A very powerful 5mW green laser. Fun, but don't point in anyone's eyes! These units include two solder points for permanent connection. The trim-pot adjusts the output power but we don't recommend adjusting that as it's possible to overdrive the laser diode and burn it out. We were able to push the current up to about 400mA where things started getting toasty, and very bright.
3 of 3 found this helpful:
To power the laser:
Housing = Power (2.5V to 4.5V input voltage, max 300mA) Spring = Ground
There are two plated through holes where you can also solder provide power. Try looking at this tutorial for more information:
Note: Make sure that the potentiometer is not turned all the way down. The button is a momentary so the laser will only be on as long as you are pressing the button. The manufacture revised the board a little and removed the momentary button. There is now a partial silver metal enclosure around the laser too. You would still power it the same.
The green laser was used in a project for the GPS Differential Vector Pointer https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/gps-differential-vector-pointer. The section labeled "Electronics Assembly" shows what pins are needed to power the laser:
If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Noob - You don't need to reference a datasheet, but you will need to know basic power requirements.
See all skill levels
Based on 11 ratings:
3 of 4 found this helpful:
This module puts out a powerful beam, providing roughly 5x more light in my application than a 7-candela LED! And I've only used it with a 3 V power supply (so far).
Note that it has a momentary-contact push button for a reason. If you operate it continuously for an extended period of time, the output dies off. I wasn't watching the clock, but I would guess that I ran it at least 10 mins. Fortunately, once it cooled off, it recovered back to its original self.
My test environment was sealed, and heat build-up was promoted by that. If you are going to run this module more than 2 minutes at a time (with at least another 2 minutes in between), then you need to pay attention to cooling. Having good air flow may be enough for extended use, I haven't experimented with that.
If you are going to run it at more than 3 V (other reviewers have run it at up to 4.5 V), then I would recommend either short duration with cooling periods or perhaps heat sinks and a fan.
All-in-all a very nice little part! Enjoy :-)
0 of 3 found this helpful:
not only did the unit I received NOT have any data sheets included in the box, it didn't match the picture on the items page!
The only information I got was the other members giving pointers on how to hook it up.
Hi, Most all of our products do not ship with printed documentation. We do post all documentation we have on the product page. You can find the datasheet above. As for connections - To power the laser: Apply power to the Housing (2.5V to 4.5V input voltage, max 300mA) And the spring is Ground
I purchased this laser from both a Canadian distributor that linked to Sparkfun's link to the data sheet, as well as from Sparkfun directly. The laser I purchased from the Canadian distributor was their last in stock and was Identical to the one "previously" pictured here. The strange thing was the pot on the circuit board was set to deliver 380mA to the laser diode by default. I set it to 300mA and it was as dim as a regular red 3mW, 635nm laser pointer. I re adjusted the pot to deliver 350mA @ 3.25V and added active cooling. It seems to work fine now, albeit likely with a shorter lifespan.
UPDATE September 16, 2015. The picture above has been updated to match the laser I described, and purchased from Sparfun in my earlier review. One thing I want to add is that the Laser diode is only press fitted into the optical assembly, so you may want to add some epoxy or some other adhesive to keep it in place.
I tested the 4 modules I purchased from Sparkfun with the same 3.25V power supply, and all 4 of the modules purchased from Sparkfun draw 290mA of current, and are very bright. The beam is clearly visible in low light/darkness.
The only reason I didn't give these a 5 is because one appears to be faulty. The beam that exits the lens on that particular module appears to be multi mode, TEM10. (two oval shaped beams next to each other) with a noticeable break in the middle. I tried cleaning the lens but it is not dirt, I confirmed this by simply spinning the unit around, then it was a solid circle TEM00 beam.
I suspect something is loose in the barrel of the module, perhaps the Nd:YVO4+KTP was improperly mounted and came loose. So basically I have to make sure that particular module remains in a specific orientation in order to work properly. All in all, this is an excellent laser for the price.
Works great. I purchased this to replace a broken laser that I had on a light projector. It works great but I can tell it is much brighter than the one I replaced this with.
Data sheet short on physical dimensions. No spec given on thread. (it is 10mm X .5) No connection details. Those things considered, it works well.
The light from this laser was quite intense for the low power. It did heat up quite quickly with continuous use so it ended up not working for my application.
So first of all, don't over-power this laser. My honest advice is keep it comfortably under 4.5v to continue to have a working laser.
That said, with proper power it is bright, gives a lovely crisp beam, and definitely stands out from run-of-the-mill red lasers. I do wish there was a little more clear documentation on connecting it up, but to the credit of Sparkfun, their tech support was most excellent and friendly, and with that guidance, this really is a neat little part.
Oh, and just because - don't look directly at it, and don't shine it at planes. Makes the pilots grumpy.
I'm not using a light pen holder so I soldered to the little holes in the corners. They are not labeled show you need to use an ohm meter to check. Case is power, spring is ground. It would be nice to have a diagram(hint).
8 month follow up: I broke the the board because I pulled the power wire by mistake and pulled the pad off. I ordered another one and it works. I remembered I had laser diode driver left from another project and it worked. I'm editing because the board has an extra feature. It can be turned on/off with 5v TTL signal. Data com or PWM power adjustment???
Works well but do not overvolage at 5V will stop after 2 to 3 Min
Mostly I love them.
However, one had it's focuser lens out of kilter.
I ordered this laser for my grandson's project. He was refining his installation of a laser in a body of a (plastic) nerf gun. The laser does not come with a ground wire,we soldered one on the body. He said that he tried the trim pot with no measurable difference. The image of the laser after installation was more like a triangle with a bright spot than a dot. There needs to be more explanations and cautions.
Sorry to hear you're having trouble. See the "Support Tips" section above for information on where you need to solder wires too if you need them. As for the shape of the beam, that has to do with the shape of the semiconductor inside the laser. Most semiconductor lasers don't have a round spot.