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Old 04-12-2013, 12:30 AM #1
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Default Hello, I'm Gun!

Hello Everyone,

So I've visited this forum a fair few times when googling laser related questions so I thought I may as well make an account!

A bit about me; I'm 14 years old and I'm from Australia. I was really interested in lasers about 2 years ago but I rapidly lost interest in lasers because of Australia's laser laws. Now I've learned that lab lasers are apparently legal in Australia (I think) so I might be getting some of them (if my parents let me)!

I'm still very interested in learning more about lasers, other than surfing this forum is there another good way to learn about lasers? Maybe like an online beginners guide or something?

So yeah, that's me. Have a good day


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Old 04-12-2013, 03:55 AM #2
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

Welcome! Indeed it is quite interesting getting started in the laser hobby in Aus these days. Around 5 years ago when I first started (Was around 12 at that time) I was ordering 30mW+ green pointers from dealextreme every 2nd weekend. Good luck doing that anymore.

Anyway, best way to learn about lasers (and most things in life) is to experiment and read. Grab yourself a cheap laser diode (Like from a DVD burner, LPC-805 or equivalent are cheap, a good starting point and will give around 250-300mW). You'll learn how to build a driver (Or you could purchase a premade one, but you can use a simple LM317 driver too with parts you can get from Jaycar)
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:24 AM #3
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

You can try googling around. Pretty much anything you need to know about lasers can be found here using the search bar. And if not just ask!

Welcome to LPF
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:51 AM #4
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

Thanks both of you

So Things, how do you get your lasers these days? Do you just build them? Also, do you have any specific tutorials that will help me build a laser with a diode from a DVD player?
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:53 AM #5
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

I don't really buy lasers much these days, and when I do, they're lab lasers for my projector, which are legal.

As for how to build a laser with a DVD burner diode, it's probably one of the most asked questions around here, a quick search should yield you everything you need to know, including how to DIY a driver, where to get the diodes, the diode pinout etc.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:05 AM #6
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

So lab lasers are definitely legal?

Should've tried that before I asked, thanks very much.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:08 AM #7
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

You shouldnt have any issue importing diodes/drivers ect. Just build your own. I recommend DTR for the majority of your diode needs. But starting small with an old dvd burner is a good learning experience.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:19 AM #8
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

If I can't find an old DVD burner lying around I guess I'll have to buy one. How do I know if the diode from my particular burner/DVD player will be suitable to build a laser? and how do I know what wavelength it is?
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:22 AM #9
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

Yes, lab lasers are 100% legal. Be careful if you try import ones designed to go into a pointer though, I've heard customs take a few of those, but the block shaped ones are fine. Diodes and all other parts to build them are also fine, just not a complete pointer.

Anyway, if you don't have any spare DVD burners, just look around the forums and eBay for diodes, you can get them for <$10.

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Old 04-12-2013, 05:23 AM #10
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

You can do what I did and just test it out. I recommend a benchtop dc power supply to run it. The one I pulled apart had an ir diode and a red one. I belive they are 750nm and 650nm. If you buy a diode you will know what wavelength it is. DTR offers some with drivers attached. Makes it nice and easy. You can also buy low powered diodes from ebay. They should also say what wavelength it is.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:24 AM #11
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

Awesome.
Less than $10!?! That's good. Would you be able to link me to a video tutorial or thread showing how to build a laser? I want one with accurate information and you'd know better than me. Also how much would it cost in total to build the entire laser, not just the diode.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:32 AM #12
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

Start here

It all depends on what you go with. I have a 400$ + build on the way. But with the right host and driver ylu should be able to do it for under 100. If not cheaper.
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532nm SkyRay King Gre3n 35mW/60mW/70mW~Phobos Fasttech 70mW~Optotronics RPL-500 450mW~JetLasers Ti B 170mW
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:36 AM #13
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

Awesome. Thank-you very much
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:48 AM #14
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

Hmmm okay. Looking at this thread you gave me this laser building is serious stuff. It all seems pretty complicated to me Hopefully I can wrap my head around it soon enough.
I'm sort of wanting a laser soon so I might end up buying a labby before I actually build one myself. Things, where do you buy your lab lasers? I've already made a thread about this (link's in my siggy) but no one has replied as of yet. So yeah, who supplies your lab lasers?
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:51 AM #15
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

Its all pretty simple once you start to understand whats going on. For the most part you have a battery or batteries powering a driver. Which drives your laser diode. All that is held in a host. Like a flashlight shell or something similar. Alot of members offer kits or almost conplete builds.
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476.5nm ML Argon
488nm Uniphase Multi-Line Argon 48mW/73mW in current control;
496.5nm ML Argon
501.7nm ML Argon
514.5nm ML Argon
532nm SkyRay King Gre3n 35mW/60mW/70mW~Phobos Fasttech 70mW~Optotronics RPL-500 450mW~JetLasers Ti B 170mW
543.5nm Bare tube HeNe ~3mW (Nightstand lamp)
632.8nm Bare tube HeNe ~3mW~Bare tube HeNe Multimode 12mW (Desk Lamp)
638nm Mrcrouse Custom 650mW
658nm wannaburnstuff baby shower gift? 127mW
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:18 AM #16
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Default Re: Hello, I'm Gun!

I get mine directly through a manufacturer, but they're not cheap, they're designed for high hour, stable applications. It would help to know your budget, what colour you're after and your application, but for a start, once again, they can be found on eBay.
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