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Old 05-09-2012, 07:35 AM #1
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Default Lasers in series?

Hello all,

Is it safe to power 2 of the same lasers, say, 2 LPC 826's or the new 3.8mm diodes in series with an adjustable power supply? The current through both diodes should be the same and the voltage would just be doubled? Correct if I'm wrong please.


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Old 05-09-2012, 07:37 AM #2
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

Correct, though make sure your power supply has current limiting and doesn't give large voltage spikes on turn on/off or adjusting.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:42 AM #3
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

Well I have YIHUA 302D adjustable DC power supply - Detailed info for YIHUA 302D adjustable DC power supply,adjustable power supply,YIHUA 302D adjustable DC power supply,YIHUA 302D on Alibaba.com this power supply. I've been using it to power 445nm M140 diodes and they've been fine so far. Also, I've heard that the new 3.8mm red diodes are fairly resistant to voltage spikes. Is that right?
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:04 AM #4
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

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Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
Hello all,

Is it safe to power 2 of the same lasers, say, 2 LPC 826's or the new 3.8mm diodes in series with an adjustable power supply? The current through both diodes should be the same and the voltage would just be doubled? Correct if I'm wrong please.
The problem when you connect 2 diodes in series is that the 2 leakage reverse currents could be not the same and the blocking voltages of the 2 diodes could be very different. You can see this problem explained here.
If your driver or power supply has negative spikes you can destroy the diodes because these spikes could exceed the maximum reverse voltage allowed.
One solution is to use balancing resistors but, to be effective, you must choose their values so that the current across the resistor is at least 10 times the leakage reverse current of the diodes and you have some power loss.
Another solution is to place a fast schottky diode in antiparallel with each one laser diode. This limits the reverse voltage at a safer value of 0.4V.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:36 AM #5
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

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Originally Posted by laserluke View Post
... If your driver or power supply has negative spikes you can destroy the diodes because these spikes could exceed the maximum reverse voltage allowed.


This holds true for single diode setups, too. Don't use a pissy driver and there's nothing to worry about, sir.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:50 AM #6
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

Um, anyone know if the M140 diodes are more resistant to backvoltage than red diodes or the other way around? I've been using this powersupply on them and it works fine.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:58 AM #7
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

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Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post

This holds true for single diode setups, too. Don't use a pissy driver and there's nothing to worry about, sir.
You should think that when you are using two diodes in series the driver's output voltage is double to maintain the same current and so the spikes are larger. Without a proper balancing, one diode could see a larger spike than the other, sir.
Moreover, when you deal with diodes, a little voltage noise becomes a large current noise because of the exponential I-V diode curve (when forward biased a small change in the voltage produces a large change in the current).

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Old 05-10-2012, 04:53 PM #8
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

You seem to be forgetting... we use drivers that aren't a heap of imitation penile warts. There are no spikes to worry about. They're called constant current drivers because they keep the current constant, and they sure as hell don't reverse-bias the diodes.
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Old 05-11-2012, 04:16 AM #9
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
This holds true for single diode setups, too. Don't use a pissy driver and there's nothing to worry about, sir.
Quote:
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You seem to be forgetting... we use drivers that aren't a heap of imitation penile warts. There are no spikes to worry about. They're called constant current drivers because they keep the current constant, and they sure as hell don't reverse-bias the diodes.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:34 AM #10
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

To answer the question, yes the current flow has to be the same through the diodes if they are in series.

The PSU has to provide enough voltage to overcome the combined forward voltage. The voltage drop across each will vary from diode to diode though.

Without getting involved in the above argument, yes if you have a lab PSU which spikes on startup it can be bad, but most of the good diode drivers don't have this issue.
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:23 PM #11
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

Speaking of diodes in series, just finished these



Be careful when dealing with red lasers though, they are case negative!
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:03 AM #12
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Default Re: Lasers in series?

Is that for a laser harp project Things?
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