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Old 07-02-2010, 12:38 AM #1
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Default HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

I have several concepts for moding my HeNe tube however I'm not sure if they are worth doing or if they would work at all.

So I'm posting my concepts/questions on these mods and I would like the advice on these concepts answered in the following order if possible ,(A) would it be possible? , (B) is it worth doing?, (C) if it's possible and or worth doing what is the best way to attempt such a feat ?,

Mod #1 this tube has 2 semi reflective mirrors in it one of them is less reflective than the other. The question is will a common slivered mirror be good enough to supplement one of these other mirrors well enough to increase the output power of the laser itself and can this be done without removing one of the existing mirrors?

Mod #2 Provided the proper equipment is available can the gas inside the tube be exchanged for a different mixture of gasses in order to change the output color? If so what color/s other than the current is most compatible with the existing mirrors? (my tube currently emits a pinkish orange)

Mod #3 If the tube breaks for any reason can the mirrors be removed without breaking them? If so what can they be used for?

Mod #4 Is it remotely possible to exchange/replace the existing mirrors (built in type) without wrecking the tube too bad to be repaired with amateur glass blowing skills , the proper gas mixture, and a vacuum pump.



Last edited by psi seeker 34; 07-02-2010 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:59 AM #2
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

Quote:
Originally Posted by psi seeker 34 View Post
I have several concepts for moding my HeNe tube however I'm not sure if they are worth doing or if they would work at all.

So I'm posting my concepts/questions on these mods and I would like the advice on these concepts answered in the following order if possible ,(A) would it be possible? , (B) is it worth doing?, (C) if it's possible and or worth doing what is the best way to attempt such a feat ?,

Mod #1 this tube has 2 semi reflective mirrors in it one of them is less reflective than the other. The question is will a common slivered mirror be good enough to supplement one of these other mirrors well enough to increase the output power of the laser itself and can this be done without removing one of the existing mirrors?

Mod #2 Provided the proper equipment is available can the gas inside the tube be exchanged for a different mixture of gasses in order to change the output color? If so what color/s other than the current is most compatible with the existing mirrors? (my tube currently emits a pinkish orange)

Mod #3 If the tube breaks for any reason can the mirrors be removed without breaking them? If so what can they be used for?

Mod #4 Is it remotely possible to exchange/replace the existing mirrors (built in type) without wrecking the tube too bad to be repaired with amateur glass blowing skills , the proper gas mixture, and a vacuum pump.
For the "average" hobbyist:
1 = No
2 = No
3 = They can be "removed" but will have little value for you
4 = No

Peace,
dave
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:12 AM #3
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

A vet can correct me if I'm wrong here - but, PsiSeeker - with HeNe, the color of the output is not simply a function of the gas mixture alone.

Specialized optics -i.e., mirrors created for and tuned for the desired output wavelength, have to work in conjunction with the lasing lines available in the tube to produce a desired output.

For the most part, for example, green, red, orange and yellow HeNe tubes have the same gas mixture inside; it's the optics that determine the lasing action and which line gets amplified and produced.

So to change to a different output color you'd need to affix new mirrors - not something that seems worth it. (Though when I had that dead 612, some pros did want those mirrors... - Probably for an external mirror tube; I can't imagine anyone trying to build their own 612 HeNe ...)
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:19 AM #4
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Talking Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

Yes ..... basically, due also to the low efficency of the tubes, if you want to change the color of a He-Ne tube from, say, red to green, you need at least, for get the maximum possible green output, to:

Change the "cavity" lenght, for match the new wavelenght (professional assemblies)

Change the mirrors, IF they are multilayer dielectric ones, with a pair of them that have the "layers" matched for the new wavelenght

Change the angle of the Brewsted window (or windows, if the tube have two of them), with a different angle that match the new wavelenght

..... this as basical modifications
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:18 PM #5
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

I had no idea that it would take that much work to alter a HeNe tube.

Ok so what changes if any can be reasonably done to a HeNe tube that has internal
optics (no brewster window) ?
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:41 PM #6
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

Quote:
Originally Posted by psi seeker 34 View Post
I had no idea that it would take that much work to alter a HeNe tube.

Ok so what changes if any can be reasonably done to a HeNe tube that has internal
optics (no brewster window) ?

Sometimes you can put magnets around them to get a stronger or more stable beam. I don't want to pretend to know how this works, but I think it has something to do with attenuating one of the IR lines.
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780nm:OLIKE 120mW
685nm:18650 47mW
671nm:PGL3M 281mW DPSS ∙ PGL3C 278mW
655nm:LOC 254mW ∙ OLIKE 221mW ∙ Yob 320mW
638nm:Sanyo 40mW ∙ HL63133 200mW ∙ PGL3C 463mWpk ∙ ML520 700mW
633nm:JDS1145 HeNe 28mW ∙ JDS1145 HeNe 26mW
612nm:MG 05LOR151 HeNe 3mW ∙ REO LSTP 3mW
609nm:REO LHOR 1mW
604nm:REO LSTP 2mW
594nm:Rigel 3mW ∙ LG PGL3C 15mWpk ∙ Lasos 7512 3mW ∙ CNI MGL3 58mWpk
589nm:CNI PGL3C 106mW ∙ CNI PGL3C 85mW
561nm:CNI PGL3C 30mW(41pk)
556nm:CNI PGL3C 20mW(22pk)
544nm:JDS1675P HeNe 2mW ∙ REO LHGR 2mW ∙ Lasos 7786 2mW
532nm:PGL3C 150mW(180pk) ∙ PGL3C 578mWpk ∙ PLC 440mWpk
515nm:JDS 221420GL ArI 30mW
510nm:52mW DG#2 ∙ 50mW 26650 DG
488nm:Nlx DPSS 7mW ∙ JDS 2214 ArI 40mW ∙ JDS FCD488 DPSS 25mW
ML:MG 65A106025 ArI ML 115mW
476/480nm:Nichia Diode 28mW
473nm:PGL3A 45mW(80pk) ∙ PGL3C 110mWpk ∙ PGL3C 95mWpk ∙ RPLB-25 60mWpk
465nm:DTR NDB7676 2.03w
458nm:JDS 2214VL ArI 8mW ∙ JDS 2214VL ArI 12mW ∙ RHD Diode 1.7W
452nm:Osram SM 47mW
445nm:Yob 1410mW ∙ Polaris 156mW ∙ PGL3C 1200mW ∙ DTR-EHG 32650 2136mW
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

Quote:
Originally Posted by psi seeker 34 View Post
I had no idea that it would take that much work to alter a HeNe tube.

Ok so what changes if any can be reasonably done to a HeNe tube that has internal
optics (no brewster window) ?
Nothing. You can build it in to something sculptural, like a lamp base or table top. Steampunk.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:35 AM #8
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

You're thinking of High Voltage tubes. Changing the gas mixture and pressure will affect the color of HV streamers in said environment. But even though laser tubes use HV it is not the color of the plasma that dictates the color to the laser output. For example; green HeNe tubes glow a pale red yet emit a green beam.

See;

-Dave's pic-

-Tony
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:52 AM #9
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

a very pretty desklamp !

Too bad gas lasers are in many ways on their way out, other than CO2
I really wished someone could come up with a TEA He/Ne laser for more power, if it could be possible.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:31 PM #10
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

I prefer gas lasers for 2 reasons, 1 in addition to a laser you also get a neon lightbulb
and 2 it's remarkably hard to break them due to adding too much power.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:32 AM #11
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Talking Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

Quote:
Originally Posted by psi seeker 34 View Post
I prefer gas lasers for 2 reasons, 1 in addition to a laser you also get a neon lightbulb
and 2 it's remarkably hard to break them due to adding too much power.
True. You can't break them by a little bit too much current.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:02 PM #12
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

I have the facilities to mod them. I'll do anything you'd like, at 400$ a hour plus parts cost. Minimum 8 hours.

Why so expensive, because the tank of ultra pure gas alone is 270$ plus hazmat shipping. The pinchoff tool was 1800$. A pound of the helium proof glass is about 250$. The bore in one offs is 30$. The optics, if in stock, are 250$ a piece for one offs, and about 15$ a set if you buy 2000 sets.

Its expensive... get the idea? Better just to buy one already made, because when made in bulk, they are cheap.

I'm not kidding, at 400$ a hour I'm letting you off light. Hiring the glassblower, if needed is 100$ a hour.

Now if someone wanted a 300 mW vfold hene, I could do that at a bit cheaper rate. They have been done. Its not hard. Just the beam is fat in one axis.

In reality, I rework a few Coherent Inc, argon ion tubes per year. I can do anything you'd want with a ion, cheaper, faster and easier, and have more wavelengths to choose from. Including 13 line whitelights.

I got lucky, I had a investor buy me the pinchoff tool and most of the vacuum station. He needs a few custom modified ion lasers per year, and let me keep the supplies in return for researching how to do it.

There are plans in Scientific American for home made henes.

I know of a few folks who have done it:

Take a look at pulslaser.de

Then take a look at this:

http://www.jklasers.com/HeNe/HeNe_Laser_Report.htm

HENE is difficult, a fraction of a fingerprint in the wrong place, inside the vacuum system, or the smallest amount of oxygen, stops lasing.

They will probably never quite go away for the next 50 years, as they are the secondary standard for the meter for most countries.

The good news is you can make a nitrogen laser, its much easier, often works with plain air, can be done on a kitchen table, and in many ways, more fun. No exotic parts, either. Once you get N2 going, you can generate just about any color you want with a dye pumped by the N2 laser. Plans are freely available and I'd be shocked if the materials cost is more then 50-100$, provided you know how to scrounge. Youtube videos are all over the place.

I have a commercial, used, N2, it does 100-150 Kilowatt, peak power, pulses at 20 hz. It has no trouble pumping Rhodamine dye. its not for sale.

I also have a 1 brewster hene tube setting here if you want to play without cracking the glass. I paid 75$ for it and a power supply. Let me know if you really, really, really want it and I'll see if its in good condition. The mirror inside will allow 615, 640, 633, and some of the rare oranges to lase as well as the Raman red line. I think Sam got a little,, ie microwatts, of 584 yellow from the same type.

Until them I suggest you read:

Sam's Laser FAQ - Helium-Neon Lasers

and the external mirror trick:

Sam's Laser FAQ - Helium-Neon Lasers

I do know a fellow who got yellow from a green tube without changing mirrors, using the external mirror trick.

And if Daguin is bored, I have gotten other lines from single line air cooled, sealed mirror argons. Hint, Hint.



Steve

Last edited by LSRFAQ; 07-06-2010 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:39 AM #13
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

Cool !!!!

How much would it cost if I wanted to have my HeNe filled with the gas mixture they often put in Co2 lasers ?
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Old 07-07-2010, 01:08 AM #14
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Default Re: HeNe tube mod concepts. (may be good for your daily LOL if nothing else)

Quote:
Originally Posted by psi seeker 34 View Post
Cool !!!!

How much would it cost if I wanted to have my HeNe filled with the gas mixture they often put in Co2 lasers ?
171$ plus shipping.

Already done and on ebay, 171$:

NEW 40W CO2 LASER TUBE CUTTING ENGRAVING WATER-COOLED - eBay (item 370395525294 end time Jul-12-10 06:03:13 PDT)

HENE mirrors have a coefficient of expansion of 32 x 10-7 cm per degree C of temperature change. The Kovar metal the mirrors and tube glass are hard sealed to has a expansion of 34 x 10=7 cm/deg.

The Zinc selenide used in small co2 optics has a COE of 6 x 10-7 cm/deg, your metal has to match your mirror material within 6 parts per million. So it cannot be done. Your 26 off on the COE.

The gas again, would cost me about 300$ and shipping. The fill tube, made of nickle, about 20$. The real issue is the bore size is way too small for Co2, you'd get a pretty bluish white glow, but no lasing.

Steve

Last edited by LSRFAQ; 07-07-2010 at 01:11 AM.
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