoy and stay safe.

Here is where a lot of us buy out glasses : Safety
How do you feel about these? I get all awe struck when they start tossing out acronyms!

Eagle Pair® 190-540nm & 800-1700nm OD5 Laser Safety Goggles
 
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So here is another noob question, if I was going for max throw, say to shine on clouds what kinda laser would be best suited for that? TIA
 




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