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Computer disk drive laser question

J4894

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Sep 11, 2019
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Hello,

Does anyone know why when I open the disk drawer my cd/dvd drive on my computer, which is on my desk at eye level, I can see a red light inside the unit? Is this the laser? and if so is there any danger to seeing it from an angle such as through the open disk door?

I always assumed the laser would not be on with door open but something red is on in there. Can anyone educate me on how these lasers in the drives work and if it posses a danger. I read its a class 3b laser and to avoid looking at the laser but I assume that is head on, right?cdrom.jpg
 
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paul1598419

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If that is a photo of it, it looks like an LED, not the laser diode. The LD is behind a focusing lens that only focuses the beam to the disc, which is very close to the lens. It is never active when open.
 

Cyparagon

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There's no reason to have the laser itself idling while the device is inactive. There's also no reason to have an indicator LED inside the unit where it isn't visible... but the optics look a bit complex for a standard indicator LED, so it may just be a light pipe. Hard to say without seeing the rest of the unit. Even if it were the laser (because of a driver malfunction, presumably), you are in no danger from that angle.
 

J4894

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here is a picture of the area with the flash on, this is looking in the cd/dvd drive through the open tray. That clear square is what is lit up red with the door open, it looks unlit with the flash. Quit an interesting unit. I assume the laser is in the center of that square I was just surprised to see it lit up with the tray out and door open.
cdromflash.jpg
 

paul1598419

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It is difficult to say what that may be. The LD sits behind a focusing lens that is movable vertically with a coil mounted to a magnet in order to keep the laser focused on the disc. This doesn't look like that. It does look like LEDs I have seen before.
 




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