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Old 06-05-2014, 03:03 AM #1
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Default Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

So I put together my "3W" build
For this I used:

9mm 445nm Diode 3 element - DTR
2.2A Driver and Pill Combo - Survivallaser
2x 18350 AW 700mAh Batteries - Lighthound
Host: DIY Stainless Steel + Extended Heatsink - Survivallaser

After putting it together... it only reads 1.8W on my LPM with the batts fully charged.
I was expecting something in the range of 2.5W with the 3 element lens.

Any suggestions, or info as to what may be going on? I can add photos if needed. Thanks


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Old 06-05-2014, 03:13 AM #2
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

Try it with a G2 lens.

What LPM do you have? If you have a TEC based LPM the peak power may have already passed. IIRC the stainless steel host has a rather small heatsink so the power will drop fast.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:17 AM #3
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

The heatsink is very small for a 3w laser. What happens is a process known as depolarization of the diode due the thermal influences. Basically the heat causes the diode to surpass its maximum basic charge and therefore causing an energy drop. I have only studied this a bit so I could be wrong but in the process of making lasers the hardest thing for me was having a good heatsink. Hope this helps
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:21 AM #4
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

Average range with 2.4A and a G-2 lens is 2.7W-3.2W. You loose about 25% with a three element lens.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:21 AM #5
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

I have the Radiant X4 and I don't have a G-2 lens (I can always order one if that's the issue) and I could look to upgrade to a host with a larger heatsink but I've seen another build with this same host and heatsink hit its desired output.

Edit: Looks like it's the lens that needs to be swapped.
Thanks for the help!
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Last edited by Photonz; 06-05-2014 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:59 AM #6
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

You wont be able to meter it accurately with the Radiant X4, if you can meter it at all the power will begin dropping too soon as it gets hot. I have this problem with a less powerful laser in a C6 that's about 1.5W. I am not convinced the Radiant X4 can even measure a 3W+ laser without burning the coating on the sensor. If anyone has done so please say so. I have the exact same laser as you Photonz (link in my sig) except I have a G2 lens, the twice I tried to measure it, it smoked the coating on the sensor in about 2 seconds. I guess I could be lucky and got a record powerful diode I don't know. The 1.5W doesn't even begin to compare to it.

Your lens is surely the issue, even if its not that efficient a diode, in the worst case you will surely get at least 2.5W with the G2.

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Old 06-05-2014, 04:36 AM #7
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

Quote:
You wont be able to meter it accurately with the Radiant X4, if you can meter it at all the power will begin dropping too soon as it gets hot. I have this problem with a less powerful laser in a C6 that's about 1.5W.
Slow response time in TEC based LPM's will always lead to error with lasers that have changing powers. Trevor did the math, check out this thread.
LPM Response Time - Who needs it?
Edit: and this post LPM Response Time - Who needs it?
That is the disadvantage of all TEC based LPM's, but they are the best thing we have without buying a professional radial thermopile like an Ophir head.

Quote:
I am not convinced the Radiant X4 can even measure a 3W+ laser without burning the coating on the sensor. If anyone has done so please say so.
I have, sensor is fine. You just have to unfocus the laser. Remember damaging the coating is not about the power applied, it depends on the power density. Greater area means lower power density.

Last edited by ARG; 06-05-2014 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:56 AM #8
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

I hadn't seen those threads. I hadn't known TEC LPM's can be so slow and inaccurate at times.
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:58 AM #9
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

Would actually make an interesting problem. The time rate change of the laser vs. the inaccuracy.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:08 AM #10
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

Thanks ARG for that info. That's very interesting about LPM response time. After a recent build I have become a fan of large finned heat sinks. My future builds will be mostly in larger hosts unless they are very low power.

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Old 06-05-2014, 05:26 AM #11
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Default Re: Only 1.8W from 3W Laser

Okay, here's what I came up with.



This is a rough logarithmic approximation using real data. On the y axis you have discrepancy between true power and LPM power. On the x axis you have the absolute value of the time rate change of the laser, how much the power changes in a second (mW/s)

At 250mW/s and greater you near 100% discrepancy, and at 100mW/s it's around 50% discrepancy.

So, in conclusion if your laser power is changing fast (small heatsink, or DPSS lasers) don't use a TEC based LPM. For measuring most lasers TEC based LPM's will perform within reason as this only becomes a problem in a few circumstances (such as this one) where the rate of change in the power is large.

Last edited by ARG; 06-05-2014 at 05:28 AM.
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