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Old 05-12-2012, 05:28 AM #1
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Exclamation Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

...But I'm just a little tiny bit intimidated to try it out yet. Why? Because of this warning paragraph that came with it:

'CAUTION: Do not touch the ends of HV connector immediately after the laser has been operated. Although the electric charge stored in the laser head begins to decrease as soon as the power supply is switched off and disconnected, sufficient charge remains up to five minutes after disconnection to cause an unpleasant shock.

After disconnecting, place a conductor across the exposed terminals of the laser head to dissipate the charge.'



What did I get myself into?

OK, really I'm not too worried. But what, exactly, is the 'HV connector', and what do they mean by placing a conductor on the terminals?

Sorry, but I'm rather new to gas lasers and don't like the idea of being electricuted.


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Old 05-12-2012, 05:36 AM #2
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

Don't worry about it. Just don't touch the anode or cathode of the laser after its been switched off. I wouldn't worry about being electrocuted... but if you do get shocked it will just be as the warning label says "unpleasant". Nothing you should need to worry about
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:39 AM #3
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

I figured as much. I suppose if I just left it alone for a while after turning it off, without even disconnecting anything, that I wouldn't even need to be concerned?
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:48 AM #4
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

If you are worried about getting shocked when disconnecting the psu from the laser head. You can simply short a piece of insulated wire with a resistor across the anode and cathode. You only need to leave it there for a second or two and you should be okay. Shorting a wire will discharge any stored electrical charge the caps may have left in them. Just make SURE the PSU is not "On" when you do this.

If you are still worried you can test the connections with a DMM to be sure.

Edit: also yes, leaving the laser sit for 5 minutes or so should be enough time to allow the capacitor's to bleed out. You can then remove the connections without worry.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:07 AM #5
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

I've been shocked before... its nothing like a taser... but it is unpleasant.

Just let the tube sit for a few minutes before you touch it. Not much more to say...
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:30 PM #6
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

You could also wear a pair of gloves. I have a cheap pair of winter gloves I got for like 2 bucks at a local hardware store that work perfectly for when I need to handle a tube before the charge can naturally dissipate. A nice side effect is it keeps fingerprints and skin oils off the bare tubes.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:54 PM #7
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

these tubes will hold a charge far longer than a few minutes. i believe it has to do with the humidity. i've been shocked the next day after running my gree-ne the nite before.
it's easy to just short the leads after turning it off.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:04 PM #8
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheech226 View Post
these tubes will hold a charge far longer than a few minutes. i believe it has to do with the humidity. i've been shocked the next day after running my gree-ne the nite before.
it's easy to just short the leads after turning it off.
The next day??? Yikes!

The tube isn't exposed on mine, so I wouldn't be in any contact with it. But I may just wait a few days to do any disconnecting!
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:19 PM #9
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

You can also touch it with a key or other metal object. The spark is what hurts the most, and if the spark is between the key and the tube, you'll feel nothing or virtually nothing. This works great for doorknobs at the end of a long carpet hall, too.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:34 PM #10
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

Why do you want to unplug the HV connector? I just leave mine pluged in. But if you must just short out the pins on the tube HV connector.
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:23 AM #11
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

Welcome to the forum! Yes High Voltage is invisible. Wearing rubber gloves is an easy solution, as mentioned earlier. It's better to take precautions, than to get zapped. I've been zapped by capacitors that remained charged for a week with the power off in a Marshall amplifier. It nearly killed me, causing every muscle to tighten quickly. High voltage experience takes some time to acquire, so be safe.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:35 PM #12
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

Don't stress about it too much. NeNe's only supply about a milliamp at 1,000-2,000 volts. It certainly wouldn't do any damage although wouldn't feel pleasant. Just hook a bit of insulated wire up to the metal case of the power supply and touch it to the anode.

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I've been shocked before... its nothing like a taser... but it is unpleasant.
Wait- you have been tasered Bob?
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:18 PM #13
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

Those tubes freak me out, man. I've only been shocked once, and it was enough.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:10 PM #14
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

you havn't been tazed AUS? as amateur electrical engineers i figured we all get a little curious every now and then :P , just wish the scar would go away
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:24 PM #15
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

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Originally Posted by bdgreenb View Post
you havn't been tazed AUS? as amateur electrical engineers i figured we all get a little curious every now and then :P , just wish the scar would go away
Never been tasered but I have been hospitalized for a week after being shot - and still have the scars from that. I have thought about building a stun gun bit never did.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:23 AM #16
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Default Re: Finally got my Hughes HeNe...

Check and Mate... Mate. Well played. I think you've suffered enough already
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