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Old 11-23-2013, 02:54 PM #1
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Default Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

I have a friend who has a Crimson Trace aiming laser on his daily carry. It's on a Ruger 380 and the output is very dissapointing, probably 1-5 mw. He was asking me if I could increase the power or change it to a green laser. I have not pulled it apart yet but I would imagine it probably has a 3.4mm diode inside. If it does it could be a perfect candidate for one of the new 520nm diodes. Just curious if anyone out there has modified a Crimson Trace gun laser before and what they know about the diodes they contain. Anyone here know as well if the lens assembly in one of these red lasers would be adequate for the 520 wavelength?

Thanks a million!


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Old 11-24-2013, 12:05 AM #2
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

Hope some one can shed some light on this, I'm understanding that laser diodes to be mounted on guns have been cherry picked to be able to take the set back/shock ?
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:22 AM #3
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

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Originally Posted by Jmillerdoc View Post
I have a friend who has a Crimson Trace aiming laser on his daily carry. It's on a Ruger 380 and the output is very dissapointing, probably 1-5 mw. He was asking me if I could increase the power or change it to a green laser. I have not pulled it apart yet but I would imagine it probably has a 3.4mm diode inside. If it does it could be a perfect candidate for one of the new 520nm diodes. Just curious if anyone out there has modified a Crimson Trace gun laser before and what they know about the diodes they contain. Anyone here know as well if the lens assembly in one of these red lasers would be adequate for the 520 wavelength?

Thanks a million!
Those are small and expensive so be very careful when you open it. I don't have one myself so I can't say for sure but I doubt they are made such that they can be modified. It would be more than just swapping out the diode, the driver would be set to the wrong current for a more powerful diode so would need replacing, and no the lens isn't for use with green, they have an AR coating (anti-reflective) for specific colors. If you use the wrong lens for the wrong color you will have a significant power loss. It would be better to just buy a new and different one than to try and modify it.

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Old 11-24-2013, 03:27 AM #4
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

I wouldn't try taking apart the crimson... too expensive. I do have a 90mw 520nm sight mounted on my kriss vector now though


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Old 11-24-2013, 07:22 AM #5
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

In my experience with low power red lasers (including gun mounted lasers) the diode is just a chip mounted on a driver circuit, not the "canned" diodes we're used to, so a swap would be pretty difficult I'd imagine. Since canned diodes have those sensitive wires leading to the die I would think the recoil from the gun may put stress on them over time, leading to breakage. Unfortunately, I just don't think our precious diodes are built to handle gun recoil. I looked at the design of the Vector and it doesn't look like there's tons of recoil. Nice

However, I'm not an expert on the subject so any more knowledgeable member please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Old 11-24-2013, 08:24 AM #6
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

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Originally Posted by Scottyzedinosaur View Post
Unfortunately, I just don't think our precious diodes are built to handle gun recoil. I looked at the design of the Vector and it doesn't look like there's tons of recoil. Nice

However, I'm not an expert on the subject so any more knowledgeable member please correct me if I'm wrong.
I have had the same m140 diode mounted on 2 AR15's and the Kriss vector and it's still kicking. The 520 is only on the vector for testing... after that it will find its home on a buddies AR10. Also the m140 is driven at 1.8A and the PL520 250mA

So far they can take it
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Old 11-24-2013, 08:49 AM #7
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

Pics or it didn't happen.

Just kidding Although pictures of the gun mounted 445 would be cool.
So diodes can indeed handle the recoil, then. Good information that may just have to be put to use...
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Old 11-24-2013, 06:37 PM #8
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

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Originally Posted by Scottyzedinosaur View Post
Pics or it didn't happen.
Here you go






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Old 12-21-2013, 03:51 AM #9
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

Nice RR Operator! When I bought mine I didn't realize they had those cool half quad hand guards and now every time I see one it makes me jealous. I have the RR Operator II with the full quad, H-bar, and two stage match trigger. Great shooting gun but it is a pig as far as weight goes. I much prefer my stripped down DPMS for carrying through the woods. Since you put it out there I am curious about your set up. Is your 445 laser set up in a way the beam can be adjusted for aiming? If so, how did you achieve that? I have a 1.8w blue and a 638 running around 550mw mounted in identical 501-b hosts that I put on either side of my rig to use as a pseudo-spot light. I have both beams adjusted where they throw wide and around 25-30 yards they project about a 8-10 foot diameter beam. Using both the blue and red gives more detail than just the blue alone. I've taken it out varmint hunting once and it worked pretty well. It makes for a unique solution for rabbit, pig, and coyote hunting at night because doesn't light up the night sky all around and in front of you for the whole world to see. Fortunately I know my local game warden very well and even though We don't have a permit (given primarily for feral pig hunting at night) they don't care if we hunt varmint at night as long as we let them know before we head out. So, even though everything is above table, using these as a light source keeps everyone else "in the dark" so to speak. I have of course focused them down to a point (bar) but they are not anywhere near sighted on target and the beams move around a ton due to the play in the lenses. I have probably put 20-30 rounds through the gun with the lasers mounted and running and haven't had a single glitch (yet). So, I am really interested if your blue laser is able to be sighted on target and how. It looks wicked even if that's the only purpose it serves!
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:42 PM #10
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

I wish I could mount a laser sight on my pistol, but it is a 1911 and no mounting rails on it. Lame. And my girlfriend would kill me if I came home with an AR.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:20 PM #11
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

I love the Vector but they are very restricted here in Canada and almost impossible to own legally that is lol ! Red Jacket firearms does a very nice modification on the vector to make it an absolute beast of a weapon. Soz off topic there, gun mounted lasers are the bomb!!!
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Old 03-11-2014, 03:41 AM #12
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

I was looking at laserbtb's LA 532nm 5-100 alignment laser with the "+" sign. I have no idea how good it would be, but it would be interesting to put one on a gun or rifle.




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Old 03-11-2014, 04:12 AM #13
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

a few mW of red I find to be enough for anything pointing-wise. its not really intended for long distance. that and 5mw is the legal limit for anything non militarty...but that aside...who follows the rules anymore?! remember any beam you see anyway is about 3-5x as visible looking the other direction at the source. and the idea is to see without being seen back, so it defeats the purpose.

you could do this but I'd be quiet a challenge. you'd need a different lens, as the divergence and ar coatings would be different, and you'd have to accommodate for the power differences. the red in the long term is more reliable, both life in total and on a single set of batteries, unless you want to include a huge laser on the end that will add to the weight.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:18 PM #14
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

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Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
a few mW of red I find to be enough for anything pointing-wise. its not really intended for long distance. that and 5mw is the legal limit for anything non militarty...but that aside...who follows the rules anymore?! remember any beam you see anyway is about 3-5x as visible looking the other direction at the source. and the idea is to see without being seen back, so it defeats the purpose.

you could do this but I'd be quiet a challenge. you'd need a different lens, as the divergence and ar coatings would be different, and you'd have to accommodate for the power differences. the red in the long term is more reliable, both life in total and on a single set of batteries, unless you want to include a huge laser on the end that will add to the weight.

I never worry about my beam being seen, because the paper targets, soda cans, and other junk I shoot at never fires back at me. There's zero chance that someone would be in the line of fire, because I'd never raise the weapon if anyone is past the firing line and I'd never shoot if I don't have a safe backdrop, like a hill, to stop the bullets.

You are right as to the challenge, it would not be easy to do this.


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Old 03-11-2014, 11:16 PM #15
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

Yeah this would be a fun project I would think... I had similar thoughts a while back. Will keep an eye on this.
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Old 03-11-2014, 11:40 PM #16
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Default Re: Crimson Trace diode swap, anyone tried this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
a few mW of red I find to be enough for anything pointing-wise.
Have you used a 5mW red laser during the day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
its not really intended for long distance. that and 5mw is the legal limit for anything non militarty...but that aside...who follows the rules anymore?
I agree with you on not being for long distances. Please tell me that your being sarcastic about a "5mW legal limit".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
remember any beam you see anyway is about 3-5x as visible looking the other direction at the source. and the idea is to see without being seen back, so it defeats the purpose.
The reason I have lasers mounted on my guns is for the quick acquisition. I will use them for distances <30 yards. Within that distance if there is a true threat the first person to be on target and pull the trigger has the upper hand. I want the brightest dot possible so there is no question that I know where the gun is aimed. There is no time wasted looking for a faint dot or it might not even be visible at all. Also being able to aim without having to pull the weapon all the way up to eye level I think would only be an advantage.
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