About MatchBox2 Series

MatchBox Lasers

The MatchBox Series is a powerful platform, encompassing CW lasers, 4-wavelength diode combiners and Q-Switch nanosecond lasers. It offers simplicity of integration and selection of >150 products within the series.



Compact turn-key laser system

Features

  • Fiber coupling options
  • Ultra-compact All-in-One design*
  • Thermally stabilized optics
  • Monolithic design
  • Hermetically sealed
  • Automatic power control
  • +5V supply voltage** (voltage is upconverted internally to make it suitable for various laser diodes)
*The laser head includes optics and driving electronics within a single enclosure.
**The OEM version does not include a +5V power supply.

Control Interface

MatchBox series lasers (2nd edition) feature a Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter (UART) controller interface. The pinout is explained below - separately for diode and DPSS lasers.
A 'breakout box' is used for converting UART into USB or RS232 protocols. The converter chip for USB is 'Silicon Labs CP2102' and for the RS232 it is 'MAX232'.

Diode Laser



  • Tx and Rx pins are used for communication, error read-out and change of parameters
  • GND pin is common to the enclosure
  • Vcc pin is used for +VDC power
  • TTL pin can have two purposes: TTL ON/OFF modulation of the laser (in case of regular diodes) or control of a variable speed fan*** (in case of wavelength-stabilized diodes)

          ***TTL or FAN setting is factory           pre-configured.

DPSS or High-Power Diode Laser



  • Tx and Rx pins are used for communication, error read-out and change of parameters
  • GND pin is common to the enclosure
  • Vcc pin is used for +VDC power
  • FAN ctrl. pin is used for variable speed control of a fan***

       ***Can be configured into virtual        TTL modulation having up to 1        kHz modulation bandwidth.

Breakout Box Explanation


laser with USB control

The Breakout Box contains UART-USB converter circuit and conventional connection ports in a plastic housing.

  • Data USB is used for communication with a PC
  • Interlock has two pins. When the pins are shortened with an interlock loop, the laser can be operated
  • TTL modulation pin has a RF connector
  • Power USB is used for provision of +5V power. For higher power lasers (e.g. DPSS), we typically install a cable with a DC connector
  • FAN ctrl. connector is compatible with all our fan cooled heat sinks

Software Interface

Laser control softwareThe MatchBox laser control software is used for checking preset parameters, such as the max. laser diode current, target temperatures for TEC1 and TEC2 and actual measured values of these parameters, as well as the load percentage of the Peltier elements. This is very helpful for laser diode age tracking and other troubleshooting actions. Also the software indicates if the laser is working in ACC (Automatic Current Control) or APC (Automatic Power Control) mode.

Device information shows key information about a laser, which is connected. Firmware, serial number, product code, operational hours and turn-on counter. In the software, it is possible to set if the laser should auto-start once connected to a power supply.

Output Power Calibration. Optical power can be changed by typing a new DAC value or power in mW (if calibrated). Calibration is possible by using a value table or special LabView tools, which supports Thorlabs power meters for automatic calibration. This way, calibration can be done for free-space output, after a fiber pigtail or at the end of more complex optical system, such as a microscope or a flow-cell. 

Advantages

  • Easy to integrate (smallest enclosure on the market)
  • Convenient to arrange in the proximity of a working area (use of fiber pigtails is often not necessary)
  • Standard Package (MatchBox Series)
  • User-friendly software with multiple parameter monitoring
  • Low power consumption in standby-mode (important for battery-powered applications)
  • Excellent beam pointing angle and beam position accuracy
  • High cooling capacity
  • Rugged enclosure
  • Operational hours counter
  • On/Off cycle counter
  • Smart over-heat protection
  • Black surface finish absorbs reflections
  • USB power for direct diode lasers
  • Variety of accessories
  • Space saving pinhead connector

What's in the Box?

  • Laser Source (integrated power electronics in the same enclosure)
  • Break-out Box (for USB communication and power)
  • Power cable (USB, DC)
  • 1 g of thermal grease
  • 2 screws of M2.5x20mm for fixing the laser to a mounting plate. Tightening torque 0.25 - 0.35 N·m
  • Hex key: 1,5 mm; BN:1169; DIN:911