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Gabriel Ribas asked What type of resistor can I add to my circuit?
Well I have a laser diode here that is less than 1mw. The only thing I know is that is works great with 3x 1,5v button cell batteries. i'm using a pc power supply with 5v. So I would like to know what type of resistor can I add to my circuit to protect it.
And got the following answer:
A 2.1Kohm resistor would be correct if the laser unit CONSUMED 1mW of power from the battery. This would correspond to a current of 0.000222 amps (0.222mA) which could barely light an LED, doubtful it would do anything for the laser. I would have to guess that the laser OUTPUT power level is 1mW and draws much more than that from the battery, really would need to measure it with a meter that measures current in mA (milliamps). In the case of most battery power devices, they are not terribly critical as to voltage since they have to allow for the batteries to wear down. As long as you got close to the 4.5v that it was intended to work on, it should work fine. If you know the amperage, you could calculate the amout of resistance required. You want to "lose" 0.5 volts, divide this by the amperage to get the resistance in ohms. If it draws 0.015 amps (15mA) (just guessing); 0.5/0.015=33.333ohms. A common 33 ohm resistor would work fine, the wattage dissipated in the resistor will be quite small. Now it's time for the quickie shortcut. We need to drop about 0.5 volts and as yet don't know how many amps it draws. A common silicon rectifier diode will drop between 0.5 and 0.7 volts (depends on current and temperature). Use a 1n4001, 1n914, 4148, whatever is handy. Just put the diode in series with one of the power wires to the laser. If you put the diode in backwards, it wont light but no damage will be done, turn it around and try again. Please don't stare into the laser light. Thank you.