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Got my first laser working

trickyrick

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Thanks to those who helped I have my first laser working. Its 405nm from a blue ray player. I just have a couple of questions
1) Can I up the battery voltage a bit if I have a good heat sink. I’m using a 3 volt can I up it to 6 volt or would that burn out the diode.
2) Now I have that one I would like to build another. Is the 405 the best wavelength to burn white or since white is a neutral color would any wavelength burn white
Thanks
 

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From what I've read, it actually looks like even though 405 carries more energy than higher wavelengths, many more materials absorb IR radiation, that's why CO2 lasers are what is usually used for professional cutting/etching applications, as well as military defense projects. White just looks white to us, our eyes could care less what happens outside of the visible spectrum, I'm sure that there are some materials out there that reflect IR more than others, but it sounds like in general IR is best for burning.

That said, I have a 2.3W 445 that can burn white paper pretty easily when focused to a close distance. I'm sure if you did some searching both here and elsewhere you could find more scientific and detailed explanations.
 

billg519

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There is no point in upping the battery voltage to your laser. You are using a 3V lithium, or 2 x AAA to get 3V, this is what your driver requires. Increasing battery voltage will only stress the driver, perhaps damaging it. More info would help, diode, driver, batteries, etc. The driver only allows through what the diode it is set for requires. The rest is turned into heat by the driver.

As far as burning and wavelength go, white materials absorb 405nm and 445nm better than green, red, or near IR. My 6x bluray easily burns white paper. My 2W IR 808nm handheld will not do anything to white paper, unless the beam finds a dirt speck. If you want to burn with IR, get a CO2 setup off ebay. The CO2 wavelength is absorbed by most materials, even glass, and CO2 lasers give lots of power for the money. A small CO2 tube is 40 watts, and can be focused easily with a lens from ebay. A 40W diode bar at 808nm would require special corrective optics, and its emission is not as well absorbed as that of the CO2 laser. Check out the thread by Bobhaha in the Gas Lasers section about his 40W CO2.
 
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