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Old 12-02-2011, 07:28 PM #1
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Question Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

I apologize if this has already been covered somewhere I have not yet looked.

I have seen a number of posts talking about de-canning laser diodes, but not much said about the actual process.

I have a number of LDs laying around (mostly 445s and 405s) that have damaged cans or windows that I would like to try de-canning to possibly make use of them. However, it looks like it could be quite a tricky and delicate process.

Would anyone with experience in doing this care to share any tips, techniques, pitfalls, stories of success/failure, or other wisdom?

Thanks.


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Old 12-02-2011, 08:15 PM #2
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

There are tools make specifically for decanning diodes, but given their cost and how rarely they might be used, i would bet only a handful of memebers here have them.

Ive decanned a couple diodes already with great sucess using a process i saw another member do. Put the diode in the chuck of a drill, lathe or what have you and spin it up while using a blade to slowly cut around the base of the can.

Some more daring members have even gone so far as to use the cut off wheel on a dremel to slice off the can of a diode held in a vise
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:19 PM #3
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

Yea that was me. I will say this method turns some heads but I have not lost one yet doing it this way.

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Here is what I did today. I loaded up an A140 diode in my dewalt drill and spun it while putting a serrated knife from the underside for leverage and popped the diode can right off. I just wanted to see if I can get more power out of a decanned one. Only one flaw in my plan. I did not LPM it before doing it but I will see when I get some new hosts what I get out of it.






It came right off. No fuss.





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Old 12-02-2011, 08:20 PM #4
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

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Some more daring members have even gone so far as to use the cut off wheel on a dremel to slice off the can of a diode held in a vise
If I did that there would be no diode left!
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:20 PM #5
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

I assume that the idea is to weaken the metal, but not actually penetrate it with the blade (and thus not contaminate the semiconductor with metal dust), yes?

I suppose I should just try it. I have some that are truly dead that I could use for practice.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:21 PM #6
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

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If I did that there would be no diode left!
I have also used the I method posted above but instead of a serrated knife using a dremel with a cutting wheel as well. Works great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogart View Post
I assume that the idea is to weaken the metal, but not actually penetrate it with the blade (and thus not contaminate the semiconductor with metal dust), yes?

I suppose I should just try it. I have some that are truly dead that I could use for practice.
That is not a bad idea.

Last edited by DTR; 12-02-2011 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:30 PM #7
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

I did the "Dremel method", but I wouldn't recommend it. Chance of success is slim. I do like the rotating drill method, much cleaner cut.

More pictures here, Pictures of decanned 445nm diode.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:20 AM #8
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

I've used DTR's drill/knife method and it works great!
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:33 PM #9
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

Thorlabs.com - WR1 Can Opener For Laser Diodes

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Old 12-06-2011, 02:57 PM #10
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

Well, the drill method worked pretty well for me. I used a single-edged razor blade to make the cut.

I first practiced on a 445 that was LED'd, and it still lit up afterward.

Then I did the same on a 445 that had a smudged/scratched window. Beforehand I measured 890mW from it. Afterward it measured 1150mW.

I notice now that the beam does not collimate as well as it did with the can in place. I guess I should have expected that since the can is no longer there to contain the light that spills out to the sides.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:02 PM #11
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

I don't see how it would affect how well it collimates the beam.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:05 PM #12
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

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Originally Posted by DTR View Post
I don't see how it would affect how well it collimates the beam.
Well, maybe collimation wasn't the right term to use.

You know how the beam from a common 445 will tend to diverge more than one from a single-mode LDs due to it's larger emitter?

Removing the can seems to increase that effect a good bit.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:43 AM #13
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogart View Post
Well, maybe collimation wasn't the right term to use.

You know how the beam from a common 445 will tend to diverge more than one from a single-mode LDs due to it's larger emitter?

Removing the can seems to increase that effect a good bit.
I've never noticed a difference. However, the diodes I decan usually have something which affects divergence quality anyway; such as a cracked window or smudge. So, I suppose I'm always happy since the result is better than what I started with.
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148mw 405nm/GGW in my "Hotlight-Saber" host
1920mw 445nm River Rock custom
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:48 AM #14
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogart View Post
Well, maybe collimation wasn't the right term to use.

You know how the beam from a common 445 will tend to diverge more than one from a single-mode LDs due to it's larger emitter?

Removing the can seems to increase that effect a good bit.
I've never noticed a difference. However, the diodes I decan usually have something which affects divergence quality anyway; such as a cracked window or smudge. So, I suppose I'm always happy since the result is better than what I started with.
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Would you like to purchase some M-140 445nm diodes (individual or pressed into Aixiz or pure copper module) at very reasonable prices? PM me if you are interested!

My laser list has become way too big; I'm listing some of my favorites out of my extensive collection.
615mw 405nm/12X Spiderfire X-03
148mw 405nm/GGW in my "Hotlight-Saber" host
1920mw 445nm River Rock custom
1530mw 445nm Yobresal
1360mw 445nm Qumefox Sipik
800mw 445nm WL Arctic Spyder S3
240mw 473nm CNI Labby
8mw 473nm CNI Labby
528mw 532nm Lazerer Cannon
310mw 532nm Firedragon III
300mw 532nm CNI Labby
180mw 532nm SKY Laser
4x 147-267mw 532nm Waterproof
900mw 635nm in Temporary Finned Labby Sink
Several 635nm diodes awaiting a build
500mw 650nm Dual LPC-826 Labby
251mw 650nm/LPC-815 Ultrafire U-501B
Several 685nm diodes awaiting a build
3W 808nm diode awaiting build

Kenometer w/ Coherent Thermopile 10W
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Old 03-28-2014, 11:14 PM #15
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

Since this was posted I am wondering if anyone has measured the output difference on the new 9mm 445's before and after decanning? I am about to decan one I damaged by allowing a back reflection into the emitter. Looks like it literally melted about 1/3 of the emitter when viewing the un-collimated projection onto the wall. I want to see what happened and if it is visible. I was also going to measure the output before and after but then remembered my LaserBee is a 2.5 and it is still likely that it is running beyond 2.5w.
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Old 04-07-2014, 04:45 PM #16
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Default Re: Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

I am considering de canning one of the 9mm 450 diodes, is there any reason to do this other than the described above?
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