recent laser pointer accident

Issues related to safety

recent laser pointer accident

Postby lasersafe1 » Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:40 pm

I keep trying to warn these kids when I see the youtube videos of "how to make your own burning laser pointer". Stay away from these things! Now they are selling 1 watt blue lasers for under $50. There is no good that can come from the portable mounting of a 1 Watt blue laser. If any of you are thinking of making CNC with one, I urge you to make sure that you properly shield it. You will need a completely opaque cover or a properly designed filter media with a neutral density of 3.0 for 445nm. The ND of 3.0 will attenuate the reflections off your media by a factor of 1000.

The better answer though is to simply stay away from these lasers. 445nm will have a poor interaction with most materials you are interested in engraving because it is moving lower in wavelength and away from thermal interactions. It is moving more toward chemical interactions... which makes it even worse for your eyes. If I can't dissuade you, then please read the attached pdf that discusses the permanent retinal injury of a teenager with a 150mW laser pointer.
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Re: recent laser pointer accident

Postby Tweakie » Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:26 am

I agree with this 100%

The initial trials for my existing CO2 laser system were made using a 150mW diode alignment pointer and although I wore the proper goggles (rated factor 7 for the 650nm wavelength I was using) at all times I had to be so careful shutting doors etc to protect others, including my pets, from any stray reflections that may have occurred during the various alignments. As the price of these devices fall, they become more commonly available to younger people (car boot sales, markets etc) and the potential danger to themselves and others increases. Some countries have already banned the import of diode pointers above 50mW and although this may sound a bit 'old fashioned' this is perhaps a sensible way to go.

Tweakie.
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Re: recent laser pointer accident

Postby lasersafe1 » Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:39 pm

Unfortunately the bans are not effective because kids are building them without ordering the complete pointer. These blue diodes are coming out of a Sanyo digital laser projector. I guess it has like 20 1W diodes in it. Someone buys the projector for $600 then tears out the diodes and sells them for $50 each and makes a profit. Sanyo has claimed that they are going to try to prosecute the big guys (Wicked laser) to the full extent of the law because they are actually violating a purchase agreement by harvesting diodes from the projector. Don't know how far that lawsuit will go, but I support it. The idiots at Wicked laser were supplying eyewear with the lasers, but it was a factor of 100 too low in optical density. My god, if I already had a lesion on my retina I could simply buy their laser, use their eyewear, and then sue their ass for causing it. Apparently they are now providing the proper OD eyewear.

The big issue is the fact that these kids are making laser "weapons" that are illegal even for the military or law enforcement. 1W of 445nm would permanently blind you in microseconds, even by viewing the diffuse reflection off a material.
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Re: recent laser pointer accident

Postby Tweakie » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:14 am

The big issue is the fact that these kids are making laser "weapons" that are illegal even for the military or law enforcement. 1W of 445nm would permanently blind you in microseconds, even by viewing the diffuse reflection off a material.


Quit worrying really there are plenty of little bas****s around my way that would take great pleasure in blinding people as well as animals.

As change always create opportunity there is an opening here for someone to patent high OD contact lenses (of the appropriate wavelength) for use by law enforcement, the military etc when dealing with such a threat.

Tweakie.
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Re: recent laser pointer accident

Postby lasersafe1 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 1:38 am

Actually, I think the real opportunity associated with high power diodes at 445nm will surprise us all. I recently read an article that was dealing with increasing the efficiency of fuel cells. 445nm can greatly help the chemical dissociation process to split hydrogen atoms from oxygen in water or free the hydrogen from hydrocarbons. Big breakthroughs in efficiency are coming. The present state of the art units already exceed the efficiency of your average electrical utility.
http://www.bloomenergy.com/
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Re: recent laser pointer accident

Postby Exsecratio » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:45 pm

The big issue is the fact that these kids are making laser "weapons" that are illegal even for the military or law enforcement.


Quite frighteningly here that's true for the Military, "Blinding weapons" are against both the Hague and Geneva Conventions, they don't however apply to law enforcement use and at least one company I know of here is developing high impulse green laser rifles for crowd and riot control for use by the police.

Just wait till some brain donor decides to build a cheap Chinese laser tube into a rifle, then it's really going to hit the fan!!

best wishes

Dave
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