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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:Last year I created a laser vortex to be used in my yard, but I never brought it out because I was nervous about eye damage... Was I just being a Nervous Nelly or is some reason for concerns. I was planning on using a little 5mW laser red laser pointer.

Below is a picture I snapped of it in testing using my more manly 100mW laser.

 

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I wonder the same thing. I'm toying with the idea of using a vertical plane as a doorway, but I'd hate for someone to hurt their eyes. Little kids, you never know.
 

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5mw is not dangerous. Now that 100mw is another story :)

The laser I use has an adjustable power supply that goes from barely visible to ~120mw. But I only use it at ~20mw for my vortex. I did not run the vortex last year (ran out of time) but previously I had set it up in my garage facing the door. This setup blocked the laser from ever going past the edge of the garage eliminating any danger of shining somewhere I did not want. I was also concerned about anybody complaining of the laser shining on their house or cars as they drove by. People seem to get really touchy about lasers.

I would love to try and do an outside liquid sky effect over the Tots heads, but wind would make it really tricky.
 

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I made one a couple years ago too. I haven't used it on my display either. I think it looks great, but I always am cautious! I would be hard to disprove that you didn't harm a kids eye. I just felt the risk was not worth the reward. I have been thinking about away to make it visible without any direct contact with the light beam. As of yet I don't have a good solution. So mine will not be part of my display this year either.(unless I have an epiphany in the next week or two)
 

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Hubbys using his vortex this year for the front yard. But I believe his placing it on the top of our roof. Its not to high though and he'll probably do a test run on it.
 

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I remembered I had an old grocery store laser scanner socked away in a box, so I pulled out the spinning mirror and gave it a whirl last night. All I had for a laser was a 3mW keychain pointer though, which wasn't nearly enough to light up the fog. So a 20mW laser will suffice, do you think? Or should I go higher? I also heard that green is more visible than other colors. Anybody have experience with that?
 

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The green lasers are more visible than the red, but cost a fair amount more. When I bought mine, it was close to double the price for a decent quality green laser. The blue are even more.

I built my first vortex with a green 5mw, but it could only stay in for about on hour before it would overheat and shut down. But I've been told by a number of people that their pointers can run for hours without a problem. As soon as you step up past about 10mw the price can get steep for a 100% duty cycle 20mw, but I have not looked in a couple of years. I picked up mine on ebay for ~$60. It's not pretty but it can run all night and gets pretty darn bright. But make sure to be safe once you start working with anything over 10mw.

Here is a dot shot at pretty much full power compared to the 5mw pointer. Ignore all the junk on the floor. I had not swept after finishing my toe pincher :)


OP, sorry I hope I did not hijack. But to clarify my position on a 5 mw vortex. Personally I would not run a vortex that could potentially shine in someones eyes. Not because of potential injury (how fast is that mirror spinning?) but more to avoid offending someone or having a confrontation about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
5mw lasers are dirt cheap these days. I got a green one for $5 last year and they sent me 2! I just got a blue-violet one for $10 and realized that if I'd looked further down the page I could have gotten it cheaper.

Shop smart, shop S-Mart!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm actually thinging of going with a Liquid Sky effect along the ground. I have an old VCR I ripped the read head out of. Glue on some front-silver mirrors along the perimeter of the head and shoot laser...

I will post pix if I can get it working...
 
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