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Thread: Least expensive way to drive 8W 915nm laser diode

  1. #1

    Question Least expensive way to drive 8W 915nm laser diode

    Hi all,

    I'm new to this forum, and new to lasers in general. But I'm familiar with electronics in general.

    I have a small CNC (Shapeoko) that I want to convert into a small laser cutter/engraver. Searching through ebay for high power laser diodes, I found this 8W 915nm laser (http://www.ebay.com/itm/110959792691). According to the datasheet, it should be driven at 10A@1.8V. I contacted the seller to explain my inteded use and to see if he could source a low-cost driver that was capable of driving this laser and he told me that the cheapest driver he was aware of cost some $500, which I think is way too high. Though, he did say that he got asked about that frequently for the same use I have in mind.

    Given that the laser comes coupled with a 1 meter long 100-micrometer fiber, I think it would be suitable for the kind of application I am interested in (mainly, cutting plastics and engraving wood or soft-metals). The package can also easily be coupled to an off the shelf heatsink to dissipate heat.

    How feasible would it be to build a driver capable of driving this diode while also able to be triggered from a TTL line (so it can be turned on and off by a microcontroller) for under $150?

    I can design the PCB and build the driver myself if provided with the circuit diagram. Heck, I'd be willing to take the plunge and make a small run of kits for such a driver and sell them almost at cost to get things started. I'm pretty sure there are many other home "makers" like myself who would be interested in such a driver as it can convert their home CNCs and 3D printers into laser cutters relatively easily.

  2. #2
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    what about a couple of these?

    http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...788#post232788

    Quote Originally Posted by IraqiGeek View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm new to this forum, and new to lasers in general. But I'm familiar with electronics in general.

    I have a small CNC (Shapeoko) that I want to convert into a small laser cutter/engraver. Searching through ebay for high power laser diodes, I found this 8W 915nm laser (http://www.ebay.com/itm/110959792691). According to the datasheet, it should be driven at 10A@1.8V. I contacted the seller to explain my inteded use and to see if he could source a low-cost driver that was capable of driving this laser and he told me that the cheapest driver he was aware of cost some $500, which I think is way too high. Though, he did say that he got asked about that frequently for the same use I have in mind.

    Given that the laser comes coupled with a 1 meter long 100-micrometer fiber, I think it would be suitable for the kind of application I am interested in (mainly, cutting plastics and engraving wood or soft-metals). The package can also easily be coupled to an off the shelf heatsink to dissipate heat.

    How feasible would it be to build a driver capable of driving this diode while also able to be triggered from a TTL line (so it can be turned on and off by a microcontroller) for under $150?

    I can design the PCB and build the driver myself if provided with the circuit diagram. Heck, I'd be willing to take the plunge and make a small run of kits for such a driver and sell them almost at cost to get things started. I'm pretty sure there are many other home "makers" like myself who would be interested in such a driver as it can convert their home CNCs and 3D printers into laser cutters relatively easily.
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamidog View Post

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Correct me if I misread that, but aren't those 2A drivers? The diode is rated at 10Amps at 1.8V!

  4. #4
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    that's a quad channel driver. each channel can do 2-2.5A.

    Quote Originally Posted by IraqiGeek View Post
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Correct me if I misread that, but aren't those 2A drivers? The diode is rated at 10Amps at 1.8V!
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamidog View Post
    that's a quad channel driver. each channel can do 2-2.5A.
    Oh, saw the 4 FETs but didnt read the title so I thought it was a single channel.

    Would it be safe to tie in all the channels to drive a single diode?

    I'll get in touch with Badpip and ask about driving the laser at 1.8V.

    Thanks

  6. #6
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    i would not expect any issues tying all the channels together, but do please check with badip. i would hate for you to smoke your diode on my behalf.

    please let us know how it works out.

    Quote Originally Posted by IraqiGeek View Post
    Oh, saw the 4 FETs but didnt read the title so I thought it was a single channel.

    Would it be safe to tie in all the channels to drive a single diode?

    I'll get in touch with Badpip and ask about driving the laser at 1.8V.

    Thanks
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by swamidog View Post
    i would not expect any issues tying all the channels together, but do please check with badip. i would hate for you to smoke your diode on my behalf.

    please let us know how it works out.
    I just sent him a PM explaining what I want to do and asking for his help. Haven't bought the diode yet. Want to sort the electronics before doing that. If he thinks his driver can do the job, I'll take the plunge and order a diode in a couple of weeks (going on vacation for xmas). Will sure keep you guys posted

  8. #8
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    Let us know what badip says.

    Thanks

  9. #9

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    still waiting to hear back from him.

    Donno if my message was sent or not. It doesn't appear in the sent items, but then again, I've seen forums where it doesnt appear in the sent items until the recipient reads it. Can anybody confirm?

  10. #10
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    it should appear. give it another try. i've bought from badip in the past and he's been very responsive.


    Quote Originally Posted by IraqiGeek View Post
    still waiting to hear back from him.

    Donno if my message was sent or not. It doesn't appear in the sent items, but then again, I've seen forums where it doesnt appear in the sent items until the recipient reads it. Can anybody confirm?
    suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.

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