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Old 01-15-2008, 12:18 AM #1
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Default The ol' proverbial hello and help! Pre-plug-in ?'s

hello everybody!
I've tried to attach the images here but I don't think it's gonna work. I have mirrored this over at my blog (with pictures) at blog.tinyenormous.com

Here’s the deal; I bought and received a sony diode and axis module from stonetek. I built the driver in anticipation, however I'm nervous and I have a bunch of questions before I “just plug it in”

Here are a few questions:
1)what is the ideal input voltage for the driver board(when using this with a sony 16x diode)
1b)what is the ideal input voltage for the diode
2)I have heard i should set the Ma to between 160 and 250, with the lower settings being safer for diode life
3)My capacitor doesn’t look like anyone else’s How do I determine the correct polarity of it?
4)after testing the setup for a while, what is the proper procedure to discharge the capacitor?

attached is an overview of the breadboard
here is a closeup
here is a closeup of the capacitor

Thanks a lot guys! I’m really excited to have yet another geeky, expensive, hobby that’s difficult to explain to women!

-----edited to add ps-----
PS - I'm getting lots of conflicting info from all over; instructables, kipkay, and then (thank god) some sane fact based info here at laserpointerforums. My intention for building this laser is to attach it to my cnc router project and use it to etch / burn wood. Is that a viable possibility? I dont want to delude myself, but it seems like depending on who I ask this 16x will either cut through the moon, or barely blind a mouse. Does anyone care to venture a guess?

Thank you all for your discoveries, ingenuity, and resourcefulness that has brought us to this point!


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Old 01-15-2008, 03:09 AM #2
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Default Re: The ol' proverbial hello and help! Pre-plug-in

Ok, so after posting I realized how almost everything I asked is a pretty common question.

I'm sorry. I hate it when others do that on forums I follow.

What i'm going to do to fix it is to put the answers here in replies as an attempt to either (A) absolve my sins for searching so hurredly and (B) make a few of the answers all in one clump to help other "first-timers" find it more easily

Q 1)what is the ideal input voltage for the driver board(when using this with a sony 16x diode)
A It seems like most people are running these things off of batteries (why? portability?) The three setups I have found so far are 2 cr123's rcr123's or 6 NIMH AAA's. The lm317 seems like it needs at least 6 volts of juice to keep a steady setting. Those combos provide that.

Q 1b)what is the ideal input voltage for the diode
A ??? This I still don't know. It seems based on your heatsinking ability...

Q 2)I have heard i should set the Ma to between 160 and 250, with the lower settings being safer for diode life. Is there a solid answer anywhere?

A as wooooooolaser said in post number 1199495103
Quote:
With that driver you can adjust the power to whatevery you want, but dont go past 250ma for them after that point you dont get to much more power but you shorten the lifespan of them alot.
Q 3)My capacitor doesn’t look like anyone else’s How do I determine the correct polarity of it?
A I think it might just be simpler if I bought the same cap as everyone else...

Q4)after testing the setup for a while, what is the proper procedure to discharge the capacitor?
A ??? connect the two leads of the cap and let it sit for a while ??? Can anybody back me up on that one?

Thanks guys! Sorry I let my excitement for lasers get in the way of my searching ability!
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:13 AM #3
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Default Re: The ol' proverbial hello and help! Pre-plug-in

I suggest you read through the experiments and mods section of this forum. There is a "Threads of Interest" section pinned at the top. Welcome to the forum..
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:14 AM #4
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Default Re: The ol' proverbial hello and help! Pre-plug-in

As for my last question of

Q4)after testing the setup for a while, what is the proper procedure to discharge the capacitor?

I found the answer by searching for "cap discharge"

Quote:
immediately cut off power, take the leads off diode, short the circuit, then securly resolder the leads onto the diode. if a lead is disconnected and then reconnected, (to the diode or whatnot) u will send a full cap discharge into the poor diode, killing it instantly.
regards,

amk
any takers on the "viability of my intended laser" question?
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:21 AM #5
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Default Re: The ol' proverbial hello and help! Pre-plug-in

I just replied to another post with one good way to measure current. You do not need to discharge the capacitor. Everything should be soldered before you measure current. Measure the current between your power source and the circuit.

I still suggest you do some reading...all of your questions have been answered many times over, and you will learn much more that way.
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