Lasers! PEW PEW! (TTL Laser Control with Phidgets 8/8/8)

Photo courtesy of SparkFun Electronics.

We recently got a batch of these neat little TTL-controlled laser modules in stock.  Needless to say, we did what what we always do when we get a new toy.  We played with it and took some pictures!  It was super easy to wire up, and it can be switched on and off with any TTL logic signal.  It draws a miniscule amount of current (26 mA on our meter).  It has a pretty good output, too.  Don’t expect to see it a mile away, but when we shined it at a white wall in direct sunlight at a distance of about 12 feet, it projected a bright, sharp dot.

American Twenty-five cent piece shown for size comparison.

The thing is freaking tiny, too.  Slim and sleek.

It’s as thick as a nickel!  Would have used the quarter from the last picture, but we couldn’t get one to stand on its edge.  Yep.  So far this post has cost me thirty cents.

As we’ve mentioned, wiring it up and controlling it is a cinch.  To use it with the Phidgets 8/8/8, we used the power and ground connections on one of the analog connectors and one digital output to switch it on and off.

Three wires are all you need.  Power, ground, and digital control.

Here’s our test setup.  Laser module is connected to the 8/8/8 with jumper wires from SparkFun.

Here it is.  The stuff.


Buy stuff from us!!!

TTL-Controlled Laser Module
F/F Jumper Wires
Phidgets 8/8/8


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4 Responses to “Lasers! PEW PEW! (TTL Laser Control with Phidgets 8/8/8)”

  1. Adrenalynn says:

    Pretty Cool, Dave!

    These would be great for visual range estimation using a camera. They’re also good for range estimation when you’re remotely controlling a ‘bot, such as over a web-browser in first-person.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. William Cox says:

    You may want to include the optical power of the laser (in mW), bandwidth (how fast can it be switched), and wavelength in the product description. It may encourage more purchases from folks that are looking for something specific.

  3. Alan Majer says:

    Cool, now where do I get the shark?

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