by MakerBot, published
The original kitty suffered from a tragic lack of Lasers.
We corrected that.
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Right but MB has them for the digitizer and could toss them up in the store especially when releasing models for them.
Thanks for the research. Amusingly, the lasers arrived TODAY, so cool timing! And thanks for your insights. I haven't done anything with lasers since (long ago) they involved glass tubes and mirrors.
I was (apparently naively) going to power each laser with a pair of AAA batteries, wired directly, which is what it looks like they're doing on the product page. Which ought to fit into sharks.
Then for added fun I was going to wire them up to a 3.3v arduino's digital lines. But it sounds like that'll kill them. Would cycling the power on/off in software reduce the voltage (on average) enough to avoid burning them out?
Perhaps instead I should use a driver, along these lines (http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/... The ws2801 looks great, but it's surface mount, which I haven't tackled yet.
Be careful with those ones. I have some very similar diodes which just use a resistor instead of a propper regulator. Absolutely under no circumstances power them for more than a millisecond pulse with more than 3.0v. 3.3v will burn them out after a few seconds or maybe a minute or so. If you want to make it work on more variable power supplies you could supply their power using an LED driver, like those found on addressable RGB strips. You'll need to configure it to not exceed the power specification of the laser module. Looks like for the ones you bought this power usage is 40ma max, so if you use a driver like the ws2811's that are pretty popular now, that should keep things nice and safe with a wide margin. Plus you can write colours to several lasers in series if you like using only one pin of a microcontroller. ^_^
If you used one of the lpd* SPI controller chips or ws2801 chips, you could control them with two pins using SPI, which is compatible with raspberry pi.
Anyhow, make sure you don't overpower them. I've lost a couple of diodes that way and that's no fun. Where the heck do you even get a 3.0v power source? most of the batteries rated for it seem to be as high as 3.1v :/
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