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Old 09-23-2010, 03:12 AM #1
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Question First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

I am new here and this may seem like a newbish post (sorry for all you "experts" out there but I'm sure you started out as a noob yourself), but I'm confused on a few things.

1. What the heck is a driver, what does it do, and how does it work?
2. What kind of battery(ies) do I use?
3. Where do I get all these parts from? I can't order online because I don't have a credit card or anything like that so buying online is NOT an option for me. So are there any means by which I can get these parts from a store without spending too much (budget of $50 atm, plz keep in mind)?
4. How long will it take to...
......A) gather the parts
......B) assemble everything

In a knutshell: I'm just a guy without any access to online stores that wants to build a burning laser for under $50.

Possible? Or should I look for a different project?


I would like to get this done before November bc I plan to give it to my friend as a birthday present


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Old 09-23-2010, 03:47 AM #2
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

Ok First off you are going to get SLAMMED here in a sec

1. It regulates current. Its a circut. There are different kinds for different needs and uses.

2. Whatever fits in your host and supplies the proper power.

3. You get them online. Have your parents order them. Or some parts at Radioshack and puts them together.

4. Depends on the people you buy from and the scenario. (I am waiting 3 weeks for my host from Jayrob because of the high demand) Assembly will take as long as you want it to. % minutes to 5 years.

Under 50$ will be difficult unless you can go to your local computer store and ask for some old broken Dvd burners.

PS: There is no K in "Nutshell"

Last edited by Toaster; 09-23-2010 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 09-23-2010, 03:59 AM #3
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

Quote:
Originally Posted by renegade109 View Post
I am new here and this may seem like a newbish post (sorry for all you "experts" out there but I'm sure you started out as a noob yourself), but I'm confused on a few things.

1. What the heck is a driver, what does it do, and how does it work?
2. What kind of battery(ies) do I use?
3. Where do I get all these parts from? I can't order online because I don't have a credit card or anything like that so buying online is NOT an option for me. So are there any means by which I can get these parts from a store without spending too much (budget of $50 atm, plz keep in mind)?
4. How long will it take to...
......A) gather the parts
......B) assemble everything

In a knutshell: I'm just a guy without any access to online stores that wants to build a burning laser for under $50.

Possible? Or should I look for a different project?


I would like to get this done before November bc I plan to give it to my friend as a birthday present
You really need to order things online for this work for you.

1. A driver regulates the current that is going to the laser diode, so it doesn't go poof.
2.You really need to get them online. You can source some of the parts from physical retail out lets but not all of them that you need.
3.What ever type you want. People use AAA's to high priced lithium's.
4. Time usually to acquire all the parts is about 2 weeks.

You can do it for $50, just you need to purchase the parts online. Hope this helps
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:00 AM #4
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

You got 2 and 3 backwards, and I beat ya to it
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:06 AM #5
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toaster View Post
You got 2 and 3 backwards, and I beat ya to it
I thought I had this one. I guess your a faster Typer than me
And oops i do have 2 and 3 backwards
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Old 09-23-2010, 04:08 AM #6
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

Good try though, Good try
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:47 PM #7
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

Ok, I've still got a few problems here:

1. My Dad doesn't trust any sites where he has to give his credit card number to other than Amazon.com and retail store websites and he doesn't have an ebay account.
2. My Dad might wonder why I need all this stuff and ask why I can't just get a normal 5mW laser diode instead of using the diode from an old DVD burner. Not sure how he'll react to the burning qualities of the laser :P


Here are the items I can get/already have:
-Host (mini mag flashlight)
-Wires (duh)
-Batteries (duh)
-Resistors

I still don't know the specifics about the driver I'll need...
If I use a mini mag flashlight, does it already have a driver in it? If not, are there any hosts that would have one other than a laser pointer?

Now for a quick question:
-I have an 8-year old pc at home with a disc slot-thing that reads "DVD" and below that, "rom"... is this a dvd burner or just a player?

Also... would I be able to buy a laser diode off of amazon?
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:20 PM #8
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

Quote:
Originally Posted by renegade109 View Post
Ok, I've still got a few problems here:

1. My Dad doesn't trust any sites where he has to give his credit card number to other than Amazon.com and retail store websites and he doesn't have an ebay account.
2. My Dad might wonder why I need all this stuff and ask why I can't just get a normal 5mW laser diode instead of using the diode from an old DVD burner. Not sure how he'll react to the burning qualities of the laser :P


Here are the items I can get/already have:
-Host (mini mag flashlight)
-Wires (duh)
-Batteries (duh)
-Resistors

I still don't know the specifics about the driver I'll need...
If I use a mini mag flashlight, does it already have a driver in it? If not, are there any hosts that would have one other than a laser pointer?

Now for a quick question:
-I have an 8-year old pc at home with a disc slot-thing that reads "DVD" and below that, "rom"... is this a dvd burner or just a player?

Also... would I be able to buy a laser diode off of amazon?
-Mini mag doesn't have a deriver in it unless it is an led one, but it isn't suitable for most laser applications
-not really no. maybe some sort of cree, but you have to know the current of driver....so good luck with that
-player
-did you search for any on amazon?
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:38 PM #9
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

You should talk to your dad about it. If he doesn't want you to get one, Don't get one. They can get you into jail pretty quick. Also I advise some reading. about laser safety and DIY
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:38 PM #10
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

Quote:
Originally Posted by renegade109 View Post

I still don't know the specifics about the driver I'll need...
If I use a mini mag flashlight, does it already have a driver in it? If not, are there any hosts that would have one other than a laser pointer?

Now for a quick question:
-I have an 8-year old pc at home with a disc slot-thing that reads "DVD" and below that, "rom"... is this a dvd burner or just a player?

Also... would I be able to buy a laser diode off of amazon?
Amazon $40 300mW Red diode: Amazon.com: AIXIZ 650nm 200mw laser diode kip kay specified: Gateway
Driver: Flexdrive Micro-drive O-like driver Red or O-like driver Bluray

Your PC has a DVD-reader "rom" is an acronym for Read Only Memory. it does have a low-powered laser diode in it, but it probably won't "burn" anything if made into a laser.
The driver in the maglite is for the bulb/LED and would not work for a laser diode.
Also, you are going to need a module to press the diode into that has threads for a focusing/collimation lens.

Really, this is the cheapest way to go right now for you: Focusing Laser Host with Matching High Power Red Laser Diode Driver - Detailed item view - OdicForce Lasers Online Shop but you will need to find your own diode.
Good Luck
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:45 PM #11
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

*or the 200mW red from deal extreme. Might have to steal his credit card for that one though*
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:50 PM #12
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

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*or the 200mW red from deal extreme. Might have to steal his credit card for that one though*

You probably should ask him before you order anything online. Stealing is bad

With DX you can use paypal (an ebay company), that provides better protection of your credit card number than some of the other online payment services.
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:50 AM #13
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

1) Any payment online would have to be done through my Dad... and yes, stealing is bad and is NOT an option (although, technically making any laser over 5mW (50?) of power is illegal in the US in the first place... I think, read it somewhere just forget where).

2) No, I don't think my Dad would approve of me owning an illegal laser... even if it is for a friend.

3) So if I made a laser out of a DVD rom drive, how visible would the beam be? Since it doesn't burn anything, this is a good, legal alternative and then I would be able to ask my Dad for a driver. EDIT: would i even need a driver bc it's low-powered? Likewise, would I need safety glasses?

4) What happens if a driver is not used (out of curiosity)?

5) Thanks to everyone who replied so quickly!

6) Here's something that confuses me: Safety Glasses. I know that these are ABSOLUTELY necessary when dealing with high-powered lasers. Is this in case you accidently point it at your eye? Or is it due to the brightness of the beam when it makes contact with a surface? I'm just curious as to the reason WHY goggles are needed, not IF.

Last edited by renegade109; 09-24-2010 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:56 AM #14
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

If your going to use a laser from a dvd rom your better off just buying a red laser at radioshack.

3.it will probably be around 5wm, but it will be ir and/or red. A lot of cheaper 5wm red lasers use a resistor instead of a driver.

4. You risk burning up the diode
5.Yep
6.Or the laser gets reflected in your eye. A 1w 445nm laser reflected off a wall in close proximity can cause eye damage.
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:01 AM #15
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

so... a driver is just a more compact and sophisticated resistor with a button. Right? XD

As for the safety glasses thing, that makes a lot more sense... thanks for clearing that up
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:04 AM #16
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Default Re: First Laser, can't buy stuff online at the moment

Quote:
Originally Posted by renegade109 View Post
so... a driver is just a more compact and sophisticated resistor with a button. Right? XD

As for the safety glasses thing, that makes a lot more sense... thanks for clearing that up
A driver can supply constant current to a diode. With a resistor the current is based off of the power supply voltage. That is the simple answer, there is a lot more too it though lol

Here is a driver:
http://www.o-like.com/userfiles/imag...driver%201.jpg
http://www.o-like.com/userfiles/imag...driver%202.jpg
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