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Building Laser Pointers Using the 445nm Laser Diodes

jmgallego

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Many of us are receiving our new 445nm laser diodes in the next couple of weeks and some have a good idea on what to do when they arrive.
Update: Laser diodes are now arriving, hope this thread is helping bulid your portable lasers.

To make things easy, I would like to start a thread where we talk about building on what it has been learned in the past when working with high power laser diodes, such as the 405nm 8x and 12x diodes and be ready by the time diodes to arrive. This does not mean that we should look at other host, test and push these diodes to their limits, it is just to get us started on how properly build and used the new diodes.

From early test and builds, it has been seen that these diodes will require at least three things:

- Large capacity batteries,

- since it produces a lot of heat, a good heat exchanger (or sink),

- since it requires larger currents than other laser diode normally used here a drive that can deliver

- and a clicky switch that withstand the high current and heat, and not melt while in use.


We know that Jayrob has available many builts and he has learned quite a lot regarding building laser pointers. The one that I see as the best option for the new 445nm laser diodes is his 18650 Build Kit. This built has become the standard for long running lasers and it meets the battery requirements for the 445nm diodes, a large capacity battery, the 18650.
Update: I went for one of these and it was very rewarding experience, (http://laserpointerforums.com/f65/b...sing-445nm-laser-diodes-51454.html#post715438) and the bottom line is all I really had to do is press the LD, solder the LD and assemble it.

The second requirement is a good heat exchanger. Although Jayrob an aluminum version and a copper version; cooper being an excellent heat conductor making it a better choice as a heat sink for the 445nm laser diodes. And he has one made specifically for his 18650 Build Kit.
Update: during my testing and running the LD at around ~1000mA, the aluminum worked great for up to 4 minutes YouTube - Temperature (4mins); for longer cycles and at this current, copper could be a better option. But for around 300mA, aluminum should be enough.

As for third requirement, voltage and current, there are a couple of options and I still have not decided on which one to use. But we have several options, Micro-Drive laser driver by rkcstr and drlavas’ MicroFlexDrive, Micro Boost Drive V1, or Groove 2. I have not decided which one I will be using when my diode arrives, I would like to hear opinions on which one would a good choice.
Update: the current posts have been around the flexdrive and the boost drive and setting anywhere around 200mA to 600mA for extending the LD’s life. If you want higher power you can set them up to a max around 1000mA. Some have set it up even higher but building their own using the LM317 or the AMC7135.

And for the clicky switch, I am looking for one that will withstand the high current and heat. Those available from DX are out of the question, they are made out of plastic. The switch needs be rated 1.2Amp or higher.
Update: No longer an issue, regular clicky switch work fine. A shortcut in the initial builts where causing concern.

One item for these laser diodes that is mandatory, no matter what, you are building a Class 4 laser, there is no question about it: you MUST wear protective glasses before you turn on these lasers. I already have a pair goggles (one for me and one for my guest) that I use when using my 405nm 200mW. They are rated >5 for optical density around 445nm wavelength. Mfo has opened a “feeler” for goggles for these diodes and their highest density (>4) is right on the button for 445nm. I may get an extra set: Feeler: Protection goggles for new 445nm diodes and there is some good discussion here A Plea for EYE Safety!!
Update: NOTHING HAS CHANGED, YOU MUST ALWAYS PRACTICE SAFE “LASERING” AND USE SAFETY GOGGLES. There a few 445nm safety goggles Group Buys going on, read then before purchasing a pair.

Optional: Jayrob’s or LarryDFW’s glass lens for 405nm lasers. Not verified yet, but they may increase the output of the 445nm laser diodes by as much 30%(??) vs an Aixiz lens.
Update: I am using a regular Aixiz glass lens for now, gives a nice "roundish" point Just a quick note on the lens I am using:


Jayrob now has custom focus for it. FS: 445 Custom Focus Knob for AixiZ Glass Lenses http://laserpointerforums.com/f64/fs-445-custom-focus-knob-aixiz-glass-lenses-51727.html#post720940

If you are unable to build your own, there are some LPF members that would be more than happy to build you one, at a very reasonable cost. I am not mentioning names since I have not talked with them about posting their names here.
Update: LPF members have started to make them available, search for the in the 445nm Lasers, the Laser Pro Shop or the Buy, Sell, & Trade forums.

Comments?
José
 
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LarryDFW

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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

Jose;

Here are some photos on my new 445nm build designed for long operating cycles:
First is the large step-machined heatsink.
Module pressed in w/thermal epoxy.
The machined Hi-Power lens assembly gives the best output power :


This is the grey finished product:

It is powered by one of my Sanyo #18650 2600mah batteries for long run times ...

I am using a direct drive power system, since the 4.2VDC battery voltage is just slightly higher than I need.

LarryDFW
 
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jbtm

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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

My plans is this:

Jayrobs 18650 kit (as he ran over 2A on the clicky switch in the past)
Jayrobs press copper heatsink (diode press into heatsink, one solid piece with aixiz threads)
A Flexdrive (no idea what current yet)
and my SoShine protected 2800mAh 18650s.

Figured it could be nice for people to post their plans for others to inspect :)
 
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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

The reason why the normal DX clickies were failing in mariomasters kryton build was because the spring was to long. It was bending and touching the host causing it to short. Trimming the spring fixed it.
 

RA_pierce

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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

Anyone considering building a "pointer" with these diodes should definitely read the thread linked in the original post.

These lasers are NOT toys.

Most of the members of this forum have never touched a >500mW laser before, let alone 1 Watt. Just to let you all know, it is a TON of power. No, it doesn't melt steel, but it IS enough to start a fire. A Class IV laser should NEVER be used willy-nilly. >500mW of a high-energy wavelength will decompose organic materials on contact.

Please exercise caution when using any Class IV laser.
I can tell you from experience with multi-Watt infrared diodes... these power levels will destroy tissue in a fraction of a second. Accidental exposure is very painful, even for a split-second. Intentional exposure is NOT advised. Goggles are REQUIRED.

1W is too much power to be waving around carelessly (and even with care), which is why I dismantled my 2W 808nm "pointer."
Any laser with a power level in the thousands of milliWatts belongs stationary on a table in a controlled environment.
 
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daguin

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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

Anyone considering building a "pointer" with these diodes should definitely read the thread linked in the original post.

These lasers are NOT toys.

Most of the members of this forum have never touched a >500mW laser before, let alone 1 Watt. Just to let you all know, it is a TON of power. No, it doesn't melt steel, but it IS enough to start a fire. A Class IV laser should NEVER be used willy-nilly. >500mW of a high-energy wavelength will decompose organic materials on contact.

Please exercise caution when using any Class IV laser.
I can tell you from experience with multi-Watt infrared diodes... these power levels will destroy tissue in a fraction of a second. Accidental exposure is very painful, even for a split-second. Intentional exposure is NOT advised. Goggles are REQUIRED.

1W is too much power to be waving around carelessly (and even with care), which is why I dismantled my 2W 808nm "pointer."
Any laser with a power level in the thousands of milliWatts belongs stationary on a table in a controlled environment.
HEAR! HEAR!!

Peace,
dave
 

LSRFAQ

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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

Quote" Any laser with a power level in the thousands of milliWatts belongs stationary on a table in a controlled environment."

Amen, Amen, Amen!

And just the scattered light from these is a severe hazard, let alone the direct beam. You do not get a second chance with this level of power.

This is a Rattlesnake that does permanent damage, moves 11.8 inches (30 cm) every billionth of a second, is totally unfeeling, and will blind you, burn you, and scar you.

Steve
 
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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

I was planning on a CR2 host when I first saw these, thinking that the 500mW statement was a 'how high it can go' and that 500mW would be it's highest, so I figured I'd make a 300mW pointer kinda thing. But I then I learned they were kickin out 1 WATT of power. So I thought...'hmmm..200mW burns your skin easily, and 300 instantly, so 600-1000...' And I figured I'd find a way to make a labby. But I'm not all too familiar with labbies....soooo...I'll be doin some build research on the forums. I caught reflections off water bottles and such when my PHR was alive. That was only a few mW, no where near 500+ and it was pretty annoying. I can't even imagine how annoying it'd be to go blind from accidently hitting a water bottle. It's gunna be a labby for me no doubt. And I recommend the same to others. 1 WATT is powerfull yes, but too powerfull to be a 'pocket gadget'.
 
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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

Thats exactly what steve was talking about, there is no accidently hitting a water bottle with these, you need to be dead sure of whats around that is reflective and get it far away from you before you even turn one of these on.

Anyway if you want a labbie, see if pyro has any maxsinks left for sale, they are amazing heatsinks and are more than up to this task, I currently have mine in one for the time being.

Check mine out:http://laserpointerforums.com/f65/445nm-diode-up-running-51508.html#post711987
 
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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

Yeah, I've done some stupid unsafe things before. But a laser isn't worth permanent eye damage. In my opinion, if you have a class IV at your disposal, unless you KNOW lasers left right and backwards, then it should NOT be a handheld. Too many thing can go wrong with a handheld. A Labby won't slip from your hand and fall if it's on a table.
 

RA_pierce

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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

I was planning on a CR2 host when I first saw these, thinking that the 500mW statement was a 'how high it can go' and that 500mW would be it's highest, so I figured I'd make a 300mW pointer kinda thing. But I then I learned they were kickin out 1 WATT of power. So I thought...'hmmm..200mW burns your skin easily, and 300 instantly, so 600-1000...' And I figured I'd find a way to make a labby. But I'm not all too familiar with labbies....soooo...I'll be doin some build research on the forums. I caught reflections off water bottles and such when my PHR was alive. That was only a few mW, no where near 500+ and it was pretty annoying. I can't even imagine how annoying it'd be to go blind from accidently hitting a water bottle. It's gunna be a labby for me no doubt. And I recommend the same to others. 1 WATT is powerfull yes, but too powerfull to be a 'pocket gadget'.
Good thinking.
Yes, please research the topic FIRST! Not AFTER the damage is done.

Note:
A transparent glass surface will reflect about 7-12% of the light. 7% of 1000mW is 70mW. 12% is 120mW!!!
The surface of water reflects about 3-5%. That's 30-50mW. This is enough to damage vision. It is still Class IIIb.
(I have tested this with several transparent glass surfaces and water)
 
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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

Wow, I knew some surface only did 3%, and I scoffed at the thought. Only 3%? So what! But when you get down to it, that's still a lot. Thanks for pointing that out, it should be common sense, but when you hear 'only 3% of the light!' It sounds like such a minute amount...
 

HaloBlu

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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

One item for these laser diodes that is mandatory, no matter what, you are building a Class 4 laser, there is no question about it, you MUST wear protective glasses before you turn on these lasers.
Also check out http://laserpointerforums.com/f55/gb-oem-laser-systems-protective-eyewear-51496.html
Only $62 for OD 7+ 445nm, 532nm & 405nm certified OEM. If you might try your 445nm @ the high powers I wouldn't trust my eyes with anything less.
 

jmgallego

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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

Not a bad idea, a labbie is easier to build, less expensive, you can add the mandatory (and necessary) safety precautions requiered for a Class 4 laser and keep it confined in the lab (in my case my mod garage).

I will see if pyro has extra sinks for my (future) second diode.


...

Anyway if you want a labbie, see if pyro has any maxsinks left for sale, they are amazing heatsinks and are more than up to this task, I currently have mine in one for the time being.

Check mine out:http://laserpointerforums.com/f65/445nm-diode-up-running-51508.html#post711987
 

jmgallego

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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

Hi Larry,

Not bad looking host! I really like it :yh:

Since the 455nm seems to heat up quite a bit, will you have the heat sink available in copper? Or would the aluminium do it?

Also, I don't understand what does a direct drive power system means, could please explain it?

THANKS!

Jose;
...

I am using a direct drive power system, since the 4.2VDC battery voltage is just slightly higher than I need.

LarryDFW
 
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Re: Building Laser Pointers Using the 455nm Laser Diodes

This is a noob question, but how do you set up the test load circuit and test it to set the current on the driver? Is it the same as for a blu-ray diode?
 




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