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Thread: Home made RGB laser

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    16

    Default Home made RGB laser

    Hi every one ... my first post here I hope its in the right place ?? anyway here is a few pictures of my first laser build. I made a control board that runs a test when the unit is first powered up. its using a Microchip 18F4550 MCU, The board shuts down the diodes if a fault is detected, eg the cable becomes disconnected or the temperature inside the case gets to high, it wont let the diodes run at all if the key lock is not in the correct position when the unit is first switched on and the cable is not plugged in, the unit must be powered down to clear the fault state, it also switches on the fan if needed. any detected faults are also displayed in the little LCD display. it has a 1 watt green 1.2 watt red and a 8 watt blue/violet and 20k Galvos. I run it with a Helios DAC but I'm making my own DAC using a Teensy 4.1

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Cleveland Ohio
    Posts
    2,508

    Default

    Nice work and welcome. When the unit detects a fault how does it disable the diodes? Just making sure it doesn’t just open the diode side of the driver because when it shuts again the diode will get a spike and burn out. Better to drop a flag in front of the output, ground the modulation, and maybe cut power to the drivers intotal. Flag is usual enough.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Hi Kecked and thanks for taking the time to reply with a good question, sorry for the late reply but I've been quite busy. I'm aware of the the delicate nature of the output diodes so I have designed the system to not to just power back up on its own, the modulation voltage is dropped just before the power it cut from the drivers and the unit will need a full power down/reset before it will power up again, so the key must be put back in to the safe position the ilda cable reconnected if not already and lastly the little red button at the back must be pressed for a few seconds before anything will power back up. most of the time I run the laser off a laptop but I'm hoping to make a controller for it at some point using an MCU of some sort, it wont be anything to fancy just something to make the laser dance to music with a few simple patterns. this is just so I don't have to carry the laptop about with me when I take the laser to party's which quite often will be in a cave or an old mine. anyway thanks again and all the best

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,489,298

    Default

    I commend you for taking the "do-it-yourself" ethos to heart and making your own DAC! Not many have gone that far with their home-build projects, so it's always a treat to see someone who is willing to go down that path.

    Please keep us informed of your progress!

    Adam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    16

    Default Diy controller

    Quote Originally Posted by buffo View Post
    I commend you for taking the "do-it-yourself" ethos to heart and making your own DAC! Not many have gone that far with their home-build projects, so it's always a treat to see someone who is willing to go down that path.
    Please keep us informed of your progress!
    Adam
    Thanks for the reply Adam, I managed to finally make a start on the controller/Dac, its quite a basic affair at the moment but its a start

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,489,298

    Default

    Your "start" is already more complete than most people's efforts!

    A word of caution, however: you mentioned that you've got ~ 10 watts of power in that projector. From the picture you posted above, I'd be very worried about a static beam hitting your computer chair, or even the black plastic faces of your A/V equipment. 10 watts is more than enough to melt holes in things.

    As evidence, I present one of my early mistakes: This was caused by the beam from an HGM5 (medical argon laser) running above idle, but at only ~ 1 watt-ish of output.

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    Turns out I had moved the laser ever so slightly so I was no longer aligned with the beam stop. Exposure time was probably less than 3 seconds total. The yellow sticky-note was from my wife, who was not impressed with the burn mark in the new couch. Oops...

    Adam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,385

    Default

    ... when making some images of an unfocussed Beam of a CW-fiberlaser with only 0,5W (!) on a white painted basement door, I've notized, that the originally faint violet spot gots bigger and orange in the cameras display!!

    There were some greyish particles in the white paint, which absorbed enough of the fiber-lasers energy to start burning!! ... when rushed to the laser to stop it, there was a glowing crater in the door, around 4mm in diameter and in teh center maybe 2mm deep, exactly representing the "Gauss"-profile of the energy distribution across the beam profile

    Viktor
    Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - https://reprap.org/forum/list.php?426
    Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - https://reprap.org/forum/list.php?425

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    16

    Default everything burns :)

    Yeah I've had a few burn spots along the way but nothing to worry about so far.. I'm beginning to wonder if this is really 10 watts output after all, I think it maybe the diodes aren't as high as advertised when I brought them but they are good enough for now and would you guys know of a site to download ILDA files for free ? I found a few but they are not that great, I'm hoping to write a function to display the files. right now I'm using LaserBoy to convert the files to .WAV and then reading them into the DAC's this seems to work quite well so I may end up with quite a few animations and patterns in this little unit which is a bit more than I thought I would have when I first started this project. I will post a few pictures later in the week if I get the time to do some tests, right now I'm mostly writing code so there's not much to show plus the fact that I'm learning this C++ stuff as I go along so its taking some time but i'm really enjoying it I'm starting to wish I had got into programming when I was a kid.
    anyway chat soon guys

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,489,298

    Default

    You might want to try www.laser-am.com.

    Adam

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