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red laser won't make a beam!

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okay so i have a red laser i pulled out of a dvd drive
i can easily light it up with two double a batteries just fine..
but... its... so weak.... it wont shine more than an inch away!
what am i doing wrong? D:
i found one other small red laser in the dvd drive as well but it was soo weak it was totally useless compared to the other one

and neither of them make a straight beam! they just shine like a boring red flashlight D:
 

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dang i dont have any laser lenses ;P time to go buy a 2 dollar laser from walmart! (i dont want to burn anything though because that's not what i want to do... i just want a dot of light that i can wave around..
 
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I remember seeing them on the check out isles XD maybe next time my mom takes me to walmart i'll go looking around for one... they're extremely cheap! :D
 

Atomicrox

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If you powered it directly with batteries it might have been turned to an LED already :(
You need a driver to limit the current or the diode will die real quick.

Also beware that the other one might actually be an IR laser that you happen to see as a weak red dot but is actually much more powerful. Don't look into it.
 
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it doesnt make a difference weather i use a flat(thumbnail battery?) or two double a batteries..
3 volts seems to be perfect... it doesnt get warm or anything.. and it stays lit about the same brightness for hours and hours... and still going as of now.. lol
 

TheDukeAnumber1

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Lol, alright man whatever works for ya but I'd seriously recommend you read up on current drivers here on the forum before you hook up another diode. :beer:
 

Atomicrox

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Point it at a wall. Do you see the little "dots" like you would on a laser or is it continuous like a regular light source?

If the dots aren't there than you fried it and it will never lase again.
 

Eudaimonium

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it doesnt make a difference weather i use a flat(thumbnail battery?) or two double a batteries..
3 volts seems to be perfect... it doesnt get warm or anything.. and it stays lit about the same brightness for hours and hours... and still going as of now.. lol
No, it's not perfect.

You are trying to power it direcly off a voltage source. The only thing you managed to do is kill it, and now you need a new drive to take apart.

Next time, remember: What Kipkay says = utter bullshit.

Constructing a constant current source to power your laser is not optional.
 
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but its still working today.... i left it on all night on accident..(oops) but its still going at the same brightness o.o and it never was a laser beam with a dot to begin with.... idk why maybe cuz i dont have a lens over it.
ok well i already went to walmart and bought a cheap laser pointer for like 1 dollar and 89 cents..
works fine too :) so im not even playing with the old laser diode anymore.. instead i'm playing with the laser pointer and just waving it around the house watching my cat chase it XD
 
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Eradicator

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but its still working today.... i left it on all night on accident..(oops) but its still going at the same brightness o.o and it never was a laser beam with a dot to begin with.... idk why maybe cuz i dont have a lens over it.
ok well i already went to walmart and bought a cheap laser pointer for like 1 dollar and 89 cents..
works fine too :) so im not even playing with the old laser diode anymore.. instead i'm playing with the laser pointer and just waving it around the house watching my cat chase it XD
No, its not working, just because a light is coming out doesn't mean it is working properly. Diode lasers only create a beam after being focused through a collimating lens. Now that you have turned it into an LED, even a lens will not make the diode lase.
 




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