I'm trying to get a simple 3VDC out of my Arduino Uno to flash a laser pointer, in place of AAA batteries. It works swimmingly when I simply hook it up to the 3.3V pin, but obviously that's bad if I want to turn it on and off.
In my trials, I've tried using digital logic as the power source - the pointer doesn't seem to mind the +5V when I hook it up to a power source, and I'm not concerned about the laser's long-term survival - and I've tried PWM with a 97% duty cycle from a function generator, and also an equivalent setting on the Arduino.. Still nothing.
So, I was considering an RC circuit with a big time constant, but I have to guess that there's a simple, known way to do this and I'm just missing it because I've spent so much time in college classes rather than actually building things.
I'm trying to get a simple 3VDC out of my Arduino Uno to flash a laser pointer,
Do you know how much current this takes. Powering a laser from a PWM output is not a very good idea because there is a very grave danger of supplying too much voltage and damaging it. You need a proper power regulator.
Read this about powering Laser Pointers:- http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/laserdps.htm
Great! This makes a lot of sense. So basically I can take the 5V power supply from the Arduino to power the regulator, and then use a digital pin to turn it on with a high, and off with a low? I feel like a jackass for not just thinking of this. Oh well, chalk it up to learning.