Old 11-05-2015, 10:34 PM #1
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Cool Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

Hello All,

I though I'd make my first proper post in the Gas Lasers section as I am a self confessed Gas laser addict.

There's something rather special and pleasing about gas lasers you just can't get from Diode lasers.... There's that satisfaction of rescuing and repairing gas laser systems and seeing that first strike as a tube springs back to life that would have been otherwise condemned....


We are the ones who keep the gassy beasts in check and tame those photons....

From Argon-ion Lasers to HeNe Lasers and everything else in between with a gas fill and 2 mirrors.

Gas Lasers are a thing of beauty......

and the expense involved is more than worth it.



Current Lasers (Gas):

Spectra Physics 161C-010 Argon-Ion
JDS Uniphase 2214R-040MLA Argon-Ion
JDS Uniphase 2201-20SLE Argon
Melles Groit 05-LHR-911
Spectra Physics: 155 HeNe



Last edited by WizzleLabs; 11-05-2015 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:39 PM #2
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WizzleLabs View Post
Hello All,

I though I'd make my first proper post in the Gas Lasers section as I am a self confessed Gas laser addict.

There's something rather special and pleasing about gas lasers you just can't get from Diode lasers.... There's that satisfaction of rescuing and repairing gas laser systems and seeing that first strike as a tube springs back to life that would have been otherwise condemned....


We are the ones who keep the gassy beasts in check and tame those photons....

From Argon-ion Lasers to HeNe Lasers and everything else in between with a gas fill and 2 mirrors.

Gas Lasers are a thing of beauty......

and the expense involved is more than worth it.

Or in the case of one Argon I've read about, 4 mirrors forming a U-Cavity.

Wish I had some pictures of my more recent HeCd to share. This one (Omnichrome 74 Series) went to Edinburgh Napier University maybe a year or so after I bought it. Cost all of 90 pounds, came with 90 hours on the tube and was a few months older than me (Built in 1993!).





I still have a Kimmon UV HeCd back in Scotland that I should try and get sent over or something...
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Last edited by diachi; 11-05-2015 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:33 AM #3
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

Indeed. I love gas lasers, but they are more expensive, and a bit more troublesome at times. Speaking of HeCds...what is the model and output of your Series 74? I'm curious since mine is one of the few oddly made polarized ones Melles Griot introduced after the acquired Omnichrome. I have all three sizes, and kimmon and omni have always been my favorites. I was never much of a Liconix person. All three came to me with low hours, but from sitting so long they all have varying degrees of helium over-pressure. the x56 and x74 are lasing most of their power, but the x39 doesn't quite lase, its just out of range, so I've been running it in standby to try to burn off some helium.
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405nm: Melles Griot RCS
430nm: Coherent D3 430-10
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457.9nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

472nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
473nm: CNI MGL-473-100, CNI GLP-473
476.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

483nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
488nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line, Spectra Physics >20mW Cyan DECSL Laser

496.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
501.7: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
514.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
520nm: Trustfire A8 Custom

532nm: CNI MGL-F-3W, LG Hercules-325
543.5nm: 05-LGR-193 Melles Griot HeNe 3.8mW
Melles Griot LGB-563 HeNe

561nm: Melles Griot 85-YCA-015, Coherent Sapphire 561-20
568nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line

577nm
583.8nm
586.2nm
588.6nm: CNI PGL-M-80

591nm
593.5nm CNI MGL-H-50 Lab Laser
594.1nm: Coherent 31-2230-000 (4.5mW)

604.6nm: LOR-150 HeNe line
609nm REO LHYR-250M HeNe line
611.8nm: Melles Griot LOR-150 HeNe (5mW), LOR-006 HeNe (0.5mW)

632.8nm: Spectra Physics Model-127 (>35mW), Model-124B, Model-120, Model-117, others
Melles Griot LHB-580, LHB-190, WHR-570

641nm: Melles Griot RCS
647nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
659.3nm: Laser Quantum IGNIS 0.5W

671nm: CNI PGL-III-C-100
676nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
690nm: custom diode laser
694nm: Portable Q-switched Ruby Laser

1152.6nm: SP-120 HeNe alt. mirrors
1153nm: SP-120 alt. mirrors
1523.5nm: Melles Griot LIR-151 HeNe
3391nm: SP-124 alt. mirrors
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Old 11-06-2015, 03:00 PM #4
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
Indeed. I love gas lasers, but they are more expensive, and a bit more troublesome at times. Speaking of HeCds...what is the model and output of your Series 74? I'm curious since mine is one of the few oddly made polarized ones Melles Griot introduced after the acquired Omnichrome. I have all three sizes, and kimmon and omni have always been my favorites. I was never much of a Liconix person. All three came to me with low hours, but from sitting so long they all have varying degrees of helium over-pressure. the x56 and x74 are lasing most of their power, but the x39 doesn't quite lase, its just out of range, so I've been running it in standby to try to burn off some helium.

It was 325nm and somewhere in the ballpark of 30mW. Who knows what it does now or even if the University still has it. Output was randomly polarized as far as I remember, I *think* it was a sealed tube with no Brewster windows. Been such a long time. It may even have been something other than TEM00 too.

You're doing the best thing you can (As you already know!) - just leave them burning away on standby and hopefully you can cook some of that Helium into the tube and bring the pressure down.

The Kimmon is the same I believe, although I have a feeling that is TEM00, again randomly polarized, sealed tube. Tube looks awesome in these too, more like the Liconix.

Never had any experience with the Liconix systems.

Ever watched for that lovely blue glow that moves down the tube when the Cadmium first vaporizes?
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:05 PM #5
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diachi View Post
It was 325nm and somewhere in the ballpark of 30mW. Who knows what it does now or even if the University still has it. Output was randomly polarized as far as I remember, I *think* it was a sealed tube with no Brewster windows. Been such a long time. It may even have been something other than TEM00 too.

You're doing the best thing you can (As you already know!) - just leave them burning away on standby and hopefully you can cook some of that Helium into the tube and bring the pressure down.

The Kimmon is the same I believe, although I have a feeling that is TEM00, again randomly polarized, sealed tube. Tube looks awesome in these too, more like the Liconix.

Never had any experience with the Liconix systems.
It'd have to have been multimode likely (and most are) to get anywhere near that power. Though the one in your pictures looks like a blue 442nm head, so you must be fluorescing something. If its from the 90s I'm surprised it still worked, though probably below its rated power. Most of them are so overpressure by now that they don't lase anymore. By running them you (in theory) bury gas in the cathode and outgas it from the tube, and (if operating it) bury it under the cadmium. but there's orders of excess and its extremely slow so its not practical. I have an empty tube somewhere that was never finished, I'll have to dig it up. And yes they're all internal mirror hardseal tubes except most liconix tubes. I dont remember if Kimmon tubes are or not, but they are polarized, Omni was not until it became owned by Melles Griot and they converted a couple models to have polarized versions available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diachi View Post
Ever watched for that lovely blue glow that moves down the tube when the Cadmium first vaporizes?
Yes, although when its healthy its usually still more of a golden off-white color. if it's turning blue, you've got too high of a cadmium pressure.

There's a few up on ebay lately, but who knows what condition they're in. they look halfway decent though. Rare, as they're not really made anymore. just by Kimmon I think.
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325nm: Omni 2056-M-A01 HeCd
375nm: Melles Griot RCS-007

405nm: Melles Griot RCS
430nm: Coherent D3 430-10
441.6nm: Omnichrome 2056-M-A01/4074-P-A03 HeCd laser
457.9nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

472nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
473nm: CNI MGL-473-100, CNI GLP-473
476.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

483nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
488nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line, Spectra Physics >20mW Cyan DECSL Laser

496.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
501.7: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
514.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
520nm: Trustfire A8 Custom

532nm: CNI MGL-F-3W, LG Hercules-325
543.5nm: 05-LGR-193 Melles Griot HeNe 3.8mW
Melles Griot LGB-563 HeNe

561nm: Melles Griot 85-YCA-015, Coherent Sapphire 561-20
568nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line

577nm
583.8nm
586.2nm
588.6nm: CNI PGL-M-80

591nm
593.5nm CNI MGL-H-50 Lab Laser
594.1nm: Coherent 31-2230-000 (4.5mW)

604.6nm: LOR-150 HeNe line
609nm REO LHYR-250M HeNe line
611.8nm: Melles Griot LOR-150 HeNe (5mW), LOR-006 HeNe (0.5mW)

632.8nm: Spectra Physics Model-127 (>35mW), Model-124B, Model-120, Model-117, others
Melles Griot LHB-580, LHB-190, WHR-570

641nm: Melles Griot RCS
647nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
659.3nm: Laser Quantum IGNIS 0.5W

671nm: CNI PGL-III-C-100
676nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
690nm: custom diode laser
694nm: Portable Q-switched Ruby Laser

1152.6nm: SP-120 HeNe alt. mirrors
1153nm: SP-120 alt. mirrors
1523.5nm: Melles Griot LIR-151 HeNe
3391nm: SP-124 alt. mirrors

Last edited by ultimatekaiser; 11-06-2015 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:40 PM #6
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
It'd have to have been multimode likely (and most are) to get anywhere near that power. Though the one in your pictures looks like a blue 442nm head, so you must be fluorescing something. If its from the 90s I'm surprised it still worked, though probably below its rated power. Most of them are so overpressure by now that they don't lase anymore. By running them you (in theory) bury gas in the cathode and outgas it from the tube, and (if operating it) bury it under the cadmium. but there's orders of excess and its extremely slow so its not practical. I have an empty tube somewhere that was never finished, I'll have to dig it up. And yes they're all internal mirror hardseal tubes except most liconix tubes. I dont remember if Kimmon tubes are or not, but they are polarized, Omni was not until it became owned by Melles Griot and they converted a couple models to have polarized versions available.



Yes, although when its healthy its usually still more of a golden off-white color. if it's turning blue, you've got too high of a cadmium pressure.

There's a few up on ebay lately, but who knows what condition they're in. they look halfway decent though. Rare, as they're not really made anymore. just by Kimmon I think.
Yes, it was fluorescing a piece of A4 paper!

Yes, I guess it was run just enough to make it work over the course of 15 or so years. The power supply was beastly, had a big cathode transformer sticking out the top if I remember correctly.

I wonder if your unfinished tube could be made to run with HeSe ... I've always wanted to see one of those in action...

Knew the Liconix tubes weren't usually hard sealed, can't remember about the Kimmons either. Nice machine either way.

As for the blue - I meant just as the Cadmium vaporizes at first - you often get a big chunk of Cadmium vapor that moves up the tube and glows blue. Then it settles back to that nice golden off-white colour - almost reminded me of a high pressure Sodium lamp.

I think you're right - as far as I know Kimmon are the only folk making HeCds now - Melles I know only do HeNe and Argon now.

I may need to look into getting mine sent over next year when I have money to do so.
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520nm | Laserlands 520 | 5mW | For Review Awaiting arrival
532nm | Gearbest 303 Pointer | 50mW Metered
532nm | Gearbest JD.850 Pointer | 30mW Metered (I think, need to re-test).
633nm | HeNe | 6mW
633nm | Spectra Physics 155 HeNe | <1mW | In Transit
650nm | Sanwu Laser Pocket Series | 200mW Metered
808nm | Melles Griot 532nm Lab Unit | No Crystals >10W | X2

Last edited by diachi; 11-06-2015 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:52 PM #7
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by diachi View Post
Yes, it was fluorescing a piece of A4 paper!

Yes, I guess it was run just enough to make it work over the course of 15 or so years. The power supply was beastly, had a big cathode transformer sticking out the top if I remember correctly.

I wonder if your unfinished tube could be made to run with HeSe ... I've always wanted to see one of those in action...

Knew the Liconix tubes weren't usually hard sealed, can't remember about the Kimmons either. Nice machine either way.

As for the blue - I meant just as the Cadmium vaporizes at first - you often get a big chunk of Cadmium vapor that moves up the tube and glows blue. Then it settles back to that nice golden off-white colour - almost reminded me of a high pressure Sodium lamp.

I think you're right - as far as I know Kimmon are the only folk making HeCds now - Melles I know only do HeNe and Argon now.

I may need to look into getting mine sent over next year when I have money to do so.
unfortunately no, it'd be impractical for anything other than a HeCd. the mirrors wouldn't support the Se lines. broadband mirrors are a must for one of those

as far as the moving of Cd down the bore, I dont think mine does that. its a pretty steady smooth transition. might've had something to do with yours being fairly new, and possibly overpressure, which would cause it to vaporize more quickly probably. the Cd pressure is usually just a couple millitorr.

I love Ion lasers as the OP stated, I just wish they were easier to handle, and less expensive. I only have 2 and barely manage their upkeep. too much big heavy stuff to move around for my taste. HeCd and Ion laser power supplies are ungodly huge and (especially for HeCds) abysmally complex.



Either Way....glad we have another gas enthusiast!

cheers!
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325nm: Omni 2056-M-A01 HeCd
375nm: Melles Griot RCS-007

405nm: Melles Griot RCS
430nm: Coherent D3 430-10
441.6nm: Omnichrome 2056-M-A01/4074-P-A03 HeCd laser
457.9nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

472nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
473nm: CNI MGL-473-100, CNI GLP-473
476.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

483nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
488nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line, Spectra Physics >20mW Cyan DECSL Laser

496.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
501.7: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
514.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
520nm: Trustfire A8 Custom

532nm: CNI MGL-F-3W, LG Hercules-325
543.5nm: 05-LGR-193 Melles Griot HeNe 3.8mW
Melles Griot LGB-563 HeNe

561nm: Melles Griot 85-YCA-015, Coherent Sapphire 561-20
568nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line

577nm
583.8nm
586.2nm
588.6nm: CNI PGL-M-80

591nm
593.5nm CNI MGL-H-50 Lab Laser
594.1nm: Coherent 31-2230-000 (4.5mW)

604.6nm: LOR-150 HeNe line
609nm REO LHYR-250M HeNe line
611.8nm: Melles Griot LOR-150 HeNe (5mW), LOR-006 HeNe (0.5mW)

632.8nm: Spectra Physics Model-127 (>35mW), Model-124B, Model-120, Model-117, others
Melles Griot LHB-580, LHB-190, WHR-570

641nm: Melles Griot RCS
647nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
659.3nm: Laser Quantum IGNIS 0.5W

671nm: CNI PGL-III-C-100
676nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
690nm: custom diode laser
694nm: Portable Q-switched Ruby Laser

1152.6nm: SP-120 HeNe alt. mirrors
1153nm: SP-120 alt. mirrors
1523.5nm: Melles Griot LIR-151 HeNe
3391nm: SP-124 alt. mirrors

Last edited by ultimatekaiser; 11-06-2015 at 08:02 PM. Reason: added pics
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:15 PM #8
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

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Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
unfortunately no, it'd be impractical for anything other than a HeCd. the mirrors wouldn't support the Se lines. broadband mirrors are a must for one of those

as far as the moving of Cd down the bore, I dont think mine does that. its a pretty steady smooth transition. might've had something to do with yours being fairly new, and possibly overpressure, which would cause it to vaporize more quickly probably. the Cd pressure is usually just a couple millitorr.

I love Ion lasers as the OP stated, I just wish they were easier to handle, and less expensive. I only have 2 and barely manage their upkeep. too much big heavy stuff to move around for my taste. HeCd and Ion laser power supplies are ungodly huge and (especially for HeCds) abysmally complex.



Either Way....glad we have another gas enthusiast!

cheers!
Oh yeah, durr, sealed mirrors - clearly I'm in need of more coffee again. Yeah, a set of Ar/Kr optics would probably work well with Se.

Hmm - both the Kimmon and the Omni did that - oh well.

Seconded on the weight issue - shipping them up here is my problem. Plus space in an Apartment is in short supply. Have you opened up the PSU for your Omni? I recall mine having some nice wiring work, as did the Kimmon - as you said though, complex!


Nice pictures!

I need a small whitelight, my HeCd and a decent sized HeNe to complete my gas collection...

Anyway - welcome again WizzleLabs - Hopefully we can get some more activity in this section!
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:26 PM #9
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

I feel you. hopefully we get some more people posting gas in this section. It's been void of activity a lot. I have a small whitelight, and I love it. they had some up for dirt cheap recently, as a head only. I almost bought a few for refurb, but decided against it. if you need a large HeNe, I got a few left, but they're not cheap. mostly because PSUs are in short supply...a good $400 for one usually. plus a $200-600 tube. yikes! something like 3-4K new...and Ions are up to what...? 18K+ or something? Definitely only in the industrial budget. Its easy to see why alot of these are going to solid state. I have a number of them, and they're getting very good. very comparable to gas in many cases and have a heck of alot smaller, lower power consumption/heat, longer lifetime designs. but about 8-10K each. so in the long run, a bit more expensive, but also don't need a new tube and several weeks wait time every few thousand hours, so they're cheaper and superior in the long run, vs the slightly higher initial cost.
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:48 PM #10
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
I feel you. hopefully we get some more people posting gas in this section. It's been void of activity a lot. I have a small whitelight, and I love it. they had some up for dirt cheap recently, as a head only. I almost bought a few for refurb, but decided against it. if you need a large HeNe, I got a few left, but they're not cheap. mostly because PSUs are in short supply...a good $400 for one usually. plus a $200-600 tube. yikes! something like 3-4K new...and Ions are up to what...? 18K+ or something? Definitely only in the industrial budget. Its easy to see why alot of these are going to solid state. I have a number of them, and they're getting very good. very comparable to gas in many cases and have a heck of alot smaller, lower power consumption/heat, longer lifetime designs. but about 8-10K each. so in the long run, a bit more expensive, but also don't need a new tube and several weeks wait time every few thousand hours, so they're cheaper and superior in the long run, vs the slightly higher initial cost.

Unfortunately buying old gas systems isn't my priority at the moment and I only have so much to spend on lasers!

I can certainly see why everyone is starting to go solid state, as you said. It makes way more sense in just about every respect. Hell, beam quality from DPSS has been the same or better than gas for a while now - just look at the Coherent 215s and 315s. OPSL is probably similar to gas for beam specs, although I have no experience there. Less convenient if you need a whole bunch wavelengths though. Gas is still good there.

That said ... there's still something about gas that isn't quite there with solid state.
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Last edited by diachi; 11-06-2015 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 11-06-2015, 11:03 PM #11
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

[IMG][/IMG]

Evening all,

I trust everyone is well?

I have been reading through this thread with great interest. Some of the Gas lasers here are truly exceptional bits of kit. Myself; I've only just got my hands on some Argon-ion laser heads and associated gear and after what I've seen here, i'm going to be upping my collection on Gas Laser methinks....

This evening antics have been around finally repairing the JDS Uniphase 2500 Remote interface unit for my 2214B PSU. Before all this I was using an assortment of DB25 dongles to achieve what I wanted....

I'm pleased to say, the 2500 remote interface is working well and allowing the argon Laser to heat up my room nicely as well making the wall socket get rather warm.

Now I must get onto repairing my SP161 argon next..... That'll be fun

Last edited by WizzleLabs; 11-06-2015 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Missed out attaching a picture
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:06 AM #12
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

As some one that talks with Kaiser quite regularly and know a large portion of his collection makes me envious.. He has a really nice multi line argon. I have a old laser of his in my gas collection. When I start making money again I plan to purchase at least a 488 nm sl argon. I would really like to to get a couple hundred mw Coherent Innova 90 that i see on Fleabay every once in awhile for under six hundred. I would like to get my hands on a 543 nm working tube and psu and a 598 nm tube they do show up on flea bay once in a blue moon but they are spendy. I would like to get my hands also on a SP 125 or 127 but your talking 900 on the cheap end and over two thousand on the high end on the collectors market. My fav gas that I do have is my JDSU 1508-1 Novette at .75 mw its a fun little 632.8nm laser.. I really wouldl like to get a single or double brewster tube to have fun with as well.. I am kind of getting out of the solid state and in to gas
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:12 AM #13
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

Yeah this is just serving to remind me I actually need to fire up my white light. It hasn't been run in a while so maybe I'll run that for about an hour tonight... I don't pull it out very often because it's kind of a pain in the ass to set up Since it runs on 220V.

Last edited by ultimatekaiser; 11-16-2015 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:41 AM #14
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

My favourite argon : P

IMG_0630 by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:10 PM #15
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Default Re: Gas Lasers.....Lovely, Lovely Gas Lasers.

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Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
Yeah this is just serving to remind me I actually need to fire up my white light. It hasn't been run in a while so maybe I'll run that for about an hour tonight... I don't pull it out pray often because it's kind of a pain in the ass to set up Since it runs on 220V.
Remember to take pictures for us all!

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My favourite argon : P

IMG_0630 by TwirlyWhirly555, on Flickr
That's awesome, love seeing tubes with the glass cathode end-bells!
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:28 PM #16
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Remember to take pictures for us all!
Lots of pictures of my ions running...but some of them might just blow your mind!

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Originally Posted by diachi View Post
That's awesome, love seeing tubes with the glass cathode end-bells!
Same here. Although it's not glass. It's actually a fused Quartz, much like HeCd lasers use to cope with the heat.

Last edited by ultimatekaiser; 11-07-2015 at 09:36 PM.
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