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BMW X5 Laser Headlight unknown strange diode

Gilbert

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So I thought this may be of interest to some, I extracted this diode from a 2022 BMW X5 laser headlight that was damaged in a collision, oddly this is the only laser present in the headlight the rest of the lighting is LED. As this headlight is over 5000 dollars new, getting more of these may be a problem. I have never seen a diode quite like it. It appears to have some shielding that is spot welded in some manner to the diode, and there is some sort of white disc in the aperture. I'm guessing this may be a phosphorescent material. Cannot seem to find any data as to what sort of diode this is so I really have no reference point as to what voltage and current to start with to run it. The only label on it is L36 EC. The arrangement in the headlight was kind of strange too, there is a solid cast bar that is directly in the path of the diode about 10mm in front of the diode with no reflective surface on it, but it did have reflective surfaces on every side, kind of like it generates a ball of light or a really short bright beam. Previous BMW laser headlights such as in the BMW i8 used some reflective surfaces to put the beam where it needed to be.

Anyway, if you think you have an idea of what this diode may be or a volt/amp recommendation to start with let me know, I'm curious to see what this diode does.

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Shmackitup

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Looks like a standard TO-5 diode pressed into some sort of lens and possibly phosphor type fixture...
 

RedCowboy

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Your diode looks like a 9mm, likely an nubm08, nubm0A, nubm0E or similar and it should run at 3.0-4.0A and around 4.5V would be my guess.

Yep I see the phosphor in the center, so the laser diode is pressed into that shell that holds the phosphor, the diode is likely a GBall but could be a window can with a lens in the shell before the phosphor, the laser is focused pretty tight onto the phosphor in the others I have. Yours is a more compact design than the one I am showing below.

This unit uses a GBall likely a nubm08 or similar focused tightly onto the phosphor only this one uses a small mirror to bounce the beam onto the phosphor. You can see the additional focusing lens and the mirror in the little fixture removed.


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liveforphysics

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Can you share any specs about the diode?
Do you have a laser power meter?
 

RedCowboy

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If you're asking me, the laser diode from my LEP unit appears to be 450-455nm and is doing about 6.5W @ 4.5A
It's almost certainly an NUBM08 or similar.

I would like to get some units like OP posted ( from surplus or salvage at a good price ) they would work well I suspect in zoom lens thrower flashlight builds.
 

Gilbert

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Thanks for the interest guys, so heres an update.

Hadnt had much time to play with the diode this week due to 4th and work and such.
Hot glued the diode back into its heat sink since I dont have anything else it will readily fit. Started with set current max of 300mA which was able to activate the diode at 3.3v. Ramped up current in stages 500mA 700mA and so on up to 3A. Running 4.15v at 3.0A starts heating the heatsink pretty rapidly so that's about as high as I'm willing to push it for the moment. Due to whatever reasons of white balancing or IR emissions the camera seems to pick it up yellow but its incredibly white probably 6000+ led kelvin scale. Next step I guess is to come up with some sort of housing for it, probably gonna have to use a TO-5 housing and turn out the slot for it since the base of this is about a mm larger than a standard TO-5. Curious to see if the phosphor lens will keep it from focusing into a beam. Hopefully this will yield a white focused laser pointer. Other option would be to fit it to a flashlight since right now its effectively a really bright LED.

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Shmackitup

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Anyone know where to buy transparent phosphor lenses?
 

kecked

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Prob easiest to but a high power led unit and pull the led off. See if you can separate it from the led. Bet with care and a knife you can do it. Might google for the disks too I am pretty sure I’ve seen them. That’s how all white leds work. Blue mixed with yellow makes an assume white. Try it with laser same time. 577/445
 

RedCowboy

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Here it is :


 
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18LJ

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Anyone know where to buy transparent phosphor lenses?
Ebay has em for like 20 bucks I've seen. I wanna say techood but I could be mistaken. They're yellow not transparent but if I remember correct there was the option for a reflective phosphor or a transmissible one. Looked kinda plastic and cheap more suited for a flashlight but anyway ya I'm sure if u search Ebay you come across one.
 

Shmackitup

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Ebay has em for like 20 bucks I've seen. I wanna say techood but I could be mistaken. They're yellow not transparent but if I remember correct there was the option for a reflective phosphor or a transmissible one. Looked kinda plastic and cheap more suited for a flashlight but anyway ya I'm sure if u search Ebay you come across one.
Yes, the ebay links are in the post right before yours.
 

18LJ

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" The arrangement in the headlight was kind of strange too, there is a solid cast bar that is directly in the path of the diode about 10mm in front of the diode with no reflective surface on it, but it did have reflective surfaces on every side, kind of like it generates a ball of light or a really short bright beam. Previous BMW laser headlights such as in the BMW i8 used some reflective surfaces to put the beam where it needed to be."

Anyway, if you think you have an idea of what this diode may be or a volt/amp recommendation to start with let me know, I'm curious to see what this diode does.

View attachment 74771View attachment 74772
The bar in front if the diode sounds like it's for steering the headlights in the direction your turning as some newer cars do this. Either that or some cars now automatically divert the light from traffic that's oncoming so not blast drivers in the oncoming lane with ur super laser hi beam. Can u post pics of the assembly I'm curious to see how much a few grand gets u for headlights these days?
 

liveforphysics

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Here it is :


I bought a laser phosphor from that ebay listing. I hit it with a 445nm blue FAC beam compressed beam combined laser pair at 7w output in a sub 1mm*1mm spot. It pulsed blue-white light spectacularly for just a flash, before it went dim and then just pure blue beam. I would say under 100mS of output time.

About 10seconds later when I realized I just burned a hole through it instantly, I regretted not defocusing the beam and starting at lower power and ramped up gently with a fan on it.
 

RedCowboy

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I would drill a hole the width of the phosphor center in a couple 1/2 inch thick blocks of aluminum bar stock I have laying around and then sandwich the disc by its perimeter between the 2 slabs lining up the holes, that should keep it cool and start at a lower power, but the spot is pretty tight where the beam is focused on the non transmissible types, that said there was a warning to not exceed 3.5A in the add for the one I bought.
 

kecked

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Maybe put piece of frosted glass between phosphor and laser beam to diffuse it?
 




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