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Thread: Here we go again..... Spacelas question

  1. #21
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    X-Laser makes excellent points. You can tell that post was written by someone with a good deal of expertise and intelligence..

    I think some people forget, however, that there is a whole market of people who just want to play around with laser projectors for their own enjoyment, and that of their family and friends.

    If you're looking to go pro, then you NEED to buy or build certified gear.. It's the law. While it's unfortunate that the non-compliant Chinese stuff ends up doing payed shows, my interest in them (and the reason i don't feel that they're the end of the world) is for hobbyists and enthusiasts who want to mess with this stuff privately. For that they are ideal if you don't want to build systems yourself..

    The professional end of the laser show community is NOT the only group of people that matters here, but over and over I get the vibe that we (the hobbyists and non-professionals) should all get bent in the interest of preserving things for the professionals. That's a total crock of shit, and as I said before I use that concept as the fuel for my fire.. and I'm not going anywhere any time soon. My support is now, and always will be, with the little guys: the hobbyists and small-time innovators. They are the ones who need support, and if it wasn't for information that is now easily accessible, and if it wasn't for sharp decreases in the price of parts and projectors they would not be able to participate in this wonderful hobby at all.

  2. #22
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    You need to look past the boundaries of your own backyard.

    Certification ? Law ? What does that matter in other places of the world where the lasershow industry isn't big enough to warrant the authorities caring about it ? (like australia)

    I am all for hobbyists. If it were not for the hobbyist route into this industry, I would not be where I am now. But understand, this industry is where it is because of professionals who paved the way for the hobbyist market many years ago. You need to be more grateful

    As a non full-time but professional lasershow operator:

    1. What we pay for insurance each year to protect ourselves and our equipment could buy some very nice "hobby" inventory
    2. We run our business as a company, we pay our taxes, pay our accountants, etc.
    3. Owe it to ourselves, our customers, and our audiences to keep on our toes and ensure that our equipment is maintained to a safe working order
    4. We didn't learn any black magic tricks to get where we are. We have invested time and hard earned money into learning how to design and build laser projectors and perform shows in a safe, yet entertaining manner. We only had access to the information everybody else has.

    Within a unique market such as Australia, a handful of clowns running around a city with eBay lasers doing $200 full colour shows (or FREE shows) with no real understanding or regard for safety (or that the essence of a good lasershow extends far further than how many "watts" your laser has) does devalue the services provided by professionals - to an extent.

    The minute a "hobbyist" does a lasershow for money, or takes a lasershow away from a "professional" for free, are they still a hobbyist ?

    My view is that, yep okay the bottom end of the market is now flooded with shit lasershows and shit eBay lasers. So we'll lose a lot of "bottom end" customers I guess. But the ones that matter to us are loyal and recognise that a good lasershow requires experience and decent gear to produce, and will keep coming back to us even though we are more expensive. We still have our fair share of gigs that bring in thousands, however a multi-thousand dollar show demands lots of lasers, and lots of colour, lots of experience to bring it all together, and one form of innovation or another.

    Lastly, why the fuck would a hobbyist need a 2.5Watt RGB laser ? Are you running birthday parties in your 67 car garage ?

    DISCLAIMER: the sentiments in this post are not actually directed at anybody in particular here. "You" refers to the generic hobbyist.
    Last edited by aijii; 10-09-2010 at 01:37. Reason: disclaimer
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aijii View Post
    You need to look past the boundaries of your own backyard.

    Certification ? Law ? What does that matter in other places of the world where the lasershow industry isn't big enough to warrant the authorities caring about it ? (like australia)

    I am all for hobbyists. If it were not for the hobbyist route into this industry, I would not be where I am now. But understand, this industry is where it is because of professionals who paved the way for the hobbyist market many years ago. You need to be more grateful

    As a non full-time but professional lasershow operator:

    1. What we pay for insurance each year to protect ourselves and our equipment could buy some very nice "hobby" inventory
    2. We run our business as a company, we pay our taxes, pay our accountants, etc.
    3. Owe it to ourselves, our customers, and our audiences to keep on our toes and ensure that our equipment is maintained to a safe working order
    4. We didn't learn any black magic tricks to get where we are. We have invested time and hard earned money into learning how to design and build laser projectors and perform shows in a safe, yet entertaining manner. We only had access to the information everybody else has.

    Within a unique market such as Australia, a handful of clowns running around a city with eBay lasers doing $200 full colour shows (or FREE shows) with no real understanding or regard for safety (or that the essence of a good lasershow extends far further than how many "watts" your laser has) does devalue the services provided by professionals - to an extent.

    The minute a "hobbyist" does a lasershow for money, or takes a lasershow away from a "professional" for free, are they still a hobbyist ?

    My view is that, yep okay the bottom end of the market is now flooded with shit lasershows and shit eBay lasers. So we'll lose a lot of "bottom end" customers I guess. But the ones that matter to us are loyal and recognise that a good lasershow requires experience and decent gear to produce, and will keep coming back to us even though we are more expensive. We still have our fair share of gigs that bring in thousands, however a multi-thousand dollar show demands lots of lasers, and lots of colour, lots of experience to bring it all together, and one form of innovation or another.

    Lastly, why the fuck would a hobbyist need a 2.5Watt RGB laser ? Are you running birthday parties in your 67 car garage ?

    DISCLAIMER: the sentiments in this post are not actually directed at anybody in particular here. "You" refers to the generic hobbyist.

    In my post it was not my intention to minimize the impact of the professionals on the world of laser shows.. My intention is to maximize the role of hobbyists in the world of laser shows.

    Being that I'm from the US, it's difficult to tell me that a person can't privately own a HUGE laser projector if they want. If people here can own huge 50+ caliber weapons, or own a 200 foot yacht, or a 70,000 sq ft. home, they should certainly be able to own a 50W laser projector if that's what they want, AND as long as they follow the law in terms of it's usage. The apparent absence of a reason for owning something is not cause for it's restriction.

    Being a professional is defined by the commerce involved, so no, IMO once a hobbyist accepts money they are no longer a hobbyist. If the hobbyist takes business from a professional by working for free, then I don't think it makes them a professional per se, but I don't know too many people that would do that kind of work for free except for themselves..

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by aijii View Post
    Within a unique market such as Australia, a handful of clowns running around a city with eBay lasers doing $200 full colour shows (or FREE shows) with no real understanding or regard for safety (or that the essence of a good lasershow extends far further than how many "watts" your laser has) does devalue the services provided by professionals - to an extent.

    My view is that, yep okay the bottom end of the market is now flooded with shit lasershows and shit eBay lasers. So we'll lose a lot of "bottom end" customers I guess.
    You have very nicely summed up one of my personal fears but done it in such a way as to suggest that it is unimportant... which I really don't understand.

    I used to run a DJ business and this precise sentiment about losing bottom end customers really guided our business model away from volume and toward a smaller number of customers which paid significantly more. Less work, more revenue at the end of the day. This makes total sense.

    HOWEVER...

    So you've got a bunch of people running around with eBay lasers with, as you say, either a complete disregard for or complete lack of knowledge of laser safety. That does not just devalue professional events on an economic level - as you say to some extent - it also presents a massive and growing risk to the laser industry in general.

    I am sure everyone here is familiar with the Russia incident a while back. Companies here in the US spent thousands of dollars on at least one press initiative drawing clear distinctions between those people and compliant, domestic industry. They had to, and to their credit they answered the call.

    Does anyone here really think - no matter where you live or what laws you live under - that a major laser injury is going to be presented in the media or by politicians as an errant kid with an eBay laser? No, the story is going to be about LASERS and how dangerous they can be - because that friends is a sexier angle than chalking it up to an incompetent operator.

    When was the last time you saw this headline: "Untrained person blows up hand with firework."

    We hear about the danger of the product but virtually never about the skill or lack thereof of the person operating the product. Even if we did no one will ever get too far past the headline of 'school kids at prom suffer permanent eye injury from laser show' and the picture next to it of girl with an professionally styled haircut, hospital gown and cotton balls taped over her eyes.

    I don't want to be alarmist, and perhaps that seems a little extreme, but I do not think that there is anyone here who can deny that situation is a possibility. This is part of the reason that I get so incensed about high powered lasers being made badly or sold to people who do not know how to use them in a reasonable manner.

    I don't care who you are: hobbyist, professional laser producer, manufacturer, or some hybrid of those - ALL of our lives get harder, our equipment gets more expensive and harder to get, our insurance goes up, and our revenues, if any, go down when some dumbass with a laser becomes the next story on the evening news.

    At least here in the US we have a SMALL defense that such a person (hopefully) was using an illegal laser and was not licensed to own it. Even still such an event will severely impact the industry for years, for everyone. With the sheer and accelerating volume of these high powered projectors out in the world - estimates as high as 1.2 million sold in the US alone per year - it is only a matter of when and then we will all be worse for it.

    Kudos to everyone, and I mean that sincerely, who takes safety seriously. Kudos to everyone who encourages others to do the same. We all know that lasers - besides being stunning - can be and are used safely everyday, all over the world.

    However, one day soon we are all going to get painted with the same brush and I just really hope that when that happens we can change the story from 'lasers are dangerous and you should be afraid of them' to 'lasers don't blind people, stupid people blind people' or something to that effect.

    I know that many of you care very deeply about this hobby and/or profession and, IMHO, it is time for that passion to lead to a good deal more outrage for those who are recklessly or negligently being poor custodians of their responsibilities.

  5. #25
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    I agree whole heartedly xlaser - I was referring specifically to the risk of losing individual pieces of business at the bottom end of the market.

    If we're talking about the risk of the industry becoming compromised because of people getting blinded - then thats a different story.

    What would be great is if some form of licensing/test was needed to be able to perform lasershows in public. Not a draconian system of policing that impedes the ability to go about your business in an efficient manner, but just something that was supported by the authorities and that made it illegal to perform a lasershow without a certain level of proven expertise/knowledge. Much like a riggers ticket...

    However in reality, at least here in Australia, there is not a sufficient demand for this to warrant government funding to regulate and police the industry. Simple as that.

    People don't care. So the law makers don't care. And really - with the amount of audience scanning (legal, safely performed, measured, unmeasured, illegal, etc) that has happened in the world to date, and the virtually non existant reported injuries coming about from those shows (minus the pulsed laser audience scanning retards) - i don't see this ever changing really.

    Until people start bringing down planes with their 20W 445nm china laser projectors plugged into extension cords... we won't have to worry
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-Laser View Post

    I know that many of you care very deeply about this hobby and/or profession and, IMHO, it is time for that passion to lead to a good deal more outrage for those who are recklessly or negligently being poor custodians of their responsibilities.
    I agree wholeheartedly, but I'm not really sure who these people are that you're referring to in this statement.

    Here on PL, I've always heard a TON of bitching about pointers and portables, and rightfully so as there is PLENTY of media hype to back that up.. but there are only 2 well-publicized occurrences of people being injured or adversely affected by laser show events of ANY size or type and only ONE of those was actually the fault of the show producers. It was done with pulsed lasers, so in reality when discussing CW class 4 lasers of any size or type doing any kind of scanned effect there are ZERO publicly confirmed cases of injury at any laser show event anywhere, audience scanning or not.

    Hate to be frank with you, but until I see WAY more evidence that this industry is really and truly under threat from non-professionals/professionals that didn't buy gear from "x-laser" or OSLS or any of the folks (or their friends) with a vested monetary interest in promoting this viewpoint, I'm declaring it a bunch of hype. SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE.


    Oh, and freaking out about something before there is cause to (ie evidence) is commonly referred to as paranoia. I'm not interested in paranoia.
    Last edited by ElektroFreak; 10-10-2010 at 07:38.

  7. #27
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    " SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE."

    How would you even know???

    Why you are not hearing about it? Do you even know how a laser injury would be classified as in the medical reporting scheme? It would be marked as Unspecified Optical Neuropathy. There is not a check box on the form for "Laser injury" on the reporting means, if the doctors bother to include it at all on the M and M surveys they fill out. Ask a opthalmic surgeon, they will tell you anything that is not a standard, traditional, injury goes down as unspecified.

    Don't start promoting the myth that all scanned laser light is safe. Two watts point blank at twenty feet for 3500$ is NOT safe.

    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 10-10-2010 at 09:15.

  8. #28
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    "OSLS"

    Electrofreak,

    ...Why are you picking on Fred and Amanda? They don't even post here! They just set down in Florida selling a quality product, minding their own business.. Or are X-laser and OSLS the only professional laser companies you even know about? You seem to have it in for any company in the market, period, except the Chinese. You picked up your anti OSLS bias simply because some one told you OSLS charges 1500$ for a varianced projector housing. You have probably never even met or talked to the principals of the company.

    ...Get off your high horse, I have friends in the entertainment industry in St Louis, and know for a fact you have 4-6 Chinese projectors that you go out on paid gigs with. Stop hiding behind your "Hobby" status. You don't have it any more.

    POT, KETTLE, BLACK..

    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 10-10-2010 at 09:16.

  9. #29
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    Really?

    News to me...

    Fear....


    Uncertainty.....


    Doubt..........


    That's all we have here.

    I don't even know "Fred" or "Amanda", but I do know that many of the commercial voices here use these tools regularly. Don't hate me because i call it as I see it (or go ahead and hate me.. doesn't matter to me). Stop blowing things out or proportion, exaggerating, and otherwise sowing the aforementioned conditions and I'll shut up. That's all. It's quite possible to have complete respect for safety while at the same time acknowledging the real facts.
    Last edited by ElektroFreak; 10-10-2010 at 09:16.

  10. #30
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    You know what, I'm sick of arguing.. gets old after awhile..

    I guess maybe I'm one of the few people here who feel the way I do, but i really don't feel like everything that goes on on the laser show world is quite right..

    I don't feel the the hobbyists are "bringing down" the professional side of things.

    I don't feel that hobbyists muck up the "art" with their foolishness.

    I don't feel that non-professionals pose any real frightening hazard to the planet in general.

    I feel the way I do based on many responses that have been given to me by professionals and enthusiasts alike. I feel this way because of the real evidence that I've gone out to find.. not the mixedgas version, or the x-laser version, or any one person's versions. In my searching, I've found nothing at all that would lead me to believe that a real threat even exists with laser projectors, except possibly in the event of a critical hardware failure.. a threat that applies to almost everything in life. Very few people have 20+ watt laser projectors, so they are obviously excepted here.. but based on hard evidence there doesn't seem to be much of a problem.

    So I'm sorry if I'm vocal about the fact that I'm not buying some of this, but I'm not and no one has provided a single thing with enough merit to sway me thus far.

    That's all I can say about it. I'll never bring it up again. Apologies for allowing things to go so far off topic.
    Last edited by ElektroFreak; 10-10-2010 at 09:42.

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