I decided to go in that project after one of my friends pointed me to thisinstructable. I love the idea to own a Star Trek Phaser in my props collection, and having a blue laser on it was even more interesting !
My research on blue / purple laser led me to the laser pointers forum. Combining info with instructable, I saw it was the cheapest way to get a blue laser was to buy a spare playstation 3 optical head referenced as KES-400AAA, available for instance from PSPBoy for about $30.
The disassembly of the laser diode isn't difficult pe say but beware of ESD. My first attempt damaged the diode and I had to buy a second one.
To avoid the destruction of the diode, follow those two advices of mine : - work with an anti ESD wrist wrap - work on a anti ESD surface, like a mylar bag.
Start like SAM proposes : solder the ground lead first then attach a piece of wire to the other leads you want to solder to get it grounded during the soldering operation.
►Power supply This diode can't survive to excessive current and it's pretty picky. Sam proposes a LM317 based current regulator however with the voltage drop, I'll need a 5V power supply while the phaser sound unit works with 3 button cells batteries (4.5V total). I still have to find the right system to power the whole system. For now, I'll use a simple resistor to limit the current, since the risk is limited when using small batteries.
►Phaser disassembly & optic
The blaster comes appart easily. Don't forget to remove the back "heatsink" to reveal an hidden screw. I kept the collimation optic from the PS3 head and I protect the diode with a small signal roll off diode (1N4148)
Then the muzzle is drilled with a 2.5 mm hole and some additionnal milling is done to be able to install the little lense.
[21-02-2010] I dig out this project from 6 feet under, it was packed since we moved in 2008. In the meanwhile I found a NICE laser that works with 3V. Simplistic power supply using a single li-ion cell. The laser has his own optic and control board, very handy and sturdy. After some hacks of the sound unit (top part of the blaster), I found the led control pin before the power driver, and I wired it to one of my power xtenders to drive the laser exactly as the stock led was, with a progressive effect, visible when you select the "explosive" mode of the phaser. The laser was slightly mis aligned so that it "licks" a bit the transparent muzzle part and the laser coherent light produces an aura on the plastic, very NEAT effect. I also added a blue led in the sound unit close to the rotary power selector, it makes a nice ON indicator. A recharge port is hidden at the back of the handle, invisible when the bottom clip is back in place, but remains accessible in seconds.
Nice aura on the barrel (hard to picture, better in video)