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Old 07-29-2009, 04:26 PM #1
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Default mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p

Well, don't know if this can be a tutorial, cause don't think that there are too much peoples crazy like me, that want to modify a working green module, so posting in experiments zone

If someone is interested, here it's a brief description about how i converted a 150 mW green module from o-like in a FOCUSABLE 150 mW green module .....

First of all, i suggest to those that want to do the same, to get also one of the cheap 5 mW modules from o-like, for 2 reasons ..... first reason, you can use it for make practice, before mangl ..... er, dismantle the 150 mW one (i used the one that was not working good, from the 3 i got the last time from o-like), so if something go wrong, you know where is the error and can do it better the next time ..... and second, cause it's very easy to really mangle the external tube and lens part (the manufacturer used damn good loctite assembly glue :P), so you can have a set of parts for spare, if you mangle one of them (external tube, lens holder and lens are the same for those modules).

First part, take away the tube from the main module part (the one that hold the diode, crystal and diffuser, that must NOT be modified) ..... this can be done this way: heating slowly the module til 90 / 100 C, then let it cool slowly, then with two pliers and a paper "holder", take the module in the way i show in the pic (one of the pliers MUST hold the solid brass part that hold the diode, and the other MUST hold the tube in the point where the lens holder is screwed and glued inside ..... i've seen that 10 or 12 layers of paper are enough for not ruin the brass, and still give decent grip), and move the parts, unscrew-screw-unscrew and so on, with patience and without force too much, til it start to move ..... probably, like for me, it start moving just half millimeter, it's ok, just move them some times, heat and cool again, and repeat ..... i needed to do that 5 or 6 times, before the parts was moving enough to turn approximatively 3 or 4 millimeters ..... at this point, is just matter of continuously screw and unscrew til the external tube start to unscrew easily enough for take it away (if you try to force it too early, you risk to grip all or just break it, cause the glue is really a damn pain you-know-where, as any loctite industrial techno mount glue)

The easiest way can be to just heat it over 150 degrees for some minutes, cause this glue loose its propertirs at this temperature and become friable, but you cannot do it with the diode and crystal in place, so this first part, also if boring and delicate, cannot be done quickly.

when you get the external tube, place the rest of the module in a safe place (away from any solvent, especially acetone, cause it can irreparably ruin all the assembly, especially the diffuser), and start the hard part ..... the lens, and this is the good part, is a glass AR coated lens, not an acrylate one, so can be heatened for take it away from the holder (for not ruin it with the rest of the work you have to do) ..... slowly and constantly heat the tube to 130 / 140 C, and keep it at this temperature for a pair of minutes, then with a copper or brass rod with flat tip and a layer of tissue, pop out the lens from the brass holder (must push from the inside of the tube, and probably you need to heat and cool it 2 or 3 times, before it pop out, but being a glass lens, if you don't scratch it, and let all the assembly heat and cool slowly, the heat don't damage it) ..... the glue that eventually remain on the lens, can be took away putting the lens in acetone (WHEN IT'S COOLED !!) and let it there for a day, acetone don't ruin the front lens.

Time to take care of the lens holder, but now that the lens is out, you can use brute force and torture it ..... the better system that i found is thermal shocks ..... repeatedly heating the tube to 150 / 170 degrees, then quick cooling it in acetone took care of the glue in 4 cycles, for me, where instead there is no way for take it away just trying to unscrew it, first cause that glue is too strong (is the same that is used for fit ball bearing on motor bars and axis ..... also with a hammer is difficult to take it away), and second cause you can't hold the external tube hard enough ..... remember that it's a 0.7 / 0,8 mm thickness brass tube, and also threaded ..... if you squeeze it too much with a plier, you just crush it, if you don't have anything to screw inside that fit it, in the place that you squeeze (a head of an aixiz module fit the same thread, but have very short thread ..... anyway, can help) ..... also, get a flat screwdriver that fit the inside of the tube (large enough, i mean), or just build yourself a key like the one i made, and when you force the holder between the thermal shock cycles, don't try to UNscrew it, simply screw IN it ..... cause the goal is anyway to break the glue layer, and on the outside part of the thread, in the tube, there is still other glue in the thread walls, so it's much more easy screw it IN, that OUT, and take away the rest of the glue only when you have took out the holder

Ok, now that the holder is out, you need something for screw/unscrew it easily for focus ..... if you are one of those lucky peoples that have machines at home or at work, you can build a new holder "on measure", but if, like me, your only machines are a pair of old, abused hands , you need a different arrangement ..... i just took a piece of copper tube, put it in a drill, with the drill in a bank vice (homemade lathe, LOL), and with a file i made the 2 tracks that you see ..... the first, is for fit it in the step that there is in the existing lens holder (that in this way become mounted in reverse), where i soldered it with tin alloy, as you can see ..... the second track is for put there a thin o-ring, cause the lens holder, once removed all the glue, is a bit "dancing" (sloppy ?), inside the tube ..... can also use a spring, like in the aixiz standard modules (i have one that fit perfectly), but i hate to put springs inside laser modules, so just wanted to experiment this other method ..... actually, i'm still searching an o-ring thin enough to not force it too much, so for the moment the spring do the work)

Now, it's time to re-glue the lens in the lens holder ..... as you see, i also enlarged a bit the hole, lefting a step of 0,2mm around, but doubt that there is any gain, after all this is a green crystal, not a laser diode ..... put a little bit (LITTLE bit) of super glue on the holder, then let drop the lens in place and push it down with a plastic rod ..... and remember that now the holder is reversed, so the flat side of the lens go OUT the assembly, and not in, as before ..... left the glue completely harden, better in front of a fan, for avoid any deposition of shades on the lens, due to cyanoacrylate , then reassemble the module and screw the tube in ..... and now you can focus your laser, just turning the tube that come out in front of the module

As you see in my pics, the tube is much long, but this is just cause it's still not finished ..... i'm trying to build a housing for this assembly, and turn it in a focusable pointer, so i left it this way til i don't get all the parts, then at last i want to cut it on measure and glue a focusing ring on it (but this come later, when i get the parts from a friend that have a lathe, but not enough free time )

Anyway, perhaps it works ..... with a single, not fully charged, CR123, not perfectly focused at 4 cm, it start to smoke instantly on dark green plastic (not black, dark green ) ..... focusing it a bit better, yet not perfectly, passed the plastic in 25 seconds, but then i had to suspend the test, cause the module, without any heatsink, become really hot very quickly.
Attached Thumbnails
mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p-conv01.jpg   mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p-conv02.jpg   mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p-conv03.jpg   mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p-conv04.jpg   mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p-conv05.jpg  

mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p-conv06.jpg   mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p-conv07.jpg   mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p-conv08.jpg  


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Old 07-31-2009, 04:33 AM #2
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Default Re: mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p

very nice man. Im going to order a 100mW green from o-like soon and was trying to find a way to do this. So thank you this is very helpfull
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:31 AM #3
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Default Re: mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p

Nice one, mate
Cool idea
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Old 07-31-2009, 09:03 AM #4
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Default Re: mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p

Wow...good job.
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:29 AM #5
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Default Re: mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p

Thanks ..... but, as you can see, it's still a "prototype" build .....

If only i had access to a lathe ..... i had planned a different solution for the lens holder (if someone want to try it, the concept is in the draw attacked), ..... that for make better stability, a better capacity for focus at very short distance (as you can see in my last pic, for focus it to 3 cm, i had to pull out almost all the assembly, left it inside only 5 mm) ..... and if for any luck i get to put my hands on a lathe, i will try to make it for sure, but for the moment, i have to stay with this solution (by the way, the 18mm threaded part lenght is safe for the 150mw o-like module, but must be re-measured for different modules, cause they change from power to power, and the 25mm external diameter is just cause i'm planning to build the houses with this dissipator diameter)

And i'm sure that, with the skill and the machines that some of you have at home, a better work than mine can be done

Anyway, i made it just for the curiosity to see if i can, and perhaps it worked
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mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p-greenfocusholder.jpg  
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:18 AM #6
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Default Re: mod a 150mW o-like green module in FOCUSABLE module :p

Very good job! It looks a bit risky for such a high quality green. Your risk is our gain LOL. Thanks
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