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Old 01-12-2010, 06:46 AM #1
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Default ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

I received my complete argon setup today! I bought this on ebay: ALC60x Argon Ion LASER w/ power supply, fan, and cable! - eBay (item 230419917738 end time Jan-07-10 09:57:11 PST)

I also found out that it was formerly owned by Laser_Ben, and he posted it on BST a little while ago as well.

After assembling everything (with some help from MarioMaster and vk2fro on laserchat), I fired it up. I absolutely love the beam color! The beam is surprisingly bright at idle (5mW). I ran it at full current for only a few seconds, and it measured 99-100mW. Here's some pics:





Idle with lights on in the room:


Idle with lights off in room:


50mW with lights off in room:


I can't wait to get my 473nm RPL back to compare the colors. It's getting late for me, and I'll try to get some multi-line pics up tomorrow as well as some pics with other lasers next to it. I'm very happy with this laser! It's my favorite by far!


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Old 01-12-2010, 07:03 AM #2
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

Ar lasers are awesome for sure!

Is that a single line 488 or a multi line laser?

I also have a 60X. It's probably about the same output power. Mine is multi line. Most of the energy is at 488 (cyan), but I also have a strong 519 (green) and a not so strong 476 (true blue).

You can tell right away with a prism, diffraction grating, CD, anything that will split the beam into a spectral spread.

Some 60X laser heads are really hot. They can put out as much as 300mW or more. And some are way better in the high-end of the spectrum and can produce a lot of energy at true blue, deep blue and violet. Ar lasers can produce line well into the UV.

There are some crusty looking pictures of all of the stuff I got in one purchase, back on 01/01/2005, here:

http://akrobiz.com/laserboy

I have since cleaned it all up, replaced some of the electronics and gotten it all working rather well.

The first thing I had to do was rebuild the Ar power supply!

The big, gold colored Ar PS is not mine. The guy who sold me all this stuff (for practically nothing) lent me his PS. I never needed to use it. The one I got was very easy to fix. He had already ordered all the parts from Digi-Key!

James.

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:05 AM #3
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

Welcome to the gassy side. There's nothing like a good argon laser to "warm" your heart

Peace,
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:08 AM #4
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

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Welcome to the gassy side. There's nothing like a good argon laser to "warm" your heart

Peace,
dave
yea I guess my 1mW HeNe didn't really "warm" me much, but this thing does the trick. As soon as my dad saw it, he was already asking me to chip in to the electricity bill


Yes it is a multi-line. Laser_Ben has given me some tips on how to walk the beam. He said it puts out 175mW at full current when aligned correctly. I'll mess around with that some other time.
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:18 AM #5
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

Nice pics bryce007.

That silver AC ducting looks good on the head, leading off to the (as you call it) "Bigass squirrel cage motor" and should keep the tube happy in the heat department.

I'm glad we were able to catch you and talk you through the operating procedure. (myself and MarioMaster)

Glad your enjoying your Argon. Gas lasers are a lot of fun (and kind of take my fancy better than pointers or solid state lasers).

I'm going to bolt some Scanpro 30's on to mine, make a soundcard DAC and run ********* on my netbook to do some beamshows with it
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:36 PM #6
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

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Originally Posted by bryce007 View Post


Yes it is a multi-line. Laser_Ben has given me some tips on how to walk the beam. He said it puts out 175mW at full current when aligned correctly. I'll mess around with that some other time.
The ability to adjust the alignment is one of the better features of those lasers. I have a JDS Uniphase head, and it has sealed mirrors so they can't be adjusted easily. I'm pretty much stuck with what I've got.. which ain't bad, currently. Never know what could happen in the future, though.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:54 PM #7
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

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Originally Posted by James_Lehman View Post
some are way better in the high-end of the spectrum and can produce a lot of energy at true blue, deep blue and violet.
That generally means they are aging. More green is what you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Lehman View Post
They can put out as much as 300mW or more.
"can" being the operative word. Only when brand new and for the first few hours of operation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Lehman View Post
Ar lasers can produce line well into the UV.
Again, "can" being the operative word. They need different mirrors.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:15 PM #8
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

Nice laser

Argon's are awesome, all the setting up and things also makes it unique from just pressing a switch on a pointer.

I have a 52mW peak single line which is great, would be nice to have a multiline
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:14 PM #9
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

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Nice laser

Argon's are awesome, all the setting up and things also makes it unique from just pressing a switch on a pointer.

I have a 52mW peak single line which is great, would be nice to have a multiline

I still have this 120mW ALC head here - might need the mirrors walked a little. But if you can alocate a PSU for it then you can have it for like 60 + shipping.

@Bryce - don't worry about running that ALC at 10A , so long as you have enough cooling they can handle it all day, the bore is a little larger than on the JDSU so it can handle the current.
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Old 01-12-2010, 04:46 PM #10
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

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Originally Posted by diachi View Post
I still have this 120mW ALC head here - might need the mirrors walked a little. But if you can alocate a PSU for it then you can have it for like 60 + shipping.

@Bryce - don't worry about running that ALC at 10A , so long as you have enough cooling they can handle it all day, the bore is a little larger than on the JDSU so it can handle the current.
ah, very tempting... Depends how much I would be looking at for a power-supply
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:02 PM #11
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

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ah, very tempting... Depends how much I would be looking at for a power-supply

Sure thing, if you find one give me a shout cause it's just sitting here doing nothing.

Sadly the JDSU PSUs aren't compatible due to the lower cathode voltage they use ( 2.6VAC opposed to 3.2VAC for an ALC60 ).


Back on topic! Bryce, nice laser - well done for getting it, you'll soon be addicted.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:18 PM #12
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

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@Bryce - don't worry about running that ALC at 10A , so long as you have enough cooling they can handle it all day, the bore is a little larger than on the JDSU so it can handle the current.
In that Case, I'll get some 10A pics up a little later.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:18 PM #13
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

What current were you running at to get 50mW?
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:21 PM #14
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

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Originally Posted by ElektroFreak View Post
What current were you running at to get 50mW?
I'm not sure. I need to get some banana leads so I can hook my DMM up to the head to get that reading.

At 50mW, I think I had the knob turned about halfway
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:23 PM #15
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

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Originally Posted by bryce007 View Post
In that Case, I'll get some 10A pics up a little later.

that blower looks like it'll be giving plenty of cooling - if it isn't then you'll know as the temp interlock will kick in ... not gonna hurt the head if that happens once or twice. But the tube can handle the current for sure.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:36 PM #16
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Default Re: ALC60X Argon (my first argon laser!)

Here's some more beam shots I took today:

Argon at idle and 1mW baretube HeNe:


Argon at idle, and 5mW WL Core:


From left to right: WL PD pro ~120mW, Argon at idle, 140mW blu-ray, and 160mW LOC:


Same set of lasers, different angle:


I took out the red on this one because of the halo around it:


And finally, 120mW PD pro with Argon running at full current at ~100mW:


It seems that my camera really doesn't like 405nm. 5mW of 488nm looks brighter than 140mW of 405nm!

Now here's a video of it lighting a match at full power. I don't have a fog machine, which is why the beam doesn't look very visible in the video:

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Last edited by bryce007; 01-12-2010 at 09:03 PM.
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