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newbie allert...hello all

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You should build a DIY laser with your son.
He will be hooked :cool:

Check out the link in my signatue, and you will find virtually everything you need to know about building DIY lasers... ;)
 

Krutz

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welcome aboard, lazergurl!

its good you found your way here, much knowledge can be found here, and there are many smart people just waiting to answer any possible question you have (on lasers, at least)! :)

[i first saw your first message in the other topic, before i found this here!]
this particulary topic here is a bit over your "regular laser-toy". in fact the laser discussed here is so dangerous, it would easily melt/scorch many things, including cardboard, cd-cases, skin and eyes!
i think a regular laser(-pointer) is just perfect for first experimentation. the outputpower is what counts, you want something in between 1 and 5 mw, and whatever happens, nothing over 20mw. 5mw is fine, no matter what people (sellers?) tell you! :)
your "he-ne" laser is a good point to start too!
there are green laserpointers available as well by now. they are a bit more expensive, but much fun too! people here will surely suggest an affordable safe green pointer.

the perhaps more important thing about lasers (after safety! this is the absolute first thing to consider, people damaged their eyes irreparably already!) is what to do with it. shining a dot around gets boring after some time..
some classic experiments are, for example, the "spirograph" and the "liquid sky". it will keep your son a good while off the computer, is doable (perhaps with a bit help), and he will learn a lot! :)

some topics here, scroll through them and stop at the pics, it may be a bit much to read for the beginning ;-)
http://www.laserpointerforums.com/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1236542171
http://www.laserpointerforums.com/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1227337183
http://www.laserpointerforums.com/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1224028223
http://www.laserpointerforums.com/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1236316279


lasers are a great hobby, if done with common sense. it can be dangerous, but the risks are not hard to deal with, if one uses his head actually. it can be a quite expensive hobby too, in the long term, not even talking about timeconsuming, but its worth every penny and minute! i bet others will agree here ;-)

you perhaps knew much of what i wrote already, but hey, you never know who else may find this useful! :)


you are very welcome to hang around here, read through some topics, ask questions, and, show us "the other side": with many hobbyists here, but not many "parents all new to the topic, exploring with their kids" :)

so far for a "short" reply, will write more, in any direction you like!

manuel
 

Lotus_Darkrose

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There isn't a ton that can be experimented with lasers at an in-home level, usually. There's optics, data transmission, diffraction, component work, and such, which I'm sure she has knowledge on, or has access to the information. But honestly, do you think she will hold her son's attention with a 5mw cheapo pointer for that long? I think not, I know I'd be going right back to the Xbox 360 after 10 minutes of waving it in circles and making the cat chase it. She's going to want to build one with him since kids usually grasp and accept things better on a hands-on level. And what is the point in making your own laser pointer if it's 1-5mw? I'd use the cheapos to teach the basic functions. And then I'd help my son make a powerful handheld and get the right safety goggles, and drill in that *safety* lesson at a young age. If he knows that his laser is capable of really cool things, he will want to learn even more scientifically.

Just think of this scenario, Krutz. The kid is young. What is going to happen when he finds out his cheapo pointer can't pop balloons because it isn't powerful enough? He will want one that can. If you can make him understand the safety part, there is a lot more fun and learning to be had with a greater power laser.

Good luck with your son, lazergurl. I'm positive you are capable of getting your son to start experimenting with lasers on his own, making him appreciate science more.


"Science rules."
- Bill Nye the Science Guy
 

lasersbee

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Lotus_Darkrose said:
There isn't a ton that can be experimented with lasers at an in-home level, usually. There's optics, data transmission, diffraction, component work, and such, which I'm sure she has knowledge on, or has access to the information. But honestly, do you think she will hold her son's attention with a 5mw cheapo pointer for that long? I think not, I know I'd be going right back to the Xbox 360 after 10 minutes of waving it in circles and making the cat chase it. She's going to want to build one with him since kids usually grasp and accept things better on a hands-on level. And what is the point in making your own laser pointer if it's 1-5mw? I'd use the cheapos to teach the basic functions. And then I'd help my son make a powerful handheld and get the right safety goggles, and drill in that *safety* lesson at a young age. If he knows that his laser is capable of really cool things, he will want to learn even more scientifically.

Just think of this scenario, Krutz. The kid is young. What is going to happen when he finds out his cheapo pointer can't pop balloons because it isn't powerful enough? He will want one that can. If you can make him understand the safety part, there is a lot more fun and learning to be had with a greater power laser.

Good luck with your son, lazergurl. I'm positive you are capable of getting your son to start experimenting with lasers on his own, making him appreciate science more.


"Science rules."
- Bill Nye the Science Guy
Good Point..... Kids usually love stuff that is "dangerous"... and will pay more attention to that.. :cool:

I see you quoted one of my favorite science nerds.... ;)

Jerry
 

diachi

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Lotus_Darkrose said:
Heh, I grew up watching Bill Nye in school. That guy is awesome.

My god, how old is that thing :eek: we used to watch that in 1st year of high school which was like 4 years ago !

I hated it, preferred the hands on stuff :p

-Adam
 

lasersbee

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Diachi said:
[quote author=Lotus_Darkrose link=1238807111/0#20 date=1238850175]Heh, I grew up watching Bill Nye in school. That guy is awesome.

My god, how old is that thing  :eek: we used to watch that in 1st year of high school which was like 4 years ago !

I hated it, preferred the hands on stuff  :p

-Adam[/quote]

You were watching re-runs Adam...  ;D ;D
We saw the first runs and at the time there was not much better available than Bill Nye the Science Guy
I don't even think the internet was openly available to the masses at that time... :eek:

Jerry
 

daguin

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Cummon . . . . . It wasn't THAT long ago (grabs his walker to stand)

"The Science Guy" was on from 1993-1997

You want old?

How about "Watch Mr. Wizard"? (1951-1965)

"Look, Johnny -- It makes smoke!"
(Ya gotta love the tie though, doncha?)

Peace,
dave
 

lasersbee

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daguin said:
Cummon . . . . . It wasn't THAT long ago (grabs his walker to stand)

"The Science Guy" was on from 1993-1997

You want old?

How about "Watch Mr. Wizard"? (1951-1965)

"Look, Johnny -- It makes smoke!"
(Ya gotta love the tie though, doncha?)

Peace,
dave
Gee... Dave... ::)

that was so long ago... Mr. Wizard looks like he was doing Steam Experiments... ROFL.. ;D ;D ;D

(I crack myself up sometimes.... ;D ;D ;D ;D) Thanks Dave.... ;D ;D

Jerry
 
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HEY no fair I thought we were all part of the HE-MAN woman haters club   just kidding women run my life  :'( :'(

welcome to the forum
 

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lasersbee

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John Lawson said:
HEY no fair I thought we were all part of the HE-MAN woman hasters club   just kidding women run my life  :'( :'(

welcome to the forum
Come on John... you know you're whipped... ;D ;D

Jerry
 

Krutz

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you are right, lotus and jerry.
you cant hold 'em back of the fun things anyway, right?
normally, i am all up for freedom, with no exception. but, well.. 12 years old.. i "work" with lasers for a good while now, and dont feel too comfortable with multi-100mw lasers in arms length without my googles on.. for that, i would rather let kids play with razors, its more obviously dangerous and less permanently dangerous..

lazergurl, i would perhaps now rathzer suggest to read a bit more on lasers and their dangers, and make sure he understands it too. its easy to demonstrate too, focus any decent-powered laser to a point, and it will smoke things. sun doesnt (immediately) burn your skin, but burns your eyes. that laser is more intense than the sun. there was this thread about someone describing his injuries (two!) with his laser in detail, with pictures illustrating and all.. i'll post here when i find it.

and, speaking in general: you wouldnt believe how stupid and ignorant people can be, if you dont follow the news closely. and without knowing you or your son personally, i stay(ed) on the saver side.. :)

but, again: with some common sense it can turn out as a great hobby!

manuel
 

daguin

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John Lawson said:
HEY no fair I thought we were all part of the HE-MAN woman haters club   just kidding women run my life  :'( :'(

welcome to the forum

I was going to join, but Victoria wouldn't sign the permission slip :'(

Peace,
dave
 

lazergurl

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hello all again, you must stay up longer than me because when i got here this morning there were lots of messages. You all seem to kid each other a lot, that is funny :) It will take me some time to look at all the information you are showing me, and I will probably click around a bit to see what others are doing. I will get my son to read on some of the safety issues and ill try to quiz him a bit to see if he is learning anything ;) Thank you everyone for your help, he is a smart kid (smarter than some of his friends and he listens well) We are just trying to show him a bit more of the world. I have to figure out why the dot makes me go into a trance :eek: If he seems to loose interest then we will try something else, but this seems fun for now at least :)
 

lasersbee

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Well... I think you are getting extra responses because you are not a male.... ;D
But the responses are sincere just the same... Glad you like it here... ;)


Jerry
 

diachi

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lasersbee said:
[quote author=Diachi link=1238807111/0#21 date=1238854917][quote author=Lotus_Darkrose link=1238807111/0#20 date=1238850175]Heh, I grew up watching Bill Nye in school. That guy is awesome.

My god, how old is that thing  :eek: we used to watch that in 1st year of high school which was like 4 years ago !

I hated it, preferred the hands on stuff  :p

-Adam[/quote]

You were watching re-runs Adam...  ;D ;D
We saw the first runs and at the time there was not much better available than Bill Nye the Science Guy
I don't even think the internet was openly available to the masses at that time... :eek:

Jerry



[/quote]

They were certainly re-runs, I remember the teacher wheeling in the big CRT then lifting one of those, what are they called ...  ? VHS tapes up and sticking it in, and then the video would come on in all it's not so hi-def glory and start with " BILLY NYE THE SCIENCE GUY ! "

The Bill Nye videos were actually quite useful though, especially when your teachers experiments always go wrong  :-/  ::)


Anyway, back on topic. I think it's great that you are trying to get your kid interested in something , it's good to see parents  take an interest in their kids education, I hope your son learns loads !

-Adam
 




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