If all you are interested in is what's inside a much simpler red laser pointer, go to the Assorted Diode Lasers Gallery wing and check out the photos there.
I hope that the SPCL (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Lasers) doesn't hear about this. It would probably be a good idea to have some tissues handy - some of the pics are quite gory. The pointer was still alive at the beginning of this process and while no critical organs were damaged by the abuse, it will never likely be quite the same even with generous use of duct tape and baling wire. :)
For a less gory procedure (reversible, at least in principle) that should work with minor modifications for several models of green laser pointers, see the chapter: SS Laser Testing, Adjustment, Repair of Sam's Laser FAQ (section: "Disassembling a Green DPSS Laser Pointer"). That unit uses an identical DPSS laser module as this one. The diagram Edmund Scientific L54-101 Green DPSS Laser PointerTypical Red Laser Pointer!, also shown next to one-another in Comparison of Red and Green Laser Pointer Complexity.)
There is also another page with an abbreviated dissection of a similar DPSS laser module at Marcin's Green Laser Module Dissection.
(The following photos and descriptions provided courtesy of: Dave (Ws407c@aol.com).)
I already owned one green laser pointer. I bought a 2nd one specificly to take apart. I knew that there was a risk but I have been doing this for years (taking things apart that were not supposed to be) and have become very good at it. I don't care what anybody says, there ARE user serviceable parts inside. :)
The entire dissection process was accomplished with the use of a file and Dremel tool!
Then I thought why not share this information with other people and Sam's Laser FAQ came to mind. The pointer that was dissected had been returned twice due to (1) poor beam quality (2) low output. (Green lasers are just like any cheap laser pointer - no two are alike. If you want a good one you need to buy 10 and select the best from that.) It's hard to show the thin film coatings that were not of total coverage on the crystals but I speculate that the Nd:YVO4 was surplus from other purposes and used for these pointers.
I like to SEE how things work and how they are manufactured and EVERYTHING that I own, have owned, and will own, is destined to be opened and looked over. It looks like a lot of money to risk but to me it was worth it and best of all, as you will see, there was no damage to the critical components (though the case might have seen better days). I will be on the hunt for a higher power 808 nm laser diode to see if I can get more out of these components.
I don't know what it is about lasers but they will always be fascinating to me!
Now, here's what you have been waiting for. Drum roll please! :)
I have a 1/2" CCD TV camera (B&W) connected to a 9" monitor that I use for invisible work. This setup works great for all kinds of stuff. Even with safety goggles I don't feel safe looking at close range at these tiny parts when they are active. So, with the camera shoved right up close to it, I can adjust and sight the parts while they are ON with my face pressed right up to the monitor screen and get a great view.
With the camera set up for macro, the image on the screen is better than squinting at the parts directly. Once I got it working I grabbed my digital camera and took the shot above. Notice how the digital camera picked up the purple glow of the Nd:YVO4 crystal. If I shined the diode directly on paper it was not purple. It's funny how the crystal glows purple as seen by the digital camera.
Another interesting thing I have noticed about the green pointers is that if you shine the beam on red felt or fluorescent orange paint the spot urns bright yellow! Also when I shine a green pointer through a ruby rod a green beam enters the rod then you see a bright RED beam inside the rod gradually getting dimmer along the way through due to absorption and green back out the other end. Maybe I'm tingling a few CR++ atoms?? Over the years I've shined 632.8 nm light in the strangest of things and never have seen the color change.
And, finally, the new and improved solid aluminum replacement mounting block:
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