Instructables

Laser Flashlight Hack!!

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Picture of Laser Flashlight Hack!!
Turn a MiniMag flashlight into a powerful DVD laser pointer! This 245mw laser is powerful and fits real cozy in a MiniMag! See the video at the end for the Test Results!

NOTE: This Instructable WILL NOT WORK with any CD burner/player diodes or DVD player diodes!

See the FAQ on the last Step for common questions

GET THE BURNING LASER DIODE HERE!

GET THE MINI-MAG FLASHLIGHT HERE

UPDATE: If you want to use this as more than just a novelty item, a driver circuit is recommended. See the schematic for details.



Disclaimer: CAUTION! As you know...lasers can be dangerous. Never point them at any living object!T his is not a toy, and this should not be used like a conventional laser pointer. In other words, don't use it in presentations, or to play with pets, or allow children to use it. It should only be operated by responsible persons who understand and respect the potential laser safety hazards.
 
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Step 1: What you need...

Picture of What you need...
You will need the following items:
1. 16X DVD Burner. I used an LG burner I had as a spare.

or...

You can buy the Red LASER DIODE HERE

Step 3: Extract the DVD Laser Diode

Picture of Extract the DVD Laser Diode
After removing all of the screws from the DVD burner, remove the cover and the DVD drawer. This will expose the laser carriage assembly.

Step 4: Extract the Laser Diode..

While all DVD burners are a bit different, they all rely on 2 rails that the laser assembly moves on. Remove all screws and do whatever it takes to free up the rails so the laser assembly slides off. Disconnect or cut and cabling and flat connectors.
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akshaylals2 months ago

I had found out the LD. I desoldered it from the board. But laser is glued into the whole thing. How to get it out. The one I had opened is samsung cd r/w 52X read, 32X rewrite, 52X writeable

starvan1 year ago
I connected, directly, the positive and negative pins of the laser in 3 AA batteries (4,5V). It turned on for a few seconds, and now it don't turn on with 3V (2AA batteries). Is it broken? :/
The Freak starvan9 months ago
Probably, yes.
edvin19941 year ago
can i make a module or can i put laser in other stuff or i need to have aixiz alser module
about how much power does it have?
like can it pop some balloons or light a match?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/200mW-650nm-Laser-Diode-Kip-Kay-project-suitable-/180479555252?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a056b76b4

200mW 650nm Laser Diode Kip Kay project suitable

haha look its you
finn123451 year ago
on estimated time how long do you think this will take
TayTayBob1 year ago
cool!!!!!!
can you make an iron man plum laser with a blu ray laser that can burn ?
BionicBBQ1 year ago
Whats the range of the laser?
LightSpeed15 years ago
I was really intrigued by this Instructable. Thank you. I have taken to heart all the cautionary comments, too, so I may not try to build it for myself since it requires enough safety precautions to make it NOT a fun toy to play with; more like a dangerous power tool. The need to put the laser diode into the housing from a low powered laser was not fully explained. But I have deduced from later comments that the reason for the extra housing is: 1) to act as a heat sink for the diode during operation. And 2) The housing includes optics--lenses to focus the laser light to a dot, or a linear ray. I wonder if an alternative source of focusing lenses could be suggested. I am aware that often the primary difference between a good and a cheap laser device is the lenses used. I presume that with only a single wavelength of light, cheaper lenses can be used since there is no worry about chromatic distortion, but still there are cheap lenses and then there are cheaper lenses. The Instructable is sketchy also about the details of the hookup of the laser housing/electronic connections and the flashlight housing. Perhaps this section could be more detailed with closeup photographs. The same needs to be said about the regulator--how would this be fit into the flashlight housing? Is the regulator more for regulating voltage or limiting current? And how does one know where to set it? I suppose one could calibrate it with a multitester and mark the potentiometer for reference. BTW, could a simple resister or pot be used to regulate the current at least, without the rest of that circuit? Just wondering. Apply Ohm's law. It would really be good to research the optimal voltage and current of the diode used to be certain not to shorten its life--perhaps with that knowledge and Ohm's law a simple resister would be all you would need to regulate the current with a a prescribed number of cells powering it. I want to remind people that there is a much more powerful "Laser" that is available for free and requires no batteries. All you need is a mirror and a magnifier. And sunlight. Yes, you guessed it: reflect the sun with the mirror and it really is like a solar powered laser--visible for miles! (Not bad if you are signaling a search plane while lost in the wilderness.) The magnifier is all you need to burn wood or start a fire with the sun as well. Very simple, and obvious, of course, but we forget that when the word "laser" is mentioned, and we conjure up visions of Star Trek or Star Wars. Obviously the same precautions need to be observed with your high powered laser as when using a magnifier with sunlight--as every kid has learned early on when the light starts to burn the skin and he stops as once. The difference here is the fact that the laser beam focuses that energy much farther away from the source than a simple lens does, and the heating of distant objects may not cause as immediate a realization on the part of the aimer. Also the potential of scattered light off of unexpected reflectors doing harm is also introduced, since the longer focusing distance makes it a much more dangerous thing. For instance, shining it through a window perpendicular to the beam will reflect back a large percentage right to the aimer, or bounce it in other unintended places. I would caution against aiming it out windows or at metal or glass or liquids, or plastic bags even. Anything reflective can bounce it in unexpected ways. I learned from this Instructable the fact that DVD burners use visible wavelengths unlike CD readers which are IR. How about CD burners? What do they use? And the new Blue Ray DVD burners: do they have more energy output per mW? Certainly the ability to see the ray you are aiming is a safety feature, making IR or UV lasers less desirable. Thank you again for a truly interesting and informative Instructable.
- Yes the Aixiz housing includes the optics necessary to focus the laser into a beam.
- I don't know if the driver is more for regulating voltage or limiting current, but I do know that you can buy drivers for laser diodes online, or you can make one. The trick for making one is to make it small enough to fit it in the host you want it in (like a flashlight. As for setting the driver to work well with the diode, I don't know how to do that yet, but www.laserpointerforums.com is a great source for all of that information.
- Blu-ray diodes are about 405nm, which is violet/near UV. Some blu-ray lasers are more/less visible depending on the exact wavelength, which may be off by a few nm. Their power is generally around 100-150mW, where some of the red DVD burner diodes can go up to 200-300mW.
-Another housing you can use is the Meredith module which can be bought here: http://www.mi-lasers.com/cgi-bin/shopper.cgi?search=action&keywords=diode_optics . According to what I have read on laserpointerforums.com, those have better quality optics that produce more powerful lasers.

Please don't quote me on all that; I'm trying to help, but I'm not entirely sure of the accuracy of those statements.
srice4 jerrysl2 years ago
I've updated that Meredith-instruments site by the way (I'm their web designer type guy), that link will no longer work. Try this one instead: http://www.mi-lasers.com/diode-lasers/modules-systems
dmhjah jerrysl4 years ago
It didn't look like he used the driver just the housing. Whats your take on that?
jerrysl dmhjah4 years ago
Well, if I remember correctly, the laser community called out kipkay for not using a driver. While it is possible for it to work without one, the longevity will be reduced, and it still may not work at all. The laser community practically considers the driver an essential part.
dmhjah jerrysl4 years ago
I saw the driver that is in the laser housing and its pretty small. I guess it might fit under the lid of the minimag that has the two holes to plug the bulb in?
blu-ray laser diodes work great but the diode from a casio x something projector is the best and you can buy one off e-bay for less then $50. i dont know the casio full name but when you are looking up the item you will see plenty of the right name and model.
thats long
geez, that's one long post! :-)
mo5 LightSpeed14 years ago
killjoy...jk :]
what would happen if you used 2 watts
That is what I'm doing for my Senior Project, creating a computer controlled laser engraver/cutter. First of all, you need a bigger heatsink. Second you will need to use a different driver setup and you will actually need to make 2 and wire them in parallel because the LM317 can only handle a max of 1.5A and a 2W laser is 1.8A. I found this website very helpful

http://www.rog8811.com/laserdriver.htm
can you use the same driver in the aixiz housing with the new diode?
twjmiller5 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Kipkay (author)  twjmiller5 years ago
Not that I am aware of.
dmhjah Kipkay4 years ago
Will the driver that comes in the laser housing work with the new diode that is being put in? Cheers
have you done it because i asked the same question
Hey I live in new Zealand and I can't find most of the stuff I need and I can't buy things online so I don't know how I'm going to make a laser because they look so AWESOME
I'm from New Zealand too and i bought a laser module from Jaycar...but I can't seem to get it open. Are there any other types of laser modules out there that I can use?
if you cant use the same chip can you use a resistor
Can you use the same chip from the Aixiz housing when you put the DVD burner diode in the housing
000TOMO0006 years ago
Can i use 4.5 volt ?
Kipkay (author)  000TOMO0006 years ago
NO! that will blow the diode in an instant!
I had an old dvd burner diode that I hooked a 9volt battery up to. Did I just burn it out? I also only got an intermittent 'faint' glow when I tried it.
Yes, it is burnt out. When testing lasers, start out with 3 volts.
Hi Kipkay,

I was wondering if we don't need a driver circuit between the diode and the batteries. You are using two AA-batteries, that's 3V. Wouldn't that be too much for a diode of 250mW? Connecing it directly to the batteries might fail in giving a constant current, so I guess a driver would do better. Or am I very wrong now?

You can also mail me at ramon_jansen_92@hotmail.com.
Hey kipkay, I was wondering if this really works or its a fake video..because i have alot of friends that know alot about heat lasers and i asked them about this and they said that it would blow the diode. Are they right?
It's real. You see the module the laser is in? It acts like a heat sink and will distribute the heat out so you can use it for a little while. Now for long burns I'm not sure if it would last. My rig I place the housing in a block of metal that fit in one of my flashlights and it worked out perfectly.
dolfi Kipkay5 years ago
can I use also different diode instead of the one form LG burner? I have some diodes from Philips DVD recorder. will it work?
as long as its relativly fast (12x or faster )it should work
kwa9 Kipkay6 years ago
hey kipkay, i am buying the diode from mfgcn.com and was wondering if two 1.2 volt batteries would work or two 1.5 volt batteries would work?
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