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Old 03-02-2014, 03:12 AM #1
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Exclamation Laser Building: Ghetto Rigger's Handbook

The Ghetto Rigger's Handbook for Lasers

Okay, so you are finishing up your project and something just isn't working quite right. You look around the room frantically; this laser cannot remain incomplete! A MacGuiver at heart, you pull out the chewing gum you had in your mouth and.....

YOU GET SLAPPED!

If this sounds even remotely like you, you need to read this. This is for my fellow do it yourselfers. The last minute gluers. The makeshift modders. This is for you A legitimate attempt to address some of life's finer questions. These are things you might consider doing when finishing a project....especially when nobody seems to be readily available to question on the forum.

Table of le Contents
I. Ghetto Rigger Liability Claim
II. Affixin' an' a holdin'
III. Cuttin' an' a scrapin'
IV. Cleanin' an' a shinin'
V. Runnin' that sucker off "CUSTOM" battery configs
VI. Wrong time, wrong place....wrong TOOLS
VII. Gettin' rid o' the ol' STATICS!
VIII. Warnin's

I. Ghetto Rigger Liability Claim

You, the Ghetto Rigger, or G.R., understand and accept that Ghetto Riggin' takes the laser's life into your
own hands and anything resulting from said Rigging is not to be held against me or any contributors to this
guide. This is to weed out the bad ideas from the okay ones. The ones that will ruin a laser from the ones
that will complete it.

II. Affixin' an' a holdin'

Anybody finishing a project up knows the scary moment when you realize nothing will stay in place.
Maybe you want to fix the focal length, or maybe you dropped your set screw into the darkest spaces below
your workbench.

The key in this situation is to look for things that will not release fumes which could damage a valuable lens.
Also, glues that will not conduct current can be helpful if attaching a driver.

Glues to use:
  • 2-part Epoxy
  • Hot Glue *If you cannot get epoxy*
  • 3M Adhesive Strips *If you need a very small amount of hold*

Glues to not use:
  • Elmers Glue - This will make a mess and do nothing to help your sorry self
  • Super Glue of any kind - Remember the fumes? Say goodbye to your lens, and possibly your diode. This will coat the glass in a layer of what used to be glue vapor.

III. Cuttin' an' a scrapin'

Anyone who has gotten a VERY custom host has potentially had to cut something, scrape something, sand something, etc.

Do's:
  • Use a dremel....IF no optics are installed or near
  • Wear Safety glasses - aluminum in the eyes is a bitch
  • Sand the interior of the host - if module won't fit
  • Got a lathe? Why do you need a Ghetto Rigger's guide? USE IT!

Don'ts:
  • Use anything to scrape epoxy from threads
  • Use primitive tools for advanced modifications
  • Sand the exterior of the diode module - if it won't fit
  • Get carried away. If shit won't work, contact a machinist.

IV. Cleanin' an' a shinin'

If you are like me, stuff gets dusty or just plain needs a once over before you can make that legendary
build thread you are waiting to whip out. My workbench would probably give you chemical pneumonia
if you ate off of it. So what do you use?

Do use:
  • Isopropyl Alchohol - For optics. Make 'em shine!
  • Polishing Cloth - "When I met you, you were a mirror." Find that sheen again!

Don't use:
  • 409 Bathroom Cleaner....this laser ain't a sink. She got feelin's!!!
  • Water - Remember that driver you put in there? And that LOC diode? They don't swim!
  • Soap..... *facepalm*
  • Dusting Spray.

V. Runnin' that sucker off "CUSTOM" battery configs

So you have that brand new laser! Shit, my extra 18650 battery is still 3 days out! Long boat from China,
we meet again! Wait a second! Is that one 18650, one 16340, a magnet, and a stack of washers I see
on the floor? Looks like two 3.7V Lithium Ions to me!!!

STOP. Just don't do it. You paid a lot of money for that smexy beast, now wait a second and do her
right. You don't take that girl to a motel 8 where they have the sign held up with two by four's! Not
THAT girl. Just give it a minute and do it correctly.

"But what's the worst that could happen?!" you ask incredulously.
"Those batteries could blow up or start a fire."

VI. Wrong time, wrong place....wrong TOOLS

If you are like me, you are a typical G.R. who doesn't have a mountain of tools chillin' in his garage. So you
make do. That pair of tweezers becomes a spanner wrench, that screwdriver becomes a pick, that block of
wood and a hammer becomes a diode press. Well. Maybe not that last one....not quite at least.

Do:
  • Go to hobby town, and fix your shit.

Don't:
  • Make do.

You will break a lot more than you will fix, and from experience:
1. Those tweezers will slip and misalign your module.
2. That screwdriver will ruin your threads or slip and gouge your thumb.
3. That block of wood and hammer is going to put your diode into shock and the neighbors might call the cops.

Again, the last one is a bit exaggerated but the first two happened. To me. So there, a confession. :P

VII. Gettin' rid o' the ol' STATICS!

"If I don't have carpet there is no static." WRONG
"If I shock a family member before working, I won't have static." Maybe....WRONG
"The diode won't REALLY die from me not using anti-static things." PROBABLY WRONG

Do:
  • Use Protection. Always. You know you won't pull out...erm. Yeah.


Don't:
  • Pray to a Norse God to keep the static away.
  • Rely on probability.

VIII. Warnin's

1. Don't ever do something you don't think you can do if you cannot afford to fail.
2. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
3. Be willing to wait until help chimes in. The laser can wait!
4. Don't be afraid to invest in proper tools.
5. Don't force a module into a tight space. If you do, your threads will warp and you will be out a didoe.
6. Don't skip out on shrink tubing for your connections. Shorts are a bitch.
7. Don't use a Soldering Iron tip that is too big. Small and precise will do.
8. Don't be too rough with the diode. A drop is all it takes to break a diode window.

Conclusion

I hope you all have enjoyed and potentially gotten something out of this guide. I tried to make it
appropriate for advice while still being a fun read. Any additional bits of advice can be posted and I will
add it in to a postword in the second post.

Stay lasing, my friends
-Isaac


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Old 03-02-2014, 03:12 AM #2
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Default Re: Laser Building: Ghetto Rigger's Handbook

Reserved for other people's advice.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:47 AM #3
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Default Re: Laser Building: Ghetto Rigger's Handbook

LOL'd. nice WBS.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:43 PM #4
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Default Re: Laser Building: Ghetto Rigger's Handbook

This is good stuff, man!
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Old 03-02-2014, 06:04 PM #5
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Default Re: Laser Building: Ghetto Rigger's Handbook

'Twas a good read WBS, I think we all have at least a little "Ghetto" in us!
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:00 PM #6
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Default Re: Laser Building: Ghetto Rigger's Handbook

You guys remember styropyro's DIY yellow (red + green) laser. Now THAT was a ghetto setup.


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