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First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using diodes

behmer

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First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using diodes

Excited to be here and hopefully, with some help, I can pull off awesome DIY laser array for many to enjoy. I am very much a newbie in this arena just to throw that out there.

Just to quickly introduce myself, I designed The Kazbah pyramid at Burning Man and our awesome group of friends have been building it over 4 years now.

Here are a few shots of the pyramid:




Long story short I am hoping to build our own array of diodes for the center 'Kazbah space canon' that shoots through the core of the structure and out a 4" x 4" opening at the very top.

Our current 'laser canon' that we rent every year is not ideal because it is on a rotating head and honestly I think I can make a more visible and stationary beam from what I have been finding online.

Basically I am trying to find existing arrays like these (TO5 9mm 520nm Green Laser Diode Array/8W 520nm Laser Array)

or go with individual diodes that I can really pack together to get the most out of my 4" X 4" square opening.

From what I read up on I want to get as close to 555nm as possible for the diodes for max visibility.

I also hope green will be more viable although they typically have small beams than blue lasers? (Our current laser cannon is 32 individual 1 watt blue lasers)

Once I can get all the advice on which arrays or diodes to go with I will transfer my focus to the power supply, electrical and cooling part of the forum. I'm a bit rusty when it comes to the electrical and circuitry side of things but im sure I can get it back.

This thing will stay mounted inside of the pyramid and only needs to fire straight up into the cosmos. Looking for the max bang for the buck out of a 4" square hole and hopefully less than 2K we all gathered up for this.

If anyone is in the San Francisco Bay Area and can help build this with me and get paid that would be awesome too! It might be the first of many crazy laser projects once we enter this world.

Thanks for the help! )'(

-Sean
 
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ElectricPlasma

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Welcome, Sean. Really interesting pyramid pics & design! If funds aren't a limit you could definitely use a couple laser beam block arrays like the one you listed, to get 16 parallel beams shooting up. Or, if you really had the dedication to you could put them all in a knife edge array or some other technique for beam combining.

For wavelength to power relative brightness you can use this calculator: Relative Laser Beam Brightness Calculator: (504nm 1mw) vs. (448nm 1mw)

We've got the same name btw :p
 

CurtisOliver

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Welcome to the forum Sean, lovely images you have posted. The closer the beams are together the brighter the overall beam. Knife-edging is a good option.
 
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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Welcome to the forum, please fill out your location and bio. Also please post in the welcome section. You pictures are very nice. It looks like yall put in a lot of work. Glad to have a new member here. I look forward to seeing your future posts!

I'd love to see some of the diode blocks knife edged.
 

Cyparagon

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Get one of the diode blocks from a a140 projector or similar. Each of the diodes in this block are already roughly collimated and aligned - good enough. Drive each of the four series strings of 6 at 1.2A ~27V. Bolt a fan to the heat sink. Done.

I've done this, and it's relatively easy.
 

Hap

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Welcome! :)

-Alex
 

H2Oxide

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Welcome!

Peak visibility is around 555nm in the day, but it shifts up to ~506-507nm at night, so 520nm diodes are the way to go.

Something that I suggest you look into is "beam expanders". They're pretty self explanatory.
 
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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Hey sean (awesome name BTW), welcome to the forums! I would reccomend using a 520nm diode as H2Oxide suggested. a really good option would be to get one of these diode banks hooked up, since it would be incredibly bright and you wouldnt need any aditional optics: Nichia NUGM01T 520nm 8W High Power Multi LD Bank Green Laser Diode | eBay

This would be PLENTY bright, at 8-10 watts of green light, it would make a very, very bright beam.

If you want a blue color, im sure this could provide a similar level of brightness: Nichia NUBM07E 465nm 23W High Power Multi LD Bank Blue Laser Diode | eBay

There are definitely concerns with cooling these lasers, so you might end up spending quite a lot for this project, but these diode banks will provide the absolute maximun brigntess you can get from laser diodes, unless you spend a lot more on a OPSL or large emitter VCSEL laser. There are plenty of options out there, these are just my suggestions, so go explore and see what you can find! were always here to help.
 

behmer

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

This is all awesome!! Thanks a million, for some reason I was not getting notified of all these responses! What a great start. Still at the office grinding away but gonna get back to this ASAP after some reading up on all this. Thx )'(
 

steve001

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Welcome!

Peak visibility is around 555nm in the day, but it shifts up to ~506-507nm at night, so 520nm diodes are the way to go.

Something that I suggest you look into is "beam expanders". They're pretty self explanatory.
Correction. That's true for natural ambient light as what occurs at night, but the eye would see green light as brighter all things being equal phototopic vision would take over.
 

H2Oxide

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Correction. That's true for natural ambient light as what occurs at night, but the eye would see green light as brighter all things being equal phototopic vision would take over.
I've never been to burning man, so I have no idea how it works.

Either way, 520nm diodes are still the cheapest diodes closest to peak visibility.
 

diachi

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

Ideally you'd knife edge a bunch of 520 diodes and then use a beam expander to get the desired diameter, but that of course adds cost and complexity. IMO it'd also provide the best results (brightest, tightest beam).

What size is the opening at the top of your pyramid? Looks like some of the beam from the current system is clipping the opening - using a straight diode block as suggested above may also have that issue - although that may be desirable, perhaps you'd like some of the light to splash back down inside the pyramid?

Always fancied going to Burning Man ... one of these days!
 
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RedCowboy

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

With all the dust storms you will need an AR coated window and a filter if air cooled, also your ambient air is already pretty hot so TEC will be needed.

Honestly for the BM event a rented unit may not be the worst choice.
 

diachi

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

With all the dust storms you will need an AR coated window and a filter if air cooled, also your ambient air is already pretty hot so TEC will be needed.

Honestly for the BM event a rented unit may not be the worst choice.
Might be a bit of a higher cost once you explain it's going to be used at BM - that dust gets in everything as far as I've read ... even with filters installed. :p

Someone over on PL might be able to rent something out to you. DSLI_JON comes to mind but I'm guessing you've already talked to him ... he's the only one I know of that makes those 32W 445s.

A Laserscope sitting in the middle of that pyramid throwing up 40W of green would look cool ... don't think that'd work so well in the middle of a desert though - even if power wasn't an issue.
 

CurtisOliver

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

A Laserscope sitting in the middle of that pyramid throwing up 40W of green would look cool ... don't think that'd work so well in the middle of a desert though - even if power wasn't an issue.
A laserscope would look cool for this. The dust is your primary concern for your application. There are plenty of laser options but what has been suggested already is your best bet. Plus what ever company you hire from, might have there own ideas and solutions to your problem. Good luck with your project.
 

behmer

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Re: First Post - Looking to create the brightest possible 4" X 4" thick beam using di

First off thanks again for the warm welcome and all the advice right out of the gate.

To everyone suggesting to build a knife edge setup this all looks awesome from what im reading up on but im afraid for now I can't go further into the unknown since I only have a few months here and a few full time jobs basically 0_o

Below is the right direction I feel but im really hoping someone on here might have experience with these TO5 9mm 520nm Green Laser Diode Arrays 8W.

Hey sean (awesome name BTW), welcome to the forums! I would reccomend using a 520nm diode as H2Oxide suggested. a really good option would be to get one of these diode banks hooked up, since it would be incredibly bright and you wouldnt need any aditional optics: Nichia NUGM01T 520nm 8W High Power Multi LD Bank Green Laser Diode | eBay

This would be PLENTY bright, at 8-10 watts of green light, it would make a very, very bright beam.

If you want a blue color, im sure this could provide a similar level of brightness: Nichia NUBM07E 465nm 23W High Power Multi LD Bank Blue Laser Diode | eBay

There are definitely concerns with cooling these lasers, so you might end up spending quite a lot for this project, but these diode banks will provide the absolute maximun brigntess you can get from laser diodes, unless you spend a lot more on a OPSL or large emitter VCSEL laser. There are plenty of options out there, these are just my suggestions, so go explore and see what you can find! were always here to help.
Michael, thanks! Isn't the Diode array the same exact as the one I posted just double the price? Here is the one I am planning on so far (To5 9mm 520nm Green Laser Diode Array/8w 520nm Laser Array - Buy Laser Diode,520nm Laser Diode Array,Green Laser Diode Product on Alibaba.com) These look to be the same 'turn key' arrays and then it will just be matter of electrical, cooling, power, mounting..

Cooling will not be so bad honestly. Clearly we will only be running this at night and it can get COLDDDD at night. Sometimes even below freezing at night and in the 90's by day :evil:

There are those warm/hot nights that come out of nowhere tho, plus we might take this structure to art basil in Miami one of these years and other large gatherings.

I hope I can find someone on here who has worked with these before and can help be devise a great cooling solution.


Ideally you'd knife edge a bunch of 520 diodes and then use a beam expander to get the desired diameter, but that of course adds cost and complexity. IMO it'd also provide the best results (brightest, tightest beam).

What size is the opening at the top of your pyramid? Looks like some of the beam from the current system is clipping the opening - using a straight diode block as suggested above may also have that issue - although that may be desirable, perhaps you'd like some of the light to splash back down inside the pyramid?

Always fancied going to Burning Man ... one of these days!
You are correct that the existing hole clips the laser as it is now. The hole is roughly a 4" x 4" square. The slight clipping of the laser makes for a pretty crazy refraction of the light out the top though off the aluminum and a nice visible glow as well....Im still gonna hack off some more though especially when you see my ridiculous attachment below

With all the dust storms you will need an AR coated window and a filter if air cooled, also your ambient air is already pretty hot so TEC will be needed.

Honestly for the BM event a rented unit may not be the worst choice.
I'm too excited about this now to rent one again ($1,500 to rent our current laser sky canon)

As i said before its pretty chilly at night but I do want to plan for the future with this and make sure it can go anywhere with us.

I wonder what a safe operating temperature is for these diodes? Im afraid, with getting these straight from alibaba that I will have little to no information on the diodes. Clearly I want to build the best enclosure for the entire cluster of arrays or perhaps leave it all exposed and all simply mounted to a water cooled plate..

Below is my idea as of now although my treasury/finance friends from the camp will not like this much..

Here goes nothin...This is (8) arrays. Mounted to a water cooled plate.



My main if we go for this will be hopefully teaming up with someone on here who is confident in helping me design the wiring diagram and other aspects of this monster.

Our current cluster is actually 38 1w blue diodes so its safe to say, at 64 1w green diodes, this is a massive upgrade and we will get to call it our own...and whoever wants to help me with this :))

Lets sign the moon
 




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