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Old 04-09-2013, 07:12 PM #1
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Default new guy...

hi. I'm the new guy.

I'm mainly interested in building an IR laser illuminator.

I'm figuring on a couple hundred mA, 800 - 850 nm.

(before you ask? Coyote (and other varmint) hunting at night in my area is legal, lol)

lord help me, lser illuminators are priced ungodly...
================================================== ===

i have been lurking and going thru some search-posts on here. I have a background in electronics (mong other things) and i *think* I see the power supply as a constant-current PS, the kind LED flashlights use. (both being diode based emission devices, it makes some sense) makes MORE sense its the same, when i see the talk about high internal resistance button cells, and driving resistors again same/similar as for flashlight LEDs...

i think i have it narrowed down to a "DOT", and a laser diode module... couple hundred mA... my reasoning was that fooling around with a cheap red visible laser? Shined a couple hundred yards, it has "spread out" into a oval shape, and a lot bigger then up close (divergence, duh, lol)

i was thinking "ebay", they have a lot to choose from... when the seller says "focusable", they really dont elaborate on degrees. Is "dot" and "focusable" whqt I am looking for?? I would rather just get something that WORKS on my first purchase.

I just dont want to twist/adjust what "focus"mechanism comes on the EBAY unit... and end up with a bunch of tiny "dots" spread out that dont illuminate anything, lol...

==================================================

looking thri old posts here, theres just not a lot of information on exactly WHAT to buy, to get started with any given project... in my MIND, i am picturing a "dot - focusable" IR laser module being what i want/need, but...?

PS - standard disclaimer, yes, i read the safety warnings. i'm not a kid, i'm a 44 year old former softwre engineer, with a former background in electronics.


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Old 04-10-2013, 11:19 AM #2
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Default Re: new guy...

I would suggest eBay as an inexpensive source for
what you are looking for. Remember that any high
powered IR Lasers are usually multi-mode and
without a FAC lens installed will give you a beam
like this ----- rather than this.
That being said....

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Old 04-14-2013, 03:10 AM #3
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Default Re: new guy...

You want LEDs. They're cheaper, safer, and better at illumination.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:05 AM #4
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Default Re: new guy...

quote:"You want LEDs. They're cheaper, safer, and better at illumination."

Really? LEDs are cheaper, I'll give you that one... safer? Give you that one too...

but you wish to make the statement that "laser illuminators" are nto as "good" at illumination?

================================================== ======

I'm not believing that one. At least, not without some convincing.

One fairly "well regarded" company makes 2 nearlly identical IR illumination devices, well, nearly identical from the outside of the units. Same rails, similar aiming mechanism for windage and elevation, the "projector lens" on the unit looks similar if not identical...

except the LED emitter version? Its 150 to 200 dollars, and is well known to be great out to a hundred yards or thereabouts with NV, conditions permitting of course...

sm company, similar packaging... its 500 dollars for the alser diode IR illuminator... and THAT unit is being used in videos showing its capabilities at a coupel hundred YARDS, instead of a couple hundred FEET...

================================================== ============

when i forst got into electrical, EVERYone said i was going to "fry myself". I didnt... i fixed everything in sight that ran on electricity and wired homes, offices and re-wred appliances...

when i first got into reloading rifle cartridges (for accuracy at long rnge target shooting?) EVERYone insisted I was going to blow myself up. I never did, i learned to make accurate ammunition i cant BUY in a store by tuning the aammo to the gun.

================================================== =========

no safety problems from an electrical standpoint, the only possible safety issues are retina damage (goggles rated for the wavelength working with) and a handy fire extinguisher, just in case i ignite a stray piece of paper in the workshop while fiddling.

================================================== =========

I appreciate the little white lie if you think you are erroneously preventing me from attemting some undertaking tat you think might be dangerous (my parents "lies" were those well meaning kind, they are forgiveable)

....but in the interest of SCIENCE, would you still make the statement, with your reputation at stake as a "laser dude"... that mW to mW, a LED emitter of a give mW-attage... will outperform a LSER DIODE at the same currebt level?

maybe, at some short distance, it *might*... how aabout at 100 yards? 200 yards?

================================================== ==========

plus, the IR laser diodes are "dangerous" for fires and retina damage... when FOCUSED. Unfocused, I know they wont start fired generally, and with the proper IR wavelength safety goggles, i have nothing to fear... especially since i intend to UN-focus the thing deliberately...

================================================== ========

my main concern right not, isnt so much whether or not i want to buy a laser diode, but rather:

1) what power level
2) what is the "pattern" coming out of the thing...

and mainly #2 is my main concern. I am not sure whether i just need a certain lens and a certain amount of "focus"... or if i want the lens OFF and the raw light coming out and i just fcus with the same lens working so well with visible light ight now...

when i look at a DATASHEET on a LED EMITTER, it gives the degrees of emission pattern... when i look at laser diode on EBAY or some internet website... i dont have a Electrical Engineeering DATASHEET to look at.

I wanna buy JUST the correct laser diode module first time out, not having to buy several differrent ones 40 a pop till i columbus-land on the correct one for my application. I KNOW such a beast is made, its whatever type of IR laser diode is in the expensive IR illuminators...

================================================== ===========

PS - someone on HERE has a little store i saw on here, and is selling "gutted" projectors of some kind for the mirrors/glass panes... and the severl lenses?

heh heh... some of those lenses look G-O-O-D for putting on flashlights and the IR illuminator project, heh heh... att he prices listed, i may have to pick "several" up, to have the lenses on hand to play with...
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:05 PM #5
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Default Re: new guy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sedstar View Post
but you wish to make the statement that "laser illuminators" are nto as "good" at illumination?
I'm referring mostly to the beam profile. Additionally, LEDs will have little/no speckle associated with the laser, potentially giving a sharper image.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sedstar View Post
the LED emitter version? Its 150 to 200 dollars
But you're building, not buying. I bet you can build one for $20. If you pump $200 into it and use LEDs, you can certainly get one hell of a beefy light, I assure you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sedstar View Post
mW to mW, a LED emitter of a give mW-attage... will outperform a LSER DIODE at the same currebt level?
I think the word you're looking for is efficiency. For laser diodes, it's slightly better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sedstar View Post
...yards...yards...yards...
I see a lot of talk about distance. How relevant is that? Do you intend on buying a multi-thousand dollar telescope attachment for your night vision to see several miles anyway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sedstar View Post
EVERYone said i was going to "fry myself". I didnt... i fixed everything in sight
It's not about "I think you're going to fry yourself," it's more like "Don't use a table saw to strip those wire leads, use a wire strippers."

Get off the soapbox. No one likes a braggart and no one has called you incompetent.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:58 PM #6
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Default Re: new guy...

quote:"Get off the soapbox. No one likes a braggart and no one has called you incompetent."

answer: point well taken. my apologies. Please appreciate that i live in a small town? If not for the internet, and very few "live" contacts? I get nothing but constant "static" for any pursuit other than drinking beer and watching TV, LMAO.

(actually, your giving me some of my best practical application notes so far. most cool...)

AACTUALLY, an LED emitter was my FIRST CHOICE. I hd a small lens on a small p60 host light (visible), and i focused it and "threw" a bright image of the LED DIE well over 50 or 75 yards. I figured, just get a p60 IR dropin, refocus the emitter, *job done*.

Eh, the ebay ultrafire that arrived in the mail? Very lackluster performance. "illumination" was GREAT, out to about ONE YARD. Literally was awesome at my FEET, and not good for crap after that. I focused it on the WALL with the camera... and it was a faint image. No distance at all.

I had a couple ideas... maybe the "3.4 watt powerful IR emitter" was a balf faced typical ebat advertising lie... it might be 100mW for all i knew (tail cap reading with DMM, showed approximately the right wattage consumed tho, W=VxA... i figured the coupe dozen mA "missing" were consumed by the driver itself)

MAYBe the IR light was focusing "weird"... i read that camera lenses have to account for IR focusing on a different focal plane than visible. (cartoon illustrations of the concept always show the IR light bending (refracting) less than the visible arrows of light... i figured this COULD be it, the die focused emitter image was "bigger" and so less bright?

MAYbe the LENS i chose was "coated" having come off a cheap rifle scope, so the IR component of sunlight didnt mess up the image?

MAYbe the IR drop in was 940nM, instead of 840 or 850... that too would explain why it was almost invisible to my camera.
================================================== ============

you mention the "telescpe attachment" for the NV... this is the "now fairly standard" internet hunting project, where you take a security camera noted for its "low light" capabilities, and get it basically hooked up to a RIFLE SCOPE. I am using a "known camera" that works well for the application... everything is working AWEsome, i just need more IR light.

(a different security CAM, i salvaged the "LED RING" out of it? it works great for 10 yards or so... the security cam specs betray 840-850nM IR light ring)

================================================== ===========

the EBAY p60 (allegedly high power? lol) led emitter, sort of "soured" me...

yes, you metion the "dottiness" of LED light, I have noticed dot-tiness and "striping" in the beam quality on videos, but really, as long as the illumination is there, overall beam qualities like dotting and striping wouldnt be that bad, as long as it WORKED.

I finally found a datasheet for a laser diode IR, i wanna recall it was talking about 3 different types of divergece, and that without the "focus lens" on it, it looked like a "BAR" being emitted, i wanna rmember something like 60 degrees by 30 degrees?

(I was thinking the "dots" come from the LENS used, but i admit i dont know... your saying the RAW light behind the lens, is "dotty" (and maybe "stripey" too))?

================================================== =============

price wise, on a DIY build... LED emitters get a little pricey after about 3-5 watts... but one purchased "soured" me on them a little. Also, "run time" is an issue... IR Laser diodes look awesome power wise... 300 to 400mA, running on AA batteries (small for mounting on/beside a rifle scope), getting some serious distance...

================================================== =============

the whole IDEA of using a laser diode IR, makes sense... i have a 2 dollar visible red "keychain" laser on my keyring, its a 2 dollar CAT TOY... and swinging it around after dark? I can find its soft red glow 50 to 100 yards out with the naked eye.

I was guessing if i can SEE a 5mW visible red laser 50-75 yards away with the naked eye, what would a 300 to 400 mW IR laser do at distance?

*shrugs* I figured, maybe once i under focused or over focused slightly with my lens, the striping or dot-ing would blur out...

link demonsrating project...

LucidScience - Build the LASER NIGHT VISION - Page 1 of 13

this guy gives a DETAILED build, and while hes more of a photography guy, he is using a cheap rifle scope, and showing a great illumihation at 200 ft (which is roughly 75 yards)

he also notes, that a slightly more powerful Laser Diode would give appreciably more distance... I have found one or two more examples of builds on line, but, this one is the most detailed explaining the build...
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:16 AM #7
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Default Re: new guy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sedstar View Post
you metion the "dottiness" of LED light, I have noticed dot-tiness and "striping" in the beam quality on videos, but really, as long as the illumination is there, overall beam qualities like dotting and striping wouldnt be that bad, as long as it WORKED.
It's laser speckle. It's inherent to lasers, not to LEDs.

Your LED light should work. Find out why it isn't.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:15 AM #8
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Default Re: new guy...

lacking any device to measure the wavelength of emission(s), my bext guess?

1) it was an overstated power... or, my best guess? it was a 940 nM device.

I was so excited ordering stuff, I forgot to check on the wavelength? When it was on its way, I emailed the guy, and like an *idiot* I asked if it was 850 nm...

"Yeah, sure! Its 850!"...

overstated power, understated wavelength (maybe both?)

its hard to TRUST what you buy off ebay, or even a lot of other sites... without a spec number, and a datasheet... i alwys wonder...

honestly, most of the "laser sites" that sell diodes and modules? They just "claim" power and wavelength, the vast majority of the sites dont even list a supposed part number (so you could check) and its really hard to come across a datasheet and part number.

really, since the tailcap (mA) power readings indicated proper power consumption compared to ad claim... my best guess would likely be to guess it was a 940 nM wavelength... really faint and barely visible to the camera? 3 watts? it makes sense... my stupid fault for forgetting to check the spec on it (ad didnt list wavlength)

really... if you look at the "lucid science" link i provided in my las post? (skip to the last page or two...) you can SEE how his came out, how well it worked...
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:55 AM #9
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Default Re: new guy...

As a very rough approximation: if you can see a dim red looking into it, it's in the 850nm range. If not, it's in the 940nm range.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:39 AM #10
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Default Re: new guy...

uhm, actually i knew that, forgot to mention there was a faint red glow to the emitter.

hen i shine a flashlight across the room, i get a big flash of light, its close by... with visiblen on the security camera i am using, it lights up like a searchlight... with the IR emitter, it only lit up well at mt FEET, or, like one yard away.

clearly, I was expecting "more" from a 3 watt IR flashllight...

I tried the p60 IR emitter in one or 2 other lights too, i never did figure it... I just knew it was beyond wimpy. really, if you glanced at the LUCID SCIENCE project i posted the link to? The guy makes it look pretty rudimentary to make a IR laser diode emitter project... (granted, i thought buyin a 3 watt IR flashlight was going to be "rudimentary", too, LMAO)
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