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525nm NUGM03 1W in custom Lifetime17 host

Hyperion

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Aug 6, 2008
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Hello guys 👋🙂

It’s been too many years since my last build. In these years many new amazing diodes have been commercialized, so I wanted to try something "new".
Personally I don't like the DPSS laser tech: even if the beam shape can be better, they are more unstable and temperature-sensitive.
So I wanted to build a green lightsaber-design laser with one of the newest diodes.

The host​

I like the idea of a "modular laser": a single host with removable heads that I can easily switch to have a different color.
By searching in the forum I found that Rich (Lifetime17) had the 2x18650 host for me.
I bought it from him and after 10 days (shipping time for Italy), I've got my new host with three interchangeable heads.

Host data
  • Materials
    • Battery pack: aluminum
    • Heads: 2x copper, 1x aluminum
  • Sizes
    • Battery pack length: 211 mm (8.3”) diameter 28 mm (1.1”)
    • Head length: 54 mm (2.13”) diameter 32 mm (1.26”)
    • Total length: 265 mm (10,43”)
  • Weight
    • Battery pack without battery: 211 gr (7.44 oz), with battery 307 gr (10.83 oz)
    • Copper head without laser module: 310 gr (10.93 oz)
    • Copper head with laser module: 332 gr (11.71 oz)
    • Aluminum head: 99 gr (3.49 oz)
    • Full reviewed laser with battery: 617 gr (21.76 oz)

I've used only one copper head of the host for this green laser, but I will use the other two in the future for sure!
Thanks to Rich for his great work

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The laser module (diode, driver and lens)​

Since at this moment I cannot access my laboratory, I decided to buy a 12mm copper module from DTR's shop with diode+driver+lens.
The shipping to Italy with USPS was a bit slower than expected but in about a month I've got my laser.

Diode: NUGM03 525nm​

I've chosen this diode for the power and for the wavelength which is similar to a classic DPSS green laser.

Lens: G-8 Glass Lens

I've chosen the G-8 glass lenses because they are a good compromise between power and beam shape.
I did some research in the forum and I noticed this DTR’s post about the output power percentage.
It should pass about 90% of the power with a good beam shape.

Driver: ACS4500BU @ 2A​

I’ve chosen the ACS4500BU because of its "soft start" feature and because it has a wider current selection than the Super X-Drive.
I set it at 2A in order to have about 1W of light with the G-8 lens.


The batteries​

Since the current draw of the driver it’s quite high, I ordered some good 18650 batteries from an Nederland website (EtronixCenter.com).
These are the models I'm using with the laser:
  • Panasonic 18650 NCR18650BD 10A 3200mAh
  • Samsung INR18650-25R 2500mAh 20A
Unfortunately (for my fault) I bought them with a flat top, so I'm using a magnet to let the batteries have good contact.

Assembly​

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Pics and video​

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You can find the full album here

Conclusion​

Product Rating: 10 Out of 10. Extremely satisfied! 😁
 



RedCowboy

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Gotta love the nugm03's and Lifetime17's housings. (y) Very nice.
 

GayzerBeam

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May 12, 2021
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Great Build! If you don’t mind me asking what was the price of materials? Labor hours(this is somewhat meaningless because of your skill)
 

Hyperion

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Aug 6, 2008
Messages
59
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8
The host with aluminum heat sink costs 80$ and the two copper heatsinks 45$.
I bought the laser with module + driver + lens from DTR's shop, so you can find the prices there ;)
Since the diode was already soldered to the driver and fitted in the module, all I did was to put the module in the host (it takes only some minutes).
 
Joined
May 28, 2021
Messages
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Hey @Hyperion , awesome laser! I love the copper.

I’m trying to learn about batteries right now. The 18650’s you chose have a pretty high continuous discharge rate (10A and 20A). I just order a 1.6w 525nm Ranger from Sanwu, which I’m assuming has a NUGM04 diode (although I don’t know that for sure). I guess I should go for the same higher discharge rate (10A-20A)? I was under the impression that I could use a lower discharge rating than that and get more mAh, but after seeing your post I’m not so sure.

Thank you for posting. That really is a suite setup.

Grace and Peace,
Ryan
 

Hyperion

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Aug 6, 2008
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Hello Ryan

The battery I choosen are a bit oversized for that diode.
Anyway my calcs was these:

The diode current draw is 2A @ 4,9V so it consume about 10W. If you take in consideration the driver efficiency, you get about 12W of power comsumption.

With two li-ion batteries in series you should have max 2A of current draw.
So 10A and 20A is a lot more.

I bought those batteries (in part to test them) and because I don't know how much current I will need for my next build.
For sure 20A will be always too much. But maybe 10A Would be needed for an high powered blue laser.

I hope those informations may help you! ;)
 
Joined
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The diode current draw is 2A @ 4,9V so it consume about 10W. If you take in consideration the driver efficiency, you get about 12W of power consumption.
So, I see that A • V = W (forgive my ignorance, electricity is not my strong suit). Looking at the specs for the NUGM04 (and the NDG7D75T, which is likely the same diode I think, just not in a relay), the max forward current is 2.3A, and the max operating voltage is 5.5V (4.7V average), which means the max wattage would be 12.65W, not factoring in the driver.
With two li-ion batteries in series you should have max 2A of current draw.
I’m sorry, can you please explain this? Where did the 2A come from? How did you calculate this? Or is this just the same 2A you mentioned above: “The diode current draw is 2A”. The Ranger host I will be using will have 1x 18650 I believe.
I hope those informations may help you! ;)

This was really helpful! Seriously!!! Thank you for taking the time to respond.

I’m starting to think I might be overthinking this. Do I just need a battery with a CDR over 2.3A? And just shoot for maximum mAh as long as my CDR is at least 2.3A?

Thanks again man. I really appreciate it.

Edit: Wait! So after you got your 12w power consumption figured up, did you divide it by 7.4V (because you have 2x 3.7V batteries) to get the CDR you would need in Amps? Which in your case would be ~1.6A?

Oh man I hope I’m right. That would be so cool.

So for that Ranger, let’s say I should also add 2W to the consumption because of driver efficiency (I’m not sure how to figure up or where to find that info), I would be at 14.65W. If I divide that by 3.7V (because it only takes 1x 18650), that leaves me with ~4A. So that would mean I need a battery with a CDR of at least 4A? Man I hope I’m right and I actually understand this…
 
Last edited:

bulukaki

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I’m sorry, can you please explain this? Where did the 2A come from? How did you calculate this? Or is this just the same 2A you mentioned above: “The diode current draw is 2A”. The Ranger host I will be using will have 1x 18650 I believe

The exact current draw is usually determined by the driver settings. But if you look at diode datasheets there's the value for current draw, which can serve as a reference how hard to drive the diodes. Usually the value comes in typical current draw + maximum current draw (a.k.a. absolute maximum ratings).

But some diodes are known to be safe to be overdriven up to a certain current, and this information come from other member's experiences.

Edit: also -- yes, your battery needs to have an ampere rating higher than the current draw. I never touch diodes that powerful so not sure about the exact calculations.
 

Hyperion

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So, I see that A • V = W (forgive my ignorance, electricity is not my strong suit). Looking at the specs for the NUGM04 (and the NDG7D75T, which is likely the same diode I think, just not in a relay), the max forward current is 2.3A, and the max operating voltage is 5.5V (4.7V average), which means the max wattage would be 12.65W, not factoring in the driver.
Yes, Watt = Volt * Ampere
If you multiply the Voltage and the current supplied to the diode, you get how much power it draws.
After that you have to consider the driver efficiency.
If you have a single battery, then the driver had to work in boost mode (which is usually less efficient). Take a look here.
If your diode consumes 12.65W, then you can assume the driver will absorb about 15W.

I’m sorry, can you please explain this? Where did the 2A come from? How did you calculate this? Or is this just the same 2A you mentioned above: “The diode current draw is 2A”. The Ranger host I will be using will have 1x 18650 I believe.

My calc is this: in my case, if the driver consumes about 12W and I have two li-ions batteries in series, the voltage is 3.7*2 = 7.4V.
12W/7.4V=1.62A (rounded up 2A).
If you have a single battery, the current draw will be higher because you have to divide by 3.7.
e.g.: 15W/3.7V=4.04A
So, if you use a single cell it should have at least 4A of discharge rate otherwise it could overheat and maybe explode.
 

RedCowboy

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2 x 18650 is just fine for powering a nugm04 and if you use good quality cells you can use 2 x 18350 cells as your duty cycle is only going to be a couple of minutes or less at a time, I have several 1w 520's using 2 x 18350 cells, they will sag under load a little but maintaining up to 3A @ 7V ( 21W ) is no problem for short duty cycle use of a minute or two at a time, 2 x 18650 is no problem at all.
 
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You guys are all awesome. Thank y’all so much! It’s really coming together now.

I also just heard back from Francis and he confirmed that an 8A battery should be good. I was advised by @WizardG to shoot for at least double what I think I would need, which I feel like I read elsewhere in some vape forums (when I was trying to find mooch’s reviews). So a battery capable of 8A CDR would make total sense if I’m expecting 4A of draw. I think I’m going to shoot for this 8A 3500mAh protected Epoch. Epoch’s are apparently 18650batterystore’s “own brand” and are all rewraps, but they’re rewraps of great batteries, and they’re the right price. Mooch has given them some pretty good reviews. I don’t think he’s reviewed the 18650 yet (at least not where you can access it without paying), but I expect they’re as good as the others, like their 18350.

Once again, you are all awesome. Thanks for taking the time to explain all that.

@Hyperion, that build is dope af. And seems pretty realizable too. I may go a similar route if/once I get into building my own. Thanks for the in-depth breakdown of the parts and process!

Grace and peace,
Ryan
 




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