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Old 09-26-2009, 04:21 PM #1
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Post Take me to driver school

I have been reading about the different drivers that are available. However, I have not seen any threads that show a comparison and selection guide for what driver to use when (blu ray builds).

I plan on starting with cheap diodes for practicing on setting current and going through the process of soldering and putting together a simple DIY kit. Just getting into the hobby and want to start out with the basics before I go full on and start blowing money on expensive diodes.

I already have an Igor T build in the process to hold me off on having a high powered laser for now. I have read through the info on the rkster driver and the v4 driver. However, I am still confused as to why they are different or why one might be better than the other. Also what other drivers are available that would be on par with the rkster driver and the v4 flex?

I already have a Weller soldering station that I bought long ago for R/C stuff that I no longer do. Therefore, I have the equipment and skill. I just lack the full picture of the technical details of what components to use when.

The other question I have is a reference I keep seeing in threads about making sure to short, or ground out the diode or the driver or something like that before any contact with the diode and the driver to prevent static discharge. I am still unclear as to exactly what this means.

Thank you for your help ahead of time.


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Old 09-26-2009, 04:52 PM #2
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Default Re: Take me to driver school

The rkcster driver is a constant current driver... similar the the DDL DIY driver
all over the forum.
It requires aprox. 2 volt more on the input than the drivers output voltage.

The V4 Flexdrive is a boost driver... it cam take 3 volts on the input and produce
a higher output voltage...

The type of driver is your choice and depends on how many of what type of
batteries that will fit into your host.

There is usually a despiking/filter cap across the output of the Driver...
If you connect a LD to the output of a recently used driver... the output
capacitor could possibly still hold a charge...
The inrush of the energy (when you make electrical contact to the driver)
could blow your LD... as many new members have round out the hard way..

BTW... All of this info has already been posted in many threads on the Forum...


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Last edited by lasersbee; 09-27-2009 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:12 PM #3
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Default Re: Take me to driver school

Thank you Lasersbee, that was very helpful. What I gather then is that if you have small batteries / small host then you need the boost driver. Then if you have larger batteries and larger host then the constant current driver would be better. Also now that I know that there is a capacitor on the drivers, the discharge idea makes much more sense. Being that a capacitor is a mini storage device for charges of electricity. So you basically need to discharge the charged capacitor or it will short the diode during assembly.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:01 PM #4
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Default Re: Take me to driver school

It's not about the size of the battery, it's about the voltage you can provide with your batteries. If you can provide more voltage than the laser diode's forward voltage, use the voltage regulator (rkcstr) driver, if you can only provide less (and at a maximum, 5V), use the boost (flex) driver.
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