Yet Another Lasers Post

Posted 2006.09.17 0.00 in Lasers by Stephanie

I was doing a bunch of cleaning and a little redecorating today, and for a break in the middle of it all, I made another high-power laser.

In this case, I took an old low-power laser pointer apart, removed the 2.5mW diode, hot-wired the driver board, and replaced the diode with a high-power diode from another DVD burner.

This pointer is old, more than 5 years, maybe as much as 10 years old. I know it cost me about $50, and it came from Radio Shack. But they don’t appear to sell anything like it any more. I like it though because of the tiny size, only 3 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. It runs on two AAA batteries, but they go in side-by-side.

Anyhow, now that it’s been pumped-up and had a diode transplant, it’s now pumping out about 100mW, as much as the low-end Pulsar. Enough to pop a balloon or light a match, with the help of a focusing lens. Without a focusing lens, it’s just a really, really, really bright laser pointer.

Update: As a pointer, this laser has a switch to select between dot and line. The line was produced by a little optic. I’ve removed that optic and replaced it with a focusing lens from a DVD player. Now, at the flick of a switch, I can select between well-collimated long-range dot, or close-up burning power. Now I’m thinking if only I could have put a 150mW diode in there instead of the 100mW, this could become my favorite pocket-laser.