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[Pic Heavy] 250mA 16x SOC Fan-Cooled Budget Build

Fretwrecker94

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Hey all, just wanted to share my recent build with you all!

Introducing the awesome budget built 16x Small Open Can Fan-Cooled Labby... SOCFCL for short...

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Price Breakown
Aixiz Module: $2.00 (10 for $20 deal)
Diode: Free! My friend gave me an old 16x Drive!
Project Box: $2.69 @ Radioshack
Fan: ~$2.00 from eBay
Switches: ~$2.00 from Jameco, (I already had one laying in my parts bin)
DC Jack:~$1.00 from Jameco
LM317 and Parts: ~$1.50
LED Indicators: $0.25 each from Jameco
Total: ~$11.69

Totally classifiable as a budget build!​

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There's a picture of the module hole and the diode inside it :)

This is a pretty compact laser! I have been meaning to put some of these 40mm fans I have to use, and I figured I may as well make a small laser!

It's build process was not as tough as I thought it would be, but was a little tricky. First, I had to plan the build in such a way to layer switches, leave room for the DC Jack, and give the laser and its driver sufficient space.

I did not have my Dremel present, so I had to drill a 3/8" hole and file it to ~12mm. It wasn't a perfect filing job, but it got the job done and I was able to offset the box's angled sides and allow for a straight alignment of the beam.

The hole for the fan took the longest to prepare. I first found the diameter of the hole needed and then drilled as many decent sized holes within the circle's insides. I cut the remaining "spider web" of plastic with wire cutters and filed the hole as best as I could and it came out pretty well. Then I epoxied the fan over the hole after it was all closed up.

Overall, this laser is 4cm tall, 6cm wide, and 8.5cm long! Not bad! Especially considering it has a fan mounted to it and two long switches!

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The project box had been slightly used... By that I mean I used to use it to test the burning capabilities of various lasers. So there are some tracks of melted plastic, but I don't mind. It was a cheap build and I'm not too picky with it for the price of the parts. Also it's bulging a little on one side. I either caught a wire just barely or there's a bit of epoxy on it. But again, totally happy with the build :)

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There's the indication system on the top of the laser.

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As you can see, this laser has some neat features to it! I think they add a little bit more function and class to the overall build.

Features

Fan Cooled: To help with keeping the laser at an operable temperature and to improve duty cycle.
LED Indicators: This way I can tell of I left something on if the dust cap is over the focus ring. Also I like the look :D They each have labels under them to show what they represent when lit.
Switches: I wanted to make this build able to run the laser and fan independently. That way I can keep the fan running while the laser is off so it's "off" cycle is shortened when it needs to be turned off. Like the LED indicators, the switches are labeled with the circuits they control.
External Power Supply: This way I don't have to open it up to change out batteries and I have the option to connect it to a wall supply! The fan is rated for 12V, but works just fine at 6V or 9V. And obviously the LM317 Driver can handle the excess voltage for the fan.

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There's a photo of the fan in use and it's LED indicator... indicating.. that

Specs
Driver Output: 250mA
Estimated Output: 180mW
Power Source: >6V

Let me know what you think!

BEAMSHOTS!!!

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Here you can see both the LEDs doing their jobs :D

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Fiddy

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Great work! love the LED indicators :gj:
 

divindavid

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Those beam shots! :drool: Great work on the project box. Do you have anything holding the aixiz module in the box or is it just press fit?
 

532 with Envy

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Nice looking little Labby build! Would you be interested in showing some picstures how you wired all the led's, switches, fan and diode to your driver?

+1 for creating your own build!
 

Fretwrecker94

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Those beam shots! :drool: Great work on the project box. Do you have anything holding the aixiz module in the box or is it just press fit?

I epoxied the aixiz module in place on the inside. I figured since there really isn't anything of too much value in there I wouldn't be tempted to pick it a apart sometime.

As for the internal wiring, 532 With Envy, I can post a schematic or something, but the whole thing is screwed shut. I spend a little while getting it to close and I don't want to risk opening it then reclosing and having a short. Maybe sometime if I'm feeling brave, though :)
 
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Hiemal

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Wow, that looks fantastic!

I would rep you but I sort of can't at the moment. :p
 
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Nice labby build and beam shots!!

Your fan is blowing air into the box right? So where are the exit holes?

May i suggest something? Turn your fan upsidedown, drill some holes on the oposite side of the fan (so the air would flow from the button up and pass through the module) and find some rubber... i dont know how you name those... rubber feet xD? and glue them on the base of the box so the air can get to the holes.

I think this way you can have a 99% duty cycle!
 

Fretwrecker94

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Nice labby build and beam shots!!

Your fan is blowing air into the box right? So where are the exit holes?

May i suggest something? Turn your fan upsidedown, drill some holes on the oposite side of the fan (so the air would flow from the button up and pass through the module) and find some rubber... i dont know how you name those... rubber feet xD? and glue them on the base of the box so the air can get to the holes.

I think this way you can have a 99% duty cycle!

Yeah I realized sort of after the fact that the ventilation wasn't ever something I put in. But its not running at a current to get it TOO host, so its present set-up should work fine :)

Thanks for the advice though, I'll keep it in mind for next time!
 

Sputnik77

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Nice build!! What diode is that? My 16x is nowhere near that intense (even with fog) at roughly the same power levels.

If you are planning on building much in the future, I would suggest getting one of THESE

It will make your holes MUCH nicer and more precise. Just drill a small pilot hole, and finish off with the tapered reamer. Works well for plastics and thin metals. Obviously, with thicker materials, it will be a tapered hole, so a drill is best for that.
 
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Fretwrecker94

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Nice build!! What diode is that? My 16x is nowhere near that intense (even with fog) at roughly the same power levels.

If you are planning on building much in the future, I would suggest getting one of THESE

It will make your holes MUCH nicer and more precise. Just drill a small pilot hole, and finish off with the tapered reamer. Works well for plastics and thin metals. Obviously, with thicker materials, it will be a tapered hole, so a drill is best for that.

Well its just a 16x diode from a broken DVD Burner running at 250mA. Maybe it's just really efficient! Thanks for the suggestion, I've been looking at using reamers for these kind of things. I'll probably just end up getting a 12mm drill bit or spade bit, but thanks for the link! I'll probably end up using one some day :)
 

Sputnik77

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Well its just a 16x diode from a broken DVD Burner running at 250mA. Maybe it's just really efficient! Thanks for the suggestion, I've been looking at using reamers for these kind of things. I'll probably just end up getting a 12mm drill bit or spade bit, but thanks for the link! I'll probably end up using one some day :)

I take that back, mine is an 18X, its running at 290ma. Oh well, its still decent for what it is!!


You will still want a tapered reamer for thin materials and plastic. A 12mm drill can be quite destructive on thin materials and plastic. Not to mention, most drills, in thin materials,especially plastic, will make a triangle hole, it will not be round. I know, it sounds crazy, a drill making a triangle hole, but its true!! A few bucks is a small price to pay to get a nice professional look.

If you want to drill out heatsinks and such for the 12mm modules, then yes, a 12mm straight reamer and a slightly undersized drill would be best.
 

Fretwrecker94

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I take that back, mine is an 18X, its running at 290ma. Oh well, its still decent for what it is!!


You will still want a tapered reamer for thin materials and plastic. A 12mm drill can be quite destructive on thin materials and plastic. Not to mention, most drills, in thin materials,especially plastic, will make a triangle hole, it will not be round. I know, it sounds crazy, a drill making a triangle hole, but its true!! A few bucks is a small price to pay to get a nice professional look.

If you want to drill out heatsinks and such for the 12mm modules, then yes, a 12mm straight reamer and a slightly undersized drill would be best.

I dunno, my hand drill works just fine for my project boxes. I just work my way up in size and it works like a charm!

Any pictures of your laser? I'd love to see it!
 

Sputnik77

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I have many, but here is a green labby I just built.
 

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