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Old 08-25-2007, 07:42 PM #1
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Default Info and direction for a laser noob

Hi, I'm a noob to messing with lasers. I have a little knowledge of electronics and can solder. But I'm confused with all the products that are out there. Like all the different high & low power modules, drivers, & diodes.

I wanna have fun gutting a cheap DVD-RW drive, like one of those 20x Lite-ONs for $26.99 and make a cool burning laser. If I do get one of these drives, what do I need to consider in using a power driver for it? Would these cheap drives work, or do I need to get a more expensive different brand? Could I buy one of those laser units for $12 with the adjustable focus and swap the diode and have it work good? Or is there a particular inexpensive laser module with driver board I should buy that will work better? Some of those modules say they take 3 to 4.5 volts and have an output of 1mW to 4.99mW. I don't care for a pen style driver, an open PC board would work.

I've read some mention about current limited and voltage limited driver boards. What would be the difference if I swapped out the diode for a 20x one on either board? Would if I just connected a few volts directly to the diode? Would it not have the effect I want because you need to adjust the current draw to make it a burning laser?

I'm just looking for some info and points in the right direction as to what I can do with a 20x diode when I get one to make it burn. These diodes would be ~635nM visible red correct, and not IR? Sorry for all the ?'s. :-/


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Old 08-25-2007, 08:05 PM #2
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Default Re: Info and direction for a laser noob

go to http://www.laserpointerforums.com/fo...pl?board=b_bst , buy a diode or three.

then read http://www.laserpointerforums.com/fo...pl?board=b_exp . just browse, read and take your time.
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Old 08-26-2007, 08:59 PM #3
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Default Re: Info and direction for a laser noob

Okay, I've read a bunch of threads and the DIY driver thread. They've answered a bunch of questions. But what's the difference with a pulsed laser driver and a continuous wave driver?

If I understand correctly, the Daedal circuit is a CW? I think I've read somewhere there's no difference in brightness, but what would the difference be in burning power since pulsed can reach a higher mW?

Am I correct that most hand held laser pens use pulsed? Since when you look near the beam it's all sparkly and micro dots move all around, or perhaps that's just the nature of a laser.

I found a little info here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser#Continuous_wave_and_pulsed_lasers
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Old 08-26-2007, 11:19 PM #4
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Default Re: Info and direction for a laser noob

Most pen sized hand held lasers use CW, with a pulsed driver you can achieve better power (hence burn better) and duty cycle but the driver is a lot harder to make from what I read, and I have not yet seen any schematics to build one around the forums.

About the sparky, and little dots going around, well this is mostly due to dust going through the laser beam.
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