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My up coming Burning Man project.

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I have been to Burning man music and art festival a few times and in 2012 had an art instalation. My friends and I are returning in 2015 with a bigger budget for a new art project and it will include a laser.

We are building a 30 ft steep pyramid out of electrical conduit and covering the structure with Total Control rgb lighting. Shooting out the top will be a 2w 532 green laser pointed straight up.
Ive been researching the laser and feel I can get a good quality one for about $1500.00 USD.
Does that sound about right? Jet laser seems reputable and has them for about that cost. I would appreciate any tips or recommendations for this type of laser.
Some concerns I have is the environment is very dusty. Night time temp can get around freezing rarely but is usually in the high 40's F.
The laser doesn't need to do much but stay on for hours at a time. We can shut it down to cool but I would rather it stay running as much as possible.

Its my hopes to have the brightest, most crisp, beam possible. I feel a 2w 532 green fits the bill just fine. Last year at the BM festival I met a nice guy that had a 1w mounted to his golf cart. it was very impressive. i spoke with him about lasers for a while and knew that night next year I would have my own!
 

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I wonder if you need to tell local aviations you will have a beam shinning directly up into airspace just to keep them aware? (IDK your local laws)
2W is heaps of power too ! if something somehow reflected back towards civilians there could be some danger
Anyways sounds like you have a bit of work cut out ,
Good Luck
 
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I wonder if you need to tell local aviations you will have a beam shinning directly up into airspace just to keep them aware? (IDK your local laws)
2W is heaps of power too ! if something somehow reflected back towards civilians there could be some danger
Anyways sounds like you have a bit of work cut out ,
Good Luck
The event organizers files a notem with the FAA to alert all A/C that here will be lots of lasers. Other than an act of god there wont be anything in the vicinity that could interfere with the laser. Thanks for the feedback.
 
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The event organizers files a notem with the FAA to alert all A/C that here will be lots of lasers. Other than an act of god there wont be anything in the vicinity that could interfere with the laser. Thanks for the feedback.
Thats really good to hear! good Practices!
may i ask why you want 2W 532nm? im not doubting your word but it may be possible that the guy with golf cart had alot less than 1W? so if his was less then maybe you only need a true 1W
 

Things

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Shining straight up you probably want a minimum of 2W .. I've heard good things about "meirlight" lab lasers from eBay, as in 1W modules doing closer to 2W. I think Viasho also do high power, high quality DPSS greens around your pricerange.
 

djQUAN

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If you will use a 532 laser, you'd probably need a temperature controlled one with TECs and stuff. The crystals are finicky with temp and if it drops too low or gets too hot the laser power will fluctuate.
 
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Good info thank you all.
Hmmmm, Maybe I should get a 520 rather than a 532. Would that be more suitable for those temps?

I guess I could use a 1w but since i have a $10,000 budget for lighting with $1500-2000 set aside for the laser and needed hardware. Heck if I could find one in the price range ill get a 3w. The brighter the better for attracting people to our display.

Does anyone know far would a 2w 520 green laser go into the atmosphere?
 

djQUAN

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The high power 520 diodes are multimode so the divergence will be pretty bad. But it will still be visible. I have no idea how much though as I don't have experience with the new multimode 520 diodes.

Do keep in mind these will put out lots of heat so a big heatsink and probably fan cooling will be needed. But as with direct diodes, they will work reliably with wider ambient temps and the power output is more stable than DPSS.
 
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Thats really good to hear! good Practices!
may i ask why you want 2W 532nm? im not doubting your word but it may be possible that the guy with golf cart had alot less than 1W? so if his was less then maybe you only need a true 1W
I figured it would be more impressive than a 1w. Brighter, fatter beam, ext. Green lasers are my favorite because of the tight beam they create. Looks like a neon tube traveling from earth to space! That's the look i am going for.
 
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I figured it would be more impressive than a 1w. Brighter, fatter beam, ext. Green lasers are my favorite because of the tight beam they create. Looks like a neon tube traveling from earth to space! That's the look i am going for.
Very true
I think the 10k budget cancels out getting a 1W.... i would have shut up earlier had i know that! haha
2W all the way! hope you find a good one under 2k
 
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starlight

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Post pictures here of the "display" please I would like to see the finished product
 

BowtieGuy

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I figured it would be more impressive than a 1w. Brighter, fatter beam, ext. Green lasers are my favorite because of the tight beam they create. Looks like a neon tube traveling from earth to space! That's the look i am going for.
Hi nwfreefly, you might also want to check these out also, they were offered in a recent Group Buy, I think their price was reasonable, even without the GB discount.

Here is a link to a review of the "Goldenstar Laser 1.5W 532nm lab laser" that I made. IMO, it is quite impressive, and very overspec also.
 

LSRFAQ

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Hate to burst your bubble but you need your own FAA filing to really be legal.
Read up on FAA 7400, Lasers in Airspace, and Un-terminated Beams

You have a semi- fixed installation into airspace in a public for profit venue. Admission is charged, therefore you are not exempt.

You'll have to temperature control the base of the laser too, DPSS does not do well in desert heat/cool, even at night.
The fine alkaline dust finds it way into optics and your laser becomes a hood ornament or paperweight. Thus you need to find a way to keep dust off the output window, IF there is one. If there is not, then you need one installed. Plus an optics cleaning kit.

And you DO need a way to terminate the beam rapidly.

There were laser related injuries at Burning Man last year. These became public, which means you have a pretty good chance of some enforcement being there. Just because your in Black Rock City, or because they have some sort of Notam, does not mean US Law disappeared. Considering one of the injured was a Ranger, you can expect internal enforcement as well. She's permanently blinded.

Aircraft do fly over the venue, including law enforcement who fly low at 500' for both observation and rescue.. Also the venue gets its own airport, so aircraft are there.

Know how to do things right before you go.

Steve
 
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I just think it's a bad idea in general. A 2w DPSS green firing straight up at night is simply not that impressive from any distance. Need about a 20watt Argon in my opinion to do that with any type of drama.

If it were me I'd do a mini Luxor; get a surplus big screen TV fresnel and stack a bunch of Cree XML's underneath it on a really big heat sink. Everything can be kept in the 12volt range. Visible from low orbit and no FAA nonsense.
 
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@LSRFAQ- Thanks for the feedback and good information. I will look into it all further as the time approaches.
I looked up the laser injured ranger account and its really sad. I have seen the ugly side of events like BM. That being when having fun and letting your hair down goes too far and actually causes harm, suffering and even death. Its a sad but real unfortunate side to things such as festivals.
Don't worry you're not bursting any bubbles of mine. I may be new to lasers but I'm not new to the process of event coordination and large scale art projects. There will be meetings with the right people so we have our ducks in a row and I have a great logistics team working hard to make this go off without a hitch or injury.

As far as the airspace. Notems do not exempt you from the law of the land but they do inform people of the potential hazards of an airspace so the pilots can fly at their own risk and take proper precautions if they choose to fly within the boundary. In fact I have flown above BM many times. As a licensed skydiver I have done multiple demo jumps into The Burning Man event. Day and evening.
As anyone who has been could attest, there are lasers everywhere. Big ones shooting all into the night sky all night long so Im confident we will get the permission we need by the people who give it.

That's great info about the dust and temperature variations. I will keep reading to learn more. We have a contact in Seattle, Slick Ricks Lasers, that we can consult with but I like to have a basic understanding as well.


I just think it's a bad idea in general. A 2w DPSS green firing straight up at night is simply not that impressive from any distance

If it were me I'd do a mini Luxor; get a surplus big screen TV fresnel and stack a bunch of Cree XML's underneath it on a really big heat sink. Everything can be kept in the 12volt range. Visible from low orbit and no FAA nonsense.
Its funny you wrote this. As I was reading up on the range laser incident I ended up checking out some past laser projects on google images and thought the same thing you just said. A 2w laser shooting straight up my as well be a person holding up a bic lighter in that environment.

I am very interested in learning more about the luxor light beam. I'm reading up on your idea now.

Thank you all for the good info and feedback. Im in the right place clearly.
Cheers
 
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