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Harvesting / Teardown of the Pico1 Projector - 450nm, 640nm, + non-DPSS Green

rhd

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I promised a harvest and teardown thread, and here it is!

First order of business. This is henceforth going to be called the Pico1, at least by me. If you think it's called something else, you must be mistaken. Out of respect to our community, the forum's owner, and the manufacturer of what is a phenomenal product, I'm not going to use their name, nor the name of their projector model. I would ask that everyone else do the same. If I see links added, or names thrown around in replies, I'll delete the content of this thread, or move it to the vets section.

I'm not going to preface this with information about the unit itself since that has been discussed elsewhere on this forum. In a nutshell, it contains a 450nm (440-460), a 640nm diode (635 to 645) and a 532nm green made by Corning that isn't actually DPSS, but also sadly isn't a diode (I knew this going in)

With nothing further, here is the walkthrough:

Top view, looking down. Preparing for surgery:
33028d1307210616-harvesting-teardown-pico1-projector-450nm-640nm-non-dpss-green-2011-06-01-17.11.36.jpg


There are six screws to remove. The two screw holes on the far left were previously under a yellow sticker that comes off easily. The whole case comes apart easily.
33029d1307210616-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-17.21.46.jpg


Flip it over, and this is what you'll see. I was shocked at how tiny the actual laser projection system is. It's hidden under the black plastic on the right:
33030d1307210616-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-17.22.16.jpg


The black plastic comes off easily, to reveal the laser projection system. Note the three plastic clear tabs on top of the ribbon cable that attaches the laser projection system to the PCB. Those are the connectors that you'll want to unclip. They pop off easily. I used a wooden toothpick and just nudged them up slightly. It's easy to clip them back in too (something I did many times later).

Interesting note: If you were only in this for the two diodes, you could actually stop right here. The diodes are right in front of you. The RED is labelled LD1, and the BLUE is labelled LD2. The green module is underneath the yellow sticker, but it's a bit harder to remove at this stage.
33031d1307210616-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-17.24.10.jpg


Some hex screws hold the PCB in place. If you don't have the right hex wrench (I didn't) then #1: you probably don't need to remove the PCB anyway, and #2: they aren't very tight, and a similar sized phillips head screwdriver with a bit of downward pressure actually had no difficulty unscrewing the hex screws, even though it was the wrong tool for the job. Here's what's left with the PCB removed.
33032d1307210616-harvesting-teardown-pico1-projector-450nm-640nm-non-dpss-green-2011-06-01-17.28.40.jpg


Good news, it's only a weak adhesive holding the laser assembly in place. It came off easily.
33033d1307210616-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-17.31.13.jpg


And the bottom of the assembly (note, the markets were NOT mine, they were obviously added at the factory):
33034d1307210616-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-17.34.22.jpg


The diodes (which, BTW are 3.8mm not the normal 5.6) and their heatsinks pop right off the body of the laser projection assembly. If you've ever removed a diode in its heatsink from a drive sled, then you'll be familiar with how they're affixed with a very mild adhesive. Almost no pressure or strength was required to pop them loose from the assembly.
33035d1307210616-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-17.41.32.jpg


I cut the ribbon cables and this is what I was left with (after adding my own leads for a quick "survival test"). Good news, but diodes work!
33037d1307210735-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-18.47.26.jpg


The assembly with the black plastic film removed from the top so that you can see inside.
33038d1307210735-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-21.34.47.jpg


I'll explain what's going on based on the next photo (below this explanation):

Top left: The GREEN laser. Makes a 90 degree turn right, through the pink dichro, bounces off the "peach" coloured dichro making another 90 degree turn towards that red mirror in the far right of the assembly.

Two black things: Are collimating lenses for the RED and BLUE diodes. The dichros also direct their beams towards that red mirror in the far right.

Two clear plastic "balls": These are ingenious. I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo clearly, but the very top of them is fitted for a hex attachment. Basically, these are lenses in a spherical ball joint, that are positioned and tweaked at the factory to get alignment perfect. Once it is, a little bit of glue is put in place to keep them where they are.

The red mirror on the far right: This actually angles the beam downwards towards a mirror on the ground (which is really small, and not visible in this photo because the output window blocks view of it), which then bounces it back upwards into the MEMs DLP system (top right). The MEMs DLP system then pops the beam straight out forward through the glass in the bottom right corner. That is your projected image!

33039d1307210735-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-21.34.54.jpg


And finally, the Corning G-1000 directly doubled 1064, which produces a 532nm beam without the traditional DPSS process. This thing is tiny! I'm yet to get it running though.

33040d1307210735-harvesting-pico1-teardown-450nm-640nm-strange-green-2011-06-01-21.37.21.jpg
 

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rhd

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Re: Harvesting the Pico1 / Teardown - 450nm, 640nm, + strange green

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Lotus_Darkrose

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Re: Harvesting the Pico1 / Teardown - 450nm, 640nm, + strange green

Thanks for doing this, rhd. I love seeing how technology is progressing into tiny things like this, and can't wait to eventually see some sort of graphs for these :)
 

GBD

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Re: Harvesting the Pico1 / Teardown - 450nm, 640nm, + strange green

Very nice indeed, awsome find.

Im going to take a guess those are two dichros and a mirror in there, so I see a potential to have a compact RGB laser, if the wavelenth of the blue somehow goes to 460nm, that would be rather epic, it is a very nice shade of blue, and that tiny green definatly opens up build possibilities as well.

Any idea to the forward voltages and currents required for these lasers?

The green is directly doubled? awsome!
 
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rhd

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Re: Harvesting the Pico1 / Teardown - 450nm, 640nm, + strange green

Very nice indeed, awsome find.

Im going to take a guess those are two dichros and a mirror in there, so I see a potential to have a compact RGB laser, if the wavelenth of the blue somehow goes to 460nm, that would be rather epic, it is a very nice shade of blue, and that tiny green definatly opens up build possibilities as well.

Any idea to the forward voltages and currents required for these lasers?

For the green, if its not DPSS or diode.. is it a directly doubled green?
(cooler then DPSS if thats the case!)

Yep, the green is directly doubled. That said, I've either killed it, or just don't know how to fire it up yet. Regarding the diodes, with the blue, I know exactly what it is, and have a datasheet for it. The red I have fairly well narrowed down. In both cases, these are fairly pricey diodes, easily adding up to more than the cost of the projector if you were to order one of each on its own. I won't go into any detail about what the diodes are here, since it has been discussed in other threads, and I'd like to keep this thread clean of brand/manufacturer talk. But essentially the blue behaves much more like a 405 in terms of voltage, and the red behaves like any other red.
 

ARG

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Please give us an update if you get the green diode running! Do you have some picture of the blue/red diodes running?
 

rhd

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Will definitely do a second thread with build updates once I grab some modules to put them in - BTW, they're 3.8mm.
 

Ra1nfade

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Nice Tut rhd :beer:
Is there a standard stock for 3.8s or did you have some prototyped?
 

Trevor

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That tiny beam combination apparatus is really cool. Shame it's far pricier than PHR sleds for doing a white fusion build. :p

The little green module is one of the more fascinating things I've seen in a while.

Thanks for doing this teardown, rhd... +1 if the system will let me.

-Trevor
 
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qumefox

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Any progress with running the green? And actually it is still DPSS. It just eliminates one of the 'normal' steps by using a 1064nm pump and a doubling crystal instead of using the additional step of converting 808nm to 1064 using ND:YAG or ND:YVO4. It's still using a Diode Pump to drive a Solid State lasing medium.

The primary reasons we don't see this more often, is due to the fact that 1064nm diodes are relatively low power, expensive, and are likely a lower yield product for this application, since for it to work, they have to be almost exactly 1064nm, which means strict binning.

The 808nm pump + ND:YAG/ND:YVO4 combos, while more complex, are capable of higher powers at lower costs, since there can be some slight variation in the pump wavelength and you still get 1064nm out, plus 808nm diodes are available in far higher powers and far more cheaply than 1064nm diodes.

I just noticed these particular projectors are down to around $150 now. I might have to get one myself to play with.
 
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rhd

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Any progress with running the green? And actually it is still DPSS. It just eliminates one of the 'normal' steps by using a 1064nm pump and a doubling crystal instead of using the additional step of converting 808nm to 1064 using ND:YAG or ND:YVO4. It's still using a Diode Pump to drive a Solid State lasing medium.

(..)

I just noticed these particular projectors are down to around $150 now. I might have to get one myself to play with.

Hmmm, I think you might be wrong about that. I'm fairly certain there is no gain medium being "pumped" in these Corning direct-doubled lasers. I'm pretty certain it's just a 1064 being directly frequency doubled by a KTP crystal.

Maybe it's semantics, but as far as I've read, this process isn't properly called DPSS.

Where are they available for $150? Exciting!
 

Kevlar

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Nice job RHD!! Thanks for doing this.

So, are you going to place an order for 3.8mm module from emachine? If these become popular people will need a source for modules.
 

rhd

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Nice job RHD!! Thanks for doing this.

So, are you going to place an order for 3.8mm module from emachine? If these become popular people will need a source for modules.

Yes, that's my plan, especially seeing how many people are interested in them. I listed MOD9s on ebay, at $10 instead of the $5 to $7 I'm selling them for to LPF members, and the response even on ebay has been good in just two days of them being listed.

So, assuming we may see some 3.8mm greens in the future, I may design and get the module order in now. (or in the next week or so).

It's a really remarkable feeling to have something you created entirely "virtually" on a screen, emerge as a real tangible piece of metal!
 




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