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reverno

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Having been here over 3 months I've learnt a lot but never actually owned anything better than a 1mW red. I would like to own a reasonable power green (between 100-200mW). The issue I've come to face is my parents outright refused me when I asked to purchase one from O-like, their reasons being the following:

1) "I don't trust the company"

I offered to show them reviews of the company as a whole they refused still

2) "Someone was arrested for pointing them at planes recently"

I'm not stupid, we live in a high air traffic area I have no desire to point it into the sky locally, due to this.

3) "It's dangerous"

What isn't these days. I've read all about safety and told them I'm willing to buy a few pairs of safety goggles so we have them around should someone want to come and watch me use it. We have pets I don't intend to blind any of them so I would make sure they would be well out of the way before using it.

Another argument my mother made: What's the point

(Here's a little exchange we had earlier)
Mother: "What's the point"
Me: "It's a hobby"
Mother: "No it's not"
Me: "Then why do people collect rocks as a hobby?"
Mother: "To learn about the history of them and the properties"
Me: "Exactly, with lasers you learn about the science"
Mother: "We're not talking about this anymore don't bring it up again"

So here I am left with a few months of decent knowledge under my belt and unable to practice it.

The question I pose to you is: Are they being unfair?

Some facts

The money is my own
I'm 13 turning 14 in February

Your decision if they are or not, I'll probably show them this thread eventually but at the minute my mother is refusing to talk about it and in my eyes is being unreasonable.
 

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Having been here over 3 months I've learnt a lot but never actually owned anything better than a 1mW red. I would like to own a reasonable power green (between 100-200mW). The issue I've come to face is my parents outright refused me when I asked to purchase one from O-like, their reasons being the following:

1) "I don't trust the company"

I offered to show them reviews of the company as a whole they refused still

2) "Someone was arrested for pointing them at planes recently"

I'm not stupid, we live in a high air traffic area I have no desire to point it into the sky locally, due to this.

3) "It's dangerous"

What isn't these days. I've read all about safety and told them I'm willing to buy a few pairs of safety goggles so we have them around should someone want to come and watch me use it. We have pets I don't intend to blind any of them so I would make sure they would be well out of the way before using it.

Another argument my mother made: What's the point

(Here's a little exchange we had earlier)
Mother: "What's the point"
Me: "It's a hobby"
Mother: "No it's not"
Me: "Then why do people collect rocks as a hobby?"
Mother: "To learn about the history of them and the properties"
Me: "Exactly, with lasers you learn about the science"
Mother: "We're not talking about this anymore don't bring it up again"

So here I am left with a few months of decent knowledge under my belt and unable to practice it.

The question I pose to you is: Are they being unfair?

Some facts

The money is my own
I'm 13 turning 14 in February

Your decision if they are or not, I'll probably show them this thread eventually but at the minute my mother is refusing to talk about it and in my eyes is being unreasonable.
Hi reverno,
No, they are not being unfair.
They know what is best for you period.
It may seem unfair to you, but if someone gets hurt or if anything illegal happens with a laser you own, your parents are the ones that are held criminally and civilly liable for it.
If you happen to blind or harm someones vision or if you hand the pointer to a buddy and he hurts someone, then it's your parents who can be sued in court. Or if you or one of your friends just happens to point at a plane, or other vehicle, then it's your parents who could end up in prison.

A 100mw pointer is very dangerous, it can blind someone's eye faster than the human eye's blink reflex can react.

You're only 14, just wait a few years and you'll be of legal age and can buy whatever you want and you'll be the only person responsible for your actions.
 

DJNY

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I say, start with 5mW green laser. After my first 1mW red keychain experiences many years ago I bought a 5mW greenie at AMAZON and had a lot of fun with it till it broke (~3months).

Buy a quality power certified one with low IR output. I would suggest you this one:
Optotronics Product Details


You would be able to see the beam at night and with a little bit of fog/steam/smog the brightness would increase a lot.


Always remember, also at this power, don´t shine it on people/traffic/planes (...)


Hope I could help you a bit!
 
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I have a couple of perspectives:

From a parenting perspective, they're your parents. They're pretty much able to be as unfair as they want. Also, we're only getting YOUR side of the story. I'm not suggesting you're skewing the details, but they probably have their reasons that you may or may not know, or may or may not allude to here.

On the flip side, I would hope that a parent might be more open minded to considering the idea and research offered, etc.

But the reality is that some parents just don't want to put up with the added "stress" of worrying about you burning out your own eye(s) or dealing with the consequences of your actions still being a minor. It's easier to just say no, than it would be to constantly be worried that you're acting responsibly. And if not you, it's a toy that one of your friends could get a hold of, and that's where mistakes happen.

And it's VERY easy to say "Well I wouldn't let my friends use it" but we ALL know that eventually, down the road once you become more than comfortable with the laser, you would and that's where mistakes happen.

Also, when they might already have a preconceived notion about what lasers are, what they're for, etc... We (you) can't control that.

On top of ALL of that: You live in their house (I'm assuming) and while you say it's your money, where is it ACTUALLY coming from? Well, let's say you have a job and it is your money. Even if it is, because they control their domain, they get to dictate the rules however they wish and as long as you're a member there, you have to adhere to those rules. Fair or not.

*shrugs*

I used to be a kid too man. Sometimes it sucks, but sometimes I look back after wards and when you finally reach an age where you can use all parts of your brain evenly... it'll make sense. :)


Oh, and DJNY, he's from England. 5mw is mW too high... :(
 
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reverno

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Edit: This post is directed at DJNY and Bootleg2go

Did you guys even read my post? I said I have no desire to point it into the sky, what I did forget to mention is I have no friends who I would even trust to hold my phone let alone a laser. All you've done is looked at my post found an age and deduced that because of that I must be an immature kiddo who wants to point at vehicles. As stated in the post I also mentioned getting a few pairs of safety glasses so people can have them if necessary be it friends or family.

I don't mean to come across as rude or defensive but, while I realise you are my superiors here, I really don't think you've considered the post at all.
 

DJNY

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I read your post. My advice I gave is the same I would give a 73year old person who never had a laser higher than 1mW in his/her hand.
 
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**Edit**
Sorry reverno - I posted this before seeing whom your post was directed at
**/Edit**

I think what you're failing to miss is that we *HAVE* read your post.

As far as I'm concerned, your age has nothing to do with it, it's all about maturity.

I'm sorry, but I feel like you were hoping to come in here and get people to back you up and when we didn't, you get defensive about it. I know because I would probably do the same thing.

At what point did any one of us mention that you were going to be immature with it, point it into the sky, or at cars? You're the one that came up with that deduction all on your own. You're putting words into our mouths. (Metaphorically speaking)

So before you start accusing us of being narrow minded and not agreeing with you that we think your parents are being unfair, perhaps it's you who should go back and re-read OUR posts and really try and comprehend what it is we're suggesting.
 
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reverno

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Or if you or one of your friends just happens to point at a plane, or other vehicle, then it's your parents who could end up in prison.
Always remember, also at this power, don´t shine it on people/traffic/planes (...)
While not directly stated it feels implied, but then again I have no idea what you were truly trying to say (just a friendly tip or a "don't do this because I have a feeling you might")

I wasn't hoping for a lot of backup what I was hoping for is some mixed views from experienced people and you have given me that Enigma, DJNY and Bootleg2go just posted one view you on the other hand went a step further and pointed out the potential learning experience.
 
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Fair enough. I totally see both sides, but I don't think anything was said suggesting you would do the above. I see it more as a "Hey, be aware in case you didn't know" type thing.

But then I'm usually biased into believing people have mostly good intentions :)
 

AAlasers

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I for one have gone under the identical circumstances with my parents quite some time ago. I started with low powers and worked my way up.

What the other replies are saying is completely reasonable. Yes you are almost 14 and you are not of legal age to hold legal responsibility of your actions, accidental or not. I don't think that you are not responsible enough to own a laser of significant power. Some of your friends may not be. Even if you are careful, and your friends are mature, accidents happen. Even if they don't, there is that constant legal worry your parents will have. I had to gain my parents trust with lasers. I suggest that you do the same.
However, I believe that they are being closed minded about the matter. I agree that you should start with a lower power. I started with a 20mw green with up to that amount of IR. Even that was pushing it. I hit myself in the eye several times due to carelessness. Now I have gained some reverence for the power of lasers and the necessity of eyes.

Your parents likely do not understand the Physics behind behind lasers, as my parents once did not. A laser may be able to damage your eyes at close range, but if it the beam is several inches wide, the atmosphere is absorbing it, and it is moving erratically due to the unsteadiness of most peoples hands, than it is nearly impossible it will damage over any significant distances. Consider this as an argument when talking about lasers. start at lower powers. Work your way up and gain their trust. Get some safety glasses. Explain that you know how to use them, even offer to make a list of regulation you will abide by. All these things will help convince your parents.

You must also consider that lasers are highly regulated in your country, and even owning one can get you or your parents a hefty fine.

Sorry if this was confusing, I am sleep deprived. Please consider what I have said.

-AAlasers
 

JaiNobeZ

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I'm mainly agreeing with AAlasers.

Buuut...
100mW? Why that? How'd you pick that value? And green, why that? How'd you choose that?
A 100mW green is not going to be a very friendly first laser. You'll barely be able to use it comfortably indoors without goggles and outdoors you'll have to be really careful because it'll be going on further than you can see. Get something cheap, low-powered and that'll help you decide whether it's worth you investing more and that'll help your parents gain trust.

What else...?
Parents are totally unreasonable a huge amount of the time. 18 in a matter of weeks and until a few years ago they were still making me get the haircut of their choosing *sigh*. We have to put up with them. Soon as they stop listening, that's when they're being infair IMO.

@AAlasers, enigmahack: London, England (if i'm correct). 5mW is not too much. As far as i understand it there is a health-and-safety restriction against the sale of >1mW pointers within the country, but imports are fine.
 
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@AAlasers, enigmahack: London, England (if i'm correct). 5mW is not too much. As far as i understand it there is a health-and-safety restriction against the sale of >1mW pointers within the country, but imports are fine.
Ahh, great - thanks for the clarification. I was a little blurry with the 1mW vs 5mW border in England, but that makes sense :)
 

Ash

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reverno:
Have you proven to your parents that you are a responsible person?
Have you given them any reasons to think that you may accidentally injure yourself or others?
Have you shown carelessness with other dangerous things?
Do you have passing marks in school?
Do you have a job?
Will you bring this laser to school?
Are you responsible enough to purchase (and use) safety glasses when using your laser?
Do you know about the hazards of IR (infrared) radiation that may be a component of the green laser light that is emitted from a DPSS laser?
Have you ever owned anything that can cause irreversible injury (or eye damage) in a split-second?
Do you own a BB-gun?
Have you ever fired a real gun?
Do you trust that your parents to know what is best for you?
and finally:
Have you ever owned (or used) a laser >1mW before?
:thinking:
 

aryntha

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reverno -- I don't think you know how fast the time will go by. At 14, the time until you're 18 seems like forever.

But once you hit it, you'll go "wow, when did that happen" :)

I know parents often don't "get it" when their kids are into something that thay aren't into or don't understand. It can seem overwhelming.

If you want to dismiss the notion that they're just trying to be protective of you (I know it seems like they're just not getting it) -- if you want to put that aside: understand that they're liable for anything that happens, not you.

If something "unthinkable" happens, perhaps not even by your own doing, it's them that'll be on the hook, not you.

That said, of course, when I was a kid, (and today -- in relationships :) ) I never liked the "This discussion is over" line.

Another thing to consider. How would you feel if you were on a forum and a 9 year old was asking about a 100mW laser? Some kid you didn't know, someone you hadn't met before. Would you recommend the 9 year old's parents allow them to have the laser?

But what it comes down to is, we've ALL been kids, and we've ALL had to deal with this. Part of the whole "going through life" process is having parents do something that you consider unfair.

I don't mean to make light of it really. And consider that your parents may well let you have a laser before you're 18 or so.. But if LPF is still around when you're 18 (I sure think it will be.. there are folks who have been here that long) -- or, before then; come back around and we'll talk about this again... I bet you'll realize this wasn't a big deal in the end.

Remember, they can't tell you "never", they can just tell you "not now".
 

reverno

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reverno:
Have you proven to your parents that you are a responsible person? Yes
Have you given them any reasons to think that you may accidentally injure yourself or others? No
Have you shown carelessness with other dangerous things? No
Do you have passing marks in school? Yes
Do you have a job? No I earn my money by doing housework
Will you bring this laser to school? No would be pointless as it would be confiscated if a teacher saw it, someone had a flashlight confiscated once
Are you responsible enough to purchase (and use) safety glasses when using your laser? Yes
Do you know about the hazards of IR (infrared) radiation that may be a component of the green laser light that is emitted from a DPSS laser? I know about IR but don't have a full understanding I'm still reading into some things. (I wasn't planning on purchasing a laser till at least mid february anyway as I'm still learning new things)
Have you ever owned anything that can cause irreversible injury (or eye damage) in a split-second? Not that I can remember
Do you own a BB-gun? No, had no real need for one as none of my friends have owned them either really
Have you ever fired a real gun? Several times
Do you trust that your parents to know what is best for you? Most of the time but they refuse to even listen
and finally:
Have you ever owned (or used) a laser >1mW before? No
:thinking:
100mW? Why that? How'd you pick that value? And green, why that? How'd you choose that?
A 100mW green is not going to be a very friendly first laser. You'll barely be able to use it comfortably indoors without goggles and outdoors you'll have to be really careful because it'll be going on further than you can see. Get something cheap, low-powered and that'll help you decide whether it's worth you investing more and that'll help your parents gain trust.
I decided on around 100mW as a base value as it's a good price and I was planning on ordering from O-like but they have no 100mW transformable green which seem to be their better units so I expanded my search slightly to 150mW which wasnt that much cheaper than the 200mW unit so I was looking between 100-200mW, green because I struggled to find a 445 that wasn't 1W or higher no idea why maybe I'm missing something here, I wasn't totally happy to go with violet or red because they are less visible and I didn't want to be using something I struggled to see.

Also thanks for the response AAlaser I like what you said and have decided I'll probably do what you said, only problem now is they refuse to talk about lasers at all and won't even discuss lower powers anyway.
 
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aryntha

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Heh, reverno, all I can say is back at 24 years old, about 8 years ago now :p I was afraid of my 50mW green... I had a big time scare with a reflection off of my guitar in my room.

Interestingly related story - when I was around 13, (back in the late 80s heh) -- we had a science fair of sorts at my school. My project involved polarized light and a 0.5mW HeNe pointer run off of two 9v batteries. (Yeah. Half a mW!)... The principal of my school confiscated it, kicked my project out, and sent me home with disciplinary action for having something "so dangerous" in school.

No matter what I did to make him understand that 0.5mW wasn't going to hurt anyone, he wouldn't listen. I ended up having to give in, and use a halogen flashlight instead.

... I'm still bitter about losing a HeNe battery operated pointer. As you can likely see by browsing the forums here, those things are very rare. It's probably STILL in some drawer at that school.

Though even though he didn't "get it" in my mind at the time - he likely had his reasons, and it was up to him to run the school.

So really, I do remember feeling this exact same way... Thing is, now, I have more lasers than I ever thought I would.

It does get better.
 




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