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Lasers

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by Ethan DeVries, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Ethan DeVries

    Ethan DeVries

    2
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    Jan 9, 2015
    Hello, need some help.
    I am creating a laser-gun, and have a couple questions about the laser beam itself.
    1) Is it possible to boost the range of the laser, using a normal red laser beam?
    2) Is it possible to split the laser beam using glass? (using one laser light to produce two beams)
    3) Is it possible to make the laser beam work on certain frequencies?
    Any help, and all help is great!
    - Thanks!
     
  2. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    1) Is it possible to boost the range of the laser, using a normal red laser beam?
    Yes, Simply using better optics will help. Or you could increase the power to the Laser Diode. This is typically done with short pulses, or a PWM signal to help reduce damage to the laser diode. If you want more sustained power, buy a different laser diode.
    2) Is it possible to split the laser beam using glass? (using one laser light to produce two beams)
    Yes, Again with optics, you can use a glass or plastic with varying reflectiveness to allow some of the beam through, and bounce some off toward a different vector.
    3) Is it possible to make the laser beam work on certain frequencies?
    Yes, and No... You can simply take a red laser and change it's output wavelength... you can however change the frequency that the light may be pulsed on. Additionally, you could use the red laser to excite a different material to cause it to laze instead. This would alter the wavelength of the laser's output.

    Hopefully this helps. Word of warning. Laser can cause permanent damage to sight. Do not experiment with high-power lasers without proper protection. Never subject any other living thing unwillingly or unknowingly to a high-power laser especially without proper protection.
    You have been warned. The only reason I offered help is because I have assumed you are using a dollar store laser pointer.
     
  3. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

    4,214
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    Jun 21, 2012
    It would help greatly if you would describe what you intend to do with "a laser-gun."

    What range would you like to achieve? What happens at the target when it is illuminated by the laser beam? What is "a normal red laser beam?"

    Commercial beam-splitters are readily available but somewhat pricey. I have used an ordinary glass microscope slide as a beam-splitter for low-power helium-neon gas lasers. There is about four percent reflection off the front surface, the remainder being transmitted.

    AFAIK all lasers depend on a resonant optical cavity to produce light at a single wavelength. If the laser is strong enough, you can use a non-linear crystal to obtain frequency multiplication. Some lasers have tunable optical cavities that allow some adjustment of wavelength, alexandrite lasers for example.

    It is possible to use an axial magnetic field to split a HeNe gas laser emission line into two oppositely polarized beams of slightly different frequencies (Zeeman Effect). Hewlett-Packard used this principal to manufacture and sell laser interferometers (HP5526A) that could be mounted on machine tools for very accurate measurement of changes in distances out to several meters.
     
    Gryd3 likes this.
  4. Ethan DeVries

    Ethan DeVries

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    0
    Jan 9, 2015
    Thanks everyone:
    And as an answer to the last question: I am using a small laser, and receiver (not a powerful one) to make a laser-tag set of guns, and receivers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2015
  5. Gryd3

    Gryd3

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    Jun 25, 2014
    Well. If you will be using this for a laser tag setup, please advise any players to wear eye protection. Please also note that the power of the laser may not need to be increased if you can make the sensor more sensitive ;)
    Heck, you could adjust both and get some really good sensing range from the pair. Curious why you would need one beam split into two though... I would suggest using two lasers diodes instead. This will eliminate most if not all of the additional optics in the device which should make them a little more robust if you drop the gun or run into a tree ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2015
  6. Scotophor

    Scotophor

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    Oct 8, 2014
    The original "Lazer Tag" toy product line from the 1980s didn't even use lasers, they used IREDs (infrared light emitting diodes) and lenses to make a fairly narrow, but not actually laser-like, beam. The red dot projected in the sighting optics of some of the toys was merely a standard 5 mm or 3 mm red LED behind a mask with a pinhole in it. The optics contained an angled flat clear plastic reflector as a combining element, and a lens or two to make the LED behind the pinhole mask appear to be at a much greater distance than it really was.
     
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