SHOWALL FUN PRANKS HIGH VOLTAGE LAZARUS-64 PHOTOGRAPHY SPY GADGETS VIDEO GAME
Figure 24 - The completed long range laser illuminator and camera zoom system
Figure 24 - The completed long range laser illuminator and camera zoom system

The completed illumination and camera zoom system is shown in Figure 24, mounted to a camera tripod for easy adjustment and stable imaging. Now, the output from the camera can be viewed on any composite video monitor or recorded for later analysis. Because of the extremely powerful infrared laser being used, great care had to be taken to avoid any accidental eye exposure of the beam, even at a great distance. Window reflections can be particularly dangerous, and since human eyes cannot detect the intense infrared beam, laser safety glasses and careful placement of the laser are certainly necessary. This night vision illumination system is capable of very long distance imaging, but I only use it where there will be no danger to people or animals at the receiving end. Laser illumination system that use even higher levels of infrared laser radiation are commercially available, and although they claim to be "eye safe", I would still not take any risks with such a high powered laser system. At least with the beam spread out to such a large spot, this laser is no longer capable of starting small fires when the beam is highly focused!



Figure 25 - From 100 feet away, the camera can see clearly using the laser illuminator
Figure 25 - From 100 feet away, the camera can see clearly using the laser illuminator

Figure 25 shows the image captured using a high resolution camera capable of seeing the infrared radiation sent from the illuminations system. At 100 feet, the laser spot can be adjusted to a width of about 20 feet across, and is almost too bright for the low lux camera. Distances are really limited only to the optical range of the zoom lens and the camera, not the laser, as it can project an intense beam of invisible light even a thousand feet away. At distance beyond 200 feet, my 4x32 optical zoom rifle scope falls short of being able to zoom into the scene close enough to capture any detail, but the laser illumination is certainly not lacking.



For longer range illumination and imaging, a low lux camera fitted to the end of a 150x telescope works well, but you really have to be careful with the laser alignment and start with power levels of at least 250 milliwatts. Such a system would be capable of a 1000 foot range. You could probably use the original collimating lens that came with the laser module because at that distance, the beam would have spread out to at least a hundred feet. I hope you enjoyed these laser illumination experiments, and remember that any amount of laser power over 5mW (milliwatts) is more than enough power to cause instant and irreversible eye damage. Never use a laser illumination system on people or animals, and always wear laser safety goggles, even when viewing the image on the video monitor.
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