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Old 12-26-2009, 05:27 AM #1
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Question I'd like to make my first DIY laser and I need some clerification.

Edit: I got the shipments I ordered, I soldered the wires on, tested the driver, set the current, and connected the diode to it and... I wired the diode backwards... (that was stupid) so I had the wrong color wires on and probably killed it with reverse current -_- It didn't work when I fixed it, didn't even light up like an LED or put out any invisible light. So much for that then, I'll have to buy another diode now unless this one miraculously works.


Hello, I'm a total newb to lasers really, and I've had little experience if at all with working with electronics that didn't involve eventual destruction. I've been in the mood to build a laser for a long time now and I've checked around to see many different projects and tutorials, a lot of which can be confusing.

So starting off I plan on using this diode already mounted...
405nm PHR-803T Blu Ray Diode in Aixiz Laser Module Housing [PHR-803T in Aixiz module] - $19.83 : High Tech DealZ, Simplifying the LASER Hobby!

The fork in my plan is with the drivers, I want to use either AA or AAA batteries with my laser which is where I get confused.

Option 1...
Micro-Drive V3 adjustable driver (assembled) - $13.00 : rkcstr.com, Micro-Drive and laser diode electronics

Option 2...
405nm blu-ray diode driver£*>405nm blue-violet laser£*>Laser&lighting products£*>www.0-like.com

The first recommends that I use 9v, so I'm not sure if my battery choice is feasible, yet with option 2 some people don't like O-like. If there is another driver that is great for this build tips would be great. I'll pretty much set the current with a volt meter with help, unless there is an option to have it pre-set (100mW.)

Further down the uncertain build is my host. I would like to use a glass or clear plastic tube that has a snug fit on the laser housing, it would seem unusual so I want to know if that would work. Other idea of mine was to make a wood host, also unusual. Last idea was just simple copper piping for a sleek look.

I'm only saying 100mW because I'd like it to have a very long life and not get very hot when in use, it would be my first after all.

That's pretty much it, my goal is a cylindrical style yet notably thick and heavy burning 100mW BR laser. Please punch holes through my ideas so I know what to avoid, and driver tips are greatly appreciated.



Last edited by Bluephics; 01-12-2010 at 06:54 AM. Reason: Killed it before even finnishing.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:58 AM #2
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Default Re: I'd like to make my first DIY laser and I need some clerification.

Welcome to the forums Bluephics,

At 9v, the rckstr driver would need at a minimum 6 AA batteries to run. In my opinion, this approach is a bit inefficient. 6 AAs take up a lot of space, and the driver will drop out of regulation as soon as the battery voltage starts sagging. You can stack even more AAs to extend the battery life if size isn't an issue. Alternatively, you can try using 3x lithium ion batteries with this driver instead.

The O-like driver is a decent choice. I haven't heard of anyone having problems with that driver, and O-like is a reputable seller.

A third option for a driver would be the rayfoss blu-ray driver. There was a review of the driver in this thread. Its a bit cheaper than the O-like driver, but you will need some soldering skills to attach an output capacitor (to eliminate voltage spikes). Additionally, the current is pre-set though a surface-mount resistor. There is no potentiometer to adjust the current on this driver. You can have the manufacturer preset the current to your desired value, but if you want to change it in the future, you will need to do some soldering.

If you are willing to shell out a bit more money for the driver, the flexdrive ($23) would be the ideal choice. It's highly efficient, and will stay in regulation across a wide range of input voltages. But it is a bit pricier than the other drivers.

Also, note that you set the ma (current) of a driver, not the mw. You cannot set the mw of a laser through the driver (not without a laser power meter at least). If you want a 100mw PHR-803T laser, you will want to set the current around 110ma. However, most PHR-803T diodes vary in efficiency, and you may get more or less than 100mw at that current.

As for the host, you will have to find a tube with an inner diameter of 11.9-12mm for a snug fit with an aixiz module. Either that or drill out a smaller tube/rod to fit your module. You can use a glass or plastic tube for your host if you want, but ideally the host should be made of aluminum or copper. These metals have good thermal properties and help heat sink the diode during operation. However, if you keep your laser on a duty cycle, it shouldn't matter what material you choose for your host.

Last edited by spectral532; 12-26-2009 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 03:32 AM #3
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Default Re: I'd like to make my first DIY laser and I need some clerification.

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Originally Posted by spectral532 View Post
Welcome to the forums Bluephics,
The O-like driver is a decent choice. I haven't heard of anyone having problems with that driver, and O-like is a reputable seller.

Also, note that you set the ma (current) of a driver, not the mw. You cannot set the mw of a laser through the driver (not without a laser power meter at least). If you want a 100mw PHR-803T laser, you will want to set the current around 110ma. However, most PHR-803T diodes vary in efficiency, and you may get more or less than 100mw at that current.

As for the host, you will have to find a tube with an inner diameter of 11.9-12mm for a snug fit with an aixiz module. Either that or drill out a smaller tube/rod to fit your module. You can use a glass or plastic tube for your host if you want, but ideally the host should be made of aluminum or copper.
Thank you for the reply, I checked out the rayfoss and besides the spikes it looks like an ok option, but I'll stick with the O-like after all then. I just need an explanation in layman's terms of where the wires solder onto since I wont be using the case for the positive charge. There are two things on O-like's driver that say VCC +, I'm guessing that's where the positive wire attaches to.

Also thanks for clearing up the mW/mA issue, I had no idea that was how diodes worked, I'll be sure to set the mA then around 100-110. I'll start ordering parts then, and I'll get some parts from the hardware store and try and make a steampunk style host which should also be a good heat sink at that.
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:05 AM #4
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Default Re: I'd like to make my first DIY laser and I need some clerification.

I have never actually used an O-like blu-ray driver, and I honestly dont know all that much about it. But I would assume that you would wire the Vcc(+) to the positive terminal of the batteries, and the ground(-) spring on the driver would connect to the negative terminal of the batteries. Then solder the test load or laser diode to the respective pads on the driver board.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:50 AM #5
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Default Re: I'd like to make my first DIY laser and I need some clerification.

Just a simple (late) heads up about the orders. I ordered both products mentioned above on the 26th. The PHR shipped on the 30th, and the driver shipped on the 4th, didn't get any contact from O-like til the 6th, which seems a bit late to me. No matter I await both shipments <_< and I wish it went faster...

Also my host ideas have been changing a lot too, since I'm very new I guess I'll use a clear rubber host. I could still have a small copper tube around the axis housing as a heat sink, and I could cut a groove in the rubber to fit a wire to the back and fit AA instead of AAA batteries in it.
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