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Old 12-06-2009, 08:16 PM #1
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Default Beginner to Gas Lasers

I've been wanted to get a HeNe laser for some time now, and I'm probably going to order one off of Ebay. But I really have no knowledge of gas lasers whatsoever. My main question is, are HeNe lasers easy to run? Meaning can I just plug it in and have it turn on? Also, if I cover the bottom, can it still shock me? Any other beginner tips for gas lasers are appreciated. Thanks.


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Old 12-06-2009, 09:11 PM #2
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomlugia View Post
I've been wanted to get a HeNe laser for some time now, and I'm probably going to order one off of Ebay. But I really have no knowledge of gas lasers whatsoever. My main question is, are HeNe lasers easy to run? Meaning can I just plug it in and have it turn on? Also, if I cover the bottom, can it still shock me? Any other beginner tips for gas lasers are appreciated. Thanks.
If you get a tube that is in a housing AND a "lab style" PSU it is pretty hard to get shocked. If your tube is exposed and/or your PSU has wires exposed it is very easy to get shocked.

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Old 12-06-2009, 10:18 PM #3
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

HeNe are great, Just be real careful of the seller reputation and make sure there is no "As Is" policy.

In other words, make sure you can get a refund if it does not work.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:44 PM #4
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

That's good advice, and goes for any such laser you buy from ebay...

Is there a particular wavelength you're after?
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:50 PM #5
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

I've got several 3-5mW 652nm HeNe's with brick type PSU's available for $35 each

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Old 12-06-2009, 11:14 PM #6
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

As Dave says --- The HeNe is the starting point for gasssssss lasers.
When I got my first HeNe ~30 years ago, I was in heaven. The mixed gas lasers with Ar, Kr, Cd are more advanced requireing lots of power.

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Old 12-07-2009, 12:17 AM #7
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

So basically, any tube shaped lasers can shock you and any box shaped ones can't?
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:27 AM #8
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

Tube -- Box ??? What?
We're talking about Gas lasers which use HV to excite the tube. Some CO2 lasers are milti-pass gas which are like a box.

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Old 12-07-2009, 12:31 AM #9
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by randomlugia View Post
So basically, any tube shaped lasers can shock you and any box shaped ones can't?
No. That is a gross oversimplification.

If the tube in housed inside an aluminum housing with an alden plug AND the PSU is a lab style where any bare wiring is inside a plastic box, then it is very difficult to get shocked. However, a bare tube with bare wiring attached to the ends of that bare tube would give you many opportunities to be shocked.

Hard to get shocked


Easy to get shocked


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Old 12-07-2009, 01:03 AM #10
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

Oh, I get it. So this one is safer because everything is inside a metal housing?

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Old 12-07-2009, 01:16 AM #11
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

That is a very safe unit.

Nice deal too if you get it. Good luck!!!!!!!
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:13 AM #12
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Default Re: Beginner to Gas Lasers

Thanks, I understand much better now.
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