Old 03-24-2015, 01:21 PM #1
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Default SpiderSpartan: Destroyer of Lasers

So far I've:
  1. $8-Broken the leads off of a 150mW, 405nm diode (diode is probably still good if I can rig some leads back on it somehow)
  2. $16-Burnt up a 150mW, 405nm diode or AixiZ driver board for 650nm and up diodes driver board (It lights up, but has a sort of halo output and no burning power. Came pre-pressed into AxiZ module. Worked great for a while.)
  3. $21-Burnt up a 250mW red laser/driver package, either by trying to power it with 2 CR123 batteries instead of 3 AAs or by running it too long. (I had it in a Survival Laser Heat Sink and for a while it would come on bright, then dim, but now it comes on dim.)

So, before I start playing with my M140 diode ($71), any tips on not destroying it? I got it from DTR in the copper module with glass lens, will drive it with the 1.25A Survival Laser Driver and a 5V power supply, and mount it to an aluminum back plate in an aluminum finned heat sink with a 12mm fan. I work with small electronics a lot so I'm fully aware of ESD, but could probably stand to be a little more cautious. I wish these things came with a built in duty cycle timer for dummies like me. Thanks in advance for any advice.

P.S. - Is this the right place for posts like this? I'm new here.



Last edited by SpiderSpartan; 03-24-2015 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:26 PM #2
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Default Re: SpiderSpartan: Destroyer of Lasers

Use an ESD wrist strap, at ALL TIMES. That
was the first mistake I made when I was a
newb because I had worked with FETs and
computers before and thought laser diodes
were the same. They are not. They are far
more ESD sensitive by an insane amount.

Don't worry. You still have not killed as
many laser diodes and drivers as I have,
and you are probably going to kill a few
more. We all have. We all do. It's just
a part of the learning process, and it
sucks, but when things work out, it's all
worth it in the end, I guess. Wow, I
sounded really sure of myself there, didn't
I?

2. You can't just stick the module on a
heatsinked back plate and expect it to run
cool. Plates are flat. Diode modules are
round. M140s run hot. What you need is a
generous heatsink with a 12mm hole. I
really recommend talking to one of the
machinists here on the forums. Here is a
short list. (In o particular order)

Eudaimonium
Flaminpyro
jayrob
Sinner
Ehgemus

C. Read through the stickies, the
beginners' mistakes thread in particular.
That one is a goldmine of tips on how not
to kill your diodes.

Here are a few more miscellaneous tips.
  • Use a test load to verify the operation
    of the driver (purchase from jufran in the
    buy/sell/trade section).
  • Disconnect all power and short out the
    driver to discharge capacitors before
    connecting it to the diode.
  • Solder all connections for reliability.
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Old 04-05-2015, 05:11 AM #3
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Default Re: SpiderSpartan: Destroyer of Lasers

Thanks for the tips. I have a 12mm, finned aluminum heat sink that I will be mounting to the backplate to hold the diode module. I also have the parts to build a test load, that I will use before connecting the diode to my driver. I picked up an anti-static wrist strap from my local pc store to be safe, and I will be sure to short the driver out before making connections. Thanks again for the help.
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Old 04-15-2015, 03:33 PM #4
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Default Re: SpiderSpartan: Destroyer of Lasers

Thanks again for the tips. I now have a functional 250mW, handheld red pointer, and my 1.8W blue etching head. I'm updating my etching CNC build here.

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