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Old 11-28-2008, 08:15 AM #1
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Default Greetings from Florida

Hello Laser Pointer Forums community! *I recently joined because of all of the excellent content I saw while browsing here, and because of my sudden interest in lasers . *I would also like to say props for having such an organized, helpful, and straightforward community ;D

My Laser Background:
I am now declaring lasers a new hobby of mine . *When I was a kid I had a little red key chain laser when they were still expensive and becoming popular. *I thought it was the coolest thing ever, but wished it did more than shine light really far. *I eventually heard about these green laser pointers that are so bright that you could see the beam, which made me really want one. *Back then they were hundreds of dollars and I couldn't really afford them. *Over the years I occasionally heard a thing or two about lasers. *At some point I saw videos of people popping balloons and lighting matches with lasers, but I still didn't get back into them.

Now, years later, green lasers are much cheaper. *Thanks to some friends of mine playing with cheap red lasers, I decided to buy one. *The other day I bought a green laser pointer from Amazon.com for $20. *It's 20mW and goes pretty far. *It feels cheap though because the button wiggles a lot and the brightness is inconsistent (probably because of the button). *I started doing lots of laser research after I bought mine. *Remembering some laser experiments on instructables.com, I went there and saw Kipkay's videos. *He made it seem very easy to make a powerful laser (for cheap). *Don't worry, I know now that his tutorials oversimplify the process (not to mention the skipped steps); his videos simply encouraged me to look into building my own laser for cheap. *I eventually found this forum, which has a wealth of information for the laser noob. *I read the FAQ, some intro threads, and basically familiarized myself with the aspects of building a DIY laser. *


Here's what I've gathered, plus questions (please correct me if something is wrong):
- A DIY laser generally consists of a host (like a flashlight) which has a housing, a driver circuit, and batteries inside.
- The housing has the laser diode and the lens, which is used to focus the light coming from the diode
* - The 2 main housings used are the Aixiz and Meredith. *Each can have an acrylic lens or a glass lens. *Acrylic lenses produce a tighter beam, while a glass lens produces a stronger beam. *The
* * Meredith modules are of higher quality than the Aixiz.
* - Can both Aixiz and Meredith modules be focused with a knob on the front? *It looks like only the Meredith can (based on pictures I've seen).
- The driver circuit regulates the voltage and current flowing into the diode from the batteries. *This prevents the diode from burning up, and keeps the laser output the same as the battery life drains.
* - How do you make the driver small enough to fit in a flashlight? *I saw a picture of one on jayrob's site but the driver guide by Daedal doesn't show it all compact like that.
- Some colors like green, blue (i mean real blue 473nm), orange, yellow, and others use DPSS lasers instead of diodes. *These lasers use infrared diodes with crystals that modify the wavelength. *They
* * need IR filters to filter out the excess IR leaking. *Where can I buy these DPSS lasers? *I want to make a blue laser at some point (if it's a realistic goal, I don't really know) but I haven't found
* * anywhere to buy them. *I have a feeling they're expensive.

- What purpose does Amperage serve? *I see a lot of talk of mA, and I don't know what significance its value has on the laser's power.
- Is there any place to get cool laser warning stickers? *I think it would be cool to put one on a DIY.
- Are there any good ways to incorporate a locking mechanism (like a safety)?
- Sorry if this is a dumb question: *Does an ultraviolet beam (or close to UV like 405nm) have adverse effects on the skin like the sun's rays? *I don't want to inadvertently give anyone skin cancer or something.
- Do laser diodes heat up when in use? If so, how can I prolong its life and keep it from overheating?

I look forward to the lasers I'm planning on building, and to being a part of this community.


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Old 11-29-2008, 06:48 PM #2
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

Hey Jerry. Welcome to the community * Glad to hear that one more person joined the forums. Personally, I wish you good luck with your experience here and I think you will succeed in building your own laser because, you seem to have a lot of fun with laser poiners
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:23 AM #3
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

from which part of Florida are you from? i myself also live here = D
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:27 PM #4
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

I'm from Miami but I go to UCF in Orlando.
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Old 12-02-2008, 03:22 AM #5
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry
* - Can both Aixiz and Meredith modules be focused with a knob on the front? *It looks like only the Meredith can (based on pictures I've seen).
Both have adjustable focus.

Quote:
* - How do you make the driver small enough to fit in a flashlight? *I saw a picture of one on jayrob's site but the driver guide by Daedal doesn't show it all compact like that.
Surface mount components. *These are really small, so you can fit the whole circuit on a board the size of a quarter (or dime!)

Quote:
- Some colors like green, blue (i mean real blue 473nm), orange, yellow, and others use DPSS lasers instead of diodes. *...*Where can I buy these DPSS lasers?
Check the buy/sell section - there are several for sale now. *There are also several companies that sell them (see laserglow for one). *The stickies in the buy/sell forum will help you see which companies are good.
Quote:
*I want to make a blue laser at some point (if it's a realistic goal, I don't really know) but I haven't found anywhere to buy them. *I have a feeling they're expensive.
Yes, most components can be found on Ebay. *There are several forum members getting ready to build a green (least complex DPSS). *I'd try that first before you try a blue (more expensive, extremely difficult!)

Quote:
- What purpose does Amperage serve? *I see a lot of talk of mA, and I don't know what significance its value has on the laser's power.
Most laser diodes operate in current mode where the current is fixed (not the voltage). *Think of the drivers as current sources, not voltage sources. *So, current most often relates to a power output (at a particular temperature, etc). *Often you will see power vs current graphs. *More current, more power until the diode dies!

Quote:
- Is there any place to get cool laser warning stickers? *I think it would be cool to put one on a DIY.
Check the buy/sell. *There are a couple of forum members that sell them.

Quote:
- Are there any good ways to incorporate a locking mechanism (like a safety)?
You can have two switches. *One is a key and the other a button. *Then the key has to be on AND the button pushed. *There are other ways as well.

Quote:
- Does an ultraviolet beam (or close to UV like 405nm) have adverse effects on the skin like the sun's rays? *I don't want to inadvertently give anyone skin cancer or something.
UV, Vis, and IR can all cause skin problems. *Remember, mW is mW! *You ever heard the joke about which weighs more, a ton or stones or a ton of feathers? *Yeah, they are both the same. true UV and IR are dangerous (IMO) because you cannot see them. *Be careful!

Quote:
- Do laser diodes heat up when in use? *If so, how can I prolong its life and keep it from overheating?
All diodes heat up some when laseing. *If you want a diode to last a long time, don't run it at the "max" mA value, but a more conservative (60%?) and also use heat sinks. *Phowa hungry forum members will recommend running at max power, but only for 10 seconds at a time or something like that.

Hope I covered your questions.

Welcome!
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:41 PM #6
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

Wow, thank you for answering all of those questions!
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:05 AM #7
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

No problem. Post some pictures when you finish your first build.
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:55 PM #8
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

greetings
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:56 PM #9
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

greetings
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:56 PM #10
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

greetings
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:56 PM #11
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greetings
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:56 PM #12
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

greetings
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:06 PM #13
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

Err... I don't know if that was intentional or not, but five posts in a row saying the same thing is spamming...
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:16 PM #14
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Default Re: Greetings from Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snytbaggen
Err... I don't know if that was intentional or not, but five posts in a row saying the same thing is spamming...

I called him out on it here

http://www.laserpointerforums.com/fo...1229468389/0#0

He didn't respond. He has also posted this same link in another forum ostensibly looking for "help in deciding."

Looks like SPAM to me

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