Old 07-16-2012, 10:49 PM #1
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Default Need Help!

Okay, so I'm building my first laser, and I wanted to start out with something easy(ish).

(Yes, I know what I'm doing, and will be safe)

I found these laser modules on eBay, and I wanted to know if they actually work or are just a cheapo Chinese scam.

Here

And Here

And Here

So, if these are real and work correctly, do I just hook them up to a power source and go? Or is there more I have to do?


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Old 07-17-2012, 12:00 AM #2
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Default Re: Need Help!

Well, the first laser is quite expensive for what you get. You can get 660nm lasers for far cheaper than that especially if you're planning on actually building the laser.

The latter two lasers are 808nm, which means they're infrared and can't be seen. Unless you have a specialized purpose for those lasers, like pumping a crystal or want to collect every wavelength, even invisible, you should probably buy a visible laser instead. Plus, you'll definitely need goggles that block IR because you can't even count on knowing where it is shining to protect you.

If you want to build anything, I'd check out the Laser Pro Shop forum and see what you can buy to build. Those eBay lasers are usually overpriced, and you can't do much with them besides leave them in the original heatsink, which limits their use elsewhere.

Oh, and buy some goggles. Everybody is "safe" until there is an accident.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:20 AM #3
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Default Re: Need Help!

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Last edited by Sporelord; 07-17-2012 at 03:25 AM. Reason: Reposted in a better, revised format
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:25 AM #4
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Default Re: Need Help!

Thanks for the advice.

However, I'm nervous about building the actual laser myself, so I'd prefer to get the module pre-assembled.

I understand your advice about trying to stick to visible lasers, but IR lasers seem to come quite a bit cheaper for their output.
Also, couldn't you just attach a cheap laser pointer to use as a visual guide for where the laser is pointing?

You also mentioned that there were places that sold these items for significantly less cost. Could you point me toward them?

Thanks
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:18 AM #5
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Default Re: Need Help!

Well IR diodes may be cheaper, but they're going to be boring. Honestly, what good is a hobby laser if you can't see the output? That is, unless you're planning to do something special like pumping a laser crystal, or are collecting wavelengths, but I doubt you're doing either. You won't even know if the beam is focused, or if the laser is even on in the first place, because you won't be able to see it. Worse, IR lasers can be quite dangerous because you won't know where they're pointed and your eyes won't react to what they can't see.

The laser diodes are cheaper, but remember, they're diodes as in bare parts, so you will need some drivers, hosts, and do some soldering to make yourself a full laser. You might look into getting parts for a 405nm (violet) laser, since they're not too expensive, and are a nice looking wavelength. The LPC-826 is also a nice laser diode (red) because it is somewhat more forgiving than PHR-803T. You can get them from sellers in the Laser Pro Shop forum section of this site (such as CajunLasers, or DTR's shop which sells more powerful laser diodes and drivers, but not hosts).

If you want laser without building you might consider just outright buying a premade laser from a store like Lazerer. Then you'll have a complete laser without a half-way module like you linked to above.

Oh, and buy yourself some goggles too.
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