EC11 MELD update with LASER! The ultimate small EDC

Ok. I’ve been wanting to build a laser but I feel the same way about lasers that I felt about leds when I first started. Now with leds I know exactly what I want and what to stay away from. Mostly I know what price tags are worth the product. With lasers I am still in the dark;) same with uv. I want a good uv led but I’m afraid I will be let down if I order a budget option. So I haven’t pulled the trigger on any uv leds yet. You linked to some nice smaller ones earlier or maybe a different thread? But I would like something a bit more powerful combined with rgb in a quad optic or similar setup.

I just can’t seem to be practical even if I try reeeaaally hard! :slight_smile:

An update on my EC11s with lasers:
I had continued switch problems using the stock switch board, so I finally did it right and made a custom switch board:

And held it in place with a 3d-printed spacer:

These new switches have a much better feel and give more reliable signals. The other issue this setup fixes is decoupling the switch board from the driver, which helps some aligment issues as well as makes the driver removable in case I have to open it up again.

Once that one was working well, I got another EC11 in the mail and decided I had to go with a high-power green laser this time. The issue with green lasers is that they require 2 stages (crystal frequency doubler plus collimation) instead of the single stage for normal solid-state lasers. This means that the shortest green laser module I could find was about 17mm long, too high to fit in the EC11’s driver cavity. (side note: the smallest laser modules I’ve found are in single-AAA keychain lasers I get on eBay. You also get lucky sometimes and get higher power units that the sellers can only advertise as 5mW because of FCC rules - the ones I used here I estimate are around 75mW of output)
I came up with a crazy plan to try to fit this module in. By separating the two stages and adding a piece of a FSM (first-surface mirror) pulled from a laser printer, I came up with this 90-degree laser assembly that gets the collimating lens at the correct distance:

The transparent red piece is my 3d-printed frame, yellow is the laser’s first stage, blue is the FSM and collimator, purple is the MELD-X driver board, and green is the lower section of the EC11 housing:

I also had to file off the edges of the laser module. I assembled everything into the printed housing:

I only half expected this to actually work, but when I got it assembled and did some tweaking with the mirror, it works!

I drilled the aperture for the beam, then arctic-silvered the exposed brass on the laser module to the LED platform for heatsinking. I modified the MELD-X driver to repurpose one of the regulators for the UV channel to run the laser diode, so this and the UV now run at 350mA and there’s no floating regulators. The head of the light is now ridiculously full - there’s only 1mm between the top of the driver components and the laser module. I even had to add a spacer ring on top of the driver board to drop it down slightly:

After assembling everything else as normal, I have a working EC11 with RGBWUV + green LASER!

Are you serious? Wow, great job! I almost expect you to make another light that houses rgbwuv leds + rgbw lasers.

… I’m in for one!

Wow. Amazing effort and abilities.


I almost pulled the trigger on a deal for the ec21. Thinking I could use a laser in place of the uv led. I probably would have purchased it if I wasn’t afraid of the head being glued. I really hate flashlights with plier marks on them!

Edit: I spoke too soon. The deal was still good. :wink:

Anyone have a link to a laser module that is known to have higher output than the rating? 100mW or more would be nice:)

The glue appears to be random - I have opened four EC11s and only two were glued.
Here’s the laser I’m using: Look at this on eBay

Thanks tterev3! I know I’ll need to do some fabricating. I’m not afraid of cutting, drilling, filing and gluing but I’m not experienced with ladies lenses. Will I need to mess with the optics as you did? I don’t have access to 3D printing so I will need to be creative with all securing and positioning.

Yes, to fit green you’ll have to get creative. You only have about 11mm of height (if you take up the thickness of the LED platform as well), and the smallest green modules are about 17mm tall. Red can be done more easily.

On an unrelated note, I had access to an x-ray machine at work today so I got this image of my EC11 with the green laser:

I have to say, that is pretty cool! :sunglasses:

Love the xray picture. It puts another perspective on it. :+1:

Amazing !
True DIY skills, what are you not able do do ?!
The X-ray pic is so cool too ! :sunglasses:

Wow, amazing work. Its cool to see how you managed to get everything to work with some pretty big obstacles. I love that xray pic too.
You got yourself a pretty special light now. Definitely one of a kind.


I have an old DVD RAM burner. I wonder if I could use the laser from that or maybe I could at least get some optics?

You won’t find a collimating lens in there but you can use the diode in conjunction with optics from a cheap laser module

Great job!


That is great

DUDE!! I need this driver in my life! You’re a mad man. Please message me with more info on getting this for myself.