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Old 02-11-2014, 01:04 AM #1
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Default do it yourself portable gas lasers

Hey everyone, I'm new here but I've been browsing for some time. After getting my laser in the mail the other day from lazerer.com I want more haha. I got a 405nm <500mw laser and I think I want something with a bit more power while still being somewhat portable. Is it possible to build a co2 gas laser that is contained in a rifle styled mount (it's fine if it has a backpack for battery, and other componets). I would probably also mount a medium sized HeNe laser onto it so I can see where I'm pointing since co2 is infra red. Any thoughts on issues of such a build and directions to beginner tutorials? I wanna start with the HeNe first. I was hoping I could get 5-20w from the co2 laser. Thx in advance


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Old 02-11-2014, 01:13 AM #2
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Why handheld ? i would understand a handheld 10mw...but more than 1w? what would you be doing with such power? Im not trying to be a partypooper,but the idea is very dangerous.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:16 AM #3
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Not really handheld so much as in like a rifle mount
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:19 AM #4
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Yes, it has been done. I've done a "backpack powered" type rough-rigging which was a bit unwieldy. ionlaser555 has done it as well in the same type of build but a bit more refined. AnselmoFanZero has done a fully inclusive CO2 laser rifle, with onboard power supply and sleek exterior shell and lens mount.

Is it practical? Hell no. Terrible efficiency, even worse effectiveness range. Dangerous as hell, both in terms of the output and in terms of the onboard water cooling and lethal high voltage.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:24 AM #5
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Hehe let's just say I can be a mad scientist at times... This is one of those cases. I will ask him, but it sounds like quite a difficult project
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:27 AM #6
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

What will be the smallest CO2 tube ? I would like to buy a small one
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:42 AM #7
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Sig --
My "handheld" CO2 has almost set fire to my house twice at
35' using ZnSe lenses.
CO2 must be used carefully especially in a portable because
the beam can't be seen.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:32 AM #8
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Yep, I set a door on fire once, semi-accidentally. Though to be honest, when I had a 1.25W 445nm handheld it set my curtains on fire several times totally accidentally.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:59 AM #9
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

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Originally Posted by Sigurthr View Post
totally accidentally.
Mhmm....yeah, sure....
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:40 AM #10
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

They're dark brown curtains made of synthetic fibre, it takes <1sec exposure of collimated 1W 445nm to ignite them. Half the time it happened it was because I was moving the beam around the room and paused too long to admire the beam whithout watching where the spot was.
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:32 PM #11
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

True story: the making of the Terminator?s laser-sighted .45 pistol | Ars Technica
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:54 PM #12
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by thalion777 View Post
Hehe let's just say I can be a mad scientist at times... This is one of those cases. I will ask him, but it sounds like quite a difficult project
There's a difference between being a "mad scientist" and just have total disregard for one's own self-regard.

Going from a relatively "safe" 500mW pointer, to a portable that does 50 times that in a completely invisible format is the latter.

As mentioned, the output alone is only half the danger here. You're strapping an HV source to your back, while also using a circulating water source, also on your back. Something goes wrong? Tiny leak? You're dead. Not just a static discharge like taking off a sweater.

Dead.

Touch the wrong thing while taking it off?

Dead.

Wrong wires come loose?

Dead.

At least start off with a HeNe so you can understand, and recognize how EASY it is to be bitten by the HV from a bare tube. It's annoying, but you'll live to feel and remember the lesson. Same thing happens with any other gas laser?

You'll drop.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:52 AM #13
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Ya me and a member here just had a long covo about where to begin so I will get a he ne laser 1-2mw
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:41 AM #14
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Seems like we've had this conversation a few times on the Gas thread

Specifically about CO2 lasers and people who know nothing about gas.

All fun and games until someone kills themselves, blinds someone else AND burns the house down!!!

Oh, well, can't say we didn't try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloompyle View Post
There's a difference between being a "mad scientist" and just have total disregard for one's own self-regard.

Going from a relatively "safe" 500mW pointer, to a portable that does 50 times that in a completely invisible format is the latter.

As mentioned, the output alone is only half the danger here. You're strapping an HV source to your back, while also using a circulating water source, also on your back. Something goes wrong? Tiny leak? You're dead. Not just a static discharge like taking off a sweater.

Dead.

Touch the wrong thing while taking it off?

Dead.

Wrong wires come loose?

Dead.

At least start off with a HeNe so you can understand, and recognize how EASY it is to be bitten by the HV from a bare tube. It's annoying, but you'll live to feel and remember the lesson. Same thing happens with any other gas laser?

You'll drop.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:42 AM #15
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

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Originally Posted by bloompyle View Post
Tiny leak? You're dead.
While I certainly agree a CO2 is extreme, they typically operate at 10-20mA which is not enough to kill you.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:07 AM #16
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Default Re: do it yourself portable gas lasers

Sounds like an interesting project

I agree about HV psu being able to bite you.
I've experienced this repairing a .5mW green
HeNe once about 11 or so years ago.
As far as I know CO2 requires about 12Kv @
20mA or higher for larger tubes. 20mA at 12Kv is
more than enough to give you a decent wallup.
Still it might be an interesting project
for those with enought safety knowledge around
HV and long wave IR!!
Making me curious!
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