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Old 03-15-2014, 07:41 PM #1
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Default First build help

I recently ordered all the parts for my first laser build, put everything together, and got a sinking feeling when I turned it on and... no laser beam. I feel like the most likely cause is that either my laser diode or my diode driver is fried, but I don't know how to test them to find out. I have a volt meter, but I haven't tried anything yet as I am guessing I will need to unsolder something in order to test.

Here's my parts list:

Host with copper diode module and driver pill: Survival Laser Driver
Extended copper heat sink: Extended and Tapered Copper Heat Sink
BlitzBuck V4 diode driver: Survival Laser Driver
M140 445nm diode: 2W 445nm M 140 Laser Diode | eBay
G-2 Glass lens: 405 G 2 Glass Lens in Extended M9X0 5 Brass Barrel for 405nm 445nm Laser Diodes | eBay

I did not solder the diode until it was pressed into the module, and I made sure to connect the + and - wires from the driver to the correct leads on the diode.

If anyone is able to help, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,


Andrew


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Old 03-15-2014, 09:33 PM #2
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What voltage do you have?
You will need about 6 volts minimum for that diode, 2 lithium cells would work well.

Last edited by oahu99; 03-15-2014 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:10 PM #3
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Default Re: First build help

I am using 2 CR123A batteries, 3V each. Also, I have successfully soldered and unsoldered components from a PC board before, but I can't say that I am the greatest at it. I was able however, to solder the wires to the + and - contacts on the driver without any solder overlapping to another contact or component on the driver, or otherwise damaging other components as far as I can tell.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:14 PM #4
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Default Re: First build help

Hmmm strange....
Do you have a bench power supply you can just hook the diode to (with current limiting, of course) to rule out any problems with the driver?
What current is the driver set to?

Last edited by oahu99; 03-15-2014 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:41 PM #5
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Default Re: First build help

I don't have a bench power supply, and when I first tried it, the driver was set to the default it was at when it arrived (whatever that is). When it didn't work the first time, i figured that maybe i need to dial up the driver. I am pretty sure I turned it at least a little bit, but I'm not positive and it's not the most accessible. With what I have for equipment, it may be easier for me to test the output of the driver first, as I'm guessing all I would need to do is unsolder the diode and use the multi-meter. I just don't know what I would need to measure and what normal should be.

Thanks.
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:46 AM #6
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Default Re: First build help

Well, you could measure the current at the batteries, and see if there is any current being drawn at all...

Check out this thread about test loads:Test Load Diagram's for all laser diodes!

Just solder the diodes in place where your laser diode is, and you can set the current with the test load. Any current over about 50ma should produce at least some light with the M140 diode.
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:33 AM #7
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Default Re: First build help

Hey I just took a closer look at the specs for the driver and it says it outputs 1.5A to 3A. If it is outputting much over 2A it would have a good chance to have cooked your diode.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, your diode might be cooked. Again, build the test load to see what current the driver is at.
Good luck!
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:11 AM #8
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Default Re: First build help

If I unsolder one connection to the diode to measure the amperage, would I still see accurate numbers if the diode is fried, or is it more likely to either skew the numbers or not even complete the circuit, much like a burned out light bulb?

Depending on the cost, I may also buy a bench power supply so I can test the diode itself as well. If I do, I basically want to give it a little bit of power and see if I get light out of it, correct?
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Old 03-16-2014, 03:22 PM #9
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Default Re: First build help

So, if you desolder one side of the diode and measure the current, it should be accurate even if it is burned out. I have an LED'ed dvd diode that still draws current, so it should.
And yes, about the bench power supply.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:52 PM #10
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Default Re: First build help

Musik, a bench power supply and a test load is always a good idea for checking your driver setup before attaching to a diode, especially when setting the current of adjustable drivers.

http://www.survivallaserusa.com/3A_S..._11195751.aspx
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Last edited by Garoq; 03-20-2014 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:55 PM #11
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Hey did you ends up figuring out what was wrong?

I'm curious to know now...lol
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:48 AM #12
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Default Re: First build help

I've been pretty busy lately, so I haven't time yet. My dad has helped with a little bit of testing, but we haven't determined anything definitive yet. I'll be sure to post an update when I get it figured out.

Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:21 PM #13
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Default Re: First build help

Ok so I have been lurking on this forum for awhile now as I have wanted to build a burning laser for as long as I have been a fan of Star Wars (I know, surprise). I have everything I need to build a couple lasers but want to make sure I do this right.

Thanks goes out to Music7 for posting this cause I have fairly similar components for a 2w blue build but want to make sure I am doing this right.

Any and all help or guidance is most welcome

Here is what I have for my build:
- 2W 445nm M140 Blue Diode
- Shanhai 3 7 4 2VDC 1W 1 4W 2W Blue 445nm 450nm Laser Diode LD Driver Power Supply 2 5A
- 445nm 405nm Three Element Glass Lens for Aixiz Module
- AixiZ 12 X 30mm laser module blank
- CREE XML T6 LED Flashlight 5 Mode Zoomable

I have not even set power through the driver or the diode yet as I don't want to burn out a $50 diode.

Thanks
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:18 PM #14
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You should probably make a first post on the welcome section people will be more inclined to help you. Also, I believe it is mal practice here to hijack threads.

Anyways, I'm assuming your driver is fixed at 2.5 amps?
If it is, that may kill the diode, as I've never seen an m140 over about 1.75 amps.

Someone correct me if I wrong. If I were you I'd build a test load to test the driver current. Blord had a great thread about test loads.

Edit: you'll have to buy a proper host with a heatsink not just a flashlight. Jayrob and survival laser and mrcrouse all make good hosts.

Last edited by oahu99; 03-24-2014 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 03-29-2014, 10:54 PM #15
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Default Re: First build help

My dad did a little bit of testing and sent me the following info:

Voltage out of batteries = 6.47 vdc
Voltage across wires with power turned on .46
No measurable current with a 2K Ω resistor in the circuit



Does this give you any clues as to what component is bad (or if we aren't testing it correctly)? I haven't tested the diode with a bench power supply yet. I think I would have to buy one if I wanted to do that.

Thanks
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Old 04-11-2014, 03:54 AM #16
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Default Re: First build help

So, I figured out what the problem was. One of the components on the driver was so close to the edge that when I pressed it into the driver pill, it popped it right off. Since then, I have had the driver exchanged, finished reassembling the laser, and it is working great now!

445nm 2w burning laser - YouTube

445nm 2w laser beam - YouTube
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