OK to build a high powered laser you are going to need a 2 things, the driver and the diode.
Now we can just purchase the driver but it is a lot cheaper and more fun to make your laser driver. (Its fairly easy as well!!)
What you will need:
- Soldering Iron: For soldering wires and components together
- Solder: For soldering wires and components together
- LM317 Voltage Controller: To control the voltage, this will bring the voltage down to 1.25V
- Battery Pack: We use this for a power source, I prefer a 9V Battery
- Resistor: To manage the current that passes through the laser(to much current will fry your laser)
- Focus-able Laser Diode: This is the part that actually puts out the light. We need to make sure it is a focus-able laser diode so we can adjust the focus on the laser.
You will need to figure out what size resistor you need. To do this the formula is “Resistance = Voltage / Watts”. The LM317 Voltage controller only lets through 1.25 volts. So that gives us “Resistance = 1.25 / Watts”. Now You need to get the rating of your laser, lets say its 250mw this will now be “Resistance = 1.25/.25” so we need to calculate 1.25 divided by .25, this equals 5Ohms. So we need a 5 Ohm resistor.
On the LM317 Voltage controller there are three pins on the bottom, we will need to use all of these for our laser driver. The right pin or the “V In” pin is were we are going to put our positive current into from the battery pack (which is the red wire). The middle and right pins need the resistor between them. You can use a bread board to do this or you can just make a small one straight off the pins of the LM317.
The left pin or the “Adjust” pin is what you will be hooking your positive wire up to your laser. Now hook your battery up to the “V In” pin and hook the battery up to the black wire coming off the diode. Now you have light.
Now you will need to test it to see if the laser or the laser driver produces alot of heat. If it does then you will need to make some sort of heat sink or another way to get rid of your excess heat.
There you go hope you have fun with your laser 🙂
- Don’t shine laser at planes
- Don’t look into laser
- Always wear safety glasses
- Don’t shine laser at people
- Lasers can blind
You can also check out a video of my first laser build