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Self-Defense ~ Bear with me for a moment!

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I'll admit that when I first got into lasers I wanted a laser gun. But the more I learned the more responsible I had become. When you learn how lasers are in reality that helps you to determine what it can really do and how it interacts with the environment and the people in it.

Very humbling experience if you're smart enough to take heed of the lessons involved and you'll learn a ton of other skills in the process :)

You're right, it could have gone badly, and usually this topic does. I think the key to discussing it is to really to try to keep the discussion strictly about the technology, and avoid any discussion about usage. By "usage", I mean any discussion or speculation about what types of personal defense situations one may find themselves in, how they would use the technology and how effective it would be. In truth, almost all of the discussions about usage that I have read on this topic are pure speculation. I have found very few posts dealing with usage that are based on a persons first hand experience in a real situation.

I think that this is a topic a lot of us think about, and I think it's an important one.
Speculation about how, when and why it would be used is not relevant here. This is primarily a forum about the science, technology and engineering of lasers. If we can stick to discussing data and technical information about this topic, I think we begin to have more informative discussions and avoid the pitfalls of a taboo subject.

~Crash
 
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VisibleGreen ~

You know it's interesting that you mention responsibility, and the importance of learning lessons in your last post. I've only been working with lasers for a few years now, and I am still an amateur in many ways. That said, I started this hobby with a very healthy respect for safety. I think it was a combination of having a lot of experience with firearms, and being old enough, mature enough to do the research on laser hazards and safety, and taking them very seriously.

In the few years that I have been working with lasers, starting with a 1w 445 and going up and up from there, I have never made a mistake or had a close call when it comes to safety. THAT SAID, I was at a community Thanksgiving event today and I was talking with a young lady about physics, turns out she has recently become interested in lasers. It just so happened that I had a 3w 445 in my bag, and what a treat it would be for her to see such a powerful laser for her first laser experience. I explained a few things to her about safety, and how the laser was built. I found a safe corner of the room with matte black curtains, and I showed her how it worked. She flipped out, she was amazed to say the least.

Fast forward ahead a bit, people were leaving and she had already gone. I had my 3w on the table where I was sitting chatting with someone. I made this laser myself an built a special push-button switch on the tailcap that has a "lock-out' safety that is very simple to use. It's basically a a very finely threaded tailcap, and a switch that needs a certain amount of pressure pushing the spring down to operate. So the safety is simple, a couple of screws to the left and it's locked-out. I do this as a reflex at this point. Somehow, and I don't exactly know how, I didn't do it. I moved something that pressed into the switch and the laser fired right across the room. Somehow it managed to miss everyone in the crowded room. Thanks god!

The point I am making I suppose is that lasers are dangerous and even with a perfect safety record, and a constant concern for safety, it's never 100%. I very nearly blinded someone permanently today. The beam was a bit de-focused so it was easily a face width. A 3w even at a 6 inch rectangle would have done serious and permanent damage at 10 or 15 feet.

Needless to say it was very humbling, and a stark reminder of just how serious we all need to be about safety, and going forward, as lasers get more and more powerful, that we all need to treat this hobby with the necessary respect that it demands.

~ Crash
 
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Quite right, there isn't a person on this planet that can escape accidents every time. It's going to happen one way or another.
It's why a lot of members on here will go "overboard" with safety and reminding people about it because we are prone to these mistakes.
A good counter measure is to have a collection of low power versions of your high powered lasers. That way you can show how they work and greatly diminish the damage of a possible accident.
So instead of using the 3w 445 use a 5mw 445. I've seen a lot of guys say that they have no use for such a powerful laser since it can be so dangerous especially just for demonstration purposes.
 

Alaskan

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A+ advice. I'm afraid of lasers, even some of the lower power ones and I want to keep it that way, I treat them like I would a gun.
 

MrBland

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Interesting and enjoyable posts. I have lethal and non-lethal self defense tools and had been curious myself about the potential lasers had as a self-defense tool. I had read a couple years ago about Dazzlers and had been intrigued; after reading through the information provided in this thread though I can see just how difficult/impossible effective as well as safe usage would be.

For me what tips it is, I would want to use a Dazzler to deter/slowdown a would be attacker without causing permanent damage. Trying to adjust the focus of a laser to be effective but still non-damaging on the fly would be unrealistic, better to just use a flashlight like someone else suggested. Perhaps a more complex device that could detect range and auto adjust.... that would be a lot of effort for something that could be done easier with a different device though.

Well thanks for creating this thread, it answered some nagging questions that had been in the back of my mind!
 

hakzaw1

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@OP
did not see yr join date==just 18 posts and none in welcome section--my bad-nobody wants to do an intro so long after joining=
hope you never HAVE to use any of your protection devices-- better to be ready than dead..hk

BUT putting USA as your location may make a difference in how we try to help =--just sayin, hak
 
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@OP
did not see yr join date==just 18 posts and none in welcome section--my bad-nobody wants to do an intro so long after joining=
hope you never HAVE to use any of your protection devices-- better to be ready than dead..hk

BUT putting USA as your location may make a difference in how we try to help =--just sayin, hak

I took your advice and updated my profile, I hadn't even thought about that fact that my info was hard to take seriously...thanks for the heads-up!
 
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Thought you guys might be interested in my latest obsession. I'm looking to
build my own LRAD (Long Range Acoustical Device). I have no idea where to even
begin, nor do I have much experience with sound waves. I'm thinking it's principally
similar to working lasers, just with different hardware? Of course, I could be completely
wrong and way out of my element...but I'm going to give it shot anyway~
 

hakzaw1

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Thought you guys might be interested in my latest obsession. I'm looking to
build my own LRAD (Long Range Acoustical Device). I have no idea where to even
begin, nor do I have much experience with sound waves. I'm thinking it's principally
similar to working lasers, just with different hardware? Of course, I could be completely
wrong and way out of my element...but I'm going to give it shot anyway~
IIRC I read about some sound creating device that can cause one to lose his lunch-- combined with glaring laser dazzler would REALLY get a bad guys attention--
 
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It's called an LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) and while they are physical very different processes and equipment, in terms of physics and mathematics they are very similar to lasers. Here's a link to the leading company making LRAD's.

LRAD Corporation
 

hakzaw1

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cm--
have you read about the RED LED lights some members are making from the red out of a projector- SO hot you cant run it very long and aimed & close to paper it with catch fire.
THAT would make a good self-defence tool and get me in less trouble that using my green laser-- ==

''DTR" sells the LEDs for these at Scamazon and Greedbay== but PM him rather that buy those places- no reason whatsoever to allow a big bite from them==Screw PooPal.
 
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I would imagine a laser to be a terrible home defense or self defense weapon/tool. I don't consider myself an expert in the subject but I know my two higher power lasers I have to enter a "Code" of sorts to even turn it on... Not exactly something I would want to be fumbling with in a life or death scenario.

I spent long enough in the military to know that the only sure way to stop an intruder is with a firearm. I'm not going to take a chance on stun guns, lasers or pepper spray if my home is being broken into or if I am being threatened. Just my humble opinion on the matter.

In all seriousness if you know anything about self defense or follow it like I do you know that wounding an aggressor is a terrible idea. Not only does it give the potential for them to continue their assault but it opens you up to all sorts of legal trouble.

If your life is in danger you shoot to kill, always. They taught us very plainly in the Marine Corps that there is no such thing as warning shots or shooting to wound.
 
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"Uncontested"

All of your points are valid, no question about it. As a Marine you are undoubtedly skilled with firearms and more importantly, you're emotional response in a life threatening situation would be far better than even the most avid sport shooter. I don't have any military training at all, but I do have an enormous amount of experience with firearms, and a variety of less-than-lethal weapons. That said, in a real life or death situation, I don't think I would be in complete control of myself, my heart rate and blood pressure would go through the roof, I would likely be shaking, sweating, who knows what else.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but even with all of my firearms, and unusual collection of less-than-lethal weapons, I still feel like a 2w -3w beam
with a decent spread, say 5' wide at a distance of 25' would be an ideal solution in that fuzzy grey area when you're not entirely convinced yet that deadly force is warranted. You know how effective military dazzlers like the Glare Mount are, I believe that even if someone had a weapon drawn, someone like me would have a better chance of survival if I could easily incapacitate the person giving me a variety of options. If I faced a person with a weapon drawn, the chances of me using a firearm effectively would very slim. The laser has the potential to be almost 100%.

But I digress....I am just thinking out loud here. I still can't argue with anything that you said. And until we have actual data and experience, we will never be able to do much more than speculate about a lasers effectiveness.

~ crash
 




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