Matt Giles from Total Lasers (http://www.totallasers.co.nz) was kind enough to send me one his lasers for review. This is not your run of the mill laser pointer, that sits on your keyring and gets destroyed in a few short months, and is only useful for driving cats insane around the lounge – no, its a heavy duty, kick-butt unit, with plenty of valid uses, and probably a few mischevious ones too.
A word of caution, these lasers are absolutely not toys. The are 50mW, and capable of blinding people and animals all too easily, and burning paper, skin and other items, if concentrated in one spot for even a short while. Definitley not something to give a kid for christmas, unless they are responsible, and old enough to understand the risks, and how to use them safely.
The laser itself is about 10cm long, in a nice chrome casing, with a secure screw in battery cap, housing 2 'AAA' batteries. The lens is non adjustable (no cheesy shapes to project on the wall), and simple push-button operation. It would have been nice to see a flush mounted switch on a device like this, it would make me a little more confident about just throwing it in bag, though it does come with a nice compact metal case that has storage for spare batteries also, and to keep your laser in top condition, this would be the preferred method of storage/transport.
During the day, you can see the point of the laser from quite some distance, and its quite large too. This would be a perfect laser pointer for presentations in large, well lit auditoriums, where the $2 shop units just are of zero use. But its at night where this really shows its power. From a reasonable distance, you can see the path of the laser emanating from the tip of the device until it reaches its points, or, alternatively, pointed into the night sky, you can have a clear line pointing to an object in the sky, so you can literally point out a single star, satellite, comet, or other item to another person, or group of people. A little testing down my street, followed by a measurement of distance showed that at night, in a well lit urban area, i could point the laser at a brick wall a kilometer away, and see the point very brightly!!
We had some success popping balloons with it at a short distance one night at a party, however, to the credit of the Durex condom company, their product, when inflated a la balloon style fared very well, and was unable to be laser-popped! Not really the sort of toy to get out at drunken parties, as most people, especially when under the influence of alcohol, will underestimate the risks that go with these products – so back away it went.
Im sure that there are so many more uses for high powered lasers than I could think of all by myself, other than teaching, presentations, astronomy, hunting, and other various outdoor activities, for which it would be useful to point out an object a long way away.
My underperforming Sony compact digital camera was unable to take any meaningful night time shots of the laser in action, but I can tell you that they really stand out, and when used in the night sky, soon have the neighbours over asking what its all about! (It was great to stand there with a blank expression and say “Huh? What green light pointing into my backyard?” :-P)
Various strengths of laser are available, and they are available in different colours, the one I evaluated was a green laser, available online at http://www.totallasers.co.nz.
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Comment by Fossie, on 23-Jan-2007 19:11
I was drooling over these on their site a few months ago...just wish I had the money to buy one.
Comment by inane, on 24-Jan-2007 13:15
I would love to see a video clip of burning paper and / or popping the balloons with the beauty.
not to be a skeptic, but hey, im a skeptic.
however - that said, if you post a vid showing the 50mW version doing that, I am soo getting one of the 150mW green lasers
Comment by Total Lasers, on 24-Jan-2007 15:16
inane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxAiGSKuzmg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdtbRKO_5i8 Cheesy, I know, but it should get the point across :)
Comment by Jerry, on 28-Jul-2008 21:15
Today, I received our order about 300pcs green laser pointer from Tianqi Technology CO.,Ltd. After testing, we found the quality is very good, I am very glad..........:) (www.buil-dup.com)