Monday, February 18, 2013

Praxis: Survival Lasers 300mW red kit — Tool or Toy?

Wear your goggles.


Anonymous said...

...and don't use it as a cat toy - unless you have a fire extinguisher near by.

Anonymous said...

Poor drones. Poor, poor drones.

These could play havoc with their optics.


Anonymous said...

NOT a toy. A dangerous, blind-man-making tool, to be used with extreme caution. I've commented on this topic before, here and many other places. Do not 'play' with these, they'll make you, family members, pets and neighbors far down the road blind in an instant.

I was a laser tech at a well-known university doing biomedical research. The lasers we used were in the gigawatt range, but pulsed at 10 pps and pulse widths of 15 picosecond to nanosecond range. I used goggles made with coatings specifically for the wavelengths used (in the infrared, green and UV ranges) and had to know where EVERY reflection was. I used a Kodak IR card to survey the entire clean room I worked in every time after any adjustments, so anybody walking into the lab it was in without goggles on wouldn't be blinded in 1/10th second.

These things were so powerful that just the 'speckle' reflected from a dull surface could blind someone.

There's a reason that laser pointers are limited to under 5mW power, because the eyes are very sensitive - enough to detect just one photon, which can actually be seen in a completely dark room. The retina's peak sensitivity is in the green range, that's why laser aiming mfrs are going to that wavelength. Coherent (laser) light is orders of magnitude brighter and more powerful than scattered (sunlight, incandescent, fluorescent) light and can literally blind someone either temporarily or permanently. That's why it's a felony in most jurisdictions to point an laser pointer or aiming device at anybody, and a felony in all jurisdioctions to point it at leo's or planes. Blinding a pilot on approach is basically a death sentence to him and all passengers onboard.

The military issues goggles to tank crews, pilots and anybody else using laser ranging devices because just the reflections alone can blind them. Those goggles are very expensive, using glass from Schott Optical and other mfrs like them, coated with wavelength-specific anti-reflective coatings.

My opthalmologist was in the Air Force and part of his job was to check pilots' eyes for laser damage - from reflections of the pilot's own laser ranging/aiming systems or those from enemy aircraft systems. He's still checking during each visit to make sure there was no long term damage to my retina from the UV wavelength - 30 years later.

Do NOT screw around with these. Your or your family member's sight is not worth it. Keep it in your gun safe if you think you need one, and use it for that critical time to blind electrooptics or enemy forces. Then put it away and never let your kids or dumb friends even see it (you know they'll want to play with it). Otherwise you'll be raising a blind kid or paying your neighbor reparation for the rest of your life.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately if you live in the gold ol USA we are limited by the FDA on what they can ship to us.

Anonymous said...

This is one is more effective at causing harm. The laser dot on the wall will cause blindness

Anonymous said...

Are there other lasers available capable of knocking out enemy optics which are cheaper and less dangerous than these?

Anonymous said...

Somehow these little critters sound like a nice weapon to have in the toolbox. When TSHTF it might be a bit difficult for BLIND stormtroopers to get anything done. If they are not expecting it, would make for one heck of a surprise on the Gestapo.

Anonymous said...

Heres a great way to make gun owners seem like dumb asses. Get a Tool you don't need that WILL blind -you ,the kids, the dog and some guy five miles away. I'v had teen boys try to blind me with lazer pointers. God forbid that the little rat turds had real wepons.

Anonymous said...

Buy one of the "host" kits, then get on ebay and buy a diode. Ships from China.

We did not say this. We were not here.

Anonymous said...

Why can't it be both?

Anonymous said...

Please see my comments on the posted story from the first time it was ran in 2012.
I stand by them.

Its a tool that can harm, be careful. Now go forth and burn shit.


CowboyDan said...

Anon1252, I had much the same experience. A little bastard at a mall flashed me with a pair of them one day. I told a cop but he couldn't find him.

If I hadn't just had my eyes fried, I would've shot the little bastard, but... Woulda, coulda, shoulda, right?

My eyes still aren't right, and it's been about fifteen years. I think I've worked with hm a couple of places.

He's about a worthless POS.

Will said...

Consider ALL lasers as dangerous to your vision, so you don't get careless by getting comfortable with the low power types like pointers. The problem is your eye can't measure the power level just by seeing the small amount that gets to you by reflection.

Even a red HeNe laser that is less than 2% of this power (5mw) can cause vision problems that can last for a month, just from walking through the beam.

BTW, almost anything can reflect a laser beam. How much of the power actually is reflected, and the shape of the reflected beam, and therefor the power density, depends on a number of factors.
It doesn't have to look like the mirror in your house, to be a good reflector.

Think of this: a laser rangefinder can see the reflection off of tree leaves at better than 600 yards.

The non-visible wavelength lasers can be more dangerous to vision, so be especially careful around them.

As a precaution, check your safety glasses/goggles to verify the lenses AND frames/shields don't allow transmission of your laser's beam. Plus, don't expect that they will work as well with a different type of laser. They tend to be designed to work with specific wavelengths, and normally will be marked with the info. The more they can handle, the more costly they get. They are not universal.

Don't trust the safety gear, until you verify that it works. I suffered a corneal burn because the glasses we had received from a new vendor
had a problem with the plastic they made the frames and side shields from. My safety glasses only stopped a portion of the power, and it varied from one set to another. We measured them all in-house. This was twenty years ago, and glasses cost $250-500 each, to handle the two wavelengths we worked with. A costly discovery for the vendor.