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Old 02-26-2016, 10:38 PM #1
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Default Are Ultracapacitor Lasers Possible?

Hi! I started doing some research to get really deep into electronics, formerly knowing almost nothing (solenoid piston motors are awesome!), and I tripped over something called Supercapacitors and Ultracapacitors.

When i was working with lasers years ago, we used a lot of 3.7-ish batteries, like the blue ones, the lithium ion stuff you can crack open a laptop battery to find bunches of to gut, and the CR123As you are probably familiar with. Flashlight people are probably familiar with the weirder batteries like FourSevens fatty and proprietary 26650.

Well, I was wondering if Ultracapacitors can be used in laser design. Do they function in similar ways? Can they be regulated? Do they have more purpose as pulse laser type stuff, like that old video of the pop can hole puncher? I get the feeling the Laser Diodes would just burn out, and would like to hear from you guys what the Truth about Ultracapacitors really is.

Thanks!


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Old 02-26-2016, 10:45 PM #2
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Default Re: Are Ultracapacitor Lasers Possible?

as far as i know capacitor uses as part of a laser driver ... it prevent voltage/current spike when the laser turn on/off..
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:46 PM #3
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Default Re: Are Ultracapacitor Lasers Possible?

No reason you couldn't use an ultracapacitor/supercapacitor to power a driver that in turn powers a laser diode.

They are typically low voltage (ruling out driving a flash lamp for a pulsed laser with one) and much lower capacity than a lithium battery. Benefit is that they can source large amounts of current and can also charge *very* quickly. Good for things that you don't mind charging fairly frequently seeing as charge times are generally so short. I imagine that's what apple are using in their pens for the iPad Pro.

Depending on how powerful the laser is you're not going to get much run time, at least compared to an equivalent sized battery.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:56 PM #4
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Default Re: Are Ultracapacitor Lasers Possible?

I don't seen any fundamental problem either. You could use an ultracapacitor with a boost driver to power a laser diode. You do need a driver that has a decent input range. Most of these ultracaps are 2.7 volt rated, so if your boost converter works down to say 1.3 volts you'd get about 80% of the energy out.

Downside would be that they store less energy per volume compared to batteries, so a unit of similar size would not last as long. Upside is they can be charged quickly and very often, so if you have a laser that you don't typically use for long it'd be fine.
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Old 03-17-2016, 06:14 AM #5
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Default Re: Are Ultracapacitor Lasers Possible?

Good to know its the driver I have to concern myself with. Except for the day I burned a snow flake pattern in a handmade coin pouch for my Grandmother, I generally don't use class 4 laser pointers for more than about 30 seconds at a time.
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