Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers

LPF Donation via Stripe | LPF Donation - Other Methods

Links below open in new window

ArcticMyst Security by Avery

So, who does point at the sky? (or, what are your own rules? / The Rules of Lasing)

Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Messages
12,031
Points
113
I point into the night sky 4 to 5 times a week, but only for 2 minutes or less at a time and then shut it down. If I see or hear a plane, I don't do so, if someone is walking nearby or a car starts coming down my street off it goes. I never point at anything on the ground unless it is a mountain where no one is at, something in my own yard, or perhaps a tree top with a mountain behind it. A long time ago, I had been pointing just above a mountain peak for a few seconds and to my horror, saw lights from an airplane coming my way from that same direction, actually, that same spot, that was the last time I did that. When using a laser pointer with an expanded beam, such as most of my pointers have, the beam does not diverge nearly as much and would produce more light into a cockpit than a normal pointer, far more, making accidentally hitting an aircraft of even greater concern.

I believe someone very well may have thought I was a risk to purpsely point at aircraft, last year when I was pointing into the sky a helicopter kept showing up every now and then hovering at about 500 feet high just a quarter mile away. Every time I saw that helicopter I would stop using my laser. Maybe paranoia, but I suspect they were law enforcement baiting me to point at them, that isn't gonna happen! I believe one of the behaviors which keeps me out of trouble is how random I use my laser outside and the short duration, no one can predict what day, what time or how long I will use my laser.
 
Last edited:





Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
9,903
Points
113
Yes, that's what I was talking about with tree lines on the horizon. A plane can come over that tree line and you don't want to be anywhere near the top edge of it.

We all have to do our part to avoid bad press, and if there's a helicopter anywhere around you're right to keep your laser put away, I don't want to start hearing about people being arrested for pointing near aircraft, or distracting without targeting, that would be a disaster making all but indoor use illegal, so everyone use your head and avoid any disturbances to air traffic.

Thank you.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
279
Points
0
i've never point it at the sky... but at the mountain and from the top of the mountain to the vast ocean below...

Aren't reflections off the water a bit of a risk? I mean, I get that the ocean is usually pretty turbulent, and that'll help diffuse the beam, but still, with a high power laser that still sounds a little risky.
 

Benm

0
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
7,896
Points
113
My fear would be, among many other things, what if the drone lost radio and went rogue, flying towards a school yard or bus stop with it's laser on, god what about a sports arena full of people.

Well, obviously you should make it such that the laser turns off when control contact is lost. Most drones will have a some provision for that anyway, which also lands them softly instead of flying off into the sunset as long as the batteries last when radio control is lost.

As far as indoor laser use disturbing air traffic: The chances are probably minimal if you live on the ground. If you live in a highrise like i do it's a bit more tricky, it would be no problem to accidentily hit a helicopter through a window when messing about - altough these helicopters are so noise chances of ignoring them when closeby are limited. If it were a small (sail)plane it could easily happen.
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Messages
1,359
Points
0
I wouldn't test that theory. LOL

:crackup: the helicopter simply retaliate and point it's search light at me and fly off (gave me the oh Sh!t moment ).... the pilot only report colored light.... (RGB)....

Aren't reflections off the water a bit of a risk? I mean, I get that the ocean is usually pretty turbulent, and that'll help diffuse the beam, but still, with a high power laser that still sounds a little risky.
the beam didn't reflect of the water.... it just enters the water and 'bend'....
and fish like laser as well...
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
929
Points
83
BTW the guy who put a pistol then a flame thrower on a drone when it was legal now can't, it's now a felony for citizens to weaponize a drone, I wonder how loosely worded that law is, what if it has a sharp plastic edge?

What law is this? I can't seem to find it...

All I can find are proposals and suggestions, but no actual laws.
 
Joined
Nov 12, 2011
Messages
956
Points
43
I've waited for low clouds or rainy day to shine my laser or late at night when there's no air traffic. Otherwise I keep it below the horizon or indoors. Glasses on when burning of course. I have used my 405 for pointing at the jobsite. I explain to others how to be careful not to shoot other workers or in the sky. I reiterate the danger by lighting a cigarette and telling them what it will do to your eyes if mishandled. Then I put it away and hide the battery :-DDD. I also use it to mark my cordless tools
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2007
Messages
9,399
Points
113
If I can't see a plane's lights, it is either too far away or too obscured by various atmospheric conditions to be in any danger from my lasers.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2015
Messages
9,903
Points
113
Still you would not point in the direction of an aircraft, Right?
If it's cloudy or overcast and I can hear one overhead that I can't see, then I wait until it's gone, it's better to be safe and not take any chances isn't it?
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
14,125
Points
113
and apparently pointing a search light at it won't get you in trouble....

Yes, it actually will, and is also illegal. The difference is, flashlights capable of lighting up a plane are still relatively expensive, and larger vs $15 pointers off of ebay that fit in a pocket. They are also far less bothersome to a pilot/easier to ignore, and harder to even notice.
 

Benm

0
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
7,896
Points
113
If I can't see a plane's lights, it is either too far away or too obscured by various atmospheric conditions to be in any danger from my lasers.

In general that is true, as long as pilots actually turn them on when flying below 10.000 feet. Airplanes have numerous lights on them, some much brighter than others. The wingtip lights and standard forward lights are rather dim and usually cannot be seen from the ground unless flying at a very low altitude (say < 3000 feet or so, dependng on light pollution).

The landing lights on the other hand and VERY bright and easy to spot if a plane comes towards you - in clear skies you can see them for dozens of miles on big aircraft.

Downside is that using these lights is not mandatory, just recommended for landing, take-off and flying below 10.000 ft. I suppose a reasonable course of action for a pilot that is bothered by some directed light source on the ground would be to turn on the landing lights to become visible for the person operating that lightsource. This doesn't have to be a laser per se, searchlights are also a problem. Sometimes clubs use them to shine around in the air and actually bother aircraft if close to an airport.
 

Pman

0
Joined
Nov 28, 2012
Messages
4,447
Points
113
I don't point lasers into the sky because Rochester airport is only about 4 miles from my house. I rarely bring one outside unless I am pointing at the tree (main trunk) in my yard for a few pics. I don't think any close neighbor would think I am up to no good though.
 
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
3,438
Points
0
If I can't see a plane's lights, it is either too far away or too obscured by various atmospheric conditions to be in any danger from my lasers.

There are some planes flying at low altitude without navigation lights, I have seen some.

In general that is true, as long as pilots actually turn them on when flying below 10.000 feet. Airplanes have numerous lights on them, some much brighter than others. The wingtip lights and standard forward lights are rather dim and usually cannot be seen from the ground unless flying at a very low altitude (say < 3000 feet or so, dependng on light pollution).

The landing lights on the other hand and VERY bright and easy to spot if a plane comes towards you - in clear skies you can see them for dozens of miles on big aircraft.

Downside is that using these lights is not mandatory, just recommended for landing, take-off and flying below 10.000 ft. I suppose a reasonable course of action for a pilot that is bothered by some directed light source on the ground would be to turn on the landing lights to become visible for the person operating that lightsource. This doesn't have to be a laser per se, searchlights are also a problem. Sometimes clubs use them to shine around in the air and actually bother aircraft if close to an airport.

I thought that the navigation lights were required all the time in flight day or night, I am sure I read that somewhere but I could be wrong. As I said above there are certainly some aircraft flying without navigation lights, some of them fly below 1500 feet and that isn't legal, so that means government/law enforcement/military.

Though make sure it's not actually raining. Those drops can reflect the light back into your eyes.

I would also point out that you don't want a drop of rain on your lens, try not to get your lens dirty to where it requires cleaning, sometimes you can loose a lens if it needs cleaning.

Alan
 




Top