Old 04-12-2008, 01:06 AM #1
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Class 4 Laser
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Carbondale, IL
Posts: 5,348
Rep Power: 201029
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Default DIY Beam Expander

DIY Beam Expander

To start off, the title sounds harder than this really is. In all reality, this was about 10 times easier than I originally thought it would be.

Parts
A burning laser (duh!) preferably in labby style. Pen style works but it is nice to have a laser that won't roll around when you are aligning the lens you use. I used a laser around 150mW that lights matches at 5 feet without the expander.


A bigger lens, I used a Radio shack "helping hands" for mine, it cost like $12 and it works great for this IMO.


Setting it up
First, take the lens on your laser and turn it in as far as it can go. For the Aixiz lens just screw the lens in as far as it goes, it screws in to about flush with the edge of the module.


Now simply put the lens a foot or so away from the laser, make sure you keep the lens and the laser in as perfect of a line as you can get. If you don't, the dot will be too distorted to burn over a distance. At this time you adjust the focal point, essentially this set up is a lot like one big Aixiz module, the further you put the lens, the closer the focal point will be.

After you have got the focal point set, you can do some burning. The laser module I used can light matches at 5 feet without the beam expander, but with it I can light matches at 21 feet! With those 300mW DIY lasers people are using around here that can already light matches at 20 feet, this will make that distance way farther out.

Time for some videos, I'll add a balloon pop later.
19ft Match Light (Crappy quality, but it shows what's happening)
[media]http://www.youtube.com/v/GNIgjbfjOC4[/media]

21ft Match Light (Takes longer but shows entire set up). Sorry about the weird noises in this video.
[media]http://www.youtube.com/v/_PXdt9UcvZ4[/media]

Post your results!


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