LPF Site Supporter
- May 9, 2011
I also grew up in the boonies-the Sierra. I was taught respect and gun safety from an early age-never point at any one at any time, keep the safety on-don't shoot at rocks-etc. I was plinking with a single shot 22 at age 11 with 22 shorts. Then it was clean the rifle. I had a hill to shoot into. Many cans and pinecones met their fate!
I treat lasers the same way- although I've yet to zap any pinecones or cans.
Laser pointers are not kids toys. Originally, it was 1 mW 650 nm. Relatively lower hazard.
Only more recently have the crappy 532 nm taken off. Elsewhere I describe trying to buy an actual 1mW 532-and getting a way over spec pen-that makes my eyes ache just viewing the dot on a wall-not for presentations!
Solved that need with a 505 nm from Laserlands. Probably less than 5mW. It's a direct diode and the beam spot is larger than the DPSS 532-and of course no splatter of IR either.
From the manufacturer's point of view making a 532 DPSS laser that is reliably at or under 5mW is a pain in the neck requiring a more complex driver with APC feedback. That adds to the cost of manufacture as does the requirement for someone to adjust each pointer to the correct power. And often the darn things just aren't stable at very low power. Much simpler to just stick a generic bonded MCA in front of a 500mW diode and call it good. Nice and bright=positive customer feedback and it's dirt cheap to produce. I've paid less than a dollar a pop for poorly made pointers out of china in batches of 10. Most of them actually lased.