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34 replies to this topic

#1 flopearedmule

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 12:32 PM

Hey guys

I went to a star party this summer, and I could see green lasers pointing to the sky once in a while.

I bought one on ebay and tried it out last night.  It is nothing like the ones I saw at the star party.

Can someone tell me where to buy these bigger ones?  The one I bought will barely light up on the barn 50 yds away.

 

Also, what is a good quality red flash light?  I bought one of them also, and it worked for about 10 minutes and quit.

Thanks

 



#2 Ken NY 721

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 12:43 PM

I bought this one from Orion for my xt8 and its been an excellent addition to my observing!

 

https://www.telescop...2160/p/5673.uts


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#3 SteveG

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 01:34 PM

Hey guys

I went to a star party this summer, and I could see green lasers pointing to the sky once in a while.

I bought one on ebay and tried it out last night.  It is nothing like the ones I saw at the star party.

Can someone tell me where to buy these bigger ones?  The one I bought will barely light up on the barn 50 yds away.

 

Also, what is a good quality red flash light?  I bought one of them also, and it worked for about 10 minutes and quit.

Thanks

You don’t want a bright laser. Just enough to see the beam of light from the telescope.

The laser must be green or blue, not red. Pointing it at a barn is not a test of how good it is. Lasers can be bright one day, and much dimmer the next day, because they depend on dust particles that are in the air.



#4 jsrossini

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 01:51 PM

Get your self one of these (https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and be the life of the party. Great for outreach, neighborhood kids come running when ever I paint a few halos in the sky with it. ;)


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#5 wrvond

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 01:52 PM

Hey guys

I went to a star party this summer, and I could see green lasers pointing to the sky once in a while.

I bought one on ebay and tried it out last night.  It is nothing like the ones I saw at the star party.

Can someone tell me where to buy these bigger ones?  The one I bought will barely light up on the barn 50 yds away.

 

Also, what is a good quality red flash light?  I bought one of them also, and it worked for about 10 minutes and quit.

Thanks

The Pinty green laser from Amazon is very popular, works well and is inexpensive:

 

https://smile.amazon...34669516&sr=8-5


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#6 chanrobi

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:13 PM

Hey guys

I went to a star party this summer, and I could see green lasers pointing to the sky once in a while.

I bought one on ebay and tried it out last night.  It is nothing like the ones I saw at the star party.

Can someone tell me where to buy these bigger ones?  The one I bought will barely light up on the barn 50 yds away.

 

Also, what is a good quality red flash light?  I bought one of them also, and it worked for about 10 minutes and quit.

Thanks

There are really bad low quality pointers you can buy off ebay/aliexpress and better ones. The good ones are usually around $20-$30 and come with a rechargeable battery



#7 Notdarkenough

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:16 PM

Here is a link to the red flashlight also requested: https://www.amazon.c...RMGH,B081Q38RPY


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#8 sevenofnine

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:21 PM

The Orion laser is well made and a mount is available for it if that matters to you. You may have to devise your own way of attachment for gun lasers. As far as a good red lights go, I like the adjustable red headlamp like this for backyard use:

https://www.amazon.c...34670812&sr=8-7.

A much dimmer hand held unit is recommended for star parties. Any colored headlamp will be blinding to others and very unappreciated! Best of luck to you waytogo.gif


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#9 AstroVPK

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:33 PM

For red flashlights, I recommend the Orion Redbeam II - https://www.telescop...ight/p/5755.uts - it can be dimmed to acceptable levels in fairly dark skies.


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#10 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:55 PM

Get your self one of these (https://www.amazon.c...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and be the life of the party. Great for outreach, neighborhood kids come running when ever I paint a few halos in the sky with it. wink.gif

Mine is exactly like that and works GREAT! 

 

Feyachi Green Dot Laser Sight with Picatinny Rail Mount - Include Battery Charger, Barrel Mount & Cable Switch https://www.amazon.c...ding=UTF8&psc=1

 

You will also need this widget, picatinny to dovetail bracket.

 

Neufday Telescope Accessories Finder Mirror Base Bracket Dovetail Slot Plate Screw https://www.amazon.c...ding=UTF8&psc=1

 

I'm sure there are a LOT of other ways to do this. I use this EVERY night I'm out. 


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#11 flopearedmule

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:56 PM

You don’t want a bright laser. Just enough to see the beam of light from the telescope.

The laser must be green or blue, not red. Pointing it at a barn is not a test of how good it is. Lasers can be bright one day, and much dimmer the next day, because they depend on dust particles that are in the air.

Trust me, I couldn't tell if it was on or off when I tried to point it.  That's not good enough.  I didn't want to see it from the telescope, I want to point at a star to show what I'm looking at.  The ones I saw pointing at the start event were a much brighter green.



#12 flopearedmule

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 02:57 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies!  I will be ordering today.



#13 Frugal Astronomer

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 03:18 PM

I got the ADM Accessories green laser and it's been great.  Works in cold temperatures, which is a must for me in PA.  

https://www.admacces...er-accessories/

 

I also got this little red light on Amazon, and really like it.  It's adjustable, small and focused.

https://smile.amazon...e?ie=UTF8&psc=1



#14 PrisMATT

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 09:26 PM

Get a pinty - the adjustable knobs are fab.

and this widget goes into a regular telescope dovetail.

 

https://www.ebay.com...=1&_ipg=&_from=

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/324806747012


Edited by PrisMATT, 19 October 2021 - 09:27 PM.

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#15 ShaulaB

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 09:32 PM

When I was teaching, I once ordered six laser pointers for a classroom of students to use. Two were failures right out of the box. Two were intermittently working and not working. And two worked properly. So it can be a crapshoot, even when purchasing from supposedly reputable vendors.

Never ever let a child use your laser. At outreach events, kids want to use mine. I tell them "You have to be over 18 to use a laser" which is a fib. But it stops their begging.

Every laser pointer I have ever used hates the cold. So I keep mine inside a sleeve to keep it warm when the temp drops below 50F.


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#16 HasAnyoneSeenMyNebula

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 09:33 PM

Trust me, I couldn't tell if it was on or off when I tried to point it. That's not good enough. I didn't want to see it from the telescope, I want to point at a star to show what I'm looking at. The ones I saw pointing at the start event were a much brighter green.


I have a good laser and one evening I tried to use it around dusk and could not see a thing. Just wanted to mention that as well

#17 wrvond

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Posted 19 October 2021 - 09:41 PM

I have a good laser and one evening I tried to use it around dusk and could not see a thing. Just wanted to mention that as well

I use a water tower about a mile away to align my finders to my scope but I have to wait until dusk to see the dot on the tower and there is no beam visible at all.



#18 Voyageur

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 10:01 AM

US Federal law pertaining to lasers is a little strange. It is legal to own a laser of any strength. However, it is ILLEGAL to manufacture/market as a pointing device a laser of more than 5mW. So any commercial laser advertised for astronomy or other pointer/presentation use can't exceed 5mW. But that doesn't mean you can't find one for sale and buy it legally.

 

There are other laws about how and where you can legally point a laser, but nothing to stop someone from owning a high-powered one and using it to point at the stars as long as they are complying with laws about usage.

 

Someone at the star party you attended may have had a more powerful laser than those marketed as a pointing device. A person at a star party I once attended was using a stronger GLP than my 5mW Hotech. The beam was dramatically brighter and elicited quite a "Wow!" response from the audience, but my pointer was equally effective at pointing at a desired star, which was, after all, the intended purpose.

 

So, if you want a laser to use for astronomy, any reputable GLP such as those sold by Orion or Hotech, etc. will serve you well. Put good batteries in it and change them when the beam gets weak. If, however, you want a super bright laser to point at terrestrial objects miles away, play tricks on your neighbors, present dramatic light shows, and cause your friends to say "Wow!" you can seek one out, but I wouldn't. Life has a way of bringing troubles all on its own without me going out trying to find new ways to create it.


Edited by Voyageur, 20 October 2021 - 10:03 AM.

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#19 spereira

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 10:05 AM

Folks, let's please remember the Cloudy Nights Terms of Service:

 

III. Practicing Safe Astronomy ...

 

b. Members may not discuss or post links to sites that discuss, advertise, or sell laser pointers and modules that are greater than 5mW. The only exception is for equipment that is used for legitimate scientific purposes or research. Moderators and Administrators have the discretion to determine whether or not a post or topic is eligible for that exception.

 

smp


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#20 LDW47

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 10:15 AM

They are great to use as long as the astronomer, the user is aware of the laws regarding low / high flying aircraft incl. choppers and the associated hazard



#21 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 10:57 AM

Get a pinty - the adjustable knobs are fab.

and this widget goes into a regular telescope dovetail.

 

https://www.ebay.com...=1&_ipg=&_from=

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/324806747012

Those look nice.



#22 CRAZYeye29325

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 10:59 AM

Trust me, I couldn't tell if it was on or off when I tried to point it.  That's not good enough.  I didn't want to see it from the telescope, I want to point at a star to show what I'm looking at.  The ones I saw pointing at the start event were a much brighter green.

Definitely need to wait till it is DARK.



#23 Notdarkenough

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 01:02 PM

Another occurrence of "unrealistic" expectations? Someone does something "cool" and everyone thinks it is the norm?

 

Comparison is the enemy of joy 



#24 Voyageur

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 01:41 PM

Folks, let's please remember the Cloudy Nights Terms of Service:

 

III. Practicing Safe Astronomy ...

 

b. Members may not discuss or post links to sites that discuss, advertise, or sell laser pointers and modules that are greater than 5mW. The only exception is for equipment that is used for legitimate scientific purposes or research. Moderators and Administrators have the discretion to determine whether or not a post or topic is eligible for that exception.

 

smp

Since my post above was not removed, I have to conclude that it was not deemed to violate CN Terms of Service. However, in case it skirted the lines by the mere mention of >5mW lasers, I want to clarify my intent.

 

I mentioned the existence of lasers more powerful than 5mW as a possible explanation for why the OP felt his laser pointer was inadequate, if he was comparing his to one of those. I certainly was not suggesting or implying in any way that he ought to seek out a more powerful one not intended for astronomy use.

 

I think it is foolish and dangerous to employ more powerful lasers as astronomy pointers, and it’s a good idea that CN does not allow suggestions on how or where to obtain one.

 

I love my Hotech 5mW GLP, designed for astronomy. I use it responsibly, and recommend the product to others. Anything more is silly.

 


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#25 vtornado

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Posted 20 October 2021 - 05:29 PM

Looks like pinty is the one to get.

 

If I buy a 5mw laser, I want a 5mw laser, not a 4, 3, 2 ...  which many of the cheap ones are.

I have a generic one and although rated at 5 it is probably less.  In grey zone skies it is sometimes

hard to see the beam if there are high cirrus clouds which reflect a lot of light pollution down

 

VT.




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