Picture of Pocket Laser Vortex of DOOOOM

The Pocket Laser Vortex of DOOOOM will project a cone of laser light and give a spooky effect to spice up any Halloween party. A bit of party smoke and it will look like the gateway to Hades has opened. It uses a standard laser pointer and a few simple bits and bobs from around your workshop.

This is an entry in the HALLOWEEN competition
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The idea for this was spawned after seeing Mever's Laser Vortex. My version is rather more compact.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Picture of Tools and Materials

Building the Laser Vortex of DOOOOM does need some simple soldering so you will need soldering iron, solder and wire cutters. You will also need some way of making a 3/4" (17mm) hole in plastic. The best tool for this is a step or cone drill, but there are dirtier ways of doing this if you haven't got the drill. A round file would be useful here as well. It's all held together with glue from a hot glue gun.

The parts you will need are :-

A small motor - The tray motor from an old CDROM drive is ideal.
A laser pointer - Mine is a 10mW green one.
A small switch - Slide or toggle. Simple on/off single pole will do.
A 9V PP3 battery and battery clip.
A 100 ohm resistor (brown black brown).
A 4" (100mm) piece of 5/8" (16mm) diameter plastic overflow pipe.
A plastic box - Mine is approx 4.5" x 2.5" x 1.25" (110mm x 70mm x 30mm).
A child's powder compact mirror, CD or other mirrored plastic.

A standard laser pointer is a sliding fit down the standard overflow pipe, and as it enters it presses the 'on' button to energize the laser. If you're using a smaller or larger diameter pointer you will have to find a piece of tube of the right size. Check your local hardware shop.

The motor from the CDROM drive is perfect because it is short and fat and has a pulley fitted to give a flat surface at the end. However, any small motor will do as long as it will fit diagonally inside the box.

For the mirror, any small piece of mirrored plastic will do, but some silvered surfaces diffuse the light rather than reflect it. To test, bounce the laser beam off it and onto a piece of card. You should see a well-defined spot and not a series of lines or 'spray' pattern. At a pinch, a manufactured CD will do it but it it should be one with only a small amount of data so you can cut out a bit of unwritten silvered plastic.

tinker2343 years ago
i wonder if i could use this poting downwards for a display called the curious well i like the idea i bet a cat laser toy wont cut it
AndyGadget (author)  tinker2343 years ago
As far as I know, the little keyring lasers are only a milliwatt or two so wouldn't really be up to the job.  My one's a 10mW (bought when they were easily available) but a 5mW green should produce a reasonable effect as long as the room is dark. The eye is more sensitive to green light than red, so green lasers look brighter for the same power.
Even though many countries now ban the sale of laser pointers over 5mW, you can usually buy a laser module (on eBay) which is the important part of it.  You only need supply a couple of batteries and a switch to make a working laser.
Kaiven5 years ago
I just got three lasers (woop woop!) and I am trying this soon :D
lemonie5 years ago
Looks neat, video? L
AndyGadget (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Need more smoke . . . Tomorrow!
AndyGadget (author)  AndyGadget5 years ago
Video yet? :P
AndyGadget (author)  Kaiven5 years ago
Today. Definitely today!
Is it just me, or do I not see a video? :P
AndyGadget (author)  Kaiven5 years ago
8 minutes to spare!! (23:52 where I iz ;¬) But it's not very good. I'll try and do better next w/e.
At least you are posting a video haha. Maybe make a layout on how to make the next video, so it will be put together well. Or is it a camera problem?
AndyGadget (author)  Kaiven5 years ago
Dynamic range is the problem. You've got an intensely bright green spot in the middle and almost pitch black at the edges. The eye can capture a much greater range of intensities than a webcam or DSLR, especially as the eye is adjusting constantly as it views the scene, whereas the camera is being set to capture the whole scene.
Oh yeah... That can be an issue. Hmm... Maybe we should all just build one and see for ourselves! :D
V-Man7375 years ago
"GAZE NOT INTO THE VORTEX LEST THE VORTEX GAZE ALSO INTO YOU!" I will be quoting that pretty frequently from now on.
AndyGadget (author)  V-Man7375 years ago
It's a paraphrase of a quote by Freidrich Nietzsche. I first saw it in the 'Watchmen' graphic novel, many years ago.
where can i buy that kinda spray smoke?
Kaiven5 years ago
Really cool. I like the compactness!
Koosie5 years ago
Awesome! Kinda Sci-Fi-Ish. Shine it on a mirror-ball for a real freak-fest! lol :)
21GeeOff215 years ago
could be really cool coming out of the bottom of a flying saucer prop. thats in idea ive been throwing around since i saw the first laser vortex ive just been a wee bit lazy about putting it together.
Bongmaster5 years ago
nice :)
Wow, this looks really simple! Where did you get your green laser and how much was it?
AndyGadget (author)  LuminousObject5 years ago
It's just a standard laser pointer, like THIS one. I bought it a year or so ago online. However, it looks like restrictions for selling anything over 5mW have been imposed and they're getting harder to get hold of in the UK and US. They are still being advertised quite widely though - I've just ordered a 10mW laser module.