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Modified Maplin >1mW Green Laser Pointer

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Ok....

I’ve just modified my Maplin 1mW 532nm Green Laser Pointer.....Cutting the red and black wires used to regulate power output and now the laser is visibly brighter and the dot is still visible but now there is a haze of sorts...seems slightly diffused.

Also adjusting the pot did not seem to change the intensity of the beam. [I’ll try freshly charged eneloops]

Is this dust or has something moved out of line.


I’ll get some photo’s for a tutorial and comparison between another Maplin 1mW and a modified pointer hopefully this afternoon.
 

CurtisOliver

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I’ve always found this laser to have a bad lens. More power will show up more dust and marks on the lens, and I have always struggled to clean it with this pointer for some reason. Make sure the cap is back on the laser properly and the laser should be properly collimated still. Be careful adjusting the pot. It is easy to overdo it.
You should notice that with fresh batteries the beam will be visible in dim/dark conditions.
 

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After modification, Apart from the dirty lens..the pointer was working fine and now the pointer is unregulated it’s output has dropped considerably.

The pointer is now looking like it is on its last legs
 

CurtisOliver

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There are two possibilities here, either the batteries are dying or you've raised the current too much whilst tweaking the pot. I have had quite a few of these pointers and I have killed one before by turning the pot too far. I hope this isn't what has happened here. This is why I said you only have to snip the two wires.
 

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It's dead [ R.I.P ]

Luckily, I have a spare (y)


Followed the same procedure.
1. Removed Laser Diode Module
2. Cut both the Red and Black wires
3. Reinserted module into host
4. 2 fresh AAA eneloop rechargeable batteries



The result was far better than the first attempt, the laser modules are in tight and in removing the module, you have to be careful not to twist the cap, I suspect this might cause some changes/damage to the lenses.

The beam is great, visible in the dark and dim light and in the right conditions the beam looks like it is touching the clouds and as a astronomy pointer, if the beam was more precise - perhaps due to the optics or alignment there is still a slight diffusion or speckles around the point of the beam, if I could find a similar spec module slightly brighter and a more precise point = Perfect


This is the Laser Diode Module L17566068. Note the crease on the sticker, unsure if movement when extracting module from host caused any misalignment!



Detail showing the Pot


Hoping to follow up with some beam shots [|:::::::]|--------------------------------
 
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CurtisOliver

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Sorry to hear about your first pointer, but I’m glad you got good results from the spare. I remember measuring one on a lpm with old batteries and it was over 3mW. With fresh batteries I would imagine it is easily 5mW+. I wouldn’t be surprised if these pointers are in fact 5mW lasers limited to 1mW for UK retailers.
 

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Took some pictures of the beam.....

Outside the beam will easily show on buildings 1 or so miles away...(y)

IMG_0196.JPG


Still inside, [somewhat grainy image]

IMG_0203.JPG
 

paul1598419

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Since these are limited to such low output powers, it might be difficult to get much power out of them as the pump diode is likely just 100 mW or so. I am surprised you were able to see a beam in the dark as these powers are so very low. I would heat sink the output transistor and the module as turning the current up is going to cause them to heat up more than they were originally intended to do. I'm not sure how you modified the one that died as I am not familiar with this particular module. I hope that whatever it was, it didn't remove current regulation to the pump diode.
 

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Luckily, I have another spare (y)

The first mod - After cutting the wires to the APC, the pot was adjusted...This might go away to explaining the short running time and ultimate failure of the laser module.

The second mod - The wires to the APC were cut and not other adjustments were made and the laser pointer up until now is still going fine.



The pointer is made by Refrakta Lasers and Made in Taiwan for Maplin Electronics, model A64JK - Perfect size, weight and quite robust.

Output - Continuous wave
Temp - 15-35C
Wavelength - 532nm
Output - 1mW(Class 2)

As I mentioned, "Luckily, I have another spare" and I'd like to make a custom host add a heatsink and a tail switch and button on the body...either or. Not too sure if a host is available and I'd like to start looking at building a custom host. Only thing I'd need is a tail switch and front cap and would need to tap both ends for the switch and cap or bore a hole in the body to allow access for a push button.
 




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