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Daedal

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AJ_Dual said:
[quote author=Greenie link=1187637828/0#1 date=1187638811]Well your parents are only looking out for you. I would do some research on lasers and safety with lasers then go to your parents with info in hand.

Show them that you can be responsible.
That will work.

Not. ;D

A parent will just see "whiny kid making up excuses" if you come to them with "research" etc.

There are two options open to you.

1. Wait until you have your own job and funds, and can buy what you want.

2. Develop an "interest" in electronics. Make Daedal's driver board and run a $4(U.S.) 5mW diode from eBay on it. Ask them to buy and order parts you need for "electronic projects". Even better, if you have a way to order or buy the parts yourself, just go and do it. Make sure the first few packages have safe/innocent contents, like harmless electronics kits when they want to see what's in the packages, or open them for you. Unless they're very suspicious and strict, they'll stop opening packages someday.

Bombard them with technical terminology (hopefully your parents aren't scientists, IT/IS workers, or Engineers...) about what you're doing, the non-high power laser projects you're building, and they'll get bored listening to you, and only give a glance at what you're doing do be sure it dosen't look dangerous. Go to www.dealextreme.com and ask them if you can spend your allowance or birthday money on the non-laser gadgets they sell there that you might like. There's plenty of flashights and gadgets that aren't lasers a kid would like there.

See if you can get your own PayPal account going, and can fund it from your own money.

Once you've got them used to you ordering electronic parts, gadgets, computer accessories, little fiddly things and wires etc. a bare laser diode assembly coming home in the mail one day won't look threatening, like a pen-pointer you could stick in your pocket and get in trouble with at school.

At a minimum even if you can't get a laser until you're older, you'll get a bunch of tools like a multimeter, soldering iron & gear, Dremel tool, hobby knives, mini-screwdrivers etc. that you'll still need when you're 18 and able to buy whatever you want. Maybe your parents will have bought those things for you, letting you spend your money on the lasers you want when they can't say no anymore.

Seriously though, a lot of us older guys don't have "parent trouble" with our hobbies, we've got "wife trouble" with our hobbies. ;D

Frankly, as a kid and a teenager at 16 years old, I leanred how to experiment with all sorts of things by simply not asking. I went to the local electronic surplus shop, bought a Helium-Neon laser tube, and made my first laser without asking anybody. :)

For dealing with parents (and spouses) here are the rules.

1. Ease them into it. Work up to what you want little by little. Get them used to seeing you do related things that aren't objectionable.

2. Say as little as possible. THINK before you go talking to your parents, bragging "THERES THESE COOL LASERS ON THE INTERNET THAT CAN BURN STUFF!", then a week later come back saying "Um, gee... Mom? Can I, um, like buy one of those lasers?" ::)

3. When you have to say something about what you're doing, think carefully, and tell as much of the truth as you can.[/quote]

Ok... this is a very nice post, and a very bad post. First of all... I admire your diligence and how much attention you paid to the details. But I think you forgot a few things. This parent-fooling guide is... well... pretty mean... :-/ I don't really think I'd want my kid looking at that and thinking of ways to fool me into things. I believe I am smarter than that and a trust relationship should be built between parents and kids.

As about the spouse... now, that is a different story... here's what I do. I cook a nice meal and shave. I listen to her and then take her to buy a pair of shoes. Then I go buy the laser... none the wiser! ;D

I'm sorry to hear about your situation LaserNoob, but trust me when I say this. Your parents care about you, and they love you very much no matter what. You will understand it eventually when you have a kid of your own. When you think "they don't let me do anything", think of how they think of it. No parent would want their kid to be unhappy, but at the same time, no parent would want their kid to get harmed. I was 18 and my parents wouldn't let me go out and drive around. I had a car, but I couldn't use it as I pleased. Stupid? YES! Annoying? Of course! But honestly... I don't think I missed out on much. Although they never told me, the reason they did it is because my parents were worried that I would want to go joy-riding and get myself in dangerous situations. On the other hand... I never got in an accident, and am always the mature and careful one. I don't drive like an old lady either, I go to the track and have taken precision driving lessons. I can burn up rubber, screech the tires, do donuts, and take a 90 degree turn at 40 miles per hour without breaking a sweat. My parents taught me to earn my own trust. I wouldn't hold a 100mW, 150mW, or 200mW laser unless I personally know that I can be smart with it. It becomes a habit. In turn, I always had their trust.

I hope I didn't ramble on too much, but I strongly urge all kids and parents alike to build a trust relationship and share interest just like SenKat said. That is the best way to earn things. :)

GL;
DDL
 

Freyth

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I'd have to agree that fooling parents isn't the best thing but I guess its the only way if you're
21 and they're controlling whatever you do.
 

AJ_Dual

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Daedal said:
this is a very nice post, and a very bad post. First of all... I admire your diligence and how much attention you paid to the details. But I think you forgot a few things. This parent-fooling guide is... well... pretty mean...  :-/  I don't really think I'd want my kid looking at that and thinking of ways to fool me into things. I believe I am smarter than that and a trust relationship should be built between parents and kids.
(snip)...
I hope I didn't ramble on too much, but I strongly urge all kids and parents alike to build a trust relationship and share interest just like SenKat said. That is the best way to earn things. :)

GL;
DDL
There's a couple of issues at work here.

My sarcastic and cavalier tone was at least partly in jest, in response to the humor of the situation. I hope that came across somewhat.

Perhaps I'm riding a fine line here, but I was very careful to not advocate direct lying. There certainly are "lies of omission", but there I draw a line too. But I hardly think it's actively fooling your parents either. It's one thing to say you're buying a flashlight from DX, then order a laser, but it's also another if your parent asks the difference between a 50mW laser and a 5mW one, and asks why it costs more, and you simply say "Because it's brighter, and you can actually see the beam in the air" instead of "I WANNA LIGHT MATCHES! YARRRRR!".

It's also the responsibility of parents to exercise due diligence, and take an interest in what their children are doing. Life is short, and I had no patience for those who would give me a knee-jerk reaction to say "No." merely because they were too lazy to take an interest in what I wanted to do. If you've got a parent who says "No. But let's look into a reasonable alternative!" or "Yes. But I get to keep it locked up, and you can only use it with my supervision." that has my complete support.

I didn't lie, or make a secret of what I was doing once I had started doing whatever it was. My parents never told me "Don't make a carbon-arc furnace out of bricks, curtain rods, terra cotta flower pots from an plans in an educational book for kids from the 1950's." but I wasn't dumb enough to ask them if I could either.  Once they saw what I was doing, and it worked, they were okay with it, if not a little impressed.

The problem is that the touchy-feely, "Get your parents involved" advice only works with parents who are already people like us on this board, or similar, like HAM radio enthusiasts, pilots, scientists, or computer geeks themselves. Many of us have the opposite problem, our children are more likely to be interested in partying, video games or sneaking booze, instead of sneaking laser diodes. The reality is lots of parents will be at work, busy or devoted to other siblings, or want you to just shut up and go away because the game is on etc.

Perhaps I was too independent as a teen, but it was not acceptable to not be able to do anything, simply because the person in charge was too busy or too ignorant to understand what I was doing. I rarely defied my parents, but I didn't hamstring myself by asking permission for every last thing I did either.
 
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I'm only 15, but my parents luckily don't care what I make or spend my money on, as long as I don't hurt myself and others. I make sparkler bombs and other explosives and to satisfy my parents, detonate them remotely with (my own hand made) electronic igniters. I buy high powered laser parts, they don't care as long as I obey that good ole laser rule "don't point it at anything living".

I would go for being honest and straightforward, something like 'i wanna buy this, heres what it can do, heres why it is safe (ish), heres why i can be safe with it, i can pay for it myself'

On the other hand, my dad's a techie so my family are used to me building stuff. ma dad seems pretty interested in these actually (senkat lasers i building)
geez cant wait for magic 20 post
 

Daedal

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I hope you didn't take me the wrong way AJ, I never meant to attack you. I was just stating a neutral opinion. :-/

--DDL
 

AJ_Dual

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Daedal said:
I hope you didn't take me the wrong way AJ, I never meant to attack you. I was just stating a neutral opinion.  :-/

--DDL
No, just refining my position by bouncing off yours. ;)

No problem here.
 

LaserNoob

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My parents just telling me that its a total waste of money since they think im going to become tired of it after like a day. So, don't you guys ever get bored of them? I really like how the beam looks with that collimator lens or whatever it is. I really want one! I can just pop a baloon with my dx 30, I want to get leather smoking and stuff :-/
 

AJ_Dual

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LaserNoob said:
My parents just telling me that its a total waste of money since they think im going to become tired of it after like a day. So, don't you guys ever get bored of them? I really like how the beam looks with that collimator lens or whatever it is. I really want one! I can just pop a baloon with my dx 30, I want to get leather smoking and stuff  :-/
Well in a way, it is a waste of money. In the same way a boat is a waste of money when you don't live on an island, or make your living as a fisherman. Or if you own a motorcycle when you've got a car, (and like here in Milwaukee, it's winter half the year...) There is a point where the pleasure and enjoyment you get from something gets taken into consideration. Otherwise we'd all still live in huts with a matress on a floor, own seven changes of clothing and a toothbrush and nothing else...

So I'll go back to my first post, push the electronics angle. The pen-pointers are a finished consumer good. Mucking with circuits and components and wires looks "educational" to a parent. (and indeed, it realy is) And if you've looked in any electronics catalog, many of the components you need are mere pennies each.

How can your parents possibly deny you a diode that costs just 25 cents?  :)

Are you in the United States? The super cheap made-in-China hardware store chain called "Harbor Freight' has electronic multi-meters for $4!

Build Daedal's driver circuit, and power a $4.00 5mW diode off of it. Show your folks what you built. Ask and scrounge around with your friends, and family, small computer shops etc. for a dead PC's or DVD burners, or maybe you'll see a DVD Burner on super cheap close-out at the electronics section of a big-box retailer for less than $20.

And in a few weeks once you come across a free or cheap burner, remove it's diode and place it in the 5mW housing. Work out some heat-sinking, and now you've got your burner!

Or take it a step further, get one of the LED flashlights recomended in the Modify-Experiment forum and mount the diode on that.  Be careful, obviously. Show your parent's what the laser can do. Ask them to buy you some safety goggles from Wicked Lasers for $30.

I can sympathize with a parent unwilling to spend their money on a high-powered green laser their kid might get bored with after a day or two. However, OTOH would a good parent deny their child safety equipment? And if I learned my kid went and built his own laser, maybe buying him a ready-made green one won't seem so silly after that...

You need to approach this problem from different angles. It's not about lying or sneaking. It's all in the approach. You need to present things so your parents come to the conclusions you want them to make on their own.

As a kid, I wanted a bb gun. I asked for one six months earlier and was denied with all the usual reasons you'd expect would be given. Several of my friends had them. Did I go back whining that all my friends had them? No. That would be expected, and such whining would probably further gaurantee I'd never get one, just to punish me for whining.

Instead, I sort of engineered it so on a few occasions my parents (well, my Dad mainly, gotta think strategically here...) overheard my friends talking about their bb guns. I didn't speak up complaining about how I didn't have one, or complain about my parents, I didn't give my parent's a sad or longing look, I didn't say anything. I just let them hear, that's all.

One month later at my birthday, bb gun.  :) And I wound up getting an expensive one that was better than any of my friends.

It's old, but hasn't anyone under the age of 21 ever heard the saying" "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."?  :-?
 
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I'm gonna guess they are not so concerned with its danger as much as the mere expense when there are so many other issues and expenses you could spend your money on.
They see it as a waste.

You will have to admit to them its not a good investment, but neither are boats, new cars, and most things, but are still bought because of the entertainment factor.
A large screen TV is a bad investment too... as is a computer........

Convince them you try to honor them and try to stay out of trouble and do "good" hobbies rather than hang out with the druggies etc.

Tell them you will do extra stuff around the house to win brownie points or even money, like yard work etc so they will get something out of the deal.

Sometimes parents feel they give their kids so much and they don't appreciate the sacrifice they make to make their little world go around and when they finally get a little money they just want to blow it.... you will have to let them know you will work above and beyond normal to pay for it, so that there will be no real money lost and explain to them that getting nice toys is good incentive to work harder for the future.

If you want cool toys, you must work for college, etc otherwise you just survive.
Tell them you are learning how to do more than just survive.

Hope some of that helps.. but the more you can see the world through their eyes, the more likely you will make a connection.

I don't know how well you take care of your other toys, but that too will carry some weight.
 

LaserNoob

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When I tell em that I will pay for it and that I will be safe with it but they just say "It's not about that, it's something else" ...Ok so Im 15 years old in december 14 and that tells me that I can get it at my birthday....But I can't wait so long! I can get mini smoke from my dx 30 but the thing is I want a x65 with lens or something to make smoke ;) I think it looks so cool. Im asking them like 200-300 times each day if I can get one ;D I hope they change their minds soon.
 

solar00

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Sad to hear this,

Last week i showed my X85 to my mother when she was visiting us and she was a little scared of it.
I'm sure that if i asked for one (when i was your age) she would never let me have one (she also had problems with the chemistry experiments I wanted to do in the garage back then)
Complaining 300 times a day worked for me in a lot of situations, but sometimes it only make things worse.

Hopefully your parents will agree to buy a laser but I know it can be hard sometimes to convince them you will be using it safely.
 

Daedal

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LaserNoob said:
My parents just telling me that its a total waste of money since they think im going to become tired of it after like a day. So, don't you guys ever get bored of them? I really like how the beam looks with that collimator lens or whatever it is. I really want one! I can just pop a baloon with my dx 30, I want to get leather smoking and stuff :-/
2 years ago I bought my first green laser... It was expensive! It was COOL... and not cool because someone told me so, or because I'm motivated by the experiences of others, but because I personally found it cool. The idea, the way it works, the beam, the light... everything. I still find it cool when I shine my green laser and stare at the beam... it never gets old.

Point is... everyone around me told me it would be a "waste of money". I didn't listen and went along with it... and here I am today. I'm not bored, and I didn't get enough. There's still much to learn and more to try.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... you need to figure that out on your own. If you personally think you want to pop balloons because you saw it on a WL video, then you just fell for their marketing scam. But if you honestly appreciate what lasers are and like them for them... then you'll never consider it a "waste".

--DDL
 

Daedal

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LaserNoob said:
When I tell em that I will pay for it and that I will be safe with it but they just say "It's not about that, it's something else" ...Ok so Im 15 years old in december 14 and that tells me that I can get it at my birthday....But I can't wait so long! I can get mini smoke from my dx 30 but the thing is I want a x65 with lens or something to make smoke ;) I think it looks so cool. Im asking them like 200-300 times each day if I can get one ;D I hope they change their minds soon.
Don't be too fooled by that thought... Today you think an X65 is all you need... once you have it... you'll start thinking of the huge leap an X105 would make! Measure before you leap. Such is the laser hobby... so close, yet so far, is the right power for me... ;D

--DDL
 

eggsy

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i have a similar problem with my parents. they know im interested in them tho, ive pulled apart on old dvd diode (but i killed it -.- ) and they didnt mind me taking stuff apart, despite being 2 weeks from yearly exams. but still they wont even buy me anything to do with lasers from the internet, my dad says "i wont buy that for you" so i thought, ill buy it for myself! haha. i got myself a prepaid credit card which is available for minors and this has gotten around the parent problem. im planning to get an x-65 myself but i would show it off to them straight away. i think the main concern that my parents have, particularly with my dad, is that he thinks ill get in trouble with people/cops if i mess around. i think its a legit concern (but naturally id never imagine getting in trouble with these things ::) ) so i understand where hes coming from.
 

CRFultz

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From a parent's perspective, show me your interested and more important...dedicated to it and I'll support you.
I have and will support my daughter on any learning quest as long has she shows that she responsible and willing to do the legwork (research).
Get the electronic bug and incorporate the optics...they might get on board.
 

Orr3

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Haha my parents didn't want me to buy a laser because they thought it was like one of those lasers from movies. They said they where scared that I would burn up the curtains or other fabrics.

Just said that it wasen't possible with a 75mW laser and then I got to buy it with my own money! :)
 




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