You can't just replace it. Here's what you should do.
Buy 2 (in case one dies, VERY good ides to get more than 1) DVD burner LDs from SenKat. Totally unused. Great price, cheaper than buying a DVD burner to rip apart.
Buy 1 or 2 Aixiz module from www.mfgcn.com which is the website of Aixiz Lasers. They ship worldwide. You want the 650nm <5mw 12x30mm, $4.50 US + $2.50 US postage.
Buy one or two torches as a host. There are several good ones, including the Dorcy Metal Gear which are available online with a bit of searching. Most places ship worldwide for a couple $$ extra.
Buy some parts for a DIY driver circuit, available online, or you can get SenKat to send you the parts when you order your diodes.
There you have it! Read up on the guides in the experiments and mods section, to find some excellent guides on how to assemble all this.
Basically, take the old diode out of the aixiz module and discard. CAREFULLY put the new one in. Connect wires to it, build the driver board, connect diode and driver, carefully turn up the driver power while monitoring the current, find a good spot, then whack everything into a torch!
Please don't ask for more details here, just go read up on how to's.
P.S. I'm 15, in Australia, and I managed to do all this!
In terms of this business with driver circuit i found some instructions where a driver circuit doesn't seem to have been used. Just a diode, batteries, switch and the Casing/Lens. Can it be done this way or is this design likely to fail?
I've ordered the casing (650nm 10mw 12mm X 30mm case ) and intend to rip apart an old dvd writer when it arrives. Is there somewhere i can order a driver circuit?
Also is there a set by step guide to this sort of thing on this website or another that you'd recommend?
Sorry if the questions are a bit basic - I'm new to this. I'm fairly experienced with electrical experimentation, just no good with solid state stuff so it's a learning experience...
can i scrap a cd player and take the red diode from it to make a laser? mind you, i dont want a cutting laser, i only want to make a toy for my cats and possible a sight or a targeter for my bb gun. if u have the answer and AIM, my screen name is Ebrithilsam