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Old 12-02-2014, 05:45 PM #1
Class 1 Laser
 
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Location: Delaware
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rusirius rusirius is offline
Class 1 Laser
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Delaware
Posts: 56
Rep Power: 2
rusirius will become famous soon enough
Default New member!

So I suppose a little back story is in order... (cue squiggly fade out)

Back in 1989 our school held a science fair. After racking my brain and not being able to come up with any good ideas I sat down to watch some TV. Found the movie Real Genius and after watching it knew what I wanted to do for my project... Build a laser!

I went to the library and got a few books on lasers to learn all I could. I was enamored by the Ruby lasers but realized that was a bit out of my league (and pay grade) . One of the books was titled something like "Build your own laser, ray gun, phaser and other highly dangerous but really cool stuff" It was my favorite. I believe one of it's projects was a CO2 laser but getting access to a vacuum pump and other equipment needed wasn't going to be easy either.

So eventually, a little bit crushed I realized I wasn't going to be blasting any holes through concrete walls or filling any teachers homes with popcorn using a space laser.

Still, what I had learned along the way about lasers had absolutely fascinated me. What began as an idea to build a cutting or burning laser made me realize that even a plain old visible "dot" was still going to be pretty fascinating.

I ended up buying a surplus HeNe tube from some surplus catalog company and a power supply.

I wired everything up and built it inside a plexiglass enclosure. I cut the plexiglass to hold the tube in place and keep the anode and cathodes away from any interested fingers. Mounted a switch in the box and extended the front end of it out about 3 ft. In the very end I made a small pull out drawer. The idea was to fill the drawer up with dry ice and a little water which would fill the forward 2.5ft of box with vapor to make the beam visible. This combined with a couple of smoked acrylic lenses I had picked up completed the show.

I honestly don't remember if I won any awards for that science fair, but I really didn't care. I was happy with my build and had lots of fun with that laser over the next few years.

A few times over the years my interest would start to gear up again and I'd think about making a CO2 or Argon laser since my resources weren't nearly as limited, but I never actually took that plunge.

Then my son came along and sucked the very life right out of my wallet.

A few years ago I started seeing some of the higher power diodes popping up and had actually threatened to rip one out of the first blu-ray player I came across at a yard sale or something. Still time passed and I just never took that step.

I came across this forum a few times just trying to keep up to date with some of the current stuff out there but as I said, just never really had the time or effort to devote to really getting back into it again.

Then one day I was visiting a friend who pulled out his latest toy... He promptly told me it was a 1W green laser (of which he had no idea what the wavelength was nor was it marked on the device itself). I asked him how much he had paid for it because honestly I couldn't see him paying that kind of money for a toy... When he answered I honestly lost it. $40...

I explained to him that there was no WAY you could get a 1W laser, ESPECIALLY green which is DPSS for $40... I honestly had no idea as I hadn't looked that closely but I figured probably about $1-$2 per mW. Oh, and of course he had no safety gear at all so I didn't even want to try to get an idea of just how much power it truly was. I went home and ordered some Eagle Pair glasses. When they came in I went back to see him to do some testing. It wouldn't even heat up a black surface. If I had to take a guess I'd say he was lucky if it was 1mW.

So anyway, now that I had a set of glasses I figured maybe it was time to get something decent for myself. I considered building something, but figured to get started I'd just get something pre-built. I did a bit of research and decided to order a 445 2W-2.4W from SFlasers. I like the fact that he uses a 501 as a host since I have a bunch of those I keep around anyway.

I'm pretty excited and can't wait to get my hands on it.

In the mean time, I'm already starting to think ahead. I'm seriously considering ordering another 9mm 445 diode. A couple years back I started creating a project that was going to be a 3D printer. I had the frame constructed and stepper motors mounted. I was using an Atmel ATMega168 MCU for the interface. I even had most of the code wrote for the MCU to control the frame. I just never figured out what or how I was going to do the head and eventually it just fell to the wayside. Now I'm thinking I should revive the project and revamp it into a burning/cutting setup. Would certainly be a great next project anyway. I just wish I had more time to devote to such things these days!

So that's my story... oh... yeah... (cue wavy blurry lines and fade back in)


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Old 12-02-2014, 06:19 PM #2
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Welcome to LPF!

-Alex
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My Lasers:
593.5nm: Laserglow Rigel-2 (waiting for arrival)

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Old 12-03-2014, 12:25 AM #3
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Location: Louisville, KY
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Default Re: New member!

Welcome!

That is possibly the best introduction I've seen. Definitely better than mine...

I look forward to seeing a thread on your project.
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405nm SkyLaser PL 300-500 - ~500mW (523mW);| SkyLaser LP 5-80 - 5mW
405nm SkyRay 12X S06J w/450mA microboost - 485mW :|: BDR-209 16X w/700mA microboost 2X in ZeroLasers SkyRay and Chunk hosts
445nm ZeroLaser 2x18650 host 9mm w/2.3A X-drive - 2.8W :|: Trustfire A8 9mm w/2.4A X-drive - "The Sentinel" ~3W
445nm JetLasers PL-E - ~1.25W (1.32W) :|: 445nm 9mm w/2.4A X-drive Kryton "the Terminator" :|: Blord 501B build - 2.1W
450nm Osram PLTB450 in SL S4 host - 1.48W :|: 450nm Osram PL450B with ~280mA microboost in C6 host - 235mWBuild here
462nm 9mm diode in ZeroLasers chunk w/1.8A X-drive :|: M462 in sinner Cypreus-II w/microboost
473nm CNI lab 40mW
520nm NDG700 @1.8A in Cypreus-IIb - 1.04W :|: PL520 w/300mA x-boost in S4 host - 102mW Build here
532nm JetLasers Ti-B - 100mW (151mW)
589nm Dragonlasers Spartan 50mW
638nm Mits in SL C6 host custom build - 677mW :|: Opnext single mode 290mA x-drive in SL Steel C6 host w/ext. copper HS - 230mW
650nm copper module in C6 host - ~300mW (230mW) Build here
650nm module in custom host - ~300mW (224mW) "LiL Red Eye" Build Here

Radiant X4 3.7W LPM
Nospin 5W LPM
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