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Old 12-21-2011, 11:59 PM #1
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Exclamation Build your own HeNe kit?

Anyone tried this HeNe kit? Very pricy, but looks really cool other than that.

Assembly Kits: HeNe



They also have a bunch of other HeNe lasers:

HeNe Lasers


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Old 12-22-2011, 12:44 AM #2
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2007Revolution View Post
Anyone tried this HeNe kit? Very pricy, but looks really cool other than that.

Assembly Kits: HeNe

They also have a bunch of other HeNe lasers:

HeNe Lasers
I wouldn't try my hand at that one Simon...
I still have that pic of your soldering skills on a
poor laser diode burnt into my brain....

Unless of course you have much improved...



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Old 12-22-2011, 12:46 AM #3
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

<----------

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Old 12-22-2011, 12:48 AM #4
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lasersbee View Post
I wouldn't try my hand at that one Simon...
I still have that pic of your soldering skills on a
poor laser diode burnt into my brain....

Unless of course you have much improved...



Jerry
Hey, no one said he was going to try it, he's just putting it out there!

Or are you? (Insert uber Simon face here)

Back on topic, Nice find! It would be pretty fun to assemble a HeNe laser head but you can get a higher powered HeNe tube + a PSU for around 50 bucks off ebay
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:42 AM #5
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

Ah damn, comes with a complete tube, I thought it was glass blowing and all
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Old 12-22-2011, 04:43 AM #6
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

Sam (of Sam's laser FAQ) has kits available for around $50, tube, power supply, and mounts.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:28 PM #7
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Things View Post
Ah damn, comes with a complete tube, I thought it was glass blowing and all
ROFLMAO.....

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Old 12-23-2011, 02:02 AM #8
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

[
IFO bought the old Metrologic product line. Metrologic was sort of the inventor of the low cost hene tube for reading bar codes, before diodes cost effective.

Metrologic sold single units to schools. IFO still does, and is STILL the educational physics class laser of choice.

Dont laugh, my first HENE cost 450$, and was a Heathkit copy of the Metrologic kit. All for .1 mW or so of red.
The tube, first ran in 1988, is still doing spec power. Visible diodes did not get really cheap until about 1993-1994, and even then they were 670 or 690 nm, and a max of 5 mW, with very short lifetimes compared to hene tubes.

Metrologic knew what they were doing, and made a metal-ceramic HENE for miltary gunsights, the advert for the tube showed it frozen in a block of ice, except for the anode, and LASING. Another advert showed it working UNDER water in a Aquarium, and lasing, as a bare tube.

Metrologic sold off their HENE line about 6 years ago to IFO, and merged with another bar code company in NY.

Metrologic brought the gas laser tube price down, and forced other companies to drop it even lower.

Metrologic sold accessories to teachers to use the HENE to measure the speed of light, make holograms, etc. The power supply that can MODULATE video and audio over a hene was a favorite of teachers, and they still sell the laser video kit.

Many of us got their start with those kits, for at the time they were the only economical way to get your hands on a laser, for back then a 5 mW surplus hene head, if you could find one, sold for around 500$. (NO, I am not kidding)

Steve

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:12 PM #9
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

I saw my first 5mW Laser and PS up close in 1988. It was
loaned to us by a company that wanted us to develop a
thread detector for the Pulp and Paper industry.
The tube was about 18" long in an aluminum protective
housing. That laser's replacement cost at the time was
~$1000.00 with the PS.

I had purchased some used 1mW 6" tubes from Metrologic
way back then for some experimentation. There was still a
red beam but very week.

Now that you remind me... I still have a bunch of High Voltage
transformers that I bought from them to build HeNe Power
Supplies similar to the ones they were using/selling.
I must have that PS drawing somewhere in my archived files.


Jerry
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Old 12-23-2011, 08:01 PM #10
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

I'll be selling some HeNe Heads I refurbished after the holidays/new year rolls around. All are tested working and bright (estimated at >1mW to <5mW) and will be let go for VERY cheap. Don't post here about it though, I'll open a thread for it when ready. Just too much joing on with the holidays coming up to do it now. You would need an apropriate power supply, but they're only $30 on eBay.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:44 AM #11
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

I cut my laser teeth assembling HeNe lasers (a couple of them) from stuff I bought off a mail-order only company at the time (MWK) all <1 to <5mW

I still recall fondly the first time I got hit with 10KV from the power supply

Its stunning to me to see just what we have at our fingertips now..

I still have a tube somewhere in the garage.. Might be time to dig it up... Its a <5mW
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:32 AM #12
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

I built that kit back in 1988. It was my first laser and still have it today. It fires right up. I also have 2 of the old barcode guns running on 8aa batteries. I can post some pictures if you like.


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Old 01-02-2012, 02:22 PM #13
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

It will be cheaper to buy a He-Ne tube, and then go to a local electronic parts shop, buy all the electronic components (capacitors, diodes, resistors etc...), and build the PSU on your own.... but designing the circuit and PCB will take a lot of time
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:00 AM #14
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferencproject View Post
It will be cheaper to buy a He-Ne tube, and then go to a local electronic parts shop, buy all the electronic components (capacitors, diodes, resistors etc...), and build the PSU on your own.... but designing the circuit and PCB will take a lot of time
10 years ago I might have agreed with you. These days.. it is becomming more and more difficult to source electronic components locally. I find myself ordering "mundane" parts from Mouser a lot.

Also, it is one thing to design a simple PSU for a diode laser, and quite another to design a 10kV start, 1.5kV when fully loaded, variable constant current source capable of the 4mA to 8mA various HeNe tubes require. Doing all that and sourcing the parts for less money then you can pick up a professionally built one I find to be near impossible.

The HeNe psu I'm using for my Melles Griot tubes I picked up on eBay for $30 shipped.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:26 AM #15
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

This site (i-fiberoptics) is the company that bought Metrologic int he late 90s. Their handheld GreeNe has always been kinda cool to me, but I know damn well nobody on this forum is gonna pay $750 for 0.05mW (Ebay, maybe...) They're living off of educational grants so they likely actually do some business at those prices. Not really hobbyist friendly though.

I agree with Sigurthr. Here in Denver, really all that's left for local electronics is Fistelles, and they're a bunch of grouchy old guys who will actually refuse to sell you things half the time. (Basically if you're under 55, they'll tell you "why's a kid like you need a thing like that", and not get up from their stool.) There's one other I know of that's about an hour drive.

'electronics shops' are rapidly becoming extinct. There's just no demand for them. I remember going nuts building crystal radio kits when I was younger... These days, give a kid a crystal radio kit and he'll look at you like you just handed him a used diaper. Why figure out how things work, when you can just "push butan".
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633nm:JDS1145 HeNe 28mW ∙ JDS1145 HeNe 26mW
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445nm:Yob 1410mW ∙ Polaris 156mW ∙ PGL3C 1200mW ∙ DTR-EHG 32650 2136mW
405nm:Yob 630mW ∙ Qfox 750mW ∙ JETL PLC 780mW
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:46 PM #16
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Default Re: Build your own HeNe kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSRFAQ View Post
Metrologic sold accessories to teachers to use the HENE to measure the speed of light, make holograms, etc. The power supply that can MODULATE video and audio over a hene was a favorite of teachers, and they still sell the laser video kit.
I actually have one of these video modulated metrologic lasers. I think I paid $10 for it at a hamfest 10-15 years ago. Though it's non-working. One of these days i'll poke at it and figure out what's wrong with the power supply and retube it. The original tube was EOL.. light pink discharge when running. Wouldn't lase.
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