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Old 03-28-2008, 03:08 AM #1
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Default Laser beam is no longer a point; spreads out

I have a 5mW red laser pointer with a little blue LED mounted on a pen. I had not used it much but for school presentations, but now that in Physics class we are going over light, reflections, and refractions, I've been using it everyday for a week and it has inherently been jostled around a lot more than it is used to. My school, for some strange reason, does not have laser pointers.

I will be the first to admit that I don't know as much as most when it comes to lasers and their hardware, so if you could please bear with me. This is also my first post here, and I don't want to be going against the grain on anything.

Up until this afternoon, the laser pointer was just that: a pointer. Now, it is more of a laser look-in-this-general-vicinity-and-maybe-if-you're-lucky-you'll-see-what-I'm-trying-to-show-you. The projection is still a sharp circle with the brighter stripe in the middle as it always has been, but now it take up a good 16 square inches on a wall 30 feet away.

I might think it would be the hardware, but as previously stated, this is not my cup of tea (not that I don't want it to be. I just don't have the funds or knowhow). I'm not sure if this is a common problem with an easy fix or not. It's a good pointer and has been good to me, and I would prefer not to have to turn it into some illegal YouTube-enlightened experiment (not yet, anyway).

If someone out there could please give me some advice, that would be great.

I'm glad I found this place. I have wanted to learn more about (read: play around with a purpose) with lasers when I had the time, and I should this summer, so I'm sure this forum will be a great resource for me in the future.


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Old 03-28-2008, 03:16 AM #2
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Default Re: Laser beam is no longer a point; spreads out

hmm sounds like its just out of focus..
can you see a lens that you could rotate?
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:20 AM #3
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Default Re: Laser beam is no longer a point; spreads out

I can see a lens, but I have no clue how I could reach in there and twist it. I'll post pics tomorrow and see if that helps.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:39 AM #4
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Default Re: Laser beam is no longer a point; spreads out

It sounds like the lens came out of place. You will have to open up the laser and move the lens around to find where the dot will stay small again. Also, a green laser would be great for you to use in presentations, there are some cheap ones out there now, like this one with free shipping: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.91
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:54 PM #5
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Default Re: Laser beam is no longer a point; spreads out

What would be the best way to get to it? Twist off the end with pliers? I tried with my fingers, but it feels glued.

The business end of the pointer:
--CAN'T POST A LINK--

Looking down the shaft:
--CAN'T POST A LINK--

Just the business end:
--CAN'T POST A LINK--

I would think that the shinier part at the end (it has two holes drilled in it for the light to come out) would be the piece I remove, but there is also a circuit board inside (one might assume the diodes are fixed to it) that I might be able to pull out with needle nose pliers. However, I couldn't get good shots of the inside of it. I really don't want to break it, and I'm not an expert.

Since you guys have boiled it down to the lens, me not knowing my laser anatomy thinks that it's the outermost glass part of the diode. Am I correct? As for moving it around, how might that be simplest? Just putting enough pressure on it to be able to rotate it with the tip of a covered finger?
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