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The right build purchase for my dream 520nm pointer

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OK, So I made a mess of my first attempt at this. I will try to go into more detail. For a couple of years, I have dabbled with some 532nm low power lasers. 50 to 120mw. Now I find that I have become hooked and want to spend the money to get a couple higher power 520nm lasers. Being on a fixed income and having had to save up for a while I need to get this right. DTR is for sure my starting point. Here is what I am looking at.
Osram PLP 520-B1 120mw 520nm
Nichia NDG 7475 1W 520nm
There are so many variables that can go wrong. Matching host to the module? Is the driver the right size? How big a module and host will protect my diode best? What lens will give me the best beam quality?
Here is where I made my biggest blunder. My reference to the size dot on a cloud cover was not from a desire to beam clouds. Merely as a point of reference. I live in San Francisco and beaming in the thick fog is a blast. On the beach. Into the water. I also vape and you can imagine the fog from that in my house. My concern is with these higher power diodes there does not seem to be a clear way to get a narrow beam to go a long distance. Maybe it would be better to expand the beam first possibly getting more distance?
So I am grateful for all feedback. If you have already tackled this situation and can direct me to the right places that's great. I don't want to get to exotic and understand I will need to make compromises. Ideally, I would love to have a simple and as small as is safe for the diode stainless steel host for each of the above diodes. As a reference, I would consider a 5-minute duty cycle more than enough. Or do I need to be more realistic and have a 30 to 40 second on-off cycle? How do you guy's know when it's time to shut it down? Heat?
Also of real importance is the need to upgrade from my eBay safety glasses. I do not have any interest in burning things and will not be looking directly at a dot for any period of time. So blackout shades are not ideal. I would like to have protection against the accidental reflection and also be able to see the beam. If that is possible?
Again, you guy's are great and I really appreciate all the sharing that goes on here.
Thank you,
Scott
 
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For a custom made laser host Contact member Lifetime.

the choice of diode depends on how much power you'll need..

for best divergence( the dot and beam staying small over a great distance). Plp520nm..

for power( extreme visibility and brightness in most circumstances ) 1W ndg7475.

base on your description the plp520nm is recommended over the ndg7475.

singlemode means better beam profile over the distance.

lower power output means less heat generated which give longer run time (before getting hot and needing to recharge).
 

Radim

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OK, So I made a mess of my first attempt at this. I will try to go into more detail. For a couple of years, I have dabbled with some 532nm low power lasers. 50 to 120mw. Now I find that I have become hooked and want to spend the money to get a couple higher power 520nm lasers. Being on a fixed income and having had to save up for a while I need to get this right. DTR is for sure my starting point. Here is what I am looking at.
Osram PLP 520-B1 120mw 520nm
Nichia NDG 7475 1W 520nm
There are so many variables that can go wrong. Matching host to the module? Is the driver the right size? How big a module and host will protect my diode best? What lens will give me the best beam quality?
Here is where I made my biggest blunder. My reference to the size dot on a cloud cover was not from a desire to beam clouds. Merely as a point of reference. I live in San Francisco and beaming in the thick fog is a blast. On the beach. Into the water. I also vape and you can imagine the fog from that in my house. My concern is with these higher power diodes there does not seem to be a clear way to get a narrow beam to go a long distance. Maybe it would be better to expand the beam first possibly getting more distance?
So I am grateful for all feedback. If you have already tackled this situation and can direct me to the right places that's great. I don't want to get to exotic and understand I will need to make compromises. Ideally, I would love to have a simple and as small as is safe for the diode stainless steel host for each of the above diodes. As a reference, I would consider a 5-minute duty cycle more than enough. Or do I need to be more realistic and have a 30 to 40 second on-off cycle? How do you guy's know when it's time to shut it down? Heat?
Also of real importance is the need to upgrade from my eBay safety glasses. I do not have any interest in burning things and will not be looking directly at a dot for any period of time. So blackout shades are not ideal. I would like to have protection against the accidental reflection and also be able to see the beam. If that is possible?
Again, you guy's are great and I really appreciate all the sharing that goes on here.
Thank you,
Scott


I believe you will succeed here with awesome LPF community, just do not hesitate to ask for help.

Anyway, I would not recommend to use 1 W greenie for close range. Check this one of my earlier laserpaintings:



(Higher resolution under click on the pic.)

Do you see the green lines on the trees? And spots in the far? This were made from far distance (50+ meters) 1 W 520 nm greenie with line generator (not dot, but line instead - power spread across the line). If you see the far distance 532 nm dots and a bit of lines - these are 520 nm, the trees are like 200 - 300 m far from laser position. It clearly projected intense flat surface all around the forest and illuminated everything (anybody who would saw that must had think of alien spaceship landing there). Due to long exposure, low ISO and high f number the photo appears to be brighter, than it was on scene that time (also the flat surface is not captured, since I just moved it fast during laserpainting).

I was impressed how strong 1 W greenie is. You see? Not really wise to use this beast power for liquid sky and vaping or smoking clouds going through it just for fun.

I personally use my WL EVO of 100 mW 532 nm in case of having fun in closed room or for close distance (I can comfortably adjust the power for lower intensity). With right optics you can easily create liquid sky effect without scanner and enjoy it for what you mentioned. Still it makes eyes tired from diffused light after an hour or so and is potentially dangerous (especially in the middle of the line intersection - where would be the beam without line generator) - in other words MPE is still exceeded.

If you will go for 1 W, use it only for long range or with glasses on all the time. It is too intense to just do stuff with fog etc. at close range. Anyway you should have some experience with greenies of lower power - so you can imagine how comfortable it is. Try to do some experiments with lower powers before going for 1 W. Maybe you do not need it, maybe you will get it and will not use it as being scared from injury.

I did first mistage when going for my first - 800+ mW 532 nm laser - I was scared from it and it rested few years in the carrying box after few trials - I started to enjoy lasers once I got 100 mW Evo and proper safety glasses and goggles of high OD and once I got some experience with them.


Note: Lasers above 500 mW are of class 4. Check this class definition for more precautions - definitely you do not want to use it in near.


Line generators might look like this for example:


Source: Some random e-bay listing - click on the pic for source.

Single line is this with single "knurling" right bottom, the one with double "knurling" produces two recangular lines - cross.

Edit:

And greetings to "one of my homes" - San Francisco. ;)
 
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Lifetime17

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Hi Scot,
Yes the host size and material used will determine the diode being used . PM me if your interested in a full build or DIY plug n play ready to go with two wire installed for your module of choice

Rich:)
 

ArcticDude

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Hi,
my suggestion is Osram PLP520-B1 with Sanwu 3X beam expander. That diode can be easily "over driven" to 150-180mW with proper heatsink.
With 3X BE it gives really awesome Fat and low divergence beam and as others mentioned Lifetime is "the man" for doing the build for you.

Here you can find some pics of my 170mW PLP520-B1 with 3X BE >>

:)
 
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badboybilly

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I have a NDG7475 being built as we speak, brass and alloy CUSTOM!

Just check out some of my builds below!
 

paul1598419

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I also suggest the PLP520-B1 as it is single mode and has a tighter beam that the NDG7475, which is also much more expensive. You can have DTR set and add the driver for you with just a red and black wire to connect to the host you decide on. You won't need massive heat sinking with this diode because it puts out far less waste heat. You can even get a 501B host for under $30.00 to put it into and have a decent run time.
 

ArcticDude

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I also suggest the PLP520-B1 as it is single mode and has a tighter beam that the NDG7475, which is also much more expensive. You can have DTR set and add the driver for you with just a red and black wire to connect to the host you decide on. You won't need massive heat sinking with this diode because it puts out far less waste heat. You can even get a 501B host for under $30.00 to put it into and have a decent run time.
PLP520-B1 is actually Multi-mode, but it has fairly good divergence compared to other MM diodes

 
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paul1598419

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I had a feeling as I was writing that, that it was not correct. I have been banging my head against the wall for two days trying to get customs documents to ship a bunch of unrelated items to Germany. Now, my printer is trashed and I still have to printout documents to get this package on its way. So, I have been a bit preoccupied with other problems. All I can say is, oops.
 

Lifetime17

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hi Paul,
Hey there are tons of diodes that can play with our heads with remembering data. Anyway if this helps the form you need is a 2976-A customs form.

Rich:)
 

paul1598419

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Thanks, Rich. I do all this online. I have shipped to Germany several times before now with no problems. It is the fact that there are so many unrelated items to document that this has turned into a nightmare. I have to go buy a new printer tomorrow, so I can finish this job that I'm not making a dime on.
 
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Thanks to you all for the information. I am following up on all of it. Looks like I am going to go with a PLP520-B1 for indoor vaping and playing and for the bigger 1W+ I have still some decisions to make. The big boy will be a limited use outdoor only thing. It is so powerful it really limits what I can do with it safely. Still, who could resist?
 

Pman

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Yup, it's the lower output single modes and the multi-modes that somehow manage to have good divergence that make the most beautiful beams without needing any "tricks" to tame the beam that I look at the most. I lost the itch of always looking for more output and burning stuff. It would take a serious increase in output over the 7W stuff to drag me back into them. I like the advice the other members are tossing your way.
For that PLP the question is what kind of run time you want can determine your host choice. I used one of those PLP in a pen build because I like pens and don't care about runtime. Liked that diode so much I put it a CNI host I think I bought off someone and run it at 203mW.
Here's the build:
laserpointerforums.com/f45/special-cni-plp520b1-pen-build-96442.html

Just realized that build was 2 years ago. Can't seem to figure out time anymore. Just what age does to you....

Hmmm, is Arctic going to hit 1M today?
 
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GSS

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So glad you posted Lifetime and Pman on this thread..:)
Lifetime built my PLP520-B1 in a green 501B host doing 170mw with a 3 element "430mah" I think.
Pman if you remember you surprised me with a Defiant pen with a PL520 at 101mw with a G2 knock off lens that you got from Eitan's group buy..
I don't bother bringing any of the unstable 532's outside anymore with these two builds. As the 3 element tames the higher output 520-B1 and the PL520 is fantastic with the G2 copy.
The only 2 greens I use:)
 
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WizardG

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I bumped the current up to 500 mA on my '520 B1 pen (my EDC laser) and I'm getting just over 240mW with a pair of NiZn AAA cells. Gets hot pretty fast but.... I found out the hard way that if I lay my jacket down instead of hanging it up the laser can get stuck on. This has happened twice and each time the entire body of the pen got too hot to touch. My estimate is around 85-90 C. I'm sure this isn't good for the poor little diode but it's still putting out the same power it did when new so.....tough little diode.
 




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