I need to make a laser pointer for a profoundly disabled friend. It needs only to point 3 inches so I'm looking for a Class 1 laser diode that will be safe for him despite his erratic movements. Any help in locating a Class 1 laser diode that would be appropriate would be REALLY appreciated.
I know I'm terribly late with an answer here but in case you're still looking for a solution: you're probably not going to find a laser diode with less than 1mW power. What I would do to eliminate any remote chance of doing eye damage is to alter (de-focus) the optics of a smallest laser pointer you can find to increase the beam spot size. Since you're only concerned with the closest proximity, a beam spot of, say 1/4" diameter may still be useful for pointing at close range but absolutely safe due to its high divergence at the distance to the eye.
Otherwise you'll have to find a way to modulate the laser diode or just use a bright LED instead of a laser diode. The latter seems an easier solution for a hand-held pointer.
------------------------------------- Best Regards, Dmitri Abaimov, RCDD
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