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Need to make laser circle shapes on the ice rink.

divan

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Hi everyone,

I'm doing preliminary research for the idea of the device that would draw the figure skating shapes onto the ice. There are few ideas and bunch of questions I hope someone can shed a light onto.

There are two setups I think about:
  1. Portable laser setup placed ~1m above the ice (on a tripod), projecting a circle (or set of circles) on the ice.
  2. Large laser system mounted on the top (ceiling), that can project circles or any custom shapes on the ice across whole field (60x30m).
For the first one, we talking about either circles or custom circle-based shapes (can't post the link – google for "compulsory figures figure skating"). Ideally it should be a handheld gadget, skater can bring onto the practice, turn it on and get the laser circle of adjustable radius as a reference to practice figures. So one of the largest constraints here is the size and weight.

So my questions are:
  1. What are the best options here to draw a circle? Mirror motor, aperture grating, anything else?
  2. What are the options for more complex shapes (than a circle)?
  3. What wavelength are best suited for this? (Green I suppose, for visibility?)
  4. How to calculate needed power, so it doesn't look dim and not melting the ice? Or any educated guess?
  5. Are there existing set ups that can do that already, or it should be custom set up?
  6. Any other ideas/suggestions where to start with this project? (is it even doable with current state of tech?)

For the second – larger curves and shapes (can't post a link, google for "moves in the field usfsa") needed to be shown across the whole field. This option will allow to mount large system on the ceiling of the ice rink, and to have external power supply. I guess this is similar to typical laser show tasks (which I'm not very familiar with, unfortunately), and perhaps it's just a question of programming existing laser show setups? If so, where do I start looking or reading about?

Thanks in advance, and feel free to point out any other important things I'm missing here.
 



divan

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ice rink paint
Idea is that each skater/coach is able to draw different shapes and change them multiple times during the skating session on any ice rink (even public sessions). So the ice rink paint is not option.
 

Unown (WILD)

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Well lasers aren't an option either, unless you want them to skate in the dark with dangerously high power laser projectors hovering over their heads. The cost of those projectors will be enormous.
 

Encap

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Well lasers aren't an option either, unless you want them to skate in the dark with dangerously high power laser projectors hovering over their heads. The cost of those projectors will be enormous.
Exactly lasers are not a option for many reasons. Safety is the primary concern legally and every other which way. What he wants to do would not be safe or legal, in USA at least, laser use.

Divan:
Your daydream/imagined use lacks and or ignores any/all consideration or comprehension of laser safety in particular eye safety which is the most important consideration in laser use. The legal and liability aspects of dangerous high output lasers and cost as mentioned above would prohibit your imagined use. Maybe you could LEDs arranged in a circle under the ice if any rink owner would be willing to tolerate you doing that/try at your cost.
Laser reflections from water/ice or skate blades, anything really, can cause permanent eye damage not just direct eye hits from a laser. Obviously you have no idea of the actual real world considerations. Making circles with lasers on ice has never been needed necessary in the history of figure skating and is not needed for any real reason now. Is a frivolous dangerous laser use and dangerous use environment for what amounts to an entertainment gimmick.
No rink owner or their insurance company covering the rink business would allow same as it would be a liability nightmare they don't need for any real reason, just an invitation to a law suit against the rink and owners in addition to being against you for negligence minimally in the event of eye damage to anyone. Whether you meant any harm or not, creating a situation that puts someone else at risk is illegal.

Don't know what Country you are in but in USA the legal output limit of hand held lasers and projectors sold in USA in 5mW or less in other Countries lower 1mW. "Laser products promoted for demonstration purposes are limited to hazard Class IIIa by FDA regulation 21 CFR 1040.11(c). This means that projectors are limited to 5 milliwatts output power in the visible wavelength range from 400 to 710 nanometers." see: https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitt...-and-entertainment-products/laser-light-shows

US FDA Laws, Rules, and Regulations do not allow "laser show" projectors over 5mW to be legally used for "laser shows" without a "Variance" to deviate from the Regulations. Variance approval for any particular laser show to be run specifically requires all details of both the proposed equipment and the proposed use.
You can see what is involved here: http://www.laserist.org/us-regs.htm
You would not be given a "variance" if there is/was any chance of someone, skaters or otherwise, being put in harms way/directly exposed to lasers in use.

"In the United States, laser products are regulated by the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), a division of the Food and Drug Administration. The CDRH’s duty is to insure that the public is not harmed by lasers that pose an eye hazard (and in some cases a skin hazard). The agency has formulated a straightforward series of rules governing the use of lasers. Following these rules will keep customers from being exposed to uncomfortable and potentially damaging levels of laser light while still allowing an impressive show to go on.

Managers of nightclubs and other venues should first know that lasers emitting less than 5 mW of light—called Class IIIa lasers by the CDRH—do not require any paperwork. Until recently, these Class IIIa lasers were not quite bright enough to satisfy all club patrons. But the recent introduction of low-cost, low-power YAG lasers that produce a lime-green color may change all that. Because the eye perceives YAG-green as much brighter than the red typically found in low-powered lasers, these Class IIIa YAGs allow club owners to bring truly attention-getting laser effects to their site without federal paperwork requirements.As with virtually any laser source, however, you should never shine even a 5 mW beam into the eyes of the audience. CDRH’s safety guidelines require these low-powered beams to remain at least 2.5 meters above the floor at all times to prevent eye exposure (higher-powered lasers must stay at least 3 meters above the floor).

Moving up to lasers above 5 mW, there are two documents that potential operators need to be aware of: a Variance and the Laser Light Show Report. The Laser Light Show report is more specific—it details how the laser installed at a venue complies with federal safety rules. Unless you are experienced with laser equipment, it’s best to let a professional Laser Safety Officer handle the paperwork" from: http://www.laserist.org/Laserist/Safety_7.html

The International Laser Display Association offers a great Laser Safety Officer course --"course is Laser Safety Officer (LSO) — Lasershows. It includes a 125-page laser light show safety reference manual, 250 PowerPoint slides, and an 85-page printout of the slides with room for notes next to each slide. The class lasts about eight hours; those who pass a test at the end will receive a Certificate of Completion." If you have any desire to learn about laser safety requirements and the knowledge to even be able to apply for a "Variance" for a laser show for whatever use. see: https://www.ilda.com/LSOcourse.htm

"Making sure you purchase a "Legal" laser for use in the United States is the single most important thing you can do when buying a laser. Why? The FDA has strict guidelines for lasers in the US. If not used properly, they can cause permanent damage, distract planes, and cause you a lot of headaches and more importantly cost you a lot of money. In fact, the FDA can fine up to $1500 per day for using an illegal laser and actually fine up to a year previously if desired (up to $355,000 in fines), per laser infraction. Obviously keeping you safe is the most important thing for us as a company, but also making sure you know your rights and staying knowledgeable is just as important. By reading and watching the videos below, this will give you some great knowledge of lasers and their rules, and also keep you out of trouble. " from: https://www.ellumiglow.com/what-is-a-legal-laser

If you want to play around with a small legal laser show projector with an output of 5mW or less which are legal without a variance you can try it. Be aware that even then 5mW or less can cause eye damage under certain circumstances and if anyone is harmed it is your fault and liability see: https://www.lasersafetyfacts.com/3R/

For a comprehensive look at laser safety, best web site is : https://www.laserpointersafety.com/
 
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divan

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Exactly lasers are not a option for many reasons. Safety is the primary concern legally and every other which way. What he wants to do would not be safe or legal, in USA at least, laser use.

Divan:
Your daydream/imagined use lacks and or ignores any/all consideration or comprehension of laser safety in particular eye safety which is the most ...
First of all, thank you for such an elaborate answer. While I'm fully aware (or at least I thought so) about danger lasers >5 mW pose to the eyes, I didn't fully realized that my second idea (laser on the ceiling) is not safe at all. (to my defence, that was a quick follow up idea I didn't thought through properly and wrote in the last moment – I'm mostly thinking about portable gadget).

Second, yes, you're guessed it right in the last paragraphs – I'm at the moment exploring the feasibility of this idea, and first want to build something for myself for real-world testing. I'm absolutely not thinking about powerful lasers, and my hope is that it's possible with <1mW lasers. I don't know however how visible they are, and what power is needed to melt the ice (something I need to avoid).

Another great point here is the reflections of the laser from the ice. I guess that'll need some research and testing, but ice on the ice rinks is typically not that smooth – definitely far from the mirror-like level reflectivity. It's typically transparent for a couple of inches and white color comes from the paint underneath, which is just a paint and scatters light pretty well. Or it's full of micro and macro scratches and snow particles. The highest level of reflection I guess is during first 10 minutes after ice resufracing, when it contains layer of water on top.

So, now my question reduces to feasibility of having a portable gadget one may place on the ice (on tripod or, ideally, just few inches above the surface), and have a low-power laser (<5mW for sure) draw the circle of adjustable radius. In the ideal implementation I would love it be as small as a hockey puck. It should be safe, visible enough, and do not melt the ice.
 

Unown (WILD)

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You still aren't getting it. It. Won't. Work. You couldn't do it with a multiwatt laser either (which would torch your eyes in less than a second). What you want to do is not possible. Take the hint

EDIT: Did you say ideally just a few inches above the surface? How is anyone supposed to see anything? I'm starting to think this isn't about ice skating at all...
 
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divan

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You still aren't getting it. It. Won't. Work. You couldn't do it with a multiwatt laser either (which would torch your eyes in less than a second). What you want to do is not possible. Take the hint

EDIT: Did you say ideally just a few inches above the surface? How is anyone supposed to see anything? I'm starting to think this isn't about ice skating at all...
I'm getting that you're keep saying "it won't work". If you can elaborate on your answer, that would be great.

About "few inches" – yes I want this to be as small (pocket-sized) as possible Requirement for carrying around 1.5m tripod is killing the whole idea probably. My assumption that there'll be some practical height from which circle will be visible enough (again, ice rink ice is not mirror-like, it scatters light quite well) – something I believe can only be figured out by real-world testing.
 

RedCowboy

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Is it a usual thing on this forum to tell "it won't work" or "smh" without even bothering to explain?

Oh my....as an engineering associate here at AYSFQYGDT I'm most concerned with your opinion of our organization and I will attempt to help you and If your dissatisfied with the service you can request a refund of your payment.
How much are you paying for our technical assistance with your project ?

Please take a look at our FAQ while you're here.

[FAQ]
* How long have you been helping people with inane concepts ? Seems like forever.
* What does AYSFQTGDT stand for ? It's an acryonym for (((( ASK YOUR STUPID FUCKING QUESTION YOU GOD DAM TROLL ))))
* How can I get a refund ? You have already received far more than your nonsense question was worth, GoodBye.
 

divan

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"won't work", "smh", "stupid fucking question" and no one can even explain what they mean – great answers, kids, thank you.
 

RedCowboy

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Have you ever pointed a laser at an ice cube to make a circle pattern? A slab of ice is not a very good surface to project upon, it semi transparent and it " glows " which is my non technical term for what I see and drowns out the shape you are trying to make.

Maybe if you added some colorant to the water before freezing it, but you would still have all the other issues, safety being a big concern......if you could come up with a colorant that would work well with a 1mw laser it would still be a distractant for skaters, have you ever seen those Christmas yard lasers ? You know the red and green deal with the rotating diffraction gratings, they zap me in the eyes when I walk to my mailbox.......at a rave everyone is seeing shit from chemical enhancement anyway but while ice skating having lasers flashed into your eyes is no good.

Maybe if you could use an ( EYE SAFE ) low power invisible laser that reacted with an additive in the ice such as GITD powders react with 405nm and present at the surface without unwanted glow, I don't know what that would be but maybe research that angle and experiment.
 
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Unown (WILD)

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You'd still have to turn the lights off to see any projection and having anything a few inches off of the ground will not project onto an entire area and especially not hockey puck size. No rather this guy would call us kids rather than use common sense.
 

divan

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Now we're talking. Thanks @RedCowboy for your thoughts, but can we please stop focusing on the ice question? You definitely picture something different in mind and I spent too many words explaining the purpose of the gadget, but still didn't communicate it well enough. You also probably picture some crystal transparent ice from the shutterstock images, but, believe me, most of the real ice surface is so far from that and scatters light pretty well, so let's just skip this aspect of question.

(Actually, that's a valid point and I'm going to make photos/videos of how laser pointer looks like on the real world ice rinks under different angles. Suggestion to do so without insults would be sufficient. ;) ).

Given that, I guess my question is mostly about feasibility of making something like this – small (h = 10, 20 cm? – the lower the better, probably adjustable) device, that draws circle/shapes around itself. What's the tech available here to explore – motorized mirrors? diffraction gratings? (I'm a noob at this, so I'm asking a favor to guide me into right direction what method to explore first). What''s the most likely value of h here (if it's more than 20cm, it's probably impractical, don't know).

Grey is an ice surface, blue/white – the gadget, green is the laser beam and shape.

IMG_B2939BFE5EA9-1.jpeg

No rather this guy would call us kids rather than use common sense.
I'm so sorry for making you cry.

will not project onto an entire area
There is clearly misunderstanding here. Please take a look at the sketch above.

And thank you everyone who tries to help for your time, really, I appreciate it.
 




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