Find all your DIY electronics in the MakerShed. 3D Printing, Kits, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Books & more!

Red-156
Annotated
Stephanie has an *awesome* laser project, turn a DVD burner into a high powered laser – “The laser pictured above has a peak output measured at 225 mW (average output 200 mW). It’s a visible red at about 650nm. It can light matches, pop balloons, cut electrical tape, and so forth. It can do pretty much anything a Pulsar 150 from Wicked Lasers can do, because it’s basically the same thing. The only differences? This laser was home-made, and cost about 1/3 the price. So, how did I do it? Some luck, some deductive reasoning, and some electronics experience all come into play. This page is a brief guide…” [via] – Link.

Related:

  • Fun With Lasers (great resources) – Link.
  • Transmit Audio with a Laser Pen – Link.
  • Play Records with a Laser – Link.
  • The Homemade Laser Saber – Link.
  • Green Laser! – Link.
  • Laser chess… – Link.
  • The Homemade Nitrogen Laser – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


Related

Comments

  1. cheesy says:

    Awesome! Gives new meaning to the parental ranting “you’ll shoot your eye out kid!”

  2. Stokes says:

    I can’t help thinking that something like this could be the basis for a cheap CNC laser cutter for thin materials. The XY rig could carry only the laser diode and be built out of much cheaper, lighter-duty materials.

  3. doctor.allen says:

    Could this laser permanently disable a camera?

  4. kryten007 says:

    This is 100% pure (not from concentrate) hack! A+++++++

  5. bf5man_ says:

    wow, let say it again, awesome. Stokes, it might even be used to fuse plastic powder for a fast replication machine too… argh, the possibilities :)

  6. bf5man_ says:

    Bandwitch exeeded, here’s the google cache with images:
    google cache

  7. bf5man_ says:

    without images in fact…

  8. 3ricj says:

    my mirror of the page

    As for what housings, it depends on what size laser your dvd burner uses.

    Also, be REALLY CAREFUL with lasers with this much power. a 5mw 650nm laser will cause damage in 200ms in the eye. a 200mw…. MUCH less. We are talking about less than a millisecond of direct exposure, and you’ll never see again.

  9. verticalfuzz says:

    sweetness! im thinking the 10mW laser he refers to is not powerful enough to cut stuff…? also, could u use a cdrw drive instead of a dvdrw drive?

  10. matthew_kleinmann says:

    Very interesting. I had a dead DVDR all mode drive kicking around, and I extracted two laser diodes from it, it seems to have one large one for the DVDR side and a smaller one for the CDR side. They both share a common ground. I put +3V from a pair of little button cells I had kicking around from a laser pointer that I dissected and both of the diodes worked. Now, can you provide some of the links you found for the additional optics that I need?

  11. WonderWheeler says:

    How much power is needed to kill a fly in a second or less?

    Not many flies this time of year, but in the warmer months they can be numerous and pesky! Maybe a cheap 22 cal or pellet gun type rifle scope, a couple mirrors, one with a hole in it, and with the right rig, you could shoot flies anywhere they land. No compensation for bullet drop of course, pure “line of sight”. As the mirrors act as kind of a reverse periscope to get your line of sight into the plane of the laser beam. Going into the same direction as the outgoing beam of course!

    Has anyone done research on the right color and power for a fly shooter? Would probably want a opposite color filter on the scope to block reflections back to your eye…

  12. laserfreak says:

    gadgetfreak – that housing will not work, you’ll need a 12mm x 30mm module/collminator, get it from http://www.mfgcn.com/ $4.50 5mw 650nm

    also i saw an 18X DL DVD durner for $31 shipped
    http://www.supermediastore.com/sony-aw-q170a-18x-dvd-burner-bulk-black.html?WT.mc_id=pricegrabberHDWHDW02X0039-001

    all i need to find now is a cool battery housing.

    WonderWheeler – you could def kill a fly at 20′ with one of these diy 200mw red lasers, or get at least an 85mw green laser.

  13. laserfreak says:

    gadgetfreak – that housing will not work, you’ll need a 12mm x 30mm module/collminator, get it from http://www.mfgcn.com/ $4.50 5mw 650nm

    also i saw an 18X DL DVD durner for $31 shipped
    http://www.supermediastore.com/sony-aw-q170a-18x-dvd-burner-bulk-black.html?WT.mc_id=pricegrabberHDWHDW02X0039-001

    all i need to find now is a cool battery housing.

    WonderWheeler – you could def kill a fly at 20′ with one of these diy 200mw red lasers, or get at least an 85mw green laser.

  14. laserfreak says:

    gadgetfreak – that housing will not work, you’ll need a 12mm x 30mm module/collminator, get it from http://www.mfgcn.com/ $4.50 5mw 650nm

    also i saw an 18X DL DVD durner for $31 shipped
    http://www.supermediastore.com/sony-aw-q170a-18x-dvd-burner-bulk-black.html?WT.mc_id=pricegrabberHDWHDW02X0039-001

    all i need to find now is a cool battery housing.

    WonderWheeler – you could def kill a fly at 20′ with one of these diy 200mw red lasers, or get at least an 85mw green laser.

  15. Game_Cock says:

    Those of you considering the rifle-scope mod need to remember that if the beam is reflected back into the scope you’re totally screwed.

    What’s the distance at which the beam will no longer pop a balloon or kill a fly? I had a laser from a pistol that would take out moths (at 10 feet at least) but most other insects seemed unaffected. Crickets couldn’t even see it and would continue making noise, roaches would stop for a second and then run away. My neighbor thought it was a ufo.

  16. jiidee says:

    We can see in the video that it’ll burn through black plastic, but what about white?
    And what about the cut? did the heat cause the plastic to bubble up on either side of the hole or was it a clean burn through?

  17. psynurse says:

    I’ve tried to make the dvd/laser and have had one failure after another. Tried with different brands of DVD burners , all 20X and the diodes burn-out in seconds at 3.0volts dc. the only thing I can think of is all these diodes appear to be side-emitting? could that be true? they don’t look anything like pics above.

    Any thoughts?

  18. red says:

    iv disassambled a 20* dvd burner and i have to diode. one looks like the diode in the pictures but puts out all most no light the other has an odd shaped head kind of like an ovle that have been cut in half or a ) but puts out lots of red light. witch do i use?