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What is the most powerful laser I can get?

CurtisOliver

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No problem. That is what we are here for. Everyone here has a passion for lasers, and we don't want to see accidents caused by them. Yes, a true 5W would of caused a bit of a shock.
 

diachi

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Alright, I'll take your advice into consideration. I'm probably going to start with 800mW or lower to start off. I might get a 1W, but from the things that I've read on this thread, I'm nowhere near prepared for a laser more powerful than 1W. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. I have the money to invest and I was prepared to buy safety goggles, a tripod to hold the laser steady, and barriers if needed, as well. But I think I'm going to just go with a 1W or less for now.

Tripod is a great idea, lots of folk on here use tripods with small spring loaded clamps (Kinda like a hair clip) to hold their lasers. Definitely would still get that, and appropriate laser safety glasses from Survival Lasers are a must. Wouldn't be the first time someones had an injury or close call from a laser rolling off of a table or being dropped while on... At 1W, reflections off of a regular pane of glass are still enough to potentially cause eye damage, you need to be careful around anything that's even a little reflective at those powers. Diffuse reflections are enough to cause eye damage close up.

As for beam stops, still worth having at even 1W output power. I usually use a black anodized heatsink but have also used an empty computer case, chunks of 2x6 (if you don't mind burning scorching it) or a brick/ceramic tile. Generally things that won't burn/melt are a good idea.

Just 1W of 445nm is still incredibly bright, just looking at the dot on a wall 20ft away will leave you seeing spots for a good 10 minutes.
 
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GSS

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Thanks. I'm glad I found this forum, otherwise I could've gotten too much power without realizing just how much damage it could've caused.
What members are telling is just so true and hope your not agreeing just to not make any waves. They all most likely all started with low outputs and when I joined I was excited to break the 100mw mark in a green 532.
From there I went to a 1W blue and then to a 2W+. I just had to have that NUMB44 diode that I had set at a "comfy" 4A that puts out around 5.5W.
After about 5 uses it just scares the heck out of me and really just can't use it. "No where" as its blinding in the house and not so divergent that you can shoot it to the sky at night.
I'm back to playing with my 1W or 1.5W and still very powerful and scary.
Please take the advice as anything stronger will just end up being stored away.:):)
 

diachi

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What members are telling is just so true and hope your not agreeing just to not make any waves. They all most likely all started with low outputs and when I joined I was excited to break the 100mw mark in a green 532.
From there I went to a 1W blue and then to a 2W+. I just had to have that NUMB44 diode that I had set at a "comfy" 4A that puts out around 5.5W.
After about 5 uses it just scares the heck out of me and really just can't use it. "No where" as its blinding in the house and not so divergent that you can shoot it to the sky at night.
I'm back to playing with my 1W or 1.5W and still very powerful and scary.
Please take the advice as anything stronger will just end up being stored away.:):)
Back when I started 1W visible in a handheld was practically unheard of! Never mind 5W.

Most of us back then started with <100mW 532s or <400mW 650s. :beer:
 

CurtisOliver

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I just about remember those days. I came in just as the 1w blues were released.
 

Razako

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IMO you start having a real danger increase around 2 watts or more. At those power levels the beam gets very destructive in ways outside of causing eye damage. It will literally burn and ruin walls/furniture or any nearby object you point it at. If you let them beam touch your skin it will almost instantly hurt like hell and burn you if you don't move quickly. At 2W+ it will also easily set certain flammable items on fire.

At >5W things start getting a little crazy. The beam will burn the paint off metal objects, light lots of things including wood/cardboard on fire, and cause instant skin burns if you're not careful.

I've never owned a 7W+ NUBM44 build, but I'd imagine they're even more dangerous.
 
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CurtisOliver

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Yep, my NUBM44 burnt paint of my makeshift steel beam stop from over a meter away. Dangerous laser for sure.
 
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Hap

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There's no way in hec I would ever order a 7W 445nm laser, that's just waaaaaay too much power for me. The fact that you can't even point it at something for too long before it starts cutting through it and instantly burns your skin is in a way kinda terrifying. In my opinion, there comes a point where too much power becomes useless as a general "laser" since unless in a controlled environment it's not the duty cycle you need to worry about, it's the fact that everything will start burning :undecided:

-Alex
 

Encap

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I have no intention of misusing the laser by any means. I'm not an idiot. I planned on reading safety precautions to take in order to keep safe, as well as preventing any possible ways for other people to get a hold of the laser.
My age would be considered irrelevant if I know what I'm doing, wouldn't you think? I'm over the age of 21, so I'm not a minor who's stupid enough to get hurt by toying with powerful equipment in an inappropriate manner.
Alright, I'll take your advice into consideration. I'm probably going to start with 800mW or lower to start off. I might get a 1W, but from the things that I've read on this thread, I'm nowhere near prepared for a laser more powerful than 1W. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. I have the money to invest and I was prepared to buy safety goggles, a tripod to hold the laser steady, and barriers if needed, as well. But I think I'm going to just go with a 1W or less for now.
Sounds like you are off to a better start now. Get some experience before you jump 5W or above where eveything you do and don't do is that much more critical and dangerous safety wise. Even 1W is nothing to take chances with -- have a look/read at what happened to one LPF member with a 1W 445nm blue laser -- see this thread: http://laserpointerforums.com/f53/hit-eye-1000mw-445nm-blue-laser-69469.html

Knowing what you are doing with lasers is a matter of experience/doing with lasers and how they actually behave in the real world, not a matter of intellectual/only mental knowing type of thing although you need that part too. Like riding a bicycle or driving a car. What you don't know or have experience with can be dangerous.

Your initial questions suggested little knowledge/experience and/or young ---i.e. what is the most powerful I can get, asking about 20W, burning things etc. So I thought to ask a couple question and mention safety.

Have a look through the Laser Pointer Safety web site--is an excellent resource. Home page is here: Laser Pointer Safety - A comprehensive resource, for safe and responsible laser use
 
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dden4012

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I would start with collectiong the single modes colors. 405nm at 700mw will burn like hell. 450nm at 300mw is bright clean blue. 515nm at 100mw is a mint green and very bright. 638nm at 120mw I think is kind of a deep red and has a bright beautiful dot. I would say get them with 3 element lenses for excellent beam shape output. I use my single modes way more than my 4+ watters.
 
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IMO you start having a real danger increase around 2 watts or more. At those power levels the beam gets very destructive in ways outside of causing eye damage. It will literally burn and ruin walls/furniture or any nearby object you point it at. If you let them beam touch your skin it will almost instantly hurt like hell and burn you if you don't move quickly. At 2W+ it will also easily set certain flammable items on fire.

At >5W things start getting a little crazy. The beam will burn the paint off metal objects, light lots of things including wood/cardboard on fire, and cause instant skin burns if you're not careful.

I've never owned a 7W+ NUBM44 build, but I'd imagine they're even more dangerous.
3watts will even light white paper and cardboard. Make sure you have baking soda and distilled water. I'd get a few boxes of baking soda to add to your safety stuff. Baking soda puts out fire by breaking down into water and co2 and sodium carbonate. The Co2 takes the air away and the water cools the fire.
 

diachi

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Ok so I lied. I should have said "I think its kind of a deep red." :gj:

I was just pointing out that on it's own it looks very red, but next to 650nm which is a much deeper red it looks rather orange. You're not really wrong as it's all a little subjective anyway. :p
 




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