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Old 06-27-2010, 09:11 PM #1
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Default Kit for getting started with BD lasers

Hi guys,

I've managed to get my sticky little mitts on a KES-400 Blu-Ray reader assembly that got "a little wet". Apparently it was posted in a paper envelope and the postman very kindly left it in a puddle. A friend gave me it on the basis that "there's no way the mail service will admit culpability and I don't want to put it in a customer's PS3 even if it does work". So now it's mine

I've even got a neat project idea. I've already got a laser scanner assembly from an old HP LaserJet III, and what I'd like to do is replace the existing IRLD with the BD diode, tweak the optics and constant-current circuit a little, and use it to make up a homebrew photo-paper printer (photographic paper, i.e. silver-halide, has a peak sensitivity in the blue-green range; it's almost completely insensitive to red and IR). Think of it as a poor man's Fuji Frontier...

So anyway. I know about the safety issues involved in driving these little beasties, and that reflections off a "conveniently located and forgotten about" chunk of metal can cause (at the very least) spots-before-the-eyes, and at most permanent blindness in at least one eye. "DANGER: Big Scary Laser. Do NOT Look Into Beam With Remaining Eye."

(I also have some questions about optics -- specifically if my BD laser is going to produce a more circular spot than my red-light 5mW cheapies which quite frankly produce more of a line than a spot, and whether I'll be able to get that spot down to the ~0.08mm necessary to do a 300DPI print... but that's for later )

I want to have a play with the scanner and BD laser myself, but I'd like to keep what's left of my vision intact (I'm already long-sighted, and nowhere near 20:20 even with corrective lenses, I don't need any more visual "issues"). So, onto the questions:

Obviously I need protective goggles. I've seen such things on Dealextreme and Ebay, but there's a niggling voice in the back of my head saying a $10 pair of laser goggles probably isn't going to work very well. And there are so many variants... What should I be looking for if I want to safely work with a KES-400 LD?
Obviously I'm not going to be downright stupid and, say, look right into the beampath while the PSU is live -- I wouldn't be putting my eye within several feet without a shorting link across the PSU output, the AC input plug pulled, and the main switch well and truly OFF.

Next up -- power meters. I've heard of the Coherent Lasercheck, but there is no way my student budget is going to stretch to something that the local testgear dealers want 400 for uncalibrated (and then another 150 to calibrate it)... Are there any "almost as good" alternatives that I might consider?
Bonus points for anything that has a UK or European distributor, saves messing around with import duties and such.

Apologies if I sound like a "n00b" -- it's probably because I am
But everyone's got to start somewhere, right?

Thanks,
Phil.


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