Would it be crazy to even handle such a laser without eye protection?
I know that <5mW "should be" safe w/o goggles but how about from 5mW up to around 30mW. I see conflicting posts on laser pointer forums regarding safety. I am not talking about a direct hit to the eye from a foot or so but rather an accidental hit from a few yards or a reflection from that distance.
Class 3b is such a large range (5to 500 mW) it would seem that in the lower range (say 15- 30) it might not be a problem that could cause permanent damage. I dont want to be a test case so I wonder if anyone here has some real world experience about the risk of using a 15-30mW laser w/o eye protection.
If I buy said laser it will be from laserglow so it will be a true 35mW.
Your comments please.
Yes it stinks having to carry round a pair of goggles in order to use your laser.
Call it an inconveinent truth.
I would have liked to have gotten a 10 mw version before the USA Federal ban. Z bolt has some 5 mw lasers that appear to be more powerful than my CR 123 5mw green.
I am not aware of any federal ban can you point me to some authortative source to read up? I think higher powers are legal to own as long as they have the 5 safety features. I do have a remaining question about using them out of doors - but I think the astronomers do.
I bought the Laserglow Galileo cr 123 guaranteed above 4.5 mW, Z bolt's equivalent guarantees above 4.0 mW. Galileo costs more. I have not found anyone else reputable guaranteeing anything closer to the 4.99 mW legal limit for class 3a.
You never really know. I've used 50,w lasers without goggles with no trouble, but that doesn't mean that they're safe.
On the other hand, I was working with a 5mw diode in a lab once. I wasn't wearing goggles then either, and at one point I'd accidentally bumped the setup, which momentarily glitched the power supply, which in turn caused a spike in the laser's output. At the same moment, that bump caused the laser assembly to turn towards my face. The spike in laser output caught me in the corner of my eye and it stung.
I was so rattled by this close call that I shut everything down, turned off the lights and went home.
I followed up with a visit to my opthamoligist. Fortunately there was no permanent damage, but gosh was I rattled by it.
My laser projector is a full Watt when fully on and I do not wear goggles when using it. Granted it is stationary and the beams are being moved; this may be apples to oranges. It is all about what you feel safe doing and how much faith you have in yourself and the controller of the laser. I have taken many hits in the eye from my projector and have no damage; that is not to say damage could not occur as it VERY well could. I frequently watch shows where to projector is pointed directly at the chair I sit in less than 10 feet away. This is done using a lense that diverges the lasers in conjunction with my software, Pangolin, that has an attenuation map where you can cause the lasers to turn off where ever you create the attenuation map. I attenuate from 3 inches above my head to just below my chest and about 3 inches to the left and right of each shoulder. Best seat in the house and no goggles, but I have faith in my equipment and do not fear sitting in this VERY UNSAFE location because of that faith. You should on do what you feel safe doing; 35mW can be dangerous as a constant stationary beam, or a full reflection of that beam. Keep it in constant motion and it is not as dangerous...