Solar Powered Laser Pointer Made Out of Fairly Common Parts, and an Altoids Tin.




Introduction: Solar Powered Laser Pointer Made Out of Fairly Common Parts, and an Altoids Tin.

About: I will wire your headlights to your horn.

Today we will be creating a solar powered laser pointer.

5v 300ma (or so) solar panel
3.6v battery pack (I used one out of an old cord less phone)
random bits of wire, preferably red and black
altoids tin (mmm wintery minty-ness)
switch 6 pole two way preferred, 2 pole single throw would work
LED which also works as a blocking diode (found mine in an old computer)
laser diode (I found mine in an iPod laser pointer that was broken)

Materials and tools:
Soldering iron
Digital multi-meter
Hot glue gun (could use some other glue. resist temptation to eat delicious hot glue, may result in burns)
Screw driver (for bending sharp edges back and making bigger holes)
LOTS of hot glue
I had a leatherman P6 that was helpful

** NOTE ** I am not responsible for you hurting yourself or your property... or anyone else and their property ** NOTE **

This is also my first Instructable.

Step 1: Arrg! Drill Ye Holes Matey!

Pick where you want everything to go, I chose to have the panel on top, the laser on the side and the switch in the front of the can.

Be careful, they can be sharp.

I used a much too small bit because its the only one I own, so I ended up using the screw driver to make the holes bigger. Mock-up where the parts are going so you make sure they fit and work correctly.

Also, Cellphones suck for pictures. Sorry I used mine.

Step 2: Set Up

Alright, so, there are only a hand full of parts here... and with the welfare nature of them, if ill taken care of THE ENTIRE THING COULD EXPLODE... yea, ni-cd's do that sometimes... Do NOT over charge the batteries.

I just put the LED in series with the solar panel so it woulden't backdraw after dark, then I connected both of them in parrelel with the battery. Then I connected the terminals of the battery to the switch and Laser Diode in series.

notice the batterys mutated from standard ni-cds into the ni-cds I found in my phone...

Step 3: Solder Time!

solder the parts together and test everything with the multi-meter.

Not doing so could result in FIRE or EXPLOSIONS. Just a fair warning.

I used wire to connect the parts, a bread board or something of that nature would make this a lot easier. Furthermore, I don't have the money to buy one, so I don't care.

Step 4: Hot Glue Time!

Get out your hot glue gun and start gluing your components together.

Resist the temptation to eat said glue. It may look delicious and juicy, but it is, in fact, VERY VERY HOT.

The hardest part was getting the solder connections from shorting out and to get the laser lined up correctly out of the hole while burning my fingers with hot glue.

The laser is still a little off...

Step 5: Place in Sun...

Well, it seems you are done at this point. Just place the unit in the sun and wait for the batteries to charge... I got a good charge all day in mid-summer.

I haven't done any stress tests or gathered any data, mostly because it was just a "proof of concept" design and it proved itself and now its graduated from a concept to a piece of clutter in my over-filled room...

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    2 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 5

    This is fantastic! I have an excuse for altoids! (I say that a lot on this site...) My cats also want this instructable. We burn through the laser pointer batteries a little too quickly and I don't live where they are easily replaced.

    Just know, there are two well fed, purring, staring at me with the do it now kitties waiting for a copy of your invention.