I finally make it to Boominglabs: Ghetto Line Laser howto

I came last week to Bloominglabs on a Wednesday. And Steve here was running an awesome Arduino class. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Ewww…. Arduino.  Couldn’t I use something more professional like an FPGA, DSP, or a PIC?

Well. No. An Arduino works great when you want something dirty and quick. Getting it done is the key. And we use whatever we have lying around. That’s why we’re hackers!

So, we had fun using and abusing the PWM for fun and profit. We also worked in knobs on our franken-projects, because potentiometers are cool. And we even had a mysterious auto-shutting-down Arduino. That was fun, until we realized why it was doing that was because the USB port on that laptop couldn’t supply the appropriate current. I’m surprised the bootloader didn’t get fried on upload. It’s OK though. I have an ISP.

So, I came along with the group because I wanted to bone up on my mad coding skillz and make sure I don’t fry my hardware! I have a project I have been working on: a 3D scanner. I should be able to get it completely done JUST with an Arduino. I’ve even sourced an Arduino camera module for $11 on dx.com .  Of course, You’ll need a computer to process the pretty pictures, but that’s details.

Magic Lego Laser Enclosure

So.. There’s my laptop with the ‘sounds like dying elephants’ motor. You can also see some of my LCD find at Stansifers. And there’s my Arduino hooked up to a Pot and a ghetto line laser. I have some clear glass bead making tube…No.. My sister HAD some glass beading tube that “Got Broken” for my purposes 😀 She’s at college, she won’t notice (or read my blog). So, I took that, and those little round pillar Legos and they fit snugly. So I built them a little holder using 2 seats that present bottoms on each side. This holds those pillars that hold the tube. Now. I find a nice base, 12×6, and put it at one end. At the other end, is the laser ‘enclosure’. I bought a $2 laser.. yet again from dx.com (No, they don’t pay me, they were just cheapest… Remember, Cheap-ass.). And built the “Temple Of Laser” that is in line with the glass tubing. After aligning the crap out of it, I’m perhaps 1 degree off perpendicular. Good enough. Then I superglued it all together.A  line from that laser

And.. This is what I get from my little hacked up wonder. Now.. I really screwed up on this laser though. It’s torn halfway on that image! No… That’s the poster that is popping out against the wall! Hmm.. So if we measure where the beam is deflected, we can measure depth!

So. That’s how it works. But it doesn’t work yet. But it will. Mark my words!


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