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A point in the right direction

Sensay

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Hi everyone, as I'm sure everyone will be able to tell, I'm completely new to laser building. I've read some of the newcomer stuff here on the site, but I'm still having a couple issues compiling various aspects... first and foremost is where should I begin my research. I'm looking to safely build a laser pointer (probably several) as a project with my son. I'd like to be able to light matches with it or burn paper or dry wood, but don't want to be unsafe or irresponsible. It seems to me that the info is scattered and tough to know where to start. Can anyone point me towards where I should start my research in order to make decisions on how powerful, and what I would need both in parts and tools to do this? My son is 13 years old, but scientifically inclined, and I feel he's able to handle the rules & potential dangers. He also (of course) wouldn't ever have access to any potentially dangerous pointers unless supervised. I'm going to keep reading up what I can, but a nudge in the right direction would be great! Thanks.
 

Sta

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Welcome to the forum, Sensay!
The first thing you will need is two pairs of laser goggles. Typically, high power laser builds utilize blue wavelengths, so these goggles should work fine. They have been shown to reduce a 2W 445nm laser to less than 1mW.

If you are paranoid and cannot trust those goggles, try these. I have been hit directly by a 2W 445 with these goggles on, and no blue light got through.

Now, as for your diode, I recommend the A-Type M140. I suggest purchasing it in module with driver; get the 3-element lens.
This diode IS dangerous, but not as dangerous as the higher powered diodes. A direct hit to the eye will seriously damage your vision if you are wearing no goggles (but will not cause TOTAL blindness in that eye.) It is being run at a conservative current, which means that it should last a very long time.

For your host, I recommend the Survival Laser Budget Host Bundle. Choose whichever host you like - the C6 is fine - and pick 'blank battery contact board' for the driver. For your heatsink choice, I recommend choosing one of the copper heatsinks, you will not regret it. And either driver pill will work fine, I typically use the drilled one.

I believe the only tool you need is a soldering iron. If you need any more help, don't hesitate to ask!

Good luck!
 
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dden4012

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Tube of thermal grease would be a good idea. Survival lasers has it. CPU paste would work too but it is a lot thicker than the stuff Survival Lasers sells. For pointing use the 3 element as mentioned. For burning try a G2 lens. Safety glasses for the son for sure. Treat it like a gun. Watch where your pointing it. Don't leave it loaded with batteries. Don't let him sneak it to school lol. I'll PM you some suggestions.
 

Sensay

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Thanks guys... I also got a few books from my library. I figured it couldn't hurt. & yeah be assured that even though I trust my son to act mature, I would definitely keep him honest by not allowing access unless I'm there. I would treat it exactly like a gun & I am a gun owner & have taken him shooting before. Forget no batteries... it would be locked up when not in use. I don't know yet if it matters, but I have a couple 18650 batteries & a couple of the smaller ones from an old e cigarette and a charger. Thanks again & keep the advice & places to shop coming... I'm one of those people who really like to know as much info as I can before I act.
 




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