Now, let me start by saying that if you’re laser pointer is truly broken, then the likelihood is that it’s not really worth fixing. Unless it’s a particularly expensive laser – which the likelihood is that it isn’t – then it’s probably just worth purchasing a good laser pointer. Though if you’re adamant that you want to try and fix your laser pointer, then there are a few steps that you’ll need to take.
Fixing a Laser Pointer
Firstly, I should say that you’ll undoubtedly want to check the batteries before you do anything else. There’s a good chance that the reason your laser pointer isn’t working properly is because the batteries aren’t working properly.
Whether that’s because they’ve run out or you’re using the wrong type, I don’t know. But you do not want to go through the hard work of fixing your laser pointer if the fix is as simple as switching the batteries out for new ones.
Honestly, it’s worth checking your laser pointer has good batteries (or they’re at least facing the right way!
If you’ve got a broken laser pointer, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to find a replacement diode. This is the main component, and without it, the pointer is pretty much useless. So how can you fix it? Here are a few methods that have worked for people before; this isn’t an exact science, so these are just some rough guidelines.
One option is to fit another diode into the casing of your laser pointer using some epoxy glue or superglue (which will be temporary). Once the new diode has warmed up in use, you’ll be able to tell if it’s working by how bright it appears. If necessary, gently press on the lens of the pointer to focus it: this is how most laser pointers work anyway. Then from there, try and see how long the battery lasts until you need to replace it.
Check the Lens
Often with a laser pointer, the issue can be as little as having a dirty or damaged lens. If you have a damaged lens, it’s pretty easy to tell – you can literally see the scratch when you’re pointing your laser pointer from a short distance. And if you have a dirty lens, then you’ll be able to see this pretty easily because it will have a ‘speckled’ apperance around the edges of your laser pointer.
Check this video out if you want a more in depth look on how to identify if your lens is damaged or dirty.
Of course, if the lens is scratched then you will need to get a new one, but you can easily clean a dirty lens.
Don’t use Q Tips to Clean
Whatever you do, don’t use cheap things like Q Tips to try and skimp on cost when taking care of your laser pointer. You’ll undoubtedly end up doing far more damage than good to your laser pointer.
A better option would be to pick up a lens brush to clean the lens of your pointer with. These brushes are specifically made to deal with sensitive electronics like this, so you know that you won’t cause any further damage to your lens.
The issue with using a q tip to clean your lens is that it’s going to leave small fibers on the lens, which will eventually end up with it looking worse than it did before!
Don’t use magnets
I’ve seen people online using magnets to try and fix your laser pointer. The reasons for this is that magnets can deform the spring, which is a necessity for connecting between the battery and the laser itself. So yeah, don’t use magnets to try and fix your laser pointer.
What to do if you’ve dropped your laser
It’s not likely that you’ve left your laser pointer on the side sitting still come back to it, and suddenly it’s not working. If this is the case, then it’s probably the batteries. But if your laser pointer has stopped working for other reasons, then it’s likely due to some impact with another surface (you’ve dropped it or banged it somehow).
If this is the case, then the probability is that you’ve knocked the crystal out of alignment. To realign this properly, you’ll need realign the expanding lens which is on top of the crystal. You’ll then need to use some sort of thermal adhesive to attach everything together as it was before.
Honestly, if this is the case, then it is probably not worth your time and effort to try and fix your laser pointer.
Step by Step Guide to Fixing
If you’re more technically minded, then you might be able to take your laser pointer apart and fix it yourself. I don’t advise doing this without a set of safety glasses on in case you catch yourself in the eye with the laser pointer whilst you’re fixing it.
Here’s a super brief guide on how to fix your laser pointer if you’ve knocked the expanding lens out of place. You need safety goggles to consider doing this.
- Unscrew your laser pointer and check the batteries.
- You’ll need to get a small screwdriver and undo the screws that are keeping your laser pointer together.
- Slowly and carefully realign the crystal with the infrared diode.
- Test the components of your laser pointer to check that they’re working.
This is a rough guide, and not something that I advise doing if you’re not experienced with this kind of thing. I myself haven’t done this type of thing in a long while, so it might not be the most extensive guide on the internet!
In conclusion, if you’ve genuinely broken your laser pointer and it isn’t particularly expensive, then the likelihood is that the best option is to just get yourself a replacement laser pointer. This way, you can be sure that you’re working with an optimal laser.
Most of the time though, your laser pointer will be a quick fix like the batteries or the lens. If this is the case, then you can pick up some replacement parts for a pretty cheap price.