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Seeking tips on de-canning LDs

Bogart

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I apologize if this has already been covered somewhere I have not yet looked.

I have seen a number of posts talking about de-canning laser diodes, but not much said about the actual process.

I have a number of LDs laying around (mostly 445s and 405s) that have damaged cans or windows that I would like to try de-canning to possibly make use of them. However, it looks like it could be quite a tricky and delicate process.

Would anyone with experience in doing this care to share any tips, techniques, pitfalls, stories of success/failure, or other wisdom?

Thanks.
 



Gryphon

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There are tools make specifically for decanning diodes, but given their cost and how rarely they might be used, i would bet only a handful of memebers here have them.

Ive decanned a couple diodes already with great sucess using a process i saw another member do. Put the diode in the chuck of a drill, lathe or what have you and spin it up while using a blade to slowly cut around the base of the can.

Some more daring members have even gone so far as to use the cut off wheel on a dremel to slice off the can of a diode held in a vise :eek:
 
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DTR

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Yea that was me. I will say this method turns some heads but I have not lost one yet doing it this way.:D

Here is what I did today. I loaded up an A140 diode in my dewalt drill and spun it while putting a serrated knife from the underside for leverage and popped the diode can right off. I just wanted to see if I can get more power out of a decanned one. Only one flaw in my plan. I did not LPM it before doing it but I will see when I get some new hosts what I get out of it.:beer:






It came right off. No fuss.:cool:





Check out how clean this output is.

 

ARG

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Some more daring members have even gone so far as to use the cut off wheel on a dremel to slice off the can of a diode held in a vise :eek:

If I did that there would be no diode left! :crackup:
 

Bogart

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I assume that the idea is to weaken the metal, but not actually penetrate it with the blade (and thus not contaminate the semiconductor with metal dust), yes?

I suppose I should just try it. I have some that are truly dead that I could use for practice.
 

DTR

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If I did that there would be no diode left! :crackup:

I have also used the I method posted above but instead of a serrated knife using a dremel with a cutting wheel as well. Works great.:eg:

I assume that the idea is to weaken the metal, but not actually penetrate it with the blade (and thus not contaminate the semiconductor with metal dust), yes?

I suppose I should just try it. I have some that are truly dead that I could use for practice.

That is not a bad idea.:beer:
 
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rocket689

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I've used DTR's drill/knife method and it works great! :cool:
 

Bogart

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Well, the drill method worked pretty well for me. I used a single-edged razor blade to make the cut.

I first practiced on a 445 that was LED'd, and it still lit up afterward.

Then I did the same on a 445 that had a smudged/scratched window. Beforehand I measured 890mW from it. Afterward it measured 1150mW.

I notice now that the beam does not collimate as well as it did with the can in place. I guess I should have expected that since the can is no longer there to contain the light that spills out to the sides.
 

DTR

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I don't see how it would affect how well it collimates the beam.:thinking:
 

Bogart

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I don't see how it would affect how well it collimates the beam.:thinking:

Well, maybe collimation wasn't the right term to use.

You know how the beam from a common 445 will tend to diverge more than one from a single-mode LDs due to it's larger emitter?

Removing the can seems to increase that effect a good bit.
 
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rocket689

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Well, maybe collimation wasn't the right term to use.

You know how the beam from a common 445 will tend to diverge more than one from a single-mode LDs due to it's larger emitter?

Removing the can seems to increase that effect a good bit.

I've never noticed a difference. However, the diodes I decan usually have something which affects divergence quality anyway; such as a cracked window or smudge. So, I suppose I'm always happy since the result is better than what I started with. :thinking:
 

rocket689

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Well, maybe collimation wasn't the right term to use.

You know how the beam from a common 445 will tend to diverge more than one from a single-mode LDs due to it's larger emitter?

Removing the can seems to increase that effect a good bit.

I've never noticed a difference. However, the diodes I decan usually have something which affects divergence quality anyway; such as a cracked window or smudge. So, I suppose I'm always happy since the result is better than what I started with. :thinking:
 

Jmillerdoc

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Since this was posted I am wondering if anyone has measured the output difference on the new 9mm 445's before and after decanning? I am about to decan one I damaged by allowing a back reflection into the emitter. Looks like it literally melted about 1/3 of the emitter when viewing the un-collimated projection onto the wall. I want to see what happened and if it is visible. I was also going to measure the output before and after but then remembered my LaserBee is a 2.5 and it is still likely that it is running beyond 2.5w.
 

wby300

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I am considering de canning one of the 9mm 450 diodes, is there any reason to do this other than the described above?
 




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