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Old 02-05-2012, 09:52 AM #1
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Default Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

I'd like some advice on how to build 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers. They'll be initially used with a lumia wheel to light up the sides of a 33 foot tall obelisk at an art festival. After the festival they'll be re-housed in portable hosts and given to the funders of the project.

To get an idea of what's planned you can take a look at the video that accompanied my art grant proposal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC5FL6sqoLU. I was awarded a partial grant so I need to get creative with the funding.

My current thinking is to buy:

6 x pre-wired diodes housed in Aixiz housings with a glass lens from DTR. 4 will be used for the project, 1 for backup and 1 for the example laser pointer (and further backup).

6 x Cajun Lasers Mohgasm 1.62A drivers. I'd use LM350s, except I intend to reuse these in the pointers.

1 x Cajun Lasers Guidesman laser host and heat sink for the sample pointer.

I'm plannning on heat sinking the diodes and drivers while they're in the art piece using old aluminium PC heat sinks, similar to flaminpyro's example. Do you think this will be enough for continuous duty? I'm really concerned about them oveheating and dying. I'll also install a PC fan to blow air over them.

Are there any reasonably priced hosts out there that I could use for continuous duty? Would save me having to re-house them.

I need to add a 60 degree line generator lens to each of these lasers. I've used plastic Aixiz line generating lenses in the past but apparently they'll melt with a watt or more going through them. Do they make glass line generators like the plastic ones or do I need to use a Powell lens? Any idea where I can get 4 of them reasonably priced?

Finally, I've also been considering putting in 4 green lasers in addition to the blue ones. I see DX has some "200mw" modules 200mW 532nm Green Laser Module (3V 11.9mm) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme. Anyone used them? If I heatsink them with CPU heatsinks can I use them for permanent duty?

Thanks in advance for the advice.


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Old 02-05-2012, 10:04 AM #2
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

You wont find any handheld host for continuous duty for a 1W diode.

If you find some good high mass PC heatsinks with attached fans it should run everything you want (modules/diodes).

And make sure to hand out goggles with the pointers.

Last edited by Tech_Junkie; 02-05-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:38 PM #3
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

I would think that the large finned PC heat sinks with active cooling should be okay for 1W.
Aren't these diodes run at 700mA inside the projectors? If so, we could probably get away with running it at 1A

however, 700mW would be more then enough for making lines so it's entirely up to you.

You may want to think about investing in the copper module head at aixiz.com/store

the drivers will also have to be heat sinked at 1.62A. I normally use 1/8" flat aluminum cut into small squared and glue them to the driver with arctic silver.
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:49 PM #4
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech_Junkie View Post
You wont find any handheld host for continuous duty for a 1W diode.
Yeah, it was a bit hopeful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech_Junkie View Post
And make sure to hand out goggles with the pointers.
Thanks for the reminder, will do

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohrenberg View Post
however, 700mW would be more then enough for making lines so it's entirely up to you.
Each laser has to illuminate around 10 square meters (it's at night, not much moon and in the desert). I really want to get the most out of each laser but without risking burnout.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohrenberg View Post
You may want to think about investing in the copper module head at aixiz.com/store
I just saw those today. Do you think they're worth it? They're 5 times the price of the regular ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohrenberg View Post
the drivers will also have to be heat sinked at 1.62A. I normally use 1/8" flat aluminum cut into small squared and glue them to the driver with arctic silver.
I was planning on sticking them to the same heat sink the module was embedded in. Sound okay? I'll add some arctic silver to my shopping list, thanks.

Do you think it'll be okay to run these diodes at 1.62A continuously, assuming they're heat sinked properly?
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:29 PM #5
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

Olike (as well as some others) sell a decent "lab style" 1W 445nm module. It may be your best bet for the display project. I may ultimately be cheaper in the long run to just buy ready made modules for this type of project.

O-like also sells the glass cylindrical lenses for generating lines.

However, 1W of 445nm through a cylindrical lens, then through your lumina wheels, may be a bit weak to illuminate a 10meter tall structure.

Another idea would be to mount them inside the structure, angled up to illuminate from the inside. This way you would not have to worry about potential eye damage to on-lookers.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:16 PM #6
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sputnik77 View Post
Olike (as well as some others) sell a decent "lab style" 1W 445nm module. It may be your best bet for the display project. I may ultimately be cheaper in the long run to just buy ready made modules for this type of project.

O-like also sells the glass cylindrical lenses for generating lines.
I spoke with Suzie from O-Like. Apparently they use the acrylic lenses in their line generators. She said they haven't had problems with them, but also says their module "can not be used for long time every time".

Nothing beats practical experimentation, so I ran about 1W of 445nm through an Aixiz 90 degree acrylic line generator for around 40 minutes. The acrylic was cool to the touch, as was the Aixiz housing. The CPU heatsink is probably overkill.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sputnik77 View Post
However, 1W of 445nm through a cylindrical lens, then through your lumina wheels, may be a bit weak to illuminate a 10meter tall structure.

Another idea would be to mount them inside the structure, angled up to illuminate from the inside. This way you would not have to worry about potential eye damage to on-lookers.
Yes, this is what I planned originally, but the pattern isn't as aesthetic as when it's projected from the outside.
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:30 AM #7
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

Here's a video of the first test run of one of the lumias: Find Yourself - first laser lumia wheel test - YouTube
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:28 PM #8
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

Nice clean Acrylic mechanical build...

I really like the effect on the wall.....


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Old 03-20-2012, 07:04 PM #9
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

What did you end up using as a line generator?

It looks like arctic fire. Really nice.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:23 PM #10
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

Very cool looking. Nice job.
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:48 PM #11
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

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What did you end up using as a line generator?

It looks like arctic fire. Really nice.
Just the regular acrylic line generators. They seem to do fine. I'm ordering a backup set from Aixiz just in case, though

Thanks for the complements, folks.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:27 PM #12
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

Nice .. I heard line laser effect in Aliens (which used probably some argon laser with scanner) was one of the more expensive effects in the movie. And now you can do something very similar on your table.
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Old 03-23-2012, 12:50 PM #13
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

Gotta love progress.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:54 AM #14
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

What motor are you using here?
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:57 PM #15
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

Everything went remarkably well, considering. We had dust storms, hail storms, wind storms that flattened tents. Amazingly all 16 home made lasers seemed to work out okay.

Here's one of my favourite photos of the obelisk:


And here are a couple of videos where you can see the lumia effect through a line generator:
Find Yourself; The lumia show. - YouTube
Find Yourself Up Close - YouTube

Finally the Facebook page if you want more: "Find Yourself" at AfrikaBurn 2012 | Facebook

Thanks to everyone for their advice. It was a fun journey
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:25 PM #16
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Default Re: Advice on building 4 x 445nm continuous duty line generating lasers

That is amazing, I'm glad to hear that everything worked out and I hope the new owners of the lasers have protective eyewear.
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