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Old 11-13-2013, 06:31 AM #1
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Smile Greetings from Minnesota

Hi, my name is Wendy and I'm a new member. I just purchased a SFCR-200mW 650nm Red and a SFAG-300mW 532nm Green from www.sflasers.us at a great price. I've been fascinated by lasers since grade school when the first ruby laser was made. I built a Metrologic He-Ne laser kit in high school, learning so much about them, I was asked to teach lasers in Physics for two days. Later, I bought a holography lab with Zeiss optics tracks, spatial filter, etc. and made 70 mm and 4x5" glass plate holograms. Vibration was isolated with balloons and holding my breath! I always set up a Michelson interferometer to test relaxation time and stability.

In the 80's, I started Laser Concepts, built my own scanner and control panel from scratch, got a Federal Variance, and performed laser light shows at venues in the Twin Cities. A federal inspector from the then Bureau of Radiological Health (BRH) actually flew to Minneapolis to inspect my system in my apartment! The Federal Variance was a pain. I waited until I actually got federal approval, only to later learn all I really had to do was apply and then start performing shows while they reviewed – a common misconception by many applicants I was told. Then every show I did, I had to contact the local Dept. of Health - Radiation Division for an inspection and file my reports. Not too bad once I got going. I actually quit a job at an aerospace company to start the laser company. I decided I needed to take a chance rather than grow old with regret that I never tried it. Now I have some great memories!

You can see a brief history of that venture and the homemade laser system on YouTube: Wendy's LaserScan Light Show - YouTube

Sadly, back then, it cost a fortune to have high power lasers, let alone RGB. Mine was an analog control system. A few years after, I worked for Honeywell codeveloping a huge dual ion beam laser mirror deposition system for Ring Laser Gyro inertial instrument navigation systems. After that, I moved on to ion beam thin film YBCO superconductors and participated in developing the world's first uncooled infrared focal plane array, which are now available on high end cars to see in the dark, etc.

I loved creating laser shows but the tech was expensive and limited back then. I've recently perused the latest RGB systems and computer animation software, but as cool as it it today, I think that ship has sailed for me. But I will probably return to making holograms again. At the very least, I'll be lighting my candles with lasers - the beam is keen! I never lost interest in lasers all these years, and recently decided I owed it to myself to get some high power ones, especially burning ones.

My dad was an engineer, a telescope maker, and former pilot, so I was influenced by science, space, electronics, as well as art and music. I have a home recording studio, have had many high technology jobs, and have never lost interest in lasers. It amazes me that today, practically everyone has seen or used a laser pointer, yet a 5mW He-Ne back then cost nearly $700! I was the only person I knew who had one in the 70's. I even built a special inverter to take the 120 VAC laser mobile for the sole purpose of seeing the beam in the fog, and perhaps freaking everyone else out!

Anyway, hello from Minisoda! Yah, sure, you betcha!



Last edited by wendylou; 11-13-2013 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:39 PM #2
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Default Re: Greetings from Minnesota

Hi Wendy, welcome to LPF! Looks like you really did some cool stuff back then! Dig that robot boozarama and flowdreaming on Youtube too! Stupid question : did you don goggles during your laser show gigs?
__________________
READ BEFORE POSTING! LPF FORUM ETIQUETTE (by ChipDouglas)
HOW TO GET ALONG & BE ACCEPTED AT LPF (by Daguin)
COMPLETE GUIDE TO OWNING LASERS (by Livinloud)
MADE IN LPF - SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW LASERISTS FIRST!(by Wannaburnstuff)
6 WAYS TO AVOID SCAMS (by Tech_Junkie)
TRADES, FEEDBACK & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
LASER OWNERS PLEDGE (by Hakzaw1)
4 LASER SAFETY: (by Livinloud)
No matter the power, lasers should be treated like a loaded gun with these steps :
• ALWAYS keep the safety glasses/goggles on when operating lasers.
• ALWAYS keep the laser pointed away from humans, animals, cars, trains, air planes, etc.
• ALWAYS keep the laser “unloaded” until one is ready to use it (don’t store it with batteries inside).
• ALWAYS keep the finger away from the power button until one is ready to use it.
If one follows these simple rules, there will NEVER be any accidents involving lasers.

Last edited by OrionBLF; 11-13-2013 at 02:50 PM. Reason: serendipity
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:12 PM #3
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wendylou wendylou is offline
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Default Re: Greetings from Minnesota

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrionBLF View Post
Hi Wendy, welcome to LPF! Looks like you really did some cool stuff back then! Dig that robot boozarama and flowdreaming on Youtube too! Stupid question : did you don goggles during your laser show gigs?
Thanks! I'm glad I found LPF to learn about better pricing than Wicked.

I did not have to wear goggles because my LaserScan output far less then the 5mW Helium-Neon source when scanning the beam. I was really under-powered and under-funded. Nevertheless, the BRH still required a Variance and much monitoring. At the time, I met with the owner of Laserium in neighboring St. Paul and he acquired a bank loan for $120,000 to buy powerful lasers exceeding 1W in RGB. It was a static installation in an old theater. That was so bright, they used a transparent screen to pass 90% of the beam. But neither audience nor operators wore goggles.
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