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Need advice for LOWER power starter laser pointer

tsteele93

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The last laser pointer I owned was a Sharper Image red lp in the early 90's and it cost $500 back then. It was expensive and had some problems, but was pretty amazing back in the day.

Fast forward to present day and I have two small kids, lots more disposable income and want to play with laser pointers again.

I was all set to order a rifle until I started learning about safety and realized I don't want to end up with blind kids.

So, I'd like something really neat that is safe.

Any recommendations?

Blue, green or violet would be cool and I would like as much power as possible while not needing eye protection.

I'm not afraid of putting together a kit, but I don't want to be starting from scratch. I'd like it to be fairly easy.

United States would be nice too, don't really want to send money directly to China and waiting for months.

Thanks for any help.

Tom
 

joncosta

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My first handheld laser was a 10mw green laser from ebay 12bucks w/ free shipping. With a fresh set of Duracells, it's a blast. In the dark the beam is clearly visible. Fun to shine at star constellations or to just pretend your a Jedi. Green is the most visible spectrum of laser so a 10mw red laser will not have the same effect. 10mw is not so cool in more lit rooms or where there are to many street lights (ie light pollution) but out in the sticks at night a 10mw green is very fun. I shot it at some deer running through my yard. They could see the beam and jumped over it like an obstacle. Good clean fun! I just ordered my first 50mw lasers last week, red, green, and purple. 50mw is much brighter. Check out some youtube videos to get a good idea of power and safety. Laser pointers get very dangerous very quickly. 200mw lasers can cause instant damage to your eyes. Consider not blinding your cat/kids and do the research before you go laser crazy.
 

tsteele93

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Anyone else? I saw a green one at Cajun Lasers for $40 but they haven't replied to my email. Wondering if they ship quickly? TIA,

Tom
 

InfinitusEquitas

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@tsteele93

If you want a mostly safe laser, that's still fun, really the only options you have are either red or green.

5mW of green will produce a visible beam in a slightly dusty, completely dark room.

5mW of red... well not quite as bright but still fun.

Once you go over 5mW you really have to start worrying about eye safety.

It is commendable that you're looking to keep your kids safe.

Please also bear in mind that the 5mW limit is there because it assumes that the average person's blink reflex is fast enough to prevent any damage from occurring.

Meaning that if you stare at a 5mW laser (as kids have done in the past) damage could still be done.

If you really want to have fun with lasers... you will need to take basically the same precautions as you would with a gun... in dealing with kids.

Please also bear in mind that most chinese 5mW pens are quite overspec... so if you want a true <5mW pen, order from laserglow, or optotronics... both are excellent companies.
 

jellex900

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You definetly want a green laser!

A laser over 5mW can damage your eyes if starring directly into it for too long, 5mW should be the maximum.
A red lasers (5mW) beam won't be visible at night, but a 5mW green will be - especially when a little foggy.

May I suggest this laser:
True Green Laser Pen 5mW - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

Shipping is fairly quick, it's cheap and it's good.
Great for pointing out objects!
This was one of my first lasers.
 
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InfinitusEquitas

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You definetly want a green laser!

A laser over 5mW can damage your eyes if starring directly into it for too long, 5mW should be the maximum.
A red lasers (5mW) beam won't be visible at night, but a 5mW green will be - especially when a little foggy.

May I suggest this laser:
True Green Laser Pen 5mW - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

Shipping is fairly quick, it's cheap and it's good.
Great for pointing out objects!
This was one of my first lasers.


Cheap chinese 5mW pointers are not reliable because they are often very overspec. If you're treating a chinese 5mW newwish pen as a 5mW pen as being 5mW.... well they are your eyes.
 

Lotus_Darkrose

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Lol, suggesting someone buy a dealextreme laser...maybe you should wait on trying to be helpful until you read up some more, no offense.
 

jellex900

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The DX / YourLasers lasers I owe is fine, most of them are around the written output.
The true laser is actually true, and it won't damage your eyes unless you use some kind of magnifying glass and stare on it for a very long time.
 
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Lotus_Darkrose

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I'm not saying you can't get a working laser from them, I just wouldn't *suggest* someone buy a dx laser.
 

InfinitusEquitas

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The DX / YourLasers lasers I owe is fine, most of them are around the written output.
The true laser is actually true, and it won't damage your eyes unless you use some kind of magnifying glass and stare on it for a very long time.
Are you saying that the stated output is correct for DX laser?

If so, is this a statement based on experience from having tried a few 5mW chinese pens and put them on a laser power meter?

When a laser comes from optotronics or laserglow I trust that the stated output will be correct because these companies actually check their lasers before shipping.

The chinese version of this test is to just see if some green light comes out. Not exactly scientific now is it?

Also since we are dealing with DPSS... do you know how much if any IR leakage there are from those pens?

The reason I'm so adamant about this is that I've tested at least half a dozen supposedly 5mW chinese pens. They were ALL overspec. Which is great if that's what you're looking for, but here the OP is looking for a "safe" laser.

Don't take my word for this though, order an LPM, order a few "5mW" chinese pens and see what results you get.

Edit: When the hell did I turn into the laser safety nazi?:banghead:
 
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GAtkins

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I've got this one from LaserGlow as my "play around with without goggles" laser.

Laserglow Technologies - Handheld Lasers, Alignment Lasers and Lab / OEM Lasers

The dot is great, but the beam is less than inspiring even on a rainy and slightly foggy night, but I am comparing it to the rest of my collection to call it less than inspiring.

I look at the beams (never directly into the beam, never the direct or even specular reflections) of my more powerful lasers outside at night when pointed skyward.

If you want to burn stuff (matches, balloons, ect.) get the 200mW 532nm Rifle from Lazerer or similar and invest in enough safety glasses (including ones protecting against IR) for everyone in the room.

You can watch the beams at night outside (don't point at airplanes) and enjoy the burning inside with the appropriate safety protection. The glasses are really a small investment when you consider the enjoyment out of the hobby and plus it will instill in your kids the respect necessary for the devices. The best of both worlds I think.

Some will say that you don't need the IR protection in the goggles for the greens, but I personally don't trust it and want the best protection I can get. Burning is really cool and my teenagers enjoy the crap out of it, but safety is always first.

Store the batteries and/or end-cap clickys separate from the lasers so their are no surprises and invest in the appropriate goggles for your wave length.

Personally I would get the higher powers, invest in the goggles and treat the lasers like a gun and share these values with your kids. A lot of life lessons all rolled into one. The beams are great at night, the burning is fantastic, but all along safety first.

Enjoy the hobby with the rest of us and welcome to the forum.

Glenn
 

Kohtro

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Greetings,

This is my first post. I'm a nubee to lasers....much to learn. For starters, i want to design a multifunction device that has a laser pointer as one of its attributes. My question is, can I use a class 1 laser for office presentations? I need the safest/weakest classroom laser pointer avail....especially used around children. Dont care about the beam being visible. just want the dot to show up on the presentation screen.

Your help is greatly appreciated,
Jim
 

Zeebit

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Please mind the last post date and don't necropost.

Welcome to the LPF but you are in the wrong forum. You should post this over at the Welcome forum.
 




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