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Old 10-24-2010, 04:07 AM #1
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Cool Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

I decided to google my username today, and stumbled across some threads involving 445nm diodes from two years ago. Thought I'd share them with you.

In this thread I discover an eBay seller flogging some weird diodes using some obscure and costly technology to achieve much more power than was normal at the time. They cost thousands of dollars per diode. I was astonished at the very possibility of 445nm diodes existing.

In this thread
Daguin finds a supplier of exotic diodes, and tries to see if their prices beat harvesting playstation3 sleds for their 5-15mW 405nm diodes (we were excited at the time that we found a source of ps3 sleds for $50 each). Dave asks about their 445nm diodes and is given a price of $4830/ea for their 50mW model, or $6638/ea for their 500mW model, minimum order 10 diodes.

Now here I am buying 1000mW 445nm diodes for $40, only 2 years later. Makes you think.

(Also makes you tremble in fear to think of the 10kW gamma wave lasers our kids will have in their holograph players, available for $20 in a group buy.)


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Old 10-24-2010, 02:04 PM #2
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

Well 10kW lasers will at least need a bit better battery. IMHO next to follow would be primary green diodes. 200mW green lasers for $40 .. and who knows, maybe even multimode green. And those 445nm are still extremely expensive because we have to buy whole projector to extract them, their real price must be under $10.
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:31 PM #3
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

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And those 445nm are still extremely expensive because we have to buy whole projector to extract them, their real price must be under $10.
Nah. $600 for 24 diodes isn't expensive at all. As I just pointed out, that projector would have cost $160,000.00 only two years ago, and the diodes would only be 500mW, not ~1500mW. People are often willing to pay more than $600 for a single diode, so these projectors are a steal.

I'm sure if you tried to buy the diodes by themselves, they'd be at least $100 each. They wouldn't come down to $10 each unless you were buying ten million at a time.

Anyways, whatever. 3 cheers for gallium!
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:43 PM #4
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

Yes .. what you say is just that we can't buy the diodes for their real price. By expansive I mean we pay for them more then they really cost.
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Old 10-24-2010, 06:42 PM #5
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

No, their real price is actually hundreds of dollars each. That's their *REAL PRICE*. If you buy one or ten at a time, they cost hundreds of dollars still.

The only reason we can get them for $40 is because Sanyo made tens of millions of them for use in projectors. If you want a million, they're $20 each, if you want 100,000 of them they're $80 each. If you want 1000 of them they're $200 each, etc etc etc. Those numbers are made up, but the point is THE REAL PRICE is still much, much, much higher than $40 each. That's like saying it's a shame we can't get corn for the "real price", which is currently $200 per ton. Well, that's just because you personally, probably never buy a hundred tons at a time.

Anyways, we've still come a long way in a short period of time, no matter how you look at it. That's all I was trying to say.

(PS: Expansive means large. Expensive means costly.)
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:48 AM #6
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

It's certainly lucky that we get high power visible for much less than could otherwise happen. It changed the hobby overnight.
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:38 AM #7
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

Lobster where the hell have you been??
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:00 AM #8
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

Nostalgia? I worked with Toshiba providing independent testing of their TOLD series 670 nm laser diodes (gain and index guided) around about 1989. I used the tried and true LM317 as a current regulator with an initial separate current shunt to create a soft turn-on and soft turn-off to help eliminate the thermal stress across the laser die causing premature failure and permitting the diode to be pushed harder. I showed Toshiba how their two-transistor constant output power regulator could go unstable and destroy the laser diode. The first laser pointer I sold was a 8 mW (from a 5mW TOLD index guided) 670 nm run from a 9 volt battery/LM317 in a pill bottle gun housing for $70. The second was a 12 mW (5mW TOLD index guided 2nd gen) 670 in a flashlight case sold to a multi-millionaire for $200. This guy was having an olympic sized indoor pool installed in his mansion and he hired a painter to paint a mural on the ceiling. He used the laser pointer to show the artist where he wanted certain items painted on the ceiling.

I would give Toshiba special operational parameters, and they would search their lots to give me what I wanted.

Toshiba would supply me with new generations of laser diodes to test and provide feedback. I still have 635 nm laser diodes in the 5.6mm package that they gave me and I told them the package was too small and would never catch on - I ate my words on this one.

I check in here time-to-time to see that bad-ass stuff you pioneers (yes pioneers!) are doing.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:02 AM #9
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

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Lobster where the hell have you been??
Long story. You prolly won't read about it for another week or two. It involves an incredibly attractive girl moving in with me, having, err, relations, with said roommate, finding out roommate has a boyfriend, boyfriend getting upset, some awkward drama, me kicking roommate out of house, me paying full rent for 3 months without a roommate, blowing all my savings paying $1500/mo, and not having any money to play with lasers. That's the gist of it anyway.

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Nostalgia? I worked with Toshiba providing independent testing of their TOLD series 670 nm laser diodes (gain and index guided) around about 1989. [...]
Now THAT is fascinating to me. You should post more.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:05 PM #10
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

I signed up in the middle of the 445nm craze and was fascinated with diodes being pushed to almost 2W output.... I wonder what I will see in a year?
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:59 AM #11
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

i remember my very first blu ray, i paid $50 and waited over two weeks in the
mail for a simple 10mW of 405nm laser light. I had a total geek fit when i
powered it on for the first time and was blown away by the color. good times......
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Old 10-28-2010, 05:57 AM #12
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Default Re: Ahh, nostalgia... How far we've come.

I wonder if we'll have single-mode, multi-Watt lasers within the next two years?
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