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Touch Based Switch Ideas.

Hiemal

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Hey all.

Thinking about some interesting ideas for a new style of switch for lasers, but I have a few questions about it.

So I found this IC that allows you to basically create a switch based off of touch and proximity. Now the first thing that came to my mind is, how cool would it be to be able to touch a laser and have it automatically come on?

But then I started to think about the safety implications. No one wants to touch a laser and have it turn on right into their eyes, or anyone around them.

Maybe like, an extra safety lockout switch or something built in? I.E. have to flip a smaller switch before the touch sensitivity bit activates? The proximity thing is also pretty neat too but not sure what it could be used for.

I was thinking about a double tap thing but the only problem would be the IC would have a hard time distinguishing between your fingers and your entire hand. I don't think it would work.


Please feel free to talk about this below with any ideas in mind.
 



Alaskan

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For myself, I'd be afraid of a touch switch, even normal switches are a concern for me if I accidentally push one when carrying a pointer. If you had two switches that would help, but I'm still thinking it's going to be just that much easier for an accident. However, pointers with a TTL input would be of interest to me.

Edit: I had to come back and write more, there is an application where I'd like touch switches, that's with multiple R,G,B laser pointers. If I had a touch switch for each color it would make switching between colors much easier than having to press buttons, but I'd never have that built into any pointer without a second off switch, perhaps a keyed switch would be even more important then, or even better, a coded lock would be in order. I've been looking for a tri-switch where they are all built into one switch, just toggle one of three sides, each 120 degrees apart, and turn on a different color, or press the center for all three, no luck finding one yet.
 
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Alaskan

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Yea, it's too easy to make a mistake, I'm afraid to say.
 

joeyss

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Yea, it's too easy to make a mistake, I'm afraid to say.

When i was new to lasers i didn't know that red light was IR in a cheap green laser that had a loose switch. Worst thing is it came on when i was trying to fix it. I shook it and bam next thing there was a needle point beam of green. It was one of those stupid green lasers that had an extra thin beam.

5 years later I hardly notice the spot. I just don't want it to happen to others as they may not be so lucky. That's why this idea scares me.
 

Pi R Squared

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Why do people point it in their eyes when it doesn't turn on? I guess to see if it's really not puting out any light at all or not. I wouldn't look down the barrel of a gun if it failed to fire. Maybe a flashlight. I bet this type of accident happens frequently. Twice I have had a laser turn on when screwing the tail cap on for the first time, now I am very careful when screwing the tail cap on, I bet there have been victims of this type of accident too.

Quack you have me thinking about this now. Forget the touch switch, how about a touch screen control. More suited to a lab laser than a hand held. Maybe a small touch screen like on our smaller phones. You could use a Raspberry Pi for this, there are small touch screens available for the Raspberry Pi. You could do endless things with that, you could make it so you have to login with a username and password to use the laser, it can connect to the Internet or directly to another computer or device, it can be controlled remotely by computer or with an app, it could record video of the laser when in use. The possibilities are endless.

Quack you keep thinking about this nonsense you keep coming up with. +rep for your overactive imagination. We will make a mad scientist out of you yet.

Alan
 

joeyss

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Why do people point it in their eyes when it doesn't turn on? I guess to see if it's really not puting out any light at all or not. I wouldn't look down the barrel of a gun if it failed to fire. Maybe a flashlight. I bet this type of accident happens frequently. Twice I have had a laser turn on when screwing the tail cap on for the first time, now I am very careful when screwing the tail cap on, I bet there have been victims of this type of accident too.

Quack you have me thinking about this now. Forget the touch switch, how about a touch screen control. More suited to a lab laser than a hand held. Maybe a small touch screen like on our smaller phones. You could use a Raspberry Pi for this, there are small touch screens available for the Raspberry Pi. You could do endless things with that, you could make it so you have to login with a username and password to use the laser, it can connect to the Internet or directly to another computer or device, it can be controlled remotely by computer or with an app, it could record video of the laser when in use. The possibilities are endless.

Quack you keep thinking about this nonsense you keep coming up with. +rep for your overactive imagination. We will make a mad scientist out of you yet.

Alan

at the time.
I thought green lasers were diode based and that the red was just the driver glowing. Maybe if i would of learned that you can see 800nm and human vision dosen't cut off at 700nm like they teach in school. Anyway it was a wake up call and I got off lucky. It wasn't pointed at my eyes until I shook it. I as looking in on the red with a angle, but I moved it and it swiped my one eye. Since then i treat all lasers like loaded BB guns. If something is funny with the laser I can test it on my lab psu with it being pointed away from me.
 

djQUAN

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Touch switches could be helpful when turning the laser on/off when on a tripod so it doesn't shift as you don't need a lot of force.

Besides the problems mentioned such as turning on accidentally, I would think having a touch switch would also mean there would be a parasitic draw keeping the touch sensor circuit in standby mode waiting for a touch signal.

It could probably work where there is a hard switch or keyswitch to arm the laser (with an LED indicator) and the beam is turned on or off via touch.
 

Alaskan

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My Jetlaser has a row of red LED's which indicate when the tail switch is depressed in the on position, then you know if you touch the on-off or momentary button it will fire. That's a good thing to have with any two switch laser.
 

Hiemal

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Thank you all for the ideas/advice...
I was thinking this may be a cool idea as an add on; where you can basically continue to use the laser host and switch set you already have, but instead of the laser pointer turning on when you flip the mechanical switch, it'd be touch based. It adds the layer of security that prevents accidental eye burns.

And maybe I could figure out how to somehow add a sound effect to it. Like a little "beep" or small constant sound to let people know it's ready to be turned on by touch.


Maybe that's what the proximity thing could be used for. When your hand gets close it could beep at you to let you know "Hey, I'm armed, be careful!".

Shouldn't even need a microcontroller for any of it either.
 




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