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Laserlands 520nm laser power modification (yep, a complex pot mod)

CynicalBrad

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First off, I would highly recommend against doing this due to the extreme risk of ruining your unit.

That aside, this is a short guide on where to drill into these laserlands 520nm units to access the potentiometer for those that have the newer thread-locked units.
I recommended to laserlands that they should tread-lock the center section of the laser as with my unit, this center section will unscrew easier than the tailcap and could have lead to damaged units. Of course this was before I realized that the power of these little units could be increased considerably and of course they took my suggestion into account on the newer units.

This process took me half an hour to complete going very slowly with a sharp drill bit. One slip up drilling into these could very well ruin the unit completely so only attempt if extremely confident in your skills relating to the usage of power tools. You also have to be very careful to avoid getting any metal shavings in the unit while making the hole.

Only adjust the exposed potentiometer with the laser turned OFF as an electrical connection can be made between the case of the laser and the wiper on the potentiometer effectively bypassing it completely.

IMAGE 1: Front of laser showing facet and marks oriented every 90 degrees accordingly. "T" shape mark is the main one to worry about along with the marking at the bottom. The other two markings were only used as visual aids for making the bottom mark.


IMAGE 2: Front angle showing how previous marks correlate to further markings made. The only thing of importance here is the "T" shaped mark and the line it correlates with on the side of the host.


IMAGE 3: Side of laser showing two of the 90 degree division lines as well as further division marks (at 1/3rds intervals between the relevant 90 degree division marks.) to lay out the spot to drill the hole. The top line is the line that aligns with the "T" shaped mark in the first and second images while the other long line is the one that lines up with the bottom mark in image 1.


IMAGE 4: Image through the drilled hole showing the best position of the potentiometer for my unit. Anything past this point did not result in further output but did contribute to minor heat output as well as noticeable red-shifting.


IMAGE 5: Proof of life for those into that kind of thing.


IMAGE 6: An image of the readout on my power meter.



Best of luck to anyone brave enough to attempt this.
 
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Hap

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None of the images are showing up Brad :(

-Alex
 

paul1598419

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Still missing image #2. That seems to be an important one. Man, that would have been so easy to do if they hadn't glued it shut.
 
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CynicalBrad

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Image 2 is showing on my end. It is simply an off angle picture from the front that shows the "T" shaped mark in image 1 and one of the 90 degree division marks seen in images 3 and 4. It may be a little bit hard to see the line on the side of the host as it is on the grooved portion of the host. Here is the URL for image 2 just in case it is being fussy. http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b638/BradFrey_EVE/0707170044b_zpsjnnqxnb4.jpg~original
 

lasersbee

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If you can not unscrew the newer cases.... where does
your exterior reference piont come from since you can't
see the orientation of the PCB inside:thinking:

I can see where you got your reference points by being
able to unscrew the case and see the orientation of the
PCB and which side of the PCB the Pot was on.


Jerry
 
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BowtieGuy

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Brad, what was the original power output on this?

Edit: I wonder if any aluminum chips are still inside of your host, I'd hate to see them move around and short your driver out.
 
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lasersbee

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Normally they come with about 5mW to 8mw from
what I've read here.

Jerry
 

CynicalBrad

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If you can not unscrew the newer cases.... where does
your exterior reference piont come from since you can't
see the orientation of the PCB inside:thinking:

I can see where you got your reference points by being
able to unscrew the case and see the orientation of the
PCB and which side of the PCB the Pot was on.

Jerry
If you look closely at image one, I used the orientation of the internal die of the laser diode as a reference point. The "T" shaped mark is towards the side that the internal die is mounted to it's support post. Really wish I had a camera that could do macro. I can see it in my image but just barely as I am using a 4 year old phone to take the pictures.


Brad, what was the original power output on this?

Edit: I wonder if any aluminum chips are still inside of your host, I'd hate to see them move around and short your driver out.
The original output on mine was I believe 4mW, and laserbee is correct, the majority of these metered between 4mW and 8mW for those that were actually metered vs eyeballed. I think someone eyeballed theirs upwards of 10mW but we all know how reliable that can be.

Also, none of the swarf is in mine but it was the biggest concern of mine when drilling. I unscrewed mine after drilling it to confirm there were none. Mine is one of the review batch that can be unscrewed. I did this purely as a nuclear option for those that have the newer sealed units to have a reference to go by if they are so inclined. Also the reason I drilled slowly with a sharp drill bit was so that the swarf would be much larger and more prone to being the curly-cue looking ones vs small dust like particles.
 
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BowtieGuy

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Thanks, I wasn't aware that yours would come apart, that makes the job a bit easier though. :yh:
Heck, for the cost of these, there isn't much to lose even if your host surgery is unsuccessful.
 
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CynicalBrad

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Thanks, I wasn't aware that yours would come apart, that makes the job a bit easier though. :yh:
Heck, for the cost of these, there isn't much to lose even if your host surgery is unsuccessful.
Yeah, the early units came apart easily while the newer ones don't so I decided to take some crude measurements of the depth and orientation of the potentiometer on mine to figure out a way to get the hole in the correct spot without being able to see the internals.
 

paul1598419

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I think that with only seeing this one unit, the chances that a hole drilled in the same spot will be directly over the pot seems quite slim to me. The angle of the drivers could be different as well as the position relative to the diodes window.
 

CynicalBrad

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I think that with only seeing this one unit, the chances that a hole drilled in the same spot will be directly over the pot seems quite slim to me. The angle of the drivers could be different as well as the position relative to the diodes window.
I would love if someone who has one of the early units could confirm that the drivers are near PERFECTLY aligned with the facet. The driver is wedged between the pins on the diode and uses all three of them thus locking it's orientation to the internal of the diode. The only way that I can see it not being aligned is if they twist the diode pins to the point of breaking them or if they change to a new driver design.
 




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