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Old 09-13-2014, 01:03 PM #1
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Default First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Hey ,

Well after a 1 hour drive I can finally join the argon laser club


The laser I won is a ILT ( ion laser technologies ) 5500A head and 5405 Model PSU , The laser head was made in 1990 so its just over 24 years old with the hour meter reading just under 100 hours on time .

According to the seller it was used now and then but not very often .

When I got it home first thing was to measure the anode current and cathode voltage , the laser was set at its max current of 11A , not sure how long it was left like this .

The head has jacks on the side for anode current with a output of 10mV/A and then 2 jacks for the voltage across the cathode - 2.6 Volts AC .

There is also a tiny flat head pot that controls the tube current so as it stands this laser system runs in current mode .

Tube has a delay with the two side fans turning on , then the top then soon after ignition and it seems to start on the first attempt .

Minimum it goes to is 5A idle with its max at 11.1A .

Power output is -

5A Idle - 30mW 5 Lines ,
6A - 61mW 6 Lines
8A - 150mW 6 Lines
10A - 260mW 6 Lines
11A - 340mW 6 Lines .

Looking at this with a safe max of 8A I would say the tube is doing rather well ?


Makes a nice room heater too xD

IMG_0560[1] by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr

IMG_0568[1] by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr


IMG_0561[1] by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr

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Old 09-13-2014, 06:14 PM #2
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

That's a pretty good deal for a multiline ILT 5500 argon. I paid Sam G more than that for my 5500 head that does similar output to yours; about 300mW at full current.

The ILT 5500 is about as powerful as you get for an air cooled argon (HGM5 is the only one I can think of that does more)

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Old 09-13-2014, 10:54 PM #3
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Wowsers. That's a pretty good deal on a nice setup.
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Old 09-14-2014, 12:28 AM #4
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Congrats! That's a nice, and powerful ArIon unit!
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:41 AM #5
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

*Sniff* I want a bright blue laser .
Looks beautiful. Would be my favorite color in the laser spectrum if I could afford it.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:42 AM #6
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarioMaster View Post
That's a pretty good deal for a multiline ILT 5500 argon. I paid Sam G more than that for my 5500 head that does similar output to yours; about 300mW at full current.

The ILT 5500 is about as powerful as you get for an air cooled argon (HGM5 is the only one I can think of that does more)
Thanks , Whats the best current you run yours at , I was abit worried that the tube had been run at 11A every time it was on

Quote:
Originally Posted by LtKernelPanic View Post
Wowsers. That's a pretty good deal on a nice setup.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigurthr View Post
Congrats! That's a nice, and powerful ArIon unit!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFire View Post
*Sniff* I want a bright blue laser .
Looks beautiful. Would be my favorite color in the laser spectrum if I could afford it.
Thanks : ) , I can finally see a argon laser in person , I wasn't sure what model the laser was till I picked it up , nice surprise : D

I decided to get the fogger out and take some beam pictures , I used 2 dichros I found as well .

Tube current was 6A , output was 62mW @ 6 lines

IMG_0572 by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr

IMG_0573 by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr

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Old 09-14-2014, 03:47 PM #7
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Holy cow 340mW?? That's a sweet Argon you've got there
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Old 09-14-2014, 04:00 PM #8
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

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Originally Posted by hwang21 View Post
Holy cow 340mW?? That's a sweet Argon you've got there
Thanks : D , Yup at 11A tube current it pushes just over 340mW 6 lines .
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:01 AM #9
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Want one of those beauties so bad. Guess Ill just have to wait
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:34 AM #10
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Fun! Glad to see you got it working ok 340mW is a beast for an air cooled argon. 300 is about the limit before you gotta get better cooling, and its pushing the limit a bit.

I think the smallest one ever made was about the size of a coke can if I recall, and did something like 10mW of 488nm... I always try to imagine how you'd make an argon that small...
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Old 09-15-2014, 03:24 PM #11
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Thanks : D , I was happily surprised by the power output , I can imagine that water becomes more effective after a certain tube size .

Ive seen a few pictures of the HMG5 tube with massive fans on , probably sounds like a jet .

I didn't relies but when you look though the fans at the side you can see the BeO bore just as it enters the fins glowing a blue/purply colour .

With magic I would assume : P , must be a cute argon to be that size .

Took some pictures of the PSU inside .

IMG_0592[1] by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr

IMG_0593[1] by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr

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Old 09-15-2014, 03:39 PM #12
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Whatever you do, don't take out one of those big blue capacitors and touch the 2 prongs. My dad touched the - and + prongs of a tiny camera capacitor once and he yelled pretty loud . So couldn't imagine what those big blue ones or TV capacitors could do.
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:01 PM #13
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFire View Post
Whatever you do, don't take out one of those big blue capacitors and touch the 2 prongs. My dad touched the - and + prongs of a tiny camera capacitor once and he yelled pretty loud . So couldn't imagine what those big blue ones or TV capacitors could do.
Thanks , I've been bitten by caps and I don't plan to do it again any time soon xD

Edit - Some photos of the argon laser head inside ,

IMG_0601[1] by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr

IMG_0600[1] by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr

IMG_0599[1] by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr

IMG_0598[1] by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:21 PM #14
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

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Fun! Glad to see you got it working ok 340mW is a beast for an air cooled argon. 300 is about the limit before you gotta get better cooling, and its pushing the limit a bit.
I think you are wrong...i have an Aesculap Meditec Argon-Ion with 3W of nice 488nm and 514nm coherent light and it is aircooled
(Unfortunately it is something wrong with it..only puts out 50mw and it wants "service" :/)

@OP: Nice working unit you have
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Old 09-15-2014, 09:25 PM #15
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

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Originally Posted by regalis View Post
I think you are wrong...i have an Aesculap Meditec Argon-Ion with 3W of nice 488nm and 514nm coherent light and it is aircooled
(Unfortunately it is something wrong with it..only puts out 50mw and it wants "service" :/)

@OP: Nice working unit you have
Those are custom made, there are only a few so I don't count them I'm talking mass production small argons.
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Old 09-15-2014, 10:39 PM #16
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Default Re: First Argon ! ILT 5500A ML 30mW to 300mW :D

Now you need to get an ILT in cherry flavor to compliment it

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ILT 5500KR krypton only air cooled ion 100mW 647.1nm | ILT 5500AR argon only air cooled ion >300mW multiline
Omnichrome 643 air cooled Ar/Kr ion 10mW 676.4nm 647.1nm 568.2nm 488nm 476.2nm (high hours)
Spectra Physics 127 >30mW 632.8nm HeNe | Uniphase 1.5mW 543.5nm GreeNe
Coherent Innova 90 argon ion water cooled ??W (got plasma, alignment in progress)
Coherent 60W 830nm water cooled diode brick | Shenhui Laser 40W 10600nm water cooled CO2

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