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Discussion Starter #1
Please see the link for a how-to/parts list I put together on a fun and simple project. This was the result of some GoE members and I getting together to build 7 of them in one shot. Well actually we cheated, two were already complete. But nonetheless I had to come up with a very repeatable way of building it so I figured I'd share.

How to make a Laser Vortex:
Laser Vortex How To! - Garage of Evil!!

Oh, and 7 of these at once is REALLY cool looking :)
 

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Cool idea. I'll have to add that to my plate for this year (too many things!) :) Just as an aside, I was at Hobby Lobby today to get a styrofoam head for Madam Leota a la Mr. Chicken and saw a package of small round mirrors in a pack for like 2.50. They had a selection of sizes. The pack I got has probably 12-18 mirrors in it sized from a 3/8" diameter to an inch I'd say.

Anyway, thought I'd pass that along in case it might be useful...
 

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motor gets HOT

So I tried this out in my garage. VERY Cool effect! Instead of soldering a dime to the motor shaft, I temporarily cut a piece of hot glue stick and cut it at an angle and stuck it to the motor and glued the mirror to it. Worked well so I could fine tune the angle I wanted. Problem is, after having the motor run for 3 or 4 minutes, I noticed that the angle wasn't staying constant...turns out the motor was getting so hot that it was starting to soften the glue. Obviously soldering it isn't going to be a problem, but will the motor just conk out because it gets so hot? How often/long to you have your vortex running? It is just for a few minutes and then it kicks off for a bit?

Thanks for the great ideas - your webpage is great!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry for the late reply. the motor on mine never gets even a little warm. Sounds like your over loading it. With the heatsink on the module I can run it till the batteries die, which is many, many hours.
 

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I would say common sense rules have to apply, as usual.

Keep the cone big enough and positioned correctly to prevent it from hitting folks in the face. Use a low power module, like the 5mw. Remember you're using fog, and you're reflecting the laser of a spinning mirror. The intensity is nothing close to actually looking into the module full on.

I know that all to well as I've accidentally looked at it a few times. I would liken it to a flash bulb x2, and I have no doubt if you made a habit of looking at the module full on you'd do some damage eventually.

That said, I don't have a light meter and I sure as hell don't have the background required to say "it's fine, don't worry about it", so caveat emptor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would say common sense rules have to apply, as usual.

Keep the cone big enough and positioned correctly to prevent it from hitting folks in the face. Use a low power module, like the 5mw. Remember you're using fog, and you're reflecting the laser of a spinning mirror. The intensity is nothing close to actually looking into the module full on.

I know that all to well as I've accidentally looked at it a few times. I would liken it to a flash bulb x2, and I have no doubt if you made a habit of looking at the module full on you'd do some damage eventually.

That said, I don't have a light meter and I sure as hell don't have the background required to say "it's fine, don't worry about it", so caveat emptor.
 

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I've got my vortex done, now I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas how to present this outdoors? I have a space between bushes, but I was wondering about a protective, (semi?) enclosure? Thanks in advance.
 

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I plan on making a vortex this year and just received my laser. It's looks great.
I should mention it's the same model recommended in the GoE tutorial.
I have an adjustable powersupply that puts out 1.5 to 12v at 300ma.

The laser specs call for < 300mA. Am I assuming correctly that 300 mA will be too much for this laser?
I'd hate to burn it out when I just got it.

Here are the rest of the specs:

Beamvoltage: 3VDC
- Operating Current : < 300mA
- Output: <5mW
- Expected Life: 5,000 hours
- Wavelength: 532nm
- Diameter 1/2in, Lenght 2 3/8in
- wire lenght: 6in
- Class III a
 

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The laser specs call for < 300mA. Am I assuming correctly that 300 mA will be too much for this laser?
I'd hate to burn it out when I just got it.
The laser is stating that it uses < 300mA. So if the only thing running from the power supply is the laser you will be fine. The laser will only draw as much current as it needs to run itself. Now if you start running other things off of the power supply and the current draw exceeds the 300mA, it's the PS you should be worried about overheating and/or burning up.
 

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I'd like to add that I had a chance to see the Garage of Evil guys doing their thing at the East Coast Haunt Club meeting this past weekend. I was there primarily to drop off some donations for door prizes, but I stuck around to see the seminars and they were great. I can't wait to make the laser vortex - it was so cool. It was like being inside a big green kaleidescope! I'm glad I got to see it in person. I also loved the foam cutter they made for under $20. I may be a Halloween retailer, but I love to give the TOT's a show at my house too and the laser vortex will definitely be a part of it this year!
 

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I know I'm a little late but I was looking at the how-to and I thought it looked amazing. So, I then got carried away and had to watch a bunch of pro, DJ lights in action. I saw a few really cool ones so I went and looked up the price. Anyway, I came across some cool finds at Target. Take a look.

First a manufactured Laser Vortex (not worth 100 $ though)
Eliminator Lighting Green Laser - Tarantula : Target

A colored Strobe light (didnt see it in action but it looks pretty cool)
Eliminator Colored Strobe Light - Criss Cross Effect (E-109) : Target

And finally...I'm considering this because its a great combo, a colored light/fog machine
Eliminator Dynamic Duo Fog Machine and Light (E118MKII) : Target

Thanks alot for the how-to, Ill definately be using this sweet effect!
 

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hello: you guys should check out the( pocket laser light show) at coolstuffcheap.com,it is the same setup as your home made laser for $20.00 shipped. it will make a vortex as well as many other cool patterns.if you wanted to you could substitute the red laser in it with a more powerfull laser,i`m going to mod mine with the green laser you suggested and include it in my garage haunt,it`s a very cool and quality little product. you might consider pointing the vortex down so that people can walk thru it. as far as lasers go it`s always been my understanding that moving lasers dont do damage to the eyes but solid beams can?--cryptoid
 

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Interesting - let us now how it turns out.

hello: you guys should check out the( pocket laser light show) at coolstuffcheap.com,it is the same setup as your home made laser for $20.00 shipped. it will make a vortex as well as many other cool patterns.if you wanted to you could substitute the red laser in it with a more powerfull laser,i`m going to mod mine with the green laser you suggested and include it in my garage haunt,it`s a very cool and quality little product. you might consider pointing the vortex down so that people can walk thru it. as far as lasers go it`s always been my understanding that moving lasers dont do damage to the eyes but solid beams can?--cryptoid
 

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it has several different adjustments so you can get it to make a lot of different patterns including a vortex.the farther you move away from the wall the bigger the pattern gets.it has a spinning mirror inside it, works great in the dark or on a light colored untextured wall,looks like it could be modified to a more powerful laser .--cryptoid
 

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I finished my vortex and love it. I was hoping I could pair it with my FCG, however the light from the blacklight ruins the effect. I'm going to do a bit more experimenting with it before I give up.

I've also discovered that if you make the circle too large it loses some of the effect as the vortex area is too wide, or maybe that was due to too much smoke.. I'm not sure. More testing will occur tonight.
 
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