Optimal Method of Powering 5v Max Laser Diode

Thread Starter


Joined Aug 2, 2023

For a vanity project, I'm curious about powering a laser diode (will be trying to attach them to shark heads at some point, but not important for now). To be clear, I'm already fine and dandy wiring them to 2-pin USB charger cables which seem to work great. As I understand it, USB's are built with the regulators for 5V already (at least mine are), so wiring the diode to one is already doing the heavy lifting.

However, I figure running them at their max output is not the best solution. I am mostly just curious about other methods to expand my very rudimentary knowledge of wiring stuff together. :)


My Supplies
  • Soldering kit (novice skills)
  • Spare wiring
  • USB cables
  • 9V batteries, AA batteries
  • Multimeter
  • Heat shrink
  • Whatever those metal clamp connector things are called, something butt plugs, I think? Ok, not that, but butt-something.

Additional Info/Questions
  • I'm mainly curious what would be the optimal external power source (meaning batteries and not outlets), but would love tips on all.
  • If running off a 9V, I assume I'm likely to stress the diode and wear it out faster. I found this thread asking a similar question on 9V > regulator vs. multiple AA > regulator and I'm also curious about that.
    • Given that the datasheet seems to say the diode can make due with less than 5V, can I jury-rig a few AAs somehow to test the diode on less? 1.5V didn't work when I connected the wires to a AA. 9V works. I know I can buy battery packs that do this for me, but curious of a DIY method I can FA with right now?
  • Regarding my USB setup, feel free to mention any issues/tips/considerations I'm missing.
  • For context of use, assume the diode needs to sit still and aim at something for up to 2-hours or so.
  • No idea if it matters, but the model comes in cross, line, and dot formats. I'm using cross.
  • When I plug my USB lasers into wall chargers or my USB ports in my power strips, they run fine for extended periods. When I plug into my portable chargers, the diode cuts out after 10-30s. What is the most likely reason for this difference? Feel free to request more information or if it's obvious, tell me what I should Google and research.

I'd love any help to any of these questions. Like I said, I'm just interested in using this little "issue" to learn more basics. My apologies if I'm leaving out anything critical. I will edit and add more information upon request if that is the case.

Thanks much, folks.