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Using a laser with my 8se

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#1 Jemmo

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:46 AM

Hi all I have a green laser and have a mount to attach it to my 8se.
Before I test it out I wanted to know is there any danger to my eyes etc if you look through 8se while the laser is turned on??
I know it’s nothing like looking near the sun with no filter, but I want to be on the safe side

#2 SeattleScott

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:56 AM

No danger. Just don’t point it at any low flying aircraft.

Scott
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#3 Napp

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 01:59 AM

Hi all I have a green laser and have a mount to attach it to my 8se.
Before I test it out I wanted to know is there any danger to my eyes etc if you look through 8se while the laser is turned on??
I know it’s nothing like looking near the sun with no filter, but I want to be on the safe side

You are mounting the laser to point at the sky and not into the scope, right?  As long as the laser is pointed at the sky, not at anyone and not near an airplane, or not illuminated when an astrophotographer is imaging or anyone else objects you are good.  In my group of observer’s one of the tricks for helping someone having difficulty finding something is to point a laser at the object so they can follow the beam to it.  If you are going to use a laser just have it on only as long as necessary.


Edited by Napp, 27 January 2021 - 02:00 AM.


#4 Jemmo

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 02:08 AM

Thank you all. No I will definitely not be pointing it at the scope it will be mounted to the side near the finder scope. I just wanted to be very careful. I live close to a small airport but it doesn’t run 24/7 so I will be sure to only use it when the runways are closed for the day. Thanks again guys.
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#5 Voyageur

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 03:28 AM

Very smart to be careful with the GLP. They are a great tool, but caution is warranted.

 

You don’t leave it turned on while observing. Once it is aligned with your main scope, turn it on and point it at an object, or the location in the sky where you know an object is, even if it’s not visible to the naked eye, then turn off the laser and look through your scope. There is no reason to be looking through the scope while the laser is switched on.

 

Once you get it, if you want any additional tips on how to get the most out of it, please ask!


Edited by Voyageur, 27 January 2021 - 03:31 AM.


#6 Codbear

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 04:19 AM

Actually this is exactly what you DO want to do in order to refine your laser's position.

 

Once you have the laser finder pointed to a target star, keep the laser on and look through the scope. If you're reasonably on the mark you will see the laser beam's "end" (which really isn't but it appears as such) in the same field of view as the target star. Center the target star in your FOV then make fine adjustments to your laser finder bracket until the end of the laser beam is pointing directly at the target star. Depending on how long it takes to do this, be mindful that you may need to nudge the scope several times to keep the target star centered.

 

As others have warned, especially with an airport nearby, know the air traffic patterns not only for that airport, but air patterns in general around your area. FAA regulations state that the standard astro green laser, at just under half a watt, poses no danger to the pilots or anyone else on board an airliner that is farther than just under 11,000 ft from your position. It doesn't have to be a couple of miles above you, just that much away from you, which is usually a combination of vertical and horizontal distance.


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#7 Voyageur

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 04:38 AM

Although I can see where this would allow the most precise alignment, I wouldn’t like having the laser turned on when I am not able to see what’s going on in the sky around me. Just in case of an aircraft. Maybe overly cautious. Just makes me nervous to leave it on for an extended time.

 

I have had success using it without that degree of perfect alignment, but perhaps I will try your method at a time and place when I know it will be perfectly safe. 



#8 jrcrilly

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 05:06 AM

 FAA regulations state that the standard astro green laser, at just under half a watt, poses no danger to the pilots or anyone else on board an airliner 

You are off by a couple of orders of magnitude. Half a Watt would be very dangerous.  The safe power level is .005 Watts.


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#9 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 05:47 AM

Hi all I have a green laser and have a mount to attach it to my 8se.
Before I test it out I wanted to know is there any danger to my eyes etc if you look through 8se while the laser is turned on??
I know it’s nothing like looking near the sun with no filter, but I want to be on the safe side

 

The thread title says "high power" laser. Hopefully your laser pointer is 5mw (5 milliwatts = 0.005 watts) or less. You would not want to look into the beam but probably you would only notice a short term dazzle. 

 

Most green lasers are a infrared laser with a frequency doubler. A significant amount of the infrared remains so there should be an infrared blocking filter, you don't see the infrared but it can damage you eye.  It seems that many cheap laser pointers lack the blocking filter, you don't want one of those.

 

5 milliwatts doesn't seem like a lot of power. The reason lasers can be dangerous even at low powers is that they produce a tight, collimated beam. If that beam enters your eye, it is focused by your eye's lens to a point which can burn a spot on your retina. 5 milliwatts is considered to be low enough power that your eye can blink to protect itself before any long term damage is done. 

 

Jon



#10 Bean614

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 05:48 AM

"...I live close to a small airport"

 

For this reason alone, I would advise against using ANY GLP!  First, the Dangers to Pilots & their Aircraft. if they get an eyeful of that, is quite serious.

2nd, and maybe most important to you personally, is what happens if YOU are reported.  Though I live in a very small town in Western Mass., in a very rural area, there are a few 'small' airports nearby, one 15 miles to the South, the other 25 miles to the North.  I have personally see the amazingly fast response of Police and Military Copters and Planes when some clueless neighbor gets one of these for a Christmas or Birthday present, and takes it out to see 'what it can do' in the sky.  In under a minute the Copters are circling, spotlights on, directing the Patrol Cars to the GLP user.

And, I've seen the SAME thing happen to those operating Drones.

   Unless you're at least 100 miles, in ANY direction, from an Airport, I wouldn't risk it!


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#11 Barlowbill

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 10:28 AM

I view about a quarter of a mile from the end of the runway of a busy small airport in Tulsa.  Never had any issues.  If helicopters or planes are around I wait a couple of minutes until they are gone.  Point the scope in the general direction of the target, turn on GLP, zero in on target, turn GLP off.  Usually on for a couple of seconds.  No need to to look through my 9X50 finder scope or the scope but you certainly could.  The GLP and the finder scope are well aligned.  I'm on target now.

We all have to share the skies above us.  No single party owns those skies.  We all have responsibilities.  Common sense dictates how to use these legal devices. 


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#12 SeattleScott

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 11:21 AM

I used to live a few miles from one of the ten busiest airports in the country. I didn’t usually use a GLP just to be safe but when I did, I didn’t have any issues. Turning it on for short bursts is different than leaving it on continuously and tracing constellations in the sky.

Scott
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#13 CltFlyboy

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 11:26 AM

I would definitely be very cautious, especially since you are near an active air field. Just because they don't appear to operate at night, unless the airport has specifically published airfield closed hours then you have a chance of getting traffic. And you won't always know about it until it's too late - entering the pattern and descending is a low power event which means you might not hear that aircraft approaching until it is right by you. Especially if you a re close to the departure end of the field. And a 5mW laser can definitely suck when it hits you at night after you are flying dark adapted at only a couple thousand feet.

 

I can tell you that AOPA etc will help pilots who have been hit, even accidentally, go after the laser operator as anything that affects crew operations is a very serious matter - even a short distraction that takes your eyes of your instruments when approaching/departing can be a very bad thing.

 

https://pilot-protec...g-laser-strikes

https://www.faa.gov/...es/lasers/laws/

 

Not trying to throw cold water on the party, just be very, very cautious, especially the closer you get to an airfield. And only use the laser when absolutely necessary - do not leave it running.


Edited by CltFlyboy, 27 January 2021 - 11:28 AM.


#14 brentknight

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 11:47 AM

I think the common sense rules need to be stated once, and then I think we all get it...

 

Anyway, I do use my laser with an optical device - usually a pair of binoculars.  I leave the laser on probably a minute or so.  I find the target with the binoculars, then turn on the laser and point the telescope to the spot identified.  Then the laser gets turned off.

 

A very dim laser is best for this method though since the beam of your average green laser will wash out any faint targets in the binocular field.  I use a sapphire one that is plenty visible in the binocular, but barely visible in the sky with the unaided eye.

 

Works great where local light pollution prevents seeing many guide stars naked eye.


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#15 SloMoe

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 12:06 PM

I've heard of people using the laser as a finder pointing it through the eyepiece in your scope, I've always had mine in a finder bracket on my scope, 

they are about the best thing to use for finding DSO's next to a Telrad, can turn it on, hop from star to star, personally it's my preferred finder.

 

Unless your standing behind the beam you won't know it's even on.

 

Any of you imagers got a picture of a laser being on?

 

Just wondering because I've never seen proof of this, the only image I've ever seen of a laser being on is from the imagers scope it was on.



#16 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 12:17 PM

Just wondering because I've never seen proof of this, the only image I've ever seen of a laser being on is from the imagers scope it was on.

 

 

It's worth noting that laser pointers are banned at most star parties. It's not just the scope's owner who sees the beam.

 

Jon



#17 Napp

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 12:25 PM

Unless your standing behind the beam you won't know it's even on.

 

Any of you imagers got a picture of a laser being on?

 

Just wondering because I've never seen proof of this, the only image I've ever seen of a laser being on is from the imagers scope it was on.

Actually, a laser beam is visible across the field.  At my club site we sometimes use lasers to help newbies.  The usual group is spread over a distance of a couple hundred feet.  If someone fires a laser at one end of the field it's easily visible at the other end.  The visibility of the beam is determined by moisture, dust, etc. in the air.  I have seen a couple of nights where the air was very clean and dry, at least for Florida, and the beam visibility was definitely reduced.  And yes, the imagers will let you know if a laser crosses their field when they are imaging.  I was looking over one's shoulder one night when a laser beam from across the field was clearly visible on the computer screen.


Edited by Napp, 27 January 2021 - 12:26 PM.


#18 SloMoe

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 12:55 PM

yeah, and all those imagers don't care that all their flood lights they need for their equipment are taking away dark adapted eye's 

 

But whoa boy, my laser might be seen,,, might be seen.


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#19 brentknight

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 12:58 PM

I observe alone or at club events where the lasers are welcome. I dont recommend bright, high power lasers as finders. Use those as pointers at outreach..

#20 Codbear

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 02:37 PM

You are off by a couple of orders of magnitude. Half a Watt would be very dangerous.  The safe power level is .005 Watts.

Duh...milliwatts, right?



#21 SteveG

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Posted 27 January 2021 - 09:09 PM

You don’t have to worry about using it near a small airport or under a large airport pattern. It is almost impossible to shine the light from a 5 mW laser into the cabin of an airplane. The only time this happens is when it’s done on purpose. I use mine at home all the time, and I’m right under the Claas B approach pattern for SEATAC (Seattle Tacoma International).

 

I’m a pilot, BTW.


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#22 Jemmo

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Posted 28 January 2021 - 01:24 AM

So I looked up my laser specs as I’m away from home at the moment. I think it’s 1mw. I say high power because it’s not a little key chain laser which You see mostly in Australia
So with the airport near by I know that it closes completely after hour no one is at the airport and aircraft can’t land or take off. Thank you all for the great info I will Probly keep the use of the laser for when I’m out in the bush away from people just to be safe. I have the standard red dot 8se finder and 8x50 finder scope too so I don’t really need to laser. I just had it laying around so thought I’d mount it to the scope too

Edited by Jemmo, 28 January 2021 - 01:27 AM.


#23 Schmitty84

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 01:22 AM

All in all just be respectful of other and use good judgement. I use a GLP when camping and such to show others the constellations and areas of interest. We have a decent sized airport about 30 miles SSW, and we have never had issues.

#24 KMitch

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 03:17 PM

I have a pressure switch on my laser pointer. If I'm not physically squeezing the switch it isn't on. I never have to worry about accidentally leaving it on.


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#25 brentknight

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Posted 29 January 2021 - 03:36 PM

I have a pressure switch on my laser pointer. If I'm not physically squeezing the switch it isn't on. I never have to worry about accidentally leaving it on.

Very easy way around that...

 

LaserClamp.jpg




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