powering laser pointer

I’m hoping to wire up a laser pointer to my Arduino Uno so that I can turn it on and off using Max/MSP. The pen itself is 3V and takes <1mW. I’m fairly proficient in Max but very new to Arduino and electronics in general. Can anyone recommend on the best way to going about the electronics and Arduino code side of things? Thanks

You'll get a better response here if you explain what Max/MSP is, what hardware you plan to run Max on, and a link to the datasheet for the pointer.

My apologies. I'll delete and try again.

No need to delete anything. Just edit your post and add the missing information.

…and takes <1mW.

1mW would be the laser-light output, not the energy required to run it.

Are you powering it with batteries? Or do you have a 3V power supply, and does the 3V power supply work with it?

You can use a [u]MOSFET driver[/u] or [u]transistor driver[/u] turn on & off the 3V power. Or, you could use a relay.

Interesting links.



1500 hits on the cycling74 site search tool for "arduino" :o

Powering a laser pointer is a bit more complex than you might think, read this:- http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/laserdps.htm

To quote from that page:-

Unlike high quality and expensive diode laser modules, laser pointers may have less than stellar internal regulation. Thus, you could easily destroy them instantly by attaching an external power supply, wall adapter, or even a higher capacity battery of the same voltage as the one used originally. Some pointers may even depend on the internal voltage drop inside the recommended (internal) batteries to provide some of the current regulation!

DaveEvans: You'll get a better response here if you explain what Max/MSP is,

It is a graphics icon based language for the manipulation of audio waveform and sound production.