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Thread: A plea for safety, pl edition.

  1. #1
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is online now Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    Default A plea for safety, pl edition.

    At Request, copied from my posts at LPF.

    A Plea for EYE Safety!!
    I'm concerned. A one watt laser pointer (Or ultra low cost laser projector, PL) for less then 200$ is a problem in the hands of those who are immature. If your running a group buy, the repercussions of this are on your heads.

    I don't give a damn about lack of enforcement of federal laws in the US or Free Will or Personal Freedom. Let me rephrase that, I do give a damn about my ability to purchase tools, parts, and materials to do my job as a laser professional and my freedom.

    In other words, please think twice before you sell blue kits at 200$ or less to some one who lacks maturity. Your shortchanging your own rights in the long run.

    The federal government is failing on enforcement to the point that laser safety will pass to the state level, and that would be a non uniform mess. Five years ago this device would have had safeguards to prevent diode removal. It needs to be retrofitted right now to diodes bonded to a sled. That would make it a better projector for its intended use, anyway.

    I hate to be a Cassandra (Greek Mythology, look her up) , but I ask
    Those of you organizing massive group buys need to think about what your doing and whom your selling to.

    At 700mW to 1 watt, injuries will be all too common, and blue has some unique short and long term PROVEN side effects with respect to color vision. Prolonged exposure to intense blue results in diminished green vision. This has been proven in studies of eye surgeons who used blue lasers to treat patients. The green vision comes back somewhat in 3-6 months. The surgeons were exposed to milliwatts at best for 20-40 minute sessions per patient.

    Argon multiline blue/green has been largely replaced by green and yellow-green wavelengths for retinal surgery, blue/green was used because it was what was available with the technology of the time. Surgeons have long decried the tissue side effects of blue green, and only in the past 5 years has DPSS made its way into eye surgery.


    This blue wavelength has some unique biochemical actions on releasing free radicals, and is strongly adsorbed by red blood cells in capillaries. It causes larger damaged areas in retinal tissue and is far more likely to be adsorbed by the tissue then 532 nm light.

    I'm not open to arguments on this one, I've worked with 488 nm light since 1989 or so.

    There is no legitimate non military need for a watt of collimated visible light in a hand held device.

    You certainly have the right to blow out your own retinas. But when you affect others the game changes.

    Blue glare in a aircraft will NOT be a good thing.

    Don't even bother to make the lame comments about the poorer beam quality, high divergence, etc.

    167 people are looking at this thread as I type. Wait till it gets slashdotted, kipcayed, etc..

    It is to the communities advantage to self regulate, restrict buyer age, make buyers sign a warning notice, and to drive the price upwards.

    Your new laser regulator will NOT be the CDRH if this gets out of hand. It will be the FAA, US Customs, Homeland Security, and your LOCAL POLICE. FAA had no problems getting a instant moratorium on outdoor laser shows some years ago, and the FAA can and will get enforcement instantly, if this gets out of hand. And it will be a FELONY and CIVIL PENALITES.

    Freedom is not free, it comes with great responsibility.


    You have been warned. You can also bet I and others will be calling Casio first thing Monday Morning.

    Steve

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Part II, Also copied from my other post at LPF
    __________________________________________________ ____________

    At the powers of these blue diodes, anything less then a OD5 AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARDS INSTITUTE CERTIFIED AND TESTED GOGGLE IS A SAFETY HAZARD IN ITSELF!! A 25$ safety Google DOES NOT have the testing needed for prolonged use.

    IF you are dependent on a pair of Goggles for your eye safety you just FLUNKED laser safety 101. Goggles are designed to be a last resort. True laser safety involves controlling access to the laser light and its scattering.

    And don't say to me OD 4 is enough, you need a safety factor in the exposure far beyond the 5 mW of class IIIA, in case the diode exceeds its design power or the goggles have a defect. If it can do 800 mW for N amount of time, it can do 2000 mW for at least a brief time.

    In a professional situation, we would enclose this beam, mount it on a optical table below waist height, interlock it to the lab door, terminate it properly, and train the operator. We would also measure the scattering to ensure levels compliant with the ANSI and 21 CFR Rules. It would not be waved around at full power, power would be reduced during adjustment. It would have a safety shutter, and a emission indicator. Training would be documented, and a keyswitch used. If the emission could leave the lab, into a public area, there would be hell to pay! By definition most pointer users take their pointers public.


    Untested 25$ goggles are NOT acceptable with these diodes.


    AMENDED FOR PL:

    IN the US, IN PUBLIC, FOR DEMONSTRATION LASER DISPLAYS (aka Laser Shows) SUCH BEAMS MUST BE 3 METERS UP FROM THE HIGHEST ACCESS POINT IN THE AUDIENCE AND TWO METERS HORIZONTALLY OUT OF REACH, BY LAW!


    Steve
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
    I should have rented the space under my name for advertising.
    When I still could have...

  2. #2
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    Default

    I can only agree, having worked with lab lasers for a short time (innova 200, verdi 18, avia and chameleon)

    if you plan on getting goggles, please do it without hesitation

    noir laser shields have top notch goggles for a very decent price (OD5 for mine, one pair for green-blue and another for red-NIR)

    --> visit www.noirlaser.com for more info <--

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    I completely agree Steve it's just down right stupid to even contemplate advertising the making of such, or worse, advertising the 'here's how to make' such an instrument.
    1W of laser light should be controllable AT ALL TIMES and should not be made as free to shoot around as a pointer would make it.

    Leave this sort of laser to the forums that deal with pointers and lets carry on here on PL with a prefered 'non' pointer policy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smogthemog View Post
    I completely agree Steve it's just down right stupid to even contemplate advertising the making of such, or worse, advertising the 'here's how to make' such an instrument.
    1W of laser light should be controllable AT ALL TIMES and should not be made as free to shoot around as a pointer would make it.
    Unfortunately, there is no technical way to do that. It's (nearly) impossible to protect a 'handheld device' with a security mechanism that only allows emission when a qualified operator handles it. You could think of some RFID-based scheme, but that's pushing the envelope a little.

    As someone said, guns don't kill people and lasers don't pop someone's eyeballs. It's the person operating them that does the damage and is ignorant or malignant enough to do so.

    The ultimate enforcement of purchase and handling of laser equipment WILL be up to the law, one way or another. There is enough potentially unsafe equipment in everybody's home, still, everyone knows how to operate a car, gas range or electrical outlet safely.

    Trying to get the equipment out of the world is pointless. The ultimate way to make sure these things stay in safe hands is to ensure the hands they end up in are, actually, safe.

  5. #5
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    Eye safety is definitely a major concern. However there's a side of me that would hate to see these become scarce again should casio start gluing them in.

    I guess what I'm saying is we have a source of cheap blue now most likely temporary, and I can't afford to stock up

    I think the best thing that can be done at this point is to educate people of the potential hazards and limit availability to those who can demonstrate maturity. Don't forget laserscopes and cubr can be found fairly cheaply on ebay as well and the danger level are incomparable.

    Raising the costs back to Nichia bend over prices would just screw ourselves imo

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    Thumbs up Thank you Steve!

    ...............
    Last edited by allthatwhichis; 06-06-2010 at 10:51.
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

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    We as a forum have no hold over the laserscopes and CuBr's we all see for sale/auction on Ebay but we as a group should be able to have some sort of regulation on what is posted in this form in regards to the instructions on how to make a 1W laser pointer and thus I think it should be moderated so.

    Why anyone want to make a pointer of this strength is beyond me

    That is my view and I am entitled to it
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  8. #8
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    Don't get me wrong, pointers are already too high powered as it is. And besides that, how anyone can get that much enjoyment out of burning tape is beyond me

    I'm thinking more along the lines of pair of cheap rb (lol) or rgb flank projectors. And perhaps a giant lumia

  9. #9
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    How do you all suppose I implement this into the group buy?

    I've thought long and hard about the safety side, but deemed it too hard to "police".
    There is the argument; "well, cancel the GB". I feel that would do more way more harm than good...
    People know what they are getting; after all "Guns don't kill people..." etc. etc.
    I DO NOT want to see a single one of my "GB" diodes go into a pointer; and will be appalled if someone actually thinks it's a good idea to construct one.

    I DO want people to have cheap blue for their PROJECTORS, as that is what this place had needed for a long time.
    I think the best I can do is write + print a disclaimer with every package to warn people just exactly what this diode *could* do. (But I have a strong suspicion this may be a waste of time and paper )
    But who am I to decide what people can and can't do?
    - There is no such word as "can't" -
    - 60% of the time it works every time -

  10. #10
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    Here's a thought: Only allow GB's to people with a valid ILDA membership number.

    If they're an ILDA member (even just private or student), there's a lot more chance they actually know what they're doing.

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