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why is a laser pointer dangerous

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Techman, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    A laser pointer is a very weak laser. It is well below the level that will injure an eye.
    However. There are some more powerful pointers that can injure. Yes, their power is weak. Except if that beam goes through a lens. Where are lenses that will amplify that beam?

    Think about it.

    I just read where an modeler was building his own laser pointer device to zero his cutter and burnt out his eye.
     
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  2. jiarby

    jiarby Major Contributor

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    I have caught a few "stingers" off my 50w laser engraver... Reflections hitting me in the eye, or just burned out retina from looking at the spot where it is burning, like looking into the sun and seeing red spots.

    Lenses just focus the beam to a specific diameter depending on the focal point. I have three lenses on my cutter... a .010 .005 & .001
    Replacement lenses are available from engraver manufacturers if you are doing a home brew project.
     
  3. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    While not really called "pointers" there are plenty of handheld lasers available that can cause instant and permanent eye damage. I own a couple myself - a 1 watt (yes a full watt) handheld pointer from Wicked Lasers with a blue ray diode. I also have a few smaller handheld pointers ranging from 50mw up to 600mw. Most above 200mw can near instantly start black plastics smoking, pop ballons, light matches, while the higher powered ones (600mw +) can and will catch things on fire near instantly. I also own somewhat expensive pricey safetey goggles for when they are being used. Those are also very specific to the diodes wavelength. Any above about 10mw can cause eye damage, and ones 50+ can very quickly and easily cause permanent eye damage.
     
  4. shakey0818

    shakey0818 Active Member

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  5. JimJenson

    JimJenson Active Member

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    Point one of those things at an airplane in flight or on the ground, and you'll get a visit from the FBI.
     
  6. Shift Designs

    Shift Designs Member

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    +1
     
  7. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    a lens can intensify that weak laser. Where is a lens? In yer eye.
     
  8. They make my dog crazy too
     
  9. Kottwitz-Graphics

    Kottwitz-Graphics Very Active Member

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one that does that.
     
  10. megacab

    megacab Member

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    this is a forum that i lurk on because i am just getting into lasers. i currently have an 80mw green laser that is alot of fun for the boys and i to play with at dusk. you can see the beam going out as far as you can see up into the sky. it's like a little light saber. very cool devices that can blind or burn you in an instant if you aren't careful.

    http://laserpointerforums.com/
     
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