How do I use the laser diode taken from a DVD burner?

I took a CD/DVD burner apart (from an old drive that was broken, not the laser though obviously). I found instructions at so I decided to do the same and simply connect 2 AAA batteries to the diode I took out (in fact there were two, one at 780nm for the CD, and 650nm for the DVD). I compared both diodes with the diode taken from a CD burner, and thus figured out which one was the DVD diode.
I connected it with 2 cables to two (in series) AAA batteries…but I only get a very weak beam from it. When I collimate it with a lens it is slightly less powerful than the average 1mW red laser pointer. The guy on the website has a video on there which shows a fairly powerful diverging beam that melts through thin black plastic. How is this possible?
When he says he connects it to a 3vdc source does he mean a different source than 2x 1.5V AAA batteries?
Are there any better instructions out there? Nothing useful was found on google. Thanks!

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One Response to How do I use the laser diode taken from a DVD burner?

  1. abnormalmale says:

    2 aaa batteries are not enough, to provide enough amperes (or milli amperes in this case) try using NI-CD or NI-MH rechargeable batteries or provide the 3Volts DC from a transformer. usually the average AAA battery delivers less than 100 mA which is not enough for a laser diode