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Old 11-07-2010, 05:16 PM #1
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Default Building an Infrared Laser

Okay so I am sure there are lots of tutorials around about this, but I would just like an experts words on which tutorial would best suit me. I ordered a 300 mw 809 Nm laser diode online. I know this diode is Infrared, and I am curious as to what I need to build it. I was hoping to follow the youtube video that changes a regular Maglite into a laser, but I think I am missing something. As of now, I have a maglite that takes positive and negative pins, and my diode has 3 pins. Just any regular diode, can anyone give me a link or something, or even explain what else I need to make it come together?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:24 PM #2
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

Ahh yes, the classic Kipkay laser hack. Kipkay is hated here for a reason - the maglite laser hack is a very bad way to make a laser, and his newer videos lack critical safety that is important when dealing with high powered lasers.

I'd recommend setting that diode aside and working with some visible DIY lasers first. They will be easier to work with.

Try searching the forum for some other DIY laser tutorials to get an idea of what you need to do.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:26 PM #3
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

I waited a few weeks for this diode to arrive D=
Also, I have no idea if it's even 300 Mw, this is the diode I purchased: 808nm 300mW High Power Burning Laser Diode DIY Lab New on eBay.ca (item 180577237860 end time 20-Nov-10 05:07:51 EST)
So... But I see where you are going, with Kipkay's safety, he doesn't seem to have much.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:21 PM #4
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

DONT DIRECT WIRE, kipkays "guides" are garbage. You can make a simple driver very cheaply that wont blow up the diode. Just check out the forums and you will find a wealth of info.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:05 AM #5
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

look for some histories at a search engine, something like infrared + laser + retina
you will see awful things, don't be scared.
As many people that will read the thread will say, if you want to start hobbying on lasers, buy protection googles first. if you ruin your eyes, there is no return. you will just lose them, and get an awful yellowish retina on return.
you will not deal with high voltage before you buy protection, will you? lasers are the same. they just don't kill you if you make a mistake.

don't misunderstand me, if I seemed rude. just don't want to give bad reputation to the forum.
oh, and, happy lasing!
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Old 11-08-2010, 04:32 AM #6
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

Quote:
DONT DIRECT WIRE, kipkays "guides" are garbage. You can make a simple driver very cheaply that wont blow up the diode. Just check out the forums and you will find a wealth of info.
Okay so, being a complete laser novice, explain to me. What is a driver? I assume it is something that limits the voltage to the laser?

Quote:
ook for some histories at a search engine, something like infrared + laser + retina
you will see awful things, don't be scared.
As many people that will read the thread will say, if you want to start hobbying on lasers, buy protection googles first. if you ruin your eyes, there is no return. you will just lose them, and get an awful yellowish retina on return.
you will not deal with high voltage before you buy protection, will you? lasers are the same. they just don't kill you if you make a mistake.

don't misunderstand me, if I seemed rude. just don't want to give bad reputation to the forum.
oh, and, happy lasing!
Oh don't worry about sounding rude. I would not be here if I didn't want the straight truth. Thanks for the information, where would be my best chance for buying some protective eyewear? I would assume they are specially tinted lenses that filter out the lasers beams.

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Old 11-09-2010, 11:31 PM #7
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

driver provide a constant current to the laser diode, diodes like to be driven with a constant current, it's stable and more reliable than a constant voltage.

How much do you want to spend on eyewear? Real laser safety glasses are avialable from $125 for IR, cheaper stuff can be questionable in performance down to a scam for the cheapest stuff.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:47 PM #8
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

Well, like anyone, I would like to spend the least I can without compromising my vision, or harm to my vision.
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:50 AM #9
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

Well you can get a driver from many websites o-like.com sells a couple, Micro-Drive V3 adjustable driver (assembled) - $13.00 : rkcstr.com, Micro-Drive and laser diode electronics sells a good one. You need to figure out how many mA (milliamps) you need to power the laser diode and set the driver to this via several ways. The rkcstr driver has a PDF on 3+ ways on how to set it. The best way is a dummy load which simulates a diode and you use a multimeter to check where your at. I bet your head is spinning now, so I will also show an easy way out. Buy this: http://hacylon.case.edu/ebay/laser_d..._FlexDrive.php and you can order it preset at the correct output so all you need to do is press the diode into an aixiz module and solder it up. An aixiz module will run you about $1-3.

Your diode pin out MIGHT be this: :- (imagine the - is a pin) the top one might be + and the middle one may be - and the 3rd bottom one may be case. Many diodes are this way, case can be ignored or soldered to the - pin for stability. Try to find some info by googling the model number of the diode to be certain.
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:26 AM #10
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

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Originally Posted by extremeodd View Post
Well you can get a driver from many websites o-like.com sells a couple, Micro-Drive V3 adjustable driver (assembled) - $13.00 : rkcstr.com, Micro-Drive and laser diode electronics sells a good one. You need to figure out how many mA (milliamps) you need to power the laser diode and set the driver to this via several ways. The rkcstr driver has a PDF on 3+ ways on how to set it. The best way is a dummy load which simulates a diode and you use a multimeter to check where your at. I bet your head is spinning now, so I will also show an easy way out. Buy this: http://hacylon.case.edu/ebay/laser_d..._FlexDrive.php and you can order it preset at the correct output so all you need to do is press the diode into an aixiz module and solder it up. An aixiz module will run you about $1-3.

Your diode pin out MIGHT be this: :- (imagine the - is a pin) the top one might be + and the middle one may be - and the 3rd bottom one may be case. Many diodes are this way, case can be ignored or soldered to the - pin for stability. Try to find some info by googling the model number of the diode to be certain.
Thanks for the info, I'm not a dumb person I just don't know too much about building lasers. In fact I'm a computer programmer so if you just take a second to explain some of the stuff I would very well understand.

And I am looking into the adjustable driver, I would probably prefer that.
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:53 AM #11
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

You should look over the sticky threads in the Help and Tutorials section first so you know what to do, and then I would get a visible red laser diode before doing anything with the IR. You can't see the IR, which makes it pretty dangerous, and IR is relatively boring because it is invisible.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:54 PM #12
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

Well this is the thing, I saw a video on youtube with a description of an 808 Nm 300 Mw laser diode, and mine is 809 Nm 300 Mw. And in the video, there was a purple dot where the laser was and the guy said he could see it with his naked eyes. So I know the beam is invisible but I would think I would see some sort of slight dot. And, this diode was like 10$, since I didn't want to spend much, so a perhaps 600 Nm diode would probably be a lot more expensive. But thanks, I'll read up on the tutorials too.

Just read something interesting here: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/20...ointer-hazard/
Quote:
The trick is to convert two photons of long-wavelength, low-energy infrared light into one photon of short-wavelength, high-energy green light in a process called frequency doubling. First, two AAA batteries fuel a diode laser — similar to a standard red laser pointer — which emits infrared light at a wavelength of 808 nanometers. That light gets funneled into a crystal of a material called neodymium-doped yttrium orthovanadate, which is common to lab lasers. The crystal’s electrons respond by getting excited and emitting infrared light at 1064 nanometers, which goes through a second crystal made of potassium titanyl phosphate. That crystal combines two infrared photons into one photon with half the wavelength and double the energy, the familiar 532-nanometer green light.
I have a laser pen exactly like that, green. Would it be worth taking apart to take out the crystals, or replacing the diode with my infrared one so it's green?

~lilneo

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Old 11-11-2010, 02:21 PM #13
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

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Well this is the thing, I saw a video on youtube with a description of an 808 Nm 300 Mw laser diode, and mine is 809 Nm 300 Mw. And in the video, there was a purple dot where the laser was and the guy said he could see it with his naked eyes. So I know the beam is invisible but I would think I would see some sort of slight dot.
This is extremely dangerous. The fact that you can look at a 300 mW infrared dot and barely see it could lead you to damage your retinas without any immediate visual warning. The infrared, which you can't see, can damage your eyes without any warning to cause you to blink or shut your eyelids. At least with a visible laser you can see the dazzling intensity of the dot and realize that you are working with high power that can damage your eyes.

You'd be safest working with visible laser wavelengths to start with and be sure to use goggles or glasses that are rated to filter the wavelength you are working with.

Stay safe while you're learning. Vision damage can be permanent. Come back and tell us what you're learning as you progress in your experimenting, and don't let it be that laser IR can fry your retinas!

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Old 11-11-2010, 02:32 PM #14
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

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This is extremely dangerous. The fact that you can look at a 300 mW infrared dot and barely see it could lead you to damage your retinas without any immediate visual warning. The infrared, which you can't see, can damage your eyes without any warning to cause you to blink or shut your eyelids. At least with a visible laser you can see the dazzling intensity of the dot and realize that you are working with high power that can damage your eyes.

You'd be safest working with visible laser wavelengths to start with and be sure to use goggles or glasses that are rated to filter the wavelength you are working with.

Stay safe while you're learning. Vision damage can be permanent. Come back and tell us what you're learning as you progress in your experimenting, and don't let it be that laser IR can fry your retinas!

Ed
He is right. But if you are thinking "well I ain't got blinded yet" don't think like this. If you aren't got blinded, after much exposure time you can get your "eyes lenses" permanently blurred.
As most IR researches information are selled, it is difficult to tell you more than "you will surely be blinded". Maybe a big eye/head ashe give you a warning, if you don't listen to us.
Start experimenting with green, I think is the most recommended. 15mW looks VERY BRIGHT but won't blind you at naked eye, but will develop your awareness, as an error at this power/color will not blind, if you are not used to take care with reflections, 15mW green is better.
after getting used to reflections, harmonics and so, you can try another lasers colors. But I think IR should be the LAST ONE to start experimenting with.

always use laser goggles with more than 15mW in a uncontrolled environment.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:36 PM #15
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

Thanks for the replies guys, so since everyone is saying put this IR diode away for now, then I will listen to you guys. I repackaged it and put it away for when I have enough experience. Could you guys possibly point me to a cheap DIY laser kit, where everything I need would come with it? Besides safety glasses or something, although I still need a pair.

And also, like I was saying at this link: DIY Laser Safety: How to Test Pointers and Save Your Eyes | Wired Science | Wired.com
there is a paragraph saying that to create the green laser they use a neodymium crystal or something.
Quote:
The trick is to convert two photons of long-wavelength, low-energy infrared light into one photon of short-wavelength, high-energy green light in a process called frequency doubling. First, two AAA batteries fuel a diode laser — similar to a standard red laser pointer — which emits infrared light at a wavelength of 808 nanometers. That light gets funneled into a crystal of a material called neodymium-doped yttrium orthovanadate, which is common to lab lasers. The crystal’s electrons respond by getting excited and emitting infrared light at 1064 nanometers, which goes through a second crystal made of potassium titanyl phosphate. That crystal combines two infrared photons into one photon with half the wavelength and double the energy, the familiar 532-nanometer green light.
I have a green laser pointer, it's fairly bright and goes pretty far. You can see the beam when there is low light, and could I possibly take it apart, and replace the diode in it with the diode I have?
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:17 AM #16
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Default Re: Building an Infrared Laser

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Thanks for the replies guys, so since everyone is saying put this IR diode away for now, then I will listen to you guys. I repackaged it and put it away for when I have enough experience. Could you guys possibly point me to a cheap DIY laser kit, where everything I need would come with it? Besides safety glasses or something, although I still need a pair.
There are a lot of kits listed in the laser pro section and the for sale section. Reading those listings carefully will help you to understand what's needed for a successful build.

Quote:
I have a green laser pointer, it's fairly bright and goes pretty far. You can see the beam when there is low light, and could I possibly take it apart, and replace the diode in it with the diode I have?
~lilneo
I'm no build expert--I'm still learning what is needed myself and I'm sure other experts can jump in with more authoritative advice, but I'd say no. The diode you have would require more battery power and a larger heatsink than you'd have available in a pen host. And you'd also need a more substantial driver than the pointer would have, I think. You'd be best off acquiring and assembling all the parts appropriate for the size diode you have.

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