TTL Laser Retail

SparkFun TTL Laser



The SparkFun TTL Laser is a easy to use red laser that can be controlled by a microcontroller (e.g. Arduino) or used as a stand-alone laser pointer. Lasers can be great for many things; everything from a cat toy to a simple optical communication system using a photocell for a receiver.

The red laser has a wavelength close to 650nm and a power range of 0.45-0.8mW. This is not enough power to burn a hole in the wall, but it is enough NOT to shine into someones eyes.


On the TTL Laser, there is a polarized 4-pin connector with these connections:

red wire - 5-12VDC input

black wire - GND

green wire - 10k pull-down (aka, GND)

white wire - active low TTL input (3.3V or 5V logic)

The basic operation of the Laser module is very simple. If all you want to do is turn the laser ON and leave it ON, you first power the module by connecting a 5-12VDC power source to the red wire and GND to the black wire. Then you  connect the green and white wires together or just connect the white wire to GND while leaving the green wire unconnected. This will turn the laser ON.

If you want to control the laser, you can connect the white wire to a TTL output on a microcontroller (along with power and ground). The green wire can be left unconnected. Here is how you control the TTL Laser with an Arduino:

Then all you need to do is load the very basic "Blink" sketch. Your laser will begin blinking every second, in opposition to the LED on pin 13.

Comments 9 comments

  • sillybuta / about 9 years ago / 1

    How fast does this laser operate, in terms of pulse rate and pulse width? Thanks!

  • If you have a broken DVD player there's a way to make it burn through a balloon. Simply take out the piece of magnification lens, and put it in front of the lasers beam. It should be enough power to light a cigar, or burst a balloon. Reply if you want a schematic of my latest project. But please take safety measures seriously! E.G. approved glasses and never shine it in someones eyes especially if you want to use my hack.

    • Member #466243 / about 10 years ago / 1

      I would love to see that! Schematic please!

    • whitnasty / about 12 years ago / 1

      Yes please post it man! I have been wanting to burn some stuff for a long time. I ordered a laser diode from Newark a while back and accidentally burnt it up. haha

  • could you use PWM to control it with the Arduino?

    • TECH GEEK / about 12 years ago / 1

      Yeah pretty sure

      • Member #268827 / about 12 years ago / 1

        Any PWM examples you can recommend to control laser with an Arduino?

        • TECH GEEK / about 12 years ago / 1

          Sure. Would sending a PWM signal to a separate setup to control the brightness of an LED be Ok? If so I'll need to make the example myself, as I don't know of any off hand.