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Old 10-24-2010, 10:46 PM #1
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Default Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

First I would like to give credit to DTR, Jayrob and all the other LPF contributors whose posts I have read.
I would not have been able to do this with out copying them quite a bit (I hope that is ok?). I am new to building lasers so please pardon my mistakes and I would be happy to hear any suggestions. I am sure someone has thought of this before me.


Please see the added picture made using Google's Sketchup (btw sketchup is free, easy and pretty powerful 3D modeling software)
From left to right and top to bottom these are the pieces in the picture:
1st Column: Heatsink, FlexMod3 Driver, Four 18650 protected batteries
2nd: the two sections of copper pipe that will be joined with the coupling
3rd: two coupling pieces with the end cap below
4th: Coupling Nut, Union possibly shortened and used between the cap and coupling to thicken the pretty thin pipe in that area (the union looks weird I think because Sketchup has trouble rendering it because it's so thin?).

My idea is to use a copper pipe for a laser host. A solid copper rod would be used for the heat sink with a hole in the middle for the module. The heat sink, coupling and cap will be soldered to the pipe. The module will either be press fit into the heat sink or held in place with a set screw. The coupling on the pipe will be set just below the heat sink to allow access to the driver, module and battery charging. The batteries will be set up as two sets of two batteries in series then those two series sets in parallel. I plan on putting a flush mount side clicky near where the driver is. I might coat it with varnish to keep it from oxidizing.
This thing will be pretty massive but I have huge hands anyways and I want something with plenty of power, heat sinking and room so I can modify it over time.

If and when I do build this I will probably do it slowly finishing before Christmas as my first kid is due in December and I just got a new job which take priority.
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Build idea using copper pipe and Rod-picture-2.png   Build idea using copper pipe and Rod-picture-3.png  


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Old 10-25-2010, 01:25 AM #2
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

its a good idea, but quite a large price to pay... this is really similar to DTR's 2W frankenstein. if youre building such a large host for the extra battery power and the great feel in your hand, you might want to look into DTR's build: 2W 445 DTR Frankenstein Ultrafire RL-2088 Handheld Host his host might be a MUCH cheaper alternative.

that copper does look fantastic as a host though. one of my first DIY lasers was an LOC in an aixiz mounted in a bunch of washers as a heatsink, on the end of a copper pipe. it looked pretty badass and steampunk, all for around $8 (for the host) with that crazy heatsinking, im guessing a 445 build?

good luck!

EDIT: just kidding, it seems the RL-2088 is a damn expensive host too...

Last edited by horhay; 10-25-2010 at 01:31 AM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:39 AM #3
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

It seems very expensive indeed - i suppose that there would be other solutions that provide as much or more cooling at lower prices. If you care about a unique look it would be a great project to build though, and a very solid end result would seem possible.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:40 AM #4
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

That thing will be heavy as hell but 8.4V with around 6000mAh. I have thought about 4X18650 with a mix of serial and parallel before but I thought the width of the 3X unit I have now is about as big as I would want it. And I have big hands.

8.4V is great for the P3 since the less voltage it gets the less heat it generates. It seems you are looking for max thermal capability and in addition you will have some great run times between battery charges.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:57 AM #5
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

I use the local hardware store for copper and PVC parts. The copper will give good soldered electrical connections and you might be able to get the copper plated to resist corrosion.
Those prices from McMaster are likely for full length materials. Hardware stores often have cut pieces. A local plumber may give you some "drops" or for a small charge.
Save your $ for diodes and innards!

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Old 10-25-2010, 11:04 AM #6
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

Make pure copper corrosion resistant is far from easy - sweat from you fingers will cause stains and often even visible fingerprints. The only thing that prevents it is total oxidation of the surface, like (old) copper pipes.

You could use an alloy like brass if you can get the stock materials - thats also solderable, a decent thermal conductor and much less prone to oxidation.
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Old 11-04-2010, 07:07 AM #7
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

yeah its going to be a 445 build. I found and might try this stuff to protect it:
http://www.permalac.com/
"PERMALAC is an air-dry lacquer, engineered to provide highly durable exterior protection on steel, aluminum, copper,....UV and corrosion inhibitors to PERMALAC assures endurance in harsh conditions ranging from arctic freezing, to desert heat, to beachfront salt air to acid rain.....users can count on ten years of service or more..."


also now I am looking to see if different sizes are as easy to get so that I could consider different drivers or batteries
for the comments
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:58 PM #8
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

It is actually fairly easy to make pure copper corrosion resistant, if you dont mind sacrificing the look of the copper. Just take your car battery charger (or car battery I guess) hook negative lead to the copper host pieces and the positive to a lump of zinc (you can buy online or maybe find something zinc at the hardware store to use) and suspend into a 5 gallon bucket full of water. Make sure the 2 pieces do not touch. If you want to speed the process you can add some salt to the water as electrolyte, just make sure that your battery charger isnt over-worked. leave until it is plated to a good thickness. it is also a good idea to have the connection for the zinc to the charger above the water level so it wont corrode and so only zinc plates the copper, on the copper side it doesnt matter.
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:06 PM #9
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

Ive read that anodizing of copper is possible, but the 'finish'
sounds like it wouldnt be too appealing..

IIRC it turns black.


Zinc coating actually looks really nice, I think I will try this
with my stainless and copper builds..




Thanks for the idea
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:49 PM #10
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

Just be sure that you tape over the threads and seal up the inside of the host before you plate it or else it might not fit together right. Also you really should wipe the copper host down with rubbing alcohol (ive seen some places that say you should submerge it in sulfuric acid to clean it!) and then try not to touch it because any grim would mess it up and a fingerprint would probably make a noticeable imperfection in the finish. When you are plating it i would reccommend you test on something else first (similar in size and in the same environment) so you know how long to leave it in there to get the thickness you desire (shouldnt take too long). Wouldnt want to leave it too long and end up with like 5mm thick coating, at that point it would probably start getting uneven too.

It would be a good idea to google the process because ive read at some places that you should use vinegar not salt in the water and just let your zinc sit in there for a while before you turn it on so it dissolves some zinc into the solution making it plate better/faster but im not sure if this is nessesary.

If your pieces are small, or you just want to try and test plating copper with zinc you can use a 9volt battery and just do it in a cup.

I love the look of the coating in that picture, just the right thickness that you can see a little bit of copper color peaking through.

Last edited by benmwv; 11-23-2010 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:13 PM #11
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by benmwv View Post
...If you want to speed the process you can add some salt to the water as electrolyte....
An electric current through salt water makes bleach, and vinegar has the potential to attack some metals. There are better electrolytes out there that won't decompose. Sodium Hydroxide (in small amounts, of course) is a common choice.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:37 PM #12
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

Wish I had access to amazing machining equipment. I'd take so much time to make THE PERFECT HOST
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:39 PM #13
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by benmwv View Post
Just be sure that you tape over the threads and seal up the inside of the host before you plate it or else it might not fit together right. Also you really should wipe the copper host down with rubbing alcohol (ive seen some places that say you should submerge it in sulfuric acid to clean it!) and then try not to touch it because any grim would mess it up and a fingerprint would probably make a noticeable imperfection in the finish. When you are plating it i would reccommend you test on something else first (similar in size and in the same environment) so you know how long to leave it in there to get the thickness you desire (shouldnt take too long). Wouldnt want to leave it too long and end up with like 5mm thick coating, at that point it would probably start getting uneven too.

It would be a good idea to google the process because ive read at some places that you should use vinegar not salt in the water and just let your zinc sit in there for a while before you turn it on so it dissolves some zinc into the solution making it plate better/faster but im not sure if this is nessesary.

If your pieces are small, or you just want to try and test plating copper with zinc you can use a 9volt battery and just do it in a cup.

I love the look of the coating in that picture, just the right thickness that you can see a little bit of copper color peaking through.

I have small anodize tanks already setup for aluminum work.. Im going to
do some more reading on the topic of plating as well for good measure.

LOL, that pic I posted above is of roofing tiles

With a small copper heatsink and zinc plating I am hoping to work in
some nice contrast and protect the copper.

Definitely a project im looking forward too.
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Old 11-24-2010, 06:31 PM #14
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
An electric current through salt water makes bleach, and vinegar has the potential to attack some metals. There are better electrolytes out there that won't decompose. Sodium Hydroxide (in small amounts, of course) is a common choice.
I have heard of using sodium hydroxide in HOH cells but in mine I usually just use salt and Ive never had it turn into anything remotely like bleach. If the salt does decompose there would just be a little bit of chlorine gas coming out and some sodium ions in the water but the amout would be so small it is insignificant since only a small pinch of salt is used any ways.

Vinegar seems to be the most recommended electrolyte for zinc plating because it is an acid (acetic acid) and it helps the process of getting zinc ions in the water. So actually the point is to have it attack the zinc metal.

Im going to do a little experiment to see whatnis truly the best electrolyte for this purpose. Just take two new and shiny pennies (from year 1983-now) and use a file to take all the copper off of one leaving only zinc. solder a wire to each suspend in water with whatever electrolyte and connect to a 9-volt battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannaburn View Post
I have small anodize tanks already setup for aluminum work.. Im going to
do some more reading on the topic of plating as well for good measure.

LOL, that pic I posted above is of roofing tiles

With a small copper heatsink and zinc plating I am hoping to work in
some nice contrast and protect the copper.

Definitely a project im looking forward too.
Wow, what is the rest of the house made of? Silver with gold trim? I cant belive somebody would use zinc plated copper for their roof. must have been pretty expensive too.

Once you finish that host it will be pretty awesome. If it is anything like those roofing tiles you will have the best looking host here. Now Im going to have to make one too.



EDIT:

Im going to make a new forum to continue this discussion since it seems as though Serac's thread has been thoroughly jacked. results of the experiment will be here: http://laserpointerforums.com/f42/di...tml#post823807

Last edited by benmwv; 11-24-2010 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 11-25-2010, 07:55 AM #15
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

jack it all you want this is good info you guys are putting out
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:22 PM #16
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Default Re: Build idea using copper pipe and Rod

TWSS

But anyways the results are in: http://laserpointerforums.com/f42/di...sts-58262.html
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