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Old 06-14-2010, 06:25 AM #1
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Default Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

Pictured here is an Argon laser tube out of a Laser Physics Reliant laser. Cathode voltage is ~2.5v and output was measured to be >50mW. This tube produces a very tight, stunning blue beam that remains tightly columnated over a long distance.
This is the tube....


Here is a laser that contains an identical tube....



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Old 06-14-2010, 06:38 AM #2
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

I just love seeing the heatsinks on those gas lasers,
Mind putting up a pic of one of them lasing?
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:32 AM #3
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

They do look good. I'll see what I can do when I get some spare time. The only problem is that once on, there's only a few second window of opportunity to take a photo because without cooling, they get very hot very quickly. There's not a lot to see when its running apart from a yellowish glow through the white ceramic and some speckled laser light around the front and rear mirrors.
Enjoy!
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:07 AM #4
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

yeah the ceramic tubes arent as cool as the ones found inside the NEC GLG 3030 or other small air cooled argons with the glass type tubes. Those you can see the plasma glow and cathode spot; but watch out for all that nasty UV.

TLL is right, without proper cooling all argon tubes will melt down in short order, hence the air cooled lasers have 1-3 big fans on them, and the larger water cooled ones need gallons of water a minute to keep them cool..

That reminds me, time to do a maintainence burn on the laserphysics.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:28 AM #5
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

Ben! Great to see you mate!
You might be interested to know that I sold the two remaining Laser Physics units recently. One went to the US to a guy from this forum as well but can't remember what name he goes by on here. Here's part of the email he sent me when he got it....
"All I can say is awesome. I saw 488nm in DPSS in person from some company at CLEO last year and this looks even better. I don't think that I ever saw an argon in person before. It's nothing short of amazing. (It could actually heat my office in the winter). I'll be certain to review it and post the info to LPF (with pics and high accolades) as soon as I get a chance to put it on the meter."
The other one went to, believe it or not, Mexico.
Ben, I remember you tried lighting a match with the argon. I tried that too and I got smoke but with 50+mW no fire. But, try a balloon. I took one of my units to work to play around with it with the guys and it popped a red balloon at a meter away with no problems. You just have to keep the balloon still.
Take it easy mate and will catch up with you soon.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:33 AM #6
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

hahahaah yes using them as a backup heater is a bright idea no pun intended. My heater blew up a while back (since got a new one) but up until then on really cold nights (due to a window that must remain open for the radio coax's I'd run my argon as a heater. Warms the room up real quick.

I must say I am really happy with my laser phyics, its a pretty nice little laser.

oh! I got a pentax K-X - shall I take high res shots of the machine?

I just finished building a home made intervalometer as pentax in their infinate wisdom decided not to include a remote port, so I hacked a cabled remote to an infrared one
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:38 AM #7
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

Yeah, lets see some photos of your laser taken with your new camera. Some shots of the internals I reckon would look great.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:49 AM #8
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

whoa the addition of some serious fans looks necesssay to even turn something like that on even with those BIG heatsinks.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:38 PM #9
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

Quote:
Originally Posted by iwannapony View Post
whoa the addition of some serious fans looks necesssay to even turn something like that on even with those BIG heatsinks.

These tubes generally output 0.7-1.5kW of heat. Depending on the tube current/voltage of course.
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Old 06-19-2010, 05:42 PM #10
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

Yep - Argons are often referred to space heaters in a small box. Trust me, my heater blew up and its the middle of winter - up until I got a new coloumn heater, I used my argon to warm the room
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Old 06-20-2010, 03:48 AM #11
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

Argon tubes sure are pretty

I got this one from daguin a few days ago:





The last thing I need here in Cairns is a heater, although I am currently saving for 2 500VA toroidal transformers from Jaycar to power the thing
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:00 PM #12
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

Nice one Things. That start board looks kinda like the nec GLG 3030's starter, which is a laser I used to have.

Heres my LaserPhysics running during its burnin, which needed to be done (havent run him in over 3 months! for any lengthy period anyway. I have run it for an hour now. should do the trick.)



Love that blue beam Shes just on idle at the moment. No need to put excessive hours on the tube for a burnin.
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:10 AM #13
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

Hey guys, It was me who got the other LaserPhysics Reliant 50S-488 from Timelablasers. (Thanks again Rob!) I'll meter, photo and review it as soon as work lets up. The laser took a fun 4 day trip through US Customs, Homeland Security and the FDA/CDRH with queries at each juncture. You should always be honest when declaring/shipping lab lasers. Even though they are not subject to the same restrictions as handhelds, they are scrutinized nonetheless and even the slightest discrepancy warrants further examination. I think that the FDA fired mine up to check it out. 488 is quite beautiful, I'm certain that the CDRH thought so also. I'm trying without luck to obtain a manual for this laser in case anyone knows where to obtain one. Thanks again, Bill
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Old 06-25-2010, 05:36 AM #14
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

vk2fro, that's because the tube is a GLG3078 ... so it's the 3030's brother

I need to find 2 50-0-50 500VA toroidal transformers, or 1 100V 1000VA transformer. Seems no matter how I get it, I'm not going to be able to go under $150

How does that little argon you have run? Is it a 240V tube?

I don't think I saw any big bulky transformers in those things
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:45 AM #15
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

No Things, the tube is a 100 volt one just like most argons.

This thing uses a cleverly designed switchmode power supple, much less bulky than the linear one you are building.

I assume you are following Sams FAQ on building a linear supply? I built one of those also, then months later the tube failed, so I paired it with an ALC 60X, which then someone stole the laser!

WRM: good luck - I've been looking for a technicians manual for yonks so I can finally build a remote for the laser. If you find anything please let me know.

But basically,
1. Insert interlock plug
2. Connect to mains, switch master switch on
3. Set power dial to mid position
4. Turn key. Fans will come on
5. 30 seconds later beam will be emitted. (provided beam shutter is open)
6. After 5 minutes warmup set power to level you need.
7. Finishing up, turn power to idle and run for 5 minutes
8. Turn key off.
9. When fans switch off, it is safe to disconnect the laser from the mains.

if you wont be using the laser for a while run it once a month for half an hour to an hour to keep the tube in good condition.

edit: my current project is a 500 size RC helicopter - pity I cant mount lasers on it! (without breaking several dozen laws)
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:57 AM #16
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Default Re: Argon....Blue is beautiful....tube pic

Yeah, I have been thinking about going switchmode, but it's so much more complicated than the linear one, although in the long run it'd probably be much better.

Do you have any good pics of the inside, specifically the power supply part?

Cheers,
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