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Why do we buy lasers, will we get bored with them quickly?

CapeClover

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I got interested in Lasers back when I was 14. This was back in the early 1970's so i am up there in the years. At that time I wanted to build a ruby laser and I used to spend my lunch break at the library reading books about lasers, and had a particular interest in one book that described the construction of a ruby laser. Well, I never did build that ruby laser but I did eventually put together a 0.5 mW He-Ne laser. Not a lot of power but the thrill of having an actual working laser was quite exciting.

These days of course with the abundant selection of solid state laser diodes and diode pumped laser modules and wide range of power levels there is so much more for an experimenter to chose from. These days I have everything from < 5 mw red/green lasers to lasers that can burn stuff. It is thrilling to have a laser that has enough power to burn but for most experiments that I'm interested a power of 1 - 5 mw is more than adequate.
 

IsaacT

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I got interested in lasers around 7th grade. It started out by me wanting to figure out a way to make a working lightsaber. I spent mornings and afternoons at my school library looking up everything I could find on their database about lasers.

As I got more into the lasers, the idea of making a lightsaber started to seem a bit ridiculous(of course it was lol), but lasers had caught my attention, and my full focus was turned to them. This was back in 2003, so there was a magnificent amount of information for me to process and go through in my search for more knowledge in the field of lasers. I mean I wanted to know everything. I even put everything I found on a floppy disc drive(although I have no clue how to use one now, haha). One of the things that I really focused on was how to make them. I knew I couldn't afford a ruby rod, so when I found out that cd players had lasers in them I wanted to find a way to build one out of a CD Player diode. Unfortunately, I had no knowledge of electronics, so after I took it apart I had no way to power it, and even if I had I would't have known if it was off or not.

Anyway, that lasted for about 3 years, but when I got into high school I really wanted to work on my social image and in 9th grade I started putting aside lasers. Fast forward 5 years and I am getting out of my first year of college. I was at home looking online at Thinkgeek.com because I was trying to decide what I wanted for Christmas(I am HORRIBLE at decision making). At any rate, I stumble across these lasers that they had on their site and realized that there had been big improvements in the laser field since 7th grade. At that time I remembered my desire to build a laser and decided to pursue it once again. Somehow, I stumbled on to this site and discovered the wealth of information it had to offer.

After a couple months of laser building I started playing WoW, but eventually I came back to LPF and Lasers.

My point with all this being, I believe you will experience moments, or phases if you will, of boredom, but if you truly enjoy lasers they are a hobby which will bring you back again and again to enrich your life with photons while reducing your pocket book to a limp piece of leather. Worth the price? Yes. Will I ever tell my family how much I have spent on lasers? Hell. No.

Sorry for the book, but thanks for reading :crackup:
Isaac
 

snoutke

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My point with all this being, I believe you will experience moments, or phases if you will, of boredom, but if you truly enjoy lasers they are a hobby which will bring you back again and again to enrich your life with photons while reducing your pocket book to a limp piece of leather. Worth the price? Yes. Will I ever tell my family how much I have spent on lasers? Hell. No.Isaac
Couldn't agree more. Especially with the 'I will never tell anybody how much I have spent on lasers' part.

I am having a laser crisis ATM.

After three years of intensive dealing with lasers, goggles, LPMs, accessories, and forums, I have reached saturation.

I am now in a phase of boredom. I didn't touch my lasers for three weeks now. But I do think about them. I am even posting in this forum now.

How long will this boredom phase take? I don't know. But surely I know that I wish I didn't kiss my hobby goodbye.
:thinking:
 
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Well, since my lasers cost about $5 to $10, (with the exception of one that cost $24.99) it is not a big deal if I don't use them as much as when I first got them. But I usually still shine them a few times a week, it is especially neat if it is foggy at night or raining heavy at night, I am also an amateur astromoner so it is neat to use to point out stars/planets. (yes, I am VERY careful to watch out for planes)

My blue laser is really neat in how it charges up "glow in the dark" stuff really fast !

As a side hobby I got an inexpensive set of fluorescent rocks and a fairly low cost short wave ultraviolet light, not the same as lasers, but somewhat related as it does relate to how some rocks react to light, specifically ultraviolet light.

I also got a fairly inexpensive LED ultraviolet flashlight - 254nm - so it does not have as much visible light as the really cheap ones.

So an interest in lasers can lead to an interest in other somewhat related hobbies :)
 




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