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Old 02-19-2008, 03:16 AM #1
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Default About laser drivers

Ok, i am going to be purchasing some laser diodes and was wondering were i could BUY a driver for my laser. I do not know what i want. Basically i want a circuit that can be adjusted for out put to a 1mw diode to at least a 500mw diode. Could you please help me if this is possible. If not, tell me what the widest range of adjust ability i can get out of a driver (if thats what it is called). My price range is 60 dollars for the driver. I plan to make a lab-type laser with water cooling. Thanks again.

P.S. you guys at this forum are so helpful. i have been searching all over the forums for hours and have not found anyone flaming anyone else for asking a (stupid question)


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Old 02-19-2008, 03:22 AM #2
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Default Re: About laser drivers

If you want to make the driver:
http://www.laserpointerforums.com/fo...num=1185701612
If you want to buy one:
http://www.laserpointerforums.com/fo...m=1191898669/0
Oh, and there is no diode that can output 500mW, well there is but let's just say you'd need a pretty big budget to get it. ;D

PS: You didn't need to post a new thread to ask this, I already posted these links and more at your other thread.
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:35 AM #3
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Default Re: About laser drivers

o ok. i just did not understand what the driver does. Also, will this allow me to change the amount of power going to the laser? I understand a plug is a variable resistor right? lastly, were on the board do you mount the diode? Thanks for helping me
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:42 AM #4
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Default Re: About laser drivers

Look in the heat sink thread. A driver regulates and limits the current going to the laser diode so it doesn't die. And a variable resistor can be a rheostat, or a potentiometer. (pot, for short)
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:50 AM #5
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Default Re: About laser drivers

O *smack* i knew what a potentiometer was. thanks man. i will check out the heat sink fourms
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:55 AM #6
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Default Re: About laser drivers

I only told you to look in the other thread because I had already answered your driver question there, but that's it. Any more questions? [smiley=happy.gif]
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:10 AM #7
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Default Re: About laser drivers

i am confused on were yo put the diode on the driver you reccomended

is the pot built in to that driver board?

and lastly, what limits the output of the diode? would water cooling affect the output?
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:19 AM #8
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Default Re: About laser drivers

Which driver? The one you can make? Or the one you buy?
Holy crap you want to water cool the diode You don't have to, for starters you should only have to use a heatsink, (any chunk of aluminum with a hole where the aixiz module fits tightly should work fine) if you want to go advanced, you can use a TEC, but like I said a heatsink should be fine.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:36 AM #9
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Default Re: About laser drivers

i wanted to use the purchasable driver and what is a TEC? o and about the water cooling, i have done it many times with pc's and may attempt it on a cheapo diode first.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:44 AM #10
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Default Re: About laser drivers

A TEC is when you use a little fan and a heatsink to cool the diode. If you're going to water cool your diode I suggest you get a heatsink first so you can put the aixiz module into it and then water cool the heatsink. Again you don't have to water cool it, just the heatsink alone is enough, but if you want to, then go ahead, that'd be so awsome, plus it'd make the laser look more powerful. ;D
Just make sure the diode doesn't get too cold, I don't remember if it's because water starts to appear inside of it, or something, but it's not good to cool you diode too much below room temperature.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:40 AM #11
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Default Re: About laser drivers

Quote:
Originally Posted by gardnerv
i wanted to use the purchasable driver and what is a TEC? o and about the water cooling, i have done it many times with pc's and may attempt it on a cheapo diode first.
Since you have to solder the leads to the diode, why not make your own driver...you have to solder anyway and it's very easy.

Since you are starting out stick to the basics...the aixiz module provides sufficient heatsinking for the diode. Once you understand the driver, diode and so on then think about expanding into the world of TEC's ;D A TEC is a thermo electric cooler.
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:57 AM #12
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Default Re: About laser drivers

THERMO ELECTRIC COOLER, holy crap I didn't know that's what it meant.
Oh and Gazoo is right, just the aixiz module is enough heatsinking as long as you have short duty cycles. (don't keep the laser on for too long) I don't know why I always say to use a heatsink even when driving the diode at 180mA.
Maybe I'm like traumatized from looking at all the stories about LDs dying. ;D
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:15 PM #13
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Default Re: About laser drivers

i understand that mw and ma's are different but how? is one more powerful than the other. i have read stories about people mixing up the two and i don't want one. And about the water cooling i am going to attempt that later for the soul purpose of making it awesome and increasing the life.
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Old 02-19-2008, 04:25 PM #14
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Default Re: About laser drivers

Also, will the axis laser housing remove enough heat?
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Old 02-19-2008, 06:00 PM #15
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Default Re: About laser drivers

mA is milliAmperes and is the current that the diode or other electronic component draws when in a circuit.
mW is milliWatt and is (in case of lasers) the power of the laser output.

All laser diodes draw current (measured in mA) and outputs lights (measured in mW)

I have a DVD-burder diode that draws 160mA installed in an Aixiz housing ant that diode can be on for quite a while without further cooling but that all depends on the diode and the current you drive it at.

A really good driver is the d4drive ( http://www.die4laser.com/dvd-rec/Die4Drive.htm ) and it can handle current up to 2000mA (2Amperes), enough for a 2W IR pump diode for a BIG green laser!
These drivers have a modulation input so that you coud dim them or turn them on/off with an external voltage.
I have three of these drivers and they work really well. but are a bit hard to build if you are a novice at soldering since they require very small surface mount parts.
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Old 02-19-2008, 10:02 PM #16
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Default Re: About laser drivers

Quote:
Originally Posted by gardnerv
Also, will the axis laser housing remove enough heat?
I answered your question in my previous post "the aixiz module provides sufficient heatsinking for the diode."

Now here is something interesting to think about. As the diode heats up the power output will drop some. It can actually drop quite a bit depending on the diode and how much you are overdriving the diode. So cooling it with a water cooler will prevent this from happening, and possibly help to extend the life of the diode. Personally I prefer TEC's since they are much smaller and easy to work with.
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