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How To Turn a Mini Maglite Into a Laser

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the a-thousand-tiny-burn-marks dept.

Toys 605

Lucas123 writes "Using the laser from a DVD burner, this instructional video shows you how to create a hand-held laser that is powerful enough to light a match and pop a balloon. There's some soldering involved and the Maglite's bulb housing needs to be drilled out to fit the new laser diode, but with some basic skill, most people could do this. Just plain cool." Update: 07/09 12:23 GMT by KD : Warning, the device that results from following these instructions will blind you if you look into it.

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Uhhh... (5, Informative)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166335)

So basically you're not making a laser, you're just moving a laser from a drive into a flashlight case.

Re:Uhhh... (5, Funny)

Curien (267780) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166343)

Yes, thank you for repeating the article summary.

Re:Uhhh... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166415)

They're making a hand-held laser and the keyword is "hand-held" not "laser".

Redundant? (0, Offtopic)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166699)

Parent is the first post I see, it has a topical observation yet it's marked "redundant"... by people who don't want to read ANY comment?

Re:Redundant? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166823)

Well... It's actually a redundant post, since it is repeating the article summary. And discussions like this are totally stupid and unnecessary. :)

Re:Uhhh... (4, Funny)

loganrapp (975327) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166711)

Yeah, but now you can put it on sharks!

Re:Uhhh... (2, Funny)

spootle (1033314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166739)

At least they're not moving it into a fleshlight case

Sounds like fun. (2, Funny)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166341)

Know what I'm doing this weekend :) now if only this could be modified for Laser tag

Re:Sounds like fun. (5, Funny)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166355)

Just tape balloons to people in strategic spots, I guess.

Re:Sounds like fun. (2, Funny)

aerthling (796790) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166561)

Or: last one to go blind wins.

Re:Sounds like fun. (2, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166723)

Go blind? You masturbate while you're playing laser tag? More like laser fag! =)

Actually, I was thinking that I can finally get laser eye surgery now, and ditch these glasses. I just need a really fast switch to pulse the laser and a mirror to see what I'm doing and I'm good to go. Plus, I'll be saving like $2000+ dollars.

Re:Sounds like fun. (1)

teaserX (252970) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166719)

This a good time for an active brainstorming of "what *else* could we do with this?"

/me obligatory MUHUHUAHAHA!

This is cool, but can it... (3, Interesting)

Seismologist (617169) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166345)

actually ignite a match like that? I didn't know that 2 AA batteries could put out that much power in a laser beam... this is clearly a lot more powerful than your standard run-of-the-mill laser pointer used in presentations. I'm so tempted on doing this.

Cool isn't the word... (3, Informative)

Slashamatic (553801) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166489)

The problem isn't the current draw - it is the heat. The big laser pointers tend to ensure there is better thermal coupling to the case so the waste heat is removed. With this, it will tend to heat up the module until pssst... and your laser is dead. Should be ok for less than a minute or so.

Sure (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166545)

Laser pointers (green ones at least) aren't limited in power because of their batteries, they are limited in power because of safety. Because of the concentrated nature of the beam, you can do some real damage. As such all pointers are limited to 5mW. For red, that's not a big deal as the diode caps out around there anyhow. However green diode lasers can be easily made to go more.

Re:Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166585)

So what your saying if one really wanted to do this mod for heat and life then one should use a green diode and not a red diode because it will last longer and put out more heat. Is that correct? Is there a color diode even better than greene. Is there anything else I should at when buying these. Also what if I move up to like one of their Double-D sized batteries flashlight unit instead of the two Double-A battery model they used in the demo.

Re:Sure (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166661)

A shorter wavelength laser will have more energy. Ultraviolet would be the best. Unless you modify the laser module's circuit, using bigger batteries would not make any difference to the output other than the fact that they will last longer before going flat.

Re:Sure (2, Interesting)

dido (9125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166735)

So you could do some real interesting things with a Blu-ray diode then...

Re:Sure (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166921)

Green lasers can put out more energy because of their design in general. Now from the demo, it looks like this red diode is more powerful than the ones normally used in laser pointers, not sure on its power. I don't know what the maximum is, but it is in the 100s of mW. I don't know about the orange or blue diodes, haven't really looked at them. The problem is that they are rather expensive so I don't think you'll want to buy them. D batteries have the same voltage as A batteries, just more storage capacity. So using those will make it last longer. As a practical matter, the voltage you feed it needs to be whatever it was designed to take, so if 3 volts is what is called for, do not go over or under that, you'll probably just screw up your stuff.

One thing to note though is that green laser are more complicated. There isn't actually a single diode that does green, rather it is an IR light that's generated and then frequency doubled to make green. In fact one would probably get more energy per square mm by simply using the IR output. Of course that is even more dangerous since you can't see IR and thus could be lasing your eyes and not know it.

Before you do this, note three things:

1) You can buy lasers over 5mW commercially. Just search Google for it, it isn't illegal or anything.

2) To own and operate any laser over 5mW requires a license. You are responsible for getting it from the FDA.

3) Messing with high power lasers (and yes over 5mW is high power in the laser world) is rather dangerous. That's why there's the limits. If you have a 100+mW laser, which is around what you'd need to light a match, even the reflected light could damage your vision permanently if you hit your eye. Given that you don't seem to know much bout lasers, best not to fuck around with this. Consider that the sun provides about 1000 watts per square meter to the earth, and that looking right at it will damage your sight in a few minutes if you aren't protected. That works out to about 1mW per square mm. So take a laser, who's dot is only around a square mm or two, then consider its power. Yes, it really is brighter than the sun. When you are talking about some of these high power 3B lasers, they are MANY times brighter than the sun. Don't play with powerful lasers until you learn about them.

Great... (5, Funny)

sRev (846312) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166349)

Now when I go to the movies, instead of worrying about Brad Pitt having a red dot on his face, I have to worry about the screen igniting. Good times.

Re:Great... (3, Interesting)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166555)

You know they're gonna solve that before we have kids.

Tiny Violin: Poor kids never know the simple pleasure of the laser :(

Re:Great... (3, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166625)

You know they're gonna solve that before we have kids.

At /. it's like saying "You've got a better chance winning the lottery though..."

Careful with this thing. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166359)

In the words of Rainier Wolfcastle:

My eyes! The goggles do nothing!

yeah baby (4, Funny)

sudo (194998) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166381)

So where did I put those frikin sharks?

Re:yeah baby (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166409)

I'm in favor of dolphins with lasers myself.

Re:yeah baby (1)

hosecoat (877680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166631)

sharks are on the endangered species list, it will take months to clear up the red tape. how bout sea bass?

Re:yeah baby (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166893)

Are they ill-tempered?

Laser Housing (1)

MrLeap (1014911) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166391)

Is that necessary? Is it just a metal tube or does it serve a more substantial purpose.

Re:Laser Housing (2, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166435)

"Is that necessary? Is it just a metal tube or does it serve a more substantial purpose."


Now do you understand why they don't allow optical media writers in your carry-ons?

Next to turn a laser into a repeating rifle - all part of our DIY Firearms Convergence Series, here on the 'Defending the Homefront' Channel. Brought to you by 'Ahmed's Security Stuff' - at ASS, we pick up on the first ring!

Re:Laser Housing (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166541)

Now do you understand why they don't allow optical media writers in your carry-ons?

No, I don't. I carried my cd-burning laptop on a plane 2 months ago. Where's the problem?

Re:Laser Housing (1)

Curien (267780) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166765)


Re:Laser Housing (1)

Nalk (978426) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166829)

Now do you understand why they don't allow optical media writers in your carry-ons?

They don't?

What about laptops? Presentation mice?

Heck, I even brought two external DVD-RW drives from Portland to Boston and back in my carry-on, in addition to two laptops!

Re:Laser Housing (4, Interesting)

Slugster (635830) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166889)

Re: Is the metal housing really necessary? ....Yes, for the most part.

I tried this some time back, and it didn't quite work, but I'll relate what I know anyway:

1. There's TWO laser diodes in a DVD burner--remove them both out carefully, preserving as much of the leads already-soldered-on as you can! The leads of the laser diodes are very short (maybe 2mm) and only about a half-millimeter apart, it's damn tough to get the longer leads soldered back on if you cut them off, and there's no need to cut them off and then attempt to solder them back on anyway.

2. Inside the DVD burner you will find TWO laser diodes, with mirrors that feed them both into the same beam. Each will be glued inside its own heatsink, a piece of metal that may be a very odd shape, and then these are attached to a bigger copper plate. To tell them apart, just test them--try applying 1.5V power to both diodes one at a time, the CD one is IR and won't appear to do anything. The DVD one will light up visible red. (if all the lenses are removed from them at this point, you cannot burn your eyes out, that's in the next step...)

3. The bare laser diodes don't put out a laser "beam", they just create a pinpoint light (that's safe to look at!). To get the beam, you must mount a fisheye lens with its concave side set very close to the diode, almost touching it.

4. The laser housing is a metal tube with a fisheye lense set in it. The laser diode will get warm with 1.5V on it, and will get too hot to hold in ~30 seconds with 3V on it. The laser housing serves partly as a heatsink, and also as a way to hold the lens without melting (the DVD-drive optics will have a fisheye lense, but those optics are usually set into little plastic frames, and they may melt in this use).

....Mine didn't work because I could not find a way to get the laser diode out of the original steel heatsink it came in. It was glued inside a hole about 6mm deep in a odd-shaped steel heatsink. You could maybe grind the heatsink away a bit at a time with a Dremel & cutoff wheel, but laser diodes are sensitive to heat, so you cant let the laser get too hot. I tried using mine still in its heatsink with other optics (telescope objectives and whatnot), and with those set in front of it, it would melt a garbage bag a little but wouldn't do much else.

IF you manage to get one out and do this, don't run it for more than ~20 seconds at a time without letting it cool down for a minute or so. The laser diode will work with 3V batteries hooked straight to it, but you're definitely not going to get that 100,000 hour lifetime. You'd be lucky to get 1000 hours. The DVD laser output power is typically around 210mW, and more than 150mW is enough to burn stuff (the CD laser won't burn stuff because it's only around 40-50mW max).

Shark (4, Funny)

wizardguy (245100) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166399)

Ok, so where do I get the shark ? and where is the manual on how to mount it on the shark ?

Re:Shark (4, Funny)

Vombatus (777631) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166471)

and where is the manual on how to mount it on the shark ?

Mounting the laser could be a slight problem if the shark is conscious

Re:Shark (1)

8ball629 (963244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166729)

Man.. this comment is funnier than the parent lol... someone mod this guy up!

Re:Shark (4, Interesting)

Xemu (50595) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166795)

Mounting the laser could be a slight problem if the shark is conscious

Just turn the shark upside down before mounting, that makes it go into tonic immobility for about 20 minutes.

Re:Shark (5, Funny)

Pogdranaut (1103447) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166781)

and where is the manual on how to mount it on the shark ?
mount -t lamniformesh /dev/laser shark

Exactly what we need... (1, Troll)

OakLEE (91103) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166407)

Now instead of just hitting the neighbor's cat with a sling shot, Jimmy can set it on fire.

To repeat an old warning (5, Funny)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166423)

"Do not look into Laser with remaining eye!"

Re:To repeat an old warning (4, Informative)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166819)

With a 245mW laser, that should be modded informative, not funny. It is strong enough that it can cause permanent eye damage from a reflection, long before the blink reflex kicks in.

Sharks (1)

Psychotic_Wrath (693928) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166425)

Where is the sharkhead aapparatus?

This is why I read Slashdot (5, Funny)

olyar (591892) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166427)

Windows bashing? Witty comments? Duped stories? Comments about duped stories and how often they get posted? Soviet Russia and Overlord jokes? Left-leaning political commentary?

Nope. None of those things.

Articles about making lasers? Yes! Yes! It can light things on fire too?

Excuse me. I think I may have just wet my pants.

Don't look into the laser with your one good eye. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166487)

You forgot a very old stereotypical slashdot joke.

Re:This is why I read Slashdot (5, Funny)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166643)

I for one welcome our laser-wielding Soviet Russian overlords with a Beowulf cluster of goggles that do nothing against Natalie Portman covered in hot grits making the first post on a duped story about the Cowboy Neal option for polls.

This makes me sad. (2, Interesting)

mdenham (747985) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166429)

DVD players use a red laser; presumably Blu-Ray players use a blue laser (though why you're cannibalizing the operative piece of a $1k+ piece of... oh, wait, maybe you already converted your PS3 into a grill)... but there isn't anything that uses a green laser that's readily obtainable, is there?

Re:This makes me sad. (2, Funny)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166479)

I for one welcome our new mag-lite-bearing-sith-overlords... you jedi scum can leave... these aren't the lasers your looking for...

Hey look... I just butchered a movie script...

Re:This makes me sad. (2, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166557)

You can get green lasers very cheaply on eBay. Oddly enough I was looking for one last night, and spotted some for less than £15 GB (or about $150 US).

Re:This makes me sad. (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166757)

I haven't looked at exchange rates lately. Has the dollar gotten that weak? Ten bucks to the pound?

Re:This makes me sad. (5, Informative)

Curien (267780) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166789)

It depends. In nickels (4.5g), the dollar is about 5 bucks per pound. If you use quarters (5.67g), you get about 20 bucks.

Re:This makes me sad. (1)

cyberanth (952084) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166805)

what could possibly go wrong? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166443)

It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye... or at least an eyebrow!

Seriously though I know the perfect use for this -- long distance fly swatter!

Just plain cool ??? Just plain stupid (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166451)

As one of the comments stated, pointing this at a reflective surface could really be bad if the beam is reflected back into your eyes. A long time ago a friend told me about how he was watching a Blue Oyster Cult concert, complete with a laser show, through binoculars and one of the beams caught him in the eye and he said it really hurt. Especially being magnified. Seriously, this little gem may not add recipients to the Darwin awards, but it has a lot of potential for misuse. Why does Slashdot post these questionable and dangerous things? A glance at the comments should convince you that at least one nuthead geek would build it and end up blinding his little sister.

Re:Just plain cool ??? Just plain stupid (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166461)

Two words: personal responsibility

Re:Just plain cool ??? Just plain stupid (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166481)

Because, Slashdot is FREE SPEECH, free speech necessarily is harmful to kids, little geek sisters, and old people crossing the road at a slow pace by default. Otherwise it wouldn't be free. Plus its O.K. if laser shark armies blind us! I for one welcome our new Laser Shark Overlords! LSO's FTW!!!

Re: Just plain stupid - IR lasers are dangerous (2, Informative)

danskal (878841) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166985)

You are wrong! Great freedom comes with great responsibility, and freedom of speech does not have to be harmful.

Freedom of speech or not, it is irresponsible to tempt people with limited or no knowledge to mess with technology that is likely to blind them or others. There is no age limit for readers of this site, so you have to assume that you might be speaking to teenagers or even kids. I would have thought that americans, with their love of lawsuits, would have learnt that by now.

Especially IR lasers (invisible lasers) are dangerous, because they will damage your eyes and you will not even blink or know what happened. The first thing that happens is you feel pain, and the damage is done.

Kids, have a game of soccer instead.... you might actually get a tan and some friends

Mods, wake up! (2, Informative)

T0t0r0_fan (658111) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166747)

Sure, cool and simple it is, but do you want to start placing bets on how many people are seriously going to think before pointing this at a mirror? This is the kind of article you'd expect to have a page of safety instructions in big flashing letters before ANY instructions. Free speech it is, but the author AND editor need to have some fscking sense of responsibility, too.

Obligatory Star Wars (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166463)

I feel a great disturbance in the internets. Like a thousand LG drives cried out in pain and were suddenly silenced. ...

Join the dark side, hack your mini-mag. Seriously sweet.

Good plan (3, Funny)

xrayspx (13127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166469)

There's going to be a lot of blind hackers in the next couple of weeks. If you're smart, you'll figure out how to wrangle this as workmans comp before you build the thing.

Dude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166473)

Why not build a laser diode into cell phones?

That would give me two good reasons to beat the crap out of those people when the movie sucks.

now all we need are sharks! (0)

doktorjayd (469473) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166491)

and of course a means of mounting the frickin lasers on them.

CD burner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166501)

Would an old CD burner laser be powerful enough to amount to enough to pop balloons? I have plenty of old CD burners, but all my 2 DVD burners in computers.

Re:CD burner? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166769)

Yeah. But CD burner lasers are infrared so they won't look as cool (and you won't know that you are aiming it at your eye until you hear the boiling sound).

And be very very careful with these lasers, they are strong enough to cause permanent eye damage and blindness even at very short exposure times.

Re:CD burner? (1)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166841)

Can someone tell me what this post says? I think I burned my eye.

Re:CD burner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166833)

Seriously people 5mw cheap laser pointer from 1 mile away = staring into a 100 watt light bulb. From close up it can easily damage your vision and with anything that can start a fire well you'd be lucky if an unintentional significant specular reflection doesn't hurt you or someone else.

Not that you would care but anything above 5mw is most likely illegal in the states without a license. On another note anyone who is stupid enough to play with UV lasers deserves everything they get.

Nice timing (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166505)

I just found a beat up mini mag with some old stuff of mine. Damn thing still worked too, their durability is legendary. I've also got a burner sitting here not being used. It's not a 16x and the article specifically mentions that, would other speed burners still work? Otherwise I'm going to buy a 16x just to rip out the diode. I don't own a soldering iron (I know, I know turn in my geek card and gun). Guess I'm going to radioshack this weekend. This should be pretty damn fun.

Re:Nice timing (5, Informative)

hankwang (413283) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166715)

would other speed burners still work?

Yes. But the main problem is that you need some way to limit the electric current through the diode. Laser diodes behave a bit like LEDs, electrically: below a threshold (2.5 V or so) there is little current and they don't do much, and above that threshold, every 0.1 V you add will increase the current and light output enormously. Too much current and the diode will die in a matter of seconds. Apparently the laser diode he used was just right at 3 V from two penlites, although I doubt that he had a calibrated laser power meter to measure whether the output power matched the nominal power rating for the diode. The simplest way to limit the current is to use a higher voltage and a series resistor. Something else is that the laser assembly in different optical writers sometimes doesn't have the collimating lens attached to the laser diode itself: without lens a laser diode produces a very divergent beam.

Now for safety: I work with fairly high-power lasers (up to 25 W) for a living and consider a hand-held 250 mW laser in the hands of someone without appropriate training in laser safety hugely irresponsible. According to the IEC60825 standard on laser safety, 200 mW will lead to permament eye damage within 1 microsecond (!) of exposure. The reason laser pointers are restricted to 1 or 5 mW (depending on the country) is that for those powers, eye damage will occur after 0.3 seconds, which is about the time for the blinking reflex to close your eyes in the event of accidental exposure. Unexpected reflections from things like glass can be up to 10% of the beam power - 20 mW (eye damage in 10 microseconds).

Re:Nice timing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166931)

Could someone please call the police here? They'll figure out where he lives and hopefully arrest this guy for endangering the public health. Even if he does it at home he can burn out an eye of someone in the street through his window. We don't need need such irresponsible people to make streets unsafe this way. Realize that if you get hit with this for a moment into your eye, you get a dead spot in your vision for your life!

Unfortunately I can't see the video because it's encrypted in Flash and I have OpenBSD where Flash doesn't work.

Young Skywalker (5, Funny)

infonography (566403) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166515)

I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete, indeed you are powerful as the emperor has foreseen. - Darth Vader

Soddering? (2, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166543)

Is that a strange way of pronouncing 'soldering'?

Re:Soddering? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166575)

Is that a strange way of pronouncing 'soldering'?
Maybe it's what you get if you combine an electronics class with the Goatse guy.

Re:Soddering? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166595)

Not exactly. []

Re:Soddering? (0, Offtopic)

tom17 (659054) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166613)

It's the yank way of saying it. Very very odd.

Re:Soddering? (4, Funny)

billgates (75865) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166615)

It's an American thing. The rest of the English speaking world uses 'soldering'.

Re:Soddering? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166771)

Strange yes, but maybe it gives some indication of what else he might be using his soldering iron for :P

BluRay (5, Funny)

VariableGHz (1099185) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166577)

Think of (all?) the people who now have a good use for their BluRay players. ;P

bad f**kin idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166589)

Makes me think what the cause of this one was...
Qantas pilot dazzled by laser []

Um, *excuse* me!? (5, Informative)

edunbar93 (141167) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166645)

What part of "This product contains a Class 2 laser. Do not power on without enclosure" did you not understand? This has the potential for causing serious bodily harm, including but not limited to permanent blindness!

Re:Um, *excuse* me!? (0)

Suicyco (88284) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166687)

That is why it is so awesome. Totally awesome.

Is this the most irresponsible thing ever posted.. (0)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166787)

on slashdot?

Oh wait, I forgot about this [] ...

But seriously. Cue a bunch of geeks arguing that teaching people how to build dangerously powerful lasers from cheap and widely available components is a Great Thing.

How hard would it be to align a couple of dozen of these in a rack, park your truck next to an airport, and aim it at the cockpit of a plane as it lands or takes off? Very easy, I'd say. Here in Australia we had this [] just this week.

I'm normally the first person to argue against hysteria about terrorism, but I can't help but think that whether it's terrorists or standard variety morons, giving people dangerous tools and no training is a poor idea.

Up next: the US government bans DVD burners...

Re:Um, *excuse* me!? (5, Funny)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166839)

You're not the boss of me. I hate you! I hate you! God, my family sucks.

Oh, sorry. I was channeling a 14 year old emo girl for a minute.

Re:Um, *excuse* me!? (2, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166937)

If the laser is just Class 2, then unmodified there is little risk. You can't find a laser pointer less than Class 3R for the most part. Supposing the video is genuine, it looks like the diode is being badly over driven and thus is now Class 3B or even a Class 4 which certainly is a concern.

Dumbass in the comments (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166679)

There is a guy in the comments section of the blog who is giving out dangerous advice:

That thing might blind you if you stare at it but second or 2 blast won't do any damage. It took a bit to pop the balloon and your eyes are probably tougher than a balloon.
That is so completely false.

If you can pop a balloon with it, it is probably in the 100mw range which is enough to do permanent eye damage in 1/100th of a second. That's faster than you can blink. You won't go blind instantly, you'll just burn out a bunch of optic nerves, producing a 'hole' in your vision. Chances are, your brain will correct for the hole and you won't even know its there, unless an object ends up right at that point in your field of view, at which point it will 'magically' disappear.

Re:Dumbass in the comments (4, Informative)

LarsG (31008) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166863)

The laser used in the article is said to be 245mW, so with regards to eye safety it would not be an exaggeration to say 'this is a weapon, not a toy'.

Dr Evil (0)

AlanCramer (1132757) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166741)

"Now I can finally have sharks with a frikkin lazer attached to its frikkin head."

Now if someone could make... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166755) instruction how to make these fancy-looking protective laser goggles for that wavelength for less than 200 USD, I would be very happy.

This stuff is fun. . . (3, Informative)

dhalgren (34798) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166761)

. . .but read and understand the safety FAQ first: []


Re:This stuff is fun. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166801)

That sounds familiar....

Before we use any power tools, let's take a moment to talk about shop safety. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. Knowing how to use your power tools properly will greatly reduce the risk of personal injury. And remember this: there is no more important safety rule than to wear these -- safety glasses.

2 AA batteries ? (2, Interesting)

CharmElCheikh (1140197) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166775)

How long will 2 AA batteries last shooting so much power ?

Darwin Awards (1)

Mr. Lwanga (872401) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166777)

For some reason, there is a real genius out there who will get the Darwin Award for building this device and looking straight into to it for a prolonged period of time, with both eyes.

Fuck safety (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166837)

Use the IR diode :)

Wire stripper (1)

ealott (960954) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166867)

I'd be very interested to use this as a wire stripper, just like in the movie Executive Decision. I imagine most of the wires will need to be black or green and will require a few seconds of exposure before the insulation could be burned away, but having a perfectly stripped wire would be worth it. Even better is being able to strip any segment of the wire, not just the ends. Another good use would be to pop those annoying mylar balloons that litter vaulted ceilings after special occasions. I've searched and Digikey for laser diodes that are 150-200 mW, but to no avail. It would be great if anyone knows where to order only the diode.

MY EYES! (4, Funny)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166879)

MY EYES! The googles do nothing!

What about the radiation? (1)

RaceCarDriver (856347) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166891)

Is there enough that it could be harmful? (I mean in general, not pointed at eye(s))

Cool 10 min. Reduced eyesight for 50 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20166901)

AAAGH. It was cool. Now I have no pain, but also no leftside peripheral view on my left eye.

Not Cool (1)

Saggi (462624) | more than 7 years ago | (#20166971)

This is not Cool... actually it's quite hot.

Umm, this isn't a toy.. (3, Funny)

wamerocity (1106155) | more than 7 years ago | (#20167001)

It's a personal Protective device. I, for one, plan on keeping this handy or even making it find a home in a smaller case that can run on button cells (if only for a few seconds) purely as a protective device.

Pepper spray? My balls! Nothing to teach an assailant a lesson like losing vision in one eye.

actually the one thing I am VERY interested in is if can produce enough pinpoint heat to start a flammable liquid on fire from a distance...oh.. I think I just came.

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