Do you know that cheap DVD burners can be had for only $20 or $30, if you go to the right stores?
Do you know that inside a DVD burner is a powerful (40 – 100 mW / Class 3b) visible laser diode?
Do you know how much fun a 40 – 100 mW laser diode can be?
In the photo, from left to right: A collimator lense assembly, 5.6mm diameter. A Class 3b 650 nm laser diode and heat sink, ‘rescued’ from a DVD burner. A cheap tiny pocket laser pointer.
The 3b 650nm diode is a 5.6mm diameter and looks like it will fit the collimator assembly. The cheap pointer is there because its brother was sacrificed to provide the collimator.
I’ve already used this laser diode to burn holes through some black plastic. Without a collimator, the diode has to be right next to the plastic, but it still amazed me when it worked.
Tonight, I’ll be having fun tinkering, to get a working ‘pointer’ with the high powered diode.