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Old 12-13-2013, 03:44 PM #1
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Smile Hello from Ireland and my first laser build!

Hello LPF, I am FactualOrc!

My story goes like this...



A few days ago I was playing Star Trek Online and I was shooting my phaser about at some Klingons. I thought to myself "Hey, wouldn't it be cool to have something like this in real life" it was only then that some vague memory creeped up on me about something I watched on YouTube ages ago about some kind of "burning laser".



After some googling, I did indeed find dozens of videos on the subject. The first video I watched was of a pot mod where a guy took apart a commercial laser pointer and adjusted the potentiometer to make it stronger, which I didn't find very interesting, but then I found styropyro's video where he does the "hammer" mod and proceeds to build his own laser with a diode and driver. Now I was hooked ;-) So after some more research I was confident enough to make some purchases, but I was wondering if you guys could give me some opinions/advice in case I've made any mistakes.



As I mentioned before I was inspired to make a Star Trek phaser. (Similar to what jayrob did) So my first purchase was a toy phaser off of amazon:
the phaser



Now the hunt was on for the laser parts. I actually found this quite intimidating as I was worried about the specifications of the whole thing. I was worried about the driver not outputting the correct voltage for the diode or what the diode would require in the first place. Alas, after a bit more searching, I stumbled across a kit that appeared to have everything I needed
the kit
Hopefully it will work and it'll actually get to my house in the end. I went for a 300mW diode. I chose this because I wanted quite a powerful laser but I wanted to keep it in the 3B class range.



The last thing I needed, apart from all the fun stuff like balloons, flash paper and smoke machines , were some safety glasses. After some more research, I figured out that a single pair of safety glasses can only protect you from one kind of wavelength. The diode I ordered was 650nm so I picked out these glasses:
the glasses
I haven't actually bought them yet because there has been some confusion over the different prices. Some safety glasses can be over $150 while others can be as cheap as $10. So I'm not sure which ones to buy. If you guys could clarify I would be very appreciative



Anyway that's my story so far. I look forward to getting to know all of you and hopefully we'll get along



-Live long and prosper
/FactualOrc



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Old 12-13-2013, 05:52 PM #2
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Default Re: Hello from Ireland and my first laser build!

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Some safety glasses can actually protect you from a variety of wavelengths, but you have to pay for it.

I bought an Eagle Pair which blocks some UV, all near UV, violet, blue and green wavelengths, as well as far red and well into the IR spectrum.
They aren't cheap, but I have piece of mind that most lasers I use, even ones that are unintentionally emitting IR, aren't knackering my eyes: Eagle Pair® 190-540nm & 800-2000nm Laser Safety Goggles

they also do ones that block blue and much of the red wavelength, but misses out green and IR.

My glasses haven't actually arrived yet but having done a bit of reading around here the consensus is cheaper variants can be fine, but might not cover as many wavelengths, won't always reduce really powerful lasers to a properly safe brightness and might not cover IR.
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:54 PM #3
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Default Re: Hello from Ireland and my first laser build!

yeah, the glasses on that site look a lot better than the ones i picked out
My laser is red 650nm so I guess these ones would be good:
Eagle Pair® 190-400nm & 580-760nm Laser Safety Goggles

Quote:
even ones that are unintentionally emitting IR


This worries me, to a certain extent. What kind of light do lasers emit other then the wavelength they are advertised at? Is the extra light dangerous as well? If so, how can I protect myself if I cannot find glasses that cover all the required spectrum?
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Old 12-13-2013, 08:12 PM #4
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Default Re: Hello from Ireland and my first laser build!

Hello Factual and welcome to LPF

About the different wavelength's laser produce this is a pretty easy process.

Most DPSS lasers use IR light to produce their desired wavelength. For example 532nm uses 808nm---->1064nm---532nm as a DPSS process. So you will be getting 3 wavelengths, but no need too worry. Most quality green lasers have IR filter's on them which prevents about 99% of the IR light from passing.

Diode lasers on the other hand do not use IR to produce their light, this is a simple diode emitting one light, for example 650nm.

Best of luck on the forums
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Last edited by Hap; 12-13-2013 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 12-15-2013, 11:20 PM #5
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Default Re: Hello from Ireland and my first laser build!

So is that kit any good? I'm worried about the pot and the heatsink in particular.

I bought it a few days ago and I think it looks good (even though I have little to no experience on the subject). It claims to come with a heatsink and an adjustable current driver, which I believed, but I don't see a pot so I'm confused as to how it can be adjusted and I was wondering about the heatsink he has in the picture. It looks kind of like plastic and the heatsinks I see other people use look a lot bigger.

Can you advise me on which subforum would be most suitable for these kinds of questions?
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:50 AM #6
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Default Re: Hello from Ireland and my first laser build!

I believe that blue thing is your pot. That heatsink is better than nothing but I would purchase something else or have one made. Overall that looks like a good kit. Gets you building a simple driver and includes the PCB to do it on.
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