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Old 07-07-2013, 02:11 PM #1
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Talking Share your inexpensive builds thread

Decided to start this thread as I've had a lot of inquiries into my inexpensive builds and they are just too spread out all over the forums.
The point here is to show what can be done on the cheap with modules, hosts and pieces/parts you may have sitting around and are wondering what to do with them. It's also about how to have fun even though your "fun"ds are low.
I've already written a lengthy pen tutorial which goes hand in hand with keeping the expense level really low.
Every single one of the units you see here are made using 532nm as they are cheap and always impress those who have never seen one. Besides, the pen tutorial was almost all about 650 and 405nm so lets change it up a bit
As always, Safety is YOUR responsibility!
I do not sell lasers (and I have no interest in doing so). Occasionally I do give things away.
The units I build or own generally just go into cases. Sorry if that bothers some of you but that's the way it is

DON'T look at this as how many units I have, but for us all to share ideas and builds that don't kill the wallet. This is NOT the "Pete" show. Don't care how silly your unit looks or how many units you have. This is about keeping things light and FUN. Too much "heavy" going on in the forums sometimes. Take a break
The real reason why I've built these was to keep myself occupied as I have a very bad kidney issue, I'm in constant pain and on VERY strong pain meds and this has helped me cope by giving me a distraction so I'm not just thinking about how I feel. I can say that I have enjoyed it and my favorite color is green anyways. Seeing a laser beem never seems to get old for some reason.

Most of what is shown is from Fasttech (3V and 5V modules and the laser assemblies pulled out of their single AAA pens) including a bunch of the hosts.

Units < $10



The single AAA pens from Fasttech just painted so they are not white.


Between $10-$20


These are from stuff I had laying around or made from pieces/parts so hard to know what the cost was.



Between $20-$30





By the way, the number tags are the peak mw. I label for danger level. If it has a yellow label then it is at least 100mw. Almost every one of these units has <10% IR. Most of the laser labels are from Nick.
There are quite a few Jayrob pens and a couple have been cut down to run on a single 10440. Lots of Fasttech flashlights and a couple of Streamlight pens. Some of these builds were very easy and some were a major pain.

Yes, they go into cases. I don't pick up by the handle. Always kept flat.
There are modified pens and regular pens and other stuff in here (not just the ones I shared above). I have a couple other cases that don't go along with this thread


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*Jayrob Star Trek Phaser*
# of Lasers - ***
# of DTR/510 laser adapters *
# of eGo/510 mods **
# of Batteries - ***
Wavelengths - 405, 445, 447, 450, 455, 462, 464, 470, 473, 473+, <515, 515, 520, 532, 589, 635, 638, 650, 660, 685, 808, 830, 980
Projector - PD2
O-Like mini red/green to yellow module
Beam Expanders - Dragon Lasers 2x & 5x with universal adapters
LPM's - Modified AW TEC, Custom 6.8W+ Ophir
Datalogger - ARG
Chargers - Ultrafire WF139, (2) Xtar WP2, Nitecore i2, UM20, (3) i4, (2) D4 , Opus BTC-3400 V2.2
Phlatlights - Jayrob PT-54 green 1000lm maglight, PT-54 red project box build, (3) PT-54 red, (2) PT-54 orange (3) PT-121 red, (2) PT-121 blue, (1) PT-121 green project work in progress 5000lm (1) PT-121 green

Links:

**"Pen Laser Thread"**
"Post your pics of unique builds no-one else has"
"Make your way overspec $5 pen focusable"
"Share your inexpensive builds thread"
"Pman special"

Last edited by Pman; 07-07-2013 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:39 PM #2
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

I think you're getting out of hand with these pens! haha
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:23 PM #3
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

What would make you say that LOL
Keeping it fun and interesting and need something to do.


What I am about to say has NOTHING to do with the Speedy comment! Just want to clarify a bit of where I'm coming from.


Fully expect the "holy smokes what the heck are you going to do with all that stuff".
Realize some will take me for a poser but I just don't care. Building these things is giving me something interesting to do rather that focusing on pain.
Anyone thinking I'm trying to show off doesn't get me at all.
There are MANY members here that will attest to what I've done behind the scenes asking nothing in return.
Just trying to give back in some small way other than my monthly forum donations.
I'm not the only one here that is very edgy about selling fully functioning lasers (regardless of output). I prefer to show what you can do on your own. Anyone wanting to know more specifics concerning how I made a certain one or where I got certain parts I'll do my best to help.
I am VERY big into giving with NO strings attached. IF you can't give without some kind of return then I don't place much value on you. No, I am not rich. Just your standard middle class American with a wife and 2 "adult" kids. Have no interest in borrowing money or owing anyone anything. Life is simpler if you don't.

What I appreciate more on the forums than anything else is kindness although there have been MANY instances where I FULLY agree with mods stepping in or getting on someones case hard if they refuse to follow safety precautions or show no attempt to try and find information without doing at least some searches.

I could name MANY individuals here that go above and beyond regardless of whether we are talking buying/selling, welcoming new members, giving "extras", donating time/materials/advice/programming/testing etc..., tutorials, GB, or my favorite helping someone in real need. I won't name them because I would feel bad about missing some. I salute them all. You have my personal gratitude. And yes, thank you moderators and anyone who helps manage the site in any way.
Don't give til it hurts, give til it feels good (you will give way more than the former).
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*Jayrob Star Trek Phaser*
# of Lasers - ***
# of DTR/510 laser adapters *
# of eGo/510 mods **
# of Batteries - ***
Wavelengths - 405, 445, 447, 450, 455, 462, 464, 470, 473, 473+, <515, 515, 520, 532, 589, 635, 638, 650, 660, 685, 808, 830, 980
Projector - PD2
O-Like mini red/green to yellow module
Beam Expanders - Dragon Lasers 2x & 5x with universal adapters
LPM's - Modified AW TEC, Custom 6.8W+ Ophir
Datalogger - ARG
Chargers - Ultrafire WF139, (2) Xtar WP2, Nitecore i2, UM20, (3) i4, (2) D4 , Opus BTC-3400 V2.2
Phlatlights - Jayrob PT-54 green 1000lm maglight, PT-54 red project box build, (3) PT-54 red, (2) PT-54 orange (3) PT-121 red, (2) PT-121 blue, (1) PT-121 green project work in progress 5000lm (1) PT-121 green

Links:

**"Pen Laser Thread"**
"Post your pics of unique builds no-one else has"
"Make your way overspec $5 pen focusable"
"Share your inexpensive builds thread"
"Pman special"

Last edited by Pman; 07-07-2013 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:31 PM #4
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

I can attest to Pete and the "behind the scenes" statement. He has been a HUGE help to me and is deserving of much rep (when system allows buddy). Pete is a GREAT guy and i know i can always go to him with any laser pen related questions or problems. I am now more interested in building these "cheap" lasers due to his creativity and workmanship.

Side note; I couldnt agree more on giving back to this community and thats what sparked my interest in doing a giveaway next month and recently ive had an idea to make it more interesting. all i will say is a "dual giveaway" that will reward members who give to this community
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:30 PM #5
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

If it's a giveaway, count me in.

To head off a few questions, all the o-rings you see used are from Harbor Freight. The green ones are HNBR and are not GITD but look quite nice all the time. They cost a bit more than the black ones. The black ones come in SAE and Metric sizes. 205pc in a sorted box for the green and 225pc in a sorted box for the black. A lot of the springs I use come also from harbor freight presorted in a 200pc box. Lots of boxes and bags of all kinds of heat shrink tubing from them. Razor blades in a 100 pack. Really look around their place and you will find all kinds of goodies. All my larger cases came from them also and a couple were almost $20 when they had them on sale. They come with the foam pieces and some big dividers.
I fully admit to loving Fasttech. Awillis turned me on to them and I haven't looked back. Fantastic deals from modules to lasers, hosts to flashlights and batteries including genuine Panasonics. Extremely inexpensive dummy cells that they call "placeholders" for AAA and AA. Lots of little pieces parts too for the DIYer. Excellent customer service, faster shipping than most with full tracking and even a pic of your package before it is sent off. From what I've seen, shipping is free on every single item regardless of price.
Will guarantee you that others here will back me up with my Fasttech experience. Strongest recommendation. Don't even know who to compare them too for what they sell.
If you are interested in any of their lasers, I own all the pen ones but only one of the $20 ones (the (2) AAA ones. The only ones out of all those that I would stay away from are the solid red and green colored ones. They look nice but are your typical cheapo 532nm module that has high IR (I may remove their crap module and replace with the modules they sell. The rest of the units are very low IR (typically 10% or way less) and just like the modules, you never know what kind of output you are going to get. The pens and AA units ranged from a low of 52mw to some over 100mw. The 3V and 5V modules ranged from an unusually low 25mw (still VERY impressive as there was only 2% IR) to over 100mw. The single AAA pens ranged from 44mw to over 100mw. Would say that 1/2 to 2/3 of the modules (including the single AAA units) were adjustable for more output. Need to be especially careful about the really small modules from those pens though as the pot is VERY sensitive. I've learned the hard way to really pay close attention to what I'm doing. Good practice is to adjust with no power to the module and then take another reading (could get into more of how I do this if needed).
SAVE THOSE PIECES PARTS from failed builds or flashlights or whatever and sort them in containers for future use! Never know when you might need something or decide to make some weird freaky build.
Slowly start to buy switches and caps and buttons etc... with your orders and always be on the lookout at stores for things to put a module in.
Know what makes great paint? Finger nail polish. Lots of color choices including clear and it dries very quickly. You can also paint your toenails hot pink (you, not me)
Buy a few pairs of those cheapo glasses that magnify for close up reading.
Most of all, have fun! Remember that you don't have to mortgage your house to get into building things and if something goes wrong it's not the end of the world. Once you start getting into it, it's hard not to want to keep messing with stuff.
By the way, I absolutely appreciate the ore expensive builds and hosts that others offer. In no way does any of this steel their thunder. If anything, I hope it is a bridge to slowly get you into some more expensive builds and feel more confident about taking that kind of $ plunge. I would like nothing more than for my tutorials to help these guys sell more of their beautiful stuff. Jayrobs pens are only about $11 I think and are very nice pieces. Have bought at least 4 of them so far. Very quality feel to them.
Highly recommend Nicks labels for your builds also and he appreciates you posting pics of what you do with them. Best way to put them on that I've seen is first clean off the area with 91% isopropyl alcohol.
There have been others searching for great modules for builds such as Awillis and Wannaburn (forgive me guys, but I can't remember who else) and the Wallbuys ones are sometimes really great but are not cheap. The one I got was 133mw (supposed to be 200mw). Believe Awillis got a replacement for a bad one that was over 200mw. Hard to know whether to recommend them for over $30 a pop when you could get at least 6Fasttech ones. Either way, just know that there's great members out there trying to search and help us all willing to spend their $ for the common good.
I've said it before but this is a good place to repeat it. The only difference I've found between Fasttechs 3V and 5V 532nm modules are the length. Their 5V module is rated to take that kind of voltage but acts just like the 3V ones. You will not get more output running any higher a voltage into it than the 3V module. Just think of it as a more versatile 3V module.
That being said, I haven't had ANY failure issues with any of these modules unless I did something stupid.
The single AAA pens are nasty little units. Very small module and it already has a spring on it. Just keep in mind that is is case negative and only needs a 1.5V. It also does not like higher voltage than a standard alkaline (don't use a lithium). The output will drop with too much voltage significantly. This module draws twice the ma of the larger modules. IT gives you more mounting options plus a star cap. The chrome top is just threaded onto the module and you can easily spin it off to make the whole thing even smaller. If you pull the module out, you can use the alkaline battery that comes with it and can also remove the 2 magnets that hold the case shut. Also, if this module doesn't increase output with the slightest counterclockwise turn of the pot, don't take it any further as you can easily ruin it.
Wouldn't attempt to eyeball whether you have an increase in output messing with the pot. I use a variable DC power supply and my Ophir to see what's going on with the ma and mw and can control the voltage with precision. Can't keep testing with a battery that is slowly losing voltage and expect accurate results.
Honestly not trying to complicate things. Just putting out some helpful info.
Certainly not afiliated with any manufacturer or place that I buy from. Sure there's plenty of other places for consistent deals but I can only share what I know
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*Jayrob Star Trek Phaser*
# of Lasers - ***
# of DTR/510 laser adapters *
# of eGo/510 mods **
# of Batteries - ***
Wavelengths - 405, 445, 447, 450, 455, 462, 464, 470, 473, 473+, <515, 515, 520, 532, 589, 635, 638, 650, 660, 685, 808, 830, 980
Projector - PD2
O-Like mini red/green to yellow module
Beam Expanders - Dragon Lasers 2x & 5x with universal adapters
LPM's - Modified AW TEC, Custom 6.8W+ Ophir
Datalogger - ARG
Chargers - Ultrafire WF139, (2) Xtar WP2, Nitecore i2, UM20, (3) i4, (2) D4 , Opus BTC-3400 V2.2
Phlatlights - Jayrob PT-54 green 1000lm maglight, PT-54 red project box build, (3) PT-54 red, (2) PT-54 orange (3) PT-121 red, (2) PT-121 blue, (1) PT-121 green project work in progress 5000lm (1) PT-121 green

Links:

**"Pen Laser Thread"**
"Post your pics of unique builds no-one else has"
"Make your way overspec $5 pen focusable"
"Share your inexpensive builds thread"
"Pman special"

Last edited by Pman; 07-07-2013 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 07:47 PM #6
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

It might seem strange to some, that you have such a large number of laser builds, but not to me. I used to be into garage kit models and the Origami is similar I think.

It doesn't matter how many you have because it is the process which is exciting, not so much the final product, although that is important Each build represents a totally unique set of challenges, as well as a "living" record of that point in time and skill level. Each one is unique and has a bit of your "Life" that you gave it to exist. Like "children" in a way.

Now that may seem weird to some but that's always the way I've felt about my artwork whatever it may be.

I have been stuck/thinking about a particular challenge with my Streamlight build. Your two came out beautiful by the way.

My 405nm ebay pen diode sticks out because I kept the 2 AAA's in there. I have to insulate the diode from the host and the host is case negative, so a negative lead from the diode has to make contact with the host body at the head at the same time and not pop out, so I can't cap it or just glue it in.

This is if I don't bother and replace the 2 AAA's with a 10440 rechargeable I'm sending my 2 off though so it would be a delay and $ which is why I'm going with the AAA's for now.

I've thought about it off and on since I first started it the project. I have long term projects that I think about, and I slowly collect parts and check prices, plan.

Meditative projects "are" very good at distracting one from problems, discomforts. I can attest to that

Helping, sharing, caring is what Community/Family is about in my opinion. Nuff said

________________________________________

Edit...

Ebay 405nm pen $4-5 purchased in a lot of 10.

Streamlight Stylus Pro 2 AAA say $25 to $30 depending on where you get them.

________________________________________

Sounds Exciting LivingLoud




~ LB
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:22 PM #7
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

Pete, with the new idea im having, trust me you'd be in easy but ill PM you when I post it just incase you miss the thread. Hoping a bunch of members join when its posted. Knowing you though youd tear the flashlight apart and make a killer laser out of it. Trust me the prize would look killer as a laser
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Laser collection:
Blue & Black Marble Kryton Groove 445nm- 2.65W with 3 element lens, G2 untested
Polished Minisabre V2 462nm - 250mW
Red & Black Marble Kryton Groove 635nm- 500mW
Custom Titanium PL520- stable 80mW



M43vn, Crelant 7G2CS dedomed, Armytek Barracuda, SupBeam K40vn, SupBeam X40, Niwalker Vostro Mvn, Convoy C8 2015 version, Shadow SL3, Crelant 7G5CS, L3 L10, 2x 365nm UV Flashlights, Red P60 Dropin
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:51 PM #8
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

I have been doing too many "super quality center pieces" lately. I think a few budget builds are long overdue. I will see what parts I have at home tonight and throw something together. What are we classifying as inexpensive? <20? <30?
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:54 PM #9
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

Thanks guys. Exactly the kind of people I think "get it".

Here's another great guy. Wannaburn tries to help a lot. He also puts "extras" when he sends things out which I really like. Noticed that he has a lot of the same concerns as I do for the selling and edgy feeling about using his lasers (read your water/vacation post). When you asked if someone had any 10440 you can see why I ran out and why I had ordered more also. I should have pulled some from my units and offered them as not a single one had needed to be charged form the very first charge I gave them. (just didn't dawn on me at the time). In fact, I don't have a rechargeable lithium battery of any type that has been even "broken in" yet.
Believe me, It feels like a big relief getting to do some budget stuff for a change.
Inexpensive means whatever you think it personally does I guess. It's definitely not about buying a $100 host though. One of the groups of photos is with a bunch of old flashlight stuff or ones that I didn't care about using as a flashlight but I don't remember what I originally paid for them so I just stated that. If I wasn't using them or they were broken then they didn't have much value to me (Got enough flashlights and lasers are more interesting). Now they have more value to me as lasers and I don't want to take them apart anymore.
What I'm saying is it's kind of personal and hard to answer. You have a $500 dollar flashlight that doesn't work or you don't care about using as a light anymore then go for it and share it with us. Think minimal stress and fun.
Let's remember to have fun and not be so stressed out that something is going to go wrong or it's not absolutely perfect. Have plenty of really nice units to stress me out if they fail Those are in the other cases.
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Wavelengths - 405, 445, 447, 450, 455, 462, 464, 470, 473, 473+, <515, 515, 520, 532, 589, 635, 638, 650, 660, 685, 808, 830, 980
Projector - PD2
O-Like mini red/green to yellow module
Beam Expanders - Dragon Lasers 2x & 5x with universal adapters
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Chargers - Ultrafire WF139, (2) Xtar WP2, Nitecore i2, UM20, (3) i4, (2) D4 , Opus BTC-3400 V2.2
Phlatlights - Jayrob PT-54 green 1000lm maglight, PT-54 red project box build, (3) PT-54 red, (2) PT-54 orange (3) PT-121 red, (2) PT-121 blue, (1) PT-121 green project work in progress 5000lm (1) PT-121 green

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Old 07-07-2013, 08:57 PM #10
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

Of all my lasers my 15$ chrome 20mW 405 pen gets the most use!
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Old 07-07-2013, 09:30 PM #11
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

See, that's what I'm talking about Speedy. I use my lower output units 100 times more than my "showpieces". I know I keep using the word "fun", but I bet that most of us get more and more edgy the higher the output and the more the expense. I don't like taking out my really powerful or expensive units as it's just too easy to get into trouble regardless of whether you are following every rule and safety precaution or not.
All it takes is one wrong person to see it and you could be in for a nightmare. It is a rare occasion that I bring one of mine outdoors but if I do, it's one that was purchased and not built so I can say I bought it from "here" like anyone could. I occasionally give a 532nm away but only one that was bought from Amazon or ebay etc... and tell them that if someone asks, that's where it came from (which is true).
Don't mean to sound overly paranoid but I live in a neighborhood where the houses are pretty close together so I've got to be extra careful. Remember that I have 2 more full cases.

I did +REP you Speedy but couldn't do it yet to any of the rest of you but that just means that I've done it recently (proving that I really do give it to those who deserve it).

Don't tell anyone but I had "fun" this morning chasing around an ant that got in the house with one of my focusable 405nm pens that I have out in the open just for such an occasion.
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O-Like mini red/green to yellow module
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:12 AM #12
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

This was my first ever build. Very nostalgic haha. Here are some pictures. And if you ever hear jokes about a ground screw....this is where it started....three years ago.









Not the screw in the last picture. Radioshack guy told me I needed to use a screw or something on the third pin of the switch as a ground. I believed him. Recently my girlfriend told me her pillow was made out of polar bear pelt....yeah I am gullible as fuck lol. Anyway, that build cost me 20 bucks.
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:24 AM #13
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

Hahaha What did people say about the screw?
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405nm Lazerer Polished Rifle 688mW
445nm Kryton Groove 1.6W~Sinner 3.3W
450nm Guidesman 1.2W
457.9nm ML Argon
473nm PL-E Pro 15mW
476.5nm ML Argon
488nm Uniphase Multi-Line Argon 48mW/73mW in current control;
496.5nm ML Argon
501.7nm ML Argon
514.5nm ML Argon
532nm SkyRay King Gre3n 35mW/60mW/70mW~Phobos Fasttech 70mW~Optotronics RPL-500 450mW~JetLasers Ti B 170mW
543.5nm Bare tube HeNe ~3mW (Nightstand lamp)
632.8nm Bare tube HeNe ~3mW~Bare tube HeNe Multimode 12mW (Desk Lamp)
638nm Mrcrouse Custom 650mW
658nm wannaburnstuff baby shower gift? 127mW
808nm Coherent CCP 10W

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Old 07-08-2013, 01:34 AM #14
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaminpyro
Good job on your first build
I was wondering, what is the screw doing there connected to the power switch ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benm
I like the rocket launch switch

That screw is one of the most bizarre things i've ever seen - what on earth is that good for? It looks like its powered up when you turn the laser off, but not connected to anything - mystery decoy component?!
Quote:
Originally Posted by starkey480
whats the screw for??
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnar
It is the earth screw.
Quote:
Originally Posted by weeba2kv
lmao @ earth screw
I thought it was the lightning catch device for a pulse of 800MW
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnar
Just a random drunken thought. When man colonizes Mars, what will they call the earth pin?

If you want to read the entire thread it is HERE. you can also find it through my "Compendium of build Threads".


And then the joke continued in THIS thread here not nearly as long ago as my original build.




Needless to say it has been something I have happily not lived down.

Cheers,
Isaac
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:14 AM #15
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

Great Isaac and thanks for posting Got to admit it is pretty funny.
Kind of goes along with a sign that I would like that would say "DANGER, 10,000 OHMS!".

Keep them coming guys! Practically everyone has stuff they can toss in here. Put up as many as you want. It will just make it more fun/interesting for all of us. Bet SBA has some "things" he could toss in along with the rest of you even if you already put it up somewhere else.
Also, if you have a great source for consistently good pieces parts toss that info. in here also. Wasn't trying to make this into a big Fasttech or Harbor Freight push. They are just places that have consistently worked out for me with little to no issues so I feel confident about recommending them to others.
For instance, what other places does anyone get hosts/flashlights from for builds? Could be anything from a dollar store to a giant wholesaler.

I couldn't reveal this before but whoever posted a pic first was going to receive $20 of whatever they want from Fasttech (doesn't have to be laser related).
So Isaac, take a look at their site (ton of stuff) and get me your mailing info. so we can take care of it ASAP unless you want to wait to choose. Probably easiest if you get their part numbers. If the amount goes slightly over that's OK. Will use code BLF to get 5% off.

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# of Lasers - ***
# of DTR/510 laser adapters *
# of eGo/510 mods **
# of Batteries - ***
Wavelengths - 405, 445, 447, 450, 455, 462, 464, 470, 473, 473+, <515, 515, 520, 532, 589, 635, 638, 650, 660, 685, 808, 830, 980
Projector - PD2
O-Like mini red/green to yellow module
Beam Expanders - Dragon Lasers 2x & 5x with universal adapters
LPM's - Modified AW TEC, Custom 6.8W+ Ophir
Datalogger - ARG
Chargers - Ultrafire WF139, (2) Xtar WP2, Nitecore i2, UM20, (3) i4, (2) D4 , Opus BTC-3400 V2.2
Phlatlights - Jayrob PT-54 green 1000lm maglight, PT-54 red project box build, (3) PT-54 red, (2) PT-54 orange (3) PT-121 red, (2) PT-121 blue, (1) PT-121 green project work in progress 5000lm (1) PT-121 green

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"Make your way overspec $5 pen focusable"
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:21 PM #16
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Default Re: Share your inexpensive builds thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pman View Post
What would make you say that LOL
Keeping it fun and interesting and need something to do.


What I am about to say has NOTHING to do with the Speedy comment! Just want to clarify a bit of where I'm coming from.


Fully expect the "holy smokes what the heck are you going to do with all that stuff".
Realize some will take me for a poser but I just don't care. Building these things is giving me something interesting to do rather that focusing on pain.
Anyone thinking I'm trying to show off doesn't get me at all.
There are MANY members here that will attest to what I've done behind the scenes asking nothing in return.
Just trying to give back in some small way other than my monthly forum donations.
I'm not the only one here that is very edgy about selling fully functioning lasers (regardless of output). I prefer to show what you can do on your own. Anyone wanting to know more specifics concerning how I made a certain one or where I got certain parts I'll do my best to help.
I am VERY big into giving with NO strings attached. IF you can't give without some kind of return then I don't place much value on you. No, I am not rich. Just your standard middle class American with a wife and 2 "adult" kids. Have no interest in borrowing money or owing anyone anything. Life is simpler if you don't.

What I appreciate more on the forums than anything else is kindness although there have been MANY instances where I FULLY agree with mods stepping in or getting on someones case hard if they refuse to follow safety precautions or show no attempt to try and find information without doing at least some searches.

I could name MANY individuals here that go above and beyond regardless of whether we are talking buying/selling, welcoming new members, giving "extras", donating time/materials/advice/programming/testing etc..., tutorials, GB, or my favorite helping someone in real need. I won't name them because I would feel bad about missing some. I salute them all. You have my personal gratitude. And yes, thank you moderators and anyone who helps manage the site in any way.
Don't give til it hurts, give til it feels good (you will give way more than the former).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pman View Post
If it's a giveaway, count me in.

To head off a few questions, all the o-rings you see used are from Harbor Freight. The green ones are HNBR and are not GITD but look quite nice all the time. They cost a bit more than the black ones. The black ones come in SAE and Metric sizes. 205pc in a sorted box for the green and 225pc in a sorted box for the black. A lot of the springs I use come also from harbor freight presorted in a 200pc box. Lots of boxes and bags of all kinds of heat shrink tubing from them. Razor blades in a 100 pack. Really look around their place and you will find all kinds of goodies. All my larger cases came from them also and a couple were almost $20 when they had them on sale. They come with the foam pieces and some big dividers.
I fully admit to loving Fasttech. Awillis turned me on to them and I haven't looked back. Fantastic deals from modules to lasers, hosts to flashlights and batteries including genuine Panasonics. Extremely inexpensive dummy cells that they call "placeholders" for AAA and AA. Lots of little pieces parts too for the DIYer. Excellent customer service, faster shipping than most with full tracking and even a pic of your package before it is sent off. From what I've seen, shipping is free on every single item regardless of price.
Will guarantee you that others here will back me up with my Fasttech experience. Strongest recommendation. Don't even know who to compare them too for what they sell.
If you are interested in any of their lasers, I own all the pen ones but only one of the $20 ones (the (2) AAA ones. The only ones out of all those that I would stay away from are the solid red and green colored ones. They look nice but are your typical cheapo 532nm module that has high IR (I may remove their crap module and replace with the modules they sell. The rest of the units are very low IR (typically 10% or way less) and just like the modules, you never know what kind of output you are going to get. The pens and AA units ranged from a low of 52mw to some over 100mw. The 3V and 5V modules ranged from an unusually low 25mw (still VERY impressive as there was only 2% IR) to over 100mw. The single AAA pens ranged from 44mw to over 100mw. Would say that 1/2 to 2/3 of the modules (including the single AAA units) were adjustable for more output. Need to be especially careful about the really small modules from those pens though as the pot is VERY sensitive. I've learned the hard way to really pay close attention to what I'm doing. Good practice is to adjust with no power to the module and then take another reading (could get into more of how I do this if needed).
SAVE THOSE PIECES PARTS from failed builds or flashlights or whatever and sort them in containers for future use! Never know when you might need something or decide to make some weird freaky build.
Slowly start to buy switches and caps and buttons etc... with your orders and always be on the lookout at stores for things to put a module in.
Know what makes great paint? Finger nail polish. Lots of color choices including clear and it dries very quickly. You can also paint your toenails hot pink (you, not me)
Buy a few pairs of those cheapo glasses that magnify for close up reading.
Most of all, have fun! Remember that you don't have to mortgage your house to get into building things and if something goes wrong it's not the end of the world. Once you start getting into it, it's hard not to want to keep messing with stuff.
By the way, I absolutely appreciate the ore expensive builds and hosts that others offer. In no way does any of this steel their thunder. If anything, I hope it is a bridge to slowly get you into some more expensive builds and feel more confident about taking that kind of $ plunge. I would like nothing more than for my tutorials to help these guys sell more of their beautiful stuff. Jayrobs pens are only about $11 I think and are very nice pieces. Have bought at least 4 of them so far. Very quality feel to them.
Highly recommend Nicks labels for your builds also and he appreciates you posting pics of what you do with them. Best way to put them on that I've seen is first clean off the area with 91% isopropyl alcohol.
There have been others searching for great modules for builds such as Awillis and Wannaburn (forgive me guys, but I can't remember who else) and the Wallbuys ones are sometimes really great but are not cheap. The one I got was 133mw (supposed to be 200mw). Believe Awillis got a replacement for a bad one that was over 200mw. Hard to know whether to recommend them for over $30 a pop when you could get at least 6Fasttech ones. Either way, just know that there's great members out there trying to search and help us all willing to spend their $ for the common good.
I've said it before but this is a good place to repeat it. The only difference I've found between Fasttechs 3V and 5V 532nm modules are the length. Their 5V module is rated to take that kind of voltage but acts just like the 3V ones. You will not get more output running any higher a voltage into it than the 3V module. Just think of it as a more versatile 3V module.
That being said, I haven't had ANY failure issues with any of these modules unless I did something stupid.
The single AAA pens are nasty little units. Very small module and it already has a spring on it. Just keep in mind that is is case negative and only needs a 1.5V. It also does not like higher voltage than a standard alkaline (don't use a lithium). The output will drop with too much voltage significantly. This module draws twice the ma of the larger modules. IT gives you more mounting options plus a star cap. The chrome top is just threaded onto the module and you can easily spin it off to make the whole thing even smaller. If you pull the module out, you can use the alkaline battery that comes with it and can also remove the 2 magnets that hold the case shut. Also, if this module doesn't increase output with the slightest counterclockwise turn of the pot, don't take it any further as you can easily ruin it.
Wouldn't attempt to eyeball whether you have an increase in output messing with the pot. I use a variable DC power supply and my Ophir to see what's going on with the ma and mw and can control the voltage with precision. Can't keep testing with a battery that is slowly losing voltage and expect accurate results.
Honestly not trying to complicate things. Just putting out some helpful info.
Certainly not afiliated with any manufacturer or place that I buy from. Sure there's plenty of other places for consistent deals but I can only share what I know
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pman View Post
Thanks guys. Exactly the kind of people I think "get it".

Here's another great guy. Wannaburn tries to help a lot. He also puts "extras" when he sends things out which I really like. Noticed that he has a lot of the same concerns as I do for the selling and edgy feeling about using his lasers (read your water/vacation post). When you asked if someone had any 10440 you can see why I ran out and why I had ordered more also. I should have pulled some from my units and offered them as not a single one had needed to be charged form the very first charge I gave them. (just didn't dawn on me at the time). In fact, I don't have a rechargeable lithium battery of any type that has been even "broken in" yet.
Believe me, It feels like a big relief getting to do some budget stuff for a change.
Inexpensive means whatever you think it personally does I guess. It's definitely not about buying a $100 host though. One of the groups of photos is with a bunch of old flashlight stuff or ones that I didn't care about using as a flashlight but I don't remember what I originally paid for them so I just stated that. If I wasn't using them or they were broken then they didn't have much value to me (Got enough flashlights and lasers are more interesting). Now they have more value to me as lasers and I don't want to take them apart anymore.
What I'm saying is it's kind of personal and hard to answer. You have a $500 dollar flashlight that doesn't work or you don't care about using as a light anymore then go for it and share it with us. Think minimal stress and fun.
Let's remember to have fun and not be so stressed out that something is going to go wrong or it's not absolutely perfect. Have plenty of really nice units to stress me out if they fail Those are in the other cases.


In the past when I was trolled by the self professed king of trolls on this site I posted this same kinda statement in rebuking his behavior towards me. He had no passion for the hobby it was just a outlet for his lack of social skills, well unless you could relate to the drug underground social scene, but I digress and you summed it up very nicely.

I feel your in good company as many of the newly sighed up members here are very true grass root builders and tinkerers that's IMHO . I'm proud to see that many here are cut from the same cloth and the saying the cream rises to the top seems to be just as true in our hobby. I see some creative styling in these builds, sure they aren't the machinist dream builds, or are they the greatest electrical wired wonders, but they are worthy of idea sharing and great to look at for folks like me.

I have many of my builds in the same category as these builds, HF host and o-rings. I have always considered myself in the league of building lasers that you can use daily, you know pocket carry, sure I have plenty of the "safe queens" as well, but as a builder for example I like my Home Depot isolated module build. Why? because it was just as challenging to build as my Dry 9mm, being plastic the hard part was to get that ground path to the diode, took some time to engineer out.

In closing, I also think that as a whole the build process is just as fun as the final product:

1. The conception (what host, what diode, what battery arrangement, research setting to diode, driver setting ect...).
2. The parts scavenging (where to get the parts, arrival timelines).
3. The build (time needed to put the unit together, build problem troubleshooting, build habit protocols).
4. The documentation of the build (taking pics for fellow LPF's to see during certain
points of the build, making sure the pics are worthy of the build, recording settings mA, LPM... ect).
5. The posting of the build... sure this is not always necessary, but what better way to have a 1st birthday, heck we even name these things.
6. The makeup (stickers, polishing up things, posing it for final shots before posting, finding it a place among it's brethren).

I will be sending you a friends request as well as rep incoming, stay building my friend and thank you for sharing
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