Old 12-18-2011, 05:15 AM #1
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Default Amazon 10mW 405nm pointer burnout

So, about 8 months back I picked up a 10mW 405nm pointer from Amazon.com for around $10. It looked like a generic NewWish pointer. I had always assumed it was a 50mW diode being underdriven, seeing as I've never seen any real low power 405 diodes around.

Anyway, I didn't use it much until about a week ago, when our cat started coming in for the winter. She loves to chase it around when in the mood. So, I gave it to my wife to play with our cat. No issues for about a week, but when I wen't to use it today, it was rather dim. I changed batteries to no avail.

Well, you know what's next.... I opened it up. Standard press fit cap and all. What surprised me was the fact that there was NO heatsink of any kind! The diode was in a pressfit module which was really no larger than what was needed to hold the collimation lens, and that module was screwed in to a plastic housing which held it in the newwish host case. The positive lead wasn't even soldered on anywhere... it was just a bare wire that pressed up against the inside of the tube against the plastic housing. After about 15sec on the diode was up to 115F.

Well, now I know why it burned out... we had no idea the duty cycle of it, and we just figured if it ever got warm to turn it off. Well, it never got warm! I know why now! Hah, no thermal connection to the host, that's great!

Anyway, you get what you pay for, heh. I will be replacing this with a Lazerer 100mW Classic#405 in the new year.


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Old 12-18-2011, 05:51 AM #2
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Default Re: Amazon 10mW 405nm pointer burnout

Strange. I've got one like that. I accidentally left it on until the batteries died (put a box on top of it) and it still works fine.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:35 PM #3
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Default Re: Amazon 10mW 405nm pointer burnout

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigurthr View Post
... ... So, I gave it to my wife to play with our cat.
... ... I will be replacing this with a Lazerer 100mW Classic#405 in the new year.
2 things wrong here.

1) 100mw is way too strong to play with a cat, unless you want to have to get the cat a seeing eye dog... Cats' eyes gather 6 times more light that ours' do. That 100mw would appear as a 500mw+ laser to a cat.
You should also try to find one that is IR filtered.

You REALLY need to stick to a nice 5mw-ish power. Color doesn't really matter much, as while cats CAN see colors, they eyes are more sensitive to brightness than colors.


And more importantly:

2) NEVER give the wife a reason to like your hobbies, because then they become - like almost everything else in your life - marital property.
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Old 12-18-2011, 06:29 PM #4
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Default Re: Amazon 10mW 405nm pointer burnout

Haha, I would NOT be letting my wife use a 100mW laser! Cat or no cat, I am not going to risk her eyes! (even if she decided to use them herself, it would be MY fault if she got injured, any married man knows that!).

I've got a 5mW greenie (WL Core) that is our cat's new play toy. I have been thinking of picking up a cheap 635 or 650 that is actually 5mW though, as I think my core is overspec and probably leaking some IR.

As for #2... well too late for that, haha. At least she hates my Ham radio stuff. She wasn't interested in my lasers at all until the blue and violet ones came out (blue is her favorite color). I'm not concerned though, if she ever decided to leave me, a couple hundred bucks of lasers would be the least of my problems. I have a couple grand in radio equipment and a couple grand in musical instruments - they'd be my first priority, lol. Thankfully (luckily) she adores me still even after 5yrs of marriage, and 10yrs of being together, so I think my stuff is safe.
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