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Focussing Nichia diodes with ball-lens?

Mannitu78

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Hello men,
I just learned how to safely put together a laser, now i wanna go on and build a more serious laser. Im planing on buying a cheap but powerful blue diode from Nichia, something around 5 watt. Now im not sure which host to use, maybe come up with an own creation, but i wanted to focus it the usual way, to put the 3-element or the G8 lens in front of it. Now ive never worked with one of these ball-lenses, ive heard that you cant really focus them well with the regular lenses. Are there any special challenges with this diodes? What if you just detach that glass ball? Or are there better alternatives than the Nichia diodes? What about the 5W blue diodes from sharp, they go for around 30eu, are they easier to work with or overall a better choice?I dont have crazy demands on the quality of the beam, i just dont want it to be worse than the usual blue lasers from China. They come with a very cheap lense, but the beam was always tolerable for me, getting something to ignite on 3-4m was always possible with a steady hand.


edit: i also saw that the

SHARP GH04C05B9G 5W diode runs on much lower current than Nichia diodes. Does that make the case better, maybe less heat output from the driver? Just wondering.

 
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Commander J. Bloodmaker

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Apr 14, 2021
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Hello men,
I just learned how to safely put together a laser, now i wanna go on and build a more serious laser. Im planing on buying a cheap but powerful blue diode from Nichia, something around 5 watt. Now im not sure which host to use, maybe come up with an own creation, but i wanted to focus it the usual way, to put the 3-element or the G8 lens in front of it. Now ive never worked with one of these ball-lenses, ive heard that you cant really focus them well with the regular lenses. Are there any special challenges with this diodes? What if you just detach that glass ball? Or are there better alternatives than the Nichia diodes? What about the 5W blue diodes from sharp, they go for around 30eu, are they easier to work with or overall a better choice?I dont have crazy demands on the quality of the beam, i just dont want it to be worse than the usual blue lasers from China. They come with a very cheap lense, but the beam was always tolerable for me, getting something to ignite on 3-4m was always possible with a steady hand.


edit: i also saw that the

SHARP GH04C05B9G 5W diode runs on much lower current than Nichia diodes. Does that make the case better, maybe less heat output from the driver? Just wondering.

You can buy recans on ebay. They will come recanned with a new windowed lens, just for our handheld fun!!! lol

I've also seen places where you can buy a whole (new) block and they will remove and recan all of them for you for like $800-$900 bucks. That was last year though, probably cost even more now. lol
 

Commander J. Bloodmaker

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yes, i purchased a recanned 5,5w yesterday. My first really strong diode...hope i wont trash it.
I bought a nubm044 and smashed it as hard as I could. I ran it on an active digitally controlled cooling system. Darn diode cost me $150 bucks, was a brand new recan. I had some science I wanted to do with it. Instead, I build a crazy lens with glass globes. Made a huge beam. I put some huge power behind it one night during a huge rain storm. I knew no planes would be in the sky. Was ragin outside, an I decided it was time to pull out ol' blue blaster. I mounted her up to the window. An for about 30 seconds, everything in sight was glowing blue in my bathroom as it beamed it's wonder outside. A huge blue dot on the cloud bank, with an odd set of what appeared to be suspended rain drops in a few mile long cone, straight to my bathroom window. I want to say I got about 9 or 10 amps into it before it fried. My cooling system was pulling 40 amps from its supply at the time, so I know it was doing it's job the best it could. Then all the sudden, it died. Oh boy was that fun though. Should make an active cooling system and see how muc you can get through one.
 

Mannitu78

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maybe should have recorded thatmon video...my supplier in china didnt even send the package yet. I hope he didnt go bankrupt XD

I also found some material for my laserpointer host, it might even be the same one some Chinese use for their all-in-one-lasers, at least it looks very similar.




And i ordered some silikon with high heat-conductivity to fill out my lasermoduls. Wasnt easy to find that stuff. I mean real hardening silikon, not paste.
 

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RedCowboy

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I've tried using a backwards GBall then a normal M9x0.5 threaded barreled lens after the intact factory GBall with some semi decent results, however the spherical aberrations and diffuse scatter are an issue, looks like the re-canned GBall diodes are the best way to go when making use of the GBall canned diodes if you want them to enjoy any real longevity vs. de-canning, the NUGM 520-525nm diodes being an exception as their output apparently doesn't reach the threshold to cause airborne particulates to readily burn on and damage the coating on the facet that then allows moisture to fracture the facet and/or block the beam resulting in diminished output and failure.

Note: This is not to say the NUGM01-04 diodes when de-canned won't suffer reduced MTTF however it appears they don't fail nearly as soon as the multi watt blues when de-canned.

 
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Mannitu78

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well good for me, i didnt really know what i was doing when ordering that diode XD..i just assumed that 455nm looks nicer than 440nm from the Sharp diode. That was the only reason i chose this one. 480ish 5w would be perfect though.
 

RedCowboy

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The Sharp 5W - GH04C05B9G has divergence like a NUBM44 and is 440nm which is more purple/blue.......... not as pretty as the 465-470nm bright blues IMNSHO and the re-canned NUBM07 has better divergence, much like the NDB7A75, I haven't tested the NUBM0C yet but won't get one until they are re-canned.
 
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Commander J. Bloodmaker

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maybe should have recorded thatmon video...my supplier in china didnt even send the package yet. I hope he didnt go bankrupt XD

I also found some material for my laserpointer host, it might even be the same one some Chinese use for their all-in-one-lasers, at least it looks very similar.




And i ordered some silikon with high heat-conductivity to fill out my lasermoduls. Wasnt easy to find that stuff. I mean real hardening silikon, not paste.
I'm usually to in the moment to think about a camera. I'm cackling like a mad scientist as I screw around. I love puffing my smoke machine out the window and watching my neighbors get all weird when the cloud comes around the front of the house. No smell, WHERES THE FIRE!!! lol
 

Mannitu78

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so today finally my recapped 5,5W Nichia arrived..along with an 500mw IR. Im about to build some extra heat-transport ways for the diode. yeah i know there are better casings than mine, specialized for higher powered Diodes. I did, however, already order all that crap and now its here and im willing to make the best of it without further orders :)
Ordering isnt quite cheap, a single part might be, but if youre an impulsive orderer like me and you have different points of interests the "pay now with paypal" button gets hammered quite often.

So now to my solution, i had some 10mm aluminiumrod in my boxes and i cut off a piece and drilled a hole. Its big enough for the 2 diode-pins. The aluminum will make contact with the copper casing then. Quite a lot of paste required but better than nothing. The black standard-heatsink for the coppermodul doesnt look better either. Lot of play inside, wiggle-wiggle. Too much space for thermal paste but not enough space for a pad.

Now to the aluminum i have 2 points of concern, thats 1) the contact of the pins to the inside of the aluminum and 2) the contact of the two surface areas between the rod and the backside of the diode. A way thats totally safe would be using a pad between rod and diode and then insulating the pins with a plastic sleeve after connecting/soldering them to a cable.

But i dont know if thats really needed? I guess the pins must be kept from making contact to each other (and the aluminium rod, which would be the same)..but the backside of the diode? Could i just use thermal paste, because it would transfer much better than a pad?
Thx for help.




edit: added 1 picture of that weird heatsink. Whats up with these manufacturers? And thats no accident, i read it in the specs before "12,2mm diameter", they all have, so i chose one with very good ratings and thought, it wont be that bad, i must miss something, but it is bad. so ill insert the modul into that heatsink, turn on the screw, it will be pressed to the opposite side and only have contact to very little surface area :(
 

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Mannitu78

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so after no one could assured me nothing goes wrong i took some risk and made contact to the diode with thermal paste..i used some common sense and was lucky this time XD

im gonna add some pictures, maybe someones interested in this cheap mod. pins are covered in a shrink tube, i used lots of thermal paste and a tension ring at the end, so everyhing is tight and no wiggle-wiggle. I thought about adding some superglue to the paste but deceided against it, because it would have forbidden me from ever getting the diode out of that thing again. The part is about edit: about twice as heavy now and is heating up nice and all over the surface now. Im really happy i didnt ruin that diode and im much more confident powering it up now. Im only at 50% output now and its already burning like hell plus theres still the cheap plastic lense in there that came with the modul. Im very excited what that diode is capable of when full unleashed.
 

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Commander J. Bloodmaker

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If you like being silly, buy some different sized clear glass balls. I won't tell you what to do with them, you'll figure it out soon enough. Just make sure you are in a room with no windows and wear your goggles. It's a lot of fun though. lol
 

Mannitu78

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Ok i think ill remember it next time i see some glass balls anywhere :)

Right now im looking for inspiration how and of what to build the host für my new laser. Not the usual tube-hosts, but something more individual. I have no CNC or anything in the direction, also no 3D printer so im limited to basic tools and parts i can get from home depot.
I dont use that Ultra Fire crap, ist just for size demonstration.
 

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RedCowboy

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You could do a project box build.

 

Mannitu78

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well a box didnt cross my mind yet...:)
im more focussed on something with a trigger, a miniature handgun, not oriented on a real one, but some kind of space gun design. A tiny shiny gun thats so small you can almost hide it with one hand but still packs a 6w beam coming out of a G8 lens wouldnt that be something XD
maybe its time to invest in a 3D Printer finally
 

Unown (WILD)

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well a box didnt cross my mind yet...:)
im more focussed on something with a trigger, a miniature handgun, not oriented on a real one, but some kind of space gun design. A tiny shiny gun thats so small you can almost hide it with one hand but still packs a 6w beam coming out of a G8 lens wouldnt that be something XD
maybe its time to invest in a 3D Printer finally
I would suggest the ender 3
 




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