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Old 06-26-2010, 11:11 PM #1
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Default Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Hey all,

I'm completely new to the laser scene. However, I do have experience wiring and building arcade sticks and controllers for gaming consoles, so I'm not completely incompetent.

I studied Rog8811's guide on how to build a laser into the Zippo lighter, and I understand where all the connections and pieces go.

I do have a few questions regarding the build. If you have some answers or ideas, I'd appreciate it if you chimed in!

1. Is the aluminum mount/heatsink a required component? This is the only part of the build that I don't feel completely comfortable doing, just because I've never done it before. Would it be possible to just epoxy the module directly onto the wind-breaker metal piece on the lighter, or would this cause problems for the laser (overheating, etc)? Are aluminum blocks just readily available at hardware stores?

2. Is it required that I use the Aixiz module, or would the front and lens of the O-Like BluRay Module w/5.6mm glass lens work for this build? ( http://www.*****************.com/sho...?id_product=22 )

Thanks in advance!



Edit:

http://www.rog8811.com/laserlighter.htm

That's the build I'm looking at. Thanks Morgan!



Last edited by ffoxxttrott; 06-26-2010 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:25 PM #2
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Which zippo build are you looking at? I think I know the one but Rog did more than that one zippo build do you have a link?

M
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:29 PM #3
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Ah yes sorry I should have been more specific. I'm looking at this one:

Laser lighter - It can be done
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:57 PM #4
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Okay, I thought so. The very first thing that should be said is that it is against every principle of laser safety to be pointing a laser anywhere near your face to be doing things like lighting cigarettes! Rog did get some flak for this if I remember correctly. Also as far as I remember all the parts were bespoke produced by Rog himself so you are going to have to solve the technicalities for this one yourself I'm afraid as Rog is the only one who knows for sure what was used. He is a skilled engineer and has the tools and equipment to do this too.

If this is your first laser build I would strongly suggest you work up to a project like this. You really need to understand your components in their simplest form first and then get creative. I'm not trying to put you off in the slightest and you are completely free to attempt anything you desire, merely my suggestion.

Have you done much reading on this site or anywhere else? Check out the, "tutorials", section to find out the basics and read, read, read.

Help is on offer to those who try to find out first so use the, "Search", button to do some trawling and ask some refined questions.

I'm sorry if that's not a huge help but Rog's zippo was a pretty unique build and not much is known by others. I'm sure you will find some creative solutions though. Innovation is a great thing and we love to see it here. We also love photos!

Good luck and keep your eyes safe.

M
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:17 AM #5
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Haha yeah I definitely don't intend to use it as a lighter. I'm just looking for something fun and challenging to build, and I also just very recently started getting into lasers.

I've definitely been spending a lot of my days recently reading up and I'm starting to have a good understanding of the components and how they get wired up etc. I'm just hoping to find out if the Module I mentioned was usable because I'd need it to fit in the lighter casing, and also whether or not the aluminum heat sink is absolutely necessary.

Thanks for your help, and also for your concern, Morgan!
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:27 AM #6
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Since you want to buy the module whole, rather than putting it together I'd suggest this:

HighTechDealZ - 405nm Aixiz Rkcstr Blu-Ray 100mA Laser (PHR803T) Module

It's a PHR diode, puts out about 90mW at 405nm, which is absorbed well by most colours so should light the cigarette. If you want a little more power you can go with his GGW build. The shop is owned by a guy on here and is trustworthy.

As for the heatsink, you could get away with not using it but you would have to keep duty cycles on the laser to around 10-15 seconds on 30 seconds off, to keep heat produced by the diode low. You could ask someone like Flaminpyro, Ehgemus or jayrob to see if they could put together an aluminium heatsink for you.

I think this project is going to be a bit of a wing it and see what happens, you may have to find your own way of putting it together, depending on which way works best for you

Gl, remember to keep us updated, maybe post a little build log
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:08 PM #7
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Wow, thank you so much Asherz!

That diode, driver, and module you linked to on HighTechDealZ is everything I'm looking to buy, only with the convenience of not having to extract or press the diode! Very nice.

I think I'll make a make-shift heat sink if I can find a block of aluminum. Also, you're right I'll have to wing it a little bit, but I do have a plan in mind now that I got these questions ironed out!

You have all been very helpful! Thanks a bunch.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:52 PM #8
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Quote:
Originally Posted by ffoxxttrott View Post
Wow, thank you so much Asherz!

That diode, driver, and module you linked to on HighTechDealZ is everything I'm looking to buy, only with the convenience of not having to extract or press the diode! Very nice.

I think I'll make a make-shift heat sink if I can find a block of aluminum. Also, you're right I'll have to wing it a little bit, but I do have a plan in mind now that I got these questions ironed out!

You have all been very helpful! Thanks a bunch.
More than welcome, good luck with your project.

If you do feel like testing the lighter, make sure you keep it away from your eyes and get your self a pair of these:

Laser Glasses - UV to Green Lasers Protection 190-548nm :: Laser Safety :: Dragon Lasers

They'll protect from UV-blue-cyan-green, and all the colours in between

They arn't that pricey and will keep your only pair of eyes nice and safe, they work well, I've had my pair over a year now.

Other trusted hobby laser sites btw are:

stonetek.org
hightechdealz.com
modwerx.com
(someone mention if I've missed one)

a more main stream but still trusted chinese store is o-like.com, the owner is very nice and most of the lasers are over spec. The customer service is good too
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:49 AM #9
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Those are nice safety glasses! Is there any other place that sells them? Those seem to ship from a different country, and shipping costs almost as much as the glasses do! ($20). I'll still buy them if they aren't available anywhere else, though I was looking at the O-Like safety glasses but they seem to only protect from a few wavelengths.

I got all my non-laser parts bought today. Finished grinding out the inside of the lighter to remove the pesky flint tube (which was plasticked into the lighter). The size of the lighter surprised me; made me realize exactly how small everything will be.

Also bought a small aluminum heat-sink from RadioShack... but I don't think it will be of much use since I don't have the means to be shaping it. What if I made a brass heat sink with the brass sheet I bought? Though it would be very thin.

Waiting on my laser parts, pushbuttons, and batteries to arrive.

I wish I could post pictures for a build-log but I don't have a camera!!! =(
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Old 06-30-2010, 04:52 AM #10
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

One more question...

Does anyone know if the metal inside on the Zippo lighter is conductive? The brass that contacts the negative of the battery will also be contacting the inner lighter. Not sure if I need to insulate the inside or not.
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:03 AM #11
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

All metals are conductive. Not quite sure what you're asking here. If it helps, the case of the diode is floating and doesn't form part of the electrical circuit unless you want it to, (supposing you're using a BR diode), so as long as you isolate the driver and battery conductors you should be ok. Think about your electrical circuit and come back to us.

M
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Old 06-30-2010, 05:47 AM #12
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

The diode, positive battery contact, and driver are isolated, as you stated.

http://www.rog8811.com/batteries%20in01.jpg

(Picture from Rog's build)

As seen in the picture, the brass that he uses to make the negative spring bar touches the brass on the bottom, which goes back up to the driver where a wire is soldered to the brass and onto the negative return on the driver.

I think the brass on the bottom also comes in contact with the case of the lighter which is metal. Will this have an affect on the circuit? (Unless it actually doesn't contact the metal on the lighter and I'm just confused.) But I'm thinking that because the case and brass would technically contact the negative end of the battery, it would just act like part of the ground... just making sure though.

Sorry if this was confusing. I'll rephrase this if needed.

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Old 07-01-2010, 12:36 AM #13
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

If I understand correctly and as long as the driver/diode are isolated then you should be ok. It looks like the zippo case is just being used as a conductor. As long as the driver +ve only contacts the +ve end of the batteries via a momentary switch in series then this is fine. As the BR diodes are floating case then direct contact with the zippo case via the module should not matter in this build. Just be sure you don't accidentally bridge the case pin to either of the +ve or -ve pins when soldering the diode.

Does that answer your question?

M
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:04 AM #14
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

I've built this lighter and was less then impressed with it.
Unless you sharpied the end of your cig. it takes forever to light. Way to long of duty cycle for the very small heat-sink it has.
Also, you have to be taking a drag on the cig. for it to light. Way to close to my eyes for comfort.
Putting on a pair of goggles just to light a cig. is a wasted effort, IMHO
A very dangerous and complex project,(for a beginner)

But if you have your heart set on it, I wish you the best of luck!
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:08 AM #15
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Yes Morgan, thank you that helps a bit.

But then this brings up another point of confusion for me... why does Rog bridge his Case and Negative pins on the laser?

"Solder a pair of wires to the LD (solder the neg pin and the case pin to the same wire to make the laser negative earth)"
http://www.rog8811.com/Case%20earth.jpg

@GreenMechanic - Yeah I understand the build is quite complex, but I also won't be using it to actually light stuff. Maybe some paper or something for amusement. But I just find the lighter housing to be the coolest.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:07 AM #16
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Default Re: Rog8811's Zippo Lighter Build - Some Questions Before I Start

Alright I've got all my questions and complexities figured out.

A little update:

While testing my circuit on the laser, I accidentally killed my diode because I didn't discharge the capacitor when connecting the leads, after having powered the driver without a load.... oops. This happened a few days ago. I've reordered another diode.

In the mean time, I've finished the housing. The batteries, driver outputting at 115mA, power button, and everything is all set, fitted, and finished, using the dead diode/aixiz module to shape the lighter case. There's just two wires sticking out of the middle of the lighter ready to accept a new diode!

I did things very similarly to Rog's build, except that I didn't use Veroboard. The wires going from the diode to driver won't have a veroboard between them, but I did use a tiny piece of circuit board to put the power button on. Also the diode and module will be pointing straight up, and the module will be stuck straight onto the wind breaking metal with thermal epoxy to help conduct heat, and I'll attach a tiny heat sink to the module made out of fan-shaped brass sheet metal to hopefully help it a little bit.

I'm excited to get my new diode in soon, though I'll be going out of town for 10 days so I won't be able to finish it until I get back. My only concern now is that it doesn't have a very good heat sink but hopefully my setup will suffice... maybe I could even try shaping thermal epoxy over the module in hopes of creating a bigger heat sink?

Anyways, thank you all for all your help! I might post a picture up in several weeks when I get a hold of a digital camera, but it's probably not that exciting since its been done before.

Oh yeah, and I also bought those laser safety glasses that Asherz suggested. They won't be here for a while, so maybe it was a good thing that I killed my first diode so that I didn't risk blinding myself testing the laser while waiting for it to arrive.

Last edited by ffoxxttrott; 07-08-2010 at 10:16 AM.
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