How to Wire a Laser Diode

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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A laser diode projects a beam of laser light, if properly wired, to an electrical source. You can wire a laser diode yourself even if you lack extensive electrical or electronic skills. You will need a few supplies from a laser service store and some tools commonly found around most households.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Newspaper
  • Laser module
  • Tweezers
  • Wire strippers
  • Ruler
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • D-cell battery pack
  • 2 D-cells
  • Electrical tape

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  1. 1

    Place a sheet of newspaper on a table to protect the surface. Unscrew the front from the laser module.

  2. 2

    Orient the laser module so its open end faces up. Rotate the laser module so that the two holes inside the open end face you vertically. Continue rotating the module so that the hole to the side of the two vertical holes is on the right.

  3. 3

    Grip the base of the laser diode with the tweezers. Insert the shorter of the two pins attached to the bottom of the laser diode into the hole to the side of the two vertical holes. Insert the end of the other pin attached to the bottom of the laser diode into the hole above and to the left of the one at the right.

  4. 4

    Strip a half-inch of insulation off the ends of the two wires attached to the bottom of the laser module, using the wire strippers.

  5. 5

    Heat up the soldering iron for four minutes. Solder the exposed end of one of the two wires attached to the bottom of the laser module to the positive (+) labelled contact on the battery pack. Let the solder cool for one minute. Unplug the soldering iron.

  6. 6

    Tape the insulated end of the other wire to the side of the battery pack with a strip of electrical tape.

  7. 7

    Insert the batteries into the battery holder, lining up the positive (+) and negative (-) labelled contacts on the battery with the labelled text inside the battery holder.

  8. 8

    Push the exposed end of the wire that is taped to the battery holder onto the negative (-) labelled battery contact to send a beam of laser light from the laser diode. Remove the wire from the contact to turn off the laser.

Tips and warnings

  • The batteries will run out more quickly than a commercially made laser pointer because no transistors are being used to regulate the power output.
  • Wear an anti-static strap when handing the laser diode to keep static electricity from causing damage to it.
  • Never aim a laser beam at a person's or pet's eyes.

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