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Thread: Your Laser Is Dangerous!

  1. #1
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    Default Your Laser Is Dangerous!

    PNjunction, Steve-o, Astroguy and Zoof picked up on a particularly dangerous situation. While I can't code, I'm ok with english language, so this is something I can do....

    I'm proposing a big red sticky thread for the main page, to try to compel newcomers to look. I want it so they can't help themselves, because it's designed to keep them safe. While the "Help me, my pointer is broken!!!!!!" questions aren't a lot of fun to handle, there's a danger that if we don't do something, the person asking is going to injure themselves trying to get the answers they weren't given when they look inside their DPSS pointer and stare at the little red light that might be all it can still make....

    First draft:




    YOUR LASER IS DANGEROUS!

    That's part of the fun, right? It's part of why you bought it.

    So long as it works right, this is manageable.
    Many lasers are so cheap that safety is bad.
    It might not even be predictable.

    When DPSS lasers (small, usually green) break, you might look inside to see why.
    This is NOT SAFE!
    To make a bright beam, they start with a LOT of infra-red light that is hard or impossible to see.
    It can blind you before you know it is doing so. It does damage before you can blink.
    A DPSS laser is rated for safety on the assumption that it is intact and sealed,
    and even then it may be more dangerous than it should be.

    Here are links to pictures of the insides of lasers, and some words on what goes on in there.
    Read some, ideally BEFORE your laser breaks.
    It's fun reading stuff about things you own.
    It's not half as much fun doing it when they break.
    If you're unlucky enough to get hurt by a laser, it might not even be possible to read.
    So go to it now.

    Linkage:

    Linkage_1
    Linkage_2
    Linkage_3
    Laser Sam's most Excellent and Detailed linkage

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Subjects to discuss/link to:

    IR filters, and their inappropriate absense or removal.
    Dim red lights that are brighter than the green once was.
    Viewing spots with lenses.
    Divergence, and aircraft.
    Dwell time and intensity.

    Any cool links with dramatic and clear showings of various dangers wanted. Might as well start collecting before trying to whittle it down to the best of them. Ideally the end count must be very small, so we really do need the best.
    Last edited by The_Doctor; 03-26-2007 at 10:09.

  2. #2
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    Default some more info..

    The energy of a laser beam can be intensified up to 100,000 times by the focusing action of the eye. A one watt laser beam when focused down to a small spot can produce temperatures higher than the surface temperature of the sun! Thus even a low power laser in the milliwatt range can cause a burn if focused directly onto the retina.
    NEVER point a laser, even a laser pointer, at someone's eyes no matter how low the power of the laser.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails eyelaser.gif  


  3. #3
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    Default

    ...most of us already know how to keep our eyes safe, and we dont want to turn Spec's fab site into a joke but if we were to post all of this..
    ..well not all of this--the Dr said 'first draft'
    --and it's a good idea, no?
    I dunno, maybe a big disclaimer/ warning page before entrance is allowed into the forum. Or if we just try to identfy and help like we did earlier today.
    A sticky with a catchy graphic maybe? ..saying "click me first!"

    Just so everyone knows whats going on, here's the thread
    http://photonlexicon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2222
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photonlexicon logo.JPG  

    Last edited by steve-o; 03-26-2007 at 11:13.

  4. #4
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    Default

    well im at home now and had a few so here goes my next <delete>..

    How about Laser pointers are Dangerous when diassembled or--
    Laser Pointers are dangerous even before they're disassembled

    or--Lasers are dangerous before or after disassembly when your looking at the little red light and thinking well thats weird-- theres a little red light in my green pointer--must be some kind of indicator LED or something--lets get a closer look at it ahhhhhh
    not funny-very scary. Don't do.
    ah well-- We dont know how to save these kids from themselves

    maybe we could put this:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails skull2.GIF  


  5. #5
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    Default

    I agree!!

    There definately ought to be some sort of warning regarding laser safety/disassembly etc before first time users are allowed onto the forum. Maybe an email to all new members to reinforce the message?

    My job is working in Ophthalmic Optics. there are people who visit us that have been flash blinded, (usually but not exclusively from long term welding etc). These people are distraught when they are told that there is nothing that can be done to repair their sight and they will have to live with the holes in their vision for the rest of their life.

    For some reason people always seem to think that 'they' are invincible and have the attitude "It won't happen to me".

    It's a shame that good laser goggles are so expensive, but I can't think of a better investment for anyone messing around with lasers.

    Cheers

    Jem

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jem View Post
    I agree!!

    There definately ought to be some sort of warning regarding laser safety/disassembly etc before first time users are allowed onto the forum. Maybe an email to all new members to reinforce the message?
    We'd need them to see the forum though, if they think it's uncool for not showing them cool stuff straight away, they might not look and might not remember the little they saw. I'm thinking that a mod-only forum thread at the same sub-level as the gallery and laser display files threads, but with title in red capitals. It just has to stand out enough to demand "Click Me, for I Am Linkage!". Not to make them feel they must, but to make them feel like they're losing out on something if they don't.

    And the content would have to be minimal. A good shout should be short, all it has to do is catch attention. The rest just has to be intensely conversational, and straight to the point. I agree with Jem that people have a kind of 'it won't happen to me' feeling, so we have to convince these people that the only reason it doesn't happen to us is we take the advice we're giving.

    I wish goggles were cheaper too, but there are some things that can help, like don't look at a suspect light source with the centre of your vision. Kind of equivalent to the electrician keeping a hand in a pocket.

    The main point that needs passing is that cheap DPSS lasers need a magnitude more power of invisible light internally than what you'll get in the visible beam. I think that's the single most overlooked aspect of DPSS lasers, and I'd rather it gets to the public eye from here rather than their lasers and hospital wards.

  7. #7
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    Default

    How about a title along the lines of...

    DON'T LOOK AT THIS THREAD !!!!

    That's sure to get everyone looking

    Jem

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    Default

    Yep, that should work. Or "Do you really want to ignore this?"

  9. #9
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    There's a nice little Powerpoint presentation here...

    http://www.research.usf.edu/cs/rad/LASERS.ppt

    Fairly basic and simple to understand, perhaps worth taking a look at.

    Jem

  10. #10
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    Default

    Thats a nice presentation, Jem--it gave me an idea (uh-oh) but I don't enough about ms-ppt to get this running:
    Attached Files Attached Files

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