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Attemped my first laser build last night...and failed...

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So, I finally got brave and decided to try my hand at assembling my own laser. I ordered a C6 host from Survival Laser (excellent all around btw, I have nothing but good to say about their stuff!), which arrived ahead of schedule, always a plus. My original plan was to use a red diode/driver/module I picked up a while back. Was only $15 or so, came with a battery pack using 3x AA batteries. I figure, cut the battery pack off, solder the leads to the battery contact & pill board, drop in an 18650 and make some pretty light! Well, that didn't exactly work out. Soldered my connections, put it together, no beam. Fiddled with it, broke a wire loose. Fix that, try again, still nothing. Fiddle some more, see the driver solder connection is loose. Fix that, try again. Again, zilch. Fiddle a little more, break a tab off the driver.....:(
So yeah, I'm not too mad, only out a few bucks. So I try to use a different diode and driver. These came from Anomalytech (I know some of you have dealt with him, he is a good guy btw.) This time I'm trying a 405nm, a SLD3234VF to be exact, and a driver set at (I felt at least) a modest 100mA. Solder it all up, fire it up and !!!!..... Nothing..... So now I'm a little disappointed for sure. That makes two attempts, both strikeouts.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not writing this asking "what did I do wrong?", although if anyone wants to chime in I'm always game to hear suggestions. My intent is to share my growing pains, as I am new to this hobby. So I began to speculate what I may have done wrong. My first thought was I overheated something while soldering. Maybe I cooked the driver? The diode in each case should be fine, as far as soldering heat goes, I don't think I got it too hot, but who knows? Another thing I noticed, on the 405nm diode, when I removed the lens from the module, the diode did not have the small, well it looks like a little glass window. It did not have that, and I thought it should. Idk if it was like that when it arrived, or it fell out, no clue. I assume it is supposed to have that to function.
Now I will regroup and try again! We all have to learn somewhere, I'm just glad I didn't fry anything expensive my first try you know? I have a 650nm ML101U29 diode in a module gonna pick up a driver from Survival Laser and try that next.
I did take some pics, more for reference than anything else, idk if they would help but if anyone is curious I can upload them later. Hopefully this next try will go better. Fingers crossed!:)
 

10fenny

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Good luck! My first few attempts did not work either. I was having an issue with the driver that was TTL controlled. So keep at it. Be careful. And have fun!
 

mortuus

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thats why i prefer to have someone do the dirty job for me, i like lasers but the actual build part doesnt interest me really i dont have patience for that. But hopefully next time it will go better everyone fails the first time hah.
 
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thats why i prefer to have someone do the dirty job for me, i like lasers but the actual build part doesnt interest me really i dont have patience for that. But hopefully next time it will go better everyone fails the first time hah.
Oh man I hear ya there! Maybe I'm too brave (or stupid) for my own good :evil:

So, I actually have an update on this snafu. I was looking at the listings where I bought these various parts from Anomalytech, and I realized something. What I thought I was hooking up the second try that 405nm, well that was actually the 650nm... Yeah, I noticed the pic of the diode in the listing and realized my mistake! I hooked up a diode that should be getting 400mA+ to a driver putting out 100mA, no wonder it didn't work. Issue #2, I wasn't getting a super good contact on my battery, had to stretch the spring a little. Anyway, I took the 650nm diode out and soldered in the 405nm, and guess what? IT WORKED! HELL YEAH!:eg: Now I'm freakin ticked pink, I managed to build a working handheld laser. Only issue I see now is, running off of only one 18650, that 405nm is only putting out a weak dot. I know those like more oomph, so maybe I need a better extension and a second battery? Anyone want to weigh in there, I'd love to know.
 
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You need to link to the items you purchased because I have no idea what they are except for the C6 and 18650. Yes please also post photos. Did you charge your battery before using it? They don't usually ship charged. If you put the battery in backwards it will fry the driver in most cases. If you bought something intended to run on 3 AA batteries then that's what you should run it with, a single 18650 May not be enough voltage. You must use a driver set at the correct current for your driver. Every driver has a voltage input range, some require 2 Li-Ion 3.7V batteries. Is your battery button top? Or flat top?

Alan
 
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Ok yeah, you are right Pi, I'll link the parts shortly. I did try something just now. You guys are gonna think I'm nuts, but I duct taped 2 18650 batteries nose to tail, used a length of wire to create a ground for the tailcap, and fired up that 405nm again. Now it makes a beam! Nice and bright, so my guess at needing two batteries was correct. Have to order an extension tube from Survival Laser soon. My wife wants a 405nm (says the color is pretty), so this one may end up being hers. (I have safety glasses for both of us btw). Let me look the stuff I bought up and link it so you all can see what I worked with. As for mixing up the diodes last night, well I had already worked 9 hours at my day job, must have been tired and not noticed the mixup :D.


EDIT: Links to parts
The first red diode: http://www.ebay.com/itm/231559285781?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
The 405nm: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171697015826?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
Driver for that 405nm: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181732663699?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT
The 650nm I mistakenly hooked up: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171830169191?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

If you look at the pics of the 650nm, that is what I saw looking at the diode, thinking that was the 405nm. Threw me for a loop for sure. I'll try to get some pics up later.

BTW, thanks everyone for the input! I want to learn, and I trust all of you fine folks opinions.
 
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Yes 2 batteries should be fine for the 405nm, keep in mind that even 150mW of 405nm isn't very bright. You can also use two 16340 instead of the extension tube. Some red diodes are open can, keep the lens in so you don't get any dust on it.

Alan
 
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You need to link to the items you purchased because I have no idea what they are except for the C6 and 18650. Yes please also post photos. Did you charge your battery before using it? They don't usually ship charged. If you put the battery in backwards it will fry the driver in most cases. If you bought something intended to run on 3 AA batteries then that's what you should run it with, a single 18650 May not be enough voltage. You must use a driver set at the correct current for your driver. Every driver has a voltage input range, some require 2 Li-Ion 3.7V batteries. Is your battery button top? Or flat top?
Alan
Batteries were full charged, luckily I had those around before, had them ready. Made sure the battery went in the right way. Using button top batteries. I definitely checked those when it wouldn't run lol! Tried to avoid those noob mistakes :D


Yes 2 batteries should be fine for the 405nm, keep in mind that even 150mW of 405nm isn't very bright. You can also use two 16340 instead of the extension tube. Some red diodes are open can, keep the lens in so you don't get any dust on it.
Alan
I'll have to look at the 16340. What kind of battery life vs an 18650? As for brightness, I'm definitely starting small, for myself and my wife. She enjoys the novelty of it, I'm enjoying the hands on stuff. That 650nm must be open can then. See? I have so much to learn lol!:eek: I appreciate your input for sure, you have already helped me understand better some of my questions.


+ Rep for you. I like happy endings. :)
Thanks a bunch! I was super relieved to see that pretty violet dot, even if it was faint. :p
 
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It depends on the batteries but you can expect 18650 to last about 3 times as long on a charge as the 16340. At such a low power though the 16340 would last plenty long enough. I run a 1.5W 445nm on two 16340. You can also use two 18350 but not all of them fit in a C6 but most of them do.

Alan
 
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It depends on the batteries but you can expect 18650 to last about 3 times as long on a charge as the 16340. At such a low power though the 16340 would last plenty long enough. I run a 1.5W 445nm on two 16340. You can also use two 18350 but not all of them fit in a C6 but most of them do.

Alan
Awesome, good to know. I figured looking at the mAh on Survival laser, the 18650 would last at least twice as long. Idk, I've got a couple weeks before I order anything else, so I have time to consider my options. Thanks again!
 
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Awesome, good to know. I figured looking at the mAh on Survival laser, the 18650 would last at least twice as long. Idk, I've got a couple weeks before I order anything else, so I have time to consider my options. Thanks again!
Survival Laser only sells the Ultrafire batteries, Ultrafire are low grade batteries and you can't trust the mAh printed on them, but they will work fine in lower power lasers. I have bought all my batteies and chargers here:
Illumn.com - Flashlights, Batteries, Carry Gear, Intelligent LED Lighting, and More!
And on Amazon. Also avoid the generic blue batteries with no brand name. I have some in two sizes and they are no more than 1/4th the mAh printed on the battery. See this build thread for photos of those batteries:
http://laserpointerforums.com/f65/assembled-m140-c6-pic-heavy-83543.html

Alan
 
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I think i went through 3 or 4 diodes before I got one to run correctly.
They were 16x diodes...

It's very frustrating when things don't work out. I almost gave up all together. Back then I didn't make a whole lot of money and every time I killed a diode it cost me about $20.
 
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Survival Laser only sells the Ultrafire batteries, Ultrafire are low grade batteries and you can't trust the mAh printed on them, but they will work fine in lower power lasers. I have bought all my batteies and chargers here:
Illumn.com - Flashlights, Batteries, Carry Gear, Intelligent LED Lighting, and More!
And on Amazon. Also avoid the generic blue batteries with no brand name. I have some in two sizes and they are no more than 1/4th the mAh printed on the battery. See this build thread for photos of those batteries:
http://laserpointerforums.com/f65/assembled-m140-c6-pic-heavy-83543.html

Alan
You know, I have that build thread bookmarked! :gj: I've gone back to it multiple times, thinking of the assembly process, familiarizing myself with the parts and process.

I think i went through 3 or 4 diodes before I got one to run correctly.
They were 16x diodes...

It's very frustrating when things don't work out. I almost gave up all together. Back then I didn't make a whole lot of money and every time I killed a diode it cost me about $20.
Ahh, growing pains! It is nice that the cost of some of the diodes is less now, hopefully that trend will continue. Any hobby can be a strain on the budget and wallet, lasers are definitely no exception :yh:
 




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