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Thread: 40mW green - 100mW Red

  1. #1
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    Default 40mW green - 100mW Red

    I just ordered my first lasers and I am afraid that I should have done more research on crowd size and power ratings. I will be using them at raves with crowds usually around 500 people. I bought 4 RGY units rated at 100mW Red and 40mW green. Is this powerful enough to make for a decent laser show? No animation, just aerial displays. I also bought 2 RG units that have 4 windows...100+100mW Red and 40+40mW Green. Please give me your opinions.

  2. #2
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    Are the raves indoors?
    40+100 wont be very bright and would probably need some smoke to make it viewable in anything but total darkness.

    Jim

  3. #3
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    Yes, they are indoors usaully in warehouses. Fog and smoke machines are always plentiful. Since there is lots of fog and smoke, will the beams be visible?

  4. #4
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    It will be a case of suck it and see. .
    I would guess they will be effective upto 20 or 30 feet.
    I have ~200mW of red and that struggles after about 30ft.

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Hi Majik;

    Where are you located? (USA? Europe? Australia?)

    I completely agree with Jimbo on this one. Based on your description of the venue, I'd say you're going to be dissapointed with the results. If we were talking about a room that was maybe 30 feet square, you'd probably be OK. But a wharehouse? The only way you'll be happy is if the room is *completely* dark (no other lights at all) *and* you have just enough fog to make the beams visible, but not so much that it occludes them.

    Can you give the dimensions of the wharehouse that you will be using? That would help us estimate how much power you'll need. Also, what sort of lighting will be used for the event?

    Finally, do you have a variance for the show? (This is why I asked for your location earlier...)

    Adam

  6. #6
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    I am very surprised that I should only expect these beams to carry a distance of 30 ft or less! I have played around with a 10mW green projector and I just would expect more out of 40mW and 100mW. I am a beginner though, so I guess this is my learning curve.

    In terms of lighting there will be mostly blacklights, strobes and some moving heads and scanners. Other than that there is usually no white light and we like it as dark as possible. Venues vary in size and range between 30x40ft to 100x200ft. I am not really looking for the absolute perfect system, just something to bring lasers back in to my scene (maybe make a little side money too). I'm not looking for animation at all, I like aerial displays. This was my first purchase and I know I'm not going to turn any place in to star wars, but I do want to add a "raw" futuristic vibes that lasers tend to create in the right setting. Fog machines are always being used, even if there are no lasers present. So what would you recommend? I plan on building my collection.

  7. #7
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    Perhaps I should have clarified... The beams will of course travel a lot farther than 30 ft! It's just that with other lights on in the room, you won't be able to see the beams very well. If you are quite close to the beam and are looking towards the projector (ie: the beam is traveling towards you), then the beam will appear bright. But as you move to the side of the beam, the percieved intensity will fall off. Since you don't have a lot of power, you won't be able to get very far to the side of the beam before it looks pathetically dim. Now start scanning that beam around to create fans and tunnels, and you'll see what I mean about needing more power.

    If all you had were a couple black lights and the strobes, and you had a decent fog machine, you would be OK in the 30 x 40 ft room. Once you add the moving-head lights though, all bets are off as to how bright the lasers will look. (My guess is, not very.)

    As for the 100 x 200 ft room, there's no way you're going to be happy with the results. Sorry - but you're going to want a lot more power, and it's going to be expensive. (Lasers are a money-pit hobby, there's no doubt about that!) I would want at least 400 mw of red, and probably 200 mw of green, as a bare minimum for a room that size. Even at that power level, it's not going to look all that great.

    For an example of a show that really did look great, have a look at this thread. Those pictures show 1 watt of green, 200 mw of blue, and 500 mw of red. Futhermore, the red was at 635 nm, which appears a lot brighter than the 658 nm of most red diode laser units. The venue was about 40 ft by 100 ft. That should give you some comparison. Also, have a look at these pictures in the gallery. They show what the beams looked like with the lights on, as well as how they looked from the balcony for that same show. You'll notice that they aren't nearly as impressive as they were in the pictures taken from the floor. Granted, they might have had a few more lights in that club than you will at your venue, but it was still very dark in there. (The pics that show the crowd were taken by a professional with a very expensive camera that had both a killer flash and a very sensitive CCD that would work in the low light conditions present in the club.)

    The worst thing you can do is show up with a lame laser that can't be seen well over the existing lights. You'll be hurting not only your own future laser show prospects, but the prospects of *all* laserists. (Promoters have seen so many under-powered shows that they're starting to get cynical when it comes to laser shows in general, and that hurts everyone.)

    Finally, I noticed that you said you're interested in possibly making a little money on the side. Assuming that you are located in the United States (you never answered the question of your location), you should know that if you perform a public laser show without a variance, you are assuming a *huge* risk. The CDRH (a division of the Federal Food and Drug Administration) requires that all laser shows (and the projectors used in the show) carry a variance. The penalties for failing to comply can be quite steep. Plus, not having a variance can open you up to some liability issues as well.

    While it may sound like a royal pain in the ass to get a variance (and I'm told that, by and large, the process *is* a pain in the ass), to do a public show without one puts you in violation of federal law. (Not a good idea, especially in this day and age...) So before you hire your lasers out for a show, you might want to consider if it's worth the risk of getting caught by the feds.

    I'm not a cop, and no one here is going to sic the CDRH on you. I'm just trying to make sure you understand the risk in what you are planning. I, too, once had a dream of doing laser shows for fun and profit, but after looking into the legal ramifications, I decided to put that dream on hold. I *have* been fortunate enough to be able to assist a few other professional laserists at public shows, and those events were both fun and educational to me. I may one day apply for a variance for my projector - we'll see. In the mean time I'll do my shows in my living room, for my friends only. (CDRH rules do not apply for private shows where there is no commerce involved.)

    On the other hand, if you are located in, say, Norway, then all the above is irrelevent to your situation. But like I said - you didn't give a location...

    Adam

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