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Review: Infinity 125 mW Green Laser

6 Feb , 2008

by

Have you ever tried to point out the constellations to a friend? You huddle up close, point your arm out, and both of you try to locate the star you’re looking at. “See that star? Right there? Now down a little, no, not that one. It’s on the left… never mind, there’s the Moon over there.” I had a chance to play with a green laser pointer from techlasers.com, and let me tell you, that problem goes away once and for all.

The laser I received is the Infinity 125 mW laser from techlasers and it retails for $289.00 USD. But they also have lower watt lasers right down to 15 mW (for $79.00).

All their Infinity series are the size of a large pen. You can easily clip this in your shirt pocket, and whip it out when you need to clear up a constellation conundrum.

As long as you’re using the laser for good, it’s awesome. You point up into the sky, press the trigger, and a finger of light stretches from your hand to infinity. Instead of standing beside someone, with your arm outstretched, trying to point out a specific, dim object in the sky, you can just reach out and point to it.

I’m not kidding. Zap, your laser reaches out to a specific star. There’s Venus, that’s Mars. Zap… that’s Andromeda.

It only takes 2 AAA batteries, and I’ve been using it for the better part of a month now, amazing my friends and entertaining my children, and it hasn’t run out of batteries yet.

I’ve tested it around the house, and the spot where the laser hits the wall is almost too bright to look at. You can easily see the spot on a building a few miles away, and I’m sure distant aliens are squinting their eyes from the light when you beam it at their star (okay, not really). I’m sure my neighbours are wondering what that green beam is stretching up from my house.

I’ve got to say, though, it feels a bit like owning a firearm. I keep the laser out of reach of the kids, and make sure that we only use it with my supervision. I can imagine it would seriously damage someone’s eyes if you weren’t careful.

But if you’re a responsible person, and you keep it away from airplanes flying overhead, I would say that a green laser is a great way to share your love of astronomy with your friends.

Check out Pamela’s review over at StarStryder, where she breaks out the math to calculate how powerful the laser is.

And then take a look at techlasers for their full gallery of lasers.


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www.actionforspace.com
Guest
February 6, 2008 3:26 PM

$300 is a lot of money… I think that I will wait for the price to come down first

pro
Guest
pro
February 6, 2008 3:15 PM

Well…. the problem is not gone actually the new one is created.
Here in Australia in most states anything handheld, green and above 1mW is considered as a “weapon”.
This is a consequence of some individuals trying to point at aircrafts, blinding the pilots in the process…
So be careful….

Bob
Guest
Bob
February 6, 2008 4:19 PM

I have one of these and it rocks… lights matches and pops balloons but for astronomy it is awesome.

pro
Guest
pro
February 6, 2008 4:27 PM

For astronomy 1-5mW (in 532nm wavelength) is more than enough.
If it lights matches, that means the most of the output power is in IR, invisible.

john
Guest
john
February 6, 2008 4:55 PM

my 5 mW laser pointer is more than adequate for astronomy.
I suspect that 125mW is more appropriate for research sites and teaching facilities.
It isn’t a toy.
If you own one treat it like a power saw or a butcher’s set of knives, dangerous but wonderful tools if properly used.
Take care please.

Max Vondel
Guest
Max Vondel
February 6, 2008 5:50 PM

We have had a number of bad incidents in Australia as stated earlier by another reader. Do you really need 125mW?

TODD CLAYTON
Guest
TODD CLAYTON
February 6, 2008 7:06 PM

A good flashlight with an adjustable focus
works just as well, and the FAA will not show up on your door step the next day.
By the way, very inexpensive.

Astrofiend
Member
Astrofiend
February 6, 2008 7:10 PM

If you want ’em, get ’em while they’re hot! As a number of people have already said, there have been a large number of incidents where people have deliberately targeting commercial and private planes and helicopters here in Australia. It is only a matter of time before hand held lasers are either banned outright, or restricted to VERY low power outputs, at least here in Oz.

Same old story – there’s always a few morons that spoil things for everyone.

Astrofiend
Member
Astrofiend
February 6, 2008 7:12 PM

Make that ‘… have been deliberately targeting…’

lcason
Guest
lcason
February 6, 2008 7:25 PM

I’ve been interested in one of these for a long time. It would be very handy when my friends start asking astronomy questions.

I won’t, however, be spending that kind of money for one. I’d REALLY like to see a review of the lower powered green lasers that can be had for under $100.

Paul
Guest
Paul
February 7, 2008 12:00 AM

In the US (for most states), any laser >4.99 mW is a class IIIb laser and is required to be registered with the state nuclear regulatory commission. Even when registered, a waiver to use it in public is required for each usage.
Lasers 20 mW), I find that the trace is almost invisible for another person 50-100 feet away from the laser user. Lasers >120 mW might show a trace pointing skyward from a greater lateral distance. In any case, all lasers >5mW have an inherent danger both to ground persons and of course aviators and passengers. (All these mW measurements are considered maximum output values.)

Andy
Guest
Andy
February 7, 2008 8:18 AM

My question for danger or potential use would be how would it affect debris in space. Would a satellite, whether panels or sensors, be affected? I believe this is a very strong possibility as someone would want to point out satellites zooming across the sky.

For potential use, could a laser be used to artificially recharge solar based equipment. For instance, could Spirit or Opportunity be kept warm enough during winter months from fly-by’s of say Mars Express if it had a laser with an appropriate power. Forgive me, if these are silly questions. Thanks for any answers.

Tony Trenton
Member
Tony Trenton
February 7, 2008 2:56 AM

Very dangerous in the wrong hands

Bob
Guest
Bob
February 7, 2008 4:34 AM

Hi, all,
I purchased on eBay, on two separate occasions, 5mW 532nm green LASER pointers for $20. each, shipping included. That seems to be the standard price now.

Beautiful beam for astronomy use! I’m sure the batteries would last longer than this one, too.

Cheers,
Bob

Monica Staalman
Member
Monica Staalman
February 7, 2008 12:28 PM

Around here, people (often kids) get arrested all the time for pointing lasers into the sky. We have an airport nearby, and pilots report laser flashes to the police, who come looking for you pronto. That would probably be the case with one of these as well.

steven
Guest
steven
March 25, 2008 6:45 PM

im only 17 but i have done research. even though you can buy the 125 mw lasers for $289 you can make your $20 5mw a 100mw laser by burning the restrictor with a soldering iron for 2 seconds to diasable it so you only have to pay $20 just if you want one for a cheaper price

walter
Guest
walter
April 19, 2008 2:27 AM
green laser pointer
Guest
October 9, 2008 6:50 AM

Thanks for the great review.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
October 10, 2008 1:29 PM

To Steven and Walter, the “power restricter” is the IR filter, it’s a bad idea to disable it.

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