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Old 04-07-2011, 10:08 PM #1
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Default Help me identify this diode

So here's the deal, like most of the new people here, I starting digging though my junk pile of dead computer parts for something useful. I found an optical drive, the problem is this thing was in rough condition and didn't have the faceplate on it any longer. I *thought* it was an old DVD burner, but it could very well have only been a CD burner. (If that's the case, that may be why I'm confused) If it's a DVD burner, I have no idea what the speed was, as I'm not even sure how old it was.

Anyway, after the tear down, I was surprised when the only thing I found is what I assume is a black plastic diode. It looks about right, except it's black plastic. The attached pics almost make it look like there is a metal can inside all that plastic, but I don't think that is the case, since there is a lens or filter that appears to be directly attached to the end of the plastic "can".

Anyway any help would be appreciated. And if this has been posted somewhere else and I actually missed it, feel free to call me a bonehead. It's OK as I have pretty thick skin. (I really did search for it first though! )





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Old 04-07-2011, 10:11 PM #2
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Default Re: Help me identify this diode

If it's a CD burner, it'll be a fairly low-power (compared to DVD burners) 780nm diode. I suspect they don't need much heatsinking, which would explain the plastic.

If it's a CD reader, it'll be a low-power 780nm diode.

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Old 04-07-2011, 10:17 PM #3
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Default Re: Help me identify this diode

If you are not sure, hooking it up can be dangerous.. Mainly if it is a NIR from a
CD burner..

Try to see the colour of the AR coatings.. A deep blue would indicate its a red
LD 660nm, a lighter yellowish is indicative of a 785nm NIR...

Also a lot of the 785nm LD's dont have a 'window' sealing the diode.. Not
too many reds are like this, they almost always have a 'window'.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:23 PM #4
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Default Re: Help me identify this diode

It most certainly has a window and I think it looks bluish if you get the light just right on it. I even asked my wife to take a look and she said the same thing. I didn't tell her what color I thought it looked like, because I wanted an unbiased opinion. So I"m thinking it must be a low power red. I don't have any modules to even try to fit it in at the moment, but I"m pretty sure it's way too small anyway. Not sure I"ll really be able to do anything with it, but I appreciate the help. If nothing else, it gave me some practice harvesting from a sled.

I've attached a couple of better pictures of it. These are a little clearer. The iphone has a decent camera, but it's not really good for macros. Nothing like trying to use a magnifying glass and a camera at the same time.
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Help me identify this diode-photo-1.jpg   Help me identify this diode-photo-2.jpg  
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:42 PM #5
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Default Re: Help me identify this diode

Most likely its a red, but still keep with caution just in case.. The pinout should be

* +pos
. * -neg
* neutral

You should see a nice ruby red at a relatively low current.. If you have a bench supply
try 30-40mA, this should light it up..

If its IR, you wont see much, and a webcam or normal cam will show a pinkish red
much brighter than what you see with your eyes.. Just dont look into it, even
at low current.

Aim it down and away from yourself onto a piece of white paper, and observe..

Practice on old or unknown LDs is always a good idea. Getting them out
of their original mount can be tricky at first and its better to damage the
inexpensive..

have fun!
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