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Lurker no longer... howdy y'all, I'm Sam from SW Missouri

Sumfinclever

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First off, thank you all for the invaluable collective knowledge and experience you have all shared here. I've been a member for a long time, but have never once posted. Admittedly I joined so that I could see photos and other content you have all shared. However, as I find myself delving further into all things laser, it's probably time to cease lurking and join in the fun.
I remember the first time I saw a laser pointer at 8 years old. My family and I were sitting in church and I saw a small red dot appearing everywhere the minister pointed.

My tendency is for amusement to give way to fascination, which often times gives way to obsession. I had no clue how the minister was casting a red light from his hand. I suspected it might be some sort of divine power granted to clergy for the purpose of leading sermons (don't judge me lol). I absolutely had to find out, so I asked and was handed an old radio shack pen pointer. Despite warnings not to shine it in my eye, I immediately did exactly what most kids do, and tried to look down the end to figure out what sorcery was contained inside. Needless to say it was taken away from me, and thus my lust for the forbidden fruit began

22 years later, I'm 30 and my garage, home office, and even work office are littered with countless DIY projects, and a majority of them are related to music, woodworking, or lasers. Luckily my better half is content to question my sanity, but allows me to explore my obsession freely as long as it's contained to my various disaster areas.

My current project, which prompted me to introduce myself, is modifying a 4 barrel nerf gun to house 4x 1+ W diodes in 4 different wavelength (405, 445, 520, 635). I would like them all to be TTL controlled via an arduino or similar, so I can create a variety of patterns/modes that fire 1 or more diodes simultaneously, or cycle through them upon pulling the trigger. I've spent countless hours researching, and have started ordering a few bits and pieces. I'm sure I'll have many questions along the way.
 
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ArcticDude

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Hi & welcome to LPF!

Have fun, stay safe, and enjoy your stay! :)
 

hakzaw1

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you say '' I've been a member for a long time,....'
since way back on Nov 23, 2018 . wow a real VET! lol

Your intro is interesting but other info would be helpful.. Your location needs to be NOT just in your profile BUT also in the title of this thread.

A good intro also has newcomers first name-& and your age helps too.
AFAIK you can edit this intro and add those things.

NOW if you do not want any hands-on help, ever, your intro is fine.
If you are not interested in having all your lasers metered free-anytime -no location in this thread is needed.

Members near you have NO WAY to know that UNLESS it comes from you in your intro's title.
WE do not always visit home pages. IF your location was known-you will get more visits.. and PMs too

I am near Houston Tx.. where are you? You are 8 +22= 30 yrs old.
I am 72 on July 3rd. This is my 10th year as a member.


Some day you will look back at this thread and be 'nerf-gun' red faced....
There is a list of 101 laser projects/experiments and afaik none involve nerf guns.
A white laser 'sled' made from these would have MANY uses such as super simple LUMIA.
If built right you will be able to use this 'white laser' in MANY projects. And with just TTL you can make 20+ 'colors' not just the 7 we get with ONLY R G & B (& ttl) with an analog modulation driver you can make millions of 'colors'.

btw==
86 that 650 red --get 638 or 635 much brighter/better reds.
same for 532 G get a DDL green-505 510 515 and /or 520nm that avoids the problem with 532 being case positive (must be isolated from the other lasers) to find what powers will make a 'white' search 'Chroma' ( only if a decent white is wanted)



Len
 
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Sumfinclever

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...
Some day you will look back at this thread and be 'nerf-gun' red faced....
There is a list of 101 laser projects/experiments and afaik none involve nerf guns.
A white laser 'sled' made from these would have MANY uses such as super simple LUMIA.
If built right you will be able to use this 'white laser' in MANY projects. And with just TTL you can make 20+ 'colors' not just the 7 we get with ONLY R G & B (& ttl) with an analog modulation driver you can make millions of 'colors'.

btw==
86 that 650 red --get 638 or 635 much brighter/better reds.
same for 532 G get a DDL green-505 510 515 and /or 520nm that avoids the problem with 532 being case positive (must be isolated from the other lasers) to find what powers will make a 'white' search 'Chroma' ( only if a decent white is wanted)
I went ahead and edited my post's title and added my age. I'm not sure I'm understanding what you mean regarding being red in the face when looking back at this thread. If there's 101+ laser projects or experiments and none of them involve nerf guns, I'd like to think that my project is rather unique contribution. I started assembling the battery housing last night, and have been working on some python code to control triggering the 4 separate diodes via 5V out pins on a python compatible microcontroller. The code allows you to cycle through various fire modes with button press. One mode fires all diodes simultaneously, another fires them in sequence repeatedly (top, right, bottom, left), then there's a few more but the limits are really only limited to how much time I want to spend writing/testing code. The reason for using TTL on the drivers is because the microcontroller lacks sufficient current for 1 diode, let alone 4.

The MC does support PWM on a few pins though, so I'm not ruling out full RGB in future builds. However, this particular nerf gun isn't sufficiently large to house all 3 RGB diodes along with the dichro mirrors and mounts. It also has 4 separate barrels, so my plan was to place a module w/ heat sink in each, with drivers located inside the chassis w/power supply, MC and reg/charge circuitry.

You're absolutely right about the wavelength, and thanks for the reminder. I'll look for a >1w 635/638. I mean to type 515 as I was considering using one of the NUGM diodes (07 IIRC) for green as opposed to the crappier sub-200mw DPSS options. Then blue and violet are easy and cheap enough as well.
 

Sumfinclever

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Received a PM complementing my grammar and asking where the ya'll came from. Gotta say, that made me chuckle

I kan Inglish REL GUD! ;-)
 
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paul1598419

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Welcome to the LPF, Sam. I don't see you putting a 1 watt 532nm laser in your Nerf gun. You would likely be able to put a 520nm direct diode green laser in it instead. They are a bit pricey, but not as much as a 532nm solid state laser would be. Enjoy your stay and I am glad you didn't seem to get permanent damage to your eye from looking into a laser. Someone should have warned you against this activity before giving a laser to an 8 year old.
 

Sumfinclever

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Yeah you're right, I mentioned above that this was a typo but forgot to correct the original post. Lol I was warned, but I was a stubborn sonuvagun as a kid (still am too)

EDIT: I corrected 532nm to 520nm to reflect my intention of using one of the NUGM diodes.
 
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hakzaw1

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Received a PM complementing my grammar and asking where the ya'll came from. Gotta say, that made me chuckle

I kan Inglish REL GUD! ;-)
___________
I was not being sarcastic. (are you?) You clearly are skilled. -I had hopes you were in Texas by the y'all, as we always hope for more active members in or near TEXAS.. also we really need a shorter and easier nick to use.. we find that out sometimes when the person posts and puts ??? at the bottom... so-- help us out here...Hak (short for hakzaw1) or Len-- short for Leonard.. following me??? GUD

edit -- just saw where Paul used 'Sam' that is great..
welcome to LPF ...Sam!!

_________more reading done- & a suggestion.
1st your project is way more complicated than I can even understand AND I am not the best person to explain this so wait a day or so and an actual savvy member will clarify my poor understanding.
There is a good reason that good drivers have at least TTL-
I (when very new) asked why not just power on and power off? Was told that is not a good thing for the diodes. AND the way TTL works is not harmful to the diodes...just in case you did not know that already.
and about being red-faced-- I think all here had a least a few ideas that, in retrospect, were looked at differently down the road--NOT a waste of lasers but ..... some of my wilder ideas did not look 'worth the effort & lasers' to me later.
good luck Sam with your project and remember pics are NOT optional!!!



PS I should have been kinder on your OP--- THANKS for the title edit!!! and you will be glad to know we DO have a few fine members down your way.. DTR (Jordan) is our go-to guy for many parts.. and now 'retired' Mat (mohenberg) who goes by MOH -- an EMT and maker of MANY fine hosts for us and never charged what his work was worth..

AND the smart-ass remark by me was not nice and I say sorry..
I thought later that you may have meant a 'lurker' ( not member) for a long time and now new member making a thread!!

BTW we do have a section now for projects like yours and light sabers, SW Phasers, - and so on.
brb with a link -- I have a 'Space Rangers' knife/gun combo that will have lasers eventually.

hak

link to Lightsabers forum..

https://laserpointerforums.com/forums/lightsabers.84/

lots of pics there but not many new threads..so please make a new one on your project.
 
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Sumfinclever

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Haha Sam works for me. If it was good enough for my folks to choose it, then it's good enough for me lol. They're both SC natives, so the "y'all" followed them here to the Ozarks.

As far as being red faced down the road, I've no doubts I'll likely end up with a few cringeworthy memories, generally try to look at them as opportunities to grow. one of the managers at the company I work for told me something a few years ago that stuck with me. "If you're not learning something new everyday, then you're doing something wrong". I can't say I manage to learn something everyday, but once I find something interesting and get on a roll I'm more than make up for those days :p

I have definitely perused that section a few times looking for inspiration, thanks for providing the link! I didn't even think about making a thread for this build, but now that you mention it that's a great idea. I'll visit that section again to get a little better idea of or preferred formatting.

Yeah I thought I recognized the name DTR, pretty sure I've come across his listings a few times while looking for parts on eBay. Pretty sure he's the only person on their selling nubm44 in actuall copper 12x30 modules ready to go. STL is just a few hours drive from here, but I haven't been there since the last DriftSTL event at gateway Motorsports park.
 

Sumfinclever

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Also, my introduction to TTL / pwm was when I decided to build a 600 watt vape mod from scratch. while not a laser itself, I did use a 40 watt CO2 machine to cut the enclosure pieces. I'll post a few pictures of it when I get back to the house tonight as I'm sure there's a few of "y'all" that would appreciate the time invested.
 

hakzaw1

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Great... I was hoping you would not ask me much because that is all I know.. ..
Wait-- Analog modulation is also ttl- by using zero but ttl is not analog at ALL.
Your Avatar is stunning.... so much so that we will not mention your double post ( 2 min apart)--1st one is free lol
 

Sumfinclever

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As I understand it, TTL is simply a circuit trigger that uses the presence of 5v on a given pin to determine the on/off state of the circuit, without having to send higher current from one circuit to another, allowing separate(often different) power sources for each. I just realized I forgot to reply with the pics of that vape mod I was talking about.


Also, here's another album showing a few pieces made with the co2 laser, and a bunch of walnut/sycamore processed with 16kV and resin for the enclosures in the above album:


Both of which aren't lasers themselves, but produced using lasers in one fashion or another
 

PhaserBoy

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Welcome from a Cardinals fan since 1970. when I was 7, living in Colorado Springs. I wonder if anyone has used a Raspberry Pi mini computer to control lasers. I'm using one in a Pacman arcade I built. But that's probably another thread starter lol.
 




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