I recently completed a new laser and, being confident in its stability, have decided now is the time to post about it.
I originally wanted to make a 1W green laser pen (due to its cheapness), but I also really wanted to have 15+ second duty cycles and at least 15 minutes of battery life. So I did the maths and went for the next largest/cheapest host; the JD851.
Although I did at first manage to cram an eBay NUGM03 1W laser diode, inside a makeshift housing, into a small JD851 host I also got off of eBay and run it off of a homemade LM337 driver and 2S LiPo battery, the solution was far too finicky. After an... accident... the laser glue unglued itself and the whole thing fell apart. Luckily though, the resilient NUGM03 laser diode survived (NOTE: it became "decanned" in the process, not that the G-Ball lens was being held on that well to begin with).
I then knew I needed a more structurally sound solution and, since I have no way to machine my own host, I thought to try building into the next largest host (going by diameter) I know of; the C6.
I began by getting the C6 bargain host assembly off of survivallaser.com along with a 9mm laser housing and 3E glass lens.
Upon arriving, I first decided to solder the driver I ordered (tested at 1.8A fixed current with dummy load, 3.5V) into the pill with the brass ring and add some much-needed reverse polarity protection via a cheap P-Channel MOSFET I had lying around. Please note that the drain pin is internally connected to the metal backboard.
I then gently and painstakingly hammered the laser diode into the housing (I don't have a vise) using a nut socket. The lens was then carefully cleaned using alcohol and a microfiber cloth.
Following this, I tested the driver once again on a dummy load (2 HER208 diodes connected with a 1ohm resistor in series, all rated for 2W+) before soldering the driver leads to the laser module. Unfortunately the cheap driver leads managed to fall off under the weight of the module when I tried lifting it, so I had to painstakingly sharpen my soldering iron and re-solder them. To prevent this from happening again, I applied superglue around the leads' solder joints and let it cure overnight.
Upon finally putting it all together the following day, this is what I got:
The original 16340 batteries I was using weren't giving me the results I desired, so I bought some 18350 vape batteries locally and rigged a ghetto charging setup (one charger came with the JD851, the other I had lying around):
Since the batteries were each 1mm longer, I had to dismantle the laser and loosen the driver pill a bit in order for them to fit in. Once that was done, I now had a functional laser:
ConclusionThe finished laser is being run at ~3.5V/1.85A, probably outputting just over 1W. But with the losses from the collimating lens, especially on account of it getting slightly dirty in my dust-filled house within 5 seconds of me cleaning it, maybe 100mW less?
Anyhow, I'm satisfied with the result and price (still managed to build it for cheaper than had I bought it pre-made, + the form factor). Thanks all for providing technical support when I requested it on the forums