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Old 12-22-2013, 03:56 AM #1
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Default Help with my first (and most likely last) build

Hey all,

So I came here looking for a purple laz0r that had a good beam. I've come out looking for a 445nm single-mode laser between 100mW-1W. I have a good idea of how a laser works and all the terminology involved, but I don't know all that much about which exact driver to buy/what is compatible with what ect.

I'm fine with soldering parts together because I may solder things in future projects (I don't even have a soldering iron) but I don't really want to buy a diode press for something I'm only going to do once. So basically I'm looking for a 445nm highish power diode that's been pre-assembled and a compatible driver to go with it. I'm thinking of buying from here because you can't really go wrong with DTR but I just wanted to get some thoughts/information first before I started sinking money into this thing


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Old 12-22-2013, 05:36 AM #2
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

Unfortunately the M140 diode you have linked isn't single mode, the only single mode ~445nm blue diode i know of is the PL450B here: LINK

As for a host and heat-sink just find something you like that is easy to assemble for a first build.

The driver you will need for it will vary depending on whether the build uses one or two batteries if you use Lithium Ion cells, for one cell you will need a Boost type driver and for two you will need a Buck type driver or possibly a Linear.
You will also need to make sure the driver will fit in whatever host you choose as well as provide the proper current for the diode.
DTR's site carries a few different driver's and has links to a few others as well.

You will also need safety glasses to block the ~445nm wavelength range to protect your eyes from the laser. There are many threads here on LPF that cover safety glasses.

Also if you haven't already done so you should read the stickies in the Safety & Legal section


As for soldering, i recommend to practice on some spare circuit boards or parts first so you don't do like i did when i started out and accidentally kill a diode and driver. Thankfully it was a phr-803t blu-ray diode and only cost $15 in 2009 but it could have been a lot worse.

Building your own lasers can be very rewarding but be warned that it is very addictive

Just make sure you read up on some of the builds fellow laserists here have done and also read into safe laser habits and you should be fine.
It seems like a lot at first but after a build or two it will almost come to you on it's own.
Good luck and welcome to the hobby/lifestyle.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:09 AM #3
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

For soldering, flux is a must and will make even the worst solder'er decent. A 5 year old can make a good connection with flux I suggest a C6 build since they are cheap and easier to do. I have numerous C6 heatsinks in all sorts of colors if you need one. Heck I have 10 different color hosts too but I was saving those for my projects.
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Blue & Black Marble Kryton Groove 445nm- 2.65W with 3 element lens, G2 untested
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:20 AM #4
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

^^^^ true, flux most certainly helps, and for a first build as Livinloud mentioned, a c6 is definitely a good choice.

+rep Livinloud if i can for mentioning flux, i'm tired and in trying to cover most of the basics forgot the all important flux...
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:33 AM #5
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDeviation View Post
Unfortunately the M140 diode you have linked isn't single mode, the only single mode ~445nm blue diode i know of is the PL450B here: LINK

As for a host and heat-sink just find something you like that is easy to assemble for a first build.

The driver you will need for it will vary depending on whether the build uses one or two batteries if you use Lithium Ion cells, for one cell you will need a Boost type driver and for two you will need a Buck type driver or possibly a Linear.
You will also need to make sure the driver will fit in whatever host you choose as well as provide the proper current for the diode.
DTR's site carries a few different driver's and has links to a few others as well.

You will also need safety glasses to block the ~445nm wavelength range to protect your eyes from the laser. There are many threads here on LPF that cover safety glasses.

Also if you haven't already done so you should read the stickies in the Safety & Legal section


As for soldering, i recommend to practice on some spare circuit boards or parts first so you don't do like i did when i started out and accidentally kill a diode and driver. Thankfully it was a phr-803t blu-ray diode and only cost $15 in 2009 but it could have been a lot worse.

Building your own lasers can be very rewarding but be warned that it is very addictive

Just make sure you read up on some of the builds fellow laserists here have done and also read into safe laser habits and you should be fine.
It seems like a lot at first but after a build or two it will almost come to you on it's own.
Good luck and welcome to the hobby/lifestyle.
Hey, the only real reason I want a single-mode is for a better looking beam. The shape of the dot doesn't actually bother me all that much, so is it then still logical to get the PL450B?

I have already read all of the safety and law stickies on this site, but thankyou for making sure I didn't make any mistakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livinloud View Post
For soldering, flux is a must and will make even the worst solder'er decent. A 5 year old can make a good connection with flux I suggest a C6 build since they are cheap and easier to do. I have numerous C6 heatsinks in all sorts of colors if you need one. Heck I have 10 different color hosts too but I was saving those for my projects.
Thanks, I'll look into getting some flux with my soldering iron! I have been considering C6 because they seem to be compatible with most builds (plus easier to put together) but I'm still yet to find any hosts that really appeal to me. I'll keep looking Also, thankyou for the offer on the heatsinks! We'll see how I go


So if I buy any of those modules off DTR's site all I'll need to do is solder it onto a driver and then drop it into a heatsink and its ready to go? Obviously I'll need to connect it to the case body ect. to close the circuit but is that basically all I need?

Last edited by Calcifer; 12-22-2013 at 06:35 AM.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:15 PM #6
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

If you buy the diode with the leads then yes you need to solder it to the driver leads. What I do is strip about 1/4 on both leads and then hold them in a "x" crossing. Twist the wires over each other really tight and then place in a pair fo helping hand (dont forget to put heat shrink on one of the wires first or you'll have to take them aprt again). Slab the flux on, I mean get a good layer. Put some flux on the iron and then add some solder to the iron. Touch tje solder to the flux anf the wire and boom the flux does all tje work and you get a perfect joint. Slide the het shribk over the joint and shrink it. Easy as eating cake!
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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



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Old 12-22-2013, 07:38 PM #7
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

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Originally Posted by Calcifer View Post
Hey, the only real reason I want a single-mode is for a better looking beam. The shape of the dot doesn't actually bother me all that much, so is it then still logical to get the PL450B?
That choice is completely personal preference. At least with my M140 build which uses the 3 element lens, the beam in the night sky doesn't look that bad but definitely isn't anywhere close to round. At the aperture, the beam starts out about 2 and a half times as wide as it is thick and then at ~50 feet it is definitely more of a line than a dot.

So in the end, if you are just after raw power you could go with the M140, or you could go with the PL450B for the single-mode and less divergent beam.
I have also found i really can't use my M140 build indoors without problems such as stuff across the room wanting to burn and ignite.
If I could go back to when I bought the parts for my laser knowing what I know now, I would go with the PL450B for the nicer dot but then again I'm content seeing ~1mW of 633 from my He-Ne as well.

In the end it is pure personal preference on which to go with...

Maybe someone with experience with both diodes could chip in here?
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:38 PM #8
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livinloud View Post
If you buy the diode with the leads then yes you need to solder it to the driver leads. What I do is strip about 1/4 on both leads and then hold them in a "x" crossing. Twist the wires over each other really tight and then place in a pair fo helping hand (dont forget to put heat shrink on one of the wires first or you'll have to take them aprt again). Slab the flux on, I mean get a good layer. Put some flux on the iron and then add some solder to the iron. Touch tje solder to the flux anf the wire and boom the flux does all tje work and you get a perfect joint. Slide the het shribk over the joint and shrink it. Easy as eating cake!
Okay this is starting to sound possible for me! I'll get to work on deciding on a host


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDeviation View Post
That choice is completely personal preference. At least with my M140 build which uses the 3 element lens, the beam in the night sky doesn't look that bad but definitely isn't anywhere close to round. At the aperture, the beam starts out about 2 and a half times as wide as it is thick and then at ~50 feet it is definitely more of a line than a dot.

So in the end, if you are just after raw power you could go with the M140, or you could go with the PL450B for the single-mode and less divergent beam.
I have also found i really can't use my M140 build indoors without problems such as stuff across the room wanting to burn and ignite.
If I could go back to when I bought the parts for my laser knowing what I know now, I would go with the PL450B for the nicer dot but then again I'm content seeing ~1mW of 633 from my He-Ne as well.

In the end it is pure personal preference on which to go with...

Maybe someone with experience with both diodes could chip in here?
It really sounds like Ill want the PL450B. I'm less interested in burning stuff and more in just having a really magnificent beam at night that looks really really tight and thin. If I do get it to be ~1W then I'll be able to burn stuff at a close distance anyway so I'm pretty much decided on a diode now, thankyou so much for your help


I will now go looking around for a C6 host that I like and report back for driver specifics and such
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:59 PM #9
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

if you do decide to go with a c6, i have a heatsink you can use for it. it's a bit scratched, but i'd polish it for you For a c6, you'll want a round driver btw
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:07 PM #10
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

Quote:
Originally Posted by NKO29 View Post
if you do decide to go with a c6, i have a heatsink you can use for it. it's a bit scratched, but i'd polish it for you For a c6, you'll want a round driver btw
Ahh thankyou so much for the offer! All you guys are so generous I'm gonna go start looking at hosts right now
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:59 PM #11
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

Can any of you guys confirm that this flashlight does in fact come with the 'Ultrafire' logo on it? Because I've seen threads about the other C6 that has 'no logo' but actually comes with a CREE logo

EDIT: Turns out it does, just found a video of one with the logo briefly flashed

Last edited by Calcifer; 12-22-2013 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Answered my own question xD
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:00 PM #12
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

get this: C6 DIY Cree LED Flashlight Full Casing/Shell with Driver Pill (2*CR123A/1*18650) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme
EDIT: if you dont want the logo :P
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:21 PM #13
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

Alrighty well I'm basically set on getting the Ultrafire. So now onto the question of the best module for the PL450B.. Once again going for a single, one-size clean beam, with burning power not being a major concern. From what I've read so far the G2 is better for burning but the Three-Element lens gives the best looking beam? Any confirmations on this?
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Old 12-23-2013, 02:59 AM #14
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

Remember that the PL450B is a 120mW single mode diode so you won't be able to burn much stuff with it. You can squeeze a little more power out of it with a G2 lens but IMO, the price of getting a little more power is not worth it.

If burning is not a concern then you can just use an acrylic lens instead. You will get a slightly lower output but the dot will be cleaner than the glass lens.

You can get a microboost soldered on or you can get a buck driver from DX along with your host.
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Old 12-23-2013, 03:33 AM #15
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

The solder I use has a flux core..
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:11 AM #16
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Default Re: Help with my first (and most likely last) build

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Remember that the PL450B is a 120mW single mode diode so you won't be able to burn much stuff with it. You can squeeze a little more power out of it with a G2 lens but IMO, the price of getting a little more power is not worth it.

If burning is not a concern then you can just use an acrylic lens instead. You will get a slightly lower output but the dot will be cleaner than the glass lens.

You can get a microboost soldered on or you can get a buck driver from DX along with your host.
Well yeah I just want a really clean beam and I'm willing to sacrifice burning power for beam quality, as long as the beam will be really visible from all viewing angles at night. If I really want to be able to burn stuff later I may come back and make another laser but that'll be a few months down the track if ever What are the specific differences between an acrylic lens and a Three-Element/G2?
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