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Thread: I want to convert a laserplane to a tail light.

  1. #1
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    Default I want to convert a laserplane to a tail light.

    I don't know lasers or electronics, just solder together parts that work & simple metering.

    My goal is a highly visible red light in a revolving housing to spread a wide bean 360 degrees. This will be portable mounted on an electric bike & a disability scooter. Steady light is desired, flashing is illegal here.

    I have the conponents from a Spectra-Physics Laserplane. I believe I had checked voltage at the laser device last year during dis-assembly & present. How do I prove it has failed?

    I wish to use the upper housing as it can be assembled water proof & has the original glass windows. Can I separate the driver for the revolver from the laser & leveling circuits?

    Perhaps there are better options? I can provide photos if requested.

  2. #2
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    This is probably more suitable:

    http://www.federalsignaldistribution...ducts/121a.htm

    It's a steady rotating beam that flashes only through rotation not flashing per se.

    If you wanted to remove the flash effect, then you could probably remove the bulb shield.



    There are others on Youtube if you search for compact rotating warning beam that do constant output. Iw ouldn't know which are good and which aren't though. The one above appears to be commercial so should be robust.

    Another place to look might be cycling accessories or dog safety lights.

    I'd doubt very much that the laser level is going to have a wide beam.
    Last edited by White-Light; 10-08-2014 at 15:04.

  3. #3
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    Them caution lights are usually very reliable, certainly bright enough. I think they use 12v50w halogen, the bulb housing rotates.

    There are many options that one can buy, I want to re-purpose parts into a useful warning light, if affordable. Working units have a wide enough beam for my purpose, they can also produce a distinct line at 1000'. Beam width is adjusted with exterior baffles.
    What's desired is a bright red light reflecting off all near objects, rather than expecting drivers to see a small bicycle type of light. I currently use a flasher type, noticeable in dark areas but poor in heavy traffic. Drivers look for cars & ignore everything else. "Its my insurance companies problem" attitude.

    I'll post a few photos of the parts I have, see if anyone is familiar with these components.

  4. #4
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    Default Photos.

    See if my photos load correctly, then I can edit in my comments.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails HPIM1919 (Small).JPG  

    HPIM1920 (Small).JPG  

    HPIM1921 (Small).JPG  

    HPIM1922 (Small).JPG  

    HPIM1923 (Small).JPG  

    Last edited by Robert; 10-09-2014 at 11:59. Reason: Add info.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    See if my photos load correctly, then I can edit in my comments.
    So you want to take a nearly "eyesafe" weak laser and boost its power and use on a bike without understanding how to install a new diode and boost the power? This is not going to work. Five milliwatts of dim red laser light is just not noticeable in traffic. That is a Class III or Class Three R device. Its weak to say the least.

    As a experienced biker with electo-optics design skills, I'd suggest going with off the shelf products with one watt AUTOMOTIVE AMBER rear facing LEDs. If you have two devices on the rear flashing out of sync, you will be much more noticeable then with the laser. Automotive Amber/Yellow is chosen to be right on the peak of daytime eye sensitivity. Its only 10% off the of the night-time peak wavelength which is in the green.

    A hint, a primitive part of the human brain, looks for half cycle to two cycle per second flash periods. This corresponds roughly to rapid predator/attacker motion. Driver's brains are hard wired to look for flashes corresponding to this period from the peripheral vision. If you'd like, I can dig up Navy and FAA studies on why you want this flash rate.

    The above is why commercial traffic and aviation signals blink at that rate, or even multiples of that rate.

    Use multiple bright LEDs on the back and sides instead of the laser. Put a high quality headlight on the front in blink mode, alongside one in steady mode. It also helps if you have fixed arrays of five or more leds strobing left to right.

    A 1 Hz strobing beacon with a 10 to 30 percent duty cycle will get far more attention then a nearly continuous laser line.

    My bike is set up so the lighting scheme annoys even cops. Using multiple leds that are NOT synced and spaced 12 inches apart at the rear. One of those lights is on a rubber mount to allow it to bounce a few degrees of up and down. That scheme works.

    Another Bike hint. Don't run everything off one battery. From basic statistics, two devices on the same battery power source and wiring will have roughly TWICE the failure rate of two devices on their own power sources.

    Yellow led rim lights on the wheels help dramatically as well. So do reflectors.

    You'll live longer using LEDs.

    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 10-09-2014 at 12:41.
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    Doesn't look like I can edit above the photos, do it here.
    2nd photo shows the circuits. Most of this is for the laser leveling function & rotation speed sensing (?)
    3 & 4 shows both ends of the laser component. Total length is 73mm, 37mm diam., lens opening is 12mm +.

    How to test if the laser functions? If I recall correctly there was voltage at the red & black pins prior to disassemble. The revolving prism(s) worked, 2 speed switch selector. I had read some info on a contractor site discussing repairs on these construction levels. No details, only which repair shops seemed honest. These were $25,000. on market entry, $23,000 was for the labor its supposed to save you. This is Canada, please pay us your savings in advance.

    The only useful circuit is the laser, unless its broke& if too expensive to replace. Next option is a substitute laser & its circuit board, perhaps less power by half.

    Another option is cheapest by far, 12v 50w halogen. Problem here is the heat. Will the prism glass & its glue withstand 100 degree C ?
    The glass type is milky clear, will this only reflect red laser or full spectrum light too?

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    Default to mixedgas.

    Isn't this laser 10 watts?

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    " 15 characters"
    Last edited by Laser Wizardry; 11-13-2015 at 12:21.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the info on LED's. That is an option & I have a parts collection, I will go to an LED forum if this option is needed.

    Mixedgas, I don't think you are aware of the brightness of this unit. Its 360 degree solid appearing red light, bright at 1000'. I have no doubt you know lasers.

    On my bike I use 50watts for a headlight. The law here is red only for rear & not flashing. The flash gets overlooked as the cops know its far safer. The savvy here buy dollar store red bike lights, same circuits as $25 to $75. name brands. Of course they are in discount stores as there is a design fault usually the bats or holders fall off on the first road bump. A bit of glue...still working years later.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Isn't this laser 10 watts?
    From memory (I looked last night), between <2-<5mw depending on the model.

    In any event, you're likely to run into a whole host of legal difficulties mounting lasers onto your scooter. It's in essence a rotating laser pointer.

    As Steve said, a good led will be brighter and far less likely to land you into legal difficulties with the police and air space regulation authorities.

    Just because a laser level can project a line that's weakly visible at 1,000 feet doesn't make it visible in the air. To anyone viewing it off plane ie not shining directly into their eyes, it will appear very weak if not near invisible. Laser beams you see projected in clubs are made visible through smoke in the atmosphere and the use of often very powerful lasers with eye safety measures in place. Very different from your circumstances with a clear atmosphere, a low power laser and no control of the placement of the eyes of your "audience".

    This is what you can expect from even a 5mw laser:



    By contrast, here's a bright red led:

    Last edited by White-Light; 10-09-2014 at 13:34.

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