Monday, June 18, 2012


This project always seems to impress everyone who sees it, but I am afraid that I can't take much credit for it; I only assembled it using knowledge and parts from the wealth of information and helpful people at laserpointerforums. Relatively recently a well known manufacturer of projectors launched a series of slim projectors that use a diode laser based light source. A block of 24 one or two watt laser diodes in combination with a powerful red LED and green phosphor provide the RGB light source necessary for the projector's operation. These diodes are very robust and powerful, with power output at a level that was previously unattainable by hobbyists. It didn't take long for a cottage industry sprung up around buying and parting out the projectors for the laser diodes, and they are now readily available on eBay and through the forums. Driver modules were also created to handle the larger power requirements for these new diodes, and machinists now sell kits to retrofit the laser diode, collimating lens, and driver module into Chinese LED flashlight housings. This produces a high quality and powerful portable battery operated laser. The prices were reasonable, so I bought the diode and driver and commissioned the creation of the heatsink module, and assembled my very own 1 watt 445nm handheld laser. It can burn most flammable objects, pop balloons, shine onto low clouds, and create a visible glow in the air for miles. Of course I am extremely careful to wear appropriate safety goggles when using it as a single reflection into a persons eye can cause instant blindness.

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