Here are 9 DIY reds I built tonight. Six of them are really small and all 9 run off of 1 cr123a battery from battery station. These puppies are very good at burning stuff. I bought 10 but one of my flashlights didn't work out (the diode is fine just looking for a home.)
Well I was planning on using the amc7135 but the door guy at the front door of my apartment "misplaced" my package that had the 10 elly flashlights, 4 rechargable 14500 batteries, and 20 amc7135 circuit boards. I received these 10 3 watt MXDL led flashlights from dealextreme today. They each ran me about $6 and have a nice solid feel to them. The smaller ones twist on whilst the larger ones have a button on the tailcap. I was not intending on using these flashlights for this laser project but i got impatient after hearing that my others were never going to arrive. I took the easy way out on these and just hooked them up directly to the led star which is connected to the circuit board that came with these flashlights. If you would like I can take some photos of the circuit board but there really isn't a whole lot to look at.
Well I haven't measured any of them yet, it seems that all but two are easily putting out 150mW. I believe the lower apparent power of the other two is due to the plastic lens I chose to leave on. The lens absorbs a lot of light and distorts the heck out of the dot. Or maybe it is the batteries. I really have not done any proper testing to make a conclusion.
You might want to drill a hole in the lens. Stick a piece of electrical tape over the center and turn the laser on. The laser will burn a hole through the tape and you will know exactly where to drill..
I ripped out the lens from one of the two lasers I left the lens on and the dot looks much better. Also after a fresh battery was put in it is pretty much as powerful as the rest. I have been playing with these lasers for the last 5 hours to work them in and they are all still lasing strong. I have set aside the two for myself and now I think I am going to sell the rest on ebay. I also added a black plastic disk with a hole for the focus ring of the module to stick through so they are really looking nice now. As for the 3 larger ones ( still not large) I removed the lenses and drilled out the reflectors for the module to slip through. They look alright so i am going to leave them as is. I am going to post some more pics of my finished lasers tonight when I get home.
okay, so I feel like an idiot. I must have been really high when I made 1 one these lasers because I left the led in which is the why one of the lasers is underperforming. I realized this when I shined the laser toward myself and saw a very bright white light leaking past the module into the reflector. Well here are some pictures of the finished lasers as well as a burning video. http://img532.imageshack.us/my.php?image=pc140025oj2.flv
Well I have been using these 9 as testers since I built them and I had to learn a few things. I still haven't tested them out with rechargables but that will be my last test. After that you might see some of these popping up on ebay or something.