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[FEELER] Cheap, small Laser diode Drivers

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EDIT 9-25-14
**BETA UNITS ARE NOW AVAILABLE. SEE PAGE THREE OF THREAD.
LINK TO PURCHASE: Removed

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Hello Everyone,


Been on a hiatus for a pretty long time, I've been buried under by loads of work.

The purpose of this thread is to guage interest for some relatively cheap, surface mount (small), MOSFET based laser diode drivers. Depending on interest, I may just divert and setup a storefront instead of a GB. These would be variable current, and I could entertain a variety of features depending on what you all want (ramp up, voltage filtering, short circuit protection, hell; LED indicating on/off?, etc etc).

Post below, let me know what you want, and/or if you're interested.

Best,

amk
 
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I think there is ALWAYS an interest in small drivers. I know I am.
 
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Let's see we want a 5mm x 4mm buck/boost that has low voltage LED indicators one that beeps on low voltage that can produce at least 6A from single li-on with no heat and can buck down from 24V and cost 5.00 delivered.... almost forgot with florescent GITD screening.:wave::wave::thanks::whistle::paypal: :anyone: :worthy:
 
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Let's see we want a 5mm x 4mm buck/boost that has low voltage LED indicators one that beeps on low voltage that can produce at least 6A from single li-on with no heat and can buck down from 24V and cost 5.00 delivered.... almost forgot with florescent GITD screening.:wave::wave::thanks::whistle::paypal: :anyone: :worthy:

Its got to wash the dishes too. :>)
 
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Hahaha Great, I'll see what I can do. I have materials to produce about 50 boards ATM, which I will use for testing purposes. If they turn out to be good, I'll give those out at very discounted prices* as "experimental" units.


In the meantime, rate in order of importance:
1) low min input voltage
2) wide range of currents
3) ....drawing a blank. I'll add more as I think of stuff. Feel free to request.

I should probably move this to the experiments thread, but we'll see where we go.

Best,

amk


*Dish-washing will be extra.
 
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I'd love a driver which incorporated more functions than current limiting such as a temperature readout for the laser diode using an OLED, that would be so awesome. If you had an OLED you could also display current and voltage too.

Here's an OLED display used with a USB port to show voltage and current, something like this could be used with a laser pointer too. I believe this unit could be easily modified to fit into some pointers as is, if their battery voltage wasn't too high, not sure how high this one will read but it cost me only ten dollars with free shipping from China on ebay. One of the things I like about OLED displays is they are so easy to read and are bright enough to easily read in the daytime light too:

Edit: Here are the specs:

Voltage: 3V-10V (1% accuracy)

Current :0-3 .3 A (accuracy of 0.4%)

Display Material: OLED (Display color: white)
Size: 60 * 18mm

Display data: Voltage Current Power Capacity

Sampling resistance: 50mΩ

OLEDReadout_zps762c139c.jpg


If you don't make a driver which can do this as well as display temperature I might, but we are talking a long way away, over a year before I could jump into something like this.
 
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8.4v input would be nice, if you could manage to make it buck and boost that would be swell also. Not sure how feasible it would be to accomplish both those criteria...
 
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I'd like to be able to go to double digit currents. I have a LOT of diodes that take as low as 35mA, but there's aren't any commercially available drivers that go that low anymore.

The ghost drives used to, but those disappeared when he did...
 
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8.4v input would be nice, if you could manage to make it buck and boost that would be swell also. Not sure how feasible it would be to accomplish both those criteria...

I'll have to look into and do a little more testing on buck/boost drivers before I felt comfortable handing them out to people for use on their diodes. It's doable, but probably not in the first couple of batches. I'm looking into it as we speak.

I'd like to be able to go to double digit currents. I have a LOT of diodes that take as low as 35mA, but there's aren't any commercially available drivers that go that low anymore.

The ghost drives used to, but those disappeared when he did...

This can be done, no problem. Would you rather the lower current drivers were completely separate from the higher power ones? I remember back in the day, with rckstr drivers, I liked the lower current limited boards because even if I shorted something out, or my pot-screwdriver slipped, I couldn't send +400mA into the diode by accident.

I'd love a driver which incorporated more functions than current limiting such as a temperature readout for the laser diode using an OLED, that would be so awesome. If you had an OLED you could also display current and voltage too.

Here's an OLED display used with a USB port to show voltage and current, something like this could be used with a laser pointer too. I believe this unit could be easily modified to fit into some pointers as is, if their battery voltage wasn't too high, not sure how high this one will read but it cost me only ten dollars with free shipping from China on ebay. One of the things I like about OLED displays is they are so easy to read and are bright enough to easily read in the daytime light too:

Edit: Here are the specs:

Voltage: 3V-10V (1% accuracy)

Current :0-3 .3 A (accuracy of 0.4%)

Display Material: OLED (Display color: white)
Size: 60 * 18mm

Display data: Voltage Current Power Capacity

Sampling resistance: 50mΩ

OLEDReadout_zps762c139c.jpg


If you don't make a driver which can do this as well as display temperature I might, but we are talking a long way away, over a year before I could jump into something like this.

Given that picture, it seems like a pretty cool interface that you can buy and use to read voltages. I can design a driver with a USB port that you can plug into such a device, that would output current readings and voltage drops into and across the diode as millivolts. So all you would need is a voltmeter and you're set.
mW power readings are a little more complicated.

I know you can get cheap LCD's that read voltages from ebay for under $10.

Either way, I'll look a little deeper into interfacing directly with some sort of LCD/LED display.



----
Also, is anyone interested in Laser diode load simulators? You would hook these up instead of a didoe to your driver circuit so you can do your testing without frying a diode. These would be adjustable, so you can set a "virtual threshold" current at which point it will operate, similar to how an actual diode works. I can even include PID feedback if anyone works with that as well.

best,

amk
 
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I know Jufran makes and sells some really nice test loads, I got ome from the wandering box of laser stuff and love it. What would be different about your test load from what nearly everyone has now? jufran test load
 

Jstr

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cheap? driver? count me in ;)

Ditto. Lol

While some of the suggested features sound cool, they might make the driver too big/costly.

look at rhd's pico that boosts to 2.4A. Parts cost like 5 dollars. Groupbuy for that, maybe?

I really like the idea of buck/boost for a wide range of currents.

Can you make a relatively cheap and small buck/boost that can output 4.2~4.5A?

There are many possibilities and I'd love to see anything you can make, but my priorities would be making the drivers cheap, small, and with wide current ranges, in that order.

This is awesome, thank you for offering to do this! I look forward to whatever comes out of this :)
 




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