Old 02-04-2015, 06:09 AM #1
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Talking Quick project, and some advice!

Hey everyone! Here I have a little show n tell/story for you guys! So recently, I started investigating how lasers are put together, in anticipation of an upcoming build. In my opinion, the best way to learn about something is by either metaphorically, or literally, dissecting it. By taking it apart, looking at the pieces, seeing how they work together, just seeing what makes it 'tick'. So that's what I did, I took apart some of my lasers, even swapped a few hosts here and there. And even though I lost two of my lasers (rip in peace), I gained some great knowledge. It's the only way you can become a true master in something, by passionately learning.
Anyway, a while ago I investigated a nice aluminum flashlight, a pretty generic led one, but I have a thing for it. This is what it looks like:

It has a nice clicky tailcap too.

I also had a little ~40mW China laser, fairly bright. So just tonight I took them both apart again, and I noticed something quite lovely. The laser module was in its own heat sink, like this:

The actual module and driver are fit snug inside the aluminum.
I took out the led and plug thingy, and noticed, the deepest the heatsink could slide into the front was just the right amount of distance to push the spring up against the battery!

The farthest it can be pushed in:

And the miracles keep coming! I saw that if I screwed the head back on, and pushed the module down as far as it could go again, the top of the heatsink is flush with the tip of the head!!

And the perfect solution came to me... Since the heatsink is flush with the top, and it's wider than the lens that sticks out, I could drill a hole in the clear plastic lens thingy that was part of the flashlight, slide the laser lens through that, and screw everything back on! And that I did. Using my trusty and beloved Swiss Army Knife, I got a fairly centered hole in the plastic. (This was the most painstakingly tedious part :/ )

The lens fit snugly inside the hole. The final part was to screw on the bezel, and put in the batteries!

And I must say, to me it's beautiful. I especially love how the clear plastic gives you a window into the heatsink area! It's still operated by the clicky switch,and I thankfully see no difference in brightness between the two AA batteries, and the 16340 that was powering it before.


Sadly, conditions aren't right for a beamshot

And while I'm sure vets and noobs alike are looking at this, shrugging their shoulders and thinking "meh...", this might be the thing that I'm most proud of that I've made myself! The fact that it came together so nice in just one night makes me so happy .

I guess the point of this post is not only to share, but to tell beginners to not be afraid to get curious or creative. Surely, great things will come of it!

Thanks for reading!
-Gabe


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Old 02-04-2015, 08:49 AM #2
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

That is a good looking 532nm you got there. Congrats on your 1st build. Also, +rep for trying something new and sharing!
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:59 AM #3
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Thank you very much! I think tomorrow when I can find my duct tape I'll pimp it out a lil Chrome and GITD duct tape FTW!
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:09 AM #4
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Haha. If you click the link in my signature It'll show you where I deanodized a C6 host for $1. If you deanodize it and polish it, it will look like its chromed. I hope this helps.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:21 AM #5
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Wow, that actually helps a ton! I originally was going to put a red laser in there, but it didn't work out. Now a green laser in a red host feels weird to me but I love the way the deanodizing turned out! Although, should there be any concerns about the tailcap? I'll have to remove the rubber button part first, but should I worry about plastics inside?
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Old 02-04-2015, 08:15 PM #6
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe View Post
Wow, that actually helps a ton! I originally was going to put a red laser in there, but it didn't work out. Now a green laser in a red host feels weird to me but I love the way the deanodizing turned out! Although, should there be any concerns about the tailcap? I'll have to remove the rubber button part first, but should I worry about plastics inside?
Just gut the tail cap. It should just have a screw in retaining ring, then the guts come out.
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:26 PM #7
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Thank you very much! I'll hopefully so that over the weekend, document how it goes
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:47 PM #8
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Pretty nice! That's awesome that everything fit into place perfectly, im sure it made the process much easier +Rep

-Alex
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:56 PM #9
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Thanks Alex! Support from people like you guys is what keeps me going Oh and Nute, sadly I don't think I'll deanodizing it for now, the parts in the tailcap are pretty much all plastic, and I think epoxied in place. Yeah, I'm too lazy to heat it up and wiggle it out.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:12 PM #10
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Quote:
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Thanks Alex! Support from people like you guys is what keeps me going Oh and Nute, sadly I don't think I'll deanodizing it for now, the parts in the tailcap are pretty much all plastic, and I think epoxied in place. Yeah, I'm too lazy to heat it up and wiggle it out.
That is very unlikely but I suppose it's possible. There should be a metal ring with two indentations that you simply unscrew. Do you have a pair of sharp pointed stainless steel tweezers? If not then you should go buy some, you may need to replace a tail cap switch or fix a loose one sometime, I have also seen one host where the pill screwed in the same way, another tool that works better are round nose pliers, you won't find them in the tool section, they are used in jewelry making mainly for bending wire. Any large craft store will have them or even Walmart in the crafts section by the jewelry making supplies, they have very small pointed tips.

Alan
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:38 PM #11
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Here Alan, I'll show you what's inside.
This is the inside of the tailcap, the white part is plastic:

^you can see some of the scratch marks left from when I was trying to pull the plastic disc out ^
Here is the outside of the tailcap:

And here is the outside, with the rubber button removed. Again, the white is plastic:

As well, I also have tweezers, needlenose pliers, and a small pair of roundnose pliers.
Hope this clears things up
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:02 PM #12
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Well that's definately not the standard type of tail cap, it doesn't look like something you can take apart. I wouldn't heat it, you should just leave it be, otherwise you might ruin it and not be able to fix it. Good you have the proper tools though for the future.

Alan
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:11 PM #13
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Yeah, I'll leave it be. I think I'll get a hold of some sandpaper, and maybe sand away some of the red in highlight areas. That might look cool...
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:31 PM #14
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

I've seen plastic discs like that, that screw out like the metal retainers. Are you sure there is no holes or indentions in it? If nothing else, try to make a shallow hole and see if it turns with needle nose pliers.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:42 PM #15
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

Yea, that looks like is has 2 holes in the plastic retainer ring. It just unscrews. It is very similar to the C6 style. You can also order GITD silicon lens covers, and they double as tail cap covers like your black one.
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Old 02-05-2015, 01:17 AM #16
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Default Re: Quick project, and some advice!

I did try stabbing the plastic ring with a pair of scissors to try to turn them before, as I noticed the threading on the inside. it didn't work, but I'll just try harder. I'll let you guys know if anything happens.

EDIT: welp, with a little mechanical motivation I got it out. It wasn't epoxied or threaded in, simply jammed in there. I'll leave the laser dormant for now, and maybe give it the chemical bath over the weekend. As you can see, I tried to be as clean and precise as possible
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Last edited by Gabe; 02-05-2015 at 02:03 AM. Reason: REVELATIONS
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