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DVD drive pointer

djkaye

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Dear community,

I am new to this and want to create a laser pointer with a beam visible in light. I then want to create a laser gun used for popping balloons. I have nothing but a dvd RW drive: AD-5240S. How powerful would this laser be? and how would I use it to create a laser gun?
 

Radim

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Dear djkaye,

welcome to the forum. Please try to use search first, there is a lot of topics on this. Also search for laser safety and GET PROPER LASER SAFETY GLASSES first and before even trying to get diode out of the drive - you have just one pair of eyes.
 
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djkaye

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thanks... I'll be sure to look for a good pair of laser safe goggles... just wondering what type of goggles should I look for. I don't think it should be too much more than 150Mw.... but I was thinking of 300Mw goggles just to be safe... maybe 750Mw goggles just in case I need an upgrade one day.... if that's how goggles work? Hum... I'll be sure to do more research. I don't know exactly how much goggles cost, and while I want fairly cheap one's my eyes are worth more than the price... maybe if I could get £25 one's that'd be cool.... if I need more money to spend that's fine tho. thanks for advice!
 

djkaye

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also is there anyway to lower the pointers strength? Like lower it to 100mw?
 

Radim

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Just use search again and again. :) You might even consider to get some portable laser instead at this powers they are not really expensive. Regarding safety glassess the Eagle pair has been discussed as good and it is in your price range. I have different glasses and goggles but use search for recommendations. Regarding glasses study optical density for a given wavelength to move forward. And I think you mean mW - miliwatts, not MW - megawatts. :)
 

CurtisOliver

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I suggest you put your location on your profile, I saw you put a £ sign, so I know you are from the UK.

Laser goggles work by accounting of Optical Density (OD) which is logarithmic. For a laser to be considered eye-safe it must remain below 5mW. Laser goggles are essentially specialised light filters. If you have a 1000mW laser and OD 3 googles, you will end up with 1mW making it eye-safe again. 10^3 = 1000. 1000mW/1000 = 1mW

So if you have a 150mW laser, the minimum OD that you would need is OD 2. 10^2= 100. 150mW/100 = 1.5mW
I've seen on a Russian forum that the AD-5240S is roughly about 230mW. So you would need OD 2-3 for the red/ir part of the spectrum as the diode will be between 650-660nm.
A trusted retailer for laser goggles is Survival lasers. They only do OD 4 in the wavelength band you need, but they will protect you high up into the Class IV territory. Remember, never use safety goggles with lasers outside of its specified wavelength bands.
They are slightly more expensive than £25 but you can't really put a price on your eyesight, and they will do any red laser you may get in the future. Stay safe and have fun. :)

Edit: I see Radim just got in there before me with the Eagle pairs. :p And don't forget that as a member you can get 10% off with the code LPF445.
 
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djkaye

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wait If I make a driver can I tune it to be less powerful... I want it just powerful enough to pop a balloon.
 

Radim

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wait If I make a driver can I tune it to be less powerful... I want it just powerful enough to pop a balloon.
It is hard to estimate safe power without proper LPM (device for measuring power of lasers) and if it pops balloon, it might pop your retinas as well. In addition you have to get above lasing treshold for that particular diode otherwise you won't get laser light.

It will probably pop just some colors of balloons as well or you will need to put a black dot with the marker on it.

Edit: Also I think you will get bored from popping balloons soon... There are much more stuff to do with high power lasers. :D
 
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djkaye

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I will still not shine it in eyes and safety glasses OC. I just would want to tune it down so it can't light matches or make holes in plastic :p
 

Radim

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I will still not shine it in eyes and safety glasses OC. I just would want to tune it down so it can't light matches or make holes in plastic :p
When I was beginner with lasers (I think I can say I have a little experience now), I told myself I'll be very carefull with lasers. But untill you get more experience with laser beam of high power you cannot even imagine how dangerous it is - this is what I realized later.

Remeber the speed of light and there are so many reflective objects of too many shapes to estimate direction of potential reflection, you have no time to react untill it is too late in case of accident - and with lack of respect to lasers it will come sooner or later. Remember also you might loose your attention due to excitment from your new laser and the beam might go somewhere you don't want. Of course I do not think you will be shining to your (or anyone's) eyes intentionally even with glasses on. But take laser safety very seriously. Lasers are safe only if you treat them safe.

BTW: Oliver has explained you some basics of the protection of laser glasses already.

Edit: I think you will not get above lasing treshold without reaching 5 mW, which is the last relatively safe power level. The diode might emit some light, but it won't be a laser light untill you reach the lasing treshold. If some more experienced member knows more, please post. And also 5 mW will definitelly not do what you want.
 
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CurtisOliver

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#Lasers are safe only if you treat them safe.

Edit: I think you will not get above lasing treshold without reaching 5 mW, which is the last relatively safe power level.
Two very good points there Radim. The first is self-explanatory. And yes the threshold is likely to exceed 5mW.

You are basically wanting an eye-safe burner. That is a bit of a oxymoron. A burning laser that won't burn/damage your eyes. :thinking: You need power to burn, and 5mW simply won't cut it. Your eyes are precious, so do invest in goggles if you want to mess with powerful lasers.
 




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