Well I had hooked up the laser for all of 5 minutes last Thursday and it shot out a spectacular blue-violet beam. A weak blue-violet beam. It wouldn’t even pop a balloon. Keep in mind that I did not just open the package and fire up the laser. No, instead I had to set up a test load and st the driver to the proper current (90mA is very conservative which is what I set it at) tested to make sure everything was copacetic and then tested the diode. During this whole time it was important to ensure that I was static-free as laser diodes are very sensitive to static shock.
So I hooked up the laser and I got a beam! it was cool, then I started to notice that it had some artifacts. Artifacts are dark spots where there should be light and some light beams where there should be none. Kind of like shining a flashlight through broken glass. This means that there was a problem with the diode. Well the next day when I got back from class I set everything up again and nothing happened… not even a faint blue light.
Now Andrew over at Modwerx tests every laser diode that goes out to make sure they work. I have complete confidence that he did not notice the artifacts when he tested it, this may have occurred during shipping. I asked him about what was going on and he had told me that usually laser diodes are sold as-is due to them being so fragile. All I can say is Wodwerx has excellent customer service and I will soon have a functioning laser diode shortly.