Step 1: What do I need to build a laser?

Basically, you need:
laser diode (LD)
collimation optics
current regulator (aka driver)
power supply
something to house all the electronics (project box is ok for a first build)

then  you can add other optional things:
safety switch
LED for power indication
cooling fan
<p>Great job man! hope you keep it up</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>can someone help me here please ?</p><p>I had 4 red laser diodes form DVD readers/burners. I used exacly this LM317 driver</p><p><a href="http://laserpointerforums.com/attachments/f44/33304d1308798339-small-modification-lm317-drivers-driver-250ma-out.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://laserpointerforums.com/attachments/f44/33304d1308798339-small-modification-lm317-drivers-driver-250ma-out.jpg</a></p><p>connected to 7.5V 1.5A power supply.</p><p>I set the driver to produce around 60mA. All 4 diodes were OK. The problem was all 4 diodes after 20sec just reduced their brightness for around 10%. After 2 diodes i thought the diodes just getting damaged from heat. But i tried to hold the third and fourth diode in hand without heatsink and they weren't even heating ! And same thing happened.</p><p>This issue is permanent for the diodes and it happened to me also with more powerful IR diode.</p><p>Any ideas ?</p><p>Thanks a lot !</p>
<p>60 mA is probably not enough to power your diodes. The current may differ between diodes, so check the datasheets.</p>
<p>I know almost nothing about lasers but maybe the voltage they were getting was too high</p>
<p>hi</p><p>how to connect three legs of VR</p><p>thanks</p>
<p>Hi, This is the &quot;Sony DVD-RW : DRI-190A&quot; laser part which wirtes DVDs on 20x, i want its laser for using in mini CNC machine, but there is two laser diode in this model, i cant distinguish which one should i use, and i dont know about the model of laser diode too, any idea?<br>Left one, or Right one?<br><br><br>&lt;I know i can test them and select the stronger one, but i just wanted your ideas&gt;</p>
<p>just for clarification, how is the test circuit suppose to be used? just hook it up the the driver circuit to check the resistance right?</p>
<p>hello sir , <br>i am working on same project</p><p>i used dvd rw laser for my project. I follow the circuit diagram given above but laser is not upto the mark not focus and not burning paper or any other things. Is this problem is due to lens that i havent used yet or any other thing ? </p><p>plz help</p>
You need to use a focusing lens in order for the laser to burn stuff. Otherwise you just get a wide beam which is very weak.
<p>I Made it! Actually I made all this laser using a NDV 4542 405nm diode at 120mA using this driver. I also made gerbers (PCB schematic) for this driver and uploaded it in this comment.</p><p>You can see my build (CNC Laser Engraver) in my profile.</p>
<p>Your LM317T schematic is WRONG, my friend!<br><br><a href="http://vakits.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/product_full/LM317T%20Application%20%2526%20TO-220.JPG" rel="nofollow">http://vakits.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/p...</a><br><br>Middle leg is the output leg.</p>
<p>This schematic is OK. Your schematic is the LM317 as a constant <strong>voltage</strong> source, which can not be used to drive laser diodes. </p><p>In this case the LM317 is connected as a constant<strong> current</strong> source: <a href="http://www.ae5d.com/images/Lim.png" rel="nofollow"> http://www.ae5d.com/images/Lim.png</a></p><p>The current goes from the OUT pin, passes through the resistors creating a voltage drop, which is then sensed by the ADJ pin and compared to the internal 1.25V reference. LM317 will adjust its output voltage to get 1.25V on its ADJ pin, which in this connection results in a constant current supply. </p>
<p>I'm looking to purchase a lazertag system to start a lazertag business, <br>would you be able to produce or lead me to the guns and equipment I need <br> that would be safe and certifiable, that would be a cheaper option than <br> the $600/gun price range that I've seen advertised by the lazertag <br>manufacturers? email if so at ulrichinvesting@gmail.com</p>
<p>This is the cheapest lasertag I know about: <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skirmos/skirmos-open-source-laser-tag" rel="nofollow"> https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/skirmos/skir... <br></a></p><p><a href="http://www.skirmos.com/index.htm" rel="nofollow">http://www.skirmos.com/index.htm</a></p><p>It will cost $119 per gun (DIY kit), but it's still in development. However if you want to make a business, I would rather rely on ready-made lasertag systems which are already certified, reliable and safe to use. As a lasertag business, the last thing you want to deal with are blind customers.</p>
PLZZZZZ clarify my doubts<br><br><br>1&gt;want to know that if I use Li-Ion batteries i.e; 18650 which are 3.7v 2600maH,then I have to use 3 of them connected in Series is that right(about 11.1 v )(since the total consumption will be about 7.2v),but these batteries comes with pcb protection so when I will be using this laser will the pcb should posses any problem.Secondly want to know that if this driver can handle 2600mah.<br><br>2&gt;Then in case 14500 which is standard AA(1.5)then have to use 5 of them I guess,plz clarify if I am right or wrong.<br><br>3&gt;Can u plz give the names of the chargers which charges these batteries,1 by 1 charging will not be a problem for me.<br><br>4&gt;plz suggest the best lion battery manufacturers. I went to this site(http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?257543-LiIon-18650-battery-comparison)but cant decide which one to purchase.<br><br>Thankx in advance<br><br>
1. what diode are you using? because for red or IR laser 2 LiIon's are enough, but for bluray or 445nm you need 3 batteries. Also, don't forget to properly heatsink the LM317, it will get toasty ;) The protection PCB is mostly your friend, it just monitors the battery and keeps it from under- and overcharging and disconnects the load, if the current is too big. The 2600mAh number is the capacity of battery, the higher, the better - the more power can be stored inside and the longer is the runtime.<br> <br> 2. 14500's are 3.7V LiIon's too, so you have to use 2 or 3 of them<br> <br> 3. I'm using this one: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/trustfire-tr-001-multi-purpose-lithium-battery-charger-12594 It's a bit slow but works, this one is quick charger (and can fit some bigger batteries too): http://www.dealextreme.com/p/ultrafire-wf-188-rapid-charger-for-3-2v-3-7v-lithium-batteries-100-240v-44091<br> <br> 4. You don't have to use those $15 AW IMR batteries, in fact those cheap 18650's and 14500's I linked in this step are good enough (I'm using both, drawing 1.5A from 18650 and 0.8A from 2 14500's in series and they preform well)<br> hope I helped you :)
<p>I'm looking to purchase a lazertag system to start a lazertag business, <br>would you be able to produce or lead me to the guns and equipment I need <br> that would be safe and certifiable, that would be a cheaper option than <br> the $600/gun price range that I've seen advertised by the lazertag <br>manufacturers? email if so at ulrichinvesting@gmail.com</p>
can I use the G9105 regulator???
<p>G9105 is a 5V fixed voltage regulator. I've seen some people build laser drivers using fixed regulators, but I don't think it's the best idea. Adjustable regulators such as LM317 are way better for this. If you are interested in the low dropout voltage, try the LM1117 which is a low-dropout variant of LM317.</p>
<p>I cant get a 35mw laser diode burning with the standard laser circuit ie.9v lm31t.</p><p>what could the problem be?</p>
<p>35mW is not enough for burning. Generally you need at least 100mW to burn stuff, so I recommend you to buy a stronger diode.</p>
for metal cutting what i can do...?
Hi, I want to build a ~150mW 532nm green laser, but am not quite sure how to. <br>I have a flashlight housing with 2x 3.7V batteries, which i bet I can fit the laser into <br>I want to buy all the pieces online so that I can assemble the laser when they arrive, <br>but seems like no one is selling a laser diode nor driver, <br>I am want to spend &lt;35$, <br>is this possible? if so, can you reffer to a ebay seller, or maybe share some links?
This is not possible for &lt; $35 (unless you get the module as a gift from someone :D ). Just the laser module will cost you $40-50, for example this one: http://dx.com/p/200mw-532nm-green-laser-module-3v-11-9mm-26891?r=93098389 , which should output 100-150mW.<br> These modules can't handle 2 3.7V batteries, so you can either replace the original driver with one that can run from 7.4V, or you can build a spacer that will fit inside the battery tube and will replace one of the batteries, so that you only get 3.7V. It's also recommended to connect a diode (1N4007) in series with the module, because some modules might get burned from fully charged LiIon cells (4.2V) and the diode reduces the voltage by about 0.6V.<br> I recommend you to go to laserpointerforums.com and view the Green lasers section and try searching for &quot;green laser tutorial&quot; or so, I am sure you will find lots of informaton and ideas for your build :)
what is the voltage &amp; Amps of a red laser diode? <br>(I am using a 22x HP DVD R\W Drive red laser diode...) <br>
16x...200-250mA...&lt;200mW <br>22x...300-400mA...250-300mW <br>Start at 300mA to be safe.
please tell me the voltage of laser diode<br> 3v,<br> 4v<br> or +7.2V
what diode are you using?
please tell me the voltage of laser burner
hi there <br><br>i did every thing as you did but i can't get the laser to burn, could you please help me? i used the same parts (laser diode, parts for the driver).<br><br>
1. what PSU are you using?<br>2. is the laser focused?
I am using a dell PS-5161-1D PSU<br>Output: at 5V, max 11A, 85W max<br> at 12V, 9A max, 160W max.<br>i have tested at both voltage. and the beam is focused
do u really need to use a module?
well, you don't have to, but it's just so much easier to use one, and they are pretty cheap (around $4)
can i use the power from a tomcat torch and/or a 3v power suply?
can i connect a 3v power supply to my diode without anything else mabey a diode?
Sorry, but I have one more question. When measuring the voltage to adjust my driver's pot, should the power supply be on? I imagine it should, but I just want to make sure since the power supply comes in the step after you adjust your driver. Maybe I worry too much, but I don't want to fry my diode. :)
of course, the power supply has to be powered on while adjusting the current
Yea, that was a little stupid of me. Just making sure.
I have been looking for a resistor for the test load.&nbsp; I found over a hundred 1 ohm resistors on digikey, and I'm kinda confused.&nbsp; Could you give me some more info on which to use, or does it not matter for this application as long as it is 1 ohm?<br>
you should use a resistor that is rated for at least 1W of power. the common 1/4 or 1/2W resistors can't handle bigger currents. so get a 1ohm 1W (or any higher wattage)
Thank you!
thankx 3zuli again<br><br>Actually lilbit confused of what axis module to purchase,in axis store I saw various 12*30mm modules but these have different specs ie,<br><br>1&gt;AixiZ 120&deg; Line Generator for 12x30mm Housing<br>2&gt;AixiZ 38&deg; Line Generator for 12x30mm Housing<br>3&gt;AixiZ 60&deg; Line Generator for 12x30mm Housing<br>4&gt;AixiZ 89&deg; Line Generator for 12x30mm Housing<br>5&gt;AixiZ 9mm Cross Hair Lens for 12mm Casing <br><br>donno which one to purchase so that I get a maximum burning with LPC815 Red Laser Diode.
those lenses won't give you a dot, but a line or cross. to get a dot shaped beam, you need this:<br>http://www.modwerx.com/shop/laser-modules-spare-lenses-c-12/laser-focusing-module-for-5-6mm-laser-diodes-adjustable-focus-p-11?zenid=9sdhugjbn2mlu9l9iofhho6mf1<br><br>and to get the most burning power, you need this AR coated lens:<br>http://www.aixiz.com/store/product_info.php/cPath/28/products_id/60/osCsid/c2d8dafd1f5eaab5671f0e8ee4d64784
Thank u very much 3zuli for responding so quickly indeed it was very helpful<br><br>I have some more questions so plz respond<br><br><br>1&gt;I will purchase TrustFire TR-001 Multi-Purpose Lithium Battery Charger but which battery will be best suited for this project plz mention type,made &amp; manufacturer.Plz give the site name if possible,from where shipping is low or free cuz I live in India. <br><br><br>2&gt;I want to use LPC-815 diode with it with asiz module,does glass less increases the efficieny about 10 to 15%<br><br><br>3&gt;U mentioned to use a good heatsink,my heatsink has 2.2cm*1.5cm*1cm is it ok.<br><br>4&gt;Is stonetek corporation is good for buying LASER HEATSINK MODULE &amp; LASER DIODE?<br><br><br>5&gt;I want to buy blue laser diode,plz mention which will be most powerful which are commercially avaiable(plz mention the site name if psble)<br><br>6&gt;Is LM-350 can replace LM-317 in this project as LM-350 can handle 3amps with same refernce voltage as lm317 as a result less geat will generate n smaller heatsinks can be used,plz give suggestion if I right or wrong<br><br><br>thanks in advance...n sorry for asking out of syllabus qestions<br><br><br>
1. for a first project, I'd recommend the 14500 batteries, since they are of the size of a AA battery and you can use standart 2x AA battery holder. I'm using TrustFire 14500's from DX, the link is in the &quot;Power supply&quot; step<br><br>2. the glass lens should be a bit more effective, there are also lenses with AR coating for red lasers that can increase the effectivity with about 10%<br><br>3. the point is to make the best contact between the laser module and heatsink. see the &quot;Final phase&quot; step for inspiration on this<br><br>4. stonetek is very reputable and has 100% reputation<br><br>5. what wavelength (or color) do you want? 405nm (violet) - the most powerful diodes (known as the &quot;12x&quot;) can be pushed to 500mW and more; 445nm (blue) are commonly run at 1.2-1.7W. iirc, both can be bought at stonetek but I strongly recommend you that you should first build some low powered cheap red laser, practice diode harvesting and soldering, BUY PROPER LASER GOGGLES and only after that startt building high powered lasers.<br><br>6. LM350 can be used, but you must still heatsink it
thanks for posting this - very useful.
a file only cuts going one direction, you will dull it going both<br>
So, you're not actually telling us how to <a href="http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/12/diy-flashlamp-pumped-organic-dye-la.html">build a laser</a>. You're just telling us how to build the housing and driver circuitry for a pre-fabricated laser diode.
yes, but this is the info that most beginners consider as &quot;how to build a laser&quot;. this is written mainly for beginners. <br>everybody must start somehow, with something easy to build and understand

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