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LPC-826 builds

Pman

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So, not having much $ anymore I still want to build. Anyone who has been around knows that I am a heavy proponent of builds that are easy on the wallet. My mind is always on the "bang for buck" builds (just see my tutorials).
I had discovered the LPC-826 awhile back and looked for the most inexpensive way to utilize it as they have some pretty serious output vs. cost. You can purchase them for about $6 from an Ebay seller in the US with free shipping and I always get them in a few days and I usually buy 3 or 4 at a time. As of right now he is out of them. Sent him a message asking if he will be getting any more of them. The Ebay seller is anomalytech. Don't see any other US sellers. Anyone buys them tell him I sent you.

EDIT: He just got back to me and says he will have more hopefully by the end of the week;)

I used these drivers:

From:
2pcs Adjustable Current Laser Diode Driver 80 500mA w TTL | eBay

Other pieces parts were hosts I had sitting around. I'm not good with empty hosts. They call to me demanding attention. Not kidding, I can't stand unfinished projects.
The drivers were all set the same which is setting them just beyond the pot stop where they give variable output based upon voltage in otherwise they only set to about 360mA which is still decent but I like to push them when their cost is so little. You DON'T want to try and run (2) regular 3.7/4.2V cells in them as it's enough voltage to blow them instantly. The fully charged LiFEPo4 cells at about 3.7 is really pushing it and they will push just over 400mW with a G-2 although I use standard acrylic lenses which will still push them over 300mW. Also used RCR123A in the C6 builds. If you blow one fair warning has been given. Up to you how hard on the edge you want to be.

These are the ones I had previously built not including a few other misc. ones:





Here's the new ones in actual regular hosts with a lot of build pics. I'll start with the 2 pens showing the builds:

Pressed in diode:


soldered and epoxied drivers:


You can see I aded a small heat-sink which is a piece of brazing rod:


Now I have to add a switch to the setup:


Problem is the switch is too long. The button will end up past the hole:


Cut down the switch:


Wired the + to switch:




Here's the other one that I also cut the switch holder:



Now because I'm isolating everything electrically unfortunately the only way I could think of wiring the - was to tape the end of the battery and wire it to the side of the battery (just tight with tape) for this type pen. The other regular pen was done by wedging the - between the pen wall and module after the module had an insulator layer between them as the cheap pens have a lot more gap for the module to slide in:

Second one. If you look carefully you can see a thick plastic sheet over the module:



Finished product painted beforehand:




Other one first completed but then I removed the black with my dremel and now it really stands out from my other pens:






Now I'll show how I did the Coleman unit. This is what it looks like as a flashlight:



Took out the guts and this is what it looks like inside:


I had taken the driver out and cleared it of components but the holder is stopped by those pieces that make the batteries not rattle and I need it to sit lower for the module to fit correctly which also means going to 2 AAA LiFEPo4 rather than AA ones:


This step-bit worked great:




Now I have to make this piece and the module/board all come together:


Series of copper together with module and isolation of pieces/parts:




You can see the non-conductive divider:




Put together but still need to fill the gap to host:


Use copper sheeting of various thickness:






In order to make the lens holder sit close to the host at infinite focus I added a washer:



I had already painted the laser symbol the appropriate color. The important thing with all of this was for me to get thigs just right to be able to epoxy the lens holder into the host front piece to be able to match the focusing with screwing this entire piece onto the rest of the host so this piece now acts as the focusing adjustment. Fully screwed in is infinity focus with just a small bit of leeway:



Final product:




It's not dirty looking like the pic seems to show, it is very clean. Also, this unit has a freak diode in it as it hits 476mW:eek: EDIT: accidently grabbed a similar laser. It's just over 400mW with a G-2.



Here's the other 2 that are just C6 with double front ends to allow the driver to fit. May seem a bit odd but I had a bunch of them:





A few beam shots:

I took this one when I was testing with only one cell so it's not that bright:


Regular pics:








Like this pic alot:


One of the pen units:


The "devil" is in the details"










Seller says he should have more by the end of the week. It's currently 6/16 today
 
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Wow, already some nice stuff pman. As I'm planning to make a pen host LPC build for a friend of mine, super helpful! And I like your amount of detail in your posts
 

Pman

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I tend to show a lot of detail as I tend to be more interested in how someone did it rather than the beam shots at the end. The fun is kind of over for me once I'm finished building. Someone like Brucemir likes the end products beams and really knows how to show them off.
 
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I'm sure it can feel like that for some people. Especially for you, when you have a lot of already built lasers, the real fun is the build and not the laser beam itself. But doesn't it feel weird having so much lasers you barely use?
 

Pman

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Yes, it feels weird. I'm edgy about selling stuff though. I would guess I've given away 50+ units and lots of other goodies. There used to be lots of "giveaways" but the crowd is different now. Quite a few good members either moved on or disappeared for one reason or other.
 
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crazyspaz

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Thats the type of DIY I miss- cobbling together a host with bits of random copper, and ending up with a perfectly functional, and actual nice looking finished product :) Too much "plug n play" nowadays. Thanks for sharing!
 

Pman

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Yup, not enough people care about the old school way. 1W+ is where it's at. It's more fun seeing what you can do with what you have. Anyone with $ can buy. I still like a good deal in the BST section but usually have to repair them so I am still building/re-building them;)
 
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grainde

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Nice tutorial :) Just a quick suggestion, if you want to save money on the build you could use an LM317 or equivalent type linear or an AMC 350 AmA chip with a cap as a driver the AMC is also linear but needs only 1 battery. The latter can be tiny and can be built for cents. IIRC Fasttech sells the AMC chips 10 a piece for around a dollar. I did do a similar build called "the little key chain that lives", or something similar. If your interested Ill dig it out and send you the link.+3 :beer:

Edit: Must spread some sorry.:(
 
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Don't AMC7135's can only do 350mA, 700mA, 1050mA etc? How would you do the ~500mA for the LPC-826's then? Still a good suggestion, as I was looking for a low dropout linear regulator. :)
 

Pman

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Yes, I would like to see that build/link. Glad to see someone else "gets" what I am doing/showing. Its great to see the ingenuity of really involved builds but they just are not for the masses. Most people don't have machining tools and the ability to design their own drivers or the $ to sink into those kind of projects. I think it's a shame that there just isn't that much interest in things like this.
I think I have another 5 units that I haven't shown yet but they are all much more expensive higher output and not as interesting to me as this.
 
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grainde

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Pman

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Grainde is correct for how hard you should push them and you'll get good output and much longer diode life than what I'm doing with them. You are definately taking the diode life in your hands pushing them so hard. Somehow I ended up with a really robust one in that Coleman that hits 476mW and that's with a 3-element. Obviously IF it keeps working it will easily hit class 4 with a G-2. I'll try it later to see where it hits. Every single one of them will do over 400mW with a G lens and the right voltage. EDIT: that last statement was wrong. Discovered I had grabbed another Coleman I had. Actual output is just over 400mW with G-2. The pics were the longest I ever ran any of them and that was a max of about 20 seconds. I don't know if they are more robust than they used to be or not.
 
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Great info Pman, I like posts like this with lots of detail and photos. +rep.

I have a host just like this that I saved when it quit because I hoped to reuse it, I still have it but I swear there is no getting the module out of it.

Alan
 

Pman

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Yeah, that's just one that I got the module out and then you can see I took off the black paint in the next pic. I actually have another empty one that I stripped down awaiting a build.
Some are REALLY hard to remove and others medium hard. What I do is use thin needle nose pliers and rip out the board guts so there's only the module stuck in. Then I pour some kind of solvent like paint thinner inside each end waiting some time in between. Then I take a metal rod and pound it out the front keeping the front end on a soft piece of wood or just whacking it while its in my hand. Almost always get it out with no damage to the pen. That one was easier to get it out so I just pounded it without any solvent.
I have so many pen lasers that I just pick a lower output one to re-purpose. Haven't bothered but I bet the solvent will take off the black coating on its own if it just sits in it. You could just soak it all like that for awhile. Depends how much glue they use.
 
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Pman

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K, hang on. I am polishing a couple of brass hosts but I'll wash my hands and see what happens. Hopefully it doesn't go poof.

UGH! My mistake. I had grabbed the wrong laser. I grabbed the other Coleman I have that looks like it:eek: It does 405mW with a G-2. I'll edit the other posts (actually leaving this here but saying EDIT: with a quick explanation so the flow of posts dont get messed up. So sorry:rolleyes:
 
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