August 7, 2011 2 Comments
Just received my, “Flashlight Sample” from Hong Kong. I guess it’s better than calling it a high power laser and losing it at customs. I’m certainly satisfied with seeing a clearly visible beam in just about any light condition! No smoke required! Using it to cut electrical tape like butter, and popping balloons never gets dull! Shining this thing on the ceiling literally lights up the whole room! The only downside is that there are warnings NOT to look at the dot without eye protection… how can I resist!?
The legality of high power handheld laser
pointers is somewhat murky and will likely change in the near future. It may be a federal crime to shine a powerful laser at the sky (who could resist doing this) since it may hit an aircraft.
How they work:
This is a Diode Pumped Solid State laser (DPSS). The actual diode inside is an infrared laser, and the light gets changed to a green color by a rather interesting, yet inefficient process. Anyway I don’t want this post to be too long, so head here if you want to learn more! I’ve read that cheap DPSS lasers don’t have the IR filter in order to have a higher power output. This must dramatically increase danger since shades probably don’t block IR too!
I plan on putting this bad boy on a robot that will drive around popping balloons, and target tank cut outs made out of black flash paper. Another possible use is to buy a simple line camera and make a laser distance sensor.
Where to buy:
After a year and some change the laser diode failed. Disappointing since I never went through a set of batteries! That’s a pretty good indication that the laser diode was being driven far beyond its ratings. Be warned when buying from Wicked Lasers!