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First Time Laser Build

RoyaL1

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Mar 6, 2014
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Hello,

I am new to the forum and have been enjoying it immensely so far. I would like to begin my first laser build. I have played with lasers since I was little, I am an Electrical Engineer, and have studied Optics, working in a laser Lab with lower power lasers. I am very familiar and fascinated by lasers to say the least. I would like to decide on a medium power laser that would be able to heat an object rather quickly, but at an observable rate (not instantly vaporize it). I was originally thinking a higher energy blue or violet laser would be good but also was considering green or orange.

I have no idea where the best place to source parts is, along with compatibility and best visible wavelength for the application, so if there are any suggestions it would be much appreciated. Once I decide what color/power I would like to build I would like to find some good safety goggles along with some parts. Then I would like to determine whether or not buying a driver will be a better option than building one.


Thanks ahead of time.
 

vortish

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Feb 24, 2014
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I have found ebay and amazon to have a variety of parts and type what part your looking for in to google to get them
 

Pi R Squared

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May 14, 2013
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Hello,

I am new to the forum and have been enjoying it immensely so far. I would like to begin my first laser build. I have played with lasers since I was little, I am an Electrical Engineer, and have studied Optics, working in a laser Lab with lower power lasers. I am very familiar and fascinated by lasers to say the least. I would like to decide on a medium power laser that would be able to heat an object rather quickly, but at an observable rate (not instantly vaporize it). I was originally thinking a higher energy blue or violet laser would be good but also was considering green or orange.

I have no idea where the best place to source parts is, along with compatibility and best visible wavelength for the application, so if there are any suggestions it would be much appreciated. Once I decide what color/power I would like to build I would like to find some good safety goggles along with some parts. Then I would like to determine whether or not buying a driver will be a better option than building one.


Thanks ahead of time.
As far as where to buy parts these will get you started:
https://sites.google.com/site/dtrlpf/
Survival Laser USA Home
or for customers outside the US Survival Laser International Home
http://www.aixiz.com/
Illumination Supply, Quality Flashlights and More!
Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more
and here on LPF:
Mrcrouse in the buy/sell/trade section.
Of course there are also many other places to buy parts.

Are you planning on a hand held or a labby? Its always easier to buy a driver than to build one, especially for a hand held but if your going to build a labby your not so limited by space so its easier to make your own driver.

It sounds like your looking to build a blue 445nm or 450nm 1.5w to 2w, this will give you the most for your money, you can easily build one from off the shelf parts at reasonable cost. See the white links in my signature for two examples.

Alan
 

RoyaL1

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Excellent, thank you for the guidance. It seems like the 445/450 nm blue diode are quite readily available so I may as well start there. Is there any preferences you have on diode sizing (5mm, 9mm) and also Power? between 1.5-2 Watts whats the real difference in what I will observe in terms of thermal effects with the diode? Also what is a good lens to pick up??

Great links as well. Is there any real preference as to what host modules as well? The stainless steel one you used seems pretty durable, but also is quite large, do you think it ends up being more worthwhile than the C6 for a little higher price?

Thanks again!
 

Pi R Squared

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Excellent, thank you for the guidance. It seems like the 445/450 nm blue diode are quite readily available so I may as well start there. Is there any preferences you have on diode sizing (5mm, 9mm) and also Power? between 1.5-2 Watts whats the real difference in what I will observe in terms of thermal effects with the diode? Also what is a good lens to pick up??

Great links as well. Is there any real preference as to what host modules as well? The stainless steel one you used seems pretty durable, but also is quite large, do you think it ends up being more worthwhile than the C6 for a little higher price?

Thanks again!
Well for 445/450nm diodes I can't say I have a preference, it just depends on what you want. The 9mm 445 will give you the most power, 2.4w to 3.Xw depending on efficiency of the diode, heat sink and lens. The M140 is lower priced and will give you 1.5-2w and sometimes more. The PLTB450B I can't say but I am planning a build with one very soon, but from what I have read they have a smaller round dot as opposed to the rectangular dot the others have and therefore have a higher power density. The difference in thermal effects with the diode? Well with double or more the power the effects are very noticeable. There is an extreme difference between my two, the one in the stainless steel host is far in excess of 3w, I can't even meter it with my LPM and it will burn almost anything its pointed at instantly. The M140 in the C6 is far less powerful and far less bright but still dangerous. Both are in too small of a host so they overheat quickly requiring a short duty cycle. For a lens you have two choices, you can't use an acrylic lens in a laser that powerful, so you have a 3 element or a G2, the 3 element is lower priced and will give you a smaller dot at a distance but with lower power output and it also causes splash or the bat wings effect due to internal reflections in the lens. I prefer the G2, there is on average about 30% more power output and little or no splash but at a much higher price. I also recommend an extended focus knob, you will want to avoid any contact with the beam including your fingers.

There are many choices for hosts. I do think the stainless steel host is better than the C6 but if I had it to do over again I would have used something larger, both are just too small for lasers of that power. Unless you specifically want a small laser and can live with a very short duty cycle. If you want a reasonable duty cycle at that power you need a larger host with a larger preferably finned heat sink. Take a look at what Mrcrouse sells in the buy/sell/trade section, I purchased 3 hosts from him back on Christmas eve and have completed the first of 3 builds I have been planning (the PL520 in my signature) I will post a build thread soon. His hosts come wired with a battery contact board making assembly easier so you need to use a rectangular driver not a round one, however he also will do most any custom work and his prices are reasonable.

Alan
 
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