Hi Everybody... I'm Revhead, and this is my first instructable so please feel free to give me advise and point out areas in which to improve.
The inspiration for this project came from Kipkay who posted a similar version (PROTECT YOUR HOME WITH LASER BEAMS) After looking at the comments from his instructable, I found that many people where having trouble getting it to work and thought there were some limitations to it, so here I am, posting my version of the laser beam alarm system which I built for my year 12 final in Systems Engineering. (Which made it to the short listings for the TOP DESIGNS EXEBITION.)

Once your finished looking, please give it an honest rating, thank you!

My version is different in the following ways; I have a solar panel to recharge the battery which powers the laser, a current regulator to control current flow to the battery, a different LDR (Light Dependent Resistor) circuit, and a relay circuit so that the alarm stays on once the laser beam is broken.

Step 1: Parts That You Will Need

Below you will find a list of materials and components that you will need to construct this instructable, A Laser Beam Alarm System!

Laser and rechargeable battery unit:- Solar Cell capable of anywhere between 6-12 Volts
- A Laser pointer which you can pull apart (I used a cheapo red one but it would be really cool if you had the money for a green one)
- LM317T current regulator chip
- Appropriate resistor for LM317T (will be explained later)
- A 3 Volt rechargeable Battery (I got mine from an old cordless phone)(the battery doesnt need to be three volts, that just what my laser needed, choose a battery that is appropriate to your laser)
- Some switches
- Soldering equipment
- Adjustable flexi arm for aiming the laser (optional but worth it)
- Hot Glue
- Shrink Wrap
- Small Project Box
- Crimp Connector

LDR and Alarm unit:- LDR
- 10K (10,000 Ohms), Variable Resistor
- 10K (10,000 Ohms), resistor
- NPN transistor (I used a 2N3904 type but any should work)
- LED (I used Green)
- 510 Ohm resistor
- A Small Reed Relay (I used a 5 Volt DC one)
- 2K2 (2,200 Ohm) resistor
- 120 Ohm resistor
- Buzzer 6-12 Volts will work
- A Second Transistor ( thank you to collard41 who clarified that this is infact a NPN transistor)
- Some Switches
- Two 9 volt batteries

It looks like a lot and seems hard but it really isnt, I will guide you step by step and as best I can.
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Can some share a video of making this plsss.. All thing is bouncing of my head
Why is it that the chart shows that you need higher resistance for lower current? to me it seems backwards, it makes more sense to have more resistance to dampen down more current.
<p>face palm... i stand to correct myself. (big DUH to me) higher resistance = less resultant voltage and therefore less current. </p>
im not to sure, i pulled that info directly from a web site. i dont hav a very good understandin of the chip that i used, havnt used one since then. i think to properly understand how to choose resistors you would need to understand the inner workings of the chip.
I bet the chip is just a high tolerance anolog switching transistor rather than the most common digital ones that are on/off-only when you apply voltage to it's gate. this one is probably a transistor that controls current flow depending on how much voltage is applied to the gate, and I say high tolerance because it's able to be bolted to a heat sink. To me it sounds like it's synonymous to a variable resistor, but instead of calibrating a knob you calibrate voltage.
<p>PLEASE tell me that, how can i make my buzzer to sound only for a few seconds, when the laser is disconnected, please tell me the schematic or what should i change in this circuit, plz tell me ASAP <br>Thnx...!</p>
<p>PLEASE tell me that, how can i make my buzzer to sound only for a few seconds, when the laser is disconnected, please tell me the schematic or what should i change in this circuit, plz tell me ASAP <br>Thnx...!</p>
working fine...i connected a doorbell in alarm part..going to try connecting a handset that will send me a message on my phone!
I like the circuit, going to make a crack at building one soon. I'll likely modify it with a microcontroller, keypad, and LCD, Making it to where the system can be armed and disarmed with a keycode.
revhead, or anyone please help me. The LED that will be replaced with a relay later on turns of when the LDR is in complete darkness. The LDR need a little light in order for the LED to work. If I point the laser to the LDR when there is little light, it works normally. But when I point the laser to the LDR with total darkness, nothing happens. Please help me.
G'day people. Well done Rev. Excellent work and well presented. The issue many I think were having was using a PNP transistor and hence quite correctly Rev used an NPN transistor. One thing I would suggest, even as a Military Electronics Tech in Communications we were told point blankly at Category School, never screw around with regulating power from an AC source whether it be 115VAC (As is on all US military ships as it is in US Households) or 240VAC as is the case in Australian households. You do not want to start a fire or corona your regulator. You need to keep the smokey stuff inside your circuit. When the Smokey stuff comes out of your components the result is never good. Therefore, what I suggest is a trip to Jaycar, or Walmart depending what continent you live on. Buy a 12 Volt Transformer. Or better still, what I would do, is get a decent 12V Sealed Lead Acid Battery. I would use a diode (as someone already stated) or a solar charger unit to provide a slightly better regulation performance. You can now get at least from Jaycar, a variable DC-DC voltage transformer with multiple outputs. You can add IC voltage regulators if you want to have your battery power more than just your laser or a simple voltage divider circuit can help you out if you don't want to worry about the expense.<br/><br/>Over all I reckon you've done an excellent job. But as I said earlier, unless you either have no alternative, or you are a whiz on creating regulated power step down transformers, then DO NOT screw with your household AC circuit by building a perfectly good fire source. It's just not worth it, and your insurance company will probably throw a fit. SLA's even small level Amp Hour batteries will do the job and if your solar panel provides enough power to charge the battery to full capacity during day light, and the battery has a high enough rating to cope with running the laser constantly then you will have accomplished the job. One thing you could do is utilise some fast pulse code modulation on the laser, and providing a delay circuit on the receiving LDR so you save an amount of battery power but do not trip the circuit. During the off cycle that the PCM creates. Food for thought, but a brilliant first crack, and I am very envious of your attempt. I made a similar circuit back around 1985 when I programmed my ATARI 800XL to do the very same job utilising some BASIC programming and a cannibalised Infra Red remote control.
Greetings, that's a really great project, but the alarm circuit is troubling me... does it work? is it really possible to connect the base of the transistor to the positive terminal of the battery through a 120 Ohm resistor? According to my understanding in transistors, it only turns on a load (siren or LED) when the Collector is connected to the positive terminal and the emitter being connected to the ground while the base being connected on the positive terminal. But when you remove the connection from the base to the positive terminal of the battery, the transistor turns OFF... and same as it is with the siren. I hope this helps ^^
hey its me again <br /> i know its been a long time <br /> i have finally completed the project<br /> its so cool <br /> ok my question is <br /> did you use a special software to design the circuits <br /> if you have please tell me about it <br /> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; cheers<br /> &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; akinich&nbsp; <br />
Use Multisim... a very powerful software,,, we use this at school for simulation,,, just try it...=)
hey thanks<br>will do!<br>
hey, good to hear that you finished it!! did you have fun building it? i used a program called &quot;DIA&quot; its basically like Microsoft paint but it has a lot of electrical/electronic symbles which you can drag onto your picture. just Google it and you should be able to fid it, its free. <br /> about the transistors, they should be the same both are NPN. if you google seach the code on the transistor (e.g 2N3904) you will be able to find a circuit diagram of that type of transistor. a NPN will have an arrow that points out (picture of circuit diagram) this is also a good way to find out wich pin is the emmitor. make sure you have the transistors in the right way. on most the middle pin is the BASE, the pin with the arrow on it (mentioned above) is the EMMITOR, and the remaining one is the COLLECTOR. <br />
could you please specify the part number of the reed relay??. I really need it for my project.. I've already completed the circuit and is working fine,,, but the alarm wont remain &quot;on&quot; once the path is covered already,,, Actually the reed relay is the one that makes this purpose.,, But according to your design the reed relay must have 6 pins (2 for the input, 2 for the output and 2 for the reset)... Is this the one that you used?<br>Pls reply as ASAP,,, tnx in advance
Is this relay ok? it's a 12V one. Would it work?<br><br>http://robokits.co.in/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&amp;cPath=14_61&amp;products_id=204<br><br>or this one ?<br>http://robokits.co.in/shop/index.php?main_page=product_info&amp;cPath=14_61&amp;products_id=204
not to sure if those larger mechanical relay will work? you need to keep in mind that my design uses at 9v battery and a 3v battery, not a 12v one. the voltage rating on my relay was 5v.<br>you can easily adapt my design to run off 12v mains power (using an adaptor) and just change the resistor values
I am getting the exact opposite in step 2.<br>My Led Goes on when there is light,and off when dark.<br>I will try to get it right,but do u have any suggestions so that I can modify something else and live with this shortcoming of mine ?<br>
i cant remember off the top of my head, it was a long time ago. but from memory i think if you switch the positions of the LDR and the variable resistor you can change the way the ciruit opperates. example you can change it so that the relay is active in the presence of light (how yours is) or when there is no light.<br><br>i think i put a note about this near the section with the diagram of the LDR circuit.
So its just like when ur relay is connected mine isnt and when urs isnt mine is.<br>I am not able to think of anything that will invert this effect.<br>What if I use any Hex Inverter Gate like maybe the 7404 and inverter the 1-0 ?<br>Any help?
One thing you may want to include is a Diode in the Charging circuit from the Solar panel so it does not rob power from the battery at night unless your solr panel already has a diode built into it. Also you really only need one switch from the solar panel tothe circuit on either the positive or negative circuit as either one will cut the power from the solar panel to the rest of the circuit. Its not wrong the way you have it just overly redundant. <br> <br>Good job as a first major project though. <br> <br>Chris
wow! awesome.. hahahah I wanna try it even though i'm a newbie in electronics..(I learned electronics on our physics course and having fun with it lol),<br><br>^_^<br>-Jenriel (philippines)<br>Student&quot;<br><br>
wow i really appreciate it. can i ask some advice . can you help me make a simple low cost laser alarm? step by step . or can you make some video's ? i hope you can help me . thanks bro. goodluck . im begging you :)
no worries. well this is about as step by step as i can get it. i did make this in 2008 so it has been a while since i hav even looked at it haha. if you are able to read the wiring diagrams you shouldnt have any problems but if u do feel free to ask.
can u name the relay please..!<br>My shop vendor says he cannot sell components without proper name,the police has prevented them from doing so.
um ok haha. from memory mine was called a &quot;5 Volt Reed Relay&quot;
dats it?
yeah, thats what the relay is called. well, thats what its called in australia.
Here is my schematic of what I used for all those people who unable to keep their alarm going after its been tripped, also does anybody have any ideas on how to wire this up to an ac adapter, cuz it uses a crapload of power, probably because my design uses two relays...<br><br>Also I have included pictures of my final design...<br>I also used a separate sensor unit for added ease of laser positioning.
wow nice work mate! looks really good and thanks for modifying the schematic and posting it aswell, will help out alot of people, thank you. nice design and looks really clean. i would also like to see some pics of the insides and everything that makes it work because im interested in seeing different ways of laying out the components? i was thinking of re-doing mine so i will give your design a try. i am also thinking of making my own pcb using some copper board and etching solution, have you tried this before because this is new to me? <br>thanks for the comment and feedback, <br>cheers
Cool, glad you like it! I'll post pics of the insides after I get some parts to get a separate battery box with closed circuit alarm because the inside is so cramped with two nine volts, My box is actually a lot smaller than yours, at least it looks like that to me. But, ill give you a quick runnup of how I laid out the components, I basically took a 1&quot; by 2&quot; pcb board that I could break in half if iwanted from radio shak, and put one main circuit on one side, the other main on the other side, and the reed relay in the middle. Let me know if you have anymore questions.<br><br>Also, do you think If i took a regular 9 volt ac adapter and hooked up to the battery clips (both at the same time, in a parallels circuit, that it would work, b/c my batteries always runnout after a couple of hours of running, or couple minute of alarm activation.
form the sounds of it you live in america? well i live in australia and our mains power supply here is 240V AC. if i wanted to convert my circuit so that it runs off mains power i would buy/make a 9-12V dc adaptor that plugs into the wall to convert 240V AC into 9-12V DC. you could then plug the converted voltage/current into this circuit and it would work fine. just keep in mind though that this is a DC circuit, so it wont run on AC power.
Cool, I'll try that, I think I'll try to make some battery backup box too, and yea I do live in america, but I'm from europe.
Also, i am working on a system the that will prevent the power from being cut if it is hooked up to an ac power source, and the ability to add an external alarm and trigger, (expandibility)<br><br>I will post it up when finished.
Dude, I've just started studying electronics and I have to say that this is quite impressive and very inspiring. Really awesome work! Thanks!
thanks mate. yeah this was my first real electronics project that i put together. i made it for my year 12 systems class. <br>u can tell its my first large-ish project cos the circuit board is just a mess of wires haha. if i were to make it again i would make it alot neater and clean looking. thanks for the positive comment!! ifyou end up making this and need a hand just shoot me a message and il do my best to help.
Yeah man. Thanks for the offer. I'll almost certainly take you up on that. I want to use this idea to turn on a light for some pre-determined amount of time. Originally I thought PIR motion detector, but I live close to a wooded area and I don't want the light coming on every time some critter gets too close. So the laser is an awesome idea. <br>Just curious... had you given any thought to also making the alarm unit work off of a renewable energy source?
that sounds like a cool idea! just make sure you buy yourself a good laser that can deal with being on for very long periods of time. yeah i did think about it but i was on a tight dead line because i had to finish the project asap so i could work on the folio that accompanied it for my year 12 subject. another idea i was going to integrate was to have a 5v DC converter option on the laser and or alarm unit so you can decide whether to run the system off battery, solar, or mains power?? never got around to it. anyways good luck with designing and building your project! id be happy to help if you run into any problems.
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; My hearty congratulations for you. It is a simple but effective piece of work. I really appreciate that. But, Does it really works...? I mean, Is it possible to connect the BASE of the transistor directly to 9V battery supply through just a 120 ohm resister....?<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; And more over, how can a transistor be in ON position, if its collector terminals are OPEN...? You said that the LED&nbsp;keeps the transistor ON. But I really couldn't get the logic in it... Please can you explain me that.....? I am eagerly waiting for your reply....! Please.........<br />
<div style="margin: 0.0cm 0.0cm 10.0pt;"><span style="line-height: 115.0%;font-size: 8.0pt;">well my project is very dusty know and is sitting right in front of me and it work perfectly, apart from the fact that my sister dropped the laser housing and broke the laser diode!! i am not very experienced with electronics, i dont study it, it is a fun hobby of mine and was my year 12 systems engineering project, all i had to do was present a basic understanding of the circuitry and modify existing circuits to combine them into one project. from your comment you really seem to understand what you&rsquo;re talking about, so if you have time i would appreciate it if you could explain how it &quot;actually works&quot; and what you would change?? as to your question if it works...yes, it does exactly what i intended it to do, laser shines on LDR, when laser is broken from LDR it&nbsp;activates relay, relay closes secondary circuit which activates alarm, when laser is&nbsp;returned to&nbsp;LDR relay opens secondary circuit but alarm stays on thanks to transistor which keeps a segment of the secondary circuit&nbsp;closed to power alarm! that&rsquo;s pretty much my knowledge, if you could expand on that it would be great.<br /> Cheers!</span></div>
hi rev,its me again,i have now got the ldr and alarm system(that is i have fixed the relay problem) to be working as it is but my problem again is that the alarm doesnt stay on when the laser is intruded and to make the alarm to stay on you only need to stand in the way of the laser for the number of time you want it to stay on...which i believe thats not how it supposed to work..please help me out.asap<br />
<div style="margin: 0.0cm 0.0cm 10.0pt;"><span style="line-height: 115.0%;font-size: 8.0pt;">ok, the alarm turns on so that means your relay is working that means the problem is within the alarm circuit. the problem is probably the transistor that you are using, are you using the right type (NPN, PNP) i think i specified that it was a NPN, can&rsquo;t remember off the top of my head. try switch it around or buying a new 1. the main problem with the alarm circuit is that i made that small portion in a year 7 technology class which was 6 years before i used/modified it to make my year 12 project! the thing is i dont know exactly what transistor it is??? i can&rsquo;t really help because i don&rsquo;t have a very good knowledge on transistors. the other problem may be that you are using the wrong resistors, make sure that they are the right ones with a multimeter, but its most probably the transistor. <br /> also remember that the relay is what touches the two contacts together from the alarm circuit, so when the laser is removed the relay turns off which opens the contacts but this should still leave the alarm on, but it doesn&rsquo;t so there is a problem with the alarm circuit. Instead of fiddling around with shining the laser on the LDR to test it, put the circuit back to the breadboard and test it by just getting two pieces of wire for the contacts and touch them together, when you touch the contacts together and the alarm turns on thats good, but when you open the contacts and the alarm stays on then it works perfectly and you can plug in the relay and the rest of the circuit. <br /> if u need any more help im happy to help! </span></div>
hi rev,i need some help here,is the led in the ldr unit suppose to go off when i ditch in the coils of the relay...and also am getting the alarm to stay on even when i have not placed the relay yet..pls help asap..<br />
<div style="margin: 0.0cm 0.0cm 10.0pt;"><span style="line-height: 115.0%;font-size: 8.0pt;">with the alarm circuit, it is good if you get the alarm to stay on when the two contacts touch!!! the point of the relay is two link the LDR circuit with the Alram circuit. basically the relay acts like a switch. <br /> not too sure about whaat your saying with the relay &quot;ditch in the coils...&quot;??<br /> you have a very big problem if the alarm is going off even if you haven&rsquo;t touched the two contacts together, the alarm isnt meant to sound until the contacts are touched, if this is your problem it has something to do with the transistor, try switching it around or getting a new one!</span></div>
i have got the led on the alarm part to light when i touch the two contacts....my only difficulty now is the choice of relay since icant get that small amp one here....also i wanna know how you connected the relay....<br />

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