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Thread: Great little project - Red keychain laser mod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southampton, UK
    Posts
    166

    Default Great little project - Red keychain laser mod

    Went shopping today for a few bits, and saw a small red laser point on offer for 4.99. Always keen to tinker I bought 2 and had a play, the results were so good I thought I would share.



    The construction of the pointer is like a minuature leadlight, almost exactly the same. It has a nice driver board and a POT !!!!!!! The pointer is powered by 3 small watch batteries.



    Removal of the module is the same as with a Lead light (its just half the size), make sure the button is pushed in otherwise the PCB will bend the diode leads.



    I normally tinker with the green kind, but its nice to have a robust small keychain pointer with a bit of poke (see beam images above and below).



    If you are in the UK I would suggest you get one and have a mod, its a lot of power for a small pointer. I dont know how to measure it but I would guess its heading for 10 mw, which considering its size is impressive.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    802

    Default

    Wow.. Thats quite an improvement...
    I'd say you got your monies worth on that deal
    "My signature has been taken, so Insert another here"
    http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/laserfaq.htm
    *^_^* aka PhiloUHF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southampton, UK
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Yep Im pleased, I fogot to say that the beam shots (side by side) were from an unmodded pointer and a modded one at the same time, so lighting was the same.

    The unmodded pointer pulls 19ma, the modded one pulls 52ma.

    Its a great deal, I am still waiting for my 635 from abeland though.

    Gold

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southampton, UK
    Posts
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    Default

    ** UPDATE **

    Several people have asked me about his mod, and until my power meter arrives I cant quantify the actual output. But as a comparison heres a Ableland 635nm red (5mw and perhaps the best stock red) which has just arrived so heres the comparison.

    This image shows the difference in physical size between these units.



    The keychain pointer is on the left, and the Abeland on the right .



    The dot on the right is the keychain and the right is the 635nm



    The Abeland seems to pick up on smoke better, its the one above.

    I would like to make the pint that the Abeland unit is a very well constructed piece of equipent operating well within its tolerences, whereas the keychain pointer is maxed out. But a keychain pointer that pointer that puts out between 5~10mw red from three watch batteries is cool.


    Gold
    Use APTZ to control your laser www.icode.co.uk/icatcher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Goldmagnet,
    I finally did this mod! I ended up slicing the little plastic "nub" off, and then the board came out fairly easy. It powered up nicely after adjusting the pot. You can also squeeze just a little more power if you add a fourth battery. The end cap in mine will just screw in far enough to hold all four batteries.

    I was successful in modding the second laser. The first laser, however, wouldn't increase or decrease in power no matter how I turned the pot. Any suggestions what I might be able to do to try to "revive" it? Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
    -bucken-

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southampton, UK
    Posts
    166

    Default

    Hi There

    Sorry for the delay in posting ive been a bit busy recently.

    My units came apart with out the plastic thing being removed (we might have slighly different models).

    I have yet to see one that does not respond to the pot, I have done about 12 now, I guess you must be unlucky.

    Good to hear you got one up and running, do you think its a good value for money mod ?

    Gold
    Use APTZ to control your laser www.icode.co.uk/icatcher

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3

    Default

    I had to pay 9.99 Pounds each for the two I purchased (Maplin's sale had ended weeks ago). This is about $20 each which makes it a rather pricey keychain laser. Keep in mind that you can get a high quality red laser from abeland1 for about the same amount, plus shipping.

    The outstanding construction and super small size of the Maplin's unit, however, makes it really stand out. I expected it to be about the same size as the typical cheap keychain units found over here in the US. It is much smaller.

    When you compare the power to the size, I have to give it a thumbs up.

    Goldmagnet,
    Can you share the location where you got yours? Perhaps the store where I purchased mine had a bad batch (City Centre Nottingham)? Also, is there anyplace, preferably in the Midlands area, where Glowrings may be purchased? Thanks...
    -bucken-

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Southampton, UK
    Posts
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    Default

    Hello again

    I am going to the local store tommrow, so if they have any I will pick some up. You can have them for the same price plus postage.

    I dont mind getting stuck with them so no worries if you change you mind.

    The Ableland red is a great pointer and from the best supplier, I am going to post a review here shortly, together with modding observations.

    Regards

    Gold
    Use APTZ to control your laser www.icode.co.uk/icatcher

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Gold,

    The reason I ask is because I will be returning to the UK, later this week. I will likely have lots of time to kill, while I'm there. I'd just as soon pick up another one, or two, myself, while I'm there. Thanks for the offer, though.
    -bucken-

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Kent, UK
    Posts
    34

    Question just a couple of questions...

    Do Maplin still sell that laser pointer because I can't find it on their website and could you make it even more powerful by replacing the resistor with a weaker one ?
    My friends say I'm mad , I suppose they're not wrong !

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