Tuesday, December 18, 2007

DIY- How To Make A Burning Laser The Right Way! Now With Video Of Laser In Action!





*****WARNING***** This project poses
several dangers! Before proceeding it is highly suggested that you do some research on lasers and how they work. You can be blinded if you do not exercise safety! Do not look into your laser beam! Do not shine this laser at any moving vehicle! Do not use it to play with your pets! And most importantly, DO NOT LOOK INTO YOUR LASER BEAM! I will not hold myself responsible for any persons actions. This information has been posted here as an educational resource. If you go blind it will not be my fault as I have warned you of the risks. This is a high powered laser device. It is not a toy.*****WARNING*****

Credit goes where credit is deserved.
I credit this tutorial to all of the guys over at laserpointerforums.com for all their knowledge.
The idea here is to compact that into one easy to read place because I have yet to see a solid tutorial anywhere on the net.


***UPDATE ***
I found the thread on Laser Pointer Forums from when I was building this laser. I had a lot of questions and people were kind enough to help me out with answers along the way. I think this may be very useful for some of the newcomers looking to build their laser. Click here to view the thread in a new window.

This project requires you to have basic soldering skills and hopefully some knowledge of electronics. I would give this project an advanced rating based on these things, however I believe anyone can do it.
Now that you have read the warning and hopefully understand the dangers of high powered laser we can continue.

In this blog I will teach you step by step how to build your very own burning laser. Unlike other popular ways of building your own burning laser I will show you how to do it properly to ensure a long and healthy life for your new laser.

There are several reasons for building a burning laser this way instead of just connecting it to batteries and having it die in a couple days or months. The best reason is that it will be just a bit more powerful. But the main reason for building this circuit is to regulate voltage and current. As simple as connecting your diode to a set of AA batteries is. You must realize that that you are feeding the diode too much current. It is also not protected from other dangers such as voltage spikes. This driver circuit will take care of that.

One of the most important things you will need to do this project is a laser diode. The second is an Aixiz housing to put your diode in. You need the Aixiz housing in order to focus you beam when you are finished. There is a link to purchase one right from Aixiz below in the parts list.




You can also buy the laser diode on ebay or you can simply harvest your own from an old or broken DVD Burner you may have laying around. And to answer the question you are asking yourself right now, yes it must be a DVD Burner. Any that are 16x or higher in speed. Normal DVD player diodes will not create a laser pointer with burning power. Never use a CD Burner for this project either. They contain infrared diodes. The light they emit is invisible to the naked eye and contain enough power to blind you before you will even realize it is happening. Simply put, stay away from CD Burner diodes. You cant actually see the laser it will make anyway.

Now, harvesting a laser diode can be a tricky process as they tend to be very fragile and sensitive to static and other forms of shock. It is very important to take your time in harvesting your precious diode. Do not ever drop it!

Before we go on, here is the list of parts you will need to finish this project. You can walk right into Radio Shack if there is one in your area and ask for these components or you can order them online from digikey.com

1-Adjustable Voltage Regulator LM317T
1- 100 ohm Potentiometer
2- 10 ohm Resistors
1-
1N4001 Rectifier Diode
1- 47uf 35v Capacitor
1- Any Size PCB Board
1- Any Solder
1- Any Soldering Iron
1- Power Switch (I like momentary push buttons)
1- 12x30mm Aixiz laser housing Click Here
2- Spools of wire ( Red and Black )
- You will need at least a 6 volt Power source.

Stonetek.org sells some of the items you may need at very reasonable prices. (Store May Be Shut Down)
Be sure to have a look if you cant find something you are looking for. Optionally you can buy a kit that contains everything you need to build your circuit here.

You will also need something to put everything in when you are done. (a flashlight works if you can make the circuit small enough to fit in it) If you do not use a flashlight you will need some form of battery holder. You can get those at Radio Shack as well.

Optional Items

-Digital Multimeter (may be needed if you run into problems)

The first step in harvesting your laser diode is to disassemble your dvd drive.
There will be 4 or more screws on the bottom side that you will need to remove.



Once those are taken out you should be able to pull the dvd drive apart.



 Inside you will need to locate the laser assembly. It will be on 2 metal rails.
At the ends of those rails will be more screws to remove. Once they are removed you will be able to lift the rails and slide the laser assembly right off.
Here is a picture of what exactly you should be removing from your drive at this point.



































Now you need to locate the diode. It has 3 metal pins on it and should make it pretty easy to spot.This is where the tricky part comes in.

In this image it is a bit blurry but you can make out the diode. 



























You will have to pry the diode out. It may be easier to remove the whole part that the laser in encased in, it is usually a metal heat sink of some sort. After you do that you can use pliers to hold the metal part and use wire cutters or another pair of pliers to pry it away from the diode. In some cases you will get lucky and the diode will pop right out very easily without anything else. Be careful the diode is fragile. I can not stress that point enough!

Once the diode is out you will need to दे solder the ribbon or whatever is soldered on to it.
When that is done take your diode and place it somewhere safe and static free. If you have bought any pc components recently they probably came in a static protective bag. if you have one you can store your diode in it for extra safety.
Ideally you would want to use an anti static wrist band while removing and handling the diode.
But don't worry too much about it if you don't have one.

Ok now you need to get that Aixiz housing and take it apart. You will see where it unscrews.
Inside you will see that there is a circuit board connected to a laser diode. You will need to remove them both. The easiest way to do so is to unscrew the lens and set that safely aside. Be careful not to get the lens dirty or scratched. A scratched lens will mean your beam wont look right.
Now take a small screw driver and insert it down inside of the housing. Give it a couple taps, you may have to use force but it will pop the existing diode out. It is probably ruined and can be thrown away. I personally like to keep things like this, you never know when it might come in handy for whatever reason.

If you are done with that you will need to get you DVD diode out and place that into the housing.
It is not going to go in really easy. Take your Aixiz housing with the lens removed and place it down on a flat sturdy surface. Place the diode where it goes. Take a small flat tipped screw driver and do not tap the diode in but set the screw driver around the pins and use your weight to push the diode in place. try to make it as flush with the housing as you can. This is important to make sure your beam lines up correctly with the lens.

You will also need to solder a good length of wire to the positive and negative pins on the diode.
This can be tricky as well depending on how much of the pin is left on the diode. Refer to the circuit diagram below to identify the pins on you laser diode. Once you are done soldering that on you can reassemble the housing and set it aside.




















The next part of this project will be building your circuit board. Depending on what you plan to house your finished laser in will decide how small you want to make the circuit. Follow the diagram above.

Get all your parts ready and get that soldering iron heating up.

Your PCB board will have holes already in it for your components to be placed.
The board has copper rings around every hole, that is the bottom. Place each components onto the board first through the top to get an idea where you want them all to go.
I soldered the LM317T on the board first because it is the largest part.
Then the potentiometer, the resistors, the silicone diode, and finally the capacitor.
You wont need to worry about the on off switch until you begin to wire everything up.
I placed my on off switch in line with the negative wire.
I leave all the excess on each component for soldering the wire in place to connect them all.
When I am done I trim it off. if you don't have wire cutters large nail clippers will work fine for removing the excess material.

Be sure to use enough solder to secure each part.

Once your circuit is finished you can begin to test it out. For this I used an led. I spimply connected the positive and negative and powered everything up.
If the light doesn't come on don't worry just yet. You may need to adjust the potentiometer.
After doing that if the light doesn't come on them we may have a problem.

Check the obvious things first.

Did you turn the circuit on? (on off switch)

Are you using brand new batteries? ( 6 volts worth )

Double check all of your work all the time just to make sure it is done right.

Take a look at the circuit and see if everything is soldered correctly.

This is where a multimeter would come in handy as you can test your circuit with that and find where the problem is.

But anyway lets assume that you aren't having problems and everything seems to be working properly. Turn the potentiometer up and down and see if the led get dim and brighter. Now there is something to remember about this circuit. The capacitor is there to soak up voltage spikes. If your led were to come disconnected while the circuit was on and then reconnected the stored charge in the capacitor would be sent right into your laser diode. It would kill it instantly. You would be sending a charge of around 6 volts to it.
Make sure you turn the potentiometer to its maximum resistance before moving on.
If you don't know what that means then adjust it until the led goes dim of off completely.
Then turn off the circuit and remove the led.

So now that your circuit is done and functioning properly I bet you are getting pretty excited.

I know I am and I already built my laser. I am excited for you! Ahhh......this is fun.

Ok back to the project.

Go ahead and grab the finished Aixiz housing. You can now solder that in place.
Make sure positive goes to positive and negative to negative.
When the laser diode is soldered to the circuit you can turn everything on.
To get you diode to lase you will need to slowly adjust the potentiometer.
When the diode begins to lase nice and bright stop and go no further on the potentiometer.
You can damage the diode if you go to low on the resistance.
In order to get your laser to shine properly you will need to adjust the lens. Go ahead and do so until you have a nice dot on the wall.

If you did everything right then you now have a high powered burning laser.

You will need to adjust the focusing lens in order to burn most things. The idea is to get the dot on your beam focused as small as possible. You will only be able to tell by shining it at something close. Shine it at the wall and the beam will be huge. Up close however it will be really small.

Want to test out the power? Go grab a match and a black marker. Color the tip of a match black and get that laser on it. You should be able to see the match start to smoke and eventually light up. The hardest part is getting used to focusing your laser and finding that sweet spot.

Im sure the laser looks kind of ugly how it is though....all naked and stuff.

You will want to find something to house all the components in. You can find boxes for this online but I prefer to use an led flashlight and gut it to make room for my laser. This really all depends on how small you can make your circuit though.


Stay tuned for a complete guide on building your circuit with pictures! I am not yet finished with this tutorial.

Copyright © 2007-2012. All rights reserved

132 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial. I look forward to when it is finished although if you have soldering skills like you say and are able to build the circuit then you have all the information here to complete the project already.

Nice Job

Tom said...

Looks great. Look forward to the next part though... I bought a mini maglite like in the other tutorials though - will a circuit actually fit in the barrel of that thing?

The How To Guy said...

I really do not think a circuit would fit inside a mini mag, BUT if it could you need at least 6 volts to power it. So if the circuit was made small enough with micro versions of each component you would not have enough room for batteries.

It is a bit more of a pian to do things this way but in the ned you will be happy.

My laser is still in perfect working condition. So it is definatly worth it to do things this way.

The How To Guy said...

Also I forgot to mention, money is the only thing holding me back from finishing this.

As soon as I have some cash to spare I am going to rebuilt the entire thing and go through step by step exactly how to wire every component.

The idea behind this is for someone who has no clue about these things and by reading this they would be able to copy my steps and have it work.

Also in the near future this tutorial will be available in flash making it much more compact and easier to follow step by step.

I will post when it is done. It will be a while still.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem is to focus the beam. Colimators from DVD is not good for "burning" laser.

I've made some experiments, but never managed to focus very well. Here is some experiments in my blog (sorry Lithunian language) http://www.vabolis.lt/2007/11/18/dvd-lazeris/

I'll translate slowly in my "international" version: http://blog.savel.org/

tekmeat said...

Check your diode and cap in the circuit picture. The cathode is on the positive side of the circuit. This is reversed in the schematic on Stonetech. Your capacitor's negitive lead is on the positive side.

Anonymous said...

So the cap and diode in this diagram need to be reversed?

the how to guy said...

There will be no next part of this tutorial, not any time soon.

I was kicked out of my home by my cheating girlfriend and i lost my job because I had no where to sleep for several night, along with the stress of everything she has done to me I do not have a place or chance to finish this project.

rmontgomery said...

Dude, that totally sucks. I am very sorry to hear about your situation. I loved this tutorial though. I will donate something , won't buy you a new house, but every little bit helps right? Hope you are back on your feet soon.

The How To Guy said...

Thank you very much for your kindness. And yes every little bit helps. I am currently trying to trade my Xbox 360 and all of my games for a laptop. Since I am in between homes it isn't really practical to have a desktop pc. Out of all the things that have happened to me over the past 2 weeks this has been the best one. Again thank you very much for your help.

poisx said...

Sorry Dude, especially if that B!!!% was really cheating on you, and NOT the otherway around. Just part of life, & growing up.
Its all for the gooder not good.



............poisx7

poisx said...

I hv been going crazy lately before stumbling on ur blog.
I actually have opened 3 dvd burners with no luck the extracted diodees have not been powerful enuff, the test from the tutorials i read said to power the diodes and point them at a plastic bag or match to see if they are worth your efforts once they have been extracted, but I have done this with 3 DVD burners ( sony, 2 pioneer) No luck it does not burn a hole or light up the match.

Am i suppose to use the diode with a lens to test its power, becos i have just pointed the raw extracted diode without even mounting it in the heat sink and its not been working. ??

So is the diode too weak or Am i doing something wrong ?

I have to be becos I just spent another 40 box on a 200 mw and its doing the same thing, maybe i need to put the plastic lens on it to see its power before i assemble all the parts togerther.

Thanks In advance

The How To Guy said...

Your laser diode must be installed into the aixiz housing. Without the lens the light is just scattered like a flashlight. With the housing and lens you can then focus the light into a beam. From there you need to focus is so that part of the beam is pin point. The end dot will look big and ugly but blow some smoke into and you should see the thinnest part of the beam about a foot or so away form the housing. Place you match (color the match tip black) right there. A 200mw diode is more than enough power. My laser is running at about 150mw.

Hope this helps.

The How To Guy said...

I also forgot to mention that it is not a good idea to power a diode outside of a housing or some form of heatsink. I have fried 2 diodes that way.

Also you will not get a burning laser without the aixiz housing or some form of lens.

poisx said...

Thanks for ur quick response, I am going to take it apart, hop ei dont break the legs.

Well u said .....("Also you will not get a burning laser without the aixiz housing or some form of lens".)

Yes u can (mine came with just the diode in a static wrap) u can get it from here (http://mfgcn.com/index.html).
I had to buy the housing separately.
May i ask, "HOW DO U FOCUS THE BEAM TO A VERY TINY DOT ON THE WALL" I have a beam right at a point but it is not that small of a dot unless i move real close to the target.
I noticed that as I tighthened/screwed in the plastic lens into the housing it became warped so I forced it in ( one shot at this , so i thought)
the focus got better and better but maybe its not good enuff BECOS it s not burning anything yet,ehhhhhh

Thanks for ur advice.

The How To Guy said...

"Also you will not get a burning laser without the aixiz housing or some form of lens"


What I meant was that your laser diode wont burn anything or even produce an actual beam unless it is in the housing so that it can be focused.

To focus you need to adjust the black focus ring or your housing.

My laser wont burn anything unless you focus the beam to a real fine dot and will only burn from a foot or so away.

You wont get a tiny dot that will project more than a couple feet from the laser as far as I know.

If you still cant get the laser to burn things even at close range there is a chance that you diode is underpowered.

When I first built my laser everything worked fine but it did not burn. That problem had to do with my potentiometer. It was not 100ohm. So I removed it from my laser.

I am not sure if you are using the plans here for your laser driver or not so it is hard for me to figure out what may be going wrong with your laser.

to bad bout yo girl said...

hey i hope it helps but ill put your site on mine

runescape's noobs said...

spelling errors

The How To Guy said...

"spelling errors"

Big deal, this isn't an essay. I'm not getting graded on it. Nobody payed me to do this.

So big deal.....

The How To Guy said...

This tutorial shows you how to build it the proper way to ensure a long life for your laser.

The laser on that site is the basic minimag laser which can be built yourself for for under 50 dollars or so.

For 189 dollars that is a rip off. Sorry but I would recommend against purchasing a laser form there.

Yeeeee said...

Tutorial Says:

Never use a CD Burner for this project either. They contain infrared diodes.

But how about if my burner has the capability of burning CD and DVD?

Can i use it???

The How To Guy said...

Ok, So the diode contained in your burner may be an all in one diode, dvd and cd burner. If so then you would need to find which pins on it power the dvd diode, or which this is what I think, you have 2 seperate diodes in the burner.

Either way if you can find the dvd burning diode in it you can use it.

Anonymous said...

i bough 1 DVDRW, blew it up. i got a laser burn diode in that DVDRW. I had some tests with this laser diode. it worked, but do not burn the paper. So after put it into a board with 1N4001 and LM317T, it work properly or not. I think that. reply soon. :D

Layza Pro said...

Could you tell me specifically which DVD burner you used?

The How To Guy said...

Someone posted a comment asking which dvd burner I had used for this project. I do not know where the comment went but I used a LITE-ON IT 20X burner. I do not know the model number though.

Anonymous said...

hi i have a green laser pointer at <10mW power with 532 nm wavelength. i researched a lot about it and i found out that it has an IR (infrared) filter inside. if i happen to remove this filter, does it make my pointer a burning laser? pls reply anyone.. or email me at red031085@yahoo.com tnx

Pro_guy said...

Hay.. a great tutorial,
but actually i was wondering, could i just buy the diode instead of taking it out of a DVD RW,,
another thing, how much does this project cost.... I mean is it worth it?! especially that this laser doesnt burn to more than a feet or so!!

THX.........

Anonymous said...

Can i use a blue ray diode?

Anonymous said...

can i use a blue ray diode?

The How To Guy said...

Yes you can just buy the diode online at places such as ebay or over aqt laserpointerforums.com. they have group buys there where you can get them fairly cheap.

i personally think it is worth it to do this project becase depending on what you already have on hand the overall cost is pretty cheap compared to purchasing a prebuilt laser online for several hundred bucks.

my laser cost me roughly around 60 dollars because I didnt have much to start with.

And for the other guy.

Yes you can use a bluray diode but you wont get a burning laser unless it is from a bluray burner. Also the driver is different. My plans can be modified for a nice bluray laser but i do not know exactly how.

Please refer to laserpointerforums.com for that project.

Not sure if you know but a bluray laser works much like a blacklight. its nice.

Sorry if i missed anything. im pretty sick....

Kevin said...

Is it possible to use a mag-lite housing to focus the beam ?
Great tutorial :)

Anonymous said...

ya so i built the circuit and such but i am only getting around.77 volts or so at the end, is this the amount of volts i am suppose to have, or what should i do to fix this?

Anonymous said...

one more thing, on your part list it sais 10 ohm resistor but on the schematic it says 4 ohm resistor, and on the picture schematic it says two resistors. What ohm resistor should i use and how many? About before, i had a 100k-ohm potentiometer instead of 100 ohm, would this be the reason for the lower amount of voltage in my circuit, thank you

Laser Hair Removal In Chicago said...

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!

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

scott said...

Hey awesome page you got here. thanks for the wiring schematic, that makes it a ton easier.

fran said...

o have all that things from the sheme or i can just put it on power?

Spike the Finch said...

Sweeeet!!! I got my diode from a SAMSUNG WRITEMASTER DVD R/RW, I think it was a 16x speed. The proposed circuit is incorrect - not just the cap, but the whole circuit. I ended up building a simple variable LM317 PSU. I pushed the little diode up to 3 volts - I burnt myself on the arm (extra frickin' awesome!!!), few holes in a cigarette pack. Then a spark of genius - let's see what happens at 3.1 volts, then 3.2 and then - aaaargh! idiot!!!!. Now I'm gonna go get me the fastest writer available - figure that the faster it can write the more powerful the diode. Thanks dude!!! I always wondered if it could be done with a writer.

The How To Guy said...

Ok, Spike the finch,

So you say the whole circuit is incorrect? If so how? Would be nice to correct it however this is the design I used to make my first laser and let me say that it worked very very well. I ended up with a powerful laser although I kept it down to about 155mW just so I did not burn it out.

As far as the circuit, I did not design it. I just took a lot of info and experience from around the net and put it in one place in an easy to read format with pictures. I was sick or searching the net endlessly and I figured everyone else was as well.

The How To Guy said...

This comment is to fran,

I am sorry, I am not sure what it is you are asking or saying. I assume you are saying you have all the parts needed and want to know what to do next but I can not be sure.

The How To Guy said...

This comment is for anyone whos questions I have not answered. I made this blog sometime last year and honestly did not think that people would be reading it so much. I get emails on my phone at least 5 times a month from viewers.

I pretty much stopped adding content here because I was moving back and forth between homes and a buddy of mine got my adsence account deleted and me banned from it forever. I was pretty pissed off about that one.

Anyway sorry if I have been neglecting my responsibilities in creating this tutorial.

Please feel free to head on over to laserpointerforums.com

They have pages and pages of information on building lasers of all types and honestly the guys there are quite a bit smarter than I am and can help you more than I can.

The comments are great though. It is nice to know that people still view this blog :)

Spike the Finch said...

I'm an electronics engineer and when I saw the circuit the first time it looked odd - I built it anyway, first on veroboard and then on a breadboard because I knew it was going to need a bit of tweaking. I used the exact parts in your diagram without success. So I resorted to a standard 317 variable PSU that gave me an output of 1.2 to 6 volts. Very simple really, and there are lots of examples on the net. I don't think your circuit is far off I just think a few connections have been mixed up. Be that as it may, if it works for you, and others, then that's great - keep it like it is, otherwise I will be more than happy to forward you the exact diagram I used - and if so let me know how, where to send it to.

The How To Guy said...

If you would like to send me the diagram then please do. My next project will be a bluray laser. They dont burn unless you have a writer diode however the color is just great, works just like a blacklight.

Anyway my email address is dnmeboy@gmail.com

Thanks.

Spike the Finch said...

My humblest apologies. The circuit you have published is 100% correct - the LM317 is configured as a current limiter as opposed to a variable PSU. In fact it is even better than a variable PSU because it will deliver as much voltage as the diode needs, constantly even as the batteries decay - a variable PSU would pop the diode mercilessly, it would also lose power as the batteries decay even slightly. What is odd though is that the cap is connected at reverse polarity - normally not a good idea, but I think they've done it this way so that it quenches the output quickly, actually protecting the diode. It's quite clever. And I am quite embarrassed - classic example of 'engage brain before opening mouth'.

The How To Guy said...

Well thanks for pointing out that you were wrong. Most people would not.

The driver requires an input voltage of 7 volts or higher and outputs only what the diode needs.

The cap is in place to absorb voltage spikes that can occur so the diode is protected from being fried.

Maybe I put the cap backwards by mistake. I only know what I read and learn online.

Ty Prather said...

Is there anywhere that I can get a pre-made driver or is it easy to make one that I can fit in a Mini MagLite?

Also I heard that Darcy flashlights already have something like a driver built in. Is this true?

george said...

I watched a video on youtube from kipkay it calls "laser flashligt hack" .He doesn't use all those things,only the dvd burner and the aixiz housing.I want very much to make this laser.On youtube they don't use all this registor and all this things.Listen i want to make this laser only with the dvd burner,i 'll not use aixiz laser but a simple laser pen.Because after one month i bougth a dvd burner but it not make beam but it ligtly like leds.Please send me an email with the label of two dvd burners that they used for this job e.g(sony,lg,nec...) and the model e.g (gsm-2984...) on this email: grs13line@hotmail.com thanks from your bearing. Bye

Atom. said...

can i buy one of these from you?
hit me up with a yes or no.

atomicmufin@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

whats the highest voltage y can put in the circuit?

5555 said...

whats the highest voltage y can put in the circuit?

5555 said...

what is the highest voltage y can put in the circuit? and can y use a laser diode from dvd burner with burning speed 17x or higher?

Anonymous said...

Needs at least 6v to work, is a 9v battery too much?

VT1 said...

Just finished mine up. Works great! I am able to melt hard plastic and cut through electrical tape no problem. Great tutorial!

Noyz said...

tell me something.
what is the maximum current suported by a laser diode ?
how do I know how much to adjust that POT as far as the diode won't die and it will have maximum power ?
is there anyway to check this ?

Anonymous said...

great tutorial!
i got my laser from service center. so i dont ripp of my dvd and it cost very cgeap ut's about $2 for the diode. and im on my trying to built the circuit.
just wondering why we need the circuit? how if i use laser diode directly to the batteries.
us it possible?

ruly said...

why we need this circuit?
can i use 6v current from 1 Ampere adaptor in this circuit?

The How To Guy said...

The circuit is a way to protect your diode from being destroyed in order to extend the life of your laser.

I have read online that having the diode connected directly to a power source is not a good idea.

The reason behind that is because the actual voltage coming from a battery can have a quick burst of spike in voltage when the laser is first turned on.

The capacitor in the driver circuit will absord the voltage spikes if they occur, and the LMT317 is there to deliver exactly the voltage the diode will require to operate.

Its just a better idea to have a driver circuit being used if you want your laser to last.

I have found that every diode is a little different in the way they handle various things. Some are really touch and others not so much.

I have lost many diodes. The worst was when i fried my first bluray diode.

Armand said...

hy man hy it cooll i did this dis night but my laser didn't burn and it just like a light boll i use a 16X dvd burner how to i make it burn???

Anonymous said...

how many volt of power the circuit feed the laser diode?

Anonymous said...

will this laser be able to light fireworks?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering whether or not one could use the lens that is part of the stock burner assembly... it wouldn't be variable focus but one may be able to do this easier if they didn't have to obtain a housing... not to mention the fact that the focal length of the stock lens will be already focused to an almost perfect point for the writing of tracks on DVD's... As a side note one of my favorite sites will soon be offering some lasers that put DVD burner diodes to shame...


http://www.unitednuclear.com/deathray.htm

seriously check that out... they aren't in stock yet but when they are and I can spare some serious cash I am so getting one!!!!

pweddellaccount@hotmail.com

The How To Guy said...

Alright first of all, I really would love it if people would stop coming here to try and advertise their laser products. You want to advertise here? Thats great. Give me something for it. How about products to review? You send me a product. I write a legitimate review with pictures and videos, you get advertising and I get some form of payment.

Anyway Sorry I have not been here in ages.

To the most recent comment. yeah that laser will put my dvd burner laser to shame. Its a friggin monster and just plain dangerous.

Can I get one for under 100 dollars? No....

Can it fit in my pocket? No....

Will it blind me faster than I can blink? YES

I am entirely against Infra Red lasers and have gone over this time and time again with people.

They are just plain dangerous, you wont even know if you ever shine it in your eye, you cant see infra red and they are such high powered lasers they will blind you in a fraction of a second.

And to answer your question, if the Aixiz housing was not needed to build a laser then it would not be part of the project. Not only doe sit allow you to focus the beam of your laser so that it may be used as a pointer and a burner it also acts as a heatsink to extend the life of your diode. it really is not that difficult to aquire the housing. You can get one for under 10 dollars if you order it.

I recently payed 40 dollars for my last one but that was because it came with a fully functional bluray laser inside of it.

And yes you can go bline playing with these red lasers as well, you can go blind playing with any high powered laser but atleast you can see the beam coming and react to avoid direct exposure.

Safety glasses are always a must but do cost money.

Anyone who even thinks about buying one of those lasers this guy is advertising on here, consider yourself very very warned. Oh and the cheapest one on that site will run you more than 400 dollars and it can blind and from the sounds of it possibly kill you. If it can cut through steel then I bet it can kill you.

I personally wouldn't hand over that amount of money to someone online who is charging hundreds and thousands for lasers yet does not even have a professionally done website.

Anyway if anyone needs help with anything please feel free to email me at dnmeboy@gmail.com

The How To Guy said...

Oh and as a side note, you don't even get a functioning laser from that site. You get a tube. So if you find yourself struggling with my laser project then you probably wont be any where near qualified to have any right messing with a laser of 40 watts and higher. And if they wanna sell me one they need to get a better looking model to hold the tube :) Hot women can sell anything!

The How To Guy said...

And the website i guess is not that bad, all I saw when i commented on it was the deathray page. Looks like something i tossed together in geocities back in the day. The rest of the site is ok and has some interesting things.

It just bugs me that poeple insist on messing with infra red lasers as if these smaller ones arent dangerous enough.

peter said...

HI! Just made mine and its awesome!
I didnt use the aixiz lens but some other that I had at home also whith a good heatsink. And the laser diode is from a 20x dvd burner. I also aded a micro 9v fan to cool the regulator and the diode. It works on 9v battery and it has pushbutton and normal switch. Also aded the safety lock and when it is out the laser wont work. Im not pushing it on full power so it will last as long as posible. No problem writing on wood and melting black plastic.

If anyone is interested I can send u pikcures and maybie a video over email!

Blaylock1988 said...

Peter, I would like all the pics/videos you have please. My email is mblaylock1988@yahoo.com

This is a great tutorial, I don't have a broken DVD burner but I am going to ask around to find one (you wouldn't happen to have an extra would you? lol), I want to get the parts to this project from local stores if I can. How much of this stuff would Radio Shack have?

How is the blue ray laser tutorial coming along? I could probably use this as one of my projects for my electical engineering class.

The How To Guy said...

Radio Shack should have all of the parts you need. The only one I could not find was the potentiometer. I was then told by a guy that I could remove it from the circuit. I had used a pot of the wrong specs so that I didnt burn out my laser. When I removed it my laser was twice as powerful as when I had the wrong pot in it.

As far as a bluray tutorial I have not been working on one. I was able to buy a working bluray laser for less than the cost of making this laser. I onky say less than the cost because I consider buying a dvd burner and removing the pot to be part of the cost. The rest of the project is cheap.

Anyway back to the bluray. When I say I bought a working laser for 40 dollars I mean that I bought an Aixiz Housing with the driver circuit and diode fully assembled for me with a plug to connect a 9v battery. To finish the laser off it is very very highly advised that you use a heatsink of some sort to prevent the diode from burning out, then of course you need some kind of housing for it all and an on off switch or push button. its still a cool DIY project but the hardest part is already done lol.

I purchased that at http://www.laserpointerforums.com

I am not sure if they are still up or what is available there but there is also a ton of information regarding lasers there that can ber very helpful to anyone who wants to build a laser. The guys there are alot smarter than i am too lol.

This tutorial has been up for a long time and i dont really come here much unless I get an email with a new comment which does happen often still.

Good luck to everyone and congrats on your first builds. its an awsome feeling the first time you lase it up and burn something isnt it?

Anonymous said...

Firstly: Thank you for this fine tutorial. Good luck with your personal life, and you CAN do whatever you want to do! Be determinated and you'll get whatever you want. Good luck!

I recommend that you stop ALL contact/communication with your ex (freeing your mind). Forget her and have fun with a LOT of other girls! ;)

LM317T is a beautiful thing, no wonder why peoples got confused:
http://www.reuk.co.uk/LM317-Current-Calculator.htm

The minium resistance (0ohm+5ohm) here would be ~5ohm, who makes maximal current to be at ~250 mA. Not bad.

My goal is to engrave/burn plastic/wood,
but I don't expect success since my (8x) DVDplayer is really old and weak.
Time will show. I'll be back.
I need to get some safe equipment first as lasers scares the hell out of me! :)

peter said...

Can anyone please tell me what is the maximum current I should apply to the laser diode?!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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timmy halfy said...

when i saw this i nutted and i tryed it and it works the only bad part is i accadently burned a hole in my friends neck while he was sleeping i also only have half of the dick i had before ... can you leave suggestions for my penis i relly want a new one

Haah Faggot said...

What were you doing in the room with your dick out while your friend was sleeping?

Anyway here is my suggestion, go to the doctor and get whats left of your useless dick cut off and have yourself a vagina put there so you don't have to get fucked in the ass by guys anymore, you can now finally take it like the woman you always wanted to be.

flyeruk said...

What sort of range will this laser have? Also, would the beam be visible.

The How To Guy said...

As far as range, that depends on your question. Are you asking how far the beam will shine? Focused to a dot it will shine on for a long way, no way to jusge how far excatly but its really far.

Using the diode I did in this laser the beam was visible in the dark without the us or smoke or fog.

Anonymous said...

great tutorial :) i have a question, how many watts does your laser put out? sorry if you've already answered this question. i have another question, what is the most powerfull hand held laser out there? w/b

black inferno said...

OK I HAVE A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS:
1) Is this for a specific diode voltage? like will it work with all diodes? cuz different diodes are in different burners, so is this like a "universal" driver?

2)Rather than the POT, which is 100 ohms, can you just use a regular 100 ohm resistor?

black inferno said...

ALSO if its an ADJUSTABLE voltage regulator, what do you ADJUST it to?

Anonymous said...

well i would do this but sadilly the only dvd burner i have is in my computer :(

but great tutorial btw ive read a lot and you right this will make the laser last longer!!

black inferno said...

ok i got it. i just need to know: did u mean 4.7uf capacitor or 47 uf capacitor? bvandercar@gmail.com is my email so mail me back

Daniel said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial! It really is fantastic. However i naturally dont understand everything... I really dont get how the capacitor absorbs voltage spikes. Could you also explain how you know the voltage the lm317t will provide?

Thanks,

Daniel (borgi76@gmail.com)

carp said...

@Daniel

I highly recommend the book "getting started in electronics" (available at Radio Shack) if you don't have the background (my background is mostly reading that book as a teenager and a little tinkering)

Basically the capacitor acts like a very fast, but small, battery. If the voltage goes up, over what is stored in it, it takes more, if the voltage goes down, it releases some.

Thus it can "smooth out" spikes, but would be overwhelmed by a "slow change" or one thats too large.

If you google the LMT317, then you will find a number of circuits that use it, and most of them use capacitors in this fashion.

Daniel said...

Thanks carp! But why does the current go to the capacitor and not the laser diode? And what does the other diode do?

Thanks again!

raqeeb said...

can i know the values for capacitor andresistors and the silicon diode number

The How To Guy said...

The information you are looking for is at the beginning of the tutorial in the parts list. Good luck with your laser. Also check out laserpointerforums.com for some more up to date information on laser building. You can also purchase pre made driver circuits if you do not wish to build your own but where is the fun in that?

Anonymous said...

I have built LED under-cabinet lights for our kitchen and used a "buck puck" (ledsupply.com) for a constant current ouptut in a small neat package. Would such a device be advantageous for this project? And if so, what mA would you suggest?

Anonymous said...

When u make a driver circuit do u use a laser driver that came with laser housing or just the diode with lens?

Jimmy said...

Thank's for the laser pointer, it's spent time bouncing off a mirror gimballed on two axis driven by two speaker assemblies.
This looks like it should be right up your alley. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvH2f-AewX8

Anonymous said...

i wanted to donate $10,000,000,000,000,000 but it only would let me donate $9,999,999,999,999,999 so i guess i cant donate ...sorry

Anonymous said...

if i have a 650nm aixiz laser module, is there a chance that it will wok with a 808nm 300mw laser diode?
thanx in advance

Anonymous said...

thanks for the tutorial! i just finished putting it together with a 405nm diode off of ebay rated at 300mw. works great! a few things i did different however was i used a 9v battery. as long as you have the Pot down enough, the 9V will work amazing. make sure you have a voltometer during the whole process though to measure voltage output to the diode and never go above what the diode is rated for. mine was rated 4-4.5V so i left it at 4.25V also a neat trick to save room on your build is to when you have the Pot set to what you want, measure the resistance of it, then replace it with a resistor of equal resistance. mine for instance read 22.8 Ohm so i will very soon be replacing it with a 23 ohm resistor.

Brian said...

Great tutorial, i have a few questions: what mw Diode are you useing from the dvd burner? and what are my power limits? can i use a 9v? do i have to change the resistors if i use a 500mw diode? i want to make is as powerful as i can. thanks.

987456321 said...

thats pretty cool i think i might make a laser now.

Anonymous said...

Does it matter what type of resistor I use? ie. (metal oxide film, carbon film, wirewound)? Thanks for the help!

Rachat de credit said...

Thanks it is a very good support, now to make a burning laser the right way! is definitely simple and easy utilizing your guidance. Thank you

Elvis said...

Found your tut through a CNN link and don't know a thing about all this stuff but may just take a shot at it anyways.

And good luck with the other stuff...chicks are a alot like lasers - both have this soft beautiful light at first, next thing you know your stumbling around blind trying to figure out wtf just happened ;^)

lprekon said...

I'm a little confused. we remove the laser from the axis housing and put our own in? but i though u said harvesting one from a dvd burner was optional, so what do we put in?

The How To Guy said...

You need to remove the laser diode from a DVD burner and place it in the aixiz housing. The housing comes with a 5mw laser pre installed, you don't want that, remove it and replace it with the diode from the DVD burner.

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Watcher said...

The capacitor in the diagram is pitured in opposite polarity

Anonymous said...

let it be know that the resistors are in paralleled so one 5ohm resistor can replace them or three 15 ohm resistors

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dharma said...

Dude...How much Watt should the resistors be..?

Nipuna said...

First of all, I gotta thank you for all you've done here. I already got my hands on a diode from an old 20x and got it fried out of connecting it directly (Though I was ecstatic in the first few minutes of crimson brightness!). now Im eyeing a friends' broken 22x the warranty of which hasnt expired yet. Hope to get my hands on it soon :D. And I gotta tell you some things about your circuit: it's perfect given you reverse the cap (you have an electrolytic cap- dielectric breaks down if polarity is reversed; essentially short circuiting the cap). The Si diode is on backwards to cause a short circuit across it if you connect the battery in the wrong way- dumping all the current through it instead of the laser (electricity always takes the shorter path and its easier to go forward through the Si diode than backwards through the laser). As for the 2 resistors, you need only 5ohms there. since you can't find 5ohm resistors, you have made a 5ohm resistance by connecting 2 10ohms in parallel (connecting two equal resistances in parallel gives an effective resistance equal to half the value of one resistor). so there you see, its perfect. But I've got something to ask you. In all the writers I have seen being taken apart online, I see cylindrical laser diodes with a brass/copper finish. The one I got was made of black plastic. what's the difference?

Anonymous said...

this is too hard.
could i just connect the battery straight to the laser diode

BoB said...

hi, awesome blog!!!
Anyway, is there anyway to make the laser more powerful, more voltage or more current? As well as this, will a 24x writer be better than a 22x laser? Thnx!!!

The How To Guy said...

Yes a 24x would be More powerful than a 22x. You can make the laser more powerful by adjusting current. Doing so may decrease the life of your laser or kill it completely. Without having a meter to know what your current is it can be easy to give it to much.

The How To Guy said...

@Nipuna I have never seen a diode like you have mentioned so I can not answer your question. Sorry.

The How To Guy said...

@Nipuna I decided to make a video disassembling a DVD Burner to extract the Diode, what I found reminded of your comment.

I have taken a picture and uploaded it to a new blog post. Can you take a look and leave a comment letting me know if it is what you found in your burner?

Anonymous said...

I have just built the circuit and it works great.
The only thing is the cap is reversed in the diagram but when you change that it perfectly.
Thanks for the great tutorial and greetings from holland

Noproblem said...

http://electronicscct.blogspot.com/

The How To Guy said...

So I approved your comment so that I could publicly tell you that you are a thief.

You copied and pasted my entire laser tutorial and posted it on your blog as if it was your own with no mention of me.

If anyone reading this knows if there is a way I can force this joker to take down MY material.

I will be looking into this myself as much as I can. It appears that I am not the only one he has done this to.

The funny thing, he posted His link on my blog like he is going to advertise it and steal my visitors. They are already here, on my blog reading my tutorial. I see no reason they would leave mine to go to yours. You didn't even change the font color and background color to match. It's completely obvious that your blog is a direct copy/paste of mine. You even took my video.

I'm telling you here to take down that post.

stve1026 said...

im new to this stuff so u helped me alot

stve1026 said...

yeah thats not cool

stve1026 said...

i went to a lot of sights b4 i found u. i could have saved so much time with the way u explained things. thanks how to guy

stve1026 said...

this is the thanks u get when u try to do something good 4 people he's the one who got to sleep with what he did

stve1026 said...

dose any one know how to charge caps. i have different caps dont no how to charge, i cliped the cap off of disposable camara can that charge bigger caps

The How To Guy said...

basically, a capacitor, in short circuit with a battery, will act like a battery. It will 'charge' up to whatever voltage the battery is willing to put out. The internal 'resistance' of the capacitor will become evident as it charges. As the plates get their charge, they start to oppose the incoming charge. When the internal voltage of the capacitor reaches the same voltage as its source, it will have infinite resistance (in a charging sense), and no more current will flow. The difference between a battery and a capacitor (of similar voltage ratings and physical size) is that the capacitor holds 'less' energy (in all but a few cases) - but that capacitor can dump its entire charge in a few nanoseconds, where the battery couldn't possibly dump that much charge. Long story short: Hook it up to dc current, and it will charge until full, then stop charging. If you don't go over the voltage rating of the capacitor, you wont harm it by 'leaving it charged' because it stops taking energy when its full.

I'm not sure why you asked though, are you trying to charge a capacitor for this project? You don't really want to do that.

The How To Guy said...

Note too that in many (most?) real-world applications you don't "charge" a capacitor -- you just let it charge and discharge as signal is applied to it.

MTAZ said...

What is the product code/brand DVD driver you've used? And do you know other products or brand that uses the same kind of laser diode?

Thank you very much for the great tutorial..hoping to be able to make it soon..:)

Anonymous said...

Good design.:)

Anonymous said...

Great tutorial, thanks! I want to use this type of laser for my CNC milling machine. But I want to know that if I use this laser for cutting & not using required glasses to see cutting, whether it will harmful to my eyes or I have to use glasses always if I start the laser ?
Satyavijay

The How To Guy said...

You will need a pretty powerful laser to use in a Cnc machine unless you only plan to engrave wood or plastic. The laser in this tutorial will not be powerful enough to cut through anything.

Yes you need to use glasses when using any high powered laser. It might seem ok to look at it when using it like you plan to but you need to take into consideration reflected light from the laser. It is entirely possible that the laser will reflect off the surface of what you are cutting or engraving. That reflected light could hit you in the eye and cause damage. You only have 2 eyes and when you damage them beyond repair that is it. You can't get new eyes. Not yet anyway. So it is better to be safe than sorry.

I highly recommend that anyone using high powered lasers for any purpose use the appropriate safety glasses for the color laser you are using.


Be safe and be responsible!

PCB said...

Such brilliant info you share with us.. Totally amazing.. I like to make this powerful burning laser..

cobq said...

i have made this circuit but when I test it with the LED it doesn't stay on constantly, it flashes. Why is this?

Mals4938 said...

Okay so I'm trying to do this I blew my first few diodes old dvd burners and such now I have a few 1000Mw 808 diodes my question is if my max current is 2000 will I be safe running at say 1750 and what would my resistor have to be I'm really just checking my math

Mals4938 said...

Sorry nvm this post is not as in depth as I thought

Khaled said...

Hi, thanks for the detailed tutorial :)
I have a rectangular diode shape! I got it from a samsung 22x DVD writer (photo:http://postimage.org/image/apbj2dqir)
I think I might have fried it but I am not sure how to check :( (can you help??!)
When I first fetched it out from the DVD, I though I'd check if it is working, so I hooked it up to two AA batteries with a series 330 ohm resistance, just to check if it's working, using the camera I was able to see a tiny red dot, so I assumed it's working but just needs more current.
The next day after building the circuit, I hooked it up, powered up the circuit and...nothing! I found out I was setting the pot to minimum (so max voltage) which was around 3.3v, I turned down the nob to 1.8v and still nothing, now I can't get it to work no matter what I do (even the old 2xAA batteries with a series resistance doesn't work :(! ) Please help!

Anonymous said...

If i used a CD burner wood it have like extra power? even if its more dangerous?

Adan Burke said...

Do you have a picture of your final product? I do not see any on this posting.

The How To Guy said...

The picture at the top of this post of the silver laser with the red beam, that is the laser I built. It is the only picture I am aware of that I have left. It is also used in the video although you can not see it clearly enough.

The How To Guy said...

Sorry to all of the commenters who have asked for help and I have not replied. I sometimes forget this tutorial is even here. I posted it 5 or 6 years ago.

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