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Old 05-01-2012, 10:54 PM #1
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Default First build not sure

Hey, this is my first post so I will go over a few things Iím sure I will be asked and some background information. I am a 19 year old from Wisconsin who has been fascinated by lasers ever since I got my first cheap 5mw green laser a few years back. I have decided after doing some reading that instead of just jumping right into this hobby and buying a nice laser I would like to make my own first. I have read up on laser safety and know that I would be a fool to mess around with lasers without proper eye protection; I love my eyes too much to want to damage them. After reading up on lasers it is very overwhelming, the massive amounts of information out there have only seemed to shed some light on lasers and managed to leave me confused about the rest. I have very little soldering experience, but have done some. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for what I could do for a first build, I would hope to avoid a very expensive build as I would not like to run the risk of accidentally destroying expensive components since I have no laser building experience, trial and error can get expensive as a college student. However I am willing to take a little bit of a risk, I was looking at a budget of around $100 maximum for this first build but I have no clue what components I should buy as the lists are so vast. If anyone had some suggestions, tips, or anything you feel would be worth me knowing I would appreciate it. I'm sorry for the long ramble of a post, hopefully it makes sence. I can't wait to start learning more, build my first laser, and from what I can tell so far; be part of a great community.
Thanks,
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:31 PM #2
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Default Re: First build not sure

Well, with a $100 budget, you can do almost any beginner level build and then some, and that's an understatement. The majority of the cost should be towards a good pair of safety goggles more than anything else. After that, you should think of what YOU want. With that budget you have a lot of flexibility. Most first builds are either 250mW~ish 650nm LPC-8XX's, or 120mW 405nm PHR-803T's. I would stick with one of those for a first build due to the fact that they are cheap, and breaking one isn't likely to throw you off of the hobby if you do. After choosing the color (again, I would recommend the RED LPC or VIOLET PHR) you choose a host (something to put it in), a driver, and a power source. You would also need a module to put the diode in to focus the beam. Basically, what color do you want, and what do you want to put it in? Then, what do you want more, power or longevity of the diode?
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:43 PM #3
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Default Re: First build not sure

Welcome to the forum and GL on your build. There are many cheap options out there for your first build. It all depends on how much soldering you want to do. For example you can buy this laser host Ultrafire WF-602c Laser Host & Heat Sink kit (silver) [ULTR602S] - $29.99 : Cajunlasers Store comes with heat sink. Simply de-solder the CREE bulb it comes with and solder this to the leads(pressed into the module first of course) LPC-826 660nm laser diode 250mw [LPC826] - $10.99 : Cajunlasers Store

The driver on that light is set at 230mW, so it should be a nice ~200mW 660nm laser at a pretty cheap price.

There are many more options, it can be quit daunting choosing the one best for you.

BTW with that build you have plenty of money to buy a good pair of safety goggles

Last edited by TacoHerder; 05-01-2012 at 11:44 PM.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:57 AM #4
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Default Re: First build not sure

Welcome to the forum, hope you will enjoy your stay.

Before you make a pointer you could start by building a LM317 based driver and hook it up to a LPC-815 or 826. It is a fun entry level project and should give you good understanding and raise your soldering skills. It costs next to nothing for the driver components, and the diode is the most expensive part. The PHR diodes are, from my experience, really delicate and break very easy. I have blown quite a few of them even with the correct amount of current etc. I had one lying around which worked perfectly when i tug it away. When I hooked it up again after a few months in the goodybag it worked for ~10 secs and then went LED for no obvious reason. I have until now never blown a LPC or A140/M140 diode.

Nice introduction btw
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:44 PM #5
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Default Re: First build not sure

If I ordered Ultrafire WF-602c Laser Host & Heat Sink kit (silver) [ULTR602S] - $29.99 : Cajunlasers Store and LPC-826 660nm laser diode 250mw [LPC826] - $10.99 : Cajunlasers Store would I still need to buy a housing for the diode and would I need to buy a driver?
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:08 AM #6
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Default Re: First build not sure

Yes you will need a 12mm module for the laserdiode. You can use a standard Aixiz module or similar 12mm version. You will also need a driver.
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2 x 650nm from LPC-815 @ 200mW
1 x SF-AW210 @ 175mW
3 x 532nm @ 5mW, 50mW, 100mW
1 x 445nm, Mohrenberg C6 host @~1W
RGB ~1W (work in progress)

>>DIY RGB build on MDF with homemade turning/dichroic mounts<<
>>Cheap heatsink for scanner projects etc.<<

>>Adding connectors to FMP3 using old pc junk<<
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