Old 10-12-2014, 07:38 PM #1
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Question Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

I'm looking for an insanely small laser. Basically my project is turning an old wristwatch into Sterling Archer's "Omicron Spymaster", his spy gadget watch from the TV show Archer. I've got the watch, a 1973 Omega Geneve which looks very similar to the one in the cartoon. Here's a picture to compare.

http://i.imgur.com/GOZennP.jpg

I've got all the tools and skills to build the face, crystal and integrated garrote (strangling wire). I just need to find a laser small enough to fit inside. Preferably a higher powered one but I'm not concerned with burning things as much as it being eye-catchingly bright (definitely leagues above 5mW). I can either aim the laser upward through the crystal or out through the watch body James Bond style (it's never shown on Archer, so I can choose based on where I can fit a diode).

The inside dimensions I've got to work with are 28mm diameter and just over 5mm depth (maybe I can stretch this by doming the face upward). If I can find a flat laser so that it can point out through a lens on the face (disguised as a date readout) and crystal, that would be preferable as it makes concealing the garrote wire easier. How big are laptop Bluray diodes? Keep in mind I need to fit the battery, diode and any regulation inside this space. I can make the crystal out of polycarbonate, acrylic or PET (which I'll be cutting to size digitally with my Hackerspace's 60W IR laser cutter). The big challenge here is getting the laser through the crystal without cutting or etching it over time, so wavelength will be important.



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Old 10-12-2014, 08:05 PM #2
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

It's doable.

http://laserpointerforums.com/f65/pr...ser-72970.html
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:15 PM #3
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

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Is that a standard 12mm laser module? I was about to say this was impossible, now I really want to try this.

Pretty sure you would need a pretty thick watch to fit a module, and laser wise a 50mW 520nm module would be a really bright without being absurdly powerful, also smaller than a dpss 532 module.

https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf...nm-laser-diode
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:28 PM #4
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

There are smaller modules than 12mm. If you don't care about focus you can forgo the module all together and just make a heatsink with a lens glued on.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:33 PM #5
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

What type of diode did you use? The watch I'm working with is a 3rd the thickness of the one you used (I've got a similar ebay mechanical watch, but I love the feel of the Omega and it matches Archer's one better).

I'm starting to think I'll go with a laptop bluray diode if I can track one down for the right price. Would a resistor be enough current limiting to run this off some coin cells for a few thousand hours life from the diode? Will I be able to draw that much current from coin cells, or will I need a LiPo?
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:36 PM #6
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Pig View Post
Is that a standard 12mm laser module? I was about to say this was impossible, now I really want to try this.

Pretty sure you would need a pretty thick watch to fit a module, and laser wise a 50mW 520nm module would be a really bright without being absurdly powerful, also smaller than a dpss 532 module.

https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf...nm-laser-diode
No.

It's a 2W 445nm 5.6mm diode in a custom module. You wouldn't use a 12mm standard module if space was an issue. You also wouldn't use a standard driver.

Forget fitting garrote wire inside though. I think I've built some of the smallest high powered lasers out there. You won't have nearly enough room for extra features like garrote wire, by the time you fit in the diode, lens, driver, and cell(s).
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:41 PM #7
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

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Originally Posted by Blufires View Post
I'm starting to think I'll go with a laptop bluray diode if I can track one down for the right price. Would a resistor be enough current limiting to run this off some coin cells for a few thousand hours life from the diode? Will I be able to draw that much current from coin cells, or will I need a LiPo?
If it's only 5mm thick you wont be able to use a 5.6mm diode. You'll need 3.8mm.

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Old 10-13-2014, 06:37 AM #8
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

I had this pretty well hidden- to find it you would have had to search for 'world record red laser'

http://laserpointerforums.com/f50/wo...red-88466.html

AixiZ claims to sell the worlds smallest laser a 1mW 660 red-
pretty sure a button batt or two can run it--

one version has leads- great for laser eyes on your robot==
and forget bright 405 - even 100mW is very hard to see unless you are in heavy fog at night
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:44 AM #9
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

I think you're missing the part where he said:
"being eye-catchingly bright (definitely leagues above 5mW)"

Realistically, given your constraints, I think you'd want a 3.8mm single mode 515/520 and a custom module, with a single Lipo and a very tiny boost driver.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:40 PM #10
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

I got to my Hackerspace today and pulled apart an old laptop DVD burner. I've recovered a red laser diode that looks like this:
http://elabz.com/wp-content/uploads/...aser_diode.jpg

It measures 3mm by 6mm, so I can install it on its side with a 45 degree mirror to reflect it upwards. The problem is I can't find any data on it or even a good starting point to guess what to do. Can I run it at lower current than it can handle with just a current limiting resistor?
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:51 PM #11
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blufires View Post
I got to my Hackerspace today and pulled apart an old laptop DVD burner. I've recovered a red laser diode that looks like this:
http://elabz.com/wp-content/uploads/...aser_diode.jpg

It measures 3mm by 6mm, so I can install it on its side with a 45 degree mirror to reflect it upwards. The problem is I can't find any data on it or even a good starting point to guess what to do. Can I run it at lower current than it can handle with just a current limiting resistor?
You'll need a lens. Are you still planning to drive this with button cells?
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:51 PM #12
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blufires View Post
I'm looking for an insanely small laser. Basically my project is turning an old wristwatch into Sterling Archer's "Omicron Spymaster", his spy gadget watch from the TV show Archer. I've got the watch, a 1973 Omega Geneve which looks very similar to the one in the cartoon. Here's a picture to compare.

http://i.imgur.com/GOZennP.jpg

I've got all the tools and skills to build the face, crystal and integrated garrote (strangling wire). I just need to find a laser small enough to fit inside. Preferably a higher powered one but I'm not concerned with burning things as much as it being eye-catchingly bright (definitely leagues above 5mW). I can either aim the laser upward through the crystal or out through the watch body James Bond style (it's never shown on Archer, so I can choose based on where I can fit a diode).

The inside dimensions I've got to work with are 28mm diameter and just over 5mm depth (maybe I can stretch this by doming the face upward). If I can find a flat laser so that it can point out through a lens on the face (disguised as a date readout) and crystal, that would be preferable as it makes concealing the garrote wire easier. How big are laptop Bluray diodes? Keep in mind I need to fit the battery, diode and any regulation inside this space. I can make the crystal out of polycarbonate, acrylic or PET (which I'll be cutting to size digitally with my Hackerspace's 60W IR laser cutter). The big challenge here is getting the laser through the crystal without cutting or etching it over time, so wavelength will be important.
Please oh PLEASE don't fuck up a nice 5,000 Omega for a laser watch! Please!! Buy a cheapo dress watch off of DX and not the Omega. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:54 PM #13
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

If a scratched and dented 40 year old Omega Geneve with no movement, face or crystal was worth $5,000, Id have $5,000 and be building this into my much larger $30 fake Tag Heur. If I had the face and crystal (the 2nd most valuable part) and still no movement, it would be worth up to $300. I really don't think it's got any value without the face and crystal. After all, it's nowhere near a Seamaster. Also no parts are being modified, so it is all reversible.

I'll probably salvage a lens from an old 5mW toy. I'll use a small button battery if I can, although I'm unsure of the current output ability of these. I've got a few small lipos from micro helicopters that should be capable.

Last edited by Blufires; 10-13-2014 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:55 PM #14
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

My recommendation is forget fitting a coin cell in the watch case, use a 150mAh LiPO R/C heli cell mounted to the clasp and wires coming out of the case to the cell. This would also serve as a secondary safety as you could instantly kill it by simply unplugging the cell.

How to you plan to trigger this? What would be awesome is to use a gyro (they come in seriously tiny packages now days) and a uC (like the tiny SOD-23-6 PIC 10F322) and program a specific movement to trigger it, like a 180* Z-axis rotation followed by a 90* Y-axis bend up to turn in on, then any Z-axis rotation to turn it off.

If you can't write code another really simple way that would be nearly as cool would be to use a Hall-effect sensor and wear a magnetic ring on the other hand, get the ring close for on, move away for off (this would take no coding and not even need a uC at all if you didn't care that it didn't latch on [i.e. only on when ring is triggering hall sensor]).

If you're serious I can help with the programming for the gyro, I have some existing open source code (I do LOTS of crazy shit with PIC's), you could use it as a starting point (no idea if you do any coding at all) but the source code I could provide has the basic starting points to provide an enable signal (can be pulled-up or pulled-down just be changing a single bit) to latch on based on a series of movements and switch off after another series of move the. You could use this enable signal to power a boost chip (a simple to use one like the TI LM3410). Also don't know if you're up for designing your own circuit and making boards in eagle but that's also something I could assist with.

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Old 10-19-2014, 10:31 PM #15
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

Try removing the diode from one of those tiny 1mw lasers. The cheapy host might make them look big but the diode is "so" small.
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Old 10-20-2014, 01:53 AM #16
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Default Re: Seriously tiny laser, what are my options?

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My recommendation is forget fitting a coin cell in the watch case, use a 150mAh LiPO R/C heli cell mounted to the clasp and wires coming out of the case to the cell. This would also serve as a secondary safety as you could instantly kill it by simply unplugging the cell.

How to you plan to trigger this? What would be awesome is to use a gyro (they come in seriously tiny packages now days) and a uC (like the tiny SOD-23-6 PIC 10F322) and program a specific movement to trigger it, like a 180* Z-axis rotation followed by a 90* Y-axis bend up to turn in on, then any Z-axis rotation to turn it off.

If you can't write code another really simple way that would be nearly as cool would be to use a Hall-effect sensor and wear a magnetic ring on the other hand, get the ring close for on, move away for off (this would take no coding and not even need a uC at all if you didn't care that it didn't latch on [i.e. only on when ring is triggering hall sensor]).

If you're serious I can help with the programming for the gyro, I have some existing open source code (I do LOTS of crazy shit with PIC's), you could use it as a starting point (no idea if you do any coding at all) but the source code I could provide has the basic starting points to provide an enable signal (can be pulled-up or pulled-down just be changing a single bit) to latch on based on a series of movements and switch off after another series of move the. You could use this enable signal to power a boost chip (a simple to use one like the TI LM3410). Also don't know if you're up for designing your own circuit and making boards in eagle but that's also something I could assist with.
I've redesigned the watch for the garrote to use a thinner wire and a narrower spool (all parts turned from aluminium on a lathe). This leaves me more space for the electronic parts. I've mounted a regular TO-18 diode from a DVD drive into the aluminium core, and I've still got space for the movements from a very small ladies analog wristwatch.

There might be space for an 8 pin SMD package too, but fitting the transistor (necessary since an SMD can't sink or source 100mA) to drive the diode would be a challenge.
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