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ColDaz

Infra Red visible laser

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Broadly agree with you there Sale ...

 

A laser can be intimidating and, as I said above, visible ones can add to atmosphere. But an IR laser only falls into that category if people can see it. The assumption being that folks have adequate NVG kit in order to be intimidated.

 

I still doubt the effective use of these things in airsoft but, as I said, if it floats your boat then what the hell?

 

D

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Well I sure didn't expect this much of a response.

 

First off, regarding safety, I'd aim for centre of mass and be very careful etc. and also ensure everyone is fine with me using any IR laser before a game starts.

 

As I said in the original post, I just can't see the sights on my pistol very well with NVG. The laser would just be to point at the mass of the target to check it would accually hit it. Worst feeling in the world to be sneaky beaky and get withing a few feet of an enemy in the dark and then worry about whether it'll *fruitcage* up because you were aiming off slightly. I'm not a bad shot but you do tend to get tunnel vision with NV equipment.

 

I've got back from Cambrian Patrol training at Brecon today, and last night we got to use these cool monoculars that fit to your helmet. They were pretty good but still hard to use a SUSAT with it on. Same with CWS, hard to aim with and so you can only really use it for CTR.

 

And I can see why people would see this as a waste of money, effort, etc. but if it helps me, is safe to use and I have the spare cash, why the hell not?

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Broadly agree with you there Sale ...

 

A laser can be intimidating and, as I said above, visible ones can add to atmosphere. But an IR laser only falls into that category if people can see it. The assumption being that folks have adequate NVG kit in order to be intimidated.

I meant the intimidation part as a real world reference, in defensive instead of offensive use. In airsoft you don't need to intimidate your opponents (except in the offgame area). In the field you shoot them, preferably without them ever knowing you were there until the BB hit them.

 

An IR-laser combined with an NVG kit is not supposed to intimidate in any case. If others have NV-gear, then it would only be foolish to use any IR-illuminator, because it would only give away your position.

 

-Sale

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Another option would be the use of a standard laser. Sure it's not as stealthy as IR, but if others have NVGs, there is not much difference. And anyway the time you need the laser turned on to actually aim is very short, so the time it "gives you away" would be minimal. And that is if the opponent know where to look... Normal laser would work as well as dedicated IR with NVGs. And the data are a bit clearer for safety (though the medical report I linked shows that manufacturer's data may not be the most accurate)

I sure as hell would like to own a set of NVGs, but I don't even skirmish anymore... Ah well, I'll wait 'till next time the Army needs me! Got to train some recruits soon, hehe!

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Since no one has answered it yet, the G&P unit is a Class IIIB laser. Certainly not eye safe and we won't let people use lasers here over 5mW, however that is not to say you cannot be safe with it. Responsible users ought to know where their beam is pointing before they turn it on and know well enough to never take the beam near someone's face. With the numpties we've had here recently we simply made the decision to disallow lasers over 5mW as a preventative measure in the exact same manner fields limit gun velocity. The difference here is that while goggles will save your eyes from BBs and skin welts will heal, you have zero defense against an invisible laser and eye damage is permanent.

 

Incidentally, all infrared lasers regardless of output power are Class IIIB.

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Guess it might be better to just go with a normal visible laser then.

 

Just so no one gets the wrong impression if they don't read the whole thread; I have never wanted to act unsafely or damage anyones eyesight.

 

It has been talked about on here as a potential hazard, but I never did suggest I would act irresponsibly.

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I skimmed over most of the thread and I never got that impression. Infrared lasers can be immensely useful with NVD; it is simply impossible to aim using NV that you're wearing. Trust me. The one game I had my NV out I wish I'd taken the IR laser as well, but it was a 7mW unit so I left it at home.

 

Besides, for the money G&P is asking for their laser I would look for a better alternative like http://www.wolverinelaser.com which make 5mW and 1mW IR units.

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Besides, for the money G&P is asking for their laser I would look for a better alternative like http://www.wolverinelaser.com which make 5mW and 1mW IR units.

 

 

There is a substantial price difference between the G&P (~130 USD on ebay and elsewhere) and the wolverine (~290 USD I paid for it). I've had one on order (paid for) since April 29 and unfortunately have not yet received the unit. Tim has had his shop raided by the Feds and his stuff seized apparently in a fishing expedition for stolen military components or some such. More can be found in the AR15.com Lights & Lasers forum.

 

There are a couple of resources that I recall having read that haven't been cited yet. I'll see whether I can dig them up.

 

http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/otm_iii/otm_iii_6.html

 

This is the one I was thinking of. Written in a workplace context and about various types of lasers and Maximum Permissible Exposure limits.

 

G&P claims 850 nm as its wavelength. As WK Shurydis pointed out, all 'IR' lasers are classed as IIIB because they use 'invisible' light, regardless of output power and, as another poster noted, the blink reflex is not triggered when an 'IR' laser passes across your eye.

 

As for usefulness in the dark in an airsoft context, I disagree with the earlier assessment that lasers are of no value. I've used a laser in tandem with my night vision monocular and have found that it is VERY effective for target acquisition and engagement out to (and perhaps past) 150 feet in the dark at US velocity limits.

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Here is a definition of the classifications of lasers. Note that there is no distinction for IR lasers, as apart for the absence of blinking reflex issue there is no difference in the danger of a laser. This danger comes from the power of the beam, and the surface it covers: the smaller the beam, the more concentrated the power is. So a low powered laser with a highly focused beam (very small impact point) would be more dangerous than the same power on a bigger beam.

 

Following your point above, and hopefully addressing some of hardboiledcop's and Megalomaniac's points about the effects of different levels of laser power (guys, I'm not ignoring what you post), consider this:

 

- in a darkened corridor/large-room where you are trying to see ahead of you your eyes will probably be focused at infinity,

- a highly collimated beam, such as a laser, striking the eye will therefore be focused by the eye lens and produce a point image on the retina,

- and here are extracts and link giving some indication of what this means in terms of the effective power:

 

This link Laser Safety has good explanatory diagrams in the section Eye Hazards

In a worst-case exposure, with the eye relaxed (focused at infinity) and the laser beam entering the eye directly or from a specular reflection, the beam is focused to its minimum spot size on the retina. If damage occurs to the area where the optic nerve enters the eye, the result is likely to be complete loss of vision.

 

And this text at the same link under the heading Visible light and Infrared-A (400-1400 nanometers):

The focusing of the laser radiation by the cornea and lens within this wavelength band amplifies the irradiance by a factor of approximately 100,000 at the retina.

 

And here

If there is a 1 meter distance between our eyes and the light source, then the quantity of light coming from the laser would increase by a factor of 100,000 compared to the light quantity from the bulb (this assumes a normally dilated pupil diameter of 7 mm - i.e. eyes adapted to darkness).

 

And another pic

 

Also, I think the invisible infrared laser is so much more dangerous because it does not stimulate the blink reflex, true, but also it provides no warning.

If you see a visible laser ahead or in your peripheral vision then, before it sweeps across your face & eyes your pupils will already start shrinking before the beam can hit the eye, and you will probably be taking evasive action because you are ready to respond to incoming BBs.

 

From other sites I have read that eye-protection has to be specific to the laser hazard, I can try to find & post those links if anyone is interested.

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