Old 08-01-2012, 03:40 AM #1
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Question Laser Losing Strength?

Hi everyone!

As you all may know, I recently finished my 1W, 445nm build, and now I have a bit of a problem

It seems as if my laser is not anywhere near as strong as it was when I first started out.

I have 1W Blue Laser Module from DTR, an aluminum heatsink that fits my F22 host, and I'm using ultrafire rechargeable 14500 lithium batteries.

My duty cycles have not been anything close to extreme.... my batteries only last about a minute before they start losing charge, and that's my queue to turn off the laser and pop the battery in the charger.

This time, though, the batteries seemed to last shorter, and I wasn't even able to get a scorch mark on a paper napkin...

I wonder if maybe I left the laser on for too long? The module sticks out from the host a bit, and the heatsink only goes around part of it (the heatsink is from CajunLasers).... I hope I haven't fried my $100 module :/

The laser still works and the beam and dot seem to be the same brightness and definition as before....

I'm really confused as to what's going on...


Please help!


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Old 08-01-2012, 03:48 AM #2
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

Have you tested it with another battery?
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Old 08-01-2012, 04:14 AM #3
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

Yeah, I second that. Ultrafires are not the most reliable and may be damaged already.

Do you monitor the minimum battery voltage? It shouldn't go below 3.4V.

Edit: Whoops, I meant that I don't let mine go below 3.4V for the sake of battery life. Sorry for the confusion.

Cheers!
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:12 AM #4
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

I will 3rd that one.. Batteries can become crap after a simple drop on a desk.. or as previosly mentioned you may have drained it beyond re-charging I know there not high discharge bateries. I would recomend the AW's I got some from orbtronics in the usa.. there all high discharge in the 600mAh red or 750mAh black and I think I have some 800mAh red (sanyo's?) There all much better choices.. I got most of my links for batteries from Larry or RHD and once I knew what I was looking for I found what would work for shipping to canada.

What are you measuring it's output on? Were the conditions the same? How much is the difference you are measuring?
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:28 AM #5
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ryansoh3 View Post
Yeah, I second that. Ultrafires are not the most reliable and may be damaged already.

Do you monitor the minimum battery voltage? It shouldn't go below 3.4V.

Cheers!
Actually, critical voltage lithium ion cells are NOT supposed to go down from is 2.75 Volts, that's why protection circuitry in batteries is supposed to cut off the power when it drops to 2.8 Volts.

Anything between 2.75V and 4.25 V is perfectly fine.

If your batteries do happen to read some 1.X volts, there are a few tricks you can try to bring it back to life but general rule of thumb: new batteries.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:26 AM #6
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

I also had problems with Ultrafire batteries with my first build, until I bought some AW's...

Can you show a picture of the module in the heatsink? The module should be almost flush with the front of the heatsink, to ensure max thermal contact. Did you also use any thermal paste / epoxy between the module and the sink?

Here are a couple of pics from my Saik build to show what I mean.
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Laser Losing Strength?-1205_saik-build_026.jpg   Laser Losing Strength?-1205_saik-build_029.jpg  
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Old 08-01-2012, 03:57 PM #7
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

I was thinking that the 3.4V comment was wrong but I didnt know the correct answer I was going to say 2.7V but I knew that wasnt quite right either... That's the nice thing about forums someone will allway's jump in with the right answers. 445's are power gungry diodes.. and a 14500 is not much food..

I have lately been having problems with my hosts too. mostly the C6's they seem to have a clicky problem with the switch.. and sometimes mine light up dim like a led but a little play with the switch and we get full power. My mits300 keeps fooling me.. I think 'did I kill it Argh it's dead' and then it fires up.. Also my s06j in a c6 has been a hassle.

What driver are you using?
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Old 08-01-2012, 05:25 PM #8
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizdawg View Post
445's are power gungry diodes.. and a 14500 is not much food..
I use 2 x 14500's for my 2.6 W Saik and it runs just fine! I am using AW IMR's though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizdawg View Post
I have lately been having problems with my hosts too. mostly the C6's they seem to have a clicky problem with the switch.. and sometimes mine light up dim like a led but a little play with the switch and we get full power. My mits300 keeps fooling me.. I think did I kill it Argh it's dead and then it fires up.. Also my s06j in a c6 has been a hassle.
You just have to tighten the base of the switch on the inside; the bit with the 2 indents. Its a really common problem with C6's and I think Moh posted on how to fix it in detail. Will have a look.

Edit: Found it; knew it was hiding somewhere... fs-aurora-c6-kits
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:16 PM #9
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

Yes bigger batteries!
The last 1W I got from DTR I unpacked it, was sitting down checking it out, dangling it by the wires, (module pointing down), grabbed a battery (18650) and touched it to the wires just to be sure it was working.
In a couple of seconds it burned a hole in my pants.
(I've done this before but this time the lens/focus was just right)
Won't do it again.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:06 PM #10
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

Ahhh....

So are 18650's better than 14500's?

And will an 18650 fit in my F22?

Here are the measurements:

Overall length (without assault crown): 10.1 cm
Inside Diameter: 1.99 cm
Available Inside Length with Module/Heatsink Installed: 7.5 cm

Will it work?

And if not: I have a C6 coming in the mail for another project. I can just swap out the hosts if that would help at all.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:28 PM #11
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

18650's are bigger than 14500's and can have a much higher capacity. 18650 actually means 18 mm diameter and 65 mm long same for 14500's; 14 mm diameter and 50 mm long. If you have a protection circuit they will be slightly longer. So I guess from your measurements yes, one 18650 will fit, but you need 2 batteries to run your driver. So without an extension tube it wont work.
A C6 fits one 18650 or (2 16340's) you would probably have the same problem you need to fit 2 18650 in to run the driver and hence would need an extension tube here too. You could possibly use the slightly lower capacity 2 x 16340 with both hosts however....

Edit: (Top tip) Get good batteries...Panasonic, AW, Sanyo etc if you want your laser to work well. As I mentioned I used 2 x 14500 for a 2.6 W laser without issue. This was because they were AW IMR high quality batteries, which will easily out perform many xxxfire or other cheapo batteries out there.
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2W 445 C6--link--
+2.3W 445 --link--
+2.5W 445 --link--

190mW 450 --link--
15mW 510nm
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:34 PM #12
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

okay. I saw (jayrob's I think) 1.5W 445 build in an F22 regular, so I'm guessing that he used 2 16340's?

EDIT:

It's DTR's (same guy who sold my my module) and he didn't mention what kind of battery he was using.

Stainless Steel F22 Build

EDIT AGAIN:

In another reply post, he said he was using an AW IMR14500...

Would that work in such a superior way to the ultrafire?
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:54 PM #13
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetzal View Post
In another reply post, he said he was using an AW IMR14500...

Would that work in such a superior way to the ultrafire?
Definitely. There are two reasons why the AW IMR is superior to your Ultrafire.

1. AW is a premium battery reseller and its batteries are one of the best. They provide the full labeled capacity and are able to deliver high currents.

2. IMR is a different chemistry from your Ultrafire, which is ICR I think. It allows the battery to output tremendous amounts of current compared to yours. Unfortunately, IMR's do have smaller capacity than ICR's by about 50%.

Get yourself a good 18650 (Panasonic, Samsung, LG, or Sanyo) or a good IMR cell.

Cheers!
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:06 PM #14
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

Yeah, the 18650 will be a tight fit at best for my F22....

So I'll go with the AW 14500 (IMR)....

I have an ultrafire charger that came with the batteries. Is it alright with the IMR or should I get a charger from AW?
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:12 PM #15
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Default Re: Laser Losing Strength?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetzal View Post
Yeah, the 18650 will be a tight fit at best for my F22....

So I'll go with the AW 14500 (IMR)....

I have an ultrafire charger that came with the batteries. Is it alright with the IMR or should I get a charger from AW?
The Ultrafire charger should work with both the Ultrafire and the AW.

However, it's questionable quality may jeopardize the lifespan of the batteries, so you might want to get a better charger.

Cheers!
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405nm Amazon Set
445nm BAMF Link
445nm 2358mW Peak The Bushwhacker by Dogs Best Friend
445nm Fantasy Link
532nm "200mW" DealExtreme Pointer
532nm Amazon Set
650nm Amazon Set
FastTech is the new DX. (Nope, prices have gone up, nevermind!)

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