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Old 04-13-2012, 07:09 PM #17
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Default Re: Gas Laser: Got Plasma, No Lasing

You won't be disappointed. Well maybe a tad bit if you get a tube that doesn't show a lot of plasma. If you got the HENELSK1 kit you'll need a somewhat beefy wall wart to power it. I picked up a cheap 24v 1A off fleabay for like 4 bucks shipped. I rigged up a little power adapter but you could just cut the end off and wire it directly to the PSU. Just verify +/- first!


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Old 04-14-2012, 11:05 AM #18
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Default Re: Gas Laser: Got Plasma, No Lasing

You must double check to see if you are using the right power supply. Different HeNe's need different supplies. Any power supply can get the plasma started, but you need the right amount of voltage to cause electron collisions which can in turn initate atomic collisions of He with Ne.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:55 PM #19
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Default Re: Gas Laser: Got Plasma, No Lasing

Hmm. I am pretty certain that that power supply could handle it . It is typically 800V-1kV for 5" tubes, right?
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:00 PM #20
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Default Re: Gas Laser: Got Plasma, No Lasing

For your tube you need 1 kV +/- 100 with a current of 4 mA (according to the data sheet). You can have electric breakdown of a gas when the voltage exceeds a critical value and but that might not be enough to cause the optical gain in Neon.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:11 PM #21
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Default Re: Gas Laser: Got Plasma, No Lasing

Interesting. I will work on building my own power supplies or something and see what I can come up with. I won't trash the tube.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:22 PM #22
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Default Re: Gas Laser: Got Plasma, No Lasing

Even if the tube turns out to be faulty, you can still take out the mirrors (they are pretty expensive on their own).
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:05 AM #23
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Default Re: Gas Laser: Got Plasma, No Lasing

Neat!
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Old 04-15-2012, 02:31 PM #24
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Default Re: Gas Laser: Got Plasma, No Lasing

Roam, If nothing happened in the microwave, there's no gas. It's dead.
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:07 PM #25
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Post Re: Gas Laser: Got Plasma, No Lasing

OK, if your sure you have NOTHING TO LOSE, and you have enough tube current to light the tube, and are within the specified tube current +/- 10 percent.


Clamp the tube firmly using something other then metal. Ie wood, plastic. Dont crush the glass, but you need a firm compression clamp over the central two thirds of the tube.

Get a foot long, thick walled, plastic tube that just slides over then end mirror mount. Make sure its plastic, else the shocks are very painful.

Gently push the tube about 2-3 millimeters onto each optics mount.
Start with the LONG one. Do not push the tube all the way to the "flex" grove in the optics mount.

Rotate the plastic tube in a cone around the piviot point, using no more then a few ounces of force in any direction.

With luck/prayer you will see a flash. Note carefully the direction the tube was bent in, that caused the flash. Mark a line on the tube at that point with a black sharpie marker.


Power down the laser,

Stick a large flat bladed screwdriver with a highly insulated plastic handle in the grove in the mount at a point 180 degress away from the bending direction. Apply gentle force with the screwdriver to bend the flexure mount just a tiny bit. Angle the screwdriver handle toward the tube body. Note it is extremely easy to apply too much force and crack the glass. Most people who have done this would make a ring tool out of a hardware store shaft collar with allen screws 120 degrees apart. You need to overshoot on the bending a bit, just a bit, past where it will lase, as the metal will relax back to the old stress point. You can also "twist" the screwdriver in the slot, instead of the bending moment. This works better, but requires some feel.

These tubes are great capacitors. and will shock the $hit out of you if you do not discharge them when handling them.

Flex the mount with all care you would apply to touching a supermodel's face with your index finger.

More complete directions are in the HENE alignment section of Sam's Laser FAQ.

THIS IS A LAST DITCH "HAIL MARY" technique, you can easily break the glass until you learn exactly how much the flexure mount can flex.

But if your sure you have a non-lasing tube and a modest home work shop, it might be worth the risk. IT can take a hour of flexing to find peak power.

Only flex the end that is out of alignment.

I really dont reccomend this technique for anyone, especially if a tube is aready lasing. Tubes are not that stable after this technique, because the factory will align BOTH mirrors to the tube bore using special techniques and expensive jigs that do not stress the glass. But you may find steady lasing.


Steve

Last edited by LSRFAQ; 04-15-2012 at 05:18 PM.
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