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Old 05-04-2011, 04:56 AM #1
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Default diy hene?

Hello again, i have yet started a new thread on hene's. they are elusive in my opinion w/ them being hard to find for a good price. I have been searching ebay every day trying to find a deal (and having missed and lost deals as well) and now i find this.
JDS Uniphase Helium-Neon Laser DIY Kit | eBay
seems neat and not difficult to assemble. does the price seem fair to you guys? I have been wanting an hene for a while!

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Old 05-04-2011, 05:06 AM #2
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Default Re: diy hene?

That is most definitely NOT a deal.

Do you require the tube to be bare (to see the plasma)?

Will a tube in a housing be acceptable?

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Last edited by daguin; 05-04-2011 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:12 AM #3
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Default Re: diy hene?

I would prefer the tube to be bare and out in the open to see the plasma. i'm still new to hene's but their allure have caught my eye for some time now.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:23 AM #4
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Default Re: diy hene?

Give me a day to see what I have. I'll check tomorrow after class.

I can probably get you a better set-up for less than half that price.

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Old 05-04-2011, 05:29 AM #5
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Default Re: diy hene?

oh my! thank you very much, I really appreciate it . Please take your time, I know w/ finals and the end of the semester coming up, your probably busy doing what you do. I'm gonna start getting into high gear soon for when all hell breaks loose during finals!
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:28 AM #6
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Default Re: diy hene?

I definitely agree with Dave.
Gosh, if a little HeNe is fetching that much on ebay, I must be sitting on a gold mine with the number of HeNe tubes I have.
In reality though, that laser is already WAY overpriced.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:45 PM #7
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Default Re: diy hene?

Yes, that is VERY expensive. That's a barcode scanner tube, the sort that usually goes for around 10 bucks. Heck, I have that exact tube, a working power supply, and a wall wart, I could put together pretty much that same kit for less than half the price, but honestly you could do better.

Did you ask Sam about a tube and matching power supply? All you need is a ballast resistor (maybe 50 cents if it isn't included), and some sort of housing to put it in. You could get or build a transparent box, or just make a plexiglass lid for a Rat Shack project box.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:31 PM #8
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Default Re: diy hene?

Unless that kit is made up of all new parts that's incredibly over priced. Here's my suggestion.

Buy one of these two kits from Sam:

Helium-Neon Laser Kit 1

or

Helium-Neon Laser Kit 0

Both are $45.

His other HeNe kits are listed here:

Sam's Classified Page


The power supply in the first kit needs between 21-31VDC at about 500mA. I would suggest getting a 24v wall wart that can put out an Amp to be safe even though he says it only draws about 250mA.

The second one runs off 6 VDC at 1A. You can get cheap wall warts off ebay from China for ~$5 or spend around 9-10 and get them from Amazon a lot faster especially if you have a Prime account. I would get a regulated brick if you can otherwise I'd put a filter cap in line as well.

Add in another $20 for the appropriate power supply to feed the HV supply and to ship both and you're at half of the kit you're looking at on flebay.

Personally I plan to get the first kit with the Alden option soon.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:51 AM #9
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Default Re: diy hene?

I looked in my drawer. I think this will satisfy your desires. It will include the tube (1.5mW; 633nm), a couple of resistors, and a 110V PSU.

The PSU has an Alden connector on it, but I would imagine that you will cut it off anyway because you are going to wire to a bare tube.

This "kit" is $50 plus shipping (your choice)

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:39 AM #10
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Default Re: diy hene?

IMO, it's worth picking up a male Alden connector rather than chopping the one off the PSU. It's nice to have a clean, safe way of separating the tube from the PSU, and also gives you the option of plugging in different tube or head easily.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:56 AM #11
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Default Re: diy hene?

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Originally Posted by james1095 View Post
IMO, it's worth picking up a male Alden connector rather than chopping the one off the PSU. It's nice to have a clean, safe way of separating the tube from the PSU, and also gives you the option of plugging in different tube or head easily.
Since he is going to leave it as a bare tube, I assumed that he would be building it into some sort of permanent housing.

If, for some reason, he decides later to take it apart and use the PSU with something else, the Alden can be easily re-attached. He can buy the male Alden connection then

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Old 05-05-2011, 03:59 AM #12
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Default Re: diy hene?

Well he's free to do whatever. I just cringe at chopping it off since it's tricky to properly splice HV cables. Also I personally prefer complete heads over bare tubes and yet somehow seem to end up with more connector-less power supplies than good ones.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:13 AM #13
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Default Re: diy hene?

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Originally Posted by james1095 View Post
Well he's free to do whatever. I just cringe at chopping it off since it's tricky to properly splice HV cables. Also I personally prefer complete heads over bare tubes and yet somehow seem to end up with more connector-less power supplies than good ones.
I'v always loved the bare tubes just because they are such.
Seeing the lasing as it is created is fascinating to me.>>>see avatar>>>>
...and your correct, I only have one HeNe that actually has Alden connectors and it is handy.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:18 AM #14
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Default Re: diy hene?

Oh I love the bare tubes too, but I have several of them and they all look pretty much the same. The downside is that they're rather fragile and have exposed high voltage. I actually have a cool looking Hughes tube, supposed to be 7mW but it's a bit tired and only does around 4mW, anyway one of these days I'd like to build a transparent acrylic case and a bare PCB power supply and have it as a desk ornament.

When I was a kid obsessed with lasers, all I could get were bare tubes. I always wanted a sleek anodized aluminum head but they were too expensive back then.
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Old 05-05-2011, 04:19 AM #15
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Default Re: diy hene?

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Originally Posted by james1095 View Post
Well he's free to do whatever. I just cringe at chopping it off since it's tricky to properly splice HV cables. Also I personally prefer complete heads over bare tubes and yet somehow seem to end up with more connector-less power supplies than good ones.
Absolutely. I was just pointing out the other side of the coin.

I'm glad that no one ever told me this before. In my ignorance I just went ahead and started splicing them.

I agree with the preference for housed HeNe's. I have one with half an exposed tube that I have built into a night light. I only cut it open because GooeyGus and I were wondering about the color of the plasma in a green HeNe. We were very "young" at the time. All of my other HeNe's (except one large-frame HeNe that I bought sans housing) are safely protected inside aluminum



However, many people want to have the plasma exposed. I get many, many requests for bare tubes. I cannot satisfy all of the requests.

I would posit that most of the "connector-less" PSU's you see were not originally manufactured with a connector. Lots of applications, where the PSU is integral, are made with the PSU directly wired to connections at the tube (or resistors)

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Old 05-05-2011, 04:38 AM #16
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Default Re: diy hene?

Thank you very much for the offer Daguin! I really appreciate it, though I ended up buying a kit from Sam's classification page. Definitely a huge price compared to that on ebay which makes me very glad for asking here. Sorry if i caused you any troubles Daguin for going out of your way and finding me a tube. But thank you guys for the info, the kit i'm getting is this one Helium-Neon Laser Kit 1 w/ the alden connectors.
-Fernando
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