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Old 05-17-2013, 02:12 AM #1
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Default Old CD-DVD Burner

Soooo... I found this crapware in a dusty corner of the house... Khypermedia 48x24x48x Internal IDE CD-RW at TigerDirect.com Anyone got any idea if the laser in there is any good? I'm guessing it's a ~650nm?


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Old 05-17-2013, 02:56 AM #2
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Default Re: Old CD-DVD Burner

The writing diode will be 780nm. Ive built a laser with a cd rewriter once before, i set it
conservatively at 100mA and it was enough to do the usual burning tricks when
properly focused (pop balloons, light matches, cut tape). It is a near infrared
wavelength and is very deceiving with its pale red light, dont underestimate how
much of it you cant see, just like any other infrared laser.
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(4x) 532nm
(1x) 543nm
(1x) 632.8nm
(1x) 635nm
(3x) 660nm
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Last edited by Gryphon; 05-18-2013 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:08 AM #3
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Default Re: Old CD-DVD Burner

Hello Gryphon,

Thanks for the information. I've never taken apart a CD drive and built my own laser from it yet, so this could end up being just messing around... and I have an 808nm laser so I am aware of the deceiving looks of IR lasers, but thanks for the reminder!
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:17 PM #4
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Default Re: Old CD-DVD Burner

Ok so I have successfully extracted the LD from the unit (aside from a bit of desoldering from the final ribbon cable). What voltage and current should I run the diode at? I have a 2x AA system at 3V but I know that there can be a runaway current issue. Can I still use this system for a few seconds to check that the diode actually works? Even at 780nm the dot should appear dim but still visible. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:37 AM #5
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Default Re: Old CD-DVD Burner

You need to drive them constant current like any other diode. If you want a "quick check," you can use 3V+ with a resistor. Something around 22-100Ω for 3V. The raw 3V from your cells WILL kill it instantly, because the forward voltage is somewhere around 2V.

I've only played with one once or twice, but I hear anything over 100mA is risky. It also depends on the "burner speed."
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:50 AM #6
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Default Re: Old CD-DVD Burner

Burner speed is 48x read and write, 24x re-write. Thanks for the info!
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:09 PM #7
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Default Re: Old CD-DVD Burner

So I've finally pulled the diode out and de-soldered everything... so now it looks like a plain old 5.6mm red laser diode. However, using a 3V (2x AA) power source hooked to a 100 ohm resistor barely produces any dot (even with IR light there should be a (albeit) dim red dot). At 10 ohms, it's better but still nowhere near even 1mW of output power. So then... am I dealing with a (very) high current draw diode, or is this a half-fried diode or something?

EDIT: At 0 ohm resistance (internal resistance aside), I can get 1-2mW output but the laser diode heats up very quickly... any ideas?
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Old 05-23-2013, 04:38 AM #8
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Default Re: Old CD-DVD Burner

If it wasn't dead before, it's certainly dead now. Did you put it on the power meter, or were you using your trichromatic ocular devices to estimate power?
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:04 PM #9
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Default Re: Old CD-DVD Burner

Power meter lol on any resistors the reading didn't change at all. At zero resistance the readings might've been just from the heat the diode was producing or something too
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