Hubert’s Laser Page has lots of cool laser projects documented. One section that caught my eye was one where he covers many ways of making an inexpensive XY laser scanner. Go and have a look at his article for details on using a CD player actuator, Piezo buzzer, Hard disk head actuator and Loudspeaker to get the task done. Unlike my hard drive oscilloscope, Hubert uses a computer to control the laser.
Hard disk are very well made components very easy to get free. Hard disk head must rotate very quickly with angle like +-20°. Exactly like scanners! Using the hard disk electronic is really very difficult. We power the hard disk coil with a little audio power amplifier IC. We remove hard disk heads and corresponding piece of metal (to decrease inertia) and we glue a about 10 x 10 x 5 mm mirror (from an old photocopier) on the axis. In fact we glue it upper on the axis in such a way, mirror surface where Laser beam is reflected is aligned with axis : we can use very little mirror. On an hard disk, there is no medium position we must add a spring. First we add 2 coil springs but coils vibrate so we replace coil spring with “flat” spring.”
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