Question about DVD RW laser diode

LEDrock

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
282
The diode for a DVD RW drive in a laptop computer is supposedly pretty good as a high power diode source. I was wondering if there was a way to light it up while it's still in the original drive in the computer. That is, with the drive open. Is it possible to open the drive tray and trick the computer into thinking the tray is closed so that the diode could be activated? That would be a cool way to actually have a working laser without having to destroy a perfectly good DVD drive. From that point, a person could see what they have and then decide from that point whether or not they want to take the drive apart and install the diode in a flashlight host in the future.
 

LEDrock

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Apr 20, 2008
Messages
282
Ok, it's been a month and a half with 308 views now. Doesn't anyone have any input about this?
 

NoNotAgain

Flashlight Enthusiast
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Jan 25, 2014
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Blue Ridge Mountains, VA
DVD burners that I've taken apart have a few interlocks that keep the laser light from turning on until the drawer is closed, the pressure plate is pushed down and the turntable is rotating.

If looking for the highest powered burner, look for one that is M-Disc compatible, as the media requires a lot more power to burn into the layer.

M-Disc media is advertised as being "stone" and a 1000 year archival verses a mylar layer on conventional discs.

I burned a copy of my OS to a M-Disc and a DVD disc and sat them on the dash of my truck. After a month, the M-Disc was readable, the DVD wasn't recognized.
 

LEDrock

Enlightened
Joined
Apr 20, 2008
Messages
282
DVD burners that I've taken apart have a few interlocks that keep the laser light from turning on until the drawer is closed, the pressure plate is pushed down and the turntable is rotating.

If looking for the highest powered burner, look for one that is M-Disc compatible, as the media requires a lot more power to burn into the layer.

M-Disc media is advertised as being "stone" and a 1000 year archival verses a mylar layer on conventional discs.

I burned a copy of my OS to a M-Disc and a DVD disc and sat them on the dash of my truck. After a month, the M-Disc was readable, the DVD wasn't recognized.

Thanks for replying! I guess there are several safeguards to keep the DVD burner laser from activating when the drawer is open and would probably be hard to defeat them all. I was just hoping to be able to see it operate without having to dismantle the whole thing while my computer is still in working order. I've heard that it's a tricky process to take it apart without breaking the diode too.

I never heard of M discs before you mentioned it. They seem to be coming out with so many new things now that it's hard to keep up. My laptop is 5 years old, so it wouldn't have that kind of disc writer in it.
 

NoNotAgain

Flashlight Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
2,364
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, VA
No, the M-Disc is a few years old. Because of losing hundreds of gigs of pictures I had scanned, I started looking at archival methods.

The Blue-Ray M-Disc is new for 2015.

You can purchase a Dell branded DVD lap top burner for under $15 on eBay, so there are cheap drives available to tinkering.

Since most burner/players are almost all plastic, a pair of side cutters will harvest the diode rather easy without breakage.
 
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