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Wall-hanging ultra-compact Liquid Sky projector idea

Stryker295

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So awhile back I was on here and picked up a 2w blue lazer from lazeerer (or is it lazereer?). It was very nice and I was very satisfied with it, until I mistakenly handed it to a friend. He put in two half-sized batteries thinking it would be twice as bright and turned it on before I realized what was going on and, of course, it instantly burned out xD So I moved on and was looking around at other lasers, picked up a small green unknown power one on amazon and was messing with fog machines, glycerin, mirrors, all sorts of things.

In the end, though, despite the nice fun of a cool 2 (or even 3) axis light show, my favorite thing to do was a simple liquid sky effect. Since I didn't have any diffraction gratings, but I had all the parts of a laser printer/copier, it was easiest to just use a hexagonal mirror mounted on a motor that was constantly spinning to create a scanline, then shine this through puffs of fog.

However, I've recently been working on lights stuff again and kinda had an idea in my head. What if you could create a small slide-on attachment for just about any small pocket laser that would instantly turn it into a compact liquid-sky effect that you could stick on the wall or in the corner to turn your ceiling into a liquid sky?

In my experience one ideal way to position lasers is above eye level, shining upward/out, as this keeps it away from everyone's face. So I thought, what if you stuck a laser pointer into the corner between two walls, with the beam pointing straight up at the ceiling, and then used a 45° mirror to bounce it out parallel to the ceiling, and a diffraction grating to spread it out!

Using the 45° mirror would let the laser pointer stay upright, thus making it compact and easy to hang off a thumb tack or something similar, sorta like the projector/mirror combo in this, but pointing up instead of down.

So yeah, just a kinda late-night ramble of something I might work on someday. I'd need to head to the hardware store and pick up a few inches of PVC or something to hold the parts, and I need a diffraction grating; I've got a disco ball already, so I'm set for mirrors for life ;P
 



Benm

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It might be a nice idea, but most 'pocket lasers' are not really suited for continous use, especially those that pack a bit of a punch.

Of course there are exceptions and some portable lasers are fine for continous operations, but they usually are as pocketable as a 4D maglite if the power output is over a watt or so.
 

Stryker295

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It might be a nice idea, but most 'pocket lasers' are not really suited for continous use, especially those that pack a bit of a punch.

Of course there are exceptions and some portable lasers are fine for continous operations, but they usually are as pocketable as a 4D maglite if the power output is over a watt or so.
Any suggestions for where to get a small 'pen' form-factor laser that could run continuously for a few hours?
 

Benm

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Not really if you want a decent amount of power.

If you are content with something like 50 mW red or violet output power building one would not be that difficult.

Realistically i'd ditch the whole pen idea though, and just get a decent thermal mount for a laser module. This way you can ramp up the power under continous operation quite a bit and have a solid platform to work with. Running something like a 200 mW red is no problem with just a proper module holder mounted on a metal backplate.
 

Stryker295

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Not really if you want a decent amount of power.

If you are content with something like 50 mW red or violet output power building one would not be that difficult.

Realistically i'd ditch the whole pen idea though, and just get a decent thermal mount for a laser module. This way you can ramp up the power under continous operation quite a bit and have a solid platform to work with. Running something like a 200 mW red is no problem with just a proper module holder mounted on a metal backplate.
Honestly the little 3mw red one I have is more than bright enough, and a 15mw green I picked up on Amazon ages ago was beyond bright enough... I'll just grab one of those again I guess, then.
 

Benm

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Oh, if you're okay with 3 mW of red there should be no concern at all.

Green might be different though: even if the output power is quite low, the electrical power consumption could be considerable (a 250 mW pump diode for a 5 to 15 mW green is not that uncommon). They will not destructively overheat quickly, but could drop (or raise!) in ouput power considerably when running hot.
 




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