View Full Version : Dirty lasers...

01-22-2007, 10:09 PM
So we have two lasers we used last year for a vortex tunnel hallway, but after each night I had to bust them open (no doubt voiding the warranty) and clean the two mirrors off with windex and a q-tip, other wise the light lost it's sharpness and looked kinda lame. The mirrors got all hazy from what I am guessing was the fog machines running in the same space.

Has anyone come across this problem? Is there some magic mixture, like spit and peanut butter, I can use to coat the mirrors so they stay clean?


damon carson
01-22-2007, 11:00 PM
Have you tried to mount the laser above the fog machine and run the laser light through it? Or maybe from the other side of the room. ? If it is a smaller machine, try to put a clear plastic bag over it and then tie it or seal it all the way around leaving the lense where the laser shines through open. Worth a try ????

01-23-2007, 01:21 AM
I thought about the bag idea, but with the cooling fan in the back and the laser hole in the front are, there are not any other access points, so I don't think that would do it.

And its not like I have the fog machines pointing right at the laser, its across the room. But as the fog heats up it goes towards the lasers.

At first I thought it might of just been dust, but it was kinda hazy and grimy.

There is a glass product called Fog-X, made by rain-x...think that might work!?!? :lol:

01-23-2007, 04:09 AM
coming from an automotive guy,
I was going to suggest a Rain-X product. It couldn't hurt

Jim Warfield
01-23-2007, 08:48 AM
"Dirty Lasers" cleaned by rain-"X"!?
These lasers must be rated "X", then?
Porno lasers!
Anybody getting excited besides sub-atomic particles?
Small things get excited too!

01-23-2007, 09:31 AM
What kind of laser do you have? We use the American DJ Widow, never had to clean it in three years. We have the fog on the floor under it, as the fog rises up it creates the tunnel.

01-23-2007, 09:58 AM
They are the Chauvet lasers, Scorpion I think.
The tunnel effect starts off great, but as the night goes on it looks worse and worse.

01-23-2007, 10:04 AM
What is the range on laser beams? I'm sure it varies, but as damon carson said, maybe keep the laser on either the opposite side of the room, or even in another room shooting in. I have no experience with lasers at all so I don't know what the range on the beam is, that may not work, but the fog tends to settle on whatever low surface it can rest on, so maybe keep the actual mechanism away from that area.

01-23-2007, 10:05 PM
the fog juice is basically glycerin and water. The glycerin will stick to anything it gets to. I have filled a room with a thick fog and once dissipated, the entire room is filled with a coating of the glycerin. As you already know, it's a pain to clean off. Water alone won't do it. The best solution to your problem would be to create a Plexiglass box to put it in with a fan that pulls air from the box or to put it behind a piece of glass that seperates it from the room it's in. you may also try using a hazer instead of a fog machine. It's a different chemical and although you may end up with the mist, it's much less and the effect is the same. Good luck.

damon carson
01-24-2007, 07:38 PM
That was my next option but someone beat me to it. A plexiglass box or a wooden cabinet with the glass in front. If your worried about the unit over heating put holes in the box where the fan draws air or somekind of screen or air filter to help keep the fog out. I've got a black widow and never had this problem. But hope something works for you.
Damon Carson

01-24-2007, 08:17 PM
Isn't there something funny about having lasers pass thru glass? I don't remember, but I thought it changed something in the light beam.

When I was at Disneyland recently, for their Fantasmic show, I noticed they have some large sheets of glass that they shoot their super lasers through...never could figure out why.

John Coen
01-25-2007, 07:07 AM
Though I've never seen Fantasmic, doesn't it also shoot bunches of water around. Maybe the glass keeps the equipment dry.

01-25-2007, 01:34 PM
I would think glass would reflect the laser a little. But, you may be safe if you use a very thin sheet, and put it right up to the laser.

damon carson
01-25-2007, 03:42 PM
The only other solution is buy a better lazer. Like I said my blackwidow has never given in any problems no matter how much fog I have pumped out around it.

01-28-2007, 02:01 PM
You might want to be careful cleaning optics inside a laser. Some of the coatings that are used are "soft" coatings, which can be wiped off if cleaned improperly. That would cause your laser not to function properly. Like a few people mentioned, you can use a piece of glass to separate the laser and your prop. If you do this, place the glass at a bit of an angle so the reflected beam does not go back into the laser. That would cause instability problems with the laser then. Just two cents from someone who has an associates degree in laser technology.

01-29-2007, 02:31 AM
Well I would say your qualified! Do you think getting a 'better' laser would do the trick? It seems to me that its just gunk on the mirrors, I don't see how a more expensive laser could prevent this from happening.

01-29-2007, 07:06 AM
I agree with the other posters about placing it out of the direct contact with the fog juice. If it can be put in another room or put in an enclosure that has filters to catch the fog juice, your problem would be solved. As for a better one, you have to look at the different lasers and see if their cases are sealed or not. More expensive is not always better, but it is if it has exactly what you are looking for. Also, I don't work for any of the companies that are selling this type of laser, so my opinion is unbiased. I'm not going to say one is better than another. I just want to help you solve your problem.