new laser warning sticker...

trident

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big_laser.jpg


I found this cool warning label online here so I replaced my warning sticker with it. What do you guys think?
 

bootleg2go

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Jan 26, 2005
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Cool,
I have seen this one around one someones site.
What's the status of your laser?
Did you take that shorting wire off the resistor? What about your pot, did you leave it cranked on full power? What kind of increase do you think turning the pot gave you?

Jack
 

trident

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Good I suppose... I haven't yet disconnected the shorting wire, but at the same time I haven't used the laser much either... i've been busy trying to draw up a schematic of the board.
Once I get it done, I want to plug it into SPICE, that circuit simulator program... does anyone here have experience with that? I figure with that program I could safely poke around without fear of frying the thing.
I'm also trying to get a LaserCheck somewhere so I can see what my numbers look like.
The pot is still cranked at full power... When I was shining the thing on the wall without the heat fins/lense, (so I had one gigantic dot) the dot got maybe 10-15% brighter... but I have no idea how that translates to actual brightness once the thing is focused back down to a beam again... the tiny dot went from "hurts to look at" to "really really hurts to look at"
 

bootleg2go

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Since shorting the resistor, does it still go through that cycle of brightness changes when 1st powered on? Did you notice this at all with the just the pot adjustment? One more question, after removing the heatsink end and viewing the laser head directly, I see what looks like a few drop of loctite thread lock on the threads holding the laserhead to the body, did yours have these drops as well?

Jack
 

Raccoon

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Sweet sticker. What did you use as your sticker and what type/brand of printer?
 

bootleg2go

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What I would do is trim off the white border around the triangle and the warning test, that way it would just be yellow and would look much more cool...I think.

Jack
 

trident

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I used this Matte glossy cd label paper... but i just cut out the square shape from the label. My printer is a cannon pixma ip3000 that I got off slickdeals.net for 20 dollars.. which is funny because replacement ink is more expensive than I paid for the printer.

Bad news on the laser front... last night I tried to disconnect my shorting wire, and somehow fried the laser driver board... (I think it's this stupid "cold heat" soldiering iron I have... as I was soldiering the damn LED came on, WTF. Anyways, I came up with a workaround to get the laser working, but in general i'm thinking about re-building the entire board...
 

trident

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[ QUOTE ]
bootleg2go said:
Since shorting the resistor, does it still go through that cycle of brightness changes when 1st powered on? Did you notice this at all with the just the pot adjustment? One more question, after removing the heatsink end and viewing the laser head directly, I see what looks like a few drop of loctite thread lock on the threads holding the laserhead to the body, did yours have these drops as well?

Jack

[/ QUOTE ]

What is loctite? Is it like glue? I didn't see any of that, (or if there was some, it broke immediately as I unscrewed my aluminum ring.) That brightness cycle at boot only started when I shorted the resistor, I didn't notice any of it when I shorted the pot.

After some investigation, I think the resistor I shorted was going into that dual operational amplifier chip... Are the PGL-III's supposed to have an optical feedback circuit? If so i'm imaginging that's what the dual op amp was being used for.. so shorting that resistor just disabled it.

Either way, the new driver i'm building won't have optical feedback.
 

bootleg2go

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It's like a glue that is used to lock the threads so that it does not become unscrewed/loose. I thought you just turned the pot, not shorted it. The PGL-III does not have optical feedback. The op-amps are used to provide a constant current and prevent current or voltage spikes when the laser is turned on or off. Without it the sudden inrush of current when the device is turned on will soon destroy the diode as it is very sensitive to these spikes that happen when the power switch is opened or closed. It also works to protect against static electricity when the device is on as well. What's your electronics background? Setting up Pspice for circuit simulation is not a trivial task even with a good background in electronics. There's a great deal of parameters to enter for each component. However if your working on your BS or have an AS degree, a circuit of this size is perfect to start on and it's fun to do. I'm sorry to here about your laser, hopefully you can just replace the op-amp and it'll work again. Did you have the batteries in it while you were soldering? The 1st thing I would do is throw that "cold heat" thing away...Well I guess I would keep it, but it's only good for things like soldering the wire on your tail light and things like that. It's not for static sensitive ICs, it will quickly static zap integrated circuits. In fact if you read the FAQ for the cold heat unit it ask about ESD(electrostatic discharge) and they asy it won't hurt the iron...hehe but what about your circuit. Then in the next questionit states that "momentary high amperage current will be created during active soldering" This is no doubt what killed it, I just hope it didn't damage the diode. Don;t use that iron anymore on your laser, they are very sensitive to current spikes and the FAQ says this is what it produces.
http://www.thinkgeek.com/files/FAQ040504.pdf

Keep us posted on your progress.

Jack
 

trident

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The batteries weren't in.. You're right, it sounds like cold heat sucks.
I admit my electronics background isn't close to what you described, so maybe pspice will go on the backburner for a bit... nonetheless, I found a pretty cool laser driver schematic, tell me what you guys think:

schem.jpg


It doesn't use the dual op-amp to prevent those spikes you mentioned, however it does use a voltage regulator circuit for that (VR1) and also has a .1mfd cap at each switch to minimize contact noise.. so I think I will be safe. The I1 in the picture is actually a 555 timer so that the schematic conforms to FDA standards, but i'll likely not include it...

There wasn't any loctite on my pgl... and no I didn't mean short the pot, I only shorted that one resistor and turned the pot... the weird boot sequence started once I shorted the resistor, but not after I turned the pot.
 

bootleg2go

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Hi Trident, the op-amp was not just to prevent/reduce the inrush and spikes, but mostly to create a constant current/voltage. This circuit looks ok I guess, but they don't specify all the capacitor and transistor values do they? Maybe they are in the notes. Where did you get this? Also check out Sam's laser FAQ as they probably have some good circuits as well. Are you going to use this to build another laser from the ground up? For your PGL I would just get it repaired; I would try putting in a new op-amp and if that does not fix it I would send it back to CNI for repair. These circuits are usually made for a certain laser diode and output level, make sure this circuit has enough drive for the diode you choose. Were you thinking of making a new driver circuit for your handheld PGL-III? That would not be a good idea as getting a circuit board layout done and made can be pretty expensive, for sure more than getting your laser repaired from CNI would cost. Whatever you do, don't use the coldheat soldering iron on your laser any more. I was just reading more about them and they should not be used for anything with solid state components in them...just for wiring and connectors.

Jack
 

trident

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it's from information unlimited.. and they do specify all the values on another sheet... the cool thing about it is it has adjustable output/voltage to the diode, so it's pretty adaptable as far as the laser goes.. I actually wasn't going to fabricate anything, I was going to take the existing PGL-III board, remove everything, drill some more holes, and cram everything onto that board.. (connected with a ton of wires.)
 

Kreso_Bukvic

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Advice!

Do not use "cold heat" soldering irons! This is a stupid solderin iron that uses heave current (from battery) that creates temperature by short circuit. Buy a professional soldering station with isolation transformer and static protection. Add a nice display temperature control by 1 c0 and i really have a nice soldering station /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
 
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