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First 520nm Consumer Kill?

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Oct 13, 2011
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I guess it can happen to vets like me too!

I had finally got my 520nm laser built using the new diodes, and it worked perfectly. The window was a bit dirty, which was confusing (not sure how it got dirty - I kept it in the package until I was ready to install it into the laser). After I finished the build, I figured I would clean the window. I figured it was safe to run for a few seconds here and there to make sure it works, but you always clean the window of a high-powered laser so nothing bakes on! Anyway, it worked fine on some test runs. After some frustrating cleaning, the diode started having a weird output. See below:


I've never seen a zombification like this in a single-mode diode. It almost looks like the edges of the beam profile were chopped off like when one of the modes dies in a multimode diode... but these are single mode.

Anyway, this happened while cleaning. It was powered on occasionally, but not for too long to have too much internal reflection, I wouldn't think.

Anyway, can anyone diagnose this? I realize I will have to order another EXPENSIVE diode to replace that one (and I will have to bust this one one of the REALLY expensive silver host that it's in), but I am curious as to how this one died....

EDIT: Alright, well I knocked it out, so it's dead permanently. I guess I'll replace it! I tested it on my meter before I killed it and it was doing a measly 30mW at 275mA, so it definitely zombied. I think it was rapidly degrading, too. Not sure what was up.

My PL520 zombified too for no reason after 20 minutes of 150ma. Your story sounds very similar.
I'm concern about blowing another $150 on another diode. These are new and have no proven reliability.
 
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I would say the reliability was proven pretty well in the murder thread, albeit, there were only two diodes tested. I'll try to keep a track of my run times and diode life.
 
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Anyway, this happened while cleaning. It was powered on occasionally, but not for too long to have too much internal reflection, I wouldn't think.
So, do I understand that you actually attempted to clean your lens WHILE on the laser WHILE it was powered on?

And, you didn't think this was enough reflection to kill the diode...
 




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