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Why do low mw IR lasers even exist?

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Okay to elaborate on that. I can kind of understand why someone might buy and 808nm laser above 500mw since to spectators the dot may look no brighter than 1mw 650nm laser but yet could light a match or pop a balloon with it etc. other than that what else? But what about a 200mw and 100mw 808nm, what can you do with them?

But what i really don't understand is a 980nm laser 50mw for $80 for example on warnlaser, i mean how can you even tell if it works? What can you do with this laser you paid $80 for, what is the difference between it and a laser that is broken?

But it gets better, dragonlasers have a 1342nm of 50mw for $319, so you hand over $319 for the laser, now what, just tell me what i can do with this 50mw invisible laser that was worth so much money?

:can:
 

webdev77

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I suppose you could use it as a flashlight if you get proper night vision gear. From what I understand, night vision binoculars use IR to illuminate the area for two camera lenses which you then can see your surroundings on the screen within the night vision binoculars. I have gotten to use a pair before, and they are really cool, but I'm not entirely sure if I am correct about how they work.

Unfortunately I am not going to drop $500+ on a military grade pair to test this out. I'm not even sure if you can legally trade or sell them, but I'm assuming it wouldn't be too hard to get a cheaper knock off pair.
 
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ARG

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There are not very many uses for them, but there are not very many real uses for visible wavelength handhelds either. Some people get it, some people don't. I'm sure there is a wavelength collector somewhere who would love to get 1342nm.

You can tell if they work with a camera, as they will pick up IR light, or with a LPM.
 
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I suppose you could use it as a flashlight if you get proper night vision gear. From what I understand, night vision binoculars use IR to illuminate the area for two camera lenses which you then can see your surroundings on the screen within the night vision binoculars. I have gotten to use a pair before, and they are really cool, but I'm not entirely sure if I am correct about how they work.

Unfortunately I am not going to drop $500+ on a military grade pair to test this out. I'm not even sure if you can legally trade or sell them, but I'm assuming it wouldn't be too hard to get a cheaper knock off pair.

You could do that, but you can get a 3000mw IR flashlight on ebay for $20 compared with paying over $300 for a 50mw IR laser.
 
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There are not very many uses for them, but there are not very many real uses for visible wavelength handhelds either. Some people get it, some people don't. I'm sure there is a wavelength collector somewhere who would love to get 1342nm.

You can tell if they work with a camera, as they will pick up IR light, or with a LPM.

I understand there may not be many "practical" uses for visible wavelength lasers, but there is many things you can do with them as you know yourself, but a low wattage IR laser, that's got me thinking.

Yes there probably is a collector out there who would go for that, but why? I can understand someone going for the 473nm even though is it expensive or the 594nm yellows.. but they are visibly different, a 1342nm and 1064nm are the same thing especially at 50mw.
 
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Heres an idea. Military wise, they could use mounted IR lasers on their guns and use NV goggles at night and spot out enemies without the enemy seeing their position. Given the enemy doesnt have a NV camera or goggles already...
 

Fiddy

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I love IR lasers, i use the all the time with my night vision gear, i just bought a 3watt 808nm diode to mount in a host :)
 

Meatball

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Keep in mind, some of the first laser diodes ever invented marked a huge step in semiconductor technology - but these first laser diodes were weak, IR, and couldn't even lase at all in room temperature.

Lasers, it turns out, are very useful. Whatever your needs, there is bound to be a wavelength that suits them. IR lasers especially are used in imaging processes, telecommunication networks (fiber launched internet), and the medical field (where the wavelength needed is dependent on the type of tissue you're working with for some purpose "x".

And guess what? To be useful in each of those industries, lasers don't really need to be much more powerful than 10mws. Imaging is a delicate science - why flood your camera sensors?

10mws of IR can travel over 10 miles down a data fiber before having to be repeated with an amplifier. And that for each of the 160 different wavelength laser beams that could be launched down the same fiber all at once. (It turns out that data fibers have the lowest losses in the IR spectrum).

And for treating skin conditions or providing whatever therapy to whatever human tissue, you don't always need to be burning something. ;)

That's what laserscopes are for.

Just because it doesn't look useful for someone like you, doesn't mean its not holy grail of components for some engineer.
 
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Keep in mind, some of the first laser diodes ever invented marked a huge step in semiconductor technology - but these first laser diodes were weak, IR, and couldn't even lase at all in room temperature.

Lasers, it turns out, are very useful. Whatever your needs, there is bound to be a wavelength that suits them. IR lasers especially are used in imaging processes, telecommunication networks (fiber launched internet), and the medical field (where the wavelength needed is dependent on the type of tissue you're working with for some purpose "x".

And guess what? To be useful in each of those industries, lasers don't really need to be much more powerful than 10mws. Imaging is a delicate science - why flood your camera sensors?

10mws of IR can travel over 10 miles down a data fiber before having to be repeated with an amplifier. And that for each of the 160 different wavelength laser beams that could be launched down the same fiber all at once. (It turns out that data fibers have the lowest losses in the IR spectrum).

And for treating skin conditions or providing whatever therapy to whatever human tissue, you don't always need to be burning something. ;)

That's what laserscopes are for.

Just because it doesn't look useful for someone like you, doesn't mean its not holy grail of components for some engineer.

Okay that was a comprehensive reply in relation to the uses for IR light, but all of those uses and applications are outside of what an IR laser can do. For example you can't treat skin conditions with a standard IR laser pointer and if an engineer has use for them wouldn't he just buy the diodes and not the complete laser for that much money. Anyway these people who have practical uses for them are so few and far between than laser websites wouldn't stock such lasers if sales were so small, it's means average people are buying them quiet often and i'd question how they can use them and get their money's worth out of them.
 
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I love IR lasers, i use the all the time with my night vision gear, i just bought a 3watt 808nm diode to mount in a host :)
In my opinion an 808nm of that wattage is as good as any laser.
What would you think of the 980nm's, deeper infrared so has an advantage but the 1064nm lasers? Much bigger price but how much difference?
 

Fiddy

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808 isnt invisible at all, but some night vision equipment use it, 980 is completely invisible and the good NV stuff use it, dunno about 1064 tho.
 
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Heres an idea. Military wise, they could use mounted IR lasers on their guns and use NV goggles at night and spot out enemies without the enemy seeing their position. Given the enemy doesnt have a NV camera or goggles already...
Definitely yeah, but that doesn't justify the "novelty" IR wavelengths like 1342nm that cost maybe double the price.

If you were using IR mounted on a gun wearing night vision gear, i assume the mw wouldn't need to exceed 100mw, even ~50mw to see a dot on a target, in that case 980nm would work instead of paying more for deeper infrared which is still invisible anyway, the divergance is poor on IR also >3.0mrad.
 

Fiddy

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If you get a single mode IR diode the divergence will be pretty good.
 

Meatball

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Okay that was a comprehensive reply in relation to the uses for IR light, but all of those uses and applications are outside of what an IR laser can do. For example you can't treat skin conditions with a standard IR laser pointer and if an engineer has use for them wouldn't he just buy the diodes and not the complete laser for that much money. Anyway these people who have practical uses for them are so few and far between than laser websites wouldn't stock such lasers if sales were so small, it's means average people are buying them quiet often and i'd question how they can use them and get their money's worth out of them.


Those are things that an IR laser can EXACTLY do. And that's far from a comprehensive list. Doctors don't use "pointers", they use lasers. And by "standard" if you mean - within the spec of the design, then hell yes. They still say that 660nm helps bruises to heal faster - guess what the device is they use? A 5mw laser diode.

An engineer would definitely order samples of the device to see that the diode actually works within the specs of his design and fulfill his needs.

What is actually happening- is that either such a webstore stocks them up, and then slowly sells them off because a low demand then they never restock that product. Or they actually stock them because of some observed demand.

What I suspect is happening here, is that since there is a market elsewhere for 1342nm diodes (for laser pumping) and 980nm diodes (for dentistry), they already exists a supply which can easily support the odd-ball laser pointer. For those who are curious enough, it may yet be worth the money. Amateur research projects may require use of such a laser when they can't afford the $2000 alternative.

I would always think that Ford vehicles were crap, but if Ford was really selling trash - they would've gone out of business a long time ago. I won't say I like Fords even today - but apparently they're product is still worth something to some people. If it sells, they will continue to supply it.

EDIT: Fast axis and slow axis diode Divergence depends only partly on wavelength, the rest is in the geometry of the cavity and facet dimensions.

Fun Fact: Many IR laser diodes can exceed 50% efficiency. That's unheard of in the gas, or DPSS world.
 
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Those are things that an IR laser can EXACTLY do. And that's far from a comprehensive list. Doctors don't use "pointers", they use lasers. And by "standard" if you mean - within the spec of the design, then hell yes. They still say that 660nm helps bruises to heal faster - guess what the device is they use? A 5mw laser diode.

An engineer would definitely order samples of the device to see that the diode actually works within the specs of his design and fulfill his needs.

What is actually happening- is that either such a webstore stocks them up, and then slowly sells them off because a low demand then they never restock that product. Or they actually stock them because of some observed demand.

What I suspect is happening here, is that since there is a market elsewhere for 1342nm diodes (for laser pumping) and 980nm diodes (for dentistry), they already exists a supply which can easily support the odd-ball laser pointer. For those who are curious enough, it may yet be worth the money. Amateur research projects may require use of such a laser when they can't afford the $2000 alternative.

I would always think that Ford vehicles were crap, but if Ford was really selling trash - they would've gone out of business a long time ago. I won't say I like Fords even today - but apparently they're product is still worth something to some people. If it sells, they will continue to supply it.

EDIT: Fast axis and slow axis diode Divergence depends only partly on wavelength, the rest is in the geometry of the cavity and facet dimensions.

Fun Fact: Many IR laser diodes can exceed 50% efficiency. That's unheard of in the gas, or DPSS world.
Okay now i am starting to accept their existence :gj: maybe it is because i am at the other end of the spectrum that i just didn't get them :undecided: incidentally Ford Transit vans are the worst vehicle I know of anyway.
 




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