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Dropped laser. Now not working. Help?

JaiNobeZ

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tl;dr My laser stopped working after being dropped. I've tried repairing it by stuffing aluminium foil into everywhere where there might be a loose connection with no luck. Can anyone help?

Today my laser dropped out of my pocket and hit a hard floor, then didn't work anymore. It's a FocalPrice <50mW and it has broken before, but I fixed it by stretching the driver spring and putting in some aluminium foil on the positive end to effectively lengthen the batteries so they made better contact with the spring, then messing around with the external button because it wasn't making very good contact with the button on the driver.

I noticed something weird about it that i'd never noticed before and that is that the diode & driver seem to freely slip up and down in the head of the laser. It's pretty strange that i should have only noticed that after dropping it and it stopping working, and stranger still that it worked in that condition but i can't see how dropping it could change the shape of the head. I used aluminium foil to fill every gap i thought could possibly be a loose connection and it's still not working. Anyone got any ideas?

Thanks in advance.
 



JaiNobeZ

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I can't easily. Idk if i explained it badly, the laser casing comes into 4 parts. The cap that keeps the batteries in (the positive battery terminal hits a flat metal part at the bottom of it), a bit more casing that can be removed to make the laser able to fit an 18650 instead of 2 AAs, the part with the "Green Laser Pointer" logo and the hole for the button (this part houses the diode driver in a little plastic case thing) and the bit i referred to as the "head" which houses the diode and has the hole in the end which the beam comes from (where I celotaped an infrared filter). There are screwthreads between each part.

My guess -it's little more than an informed gues- as to how it works is that there is metal running through each section of casing and there is a black insulating covering of some sort on the outside for appearance and on the inside to serve as insulation. There is exposed metal on each of the screwthreads, connecting them to eachother and a metal part in the head that the diode needs to touch. It seems as if the diode was too short, as there's a washer already in there. I think maybe it needs another washer of the same size or something. I'm not sure how i could put foil between the head and casing because it needs to be screwed on, during which the foil would be shredded or twisted and might short-circuit the diode driver. And i can't see how it would help anyway because the screwthread is the connecting part and inside is insulated.

Hope that makes sense, sorry if it doesn't. Will post pics if necessary.
 

phoenix77

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I think that in order for us to help you, you need to post pictures. rob
 

JaiNobeZ

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Sorry it's been a while, and thanks for sticking around to see this to conclusion. A bit of new "information" has come to light and i'm doubting it's fixable. Originally when i got my hands on the diode, in my infinite lust for useless knowledge i tried twisting the lens thing to see if it was on a screwthread. Nothing happened.

More recently, while blindly fumbling around trying to fix the laser i noticed that the diode rattled when i shook it. So i twisted the cap in the same way i had originally and it unscrewed. Something has been knocked out of place and whatever adhesive was holding the screwthread in place and stopping it turning has broken, so now it turns. Inside, there was something that's detached. I'm pretty sure that's the problem rather than the casing, and i've hooked the driver & diode directly up to the 2AA batteries without luck, soi'm pretty sure the problem is in the diode end.

I have pictures, but it's getting late and they need cropping so i'll just upload the one of what i found inside the diode.

Also, i've pretty much accepted that the thing is unfixable. If i'm right in that, is there any of it that's worth keeping?
 

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KiLLrB

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If im not mistaken it looks like the crystal was knocked out it needs to be put back and aligned properly and thats not too easy if what ive read here on the forums is correct.
 

JaiNobeZ

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Ohhh dear...

Hang on, does that mean atm I have an IR laser?

Shit... I looked into that with the button held down to see if it was working. Ohhhhh dear....
 

randomlugia

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If you haven't noticed anything yet, then you don't have eye trouble. But it would be nice if you could find IR through a camera, to see if that's your problem. It should appear as a very light, greenish-blue dot if you have a normal camera.
 

JaiNobeZ

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When the laser was working properly I tried through my phone camera (the only camera I have easy access to) and that couldn't pick up on anything. I'll try again now... hold on...
 

JaiNobeZ

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OMG! Yes! There it is!! Infrared!! Lol... this makes me really happy in a way i can't explain... i'm so easily amused. It appears as a sort of a purple smudge when the picture's being taken in (to the camera) a pitch-black room and the laser is being shot at a sheet of white paper.
Is it helpful for me to post the picture for whatever reason or is all IR the same now that we know that's what it's outputting?

And is it dangerous for me to spend some time mucking about with it? It doesn't seem very focussed... it appears as a sort of smudge.
 

JaiNobeZ

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Haha lol... i just pulled out the crystal thing altogether. It's now an 808nm barely visible red! Which surprised me. Is this a really bad idea?
 

KiLLrB

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Haha lol... i just pulled out the crystal thing altogether. It's now an 808nm barely visible red! Which surprised me. Is this a really bad idea?
I like to see my beam for safety reasons but thats just me... Also I dont think you are gonna be able to put the crystal back and get it aligned well enough to be satisfied with it.
 

JaiNobeZ

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Alright. Bit disappointing, but it's about the experience and knowledge i gained, not about the laser.
I'll keep this as an 808 and buy myself another. What sort of mWage am I likely to be getting from this? And is there anything else safety-related i should be aware of before i start playing with it?
 

randomlugia

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It really depends on how efficient the crystals were, and what the green output was, but I'd say at least 200mW. Get safety goggles!

Also, if you hold the crystals in front of the laser (picture), can you create green? Just wondering.

 

JaiNobeZ

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Ok. Is it possible to focus it with a "normal" lens? Something like a magnifying glass? At the moment it's too diffuse to do anything fun with, but my Physics teacher said glass has a really high IR absorbancy so (my reasoning is) a magnifying glass wouldn't work.

I might try holding the crystals in front of it. I did so briefly last night, and couldn't get anything, but i didn't try too hard because i didn't want to keep it on too long for fear of loss of vision.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with that! Will post in here if i get green light while holding the crystals in the right spot, otherwise this thread can rot.
 




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