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Old 10-11-2013, 08:38 PM #33
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

@hwang mine ticked too when i first powered it up. something like 6 ticks the first time, then the next time i powered it up, 3 ticks, then the next time 1, now it doesn't tick at all. I would say turn it on, let it run at idle for a good 30-45 minutes, get the tube kind of "exercised"- it hasn't been run in a while. glad to hear its working



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Old 10-11-2013, 08:40 PM #34
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

Wait this is a different Argon from the one I bought from our seller haha I don't think the seller of our Argons has even shipped mine yet
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:44 PM #35
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

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Originally Posted by hwang21 View Post
Is it bad to just let the Argon tick until it lases? I read somewhere on here that each "tick" knocks a bit off of the cathode... how many times can the cathode last?

Also, do I need to jump any pins for this? There doesn't seem to be anything on the "Remote" pins of the PSU... thanks
Yes, letting her tick for hours on end wears out the cathode, but it takes some time. There isn't much point to keep her ticking beyond a few minutes. She either lights up or she doesn't. The Oudin coil is a good way to get her started. Once started, if you let he run for a few hours (or days) on medium to low power, sometimes you can bring them back so they don't need the coil to ignite. Maybe you can borrow a ciol, if you don't have one.

I seem to recall my ALC 60X needed two pins jumpered to light. Maybe it's only one. The pot on my Xerox PSU was sued to vary the output. Sam's Repair FAQ site will contain data on the remote plug, and what needs to be jumpered to make her go. Look for the 60X data.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:48 PM #36
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

Thanks for the info. How bad is the damage to the cathode if it's left to tick for a few hours? I read that some people here just left them to tick for a good hour before they finally lased... although whether that was because they also turned the fan off to "superheat" the Argon, idk.

Any ideas?
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:12 PM #37
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

I almost bought it, but didn't take the chance.

It's ticking because it's trying to start the plasma. Like the pilot light on a wet gas stove.

If you can start it with a tesla, or oudin, you may be in luck. Getting it to run, and then letting it run for several hours to getter the extra gasses out may bring her to life.

If I remember correctly, this one previously did 100mW, but then it was left to sit too long, and now it doesn't work.

The part about letting a laser sit too long, and it not lasing, is for the most part, a myth. I doubt that just sitting around did anything. Just think about everyone else' argon? Chances are they sat on shelves for years to decades before they got to us.

This is based on my own logic, and Sam's findings. Just an FYI.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:15 PM #38
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

Do you mind letting me borrow/loan your Oudin? I do have a plasma ball though, there should be a tesla coil within that... how would I use the plasma ball, if it could work?

And why didn't you "take the chance"?

EDIT: and since I haven't really found any solid answers on here or on Sam's Laser FAQ, why are there usually only 6 lines on an air-cooled Argon, with the 7th or 8th line only popping in sometimes on some units, stable-ish in other units, and not at all in some units? Also, is there any way a 6 line Argon (for example) could become a 7 or 8 line Argon? And what's preventing a 9-line or 10-line air-cooled Argon? Thanks

EDIT #2: what other possibilities are there for a ticking Argon, provided the tube is relatively new, and the PSU is compatible with the Argon? And I thought letting an Argon sit for a few years makes it hard to start, hence the ticking?
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:26 PM #39
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

I have not confirmed if what I have is indeed an oudin. I have a starter from an Innova I-70.

I just have money that needs to go elsewhere. Gov shutdown, may not be paid on Tuesday.

Now onto the fun part! Lines!

Standard wavelengths for Argon are your 6 lines. Some tubes are healthy and will lase two more, for an 8 line.

The other two lines are finicky. 454 has a fairly weak gain, as does 528. The 528 only lases if a) VERY clean optics, and pixy dust. B) You have a unit made for special lab use, with trace Ne in the tube. C) You over power your tube in the 20A+ range (DO NOT DO THIS).

The 528 is just a very hard line to get, and chances are, it won't be there. This is not to say that 9 and 10 line argons do not exist. I've seen a 9 line doing 454, I have not visually seen a laser doing 528 aside from spectrometer graphs.

Getting 528 from an Ar is similar to getting green from a red HeNe, gas fill is just slightly different to the point of failure.

I have seen someone get an 8 line from a 6. They used external optics that passed blue, and reflected green, to get 514.5 and 501.7nm to lase. If you have a tube doing both 514.5 and 458, external optics will probably prove useless, unless you have access to both mirrors.

Example. Your tube is doing the primary 6 between 458 and 514.5, but not 465 or 473. So you decide to put an Ar HR in front of the output, or in front of the HR, that way more light is sent back through the gain, you can get those lines to possibly begin to lase.

The main factor here is that you need close to equal output on both ends, if the HR is so reflective that only a spec of light makes it through, then there is not enough light in that bandwidth (458 - 514.5) to redirect back through the gain medium.

It's a finicky beast
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:34 PM #40
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

Ok so we're looking basically a) being awesome b) being lucky or c) both a and b, to get more lines

That's all fine, AFTER I get this Argon back to life lol. So you're saying you believe it may be a problem NOT associated with outgassing? Any ideas if using some kind of rig on a plasma ball would work? And if not, can I borrow/loan your starter? Any idea who else might have an Oudin/Tesla Coil? Thanks
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:36 PM #41
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

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Originally Posted by hwang21 View Post
and since I haven't really found any solid answers on here or on Sam's Laser FAQ, why are there usually only 6 lines on an air-cooled Argon, with the 7th or 8th line only popping in sometimes on some units, stable-ish in other units, and not at all in some units? Also, is there any way a 6 line Argon (for example) could become a 7 or 8 line Argon? And what's preventing a 9-line or 10-line air-cooled Argon? Thanks
Its a threshold thing. I can get #7 and 8 to show on my air-cooled JDSU 21xx series, but only at higher powers. And I think I've seen #s 9 and 10, but only very faintly when the laser is on max. She idles at 6mW and peeks out at 120mW.

It's cool to watch this happen. You start with the laser on low, and you set up your diffraction grating to you see your 4 or 5 colors split out. Then as you slowly turn up the juice, the colors get brighter and brighter and then "blink" a new color appears. Turn it down and "blink" it disappears abruptly. Keep turning it up and up and "blink" you see another new color, and so on.

I'll try an take a video of this happening sometime. I plan to get my entire library firing this Halloween. I'm scurrying to make some bounce mirrors and work out the details.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:49 PM #42
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

If it's a healthy tube, you won't need to max them out to get 8 lines. I get 8 out of my Omni at threshold current I believe. I will need to check that at alignment.

If the tube is healthy, or "hot", then it won't be an issue.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:02 PM #43
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

Anyone know if a plasma ball can be used in place of an oudin coil? And if so, how? Thanks
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:15 PM #44
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

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Originally Posted by hwang21 View Post
Anyone know if a plasma ball can be used in place of an oudin coil? And if so, how? Thanks
I don't think it can. Yes, it contains a gas in a light vacuum chamber, and it's charged with a small current at the center.

Since your laser is on the way, give it a try. Without ANY power connected to the laser, look down the tube and if you see any light or glow when the plasma tube is nearby, it just may work.

Will your plasma globe cause a florescent tube to light/glow when placed next to it?

A Oudin coil lights lights up a florescent blub from two feet away! I have an extra I may be willing to sell (or loan) for the right mail-order bride.
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:53 PM #45
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

i wonder if running mine for a good solid hour on about medium power will get the 7th and hopefully 8th line to come in.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:26 AM #46
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

My Lasos is rated at 48.8 mW. It puts out 8 lines at idle.
Sometimes I "think" I saw other faint lines but figured it
was dirt or something. There are two pins on the PS when
shorted give full power.
If you remove the plasma ball from the base, you will likely have
more voltage available to light the tube.
I always give the cathode a few minutes to heat before I attempt
switching to operate. I grew up with old radio tubes and always
allow the cathode to heat especially on gas filled tubes like MV
rectifiers. Don't go too long without cooling as the cathode can get VERY HOT.
HMike

I just fired up my JDS Uniphase. Same as last night after a two year sleep.
1 minute heating, switch to operate and 30 seconds later. ON with first tick.
WOW -- There's one like mine with the remote for sale -- only $1,700 !!
It puts out only 30 mW --- Mine says 45.4 mW @10.5 Amps.
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Last edited by Hemlock_Mike; 10-12-2013 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:00 AM #47
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

I don't have a fluorescent tube to play with or an Oudin coil it's an 8" plasma ball 360 is all I know, inputs 12VDC 600mA.

And I'm with you crazyspaz, how to get more lines...

HM, this is starting to worry me that this ticking argon is NOT because it was sitting there... Hmm...

EDIT: does an argon still power on or tick without any pins jumpered in the "remote" pins for the PSU?
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Last edited by hwang21; 10-12-2013 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:20 AM #48
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Default Re: Argon Ticking

OMG -- My Lasos LGK is on ebay w/o PS for $1,500 !!!!!!!
What is going on? Looks like my $200 is way off.
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