Help me turn an HD DVD box into a Blue Laser Pointer!
November 8, 2007 12:56 PM   Subscribe

Help me turn an HD DVD box into a Blue Laser Pointer!

I'm a bit of a laser junkie. I've had a green one for years now, and I want a blue one.

I keep reading about the coming (and current) Black Friday price wars on HD DVD boxes.

Here's the question:

Can I reasonably expect to be able to purchase a cheap HD DVD box, harvest the laser diode, and build it into a portable blue laser pointer?

I've seen this and other tutorials on harvesting a laser diode from a DVD or CD Burner and building a laser pointer from there. (But go ahead and link me to more if you know of others/better ones.)

So my question isn't really about the build, but about the laser diode itself.

1. Will it work theoretically?
2. Do I have a reasonable chance of harvesting the laser diode without ruining it? (I can solder/use solder wick, etc...)
3. Will I have to do any optical tuning to get the thing to shoot a beam across the room? (A deal breaker, as I'm not an optics geek.)
4. Standard diode power, or will I have to do some special power modulation junk? (Probably also a deal breaker. Then again, I have a couple of EE friends. So maybe on that one.)
5. HD DVD lasers are blue, right? Right? (Wiki says they are, but I really want to be sure.) Any clue what the rated mW will be on an HD DVD laser will be? I don't want to ruin my remaining eye. :)
posted by SlyBevel to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is it a weird coincidence, or did you also see this today? Because it describes almost exactly what you're asking (except with a replacement PS3 laser assembly).
posted by uncleozzy at 1:20 PM on November 8, 2007

Wow, now that is some geeky goodness! No, I hadn't seen it. Thanks for the link!
posted by SlyBevel at 1:27 PM on November 8, 2007

One thing to note: Be sure to take proper laser safety precautions and only use it in a safe environment. With non eye-safe lasers you can easily blind yourself permanently in a matter of seconds. When you have something like this on a workbench it's easy to power it up when in test mode and wind up with a serious problem.
posted by frieze at 1:43 PM on November 8, 2007

For those Googling this, I saw the project through, and the build log is here.

Thank you, and good night.
posted by SlyBevel at 2:49 PM on June 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

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