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Old 11-20-2013, 04:59 AM #1
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Default A Few Questions

Hey people!
It's often said that you shouldn't judge someone by their post count, but in this case it'd be fair to, seeing as I'm a complete newbie.

So, I've always been fascinated by lasers and light of any sort, and I've finally decided that I want to, well, assemble more than build a laser.

So my project is basically to get a 405nm laser pointer working.

I decided that since I'm far more interested in my eyes than in burning things (I don't have safety goggles) that I'd go for a 5mw pointer.

I'm about 90% sure that 405nm lasers are diode lasers, so an added advantage is that (I think) I shouldn't need to heatsink it to get a decent duty cycle.

Seeing as I've got no tools of any sort (no vise, no clamp, no drill etc., just a soldering iron) I thought I'd purchase a module and basically attach it to a switch and a battery box.

So these are my questions!!
1) Are my assumptions above correct? Those being:
a) I will not need to heatsink the module because it is a fairly low-powered laser
b) Simply connecting the module to some batteries and a switch is sufficient.
2) Unfortunately enough, I live downunder. With the customs system and all, buying a complete handheld laser device is really out of the question. (partly, but not completely why I've opted for assembling one)
I've read on these same forums that customs will not seize a module or other component, however, many of the modules on dealextreme have in their overview a short notice wherein it is stated that they do not ship so and so modules to Australia and the USA.
Is it therefore advisable to purchase a module? Specifically, these are what I have in mind
5mW 405nm Blue-Violet/Royal Purple Laser Module (3V) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme
or
5mW 405nm Violet Purple Blue Laser Module Focused Dot M405D5 3 1670-in Laser Pointers from Office & School Supplies on Aliexpress.com

Will dealextreme refuse to ship to me? Notice that in the overview of that particular module, there is no such written notice about exportation, however, in this, for example:
Genuine New Wish 5mW Red Laser Module (5V 2-Pack) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme
It talks about refusing export.

And will customs seize a module that to be honest looks basically assembled, like the aliexpress one?

3) Are the considered modules I have linked advisable for purchase? Are there better sites from which I can buy? I have searched several, and many do not offer 5mw 405nm modules (O-like i think has only 200mw ones for sale).
Aliexpress seems to have some rep on the forums, but others also say that their modules are underspec, though I don't think that would be much of an issue with a 5mw module.


Thank you very much! This has been somewhat of a lengthy post, so thank you for taking the time to read it.


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Old 11-20-2013, 06:58 AM #2
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Default Re: A Few Questions

If you end up getting one of those modules they will 99% of the time be well over 5mw. Most likely in between 6 and 80mw. Just be cautious that if you buy a cheap module or cheap eBay pen they will be well over 5mw. The modules are fine to import. But that isn't to say that it will definitely get through. Nothing is definite but it will most likely get through customs. Those modules will be fine with a single 3.7v Li-ion battery supply. The module will be fine without heatsinking, although I have a cheap 405nm '1mw' eBay pen that gets warm after about 30 seconds of usage.

I wouldn't purchase from DX unless you had no other option. Shipping is slow as hell. Instead check out Fasttech. Their shipping is more respectable for a chinese company and they usually have cheaper prices. I wouldnt get the aliexpress module because it has a warning label on it. It might get in, and it might not. The DX module or similar have a much better chance of getting through.

I know you said that you wanted to build something but if you where so inclined just get a cheap 405nm eBay pen. Even Australia has Australian sellers who stock laser pointers. Since the laser is already in Australia there won't be any problem with customs and shipping will be a whole lot quicker.

Remember though that what ever the mw rating is it will be most definitely over 5mw. This means that if you where hit in the eye with it you will most likely get eye damage. I highly recommend getting some laser safety goggles no matter what laser you end up purchasing. Safety goggles are like the seatbelt in your car, if you crash they will protect you, if you get hit in the eye they will protect your eyes, but COMMON SENSE is CRUCIAL as well.
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:58 AM #3
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Default Re: A Few Questions

Thanks for the reply!
Yes, it seems that glasses of some sort will eventually be necessary.
I'll definitely check out Fasttech, and probably'll end up purchasing from somewhere other than DX or aliexpress.

Generally the biggest problem with purchasing from Australian sources are the prices. Local electronics hobbyist stores do stock laser modules, but at staggering prices. For example, an 80mw DPSS 532nm was listed at over $160, and this was a bare module.
But I may also have a look at some Aussie eBay sellers, who are likely to sell at more competitive prices.

Again, thanks!
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