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Old 07-08-2010, 03:43 PM #1
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Lightbulb Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

Hi All,

I've just found this site and am very impressed with the wealth of Laser resources. I'm an electronic engineering undergraduate with an interest in optoelectronics / lasers and am keen to try out building a laser for myself.

To start with I'm aiming to spend as little as possible and thought I might try harvesting the laser diode from an old CD-RW drive. So far I've yet to find a comprehensive and scientifically based tutorial (most seem more keen on building a "cool dangerous burning laser" with no regard for safety!) The only problem is that this seems to emit light in the IR region of the spectrum - so perhaps it would be safer to simply buy a laser diode on ebay?

Secondly, in terms of the actual construction (from searching around) I'm led to believe that I require only the Laser Diode (is an Aixiz / similar module required) and a constant-current drive circuit (e.g. Home made LM-317 Driver). I'd ideally operate it from a 6 or 9V source at no more than 100mW, so would this require a heat-sink?

Sorry if I've asked quite a few newbie question... hopefully someone might be able to point me in the right direction!

IanR


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Old 07-08-2010, 04:06 PM #2
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

405nm diodes are a great place to start if you want to start high powered

HighTechDealZ - 405nm PHR803T Blu Ray Laser Sled - in sled, you have to pull the diode out

HighTechDealZ - 405nm PHR803T Blu Ray Harvested Laser Diode - diode waiting for aixiz module and driver

HighTechDealZ - 405nm PHR803T Blu Ray Laser in Aixiz Module - in aixiz module waiting for driver


I personally do not like 405nm. I like 650, 532, 445, and 473

so here are some dvd drive lasers

HighTechDealZ - 650nm 20x DVD Burner LPC815 Sled - sled waiting for diode to be pulled

HighTechDealZ - 650nm 20x DVD Burner LPC815 Harvested Laser Diode - diode waiting for aixiz module and driver

HighTechDealZ - 650nm 20x DVD Burner LPC815 Laser in Aixiz Module - in aixiz module waiting for driver

HighTechDealZ - 650nm Aixiz Rkcstr 320mA LPC815 Red Laser Module - done, driver, axiz module, waiting for power.



High Tech Dealz also sells 6x blu-ray sleds and diodes which are going to be 405nm and a lot more powerful then the PHR803Ts I linked to but the PHRs will still burn


As for the driver, I would recommend a RCKSTR or a FlexDrive unless you want to DIY


Off topic but, 100th post!!

Last edited by Jacob32123; 07-08-2010 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:13 PM #3
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

Hi Jacob, thanks for this but I'm in the UK so would rather not have to pay the hefty importing cost. eBay have a few - what do you think of:
Rohm High Power Red Laser Diode 240mW Pulse 100mW+ con. on eBay (end time 04-Aug-10 13:07:59 BST)

?

Thanks btw!
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:20 PM #4
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

That looks fine, you can order aixiz modules from well... aixiz in packs of 25 from ships from US (texas) or HighTechDealz (US) but in smaller quantities. Or a member in the UK might sell you some. I know we have many members there.

Also, for a driver I recommend rckstr. You will need a dummy load to set the current. Those are pretty easy to DIY or for $15 you can buy one through the forum. Check the Laser Pro Shop section, I think flaminpyro sells them
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:21 PM #5
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

CD-RW Drives use 780nm diodes which are NIR,
52X diodes can be driven up to 270-280 mA for long(er) life and are very rewarding ,
No heatsink needed but some duty cycle should be respected, diodes themselves are much more efficient then red or bluray.

I found it a bit offensive , you saying that members do not regard safety matters. Perhaps you should see why KipKay is so much hated around these parts?

Every one of us with high power lasers have safety goggles, and we put great efforts into preaching laser safety and responsible use of lasers.

I can see you are concerned about it, so it tells me that you already know the dangers of the lasers, how they are divided into classes, and why.

For starting lasers, except 780nm diodes, PHR 405nm violet is a very rewarding build and cheap too, can find PHR sleds for less than 10$ around these parts.
Next, red build with powers rarely under 200mW are for ony a few bucks more.

The constant current source is not only limited to LM317 and it's variations.

You will find that usage of boost drives (DC/DC converters) quite common around these parts.

LM317 and it's variations (LM350, 1117) have voltage drop, and given very high voltage requirements for bluray diodes (5-6 V) and blue diodes (4.0 - 4.5 V), usage of power source is very limited, usually two lithium ion cells, and sometimes even they are not enough.
Boost converters give us ability to power a bluray diode from one 3.7V lithium ion cell.

In any case, make sure that if you are serious about diving into the hobby, get some of these:
DealExtreme: $8.01 TrustFire Protected 18650 Lithium Battery (2500mAh 2-Pack Blue) <-powerful batts, commonly used for higher power projects
DealExtreme: $3.99 TrustFire 14500 3.7V 900mAh Rechargeable Lithium Batteries (2-Pack) <-AA sized , can also get ones with protection PCB
DealExtreme: $4.23 Ultra Fire 10440 3.6V 500mAh 2Pack <- AAA sized, also can get protected.

Replacing standard 3x AAA in common flashlights with two or three 10440, or using plastic sleve and 1x 14500, will enable to to power any laser you can think of.

Oh yeah, get :
DealExtreme: $8.76 TrustFire TR-001 Multi-Purpose Lithium Battery Charger to charge them!

EDIT - EEEE!!!

No, forget ebay, it sucks bad for lasers.
Go to:
www.hightechdealz.com
or
http://modwerx.com
or
www.stonetek.org

And get all you need.
For aixiz modules, buy directly from their site.
www.aixiz.com

For lasers, go to :
Middle range:
www.o-like.com
www.rayfoss.com

High end:
www.optrotronics.com
www.laserglow.com
www.novalasers.com
www.dragonlasers.com

For starting el-cheapo lasers, try DinoDirect,
But in general stay away from DX, FP and similar sites.
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:34 PM #6
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

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I found it a bit offensive , you saying that members do not regard safety matters. Perhaps you should see why KipKay is so much hated around these parts?
Thanks for the reply Eudaimonium - I'll read through those links but just wanted to reply to this point. I was in no way referring to the tutorials on THIS forum (incidentally after a little more browsing I've found quite a few good guides here so please pardon the initial comment); I've just seen many on YouTube / other sites (inc. KipKay) and wanted to point out that I don't follow this mentality.

I am aware of laser classes and with my order of the laser diodes will also be a pair of safety goggles for the first project.

Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:55 PM #7
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

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Originally Posted by IanR View Post
Thanks for the reply Eudaimonium - I'll read through those links but just wanted to reply to this point. I was in no way referring to the tutorials on THIS forum (incidentally after a little more browsing I've found quite a few good guides here so please pardon the initial comment); I've just seen many on YouTube / other sites (inc. KipKay) and wanted to point out that I don't follow this mentality.

I am aware of laser classes and with my order of the laser diodes will also be a pair of safety goggles for the first project.

Thanks!
Hey No problem my man, I was just like speaking on top of my head...

In any case, if you need any further assistance, ask me or any other member we'll try to give help as much as possible
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:09 AM #8
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

and post updates on your build
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:19 PM #9
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

I'm tempted to just go for this for my first build:
OdicForce Kit

I suspect there won't be the same satisfaction from simply following instructions in the kit and soldering onto the PCB but it should be a good start. The kit seems to include everything I need apart from the power supply - I can't seem to find official instruction on OdicForce's website so would a standard AA cell work or should I go for the more powerful rechargable ones - e.g. Ultrafire Ones NB, this assumes they requires AA shape not AAA which I also couldn't confirm on the site... Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:03 AM #10
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

Quote:
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So far I've yet to find a comprehensive and scientifically based tutorial
I Ian, if you want a "comprehensive and scientifically" based laser information see Sam's Laser FAQ here: Sam's Laser FAQ: Welcome Page

This is considered the "Bible" for the laser hobbyist.

Happy Lasing!!

Kevin
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:41 PM #11
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

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I Ian, if you want a "comprehensive and scientifically" based laser information see Sam's Laser FAQ here: Sam's Laser FAQ: Welcome Page

This is considered the "Bible" for the laser hobbyist.

Happy Lasing!!

Kevin
Thanks! Great resource.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:16 PM #12
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

Oh my, we've totally forgot.
Don't forget, if you venture outside of 5 mW limit in lasers, you should get some laser safety eye-savers , for starters this will serve you well for...dunno- 100mW of bluray/green :
http://focalprice.com/search_laser_g..._0_1_20_0.html
If you plan to go any higher, or in invisible area, or both, make sure to invest in some laser goggles, multiwavelenght ones, like Eagle Pair EP-5 I have.

You look far from a noob who will ask: "can't I get them cheaper", you sure value your eyes more than $8 or $40 or $70 even (and there even are more expensive, higher quality ones!).

Remember, be safe with lasers, not just for your own sake but those around you also!
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

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Oh my, we've totally forgot.
Don't forget, if you venture outside of 5 mW limit in lasers, you should get some laser safety eye-savers
Thanks - I've just bought some second hand Eagle pair glasses (OD4+ protection for 190-540nm and 800-2000nm) and some Bolle ones (OD2 for 620-700nm). Just hope I can see the dot from a fairly low power beam with the OD4+ goggles!

Also, could anyone please shed some light (no pun intended) on my power question in the last post. After sorting that I can proceed with my first build

Cheers...
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:00 PM #14
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

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Thanks - I've just bought some second hand Eagle pair glasses (OD4+ protection for 190-540nm and 800-2000nm) and some Bolle ones (OD2 for 620-700nm). Just hope I can see the dot from a fairly low power beam with the OD4+ goggles!

Also, could anyone please shed some light (no pun intended) on my power question in the last post. After sorting that I can proceed with my first build

Cheers...
It would appear to be a linear step down regulator similar to LM317 commonly used, it would require around 6V or mroe to operate, and the host is the infamous v2 "dilda", which is a 2x CR2 battery tube.

You'll need to use 2x CR2 batteries, lithium secondaries, you can get them from O-like.com, 2x batteries + charger = $7, plus shipping.

Might also need flat-to-round power plug converter, depends where you live, charger comes with flat plugs and it's a wallwart type so there is no cable to replace.
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

Thanks Eudaimonium - will place an order soon and get building...
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Default Re: Starter Laser Projects (e.g. from an old CDRW drive)

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Thanks Eudaimonium - will place an order soon and get building...
No problem - if any assistance is needed, or anything else, feel free to drop me a PM and I'll help you out
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