Submitted by Braden on Fri, 01/13/2012 - 12:51am
When using a laser diode it isn't advisable to hook up a power source and run your delicate diode directly (see what I did there?). Though it is possible to drive the laser diode using a pair of AA batteries and a resistor, you are asking for trouble down the line; and the same goes for an unregulated power supply, even if it is the right voltage. With a diode you must both regulate the voltage and restrict the current. Diodes are notoriously current hungry, unlike most electronic devices, which leaves us with two options: go to ebay and order one that is neatly soldered to a breadboard and sealed in a package (while paying significantly more, waiting 'x' amount of time for shipping, and not having fun with a 700 degree torture device), or make a quick trip to Radioshack and build one with ease. I obviously chose the second option, hence this article. Lets begin.