Old 03-10-2010, 01:14 AM #1
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Default First laser build fail.

So after reading a TON of information from this forum and other places, I decided to do my first laser build. I ordered a PHR in AiXiZ module from Kendall, and a rkcstar driver. Set it to 110 mA, soldered it all together... and it didn't work. I'm assuming that I overheated the diode, even though I was really careful not to touch the soldering iron to it for more than a second or two. Bye-bye 20 bucks. I'm thinking I'm going to buy a PHR from modwerx with the leads already soldered onto the pins to avoid making the same mistake twice. Luckily, my driver is still fuctioning and already set.

Anybody else ever have a similar experience?


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Old 03-10-2010, 01:29 AM #2
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

Never had that problem... BTW.

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Old 03-10-2010, 01:36 AM #3
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

EVERYBODY suffers some fails when building lasers.

I have literally built hundreds of laser modules. However, just a couple weeks ago, while doing a repair job for a customer, I blew TWO 6X diodes in a row! With two in a row, I cannot realistically blame anything but me.

Sometimes I forget to hold my tongue just right in the corner of my mouth

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Old 03-10-2010, 03:49 AM #4
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

Sorry to hear that!
Did you remember to discharge the driver's cap, before soldering on the LD?
What about proper ESD protection?
And then they are the times you do everything right and they just "commit suicide"
LD's have a mind of their own sometimes!
But don't stop trying, next one, when you hook it up, you'll get that bright glow and that warm fuzzy feeling, "I did it"
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:21 AM #5
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

It makes me afraid to try and build my own.
I definitely need to invest in a better soldering iron I think. The cheap-o ten dollar or whatever from radioshack isn't going to cut it.... solder it.
Hmmmm... *waits to level up*
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:31 AM #6
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

Are you using a grounded soldering iron?
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:00 PM #7
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

it would be nice if there was a laser diode tester... might be something to think about making and selling :P
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:16 AM #8
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

I'm 4 for 4 on laser builds right now. I don't expect that streak to last, though...But, since I'm a noob, maybe I can help from that perspective. I've been REALLY anal about protecting my diodes (I hate when things don't work). That means that I built myself a little ESD protective bracelet out of velcro strips and aluminum foil, grounded myself to my computer's case, and kept myself grounded until the diode was soldered up, pressed into its module, and protected by the back of the aixiz.

I take a full 40 minutes to solder the leads to the diode, because I suck at soldering, and if I feel like I've kept the iron on a pin too long, I give it 5 minutes to cool down. I also always keep a heatsink clipped to the diode. And since the things are so small - it's really easy to create a solder bridge between the leads and short out your LD...

Also (not to be condescending - I only say it because it's something I might do), did you make absolutely sure that you soldered the leads according to the correct pinout for a PHR? There are different pin configurations for different types of diodes -- maybe you connected the LD backwards, or soldered a lead to the case pin.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:23 AM #9
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

Incidentally, I built a little variable current DDL driver with long, bare leads specifically to test diodes with. I used it to check out a couple IR diodes I ripped out of CD players - works great, and it's very easy to do. You just have to make sure to remember to short out its cap before you use it, and to solder the test-diode on well...
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:26 PM #10
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

I inadvertently have lied on the forum, I do recall "scrapping" a couple HeNe tubes back in 1986.....

that counts as a fail.

These had spun aluminum housings and were very delicate, broke 2.
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Old 03-30-2010, 12:28 AM #11
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dvorhagen View Post
I'm 4 for 4 on laser builds right now. I don't expect that streak to last, though...But, since I'm a noob, maybe I can help from that perspective. I've been REALLY anal about protecting my diodes (I hate when things don't work). That means that I built myself a little ESD protective bracelet out of velcro strips and aluminum foil, grounded myself to my computer's case, and kept myself grounded until the diode was soldered up, pressed into its module, and protected by the back of the aixiz.

I take a full 40 minutes to solder the leads to the diode, because I suck at soldering, and if I feel like I've kept the iron on a pin too long, I give it 5 minutes to cool down. I also always keep a heatsink clipped to the diode. And since the things are so small - it's really easy to create a solder bridge between the leads and short out your LD...

Also (not to be condescending - I only say it because it's something I might do), did you make absolutely sure that you soldered the leads according to the correct pinout for a PHR? There are different pin configurations for different types of diodes -- maybe you connected the LD backwards, or soldered a lead to the case pin.
Wow. Talk about being careful. Yeah, I made sure I did it on the right pins. I may have just shorted it out. Thanks for the tips, I'll try some of those out on my next diode. If it ever arrives... :P
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Old 03-31-2010, 02:40 AM #12
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

sorry to hear about your LD, it happens to most people at some point in there builds
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Old 03-31-2010, 03:07 AM #13
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Default Re: First laser build fail.

Damn. Sucks that your diode croaked. My first build went bad too. It was a PS3 violet diode with DDL driver that I built in November 2007. Died after only a day of use cause the capacitor came loose then reattached. Instant LED. In fact I was so discouraged that I am only now just attempting another build.
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