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scratch build

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Hey guys. I have a scrap mini mag and I thought I could use it for the host of a laser. If I were to build a driver myself, does radio shack sell the right parts? Would that be hard for a newb.

If I buy a $10 650nm laser diode in a diode socket thingy, is it already focused or do I need a lens?

Where does the heat sink go?

I've read all the threads about this and am a bit confused about the heat sink and where it is and how to choose the right parts.
 

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From what I can tell by other posts on this, the mini-mag is a difficult host to use. You'll probably need custom parts, which can be expensive but will probably be more of a PITA on your end more than anything else. I had considered a mini-mag as well, and it's by no means impossible to do, but upon looking into it there are cheaper (and significantly easier) options.

The threads for the front end are one problem - they are some proprietary or obscure something-or-other and any adapter will almost certainly need to be custom. Good luck, would be interesting to hear from machinists on what they think about the mini-mag as laser host. It would probably be easier (and cheaper) for them to just duplicate the host cosmetically such that there are no weird parts etc. and so that it will take a standard module.
 
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