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Setup and testing laser

Setup and testing laser

Make sure the transistor radio is turned off, and the laser is on. Plug the earphone jack of the laser into the earphone socket of the radio.
Connect the solar cell to the amplifier or stereo, and turn the volume up until you hear a hissing noise, then turn it down slightly until the hiss isn’t noticeable. The volume control should be fairly high, corresponding to an ear splitting level if it was playing music.

Aim the laser across the room so it hits the solar cell. You might hear clicks or pops coming from the stereo or amplifier as the laser beam passes over the solar cell. This indicates that everything is working fine at this point.

Now carefully turn on the radio and slowly adjust the volume until you hear the radio station voices or music coming from the amplifier across the room. The radio should be just audible if the earphone jack is pulled out, not loud. If you can’t hear the sound from the amplifier across the room, make sure the laser is shining on the solar cell, then try increasing the volume of the amplifier before you increase the volume of the radio.

At this point you should be hearing the radio station coming in loud and clear in the amplifier across the room. Put your hand in front of the laser beam to break the connection, and notice that the music stops. Wiggle your fingers in the beam and listen to the music get chopped up by your fingers. Your laser communicator is ready for the next step.

To send your voice over the laser beam, you simply replace the transistor radio with a microphone and amplifier. Radio Shack sells small amplifiers (about the same size as the transistor radio) that have sockets for microphones and earphones. You can also use another stereo system, but be very careful with the volume control to prevent damage to the laser.

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