You'll put your eye out
July 17, 2008 10:28 AM   Subscribe

It's my birthday, and I want a frikkin' laser!

I already have a 5mW green laser pointer, but my laser lust remains unslaked. There are all sorts of lasers on Amazon, but most of the deals look too good to be true, and, well, you know how that usually goes. Any recommendations on where I can go to get my beam on?
posted by MrMoonPie to Science & Nature (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite usually has some pretty awesome toys.

You may also need one of these
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:33 AM on July 17, 2008

Best answer: Don't you want a beam splitter, too?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:37 AM on July 17, 2008

What's your budget?

Cobalt makes some beautiful DPSS lasers, but they're not cheap.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:58 AM on July 17, 2008

Best answer: First, go here and check for company reviews. Prices tend to skyrocket above 100mW.
posted by aramaic at 11:07 AM on July 17, 2008

Best answer: I have purchased every laser I own from wicked lasers. Excellent selection and prices, and sufficiently dangerous wattages to make your inner Doctor Evil smile.
posted by Phineas Rhyne at 11:21 AM on July 17, 2008

What do you plan to do with your laser? (Besides put your eye out, that is.) That will determine your wavelength and power requirements.

Something really cool, I hope
posted by Quietgal at 11:32 AM on July 17, 2008

Response by poster: This is really just for awesome toy purposes, so the DPSS lasers are definitely out of my budget. I hadn't thought about splitters, but those look fun. Quietgal, I wish I could say I'm planning on doing something really cool, but mostly I'm looking to just point it at stuff and go "Oooh!" Unless there's something neato you could suggest!
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:37 AM on July 17, 2008

Best answer: Dealextreme has you covered in the "extremely cheap gadgets direct airmail from Hong Kong" department. I mean, a 50mW green laser for $23 shipped, and a 200mW red laser for $44 shipped is pretty insane. These are most definitely illegal and sometimes get confiscated by customs, but a lot of people report success despite that.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:44 AM on July 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

Unless there's something neato you could suggest!

Did you ever play the old computer game "Laser Chess" back in the 80's?
Well they make it For Real now - Khet
posted by -harlequin- at 5:32 PM on July 17, 2008

MrMoonPie, I was hoping to get some cool ideas from you! Dang.
posted by Quietgal at 8:17 PM on July 17, 2008

Response by poster: Late followup...

This past weekend, we went to the Wickerman festival in Pennsyl-tucky, and I used my new 100mw green laser in concert with several other smaller ones to great effect. I mounted them at various angles in a foot-long piece of wood. Through the center of the board was a bolt, which I then chucked into a cordless drill. I was pretty sure that'd look cool when spun in the misty nights we had up there, but I didn't anticipate how very cool it'd be when the beams interacted with campfire smoke--think swirly, moving paisley. I was thanked for "bringing the awesome."
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:53 AM on May 28, 2009 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: I posted a new AskMe for suggestions for improvement, and also made a diagram of the device.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:24 PM on May 28, 2009

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