I was kind of planning on just mounting everything to a piece of wood, letting me look at or edit the components easily, see if anything broke, etc. So, if I wanted to, I could purchase all the stated items, get the tools, and build a 300-400 mw red burning laser, right?
There will be screw-ups. They are irresistible. Also make sure you have the heat sink and a good ESD
wrist strap. The #1 "newbie screw-up" is to forget to put on the ground strap and kill the diode with ESD.
The best advice is to buy several diodes and go slowly. If the first one fails, stop until you have figured out
why. Then correct the problem and go on to diode #2. Repeat until diode #x
I thought, somewhat, the module made up for the lack of a heatsink? The last laser I built didn't have one, I don't think, and I could leave it on for a few minutes at a time... but this'll be more powerful, won't it? What specific part would be suggested, then? Also, for the static, I assume it'd be a similar protocol for lasers as it would be for computer building? I'll just often touch a piece of metal to ground myself. Would that work?
That won't work. Laser diodes are much more sensitive. I suggest buying a wrist strap. There is a
special resistor inside to protect you from electrocution in the event you contact something live.
The module does act as a small heatsink, but at 450mA it will get hot pretty quickly. Putting it on a
heatsink is a good idea, especially in a stationary unit where your hand isn't going to be on it at all times.
The time does get away from you quite easily as you're burning things and experiencing the enjoyment of