Laser Pointer Hack

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Amp Up a Laser Pointer

Illustration by Lab Partners

Illustration by Lab Partners

Your laser pointer could be doing so much more than highlighting PowerPoint slides and blowing your cat’s mind. It could be sculpting ice, sparking campfires, or searing one bad mofo on your leather jacket. Here’s how to give a standard pointer a power upgrade.

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1 Disassemble the unit by removing the batteries, opening the housing, and taking out the laser module.

2 Search the circuit board for a variable resistor. Resembling a tiny Phillips-head screw, it’s the key to boosting the current.

3 To intensify the beam, use a small screwdriver to gently tighten the resistor. Just don’t tighten it all the way — your cheapo laser will burn out instantly.

4 Reassemble and aim your potent pointer at safe targets like ice, wood, or plastic. (Please, no people, animals, or airplanes!)

Contributed by Terrence Russell