Doom and gloom aplenty right now.
Well to take your mind off that I'm documenting the construction of a targetting laser.
To start with I am by no means an electrical genius or a whiz.
But I have the tools provided from a master inventer so let's give it a try
Ok to start with I'll provide a little background.
About a month ago I bought a real nice Crossbow.
Which is pretty cool and does the job.
Then I saw a few things about lasers and how they are now getting very powerful and are untouched (mostly) by the bs establishment that wants us all
tucked into bed and read stories by nanny.
So apart from fire-starting I thought it would be a good idea to mount one onto my Crossbow.
Now I know this isn't really a pure survivalist tool, after all you don't need one to be a good shot.
But besides the quicker target aquisition, firing from the hip and of course, nothing can discourage and attacker than if they see the burnin' beam
of destiny upon them there is more to it.
It has the added edge of being more than capable of blinding an attacker should the situation demand it.
As it isn't about being a killing aid or blinding people. That really is a SITX dark scenario.
This is about it being more of a versitile survival tool as well.
Besides which, even as survivalists, we're allowed some 'gucci' kit to enjoy
From Concept to Creation
So the idea was set and now it was time to put what may of been a pipe dream into action.
So I pulled out all the tools I needed and did some checking.
I visited a handy little website (details available on request) which was set up by some free-minded guys from the laser community. Now these dudes
are not what you call survivalists, but they know a good laser when they see one and are oracles when it comes to what diode can take what voltage
So from them I bought:
2 x diodes (originally harvested from a PS3, they are DVD RW capable, which should give an indication of the power).
The diodes were also pre-mounted into a metal housing. This is handy, and acts as a bit of a mini-heat sink as well.
Now you may of seen the youtube man who harvests the diode and buzzes about with his:
This is a rough example. It will work BUT the diode is very unstable due to the voltage not being regulated. I won't go into specifics but the
spiking effect (which batteries do from time to time) will destroy the diode.
2 x drivers - Very Important. Basically these are a tiny circuit board with capacitors and resistors plus a pot.
Which allows you to *adjust* the current and therefore the lasers strength / beam power.
1 x 9V battery
Total Cost including Shipping from the States:
The reason for 2 is in case I blow the diode or driver on the first attempt.
Originally I was going to strive for an integrated housing with the battery, but getting a housing small enough to fix on the crossbow, yet large
enough to take all the parts was near impossible.
Factoring into this conundrum the fact that I needed a housing which would be flush with the crossbow.
I will admit, the spec ops guys with these very exlusive units mounted onto their weapons also influenced me. They (according to my bro) used lithium
based batteries and be-spoke designs though.
My laser or 'The Lasertron' as it was dubbed would be almost entirely from existing torches and retro-fitted into them.
So the search began as I awaited the arrival of the elusive diodes and drivers.
The biggest obstacle was sourcing a housing that would sit flush against sighting system.
Hunt For The Housing...
Now I do not expect to achieve William Tell-like accuracy from a home-made targeting laser but let's not kid ourselves, mounting a maglight or
anything with a 'bulge' was not going to give reasonable accuracy.
So the search commenced for a symetrical housing.
With the mindset of seeking for an all-in-one wonder housing in my head I roved and roamed the murky online world of Ebay. Nothing suitable.
I sized up the sighting area and it needed to be no bigger than 4.5cm. Anything more and it'd interfere with aiming down the sight.
I was, at one point, doubting the project could even be undertaken without major £££ and heartache. With the diodes and drivers winging their way
from the US I wondered if they'd be doomed to the dusty garage to muse on what might of been!
Then one sunny day I was rooting through the pantry for the 5th time when I found one of those old square shaped torches with the concealed flip-out
You don't get them in the states much but here in the UK they were in vogue about ten years ago.
This got me thinking. It seemed large enough for the whole shootin' match.
So I stripped it out and mulled over using this.
I unleashed the drill and dremel and got stuck in.
Still too small!
I cut out the flip-up bulb thing.
A tighter than tight fit.
More drilling, clipping and swearing.
It might fit.
No it didn't.
I'm at the end of my tether. My room resembles a mad fabricators workshop and # is everywhere!
It was too small for the diode, driver, wiring and battery.
But not the diode and driver.
One of the Northern Alliance dudes popped up on msn so we had a palaver about it.
'Why not mount the thing separate was the call!'
You know what, I think i will.
All it takes is a fresh idea and a rocky, impassably mountain becomes the tunnel of groove
So having gone over this we agreed that why not separate the housing from the battery cell, carefully plumb in the wiring as neatly as possible.
Now initially I was bull-headed about keeping everything integrated and in one housing as I keep gabbling about.
This cuts down on the 'more bits to get lost and in the way' factor and it 'looks cooler.
But there was no other way.
Things then started to fall into place.
I wanted functionality and field-user-friendliness as a hallmark.
I could live with soldered wiring and semi-fixed laser housings. I couldn't live with a hard-wired and soldered battery housing.
The battery would have to be a 'pop-open the case, unclip the battery' and put a new one in.
So off to the lunatic town electrician for parts.
This guy is a real lunatic amoung lunatics. I'd like to say he's a friendly, quirky eccentric kinda guy but alas not this guy
[edit on 26-9-2008 by WatchRider]
[edit on 26-9-2008 by WatchRider]