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445nm Laser Project.

Posted 10/06/2012 at 10:35 PM by Giovanni


The laser operates much the same way as a flashlight. The on off switch is on the back. Like many modern flashlights you can focus the light in a broad or tight beam. The light the laser diode emits is of one frequency 445nm but is not focused. The lens on the business end sets the focal distance. If the laser is not focused it will not burn your target. I practiced on a piece of cardboard. This focus depth is only good for burning an few inches. This is good and bad. The good, outside that focus zone and the light is to scattered to burn things you don't want burned, just watch the 3rd video. The bad, you have to have the focus point set properly to burn and kill your pest, watch the 4th video for an example of this. I like to shine the laser through my tank, the debris floating in the water coulomb is illuminated showing me where the focal point is. I can adjust from there. Often it is necessary to move the laser away or toward the target to get it burn a little faster.

Here is a photo of the laser beam traveling through my nano. You can see how the beam narrows then starts to widen out. The most narrow part of the beam is the hottest. This photo was taken from the 2nd video where I eliminate an unwanted nudibranch. He is just below the Laser beam.


The laser diode generates a great deal of heat. The heat sink and host pull that heat away from the laser but not fast enough to run the laser for more the 60 seconds. For this reason a 50/50 on/off duty cycle is required with a max on time of 60 seconds. Large aiptasia often require two to three sessions. Small ones can be taken care of in 10-30 seconds. It is also advantageous to turn all circulation pumps off. The theory is that the cooling of the circulating water make is take longer to heat the target. At a minimum it allows you to see bits of tissue floating to the surface. I am not sure it is needed because I think that the laser heats the inside of the cells of the target causing the fluid inside the cell to boil and the cell to explode. In that case it would not matter. I will be testing this theory later. Often with large aiptasia it is advantageous to use a turkey baster to suck the carcass off the rock. I start at the mouth and once it stops reacting to the laser, move on the the foot. Once you burn the foot enough you can suck it off the the turkey baster. If you leave any living tissue to float away, I fear it will propagate more some other place in the tank. many of the small ones burn enough that you cannot find anything left.

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