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503nm build with many pics.

Pman

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Until about a month ago I was away for quite some time. Apparently some members were wondering what was up and out of nowhere I received a call from my friend Jeff (Bow) and here I am:)
Also out of nowhere I was shocked at Paul's offering up a 503nm diode and I graciously took him up on it. I kept him informed the entire build (probably way over informed actually) so he would know I took his diode offer seriously. I hadn't built a laser in quite some time and to be honest I was overly paranoid about something going wrong.
Now I've built a LOT of lasers but this one needed to be special considering the time away and a wavelength that not many have. Don't know if there are more 503nm diodes available somewhere but it sure doesn't seem like it and I don't see many members sporting one in their signature.
Looking through my stuff here's the build I came up with which will include some actual how to instructions and not just the finished product:

Not going to tell you what host I am using so you can see how it comes together with me.
503nm diode obviously that Paul so graciously sent me asking nothing in return.
Bought a survival lasers Blitz-linear driver using and agreeing with Paul's suggestion. Look closely and you can see where it says "lo" as that is the range I need for this diode. I have already soldered across the very tiny contact points.





The diode Paul sent came in a plastic diode tray which in my opinion is a really great way to do it


Before going any further I would like to point out that this diode is case positive and if oriented like a clock the pins are:

12 oclock - negative

3 oclock - positive

6 oclock -

So, here's the diode wired/soldered with the third pin cut. The way I do this is to tin the pins and then add a tiny bit of flux on them and then tin the wire end just a tiny bit and push the wires over the pins so that the pins end up inside the wire silicone. Hit them with the soldering iron small tip that has just a bit of solder and you get a strong connection. I also orient where the wires are soldered so that the fatter part is toward the inside. This is done so that after you heat shrink them you can do what I wanted to do which is add a solid back half for better cooling as this is going to be a pen build. The copper back half will be able to easily slide over the insulated pins and screw screw down without the risk of twisting as the hole in the copper is small. This was a lesson I learned from a previous build.







Here's the driver with a piece of tapered copper for heatsinking even though it's not really needed:



If you have either of these popular sinks to work with you can easily remove the tape with a rag and nail polish remover to not scratch up the surface. Only takes about 20 seconds of rubbing and it's gone



Now here's the driver that I wired up to set the output which came set at 255mA:


Would like to point out that I use ceramic screwdrivers to set pots as you don't have to worry about blowing your driver while messing with it while powered. I purchased them individually cheap at fasttech.



Now I had expected to set it to around 275mA for around 100mW out but upon testing the diode it turns out the diode was actually very inefficient by over a third compared to a "normal" one. No idea why this is but because of this I ended up setting it to 405mA to get to the 100mW I was looking for with an acrylic lens. I say acrylic but what I actually used was a 3 element because it gave me the best "dot" as the diode is known for a bit of a bar shape to the side of the dot which isn't the most attractive look.


I attached the driver to the module with arctic alumina:




This is the used switch I had to use. It was from a leadlight/laser66 that must have had an issue. I couldn't take a chance and take it apart as it was previously glued in place so I used it just as a basic momentary switch.
What I mean is the host that I used did have a spot for a possible indicator light but there was no way to add an LED without being able to take the switch apart.









I wired the switch to one side of the switch obviously and because of the way I decided to do the build I grabbed the negative by running a wire from the driver through a tiny hole in thick tape and to the outside of the module. The module at this point had thick tape around it to isolate it from the host. As the module is pressed into the host the bare copper wires which I wrap around the module make contact with the bare host wall. Thus you get positive on switched line to driver and negative from host to driver with a case negative build. Works really well if you get the module to host tightness right.
This completed module was tested before pressing into the host.
You can see a bit of epoxy just to help hold the negative wire as it's pressed in.









The whole assembly was then pressed into the top half of the host that I had pulled apart as the build would have been too hard to do if I hadn't gotten the press fit apart not to mention getting the module length correct to fit so that the switch could be activated through a hole in the host.
Also I had hand drilled out the front section using a step bit and then 1/2" drill bit to the module length so that it was just wide enough to isolate the module from the host with a special 1 layer thick tape and get the right tightness for that stranded negative wire.



The host needed 2 oval switch presser pieces because of the depth and somehow I had 2 that I could stack:


There were a couple other things I did for isolation sake. There's a front screw on cap with a hole in it that I slightly made bigger and in the cap there's a piece of insulating tape. It was done so metal can't touch metal if the anodising wore down.
And here's the 2 pieces I aligned and pressed back together which just so happens to be a wicked lasers e2 that I was given awhile back for a special pen build I did for someone. It was a non working unit:


Here's what the back end of the host is that unscrew. It is actually a safety switch as there is a pin that you can take out to interrupt the case connection. The pin just presses down in from outside the host as if you were plugging in a headphone jack.



I also found a rubber cap that will fit over the front lens



Completed build:




2 14500 AW IMR CASE - 135mW (with G lens) 503nm / about 100mW with the 3 element I'm using for a nice "dot"


Size comparison to standard leadlight and CNI GLP:




Also happen to have an official wicked lasers case for it:


Here's an idea, why don't you post some beam pics already!!!







Comparison shots. I found out that the best way to show this was for the lights to be on as the beams are just too bright and bloom out too much.

Here's from left to right <515, 515, 520, 532
Basically everything is about 100mW






Here's my <515 and 515:


Now here's the 503 vs <515:)


503 vs 532






520 vs 503:




No lenses:
520


503
 
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paul1598419

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Awesome review and tutorial thread, Peter. I love the fact that you took so many photos. I'm so sorry that diode was that inefficient. I had two of them and just picked one to send you. I had no idea. I can see it looks more blue than your <515nm build. I'd rep you, but did that earlier, so I owe you. :thanks:
 
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BowtieGuy

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That's a great build/tutorial, Pete! Like Paul said, it's nice to see all the detailsd photos.
I do like your host choice also, it's definitely better than the original W/L.
:gj: and :kewlpics: +rep coming as soon as I can!


Seeing this 503nm build reminds me that I need to get my 503 built soon. :yh:
 
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BobMc

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Man I did miss your build/posts and pictures Pman glad to see your back at it.
Yep you get a :drool:, and thanks for letting us check out your work, it’s always a pleasure.

+ reps
 
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styropyro

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Amazing build! Those WL Evo hosts are sweet, I wish I still had some left. Lots of great craftsmanship there, it's hard working with such a tiny space. Another great pman creation!

I hope that diode lasts long! 405mA is really pushing it.

BTW hopefully you can catch one of the 495nm diodes that might still be floating around on here! Also I'm contacting some suppliers now and may end up running a GB on 473/488/495/505 diodes so watch out for that.
 

ZRaffleticket

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Very nice! My 502 was my favorite green until I got my 495. It's a very nice share of green

I've been wanting to put something into a WL nano host for a while now. Something 488nm-ish. Good thing stryo is chatting up some suppliers :whistle:
 
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Pman

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Thanks everyone. I forgot to take a few other pics showing some other things I did for electrical isolation plus the front host piece as is needed to be drilled out to 1/2" by hand the module length so I could then electrically isolate it. Theres a front cap that screws down to the front end that has a piece of insulating tape inside and the hole in the cap was slightly widened so that the metal lens doesn't touch it. Wasn't going to trust just the anodising for electrical isolation. Obviously that focus knob wasn't a part of the host but went well with it.
I had decided before starting the build to just electrically isolate and choose wether I wanted case + or - at some point in the build.
I'm adding a few pics I found that are build stuff although I realized that in my signature I have under wavelengths 510 so I think that must be a pen build. I'll take a look and see if it's worth throwing that wavelength in for comparison pics.
Here's what the back cat looks like

Errrr I meant back cap of the host looks like


It has a removable safety pin to cut the circuit


That is my extremely loving male cat named Scratch. More for his love of being scratched than scratching. He was a feral kitten. His mama is young and I started feeding them when he was very little out my back door.
His mama would bleed him up to the food and he would always act like he wanted to be touched so one day I reached out and he didn't even flinch but loved being scratched. His mama would stay just far enough away that I couldn't touch her.
Anyways it got to the point that I would call for them and he would race up on his own to me usually from underneath the neighbors she'd about 50 yards away on his own for my attention even more than the food. It turned to winter and I would leave the garage door open a crack with a bed made up for him and food/drink and instead of the shed he would usually spend the night there even though his mama didn't.
Never intended to get another animal as my white cat was almost 20 and that was going to be it after her. Of course I started to let him inside the house from the garage so we could play in the warm for a bit and that was it. I hardly went anywhere and he gave me some motivation to get up when my kidney pain wasn't real bad. Of course he got everything done that he needed at the vets including getting fixed.
The white cat had to be put down within about 6 months of getting him as she was having congestive heart failure or something like that. She had a long great life.
Basically this thing with Scratch happened while I wasn't actively doing anything in the forum.
He is now about 1.5 years old and extremely attached to me and quite attached to my wife too. He follows me everywhere.
I had read that male cats are more loving and u can say flat out that Scratch is extremely loving and my companion all day plus he sleeps above my head on my pillow at night.

Oops, got to shower and go pick up Justice league in 4k steelbook at BB:)

Looking through my stuff I found an official wicked lasers carry case:


Forgot to mention Scratch loves lasers. He was also very involved with the build and his favorite part was moving things at the worst times.
 
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paul1598419

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Thanks for that view into your personal life, Peter. I have a male cat that loves to sit on my front porch. He is also very friendly, but is not feral, as he has an owner in the neighborhood. Hope you are having a good day. :D
 

RB astro

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Awesome build and write up Pete.
Thank you for sharing.
Will +rep you when I'm allowed.

RB
:beer:
 

jnrpop

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Incredible build thread Pete :D

One of the best sets of beam comparisons i've seen here at LPF, your 503nm on the photos looks like my 495, incredible how the eye perceives colors when two or more are beside each other.

+rep
 
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Gabe

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Awesome, thanks for taking the time to take and assemble so many pics Pete! Glad to hear you're alright too. I've always had a soft spot for that host, so now that it's in conjunction with that wavelength I'm extremely envious!
 

Pman

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Welcome.
Cat loves me and lasers so it works;)

On a side note I was hoping we would get an extended version of Justice League but no dice. Iof course they could try and double dip an add an extended version in a few months. Favorite scene is after they wake up a certain someone.
 
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ldrago1255

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Nice gray cat :yh: and congratulations for the construction in the various phases
 

Pman

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I went through and prepped who I could. Thanks for rep as it's starting to look like I belong here again.
Still not a class 4 laser guy though lol.

Thanks again to Paul for sending the diode. To be completely honest I doubt I would have had the motivation to build anything without the push. It's really hard for me to get moving right now as the kidney pain has been really bugging me to lie in bed and do nothing (it's what I'm doing right now). Not sure what's next. Sounds like the other wavelength diodes might be relatively expensive.
I could repair or build for someone else but I don't want to step on anyone's business and I definitely am not interested in being forced to guarantee a laser will last for any specific time as I've repaired a lot of others builds or purchases where the owner/customer made a simple error or abused it and expected others to pay for what was their fault.
 
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