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Why are all the good posts so old?

Unown (WILD)

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Maybe we should do a large contest to help bring people into the forum again
 



RA_pierce

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My assessment is that there's less building and more collecting going on these days.
The forum started as a community of DIY enthusiasts that would build what they could from whatever was on hand or at the hardware store.
We built stuff, shared our projects, collected data, and even had a swap-box circulating for some time.
Some of the members that contributed most have moved on and the original sense of community left with them.

If we want to revitalize the community, we should engage in discussions with the people that DIY when they arrive, and encourage more of it. I don't spend a lot of time here these days but I drop in and usually will leave a positive remark in a thread when a new member shows up (or a not-so-new member) to post about a recent project, however simplistic or crude it may be.
It's the enthusiasm and sense of discovery and accomplishment that made the forum fun in the early days, so that's what we have to nurture.
We have more cool stuff available than ever, so there's not excuse not to do fun stuff with it and report back.

Here are some ideas:
Take divergence measurements with your new 561 nm laser at long distances outside on the farm (take photos).
Use some spare diodes to build a tiny laser into a wristwatch (instead of letting the components collect dust).
Make a DIY spectrometer from a diffraction grating and household junk and measure all your lasers (I did this recently).
Most importantly: comment, ask questions (no, the "like" button isn't good enough), and don't insult others for being naive or inexperienced.

It's telling that the most active thread on the forum is not even remotely related to lasers...
 
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bulukaki

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My assessment is that there's less building and more collecting going on these days.
The forum started as a community of DIY enthusiasts that would build what they could from whatever was on hand or at the hardware store.
We built stuff, shared our projects, collected data, and even had a swap-box circulating for some time.
Some of the members that contributed most have moved on and the original sense of community left with them.

If we want to revitalize the community, we should engage in discussions with the people that DIY when they arrive, and encourage more of it. I don't spend a lot of time here these days but I drop in and usually will leave a positive remark in a thread when a new member shows up (or a not-so-new member) to post about a recent project, however simplistic or crude it may be.
It's the enthusiasm and sense of discovery and accomplishment that made the forum fun in the early days, so that's what we have to nurture.
We have more cool stuff available than ever, so there's not excuse not to do fun stuff with it and report back.

Here are some ideas:
Take divergence measurements with your new 561 nm laser at long distances outside on the farm (take photos).
Use some spare diodes to build a tiny laser into a wristwatch (instead of letting the components collect dust).
Make a DIY spectrometer from a diffraction grating and household junk and measure all your lasers (I did this recently).
Most importantly: comment, ask questions (no, the "like" button isn't good enough), and don't insult others for being naive or inexperienced.

It's telling that the most active thread on the forum is not even remotely related to lasers...

Thank you very much. Honestly I'm struggling to learn electronics, and sometimes I feel intimidated seeing highly technical posts on the forum. That makes me think twice before posting.

Like, I have this idea for a laser build, or something I want to share or ask. Is it worth posting on the forum? Will it just result in 'quit your daydream' or 'do your research/study first' responses?

I know it's hard to discern lazy people and trolls from people who are genuinely interested in lasers with little to no background knowledge. Perhaps a bit more patience and a bit less skepticism could help.

It's also quite a hassle to upload pictures, I have to downsize pictures on my photoshop before being able to attach the pics...

On a side note, this forum is undoubtedly an invaluable knowledge base for all things laser.
 

gazer101

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Also lasers are an expensive (and comparatively useless) hobby... its normal for there to be less people engaged in it compared to say lock picking or drone flying
 

Unown (WILD)

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I didn't want to say much about it but there were certain points in time with huge amounts of drama. The rep system for one. Feel free to join the discord. It can be discussed there more openly.
LPF has been around a long time. Since 2006 I believe? A lot of good posts are still relevant surprisingly but yeah I think a lot of sticky threads are severely outdated.
 
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This, I think is also part of the reason people have dropped off. Its the 'More power, who cares about beam specs' in lasers. Chasing a more powerful laser beam.

I have seen quite a few come on here, interested in lasers, only to say something like this 'I have just learned about lasers and I want a 40w CO2 handheld laser to burn stuff and point at things, how do I build it'.

Then they wonder why they feel no one helps them.

IMHO, nothing beats a super fine beam, no matter what the power.
If you haven't seen an opsl or 40mw HeNe, even some of the argons, I hope you change your mind when you do.

Most of the new laser diodes have trash specs for pointers and are made with projectors in mind so they sacrifice on beam specs.

I guess I've seen some really trashy Chinese RGB projectors and realize how much the quality suffers with those "fat" beams.

I saw a small mixed gas with a PCAOM at SELEM a few years ago in the gas room. I have never seen such a perfect projector for color and images.
well yeah i need more power in a fat beam. ever seen 5mw 5 inch beam? naw me either, cause its almost impossible. its like trying to light a plane landing with candles on the landing gear. I care less about divergence, I correct for all that. When I'm not making pens, I like giant thick beams flying through smoke lighting up giant fluorescing items as they flash to the beat of the music. Burning stuff with a tight beam, yeah I'm cool with my cnc doing that. Optics fix any problems in the beam that I may have a problem with. Pens are cool, But fat beams are where it's at for me. Fatter the better, and I love how a nubm044 fans with out corrective optics. Send it through some projector lens, and a few mirror before though, and you get some wicked effect!!! If life is a bowl of poop, use that to fertilize the crops.
 
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Also lasers are an expensive (and comparatively useless) hobby... its normal for there to be less people engaged in it compared to say lock picking or drone flying
Lasers do cost way to much for what you get. A super flash light that can blind you instantly. Then you think, they stack a stack no larger than the period on the end of this sentence to make that awesome brightness, using tiny arse gold wires to power the layers. Well good sir, I'm F n hooked, Sciencing since I was wee to an amoeba. My dad though I was weird when was a boy, because I asked for more slides for my microscope or a pipette or something like that for xmas. lol. He was proud of me for finding a job and making my own money so young. I had to, he always bought me rc cars and stuff that I had to tear apart ( getting in trouble), to make my projects. I had to work to buy my science fun, he never understood that. lol.




You gotta get these people in to science, or the lasers will all fade out to LED....... the day, the.... lasers died. I started singing bye, bye oh coherent light, rode my bike to the radio shack, but it was closed, an walmart don't sell regulated lab grade power supplies, the day, the lasers, died.
 
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Ears and Eggs

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Also lasers are an expensive (and comparatively useless) hobby... its normal for there to be less people engaged in it compared to say lock picking or drone flying


A lot of collecting hobbies are very expensive and could be considered "comparatively useless" by that definition though. Coins, rocks, stamps, trading cards, etc. I also collect Pokémon cards and Anime figures/memorabilia as well as lasers. If anything the pandemic has boosted interest in a lot of those collecting hobbies.


The only major difference there is that lasers are inherently dangerous and heavily regulated compared to those other items. Which seems to be the real hindering factor.
 
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A lot of collecting hobbies are very expensive and could be considered "comparatively useless" by that definition though. Coins, rocks, stamps, trading cards, etc. I also collect Pokémon cards and Anime figures/memorabilia as well as lasers. If anything the pandemic has boosted interest in a lot of those collecting hobbies.


The only major difference there is that lasers are inherently dangerous and heavily regulated compared to those other items. Which seems to be the real hindering factor.
I could argue that simply being alive is a dangerous activity. lol. ;)
 

Ears and Eggs

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icecruncher

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lasers are one of the most influential technologies ever created. Also unique in that it is truly man made, not occurring in nature. I don't know that I would call it useless.

I spent 30 years as a top locksmith, now retired/disabled. not sure which is more fun. :)
 

gazer101

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Obviously lasers are not useless but there are many hobbies out there that provide (compared to lasers) much more fun and day-to-day utility at a lower price

Yes the danger aspect does hinder laser participation too, but if not for that the above still remains. I think most collecting hobbies without lore (like Pokemon) or history behind them (like collecting stamps or something) tend to have less participation compared to those that do
 




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