Old 05-31-2009, 08:03 PM #1
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Default A few questions on lasers.

Hey all!

Electrical design is a hobby of mine, and I would like to build a high power burning laser for my next project. I've been gathering information on a 1 Watt laser driver circuit and have been finding some parts. However (the whole world of lasers is fairly new to me), I am finding that in some of my "research" that a 1 Watt 808nm laser can damage my or anther's eye site even if they are not looking into the laser itself (eg. the reflections off of even matte surfaces can damage my eyes). Is it true that I need to wear 808nm protective glasses at all times while using it - even when I'm not looking toward the aperture of the laser?


I also have a few other questions:

1. I also heard that a 1 Watt 808nm laser spreads out too far for effective burning/cutting - would using one of those Aixiz housings with a lens work to focus the beam?

2. What would be strong enough to burn wood,paper,plastic,etc but not require protective eye wear to use (not looking into the laser, of course, but for normal viewing). Is there any?

3. Just curious - why are you supposed to color over the match heads with a sharpie to get them to light up with a laser?


Thanks a bunch!


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Old 05-31-2009, 08:10 PM #2
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1. a 1 Watt laser diode of any kind won't work in an AIXIS module unless you can find yourself a 1 Watt 5.6mm diode, and a large heatsink.... but high power diodes are usually much larger than the 5.6mm size.

2. Not much, ALWAYS wear safety glasses ESPCIALLY when burning!

3.y You don't have to, people with lower power lasers do that so that the match head will absorb more energy and lite easier... but you won't have to worry about that at all.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:14 PM #3
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I'm fairly new here and just complete my first Blu-ray build.

1. I believe 808 nm is in the infrared range so you will definitely want eye protection. In fact you will want eye protection for any laser that is capable of burning.

2. I would guess close to 100 mw to start burning.

3. You don't need to color over match heads to make them burn. But the color of the surface you are burning makes a difference. Darker surface absorb more heat and lighter surfaces deflect light and heat.

Start reading some of the Stickies and use the search button. The information is definitely here.

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Old 05-31-2009, 08:43 PM #4
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1. You want them for ANY laser at ALL times

2. You should ALWAYS wear glasses especially for burning!!! Any power > than 5mw can permanently and instantly damage your eyesight!
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:48 PM #5
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thanks for the replies and advice - I'll get some glasses then.

What would you suggest I use to focus the 1 Watt beam if I decide to use that?

Oh, and another question, what should I expect to pay for a 1 Watt laser diode?

I have been reading around and searching, there's a lot of content here to read through!

About the matches - ah, I see, should have guessed that!
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:01 PM #6
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I'm pretty amazed, you want to build a 1W laser and you are sepaking about it like if it was a toy and even asking if protection is needed.

Listen, protection is needed even for a 10mW laser, 1W laser IS NOT A TOY, it's VERY DANGEROUS and you should consider buying a high quality safety googles, the minimal reflection and you'll be blind forever.

And about this: "What would be strong enough to burn wood,paper,plastic,etc but not require protective eye wear to use"

Well, any laser can be accidentaly reflected by a metalic part or any other thing. If it's able to burn wood, imagine what will happen to your eye. when burning with lasers protection is mandatory.

There's something we use to say here "you can only look a laser beam twice, once per eye" and with yours not even this because its invisible so imagine :P
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:02 PM #7
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I don't know that there is a 1 watt diode that is readily available. The red LOC LPC-815 diode is will produce 300+ mw.

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Old 05-31-2009, 09:12 PM #8
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wise man. Try searching for IR laser assemblies into google or ebay. Most will come with any necessary optics, but they will probably only allow for burning at distances no longer than about a foot... the spread on IR is awful most of the time.. For JUST the diode you shouldn't have to pay more than $100 I suppose..

keep searching here on the forum... there IS lots!
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:32 PM #9
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for your first laser build I would recommend a colored laser, red or violet. they can still burn and are safer for people with less experience. and supplies are readily available. there is a good driver you can make it is the LM317 driver. look to rog8811 signature. he has a link there with all the info to build it.
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