- Sep 4, 2020
Maybe we should do a large contest to help bring people into the forum again
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...
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.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.
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.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
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
I could argue that simply being alive is a dangerous activity. lol.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.