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Thread: Leadlight 105/110 Modification Stages1,2

  1. #1

    Default Leadlight 105/110 Modification Stages1,2

    If you arrived here following an auction purchase, please send me an email. The following information is free.

    The information herein is provided as an 'educational reference' only. I cannot accept any liability for damage done to you, the pointer or anyone/anything else as a result of these guides. That said following the steps accurately and carefully should not pose too many problems.






    The laser used in this guide has been bought from eBay and cost £59.99 but some can cost less if you are lucky with the bidding. This particular laser is manufactured by Leadlight and is rated at <5mw (less than).


    I am going to perform a two-stage modification, which should allow the laser to output about 15-18mw (in most cases) with the Stage1 and 20-30mw with the Stage2. This will produce a very clear beam at night without any fog or haze and is quite good for star pointing, etc. You can leave your laser at Stage 1 or you can proceed to Stage 2 also but there is a considerable risk to your laser if you are not careful and try to rush the job. The Stage 2 modification involves turning the diode inside the laser to get the optimum alignment and in most cases can produce an overall brighter beam. To test my lasers I am using an analogue light meter that has been converted with a filter for measurement of 532nm in 'mw.'


    Stage 1

    This is the common 'pot mod' and to my knowledge is available on all Leadlights including the new models with the LED on the side to show when the laser is in use (110). I have yet to hear of a Leadlight that has failed completely using this modification and I have measured the current range of the pot and the maximum level it can give out is around 350ma which is well within the specifications of the laser diode.

    I have come up with a simple solution for the pot modification to prevent opening the laser at all and risk damaging it.

    The 'pot' is basically a variable resistor that controls the power to the drive circuitry and can be adjusted with a small screwdriver.

    On my Leadlight, and all others the pot is directly above the switch when viewed on the circuit board:


    To get to this part (without opening the laser) we first need to remove the button - this is most likely to be plastic and is simply glued in position with a piece of double-sided tape. The button can be levered off quite easily using a sharp razor blade - but be careful not to scratch it.

    Underneath the button there will just be plastic but the pot is always in the same place and access to it can be done by noting the position in the image below (upper curve of the button footprint). Then using a small drill-bit (without the drill for obvious reasons) - slowly work a hole in the plastic.

    If you find that the pot is in a slightly different position - the plastic insulation around the driver board will slide up or down inside the barrel/casing to help gain access to the pot.

    Now whilst holding the power switch on, we can use a small screwdriver to turn the pot (the pot is a cross-head fit but I used a flathead which seemed to work better). The pot should be turned anti-clockwise for the Leadlight 105 and clockwise for a 110. Keep turning the pot slowly until the beam gets brighter and then goes dim or completely out then turn just a fraction the other way until the beam re-appears. If you cannot turn the pot, the likely is that some of the more recent Leadlights have had red glue put on the pot to stop it turning - this should break loose almost immediately of trying to turn the pot - if it does not you may have to scrape the glue away by opening the laser - proceed to Stage 2.

    If modifying a Leadlight 105 - be very careful not to touch the metal sides of the button footprint with the screwdriver whilst turning the pot. Doing so will put a large amount of current through the diode >550ma. I would recommend wrapping a piece of insulation tape around the screwdriver shaft before turning the pot to prevent this.

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Thatís it - you are now at the maximum current for the drive circuitry - but don't worry the power is still within the specifications of the diode and the lifetime will not have been decreased.


    Stage 2

    As said above, this stage involves opening the laser and can be very tricky.

    Firstly, the obvious we need to remove the batteries and the button if you have not already done so. (If working on a 110 - make sure to REMOVE the safety LED diffuser by simply levering it out of the case).

    At the top of the housing may be a 'Danger' sticker and this should be removed if it is overlapping the top cap of the laser pointer.

    The optics barrel and circuit assembly are joined to the front aperture and is simply 'pressed' (not screwed) into the main barrel/outer casing. In order to remove I inserted a razor blade in the gap all the way around and gently prised the assembly out. At first it may not look as though it is moving but it does eventually shift. If you are having trouble you could try pliers wrapped in some cloth (to protect the paint-work). Another method is to find a very long thin knitting needle and insert it and the bottom of the barrel and be careful to rest the point of the needle underneath the circuit board and push on the brass of the diode. Remember - never exert any force on the electronics as they are very brittle and you will snap something if careless.

    Once removed you will have the complete assembly something like this:


    For the next part you can remove the plastic insulation and now I would recommend a soldering iron to remove the circuit board from the diode. (You can try without removing the circuit board but this puts a risk on breaking one of the pins from the diode).

    Study the image below, that brass ring with the two notches (at each side) needs to be loosened (not unscrewed though), now you can see why I would recommend removing the circuit board as you cannot get the leverage except with specialised tools. The circuit board can be removed by melting the solder of the three wires to the diode (two on the top joined together and one underneath). I would also recommend a very low wattage soldering iron and thinnest tip you can find. I used a 25w iron and a small tip (any smaller and it would have been a needle).




    Once the circuit board is removed we can turn the brass ring (anti-clockwise). For this I found a 1p penny was sufficient to fit in the two notches and loosen it. Now you will find that the three wires pins of the diode can now turn freely inside the brass barrel assembly. We will now hook the laser back to the circuitry and test whilst holding the batteries to the terminals (the negative pole is the spring and the positive is the brass laser body). Hold the laser turned on and pointing at a white wall - slowly turn the diode and find the brightest spot, and once found mark the position with a marker of some sort. With the circuit board removed once more you need to re-tighten the brass ring to lock the laser in its new position (taking care not to off-set it again).

    You can re-focus the beam by turning the black lens at the top of the barrel (it is glued down but a sharp turn will loosen it). The below image shows the parts of the assembly:




    Re-assembling the laser should now be quite straight forward, but first check for any artefacts or cross patterns in the spot of the beam before putting it back together as this makes cleaning a little easier. The imperfections you may get in the spot are caused by visible dust etc. on the lens or surprisingly by oil from your hands that cannot be seen except by the imperfections of the spot. To get rid of any dirt on the lens you should use a soft clean cloth with an alcohol based cleaning agent. For cleaning of the chassis of the chrome Leadlights I use 'Brasso' metal polish that works wonders for it.

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
    Thatís it - enjoy your new modified laser.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    COOL, DONE MY POT MOD ON WY 5MW LEADLIGHT AND THE BEAM OUTPUT IS SOMTHING ELSE, EASILY 2-3 TIMES ORIGINAL OUTPUT.I WILL BE DOING YOUR MOD VERY VERY SOON,CAN'T WAIT.I WILL POST HERE HOW I GOT ON
    REGARDS

  3. #3

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    Cool, let us know how you get on. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* lasercrazy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    Nice guide but all that info has been around for quite awhile now. I did the same mods months ago to my many leadlights.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    How hard is stage 2? I really like to try, but don't want to mess up my pointer.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    The purpose of the guide is just to answer a few questions that the others don't and to show what I have found. Like the drilling for the pot mod. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    And, yes the stage2 is quite difficult the first time round. The hardest bit is removing and soldering the circuit board.

    If you are not v. good at soldering I would recommend a heatsink i.e. pliers around the wires to the diode to help prevent heat damage. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    I'm quite good at soldering, so I don't think that would be a problem. I was just curious how difficult the turning part would be.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    Once the brass ring has been loosened, it can be quite fiddly to operate the laser, turn the ring and view the output at the same time. I had my batteries taped together with wires taped at either end so I could concentrate on getting the best alignment but I was not going to hook it up to a PSU incase the current was too high and blow it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] like it did to my red pointer.

  9. #9
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    Thanks John for the info, I certainly will try that mod when I get my new green laser.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    I've just broke my leadlight, i was turning the POT as instructed and a metal piece came off, the thing that is shaped like the screw that goes on the POT and now it doesn't work [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] £50 down the drain,

    My fault, thanks anyway guyz, i guess i'll be leaving the forum now as there is no need for me to stay :'(

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* lasercrazy's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    It's still savable, just short whats left of the pot to the body.

  12. #12

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    Ooooh light at the end of the tunnel !

    How do i do that, remember i couldn't even do this mod so if i have to take it a part count me out, but i guess its worth a try !

  13. #13

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    [ QUOTE ]
    Woodsie said:
    Ooooh light at the end of the tunnel !

    How do i do that, remember i couldn't even do this mod so if i have to take it a part count me out, but i guess its worth a try !

    [/ QUOTE ]

    You take the laser apart [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    Then u solder a wire from the "pot" into the housing to the laser.. that`s it..

    but i will belive life time of the laser is higly redused !


    if u not want to solder the stuff, u can sell the broken laser to me [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  14. #14
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    does this method work on the Green Lasers from Fry's Electronics? They're branded as "Alpec"

  15. #15

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    [ QUOTE ]
    Woodsie said:
    I've just broke my leadlight, i was turning the POT as instructed and a metal piece came off, the thing that is shaped like the screw that goes on the POT and now it doesn't work [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] £50 down the drain,

    My fault, thanks anyway guyz, i guess i'll be leaving the forum now as there is no need for me to stay :'(

    [/ QUOTE ]

    [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif[/img] If you are any good at soldering (you will have to take it apart though), you can try this. Looking at the laser assembly with the diode pointing up, the pot pin layout will make a triangle - to get the max. power you will need to short the top pin with the one on the left.

    (I'm not sure but you may get away with just coiling a bit of wire around the two pins now that the top of the pot has been removed [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]).

  16. #16

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    [ QUOTE ]
    s0crates82 said:
    does this method work on the Green Lasers from Fry's Electronics? They're branded as "Alpec"

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm not sure, I am assuming the diodes are the same but what about the circuitary, anyone else know?

  17. #17

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    While I'm online, does anyone know where I can get a replacement 'Danger' sticker for the front of my laser. Mine just looks a bit odd without it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

  18. #18
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+


  19. #19

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    Thx, I'll take a look.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    I don't see much difference when I turn the diode. All I see is that the near the dot are some artifarcts. Should the difference be very noticeble or is it just slight?

  21. #21

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    Ok i am totally useless at soldering, so i think i will, try and sell it to someone who wants it

    liteglow, you got PM

  22. #22
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    How much you want for that shipped to Hong Kong?

  23. #23
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    [ QUOTE ]
    LaserModifier said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    s0crates82 said:
    does this method work on the Green Lasers from Fry's Electronics? They're branded as "Alpec"

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm not sure, I am assuming the diodes are the same but what about the circuitary, anyone else know?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have one of those, I tried the mod by eye. I suspect however that mine was already past 5mW... but lacking a free green LED I can't be sure.

    The only thing I see that looks different is that the IR filter in mine is in the outer focusing lens assembly which gets pried off the top, not affixed to the output end as seen here.

  24. #24
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    i Have done both these mods now and the laser is now perfect (i think) thenks laser modifier for the info. Im too scared to take it back apart cos it seems to have improved so much im not riskin losin this power! when i seen pictures of a beam so bright in daylight i thought they were faked, but now i know its true, cos ive took some myself. Thanks a lot for this info!

  25. #25

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    [ QUOTE ]
    slammin said:
    i Have done both these mods now and the laser is now perfect (i think) thenks laser modifier for the info. Im too scared to take it back apart cos it seems to have improved so much im not riskin losin this power! when i seen pictures of a beam so bright in daylight i thought they were faked, but now i know its true, cos ive took some myself. Thanks a lot for this info!

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Sweet [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
    enjoy your laser.. and be careful with it !!
    Remeber the power is wery dangerous !! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]
    but alot of fun [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  26. #26
    Flashaholic kakcoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 4

    If I allready have a pointer that lays on 45mW. (I'm thinking about the 45mW one you can buy from Arnold) How high output can I get from it?

  27. #27
    Flashaholic* Raccoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 4

    I'm pretty sure that's the most you'll get out of it. Besides, a pointer doesn't have the heatsinking necessary to disburse much more heat.

  28. #28
    Flashaholic kakcoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 4

    Ok

  29. #29

    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    This is my first post. I'm reading al lot at this forum.
    But can somebody confirm me that this modification is also possible at the new models
    with the indicator led?
    And what are exactly the differences between the new and the old model? Only the feedback? With you can destroy
    by cutting the wire?

  30. #30
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: How to Modify 5mw Leadlight Green Laser upto 45mw+

    thats a pretty sweet post. I wish my Leadlight still worked. Damn thing crapped out on me and I never even touch the innards. Last I spoke with arnold he did not have anymore lasers that were 45mw, unless he lied to me.

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