Phaser-to-laser mod puts out 465mW

Here’s another Star Trek phaser toy with a laser added. [Jay] started with a 1994 Star Trek phaser and added a 12X Blu-Ray diode. The sound effects of the toy still work, a nice touch that you can check out in the video after the break. That video shows him popping balloons with the laser, a feat made possible by the 465 mW that it puts out when the diode is driven at 320 mA of current. He’s made a nice carrying case for the weapon but we didn’t see a spot in there for protective glasses like we’ve seen with other phaser hacks. He did make one safety consideration by adding a safety switch and indicator LED to signal when the laser diode is armed.


  1. Oler says:

    465 mW in title, 465 nW in text

  2. Gert says:

    Star Trek Missile Defense Shield?
    747 gets blinded by phaser?

  3. Dennis Booth says:

    Now if that was 465 Mega Watt! Officer about that ticket POOF !

  4. Mike Szczys says:

    @Oler: Thanks, fixed.

  5. MS3FGX says:

    Man that is some nice work. Incredible how fast it pops those balloons too.

  6. vonskippy says:

    Indiscriminately bouncing lasers off shiny objects in the kitchen – yeah, that’s a good idea.

    Hack a Day should add a “Darwin” tag for crap like this.

  7. Mark C. Roduner, Jr. says:

    Do not look into Phaser with remaining eye.

  8. Manfre says:

    It would be interesting to use that for fixed device wireless power transfer. Solar panel + battery on the remote device with that plugged in to the wall and properly aligned.

  9. Andrew says:

    I think the OP got this one wrong. Its 465nm (the wavelength of a bluray diode) not 465 mW (as in output power) since blu-ray diodes are not anywhere near that powerful.

  10. bobdole says:

    Andrew, I assure you it’s that powerful… The wavelength of blu-ray is 405nm +- 10nm.. It would never be anywhere near 465nm, that would be a beautiful sky blue… Blu-ray is undoubtedly violet.

    I have an 8x bluray burner diode that reaches nearly 500mW, and some people have pushed theirs to at least 520mW… It just depends how long of life you want out of it… Considering these diodes come from $300 burners, Jay is actually being pretty conservative in his phaser.

  11. Frogz says:

    von> ppft, like any viewer of hackaday doesnt do the same thing

    diodes are getting incredibly cheap from china
    on ebay, leds are about $1 a watt

  12. mowcius says:

    “von> ppft, like any viewer of hackaday doesnt do the same thing”

    Well not with more than 5mW I don’t. That would be stupid.

  13. The Engy says:

    Ha! I plan to make something similar (not with a phaser, though), but I’m not gonna spend $300 for a new Blu Ray player. That’s why you buy “AS-IS” Blu ray players that don’t turn on… It’s still a gamble if the laser works, but it’s only a $10 gamble.

    Also, if multiple burning lasers meet at the same point, would their burning power increase at the target? If so, that’d be FANTASTIC.

  14. bobdole says:

    The Engy, you’re looking for a blu-ray BURNER, not a player.

    A player will have a 40mW to 100mW diode in it, some (like the PS3) only have a 10mW diode… You need a drive that’s capable of burning discs, not just a player. Good luck though, I’ve never seen an AS-IS burner before.. They’re very expensive, and they’re generally all still within warranty, so no one is just going to sell it on ebay.

    And yes, of course, if you focus multiple beams to the same point, of course they’ll burn better.

  15. peptidefarmer says:

    Hmm. It appears to be set to ‘stun.’

  16. jayrob says:

    In my tutorial at laserpointerforums, I put a warning about the eye protection…

    Thanks for the good comments!

  17. bobby says:
  18. Bjonnh says:

    And choose the right eye protection.

    Glasses for red lasers are not the same for blue lasers (it may seems stupid to say that for some of you, but I already see people doing stupid things with these).

  19. Jesus says:

    A laser that is cell powered, portable, and can cut hardened steal,,discuss

  20. Patrick says:

    Ronald Reagan would be so proud.

    God rest his sole.
    He was the greatest President Ever !!!
    Certianly better than the Socialist, and big-mouth VP, that we have now.

    Any way, great work !!!

  21. Mike D. says:

    You mean Ronald Ray Gun? Mr. Magoo never used “eye protection”. Corneas grow back.

  22. The Engy says:

    Well, yeah, but like I said, I can get broken blu ray players for about $10 each, and they are plentiful on ebay. Blu Ray burners are, like you said, all in the triple digits on ebay, and not a single broken one is on the site. Also with the little physics lesson you pointed out (I know little about the physics of light), I figure either with some mirrors or prisms I can get multiple Blu Ray lasers to combine to practically form one beam. And using multiple blu ray player lasers costs less than buying a new blu ray burner.
    Thanks for the help!

  23. medix says:

    @Manfre: Not really practical. The efficiency is pretty poor with these things (ie. current to optical power generated) along with poor conversion of that light back into electricity. You’d have better results herding cats.

  24. Frogz says:

    forgot to mention, 300 mw blue diode laser(you need to make your own driver circuit) is $30
    50 watt white led is $45?

  25. Jim Foster says:

    @Patrick: Ronald Reagan? Debatable – he did pwn the Soviets, but put us in lots of debt… Of course Bush and B.O. love debt too and they didn’t take out the pinko menace…

    Anyway, I really liked this hack. Surprising how fast it popped the baloons.

  26. Haku says:

    Perfect for when you beam down to a planet full of vicious clowns that start throwing ballons at you :D

    High power laser has been on my want list for a long time but I daren’t get one because of the danger of them – I rather like being able to see…

  27. fhunter says:

    He wouldn’t be dead or unable to procreate. Just blind, so tag “Darwin” would be wrong.

  28. bothersaidpooh says:

    PLEASE remember that just because it “looks cool” does not mean that the beam is harmless. 500mW is Class IV and a severe eye hazard.

    If you are going to use this, issue everyone in the vicinity with suitable safety goggles (about £40 a pair) and even then be careful.

    Bearing in mind that 0.1 second exposure on a uv sensitive card designed to detect UVA blackened plastic that normally takes hours to change…

    Don’t wreck it for the rest of us by getting these useful things banned.

  29. jayrob says:

    I realize some of the sites that picked up this article are not ‘laser related’… I guess I will see some negative comments. But thanks for the positive ones! :) My tutorial is at laserpointerforums:

  30. Zeno Arrow says:

    @Jim Foster
    Reagan didn’t pwn the Soviets, the Soviets pwned themselves.

    Nice one.

  31. neb says:

    Whoa! so much fun.Can you carve shapes from bath foam bubbles, or snipe balloon animals? At what range can you pop a balloon in clear(ish) air? Tattoo/burn your friends without them realising? hmm… with great power comes responsibility.

  32. sneakypoo says:

    Frogz: I don’t think you quite understand the difference between a white LED and a laser. I suggest you read up on it a bit, wikipedia is probabaly a good starting point.

  33. jeditalian says:

    uv phaser kill germs!

  34. Whatnot says:

    @Zeno Arrow
    I think as a non-communist one would have to say they actually stopped pwning themselves, by abandoning communism.

    Of course I myself agree that capitalism isn’t a winner (as demonstrated) :)

  35. raho says:

    Capitalism works fine, just not this bastardized form we have. Lawyers, courts, legislatures, and corporations in bed together. Try separation of “business and state”.
    Are there a bunch of whiny hovering mothers reading this site? the other day it was crying about lead, today its “you’ll put your eye out. Cinch up your panties and love the tech. We should be aware of poisons and radiation, but stop acting like a bunch of frightened little girls. You can’t fix stupid. He’ll learn or make it onto late night tv.

  36. Brendan says:

    OMFG that is so kool i really want one lol m8 sent me the link and i think its f@#king brilliant.

  37. jayrob says:

    Those are the kind of comments I like to read! :)

    For some of the negative comments, if you look at my tutorial at LPF, you will see the warnings about eye protection and cautions…

  38. anonymous says:

    LASIK at home?

  39. Dennis Booth says:

    The “Corporation” makes us all slaves. Nice toy though.

  40. Rick says:

    Amusing but too many reflective objects in that room. Hope you wore safety eyewear. If anyone wants to make other laser special effects devices for fre visit Also free ILDA compatible laser frames to download.

    Play safe

  41. Jamus says:

    Awesome! :D

  42. Frogz says:

    more like i dont know the difference between a enter key and a space bar(thats worse right?)

    i just made a 2nd “burner” pointer from a dead hp drive
    and actually most “laser” diodes arnt true lasers, just super contaminated leds(spellcheck, i just left it as is)

    but anyway, a “250mW+ 405nm Blue Violet Laser Diode Module with Adjustable Glass Lens, Tiny Heatsink for Laser module and 9 Component Driver DIY Kit with Glass lens” runs for $65 on ebay where as a raw 200 mw diode is like $15
    far cheaper than a “as is” blu ray burner that may be a burnt out diode to begin with

  43. The Engy says:

    Not to sound skeptical, but could you give me a link to the $15 200MW (megawatt or milliwatt? I get those two abbreviations confused) laser diodes? The cheapest I could find is $25, and since I’m focusing most of my time and effort on another project (automated sentry), I want to get a cheap, high power (ish) laser to have for my next project (a laser pistol/phaser/blaster gun, like the one above).

  44. jayrob says:

    PHR diodes can give up to about 140mW’s or more if pushed with one of my 405-G-1 glass lenses. You can get them at

    See the BST section…

  45. Hmm?IP? says:

    Don’t you guys know they’ve got receivers that pick up that level of angstroms in public>Think.More.

  46. John Lock says:


    Now add auto focus and illuminate the visible and invisible diodes simultaneously.

  47. TonyC says:

    About the power, are we talking about output power or input power?
    If your talking output, how is that measured?
    I was going to design a project once with laser diodes and finally realized these diodes may not be very efficient. Maybe 500mW they are drawing, but not necessarily is that wattage put out on the focus point.
    Nice project! I’d like to change it to a communication project to see how far you could chat back and forth!

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