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Old 11-22-2008, 12:23 PM #1
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Default A bit of help for us UK residents.

Could someone do me (and other UK residents that want to build a laser) a favour.

I have seen on this site that there are two main laser drivers. Both have been made in the USA and seem to work using batteries available there. However here in the UK we mainly use AA or AAA batteries that are 1.5v.
Most LED torches (hosts) in the UK use 2 or 3 AAA's or AA's.

I am looking for a LD driver that will work using 3v or there abouts.

I am no good at curcuits so I was wondering if anyone could design a simple driver that will work using two AA or AAA batteries, or modify the drivers already on this site so that they can run from 3v.

This would help us UK residents to build our own lasers from scratch, using batteries that we can easially get hold of and charge using UK powered battery chargers.

I get components here in the UK from www.maplin.co.uk

I know that the LD's themselves will have to be ordered from overseas, and that is fine, but us UK residents really need a driver that can be run using two 1.5v batteries.

If this can be achieved it would help a lot.

Thanks in advance.


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Old 11-22-2008, 02:53 PM #2
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

http://hacylon.case.edu/ebay/laser_d..._FlexDrive.php

Peace,
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Old 11-22-2008, 03:13 PM #3
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daguin
http://hacylon.case.edu/ebay/laser_diode/Micro_FlexDrive.php

Peace,
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Thanks Dave but I was rather hoping for a curcuit diagram that I can use to make a driver myself.
That way I can make the driver as big or small as I like to fit into whatever host I use.

I am not sure where I can get those tiny 'surface mounted' components in the UK either.
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Old 11-22-2008, 03:19 PM #4
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

"I am not sure where I can get those tiny 'surface mounted' components in the UK either. "

http://www.digikey.com/
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:19 PM #5
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaburn
"I am not sure where I can get those tiny 'surface mounted' components in the UK either. "

http://www.digikey.com/
Thanks for that. I have also found a few other UK sites that sell them too.

I still need a driver diagram that can run on 3-6v.
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:48 PM #6
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

In north america, we generally use nothing but 1.5v alkaline batteries as well... The 3.6v lithium ion batteries we use need to be special ordered from asia. I tried every single battery and electronics store in the phone book, I live in a somewhat large city (about a million people), and there wasn't a single place I could get 10440's, I had to special order them from asia.

As for wanting a 3-6v input, we all want that, it's just not really easy to DIY... The current regulators we use take a certain voltage to run, they usually need to create a reference voltage of 1.5 to 3v, meaning you'll need to provide that much extra voltage just for the driver to be able to regulate, on top of the voltage required by the laser diode, then add another volt or two for battery sag. If you want to build one of these drivers you can find schematics by going to the "threads of interest" sticky, there's a link to a post by daedal called "homemade laser driver" or something.. It gives you an easy to follow schematic for wiring up a LM317T regulator. If you want to run this off 3-6v though, you'll need to add a boost circuit to provide the necessary voltage, which is when things start getting inefficient and complicated.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:06 AM #7
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

Some good distrubutors of surface mount components (SMT, SMD) in the uk are:

Farnell
CPC
RS Components (account required)
Rapid Electronics

Rapid is probably the easiest and most cost effective for the hobbyist
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:35 AM #8
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazerjules
Some good distrubutors of surface mount components (SMT, SMD) in the uk are:

Farnell
CPC
RS Components (account required)
Rapid Electronics

Rapid is probably the easiest and most cost effective for the hobbyist

Yep just found those sites. Thank you anyway.
Also I think I finally figured out the 'above mentioned' driver too. I found a post that actually explained it a bit better.
I now know that the input voltage has to be at least 2v higher than the LD forward voltage.

With what I intend to build, I can get away with using 6v, which for me is 4 AAA batteries. I can configure my host to carry 4 AAA's.

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 11-29-2008, 10:45 AM #9
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaburn
"I am not sure where I can get those tiny 'surface mounted' components in the UK either. "

http://www.digikey.com/
I recently bought a load of kit from digikey and they totally scammed me on the postage! I asked about getting postage cheaper then the 12 they had as their only option which i considered extortionate (Senkat for example posts loads of stuff for less the 2). They then gave me poor advice and it ended up costing nearly 30 for only 8 worth of components!

Unless you know someone in the US who can buy the bits for you (perhaps as a combined lot with their own order) then post them to you in the UK at proper prices, i recommend avoiding digikey like the plauge!

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Old 11-29-2008, 12:24 PM #10
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pseudolobster
In north america, we generally use nothing but 1.5v alkaline batteries as well... The 3.6v lithium ion batteries we use need to be special ordered from asia. I tried every single battery and electronics store in the phone book, I live in a somewhat large city (about a million people), and there wasn't a single place I could get 10440's, I had to special order them from asia.

As for wanting a 3-6v input, we all want that, it's just not really easy to DIY... The current regulators we use take a certain voltage to run, they usually need to create a reference voltage of 1.5 to 3v, meaning you'll need to provide that much extra voltage just for the driver to be able to regulate, on top of the voltage required by the laser diode, then add another volt or two for battery sag. If you want to build one of these drivers you can find schematics by going to the "threads of interest" sticky, there's a link to a post by daedal called "homemade laser driver" or something.. It gives you an easy to follow schematic for wiring up a LM317T regulator. If you want to run this off 3-6v though, you'll need to add a boost circuit to provide the necessary voltage, which is when things start getting inefficient and complicated.

the only Li-ions I can get in Glasgow are CR123s and CR2s , which cost 5-7 for one .

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Old 12-05-2008, 11:10 AM #11
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Default Re: A bit of help for us UK residents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pseudolobster
In north america, we generally use nothing but 1.5v alkaline batteries as well... The 3.6v lithium ion batteries we use need to be special ordered from asia. I tried every single battery and electronics store in the phone book, I live in a somewhat large city (about a million people), and there wasn't a single place I could get 10440's, I had to special order them from asia.
Those rechargeable lithium cells are not sold in shops to consumers anywhere. It's not a US/Europe thing, even in asian countries they are not commonly sold in shops or markets. There is simply no consumer electronics that use them, except for CR123 and CR2 sized batteries that were used mainly in photo equipment, but since the onset of digicams those are getting more rare too.

18650 sized cells may be obtained intended for notebook battery repair, but only from specialized dealers.
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