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Old 05-18-2010, 12:46 AM #1
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Default Gas Laser Info

Hey guys.

I'm fairly new to these forums, and it really is a great community. There's tons of info on lasers here; it's a great place for one to get into the laser hobby. I've read mfo's guide. It's great, and it gives a lot of info on building diode lasers. I've searched all around the forum for info on gas lasers, however, and there isn't much. I understand the basics of how a gas laser works from here and my physics class, but there are a few things I'm still not sure about. For example:

1. How does one go about constructing a gas laser, and what are the components needed?
2. Which types of gases/gas mixtures emit which colors?
3. What is the cost of a typical gas laser compared to a diode laser?
4. Is the beam of a gas laser more powerful than a diode laser of the same power?

Any answers to these questions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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Old 05-18-2010, 02:14 AM #2
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Default Re: Gas Laser Info

all this and much more revealed at Sam'sLaser FAQ--google it my friend.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:23 PM #3
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Default Re: Gas Laser Info

Those questions depend on many, many factors.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:09 PM #4
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Default Re: Gas Laser Info

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarthNilly View Post

1. How does one go about constructing a gas laser, and what are the components needed?
2. Which types of gases/gas mixtures emit which colors?
3. What is the cost of a typical gas laser compared to a diode laser?
4. Is the beam of a gas laser more powerful than a diode laser of the same power?
To answer your first question, the simplest and most inexpensive way to acquire a gas laser is to look for a combo HeNe tube/PSU on eBay or even better, right here in the b/s/t section. Not much to construct aside from having a tube, a bit of HV wiring, a ballast resistor and a "brick-type" PSU. You could also build your own power supply from discrete components, but the ready-made potted brick PSUs are quite inexpensive and save you the hassle.

Secondly, Mr. Goldwasser's most excellent LaserFAQ
Sam's Laser FAQ: Welcome Page
is going to answer with much detail and accuracy your three other questions.

But a neat little "starter kit" composed of a 6" HeNe tube and accompanying power supply can be purchased for as little as $25. Often, those are the laser assembly modules that were used in grocery checkout scanners or vintage laserdisc players.

Happy hunting and let us know when you join the "gassy" side.

Robert
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:53 AM #5
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Default Re: Gas Laser Info

Awesome. Thanks for the info, guys. Sam's Laser FAQ is huge! I'll have to check out eBay.
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