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Thread: Thejoy of the green laser!

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    Wink Thejoy of the green laser!



    Last night I went to bed with a back ache, it wasn't from hefting the 10" OTA it was from being contorted all night trying to see with my spotting scope. I was looking on line at laser set ups and thought I could get a half way decent eyepiece for what they're charging and shelved the idea.

    I figured out how to do it for under $20.00 I had a laser light that I bought on Amazon for $17.92 this laser performs as well as the one I paid $175.00 for about five years ago (I dropped it in the lake) then I found a bracket on ebay but they wanted almost $50.00 for it (which I thought was way too steep) and decided to make my own.

    So...tonight I went by the local goodwill and found an old spotting scope bracket in the junk pile. It's plastic but it's heavy duty and it only cost .99 cents! I had to slip some clear tubing over the laser to get it to the right thickness but it fits very nicely. When I was done I was amazed at how cool it looked, like it came with the scope.

    When I went out tonight I turned it on and found it was only off by about a degree, I adjusted it and....tonight was the most fun cruising the heavens I have ever had...ever! I can't believe I went so many years with red dots and spotting scopes! I wish I had done this long ago...I sat on my little stool tonight and just enjoyed!

    Anyone with a DOB that hasn't done it needs to get a green laser...it's cheap and it's amazing! Happy night sky!
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    Just be careful not to accidentally light up any passing aircraft - for safety, only have the laser on when you're not looking through the eyepiece, and make quite sure there are no aircraft around when you're lining it up with the scope.
    They're great tools, but potentially dangerous, so just be careful and have fun safely .
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    Default Re: Thejoy of the green laser!

    They do work well as a finder.,.,I had to laugh,.,.I also put clear hose on mine .,.,I have it and a 9x50RACI finder on my dob.,.,but if I TUNE the laser I don't need the finder.,.,O+O
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    Yes - they're great for seeing where the scope is pointing without having to contort yourself to get behind the finder . Unfortunately, I live near London, so there are just too many aircraft around to make using one practical - it's stressful enough keeping track of them with the naked eye, and looking through the scope the first you notice is when one flies through the field of view (and I've had a sky full of clouds sneak up on me a time or two, as well ). At least if you only have the laser on when you're aiming the scope with the naked eye, you have a chance of seeing anything coming in time to let go of the button...
    But I find it's a lot more relaxed just using a red dot finder where I don't have to worry
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    Default Re: Thejoy of the green laser!

    Quote Originally Posted by jerryTheC View Post
    ....for safety, only have the laser on when you're not looking through the eyepiece
    I am currently researching night-vision, red and green flash lights (torches), red and green lasers.

    If the green laser beam presents no risk to your naked eyes as an observer when aiming it away from you, how and why does it present a risk to the observer who is viewing the green beam through the eyepiece of a telescope to which it is attached as a finder / pointer?

    I have not previously found an authoritative reference to this risk.

    With thanks in the hope of some additional learning. My concern is that in recent viewing sessions my coach had repeatedly used his green laser to direct me, while looking through my Telrad, 9x50 finder-scope and ultimately, through the eyepiece of my 8" Dobsonian itself.

    No other agenda implied.
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    Default Re: Thejoy of the green laser!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper-Feet View Post
    If the green laser beam presents no risk to your naked eyes as an observer when aiming it away from you, how and why does it present a risk to the observer who is viewing the green beam through the eyepiece of a telescope to which it is attached as a finder / pointer?
    The risk is to the pilots that you can't see because you're looking through the scope.

    Quote Originally Posted by gsongpnw View Post
    I was amazed at how cool it looked, like it came with the scope.
    Pics required!
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    Default

    Sorry - I may not have been clear - the beam is safe for the person looking through the scope, or viewing from the ground - it's not safe for the pilot who flies into it because the person looking through the scope doesn't notice there's a plane around. If you only have the laser on while you're looking at the sky naked eye while pointing the scope, you can see enough of the surrounding sky so that you have a fairly good chance of noticing any nearby planes in time to point the scope somewhere else or turn the laser off before it hits the plane.

    Not sure what happens if you shine a laser into a scope while someone's looking through it - obviously a bad idea, though . I believe the UK's 1mW limit was set based on someone using binoculars (?!) while the US 5mW limit is based on naked eye - but since you can get all the beam into your eye naked eye, I can't see how using binoculars could make it any worse... So I suspect that someone may have goofed on the math somewhere unless other factors are different too...

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    Default Re: Thejoy of the green laser!

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithBC View Post
    The risk is to the pilots that you can't see because you're looking through the scope.
    Quote Originally Posted by jerryTheC View Post
    Sorry - I may not have been clear - the beam is safe for the person looking through the scope, or viewing from the ground - it's not safe for the pilot who flies into it because the person looking through the scope doesn't notice there's a plane around. If you only have the laser on while you're looking at the sky naked eye while pointing the scope, you can see enough of the surrounding sky so that you have a fairly good chance of noticing any nearby planes in time to point the scope somewhere else or turn the laser off before it hits the plane.
    Excellent...and thank you gents for the correction to my understanding of the post.

    In the situations I referred to above, my coach was operating the green laser to point out the objects and I was looking through the Telrad, the finder-scope and the telescope. He would then have been able to see any aircraft approaching overhead.

    Silly things that I have said in the recent past:

    1) I don't need an observing chair.

    2) I don't need wider or ultra-wide angle eyepieces.

    3) I don't need a larger aperture telescope.

    4) I don't need a green laser pointer.

    5) I don't need sleep.

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    Default Re: Thejoy of the green laser!

    I've been using green lasers for years for pointing out objects to the Grand kids and what not so I'm very careful with this. I make sure there is no aircraft in the sky at all before I turn it on and then only turn it on for a few seconds to line up what I'm seeing because I don't want to run down the battery. Lasers can be a potentially dangerous device, like fire arms they should be handled carefully and with a lot of respect.
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    Default Re: Thejoy of the green laser!

    I will try to put up a photo if I can get my software working again...there's a glitch somewhere and I'll probably have to reinstall it.
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