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Old 07-25-2009, 02:40 AM #1
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Exclamation c-mount laser help

im planning on buying a c-mount laser diode what other parts will i need to build a laser other than a driver the seller claims that is 4 watts and emits a dim blue light but i asked him for the specific wave leingth. he also says the voltage is 1.8-2.2, what would be the proper module for a c-mount diode, if you know of any please post a link


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Old 07-25-2009, 02:54 AM #2
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

Dim blue light? I'm skeptical already.. Regardless, you need to read this. A lot of it is "by the book" kind of stuff, but it's VERY comprehensive. It's from a PDF that I have, but I have no idea who wrote it:

following these recommendations, you could make your own mount and housing. I've seen CPU heatsinks used pretty often.

Quote:
LASER DIODES IN THE C-MOUNT PACKAGE
• The C-mount package laser is a simple open heatsink, and there is no protection for the
delicate laser chip. The Gallium Arsenide laser material is very fragile, and chip must be
protected from any mechanical contact. The exposed laser facets (mirror coatings) must not
be contaminated with any foreign material. Facet contamination can cause immediate and
permanent damage to the laser. You should not blow on the laser, or expose the laser to
smoke, dust, oils, or adhesive fumes.

• The laser facets are sensitive to accumulation of dust. When the laser is operating, dust
particles tend to be attracted the laser facet. As the dust particles enter the intense optical
field at the laser facet, they burn, and the residues accumulate on the laser facet. Unless the
laser is operated in a true “class 100” clean-room environment, this dust accumulation will
occur, even in a seemingly clean “lab” environment. This kind of contamination does not occur
very rapidly, but over several hundred hours of operation in a normal room environment, an
open heatsink laser will show tiny “specks” on the laser facet under microscopic examination.
These will gradually degrade the laser prematurely. If the C-mount laser is to be operated
outside of a clean-room for more than short periods, it should be packaged within a sealed
container to prevent this dust accumulation. This does not require true hermetic sealing of the
laser. An epoxy seal or O-ring seal around the laser assembly is perfectly sufficient.

• As with all laser diodes, C-mount lasers are very sensitive to damage from static electric
charges. Laser diodes should always be handled using standard static-avoidance practices.
When possible, the laser diode anode and cathode leads can be shorted together for
protection when the laser is not connected to a driver. The laser should be operated from a
high-quality constant-current driver which is designed for use with laser diodes. Such drivers
include protection circuitry to prevent damaging spikes, turn-on and turn-off transients, overlimit
currents, reverse biases, etc.

• To operate, the C-mount must be screwed down securely to a heatsink. The heatsink must
be capable of dissipating the waste heat generated by the laser diode. High power laser
diodes are typically 10 to 50% efficient at converting electricity into light. The remainder of the
electrical input power is dissipated as heat. Thus, there may be several watts of waste heat
generated by the laser. Because so much heat is generated within the small space of the Cmount
package, it is critical that the laser is securely connected to an adequate heatsink.

• Some laser diodes are more sensitive than others to the operating temperature. Red laser
diodes tend to be more temperature sensitive than infrared laser diodes. Depending on the
type of laser, an air-cooled heatsink may provide sufficient cooling, as long as the application
does not require stability of the laser wavelength and output power. Most often, the stability of
the laser wavelength and output power are important, and active cooling of the heatsink must
be used. Active cooling usually is either water-cooling, or thermoelectric coolers (TEC’s).

• For most efficient heat transfer, the heatsink should be made from copper. For some lower
power laser diodes, an aluminum heatsink can be used, as long as the aluminum is not
anodized in the mounting area (an anodized layer is a good thermal insulator).

• The C-mount should be attached to the heatsink using a small screw with a #2–56 (english)
or M-2 (metric) thread. The C-mount has a shallow counterbore around the mounting hole, for
applications which require close mounting of a component in front of the laser. A shallow
binding-head screw, or a button-head cap screw can be used in this situation.

• The surface of the heatsink should be machined flat and smooth where it will contact the
back of the laser package to allow for efficient heat transfer. Thermal grease should not be
used with a C-mount laser. Most thermal greases tend to “creep” and the material will
eventually contaminate the laser facets. Some people favor using a piece of thin (.001”)
Indium foil between the laser and the heatsink, but it is our experience that this offers
negligible improvement over a good copper-to-copper interface. The use of thick indium foil
(>.001”) can do more harm than good. In permanent installations, some improvement of
heatsinking can be achieved using a silver-filled epoxy between the C-mount and the heatsink.
If silver-filled epoxy is used, it should be a “space-qualified” low-outgassing epoxy, to avoid
contamination of the laser facets (Epoxy Technology H21D, for example).

• The copper C-mount is the laser diode anode (+) terminal, so the power supply anode
connection is best made to the heatsink. Do not attempt to solder directly to the copper Cmount.
The laser diode cathode (-) terminal is the wire lead attached to the C-block.
Connection to this lead can be made either by soldering, or by using a small, high-quality,
spring contact socket. The best sockets of this type have four contact fingers, and the fingers
are gold-plated (see for example, parts made by Mill-Max). Great care must be used if
soldering to the cathode wire lead. The soldering is best done with the C-mount already
attached to its heatsink. This will prevent the body of the laser from heating up excessively.
The cathode lead itself can withstand high temperatures, but the main part of the laser block
must remain at <120 C. During soldering, the laser can also be damaged by contamination of
the laser facets with solder flux fumes. Typical rosin-core electronic solder generates a cloud
of smoke when it is melted. This smoke will coat the laser facets, and if the laser is then
operated, permanent facet damage can occur. If it is necessary to solder near the laser diode,
the diode should be covered to prevent this contamination. One method is to use a piece of
aluminum foil to loosely cover or block-off the area around laser chip. The chip and the wire
bonds are very fragile, so the foil must be applied carefully, without actually contacting the
laser chip.
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Last edited by ElektroFreak; 07-25-2009 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:18 AM #3
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatehacker View Post
im planning on buying a c-mount laser diode what other parts will i need to build a laser other than a driver the seller claims that is 4 watts and emits a dim blue light but i asked him for the specific wave leingth. he also says the voltage is 1.8-2.2, what would be the proper module for a c-mount diode, if you know of any please post a link
You'd need a host-- the cmount kryton will work, pm kenom for more details, for the driver-- you can use the flexmod, but your batteries may not be able to supply the needed current. If you aren't looking for a portable host, you can make your own focusing module, does it have a fast axis lens?
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:25 AM #4
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

Is the cmount kryton available for purchase currently? I thought it was still being developed, but i haven't really been paying close enough attention.
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Old 07-25-2009, 04:47 AM #5
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

Check my signature. Just post what you want to purchase on that thread. When there is enough interest he will start it.
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Old 07-25-2009, 07:03 AM #6
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

they're at something like 15 orders right now, They need 100 before they can get them
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:28 PM #7
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

I know there aren't that many orders and there are other alternatives. but I really really really want another run of barrels to go. The last three I got were excellent. and two of his new ones will accept C-mount.

Last edited by pwnstar; 07-25-2009 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 07-26-2009, 05:10 AM #8
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatehacker View Post
im planning on buying a c-mount laser diode what other parts will i need to build a laser other than a driver the seller claims that is 4 watts and emits a dim blue light but i asked him for the specific wave leingth. he also says the voltage is 1.8-2.2, what would be the proper module for a c-mount diode, if you know of any please post a link
i recieved an answer from him exact answer:
"It in the 900 I'm not to sure it emits a dim blue light with a red halo."
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Old 07-26-2009, 02:17 PM #9
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatehacker View Post
i recieved an answer from him exact answer:
"It in the 900 I'm not to sure it emits a dim blue light with a red halo."
Wow, that sounds fishy. I have a c-mount running at around 4watts in the 900nm range and it is total non-visible with the naked eye. Dim blue light with red halo sounds like B.S. to me. If you view it on the screen if a digital camera with a good IR filter it would appear as dim blue.

Here is the post with my C-mount. 5Watt portable c-mount ir
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:39 PM #10
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

I have a 4 watt 960 nm c-mount that I am running in a handheld. This diode has the strange attribute of emitting a little blue along with the IR. Nothing wrong with the output, this thing starts a pencil on fire quickly. The blue is barely but clearly visible even in a well lit room if the laser is aimed at clean white paper that doesn't instantly explode into fire from the IR. Perhaps the blue emission is caused by impurities in the die. My diode shows no red whatsoever.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:45 PM #11
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

ok so i have my 4 watt c-mount i need a:

host for c-mount(kryton host, if there are others let me know)

driver(potatorage sez get flexmod, i dont know anythin about it or were to get it if there r any others please tell me)

power source (depends on the driver)

laser diode info
seller said its 900nm 4 watts 1.8v-2.2v

all help will be apreciated, please post links, pics, or anything this is the first time im working with c-mounts

+rep to the most helpful
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:46 PM #12
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

^ did you even read post #2? If you had read it you would know everything you need to know about c-mounts. That as close to "spoon feeding" as you'll get from me. I'm not going to read it to you..

The only thing that it doesn't cover is collimation. For that you either need a c-mount diode with integrated FAC and a convex lens, or if your c-mount does not have a FAC lens integrated, you need a cylinder lens and a convex lens. Those are the minimum requirements for collimation.

Flexmods can be found here.
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Last edited by ElektroFreak; 07-29-2009 at 03:11 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:01 PM #13
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

ElektroFreak,
That is a great bit of info on c-mounts in post #2. I remember finding somthing like this or possibly the same article a while back, maybe a link in sam's laser faq. Anyway that info is ABSOLUTELY nescessary to safely operate a c-mount, thanks for posting it!
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:15 PM #14
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

Never a problem! It is VERY useful indeed especially the part about not using thermal compound. When I first started using c-mounts, it was natural to me to use thermal compound on any heat-producing component. Finding out about that a little sooner would have helped maximize the lifetimes of a few of my old lasers.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:02 PM #15
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

This thread is as close as I'm going to get, so I will just ask my question here.
For a visible laser, what are some hints to look for to determine if an overdriven laser diode is starting to experience facet degradation?

My laser, when defocused, projects the typical oval spot on teh wall. dust and specs on the lens make concentric brighter and darker spots, and they rotate when I rotate the lens. However, there is a sort of inconsistancy in the middle of the beam that is stationary to the diode. It doesn't look like dust contamination on the diode window, and looking at teh diode window shows nice and clean. I'm worried that it may be a sign that the OC facet is breaking down (It was a cheap "10mW" blu from o-like, pot-modded to >90mW guesstimated). Main thing is, though, I don't remember whether or not that inconsistancy was there before or not.

I will try to describe the "inconsistancy":
typical oval beam with smooth gradient from bright center/horizontal line to slightly dimmer outer part.
if oval was an eyeball, the area encompassed by the iris would be the area with the "inconsistancy"
it looks like something textured was illuminated with the light, there are light and dark grains evenly distributed within the "iris."
the texture looks grainy, but larger-grained than the normal graininess that laser light shows.

Jeez, I might have to try to make it in mspaint.... which doesn't do too well with gradients

So, yeah, basically, what are the visual symptoms of output facet degradation or damage?
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:25 PM #16
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Default Re: c-mount laser help

I believe that if the facet damage is bad enough, the diode will begin to degrade, very quickly. Any dust particle that lands on or touches the facet/facets counts as damage to it. If your laser diode is the closed can type, the only way to get facet damage is from too much optical flux. (Too much power from the light). Open chip diodes are the ones that are very susceptible to facet damage.

I can't exactly say what damage would actually look like however. My guess would be that it could look like just about anything!

You say yours is an open can blu? As in blu-ray violet? I'm not familiar with any open can violets..
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