Old 06-22-2010, 12:14 PM #1
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Default How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

I woke up one morning and decided to rip apart my old DVD witer just to see what they put in it these days. When looking at (and being fascinated by) the small optics with all the mirrors and what not, I realized that it might be a good fun and quick project to try use the laser diode in my little laser module salvaged from broken ultrasonic tape measure thingy. Quick research shed light on what I should and should not do and... there she is. I must say the beam is now much more powerful. I have not tried to burn stuff on its focal point (meh, not really interested) but I guess it might be possible. My primary goal was to have focal point in infinity and do some wicked photography experiments.
Few things I want to say before you hit the reply button:
1. I am safety conscious person and I know more about 'laser safety' then about lasers them selves.
2. I have no idea what are the specs on anything I used. The driver is just small circuit with two smd transistors (regulators?) and even the original diode had different pinout.
3. I have not measured anything. I dont know how much current is being drown in this setup and the only way I got to have the power I'm getting now, was simply stepping up on input voltage. Ended up at 5 volts to my satisfaction with output power.
4. I don't care too much if I'm feeding the diode over its sustainable limits because I'm having fun and I can get another one from another DVD drive.

So check out some photos:
Attached Thumbnails
How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode-img_0101x.jpg   How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode-img_0020x.jpg   How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode-img_0015x.jpg   How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode-img_0115x.jpg   How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode-img_0118x.jpg  

How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode-img_0121x.jpg   How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode-img_0126x.jpg  


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Old 06-22-2010, 12:38 PM #2
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

Nice work!

We've all seen green beams, but a red beam? Truly amazing.
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:40 PM #3
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

Brilliant photos! You've nailed the exposure in each shot. Do you have plans to build any blue lasers?
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:44 PM #4
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

Nice innovation skills. How long on average do you run it at a time?
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:48 PM #5
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

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Do you have plans to build any blue lasers?
Thanks mate, I sure do want to build more pointers. I am just reading some other threads about blue diodes and I like it so far. Truly fascinating projects..

PS I can get mechanically damaget blu-ray player, would it be safe to use the diode from it? I am crazy but I don't want to be blind and crazy haha!

Thanks again
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:52 PM #6
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

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How long on average do you run it at a time?
Thanks mate. Umm I guess the longest time I had it going was about 5 minutes. She is still going well.

By the way is there any way of getting precise specs on what diode I'm dealing with? I've tried DigiKey website but no return. (there is a number and letters on the diode..)
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:52 PM #7
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

They are some truly amazing pics, great work. Hopefully you enjoy your laser, nice to have a new safety conscious member that can put together such a nice build

You've got the laser addiction now, say bye bye to any spare cash you have!

Just a quick note, if you click the multi quote button, they you won't need to post two threads. People tend to get a little annoyed when people multi post
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:52 PM #8
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

Depends on how badly they're damaged. Try and get a model number so we can help you determine how powerful the diode is. Are they readers or writers?

Edit: Not sure, but most red diodes are the same, and many, if not all 16x dvd burners use an LOC diode (was the diode kinda funny looking, not round with a window but like a half moon with a dark strip and two hair thin wires attached to the dark strip), which are pretty strong diodes.
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:59 PM #9
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

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Are they readers or writers?
The blu-ray player is just a movie disc player - reader. It has busted front panel and looks seriously unhealthy. I wonder if I should offer to the owner few bucks and get into it. In fact, I can't wait haha!
Yeah and the diode I've used was totally classic shape with a square window. The boring type haha. Thanks
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:05 PM #10
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

Readers don't have that strong of diodes, but it's still a good starting point.

This level of innovation is healthy- feel free to experiment!
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Old 06-22-2010, 01:28 PM #11
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

If it's a reader, it's good way to start with blu-ray, and you'll have a nice fluorescence pointer. I would check with Dave (Daguin) after getting a drive model number, he'll probably know a good safe current for it.




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Old 06-22-2010, 06:22 PM #12
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

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Readers don't have that strong of diodes, but it's still a good starting point.
That depends.. the PHR803 sled is a reader too, and those diodes can produce well over 100 mW. Compared to the most powerful diodes from 12X writers and what not this isn't a great deal of power, but its already a safety hazard as it is.

I suppose you'd be better of ordering a diode or sled somewhere on these forums for a few bucks (count on $10-ish) then salvaging a diode from an unknown source. We know how far known diodes can be pushed in terms of current and power output, but if you salvage something from an unknown source we can only guess.

With red lasers we can make more educated guesses if you know the writing speed, but with bluray readers it can be pretty much anything.
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Old 06-22-2010, 07:55 PM #13
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

those are dome fantastic pictures, epecially 4, 5 and 7!

+1

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Old 06-22-2010, 11:15 PM #14
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Default Re: How I boosted ≤5mW red pointer with DVD writer diode

It looks like you found how to have fun with electronic components smaller than most amazonian bugs! Nice work! Keep up the innovation, and the laser photography!
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