Introduction: Extracting Blue Laser Diode From Xbox 360 HD-DVD Player

Picture of Extracting Blue Laser Diode From Xbox 360 HD-DVD Player

Photos showing process of removing laser from HD-DVD drive.

NOTE: in one of the final steps I shattered my diode. be extremely careful when punching diode out of its heat sink. when powered my shattered diode lit up very dimly. I hope you have better luck.
thanks to user mb4004 for help and to KipKay for inspiration.


GorillazMiko (author)2008-11-23


This would go great as an Instructable.

You should try it out!

And don't delete this slideshow; it's okay to have both.

+5/5 stars.

Robb (author)GorillazMiko2008-11-23

Thanks! but I figure I should confirm that this works before I make an instructable. i broke mine, so i have no way of knowing how bright they are. if anyone successfully extracts their diode and has photos of it in use, I'll happily use them in an instructable.

GorillazMiko (author)Robb2008-11-23

Why did you decide to extract it from your 360? Was there a problem with it?

Robb (author)GorillazMiko2008-11-23

i took it out of the HD-DVD drive, not the x-box. its an external HD-DVD drive. it was about 40 dollars on ebay and i wanted to make a blue laser pointer.

Alcreion (author)Robb2008-12-05

how did it shatter? and how do you know?

Robb (author)Alcreion2008-12-05

it shattered when i used an object with too mall of a diameter to punch the diode from its place. the brass on the front surrounding the glass plate was caved in and the glass plate was shattered. when i apply current to the diode it glows very very weakly. considerably less bright than a $3 red laser pointer. the light emitted does not form a circle as it does with my red diode with out a lens, it makes a trianglarish offset uneven blob. i do not know that much about electronics or lasers but the performance of the diode(or what's left of it) doesn't match up with KiKay's blu-ray phaser when i am told that they use the same diode. i am fairly certain i was applying the right voltage because i supplied it thru a regulator circuit kit i bought on ebay that was specifically for blue laser diodes.

blakdragon19 (author)Robb2009-05-17

what should you use to punch it out of the annoying little heat sink?

cswank (author)blakdragon192011-05-02

i used to pliers needle nose and flat head i think it is called and put one on the left and one on the right and twist in opposite directions it will take some force because they a liquid welded together and practice on the red lase part before you try the blue laser if you want the blue laser and practice on the blue laser if you want red laser.

Robb (author)blakdragon192009-05-19

a punch of the appropriate diameter. i don't know what the diameter is. you could probably use the tail end of a drillbit

ReCreate (author)Robb2009-02-09

i bought on ebay
Thats where you went wrong,my friend
you cant expect stuff like that from ebay to work well

Robb (author)ReCreate2009-07-27

the regulator i bought worked fine. i shattered the diode myself. my fault entirely, friend.

ReCreate (author)Robb2009-07-27

Ok...? I can't really remember posting that comment, I don't even support it anymore >_

Robb (author)ReCreate2009-07-28

lol, i don't remember posting half of the comments I've posted. it's alright.

ReCreate (author)Robb2009-07-28

Yeah neither do i XD

infad3ll (author)2009-12-24

 ugh... i just tried 6 different diodesand the best results i got were just very dim purple flashlights at best. what kind of battery do people use. i tried it with a 9v.

kentsfield (author)infad3ll2010-02-07

Same problem here. Very weak light, only Purple with an 150 Ohm resistor.

junits15 (author)kentsfield2010-03-10

Its not an LED its a laser diode, you cant just feed any old voltage into it, it needs a driver circuit, only then will you have a laser. 

DIYourselfer (author)2009-08-25

is this the same hi power laser that will light stuff as in kipkays instructable? because i have a broken xbox annd dont feel like spending $75 for a web bought one

Robb (author)DIYourselfer2009-08-25

there is no blue diode in an xbox. this is the xbox's HD-DVD drive. its an external accessory

MasterMind1776 (author)2009-07-30

In trying to punch out the diode I inadvertently caused the front brass to cave in a bit (and i did use the back end of a screwdriver bit that seemed to fit perfectly). it didn't break per-say but it dislodged the lens that is just inside the front of the diode housing, so that is loose inside the diode housing, but the actual laser did not break, the lens just makes it difficult for all the light to converge; i am trying to figure out a way to fix it but any advice would be much appreciated

Robb (author)MasterMind17762009-07-30

my brass caved in as well. but i also shattered the lens i think. i really don't know how you'd fix it, I know very little about lasers. maybe cut it open and place the lens in a new small tube?
if you powered up the laser with out a housing and secondary lens then the light won't converge. you need a housing. refer to Kipkay's instructables for housing info.

my diode shined very dimly. if yours is still bright you should be ok i think.

this looks promising:


MasterMind1776 (author)Robb2009-07-31

Thank you, unfortunately trying to cut open the housing would cause more harm than help and risk destroying the delicate semiconductor which is the heart of the laser diode, unless you have high precision computer operated machining equipment often used to construct CPUs, but if you had the money for that you could just as easily buy the entire laser assembled lol. But when I said that the loose internal lens would make it difficult for the light to converge I was infering after you already assembled the diode into the laser housing (like the axis housing with colminator lens that I purchased, if the lens isn't just right the light will only be bent in an odd direction instead of being properly focused through the lens array, but thank you for the assistance (and sorry this is such a long post)

robotguy4 (author)2009-07-27

Is there any reason, other than getting it to fit in your project, that you need to remove the heat sink?

Robb (author)robotguy42009-07-27

yes, the laser is the drive assy is not made to project a beam. my casing has a lens that causes the diode to produce a usable beam, otherwise, its just a light.

robotguy4 (author)Robb2009-07-29

Ah, ok. What if one were to just modify the casing so it somehow fit around the heat sink?

Robb (author)robotguy42009-07-29

you need a lens to focus the light into a beam. i don't think the lenses in the HD-DVD drive would work.

robotguy4 (author)Robb2009-07-29

K, just checking.

About This Instructable




Bio: Robb was once an Artist-in-Residence at Autodesk's Pier 9. He went to Carnegie Mellon to study Art. He mostly does tangible artifacts that are ... More »
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