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Driver Specifications Compendium

diachi

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Dear All,

First of all, super cool forum, lots of useful info. Im new here - building my first laser and digging for clues so please be merciful on my stupid questions :thanks:

Im reading through glued posts regarding drivers and have very simple (i hope question)

Why different drivers are described as appropriate for certain laser diode wavelength type? Is it only about providing proper Vout and Io? or is there something more? My knowledge of electrical engineering is poor so I need simple explanation.

:thanks:
Welcome to LPF, you should create a thread in the welcome section to introduce yourself. :)

Different wavelength diodes have different voltage drops, so you need a driver capable of supplying an appropriate voltage. You also need a driver capable of supplying an appropriate current, some can only supply too much, others can't supply enough.

Laser diode drivers are constant current, meaning they always output the same current and adjust the voltage as necessary to meet that setting.
 



kastymizilian

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OK, thanks, so in the end its about supplying appropriate voltage and current and drivers they are rated for different wavelengths just because that - is that correct?
 

paul1598419

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Drivers don't "know" what wavelength the diode is producing. They are constant current devices that are set to run at a certain current rated in mili-amps, or for higher powers, amps. When picking out a driver, however, you must be sure it is capable of supplying enough forward voltage to turn the laser diode on. There are many different types of drivers. Linear, Bucking, Boost, Sepic. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. If this concept is confusing to you, I suggest you search for laser diode drivers and try to learn about each kind. To build a laser pointer, though, you don't NEED to know all this because we have members like DTR who will sell you the laser diode, driver set to the correct current and pressed into a module with a collimating lens. All you need to do is find a suitable host and connect two wires to the contact board, or pill, and secure the module in the heat sink.

See this link: https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/home
 
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Jon Richard

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Drivers don't "know" what wavelength the diode is producing. They are constant current devices that are set to run at a certain current rated in mili-amps, or for higher powers, amps. When picking out a driver, however, you must be sure it is capable of supplying enough forward voltage to turn the laser diode on.
Drivers being constant current I understand. As a welder I utilize both constant current and constant voltage welding machines for different welding processes. As a newcomer the question did peak my interest and I look forward to someday demystifying the care and feeding of different wavelength diodes.

There are many different types of drivers. Linear, Bucking, Boost, Sepic. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.
Sticky waiting to happen:D
On edit: existing sticky discovered and read...

To build a laser pointer, though, you don't NEED to know all this because we have members like DTR who will sell you the laser diode, driver set to the correct current and pressed into a module with a collimating lens. All you need to do is find a suitable host and connect two wires to the contact board, or pill, and secure the module in the heat sink.

See this link: https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/home
And it is Greatly appreciated! I have a question emailed to DTR awaiting a response (probably playing catch up after vacation) about one of his modules that brought me to this thread.

The OSRAM PL520, I don't know what driver is on this module-

https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/home/diodes/pl520-520nm-laser-diode
But I assume it would be prudent to know it's specs to help decide what battery to use to run it for desired run time and duty cycle. If it isn't among those listed here and anyone knows it would be a helpful addition.
 
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DTR

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I pair the PL520's with a Nano buck/boost. If going battery powered use a single Li-Ion. It will run unlimited duty cycle if your heatsink for the module can support it.:beer:
 

Jon Richard

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I pair the PL520's with a Nano buck/boost. If going battery powered use a single Li-Ion. It will run unlimited duty cycle if your heatsink for the module can support it.:beer:
I wondered if the nano buck/boost might be it but I thought "nah, the lowest setting is listed at 275mA", I was hoping for less juice but I can cope with it.

The only reason I haven't hit the buy button yet is I was hoping you could sell me a 120* fan angle cross spot pattern glass lens for it also (fingers crossed thinking the answer is no)
 

paul1598419

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I wondered if the nano buck/boost might be it but I thought "nah, the lowest setting is listed at 275mA", I was hoping for less juice but I can cope with it.
No, that's the Nano Boost driver that has the 275 mA low end. The buck/boost driver has a pot and can be adjusted while the Nano Boost has resistors you solder bridge across.
 

Jon Richard

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No, that's the Nano Boost driver that has the 275 mA low end. The buck/boost driver has a pot and can be adjusted while the Nano Boost has resistors you solder bridge across.
Well, I guess that means I have the option to go hotter and brighter, and if lasers are anything like hotrodding there's no doubt I eventually will.

Won't that end up around 130mW as is?
 
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jnrpop

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Hi lads and ladies, :D

I've written up an updated "list of drivers", in collaboration with the info here, and added a heap more drivers since the last update on this thread,

and so...i would like to ask what you all think is best:

1, ask Trevor to put the info ive gathered into this thread, or....
2. start a new thread

I'm not sure how active Trevor is anymore and an "up-to-date" driver list would be pretty great for reference, I've done all the work just asking whats best as to not tread on anyones drivers......i mean feet :crackup:

cheers
 
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Alaskan

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I'd start a new thread, most of these drivers aren't available now.
 

paul1598419

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That's right. I went back to the OP and many of the drivers listed can't be had at any price now. Just a few remain and probably won't be available much longer since lazeerer is no longer producing. Fortunately, astralist has several drivers now available to take up some of the slack. And they have a very small footprint for the current they can supply.
 

jnrpop

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I'd start a new thread, most of these drivers aren't available now.
That's right. I went back to the OP and many of the drivers listed can't be had at any price now. Just a few remain and probably won't be available much longer since lazeerer is no longer producing. Fortunately, astralist has several drivers now available to take up some of the slack. And they have a very small footprint for the current they can supply.
So a new thread with only "currently available" drivers?
Or,
we continue with this threads platform and just do an update; fill in the new drivers available.

I have written up a word document, using all the drivers listed in this thread and added in all the drivers i could find for sale that were not mentioned here, including photos like in this OP, but.....

I've reaslised its going to be a mission to start a new thread, with all the information including photos, as LPF only allows 7 photos per post, and if i replicate this thread, then we will have two threads very similar, with mine just having a more "updated" list.

Not sure what path to take from here......just know it would be handy to have a "current & relative" list of drivers to reference to when considering a new laser build.

be great if Trevor could hand over the reins "editing access" to this thread, is that even possible??

J
 
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Encap

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So a new thread with only "currently available" drivers?
Or,
we continue with this threads platform and just do an update; fill in the new drivers available.

I have written up a word document, using all the drivers listed in this thread and added in all the drivers i could find for sale that were not mentioned here, including photos like in this OP, but.....

I've reaslised its going to be a mission to start a new thread, with all the information including photos, as LPF only allows 7 photos per post, and if i replicate this thread, then we will have two threads very similar, with mine just having a more "updated" list.

Not sure what path to take from here......just know it would be handy to have a "current & relative" list of drivers to reference to when considering a new laser build.

be great if Trevor could hand over the reins "editing access" to this thread, is that even possible??

J
Good idea but not practical like in the old days there are so many many drivers available and new ones coming along all the time.

Have a look at the drivers avail on this web site alone--there are 20 here: Laser Diode Driver Boards - OdicForce

A search of eBay of "laser diode drivers" show 826 listings.
AliExpress has 7 pages of them 357 results.
Many more in a lot of places.

Maybe concentrate on just listing a few of the tried and true, best available

DTR keeps it pretty simple --just a few--6 good ones. see: https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/home/laser-drivers
 
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paul1598419

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I'd just love to see a single place with all the information on current drivers......including any special notes on changing current levels, TTL and PWM.
 
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BowtieGuy

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I've reaslised its going to be a mission to start a new thread, with all the information including photos, as LPF only allows 7 photos per post, and if i replicate this thread, then we will have two threads very similar, with mine just having a more "updated" list.


J
First of all, thanks for undertaking a thread like this, an updated, or new driver thread would be very appreciated, also, you should be able to attach as many photos as you want to each post; as an example, trevors post #1 in this thread contains 17 different driver pics.
The only thing I can think of that would limit you is if you're using thumbnail pics or something I'm not familiar with. :)
 
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