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Old 05-07-2017, 08:44 AM #1
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Default Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

"Cyan Heart"
488nm direct diode handheld device




Hello everyone!

It's been a long time since I put my first post about Osram PLT5 488 (well, it was Jan 16).
And now, it is time to reveal some of details about the laser I have built in the end.
This is my first long-post about building something. Also, I am not so much of a person
with big vocabulary -- don't judge me hard

Everything have started a long time ago, just after some time being a member of this forum.
I have revealed for myself that there is kinda diamond in lasers representing one pretty rare
and extremely beautiful wavelength. Watching a lot of photos and videos on the internet one may
realise that 488nm has some sort of very light blue color (just something more light blue than 473).
This is not entirely true. Although there are as many perceptions as eyes on the planet, I would say
that this wavelength has a strong note of greenish in real life. Even more, being done with some fighting
with my monitor I realised that there is no any screen capable of delivering the real feel of 488nm.
The most major reason of this is the main feature of lasers -- coherence. Light of such configuration
appears to an eye in a different way showing some sort of "noise" or "blinking" or "shining".
And this effect is perceived in our brain in slightly other way, almost providing an information
about a totally new color. I did some photos of the laser (well, obviously) for a comparison with other
neighbourhood wavelengths. Also, I did some sort of tiny color correction to make it as much as I see them naturally.
Well, enough of that, time to go forth.


Before posting the question about source of these diodes I had some tiny list of sources discovered myself.
Many of them having huge prices, and Thorlabs is not an exception.
Well, Thorlabs was the most affordable way of getting these for that time although they have had a price
around $3000 (well, it hasn't changed significantly nowadays). There were some answers in the thread and I have been
told that there is prophotonix, selling them for a price near $1k. Well, I was trying to establish some cooperation,
but I have no answer from these guys even now, after a few months.
Then I found one distributor that is based in my country (Russia).
I have received the answer surprisingly fast. I don't want to double the info about their response
(you will find it in the thread related to 488nm diodes prices on this forum),
I will just say that I have got a deal with them for around $1.5k.
Sure, they are usually working with bulk orders, so there was an offer to wait some time until
they would be able to send it from Germany to Russia with some other packages.
And then, since a ~1 month, I received this:



For a diode, the box was insanely big.
There was a lot of paper stuff, a piece of invoice and nothing about technical details ...
(I mean I was forced to get the datasheet from Osram site directly, I was hoping to get it from them packaged with the diode together)



And then, after a bit of unboxing, we got this:



The box was very large, but thanks to that -- the diode was packaged too well, it was in extreme safe environment.
Another side of this little blue box:



Opening it up:




Here we go. A tiny piece of metal with an ability to emit the light and a price at $1500, check.

I want to admit here the fact that this laser was not wanted to be built (at least normally) at any cost.
The diode was the easiest thing to get.
The host for this build was kindly provided by ElectricPlasma. We had some time discussing my drawings and what could we get out of them.
Although the final result differs from the sketch pretty noticeably it does look pretty.
At this point I do apologize for the photos of the host provided by ElectricPlasma in a source condition -- I have lost the photos
(probably because I was moving to a new phone).
But here I am including two sketches I was using. The first one is what I was wanting, and the second one is
the "agreement" between me and ElectricPlasma:




Despite the presence of contact boards holders I received a "blank tube". But there is some tricky solution below.
Also, ElectricPlasma has created the custom tail switch. It does look nice, except the fact that I was not planning
the tail cap to be out of the host (I mean now I am not able to put it vertically for it to stand still with an up looking aperture).
There also was not any contact board for the tail switch, only bare contacts.
A workaround using a part of a thick cable worked well:




The soldering does not look good, I know. But it is quite a challenge to solder such a big piece of aluminium.
At the end, this solution works well and survives the pressure from the battery without a single deformation.
As for contact board ... The host has no any holdings for it and I decided to use ... a corkwood.
The original idea with a piece of wood came from ElectricPlasma, but this would be more elastic and will sit just fine
without any glue or epoxy:




This piece fits very tight and sits just perfect. Survives the pressure from the battery more that enough.
Although the tail switch was provided by ElectricPlasma, the side switch came from Ebay:



As I found out later, the only problem of this switch is that it requires it to be pushed pretty deep.
And it is not a latching switch. Yes, I was planning to use a momentary one. May be because it feels more "casual" ...
The host went through some polishing process using a piece of soft and thick cloth together with a paste.
Well, it was hard to get some good result. Sure, an any kind of electrochemical polishing will do the trick far more better,
but after spending nearly 2 hours I ended up with this result:



Since there was no any screw thread for the aperture cap, I decided to use a sticky tape (it holds the cap really tight):



You might get noticed that the cap has something black inside.
I have used a few drops of a black matte dye to minimize any internal reflections and reduce the amount of artefacts around the dot.
Another tricky and nervous moment was the process of installing the switch into host.
It was insane! I was ready to throw everything through window and forget about it.
It was very hard to put the rubber ring and the nut on the switch from inside of the host.
But okay, I finally did this.
As for the lasing module part, I decided to use a socket for laser diodes.
This tiny diode is too way expensive to solder it directly:



I was using a thermo-tube everywhere. It looks a way more accurate and has ho sticky effect like when using
a usual electrical tape for securing soldering points.
The next challenge was a power indicator. I would say, this was preventing me from finishing this project for months!
I have tried a lot of LEDs. It is extremely difficult to find a LED with a peak wavelength of 488nm.
I was trying different places, shops, tried Ebay ... Everything was too much of green.
Even when it was saying 490nm-500nm on the label it actually was near 507nm (tested on my spectrometer).
Then I remembered of member lazeerer and his build. He was using LEDs from Roithner LaserTechnik.
And ... I ordered a few units. Here they are:



And you know what? For some creepy reason on the earth they are all emitting at ~500nm. This is insane!
No, my spectrometer is fine, I have tested the diode using it and it was calibrated by using 473nm/589nm DPSS sources.
As an additional proof -- to my eye it was really greenish. Near turquoise.
Hopefully, the SMC490 LEDs are slightly less green and the peak is placed at ~498nm.
After remembering an every name of every daemon in the hell, I decided to turn one of those SMC490 into LED490.
So I took one of my too way greenish Ebay LEDs, cutted of the lens part using a pretty sharp knife,
glued it with SMC490 LED and ended up with this solution:



Surprisingly, this resulted in a pretty solid device and works just fine.
Stuffing everything inside:





(The first photo was taken a long time ago, so it looks like a raw aluminium without polishing)
Some side view:



That is it. The main part is done, let's take a look on some photos with a finished laser

A simple side view of the laser:



After pressing the tail switch:



There is also small addition -- using the same black matte dye I did some sort of black rings (there are 4 of them).
Pretty simple, but looks great to me.

And finally, powering the laser on:



A small amount of matches has been used to create a slightly smoked environment.
The photo is taken with exposition of 4 seconds.
Take a look on the colors of the LED and the laser -- the difference is pretty high.
Anyway, this is not a clear green, but more of turquoise, which is near the laser wavelength.
In other words, I am still happy with this.

Finally, I did some shots for the color comparison.
Here we have 488nm, 440nm and 473nm respectively:



Another photo for color comparison (including green source of light):



On the most bokehlicious sample (as to me) the colors have most true tints.
Again, it is hard to deliver the feeling of seeing a laser light.

A few days later I did some power measurement.
The specs for this diode roughly these: 75mA / 60mW.
The driver was purchased from DTR, and I have asked him to set up the driver to something near 70mA.
I don't know why, maybe the driver is doing slightly more, but LPM shows 88mW and is stable (+/- 1mW).
While I was doing some technical test right after connecting the driver, the module was not getting warm at all.
The time of being powered on was nearly 25 seconds.
Being in a finished condition, this laser's host is always cold.
Well, I hope that if this diode would decide to burn itself out, it wouldn't happen tomorrow.

That is it, guys. A handheld laser at 488nm with an optical power of 88mW.
The name may sound weird to someone, but it is more of personal.
For example, I have another blue laser at 460nm with a custom host, and its name is Blue Heart
But for some reason I was too shy to post a build review for it on that day when I completed it.


Also, I want to thank everyone who was helping me with any detail on this project.
Plus, big thanks to the forum itself!

This was a ton of text, sorry, but I wanted to tell you almost everything happened.
Thank you for reading!

Be safe,
Ivan.


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Old 05-07-2017, 09:21 AM #2
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

Congratulations Ivan ,
really a fantastic work and a wonderful construction ! very intense color of cyan !

Last edited by 3DLaSeRBuiLDeR; 05-07-2017 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 05-07-2017, 09:38 AM #3
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

A most excellent job--great laser--use it well --enjoy it.

Very nice presentation and pictures. Excellent well written interesting account of your quest and great care taken to make this unique, rare and special 488nm wavelength laser against the odds of be able to do it as nicely, if at all.

That uncommon corkwood solution is brilliance at work---perfect thing for the purpose.

Good observations and explaination of the effect lasers in general and of 488nm in particular, on and as interpreted by the brain + human dimensions of perception of that activity.
Worth mentioning againg, as follows:
"Although there are as many perceptions as eyes on the planet, I would say
that this wavelength has a strong note of greenish in real life. Even more, being done with some fighting
with my monitor I realised that there is no any screen capable of delivering the real feel of 488nm.
The most major reason of this is the main feature of lasers -- coherence.
Light of such configuration appears to an eye in a different way showing some sort of "noise" or "blinking" or "shining".
And this effect is perceived in our brain in slightly other way, almost providing an information
about a totally new color"


Much of the attraction of coherent laser light that people have and feel is the up-tick rush of brain activity to interpret it as a first time event being exposed to that color, due to the purity and intensity of wavelength + the brain needing to/automatically moving to --interpret, determine, and evaluate it in context of whatever it associates with same for many reason and purposes.

Geat looking polish you did on the host--nice touch!

+rep to you for the interesting post & good images.
I very much like the one showing 440nm, 473nm, 488nm, and 515nm beam and dot color differences.


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Old 05-07-2017, 09:58 AM #4
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

Very nice build, great pics and info, as for the 1500.00 diodes I think I will wait, but thanks for the show.
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:02 AM #5
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

Very nice, beautiful color. I am somewhat confused about the aluminium, unless plated with something you can solder to, aluminium cannot be soldered to with a tin lead alloy. I probably don't understand and you simply had a problem due to the amount of heat sinking to the item you were trying to solder. Maybe you were gas welding aluminium to another metal?
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:01 PM #6
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

Hi Ivan,
I enjoyed the pics and the build is great for what you had on hand in modding it all to work with a WL of that cost. Thank you for sharing the step by step details to.

Rich
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:33 PM #7
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

Very impressive Ivan, that was a very good read. Great job and what a commitment. But the finished product, you have something to be proud of. Like how you made your own 488nm led. Thought that was very original. Thanks for sharing your work and a big
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:17 PM #8
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan View Post
Very nice, beautiful color. I am somewhat confused about the aluminium, unless plated with something you can solder to, aluminium cannot be soldered to with a tin lead alloy. I probably don't understand and you simply had a problem due to the amount of heat sinking to the item you were trying to solder. Maybe you were gas welding aluminium to another metal?
Actually, it is a bit simplier. I thought it would not be so much of interest to this part, so I didn't tell about it. There is a little trick in there. I know that aluminium won't hold the solder, I took a thick wire of about 7mm in length, stuffed it into the part with the tail switch just between the case and the plastic, then I soldered this wire to the contact of the switch. The wire sits very tight and everything seems working fine.

To anyone -- thank you for reading and enjoying this, I am happy to hear it from you
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:56 PM #9
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

Very nice job, Ivan. I didn't understand about your comment of soldering to the aluminum host until you posted further about it. I love the color of 488nm. I have it is a single line argon laser, but it is not so special to me now that I could justify spending that kind of money on a diode laser under 100 mW. I hope you enjoy it for many years to come.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:17 PM #10
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!
that's awesome dude. +rep for you.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:29 PM #11
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

Lovely color, nice host!
I like the indicator LED too.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:37 PM #12
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

I burn with jealousy for those with a handheld 488

Absolutely beautiful laser! I hope someday to have one just like this! +REP!
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:44 PM #13
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

This has to be one of the most awesome builds I've seen here. A true one of a kind work of art.
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Old 05-08-2017, 02:46 AM #14
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

Very nice, what a lovely looking colour, awesome mate.
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:36 AM #15
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

One of the best threads I've seen in awhile, wonderful shade of blue, love the cyan! I hope the prices for 488 nm come down to where I'd buy one of those diodes someday.

I'm just using my cell phone for internet connectivity, bandwidth requirements are high for the number of photo's in this post, took me a long time to see some of the photo's. If anyone else has limited bandwidth, here is a direct link to compare the colors of several blue to green laser pointers Ivan posted:

http://i853.photobucket.com/albums/a...30.19%20AM.png
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:14 AM #16
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Default Re: Cyan Heart: Handheld diode laser at 488nm (HEAVY PICS)

It's an alright laser, could of thrown more money at it IMO! JK, I'm not jealous at all.

Seriously fantastic job. I would love to be the one owning the cyan heart right now. from me. Yellow OPSL portable next?
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Optotronics offers some of the highest output DPSS Portable Greens on the market. Their 1.4W RPL-II is by far their most amazing product and is known to be overspec.
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