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14380RE: [SeattleRobotics] Re: Laser Diodes from Laser Printers?

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  • Bob Dyer
    Aug 2, 2003
      Well, I stand corrected - if these are near-IR lasers.

      Of course all this begs the question of beam shape. A 1mW, collimated beam
      pointed directly into the eye is a lot different than the amount of energy that
      enters the pupil from a widely divergent source way past the focal point of the
      lens. Aren't these printers focusing the beam to a very small point at very
      close distances? That beam pattern has to be highly non-collimated and fairly
      large at any significant distance from the laser.

      We used to get annual "LASER-eye exams" until they discovered that flashing a
      retina through a dilated pupil with enough light to take a photograph was much
      worse for the eye compared to the chance of injury from any of our equipment. I
      still think the danger is over-blown for legal reasons (OSHA regs included), but
      better safe than sorry - play with at your own risk.

      Anyway, I prefer LEDs and visible ones at that, primarily because you can "see"
      where the light is impinging.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: tfrohaly

      Laser light in the visible to near infrared spectrum
      (400 - 1400 nm) is *focused* by the eye onto the retina.
      These wavelengths are known, in laser eye safety literature,
      as the "retinal hazard region".
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