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Pro Tips w/ Spyderz20x6: Building your first DIY Laser!

Spyderz20x6

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Where to buy parts for your first DIY laser:

Red Laser Parts:

Diode: http://stonetek.org/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=180

http://stonetek.org/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=67&products_id=192
Trust me, Greg (owner of StoneTek) is a great guy who's diode's are the best on the market

Or, you could PM [highlight]TheMonk[/highlight], and buy a 20x open can diode for around $30...
You could also ask him to pre-install it in the AixiZ module...
You could also buy them here, instead of PM'ing him:
http://www.laserpointerforums.com/forums/YaBB.pl?num=1216530258

Or, you could buy one from HighTechDealZ:
Kendall from HightechdealZ is also a great guy, with great diodes, and great prices!
http://www.hightechdealz.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=48
http://www.hightechdealz.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=49

Housing: http://stonetek.org/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=66&products_id=191

http://www.hightechdealz.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=9

http://www.mi-lasers.com/cgi-bin/sh...hstart=0&template=Templates/SearchResult.html

http://www.mi-lasers.com/cgi-bin/sh...hstart=0&template=Templates/SearchResult.html

(note: you NEED the adaptor)

Driver: http://laserpointerforums.com/laser_pointer_forums_3/forum/showthread.php?t=22502
The lavadrive is a boost driver, which means all you need to worry about is setting a current. It will take input voltages from 2.5-5.5 Volts. If you are going to use 6 volts, solder the included silicone diode to the driver (read thread for more details). For the Rckstr driver, you will need to input above 5 volts, because it is a linear driver. Don't get me wrong, his drivers are great!
If you don't have a Digital Multi Meter, you might wanna ask [highlight]drlava/rckstr[/highlight] to preset a current on the flexdrive/rckstr driver for you. For a StoneTek diode, the current needs to be from 280mA-350mA, but I would say that 350mA is pushing it a little. 300mA is the sweet spot for these 16x diodes. For a 20x Open can, 420mA is the sweet spot.

http://rkcstr.nfshost.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=65&zenid=dde9928ef209f4b33c72bca8bb6e1542
The rckstr Micro-Drive is a great driver, but the only difference is, for Blu-Rays, you need to input ~7 volts, and for Reds, ~5 volts.
Use the discount code "LPF" to get a $2 discount!

Host:
You could use this one: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4171

A project box...

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.1442

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3405

The Dorcy Jr. (do some searches on google, they also sell it on www.stonetek.org)

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4171
This host is the best for a burning red laser, because [highlight]jayrob[/highlight] makes great heatsinks for it, which can be found here:
http://laserpointerforums.com/laser_pointer_forums_3/forum/showthread.php?t=22511

Or some other host that i don't know about. Those are all good beginner hosts! Try browsing DealExtreme for more hosts, because they have plenty.


For a PHR-803T, almost the same thing, except the flexdrive/rcktsr driver needs to be set at 100-150mA if you want it to last. I'm sure you can find an ideal host... You could buy the diode from [highlight]TheMonk[/highlight], or here:
http://www.hightechdealz.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=50
Or here:
http://www.hightechdealz.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3&products_id=51

And there are always grop buys ;)
Also, new 4x diodes are now available for around $50, so search around in the GB section :)


[highlight]Pro Experience Laser Tip: NEVER USE A MAGLITE!!! THERE IS NO ROOM FOR A DRIVER AND YOU WILL WASTE YOUR TIME!!![/highlight]

If you are going to use a Rckstr driver with a PHR-803T, you need to input at least 7 volts...
Use these batteries:
These are AA: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3435
These are AAA: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.974

100-150mA is fine for these diodes, 120mA is recomended for a long life, but the burning power increases signficantly with 150mA. My blu-ray is set to 150mA, and it is still fine for a month now. If you want good burning power, go with 150mA, it should be safe at that current. Yes, a heatsink is required if you want to give the laser diode a long life, however, if you want to put it in a pen style host, make a duty cycle so the diode doesn't get to hot...


FAQ:

Q. ZOMG!!!:eek: What do i use for a heatsink!?!?!?
A. You could always make one out of washers, or if you have a lathe, make one yourself. You could also PM [highlight]Jayrob[/highlight], and send him the dimensions of the needed heatsink, and he will make it for you, for a small price of course. You could also send him your host, and he will make a custom heatsink, or if you have the 5 Watt MXDL (http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4171), he already makes heatsinks for it :)
If you are using a Dorcy Jr, get heatsinks from [highlight]DarkHorse[/highlight], they are amazing!

Here are Jayrob's: http://laserpointerforums.com/laser_pointer_forums_3/forum/showthread.php?t=22511
Here are DarkHorse's: http://mysite.verizon.net/grall/darkhorsecustom/id47.html


Q. Oh no!! But what about soldering and desoldering!?!?
A. Never leave your soldering iron on the diode for more than 2 seconds. They are very heat sensitive! Put a blob of solder on your iron, and carefully solder your wire/driver/pin in place. Remember to dip your wire in flux, and then tin it by touching the soldering iron onto the wire. Remember to always keep the iron itself tinned.

Q. But... what about polarity??
A. Buy a DMM, and test polarity yourself, lol... Or, you could use common sense and look at where the positive terminal of the battey connects to... and the contact that connects to the body is usually negative.

Q. Oh no!! What if i bought a bare diode? How do i get it in the aixiz module?
A. Press fit it using a vise or a c-clamp. Take the back end of an AixiZ module, stick the pins through the little hole, and put the front end hole over the diode... Gah... Picture:



Q. But Spyderz, do i HAVE to use an AixiZ module?
A. Well... YES!!!!!! Or you could use a Meredith module. These are better and will increase power by around 20%. Heatsinks designed for the AixiZ module will not work with the Meredith, but you could ask the person who is making the heatsink to make it fit a Meredith module. I know for a fact that [highlight]jayrob[/highlight] makes heatsinks designed for the Meredith also.

Q. I bought a Meredith module, and it won't focus very well :'(
A. When you put it in the 5.6mm adaptor, you want the diode to be MORE than flush, you have to insert the diode COMPLETELY into the adaptor. Here is the pic:



Q. My blu-ray laser with in the AixiZ module won't focus very well, either :'(
A. If you are using the focusing ring, you may need to either take it off, sand it down, or attach it to only the top 2 threads with some kind of glue, or epoxy... Or, you could put an 8mm o-ring in there, to make some room ;)

Q. How do i set the current on a driver?
A. If you are lazy (like me), then just ask the seller to preset the current. However, you can use a DMM to set the current yourself! Isn't that amazing? :D
1.You need to buy a test load from here: http://rkcstr.googlepages.com/LPF
2. Connect the test load to your driver, like you would a diode.
3. Set your DMM to mV (yes, i said mV), plug in the red lead into the middle socket (the one that has the ohm symbol), and the black lead into the COM socket.
3. Put the leads of your DMM across the resistor.
4. A reading should show up on the DMM. Use this formula 1mV=1mA. For example, 200mV=200mA. Note: this formula is for Rckstr's test load only.
5. Turn the pot of your driver to the desired current.
6. GOOD JOB!

I thought to add this to his advice..

After the wires have been soldered on, and the diode has been pressed into the housing. Add some epoxy (or heatshrink tubing) to the wires to do two important things.

1. Prevent the wires to pop off and short, causing driver damage.

2. Prevent the LD's pins from snapping off due to metal fatigue.

Of course just be sure to check the connections before you epoxy... Use a multimeter in diode mode to measure the breakdown voltage. If there's a short, it will show it. If it's an open circuit, it would show it's open. Though BluRay diodes might have a higher breakdown voltage so some MM can't measure it. Even though it can't measure it... the MM typically gives enough energy for the LD to emit low power light.


Now, if you still can't do this, then there is obviously something wrong with you (jk ;D), because i explained every little detail... So, run along and build your first DIY Laser. Then give it to your girlfriend. Just kidding. Do what ever you want with it...

And, feel free to ask questions! If you don't want to make a laser, but buy one, PM me...

Your friendly neighborhood,
Spyderz20x6 :p

P.S.
Give me some good rep if you liked the great guide ;)

NEW TIP!!!

You can use a piece of radio antenna to FULLY press the diode into and AixiZ housing or Meredith Adaptor!
If you need a "more than flush" tool, PM me, i could send something to you ;)

[highlight]HOW TO HARVEST DIODES[/highlight][/size]

Open Can Diodes:

These little guys are tricky, because they are fragile.
Beat them up too much, and they will give out on you...
Thats why i have made a guide on how to extract them :D

Well, there are two types of open can heatsinks:

1. The kind that has the top exposed.
2. The kind that has the top cpvered by the heatsink.

Personally, i find the exposed kind easier to extract.
Here are some methods to extract the Open Cans with the exposed kind of heatsink:

1. You can scrape the glue off the bottom, and take a small screwdriver, and press the actual diode's die, and it will pop out. This is risky, but it works.

2. Take some wirecutters, and snip the heatsink until it is brittle enough to crack in half with some pliers.

Open Can w/ Covered Heatsink:

1. This one is my personal favorite. Take the heatsink, and put it in a vise. Make sure to put it sideways. Then, take a small file, and start filing at both sides 'till you get a flat surface. Now, take a small triangular file, and keep filing until either the metal is very thin, or you have reached the diodes base. Repeat on other side. Now, get 2 pairs of needle nose pliers, and grab opposite sides of the diode's heatsink (make sure the diodes pins are facing you). Now, twist in opposite directions, the heatsink should break in two, and the diode should pop out. Make sure not to drop the diode. It is very fragile.

PHR-803T Diodes:

The best and easiest method to extract these suckers is to take two pairs of needlenose pliers, grab the heatsink (like we did with the open can), and twist in opposite directions. The heatsink should break in two, and the diode will pop out.
Now, how easy is that?


[highlight]POLARITIES[/highlight]

ALL 650nM DVD DIODES (Open Can 20x, 16x, 22x, etc.)



All DVD Diodes are case ground.

ALL 405nM BLU-RAY DIODES (4x, 6x, PHR-803T)



These Diodes are NOT case ground. To make them case negative, just connect the negative pin to the "unused" pin in the middle.

Lately, 6x diodes have become available.
To find them, look in the GB, B/S/T section, or look on www.hightechdealz.com
 
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Nass

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this is an awesome thread.. A++ got a lot of info out of this.. thank u! :)
 

More Power

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I agree, very helpful, and yes pushing on the die is risky, perhaps too risky to be safe. One other thing, use a vice for diode mounting because the C-Clamp tends to rotate and can easily sever the pins - I know from experience.
 
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danefex

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I enjoyed this read Spyder, especially your humorous Q & As hehe :) I've bookmarked this thread for future reference - I have 2 ps3s at my disposal & I'm researching hot to extract the diodes for a couple builds up the road. Thanks again for so much information!!
 

danefex

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Kind of out dated, but a few good tips never the less.
Outdated or not my friend it's definitely info I need to absorb. I've been scouring the forums tonight looking for the best 'how to's' on extracting ps3 diodes when I came across this - so it's definitely a win for little ol me :)

If there's any updated threads that follow Spyderz TJ please feel free to point me in that direction. Thanks! :)
 

danefex

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Got em & got em TJ... Those links in your sig were some of the first I'd bookmarked & started reading deeply into when I joined LPF. I didn't have the pinout & performance link though.... wow, awesome!!!

For all of that I owe you thanks AND I since I owe you I will insist on getting our first few rounds at the bar :)
 

Mohrenberg

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Wtf is going on? why is TJ being nice?

Have you been put on some medications for your anger?

:D
 

jkardon1992

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yeah im a total n00b to this site and every post i look at, tj posts something negative. im pretty much use to it at this point
 




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