Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 13, 2010

Send Music Over a Laser Beam

at 1:11 pm. Filed under Electronic Hacks


Samer Mohammed has built an optical link that can be used to send audio using an inexpensive laser beam from a laser pointer. Samer has sent in the block diagrams so you can see how the system has been constructed.

“This project demonstrates the use of laser in optical communications. the project consists of a transmitter and receiver that will support a one-way communications link between two separate locations. It is mainly built from a few ICs, operational amplifiers and transistors. It is possible to transmit music, voice and data. The laser used in the transmitter is a simply a laser diode that it used in cheap laser pointers and at the receiver, the laser sensor is a photo-diode.”


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21 Responses to “Send Music Over a Laser Beam”

  1. KD8EDR Says:

    This seems way too overly complicated, all thats needed to modulate a laser beam is an audio transformer connected to the laser and then to the sound source. To receive all thats needed is a solar cell and an amplifier. look here http://www.scitoys.com

  2. Shadyman Says:

    Uh oh, there goes the neighborhood… iPods with fricken’ lasers!

  3. Lars Says:

    I remember an old article where they also send music by laser and it was way simpler than this.

    It was almost like just connecting the sound output directly on the laser.

  4. Berni Says:

    Yeah it is complicated but the signal is FM modulated so he gets a very high noise immunity and multiple signals in a single beam.

  5. Samer M Says:

    of course there are many simpler ways to do this, but that reflects on the quality of the music. but if you want something that it is near perfect, you have to increase the complexity of the system. like Berni said, FM modulation provides great protection for the signals from noise, interference and ambient light, you can also make it a stereo transmitter

  6. Grapsus Says:

    There’s a big difference between a proof-of-concept kiddie laser connected directly to the sound input and something more useful with better modulation and noise immunity. Quit bashing this guy for doing something better than a proof-of-concept. If you want an end-user product with this technology, it would have even more components…

  7. Berni Says:

    Oh and too bad there is no schematic, im curious what chips he used and how.

  8. idontknow Says:

    Yes, schematics would be great! And also, i wonder what maximal distance of transmission can be achieved…

  9. Samer M Says:

    for the modulation and demodulation i used the phase-locked loop IC CD4046, and for the amplifiers i used the LM324 quad-opamp IC
    and the transistors used are 2N2222 and 2N3904

  10. Sariel Says:

    its a better mousetrap. kudos to the guy. probably wont share the schematics though because its closed.

  11. Ryan Says:

    Well done! I love the fact that this is more complex than the easy way of sending music over laser. Too bad there isn’t more information on this. Possible schematic would be awesome! I would love to build this and mess around with it, if no other info is released and he would like to keep it closed. thats understandable. thanks again!

  12. SpaceTechsOnline.net » Blog Archive » Laser transmits audio using frequency modulation Says:

    […] [via hacked gadgets] […]

  13. Samer M Says:

    the range of this thing is pretty far, more than 100 meters, they only problem is how to align the laser beam directly on the receiver as the distance increases

  14. Audiosignale ├╝ber Luft per Laser ├╝bertragen - DIY blog Says:

    […] ganzer artikel: hier […]

  15. Will Says:

    I wonder what kind of bandwidth can be achieved when transmitting data. I assume that you could use a significant number of channels, what with the FM modulation and all.

    I’d love to have a play around with this.

  16. Wilber Says:

    @will well it is the same bandwidth that would be used in an optic cable on your stereo for 8 channel surround sound.

  17. Samer M Says:

    i set the bandwidth of the FM modulation to 100KHz, so the maximum theoretical data rate would be 50kbps, but im guessing it would be around 20kbps, which is very very low. in order to increase the bandwidth i need faster ICs

  18. cnop Says:

    Samer, you can easily build fast FM detectors by using XOR logic ports. The 4046 PLL chip itself uses a XOR port to detect phase (and frequency) change.

  19. Samer M Says:

    The VCO of the 4046 has a maximum operation frequency of 800 KHz, im working at 200KHz, i can raise the data rate but it wont be a large increase, not worth it

  20. Music Transmitted Over A Laser Beam - PSFK Says:

    […] Hacked Gadgets: “Send Music Over a Laser Beam” […]

  21. ronp Says:

    Dumb question:

    could you crank the bandwidth WAY up to several mhz for CD and higher-than-CD quality?

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