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Old 06-18-2012, 05:17 AM #1
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Default The GLG3078 project :D

Well, after first getting this laser from Dave about 2-3 years ago, I've slowly been working on getting it all into a nice, clean setup.

I had to wire it up to a standard Uniphase PSU, as PSU's for these lasers seem to be basically impossible to find, however it wasn't too difficult.

One of the issues was, however, the little ignitor board that comes with the head really didn't like trying to start the head on the Uniphase PSU. It would click slowly, sometimes misfire etc. Dave sent me a Uniphase ignitor board, I wired it all up and after hours of clicking, finally got it lit.

However, the Uniphase ignitor board was just too huge to fit inside the argon head, so I set out to redesign it to fit in place of the old ignitor.

This is the old ignitor:



Compared with the Uniphase ignitor:



Uniphase ignitor redesigned onto a PCB the same size as the old one:



I haven't fired the laser up in ages, purely because wiring it up is a pain with the old ignitor. After moving down South with my dad, I sent the PCB's in 2 weeks ago to have them made, and they arrived today:



So, I installed all the components I had ripped off the old board:



Mounted and wired it into the laser head (with the toroid inductor under the PCB)

And then had to get the courage to turn it on. I have a phobia of unexpected loud noises, things like balloons and thunder drive me insane, so I was standing far back when I first turned it on ...

But, nevertheless, it clicked, and fired. This laser had over 6000 hours on the tube, and the capillary is pretty well lined with crap, so I sat there and fired it about 20 times before it finally struck down the bore and stayed lit

Forgot to get internal shots when I had it open, don't really want to open it up yet as it's still running in the garage, but, beam pics





This laser does about 8 lines at full current, however only 2 or so at idle. Not sure if it needs alignment or what, but it's very well used, so I'm not too worried.

Internal pics:



Inductor is wrapped in electrical tape, bubble wrap and mroe electrical tape to insulate it



Dan



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Old 06-18-2012, 05:59 AM #2
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Wow! Great job on miniaturizing that board. Congrats on bringing her back to life.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:10 AM #3
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Yep - she's runnin happily in my garage at the moment. Doing it's once 1.5 yearly burn
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:25 PM #4
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Nicely done. Even though I completely lack the skills to even attempt a project like that I always enjoy seeing other people's results. Thanks for also reminding me that I haven't given my argon its monthly burn yet.
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:39 AM #5
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Well, went to fire it up this morning, took about 4 tries to get it to fire down the bore instead of the capillary. I have found turning the current right up while it's trying to start raises the success rate.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:05 AM #6
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

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Originally Posted by Things View Post
Yep - she's runnin happily in my garage at the moment. Doing it's once 1.5 yearly burn
Wow! The tube still ignites after that long? I thought argons were as good as dead after a few months without a burn.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:07 AM #7
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Wow nice work things - you shrank that board down to 1/3rd the size. And that inductor is well packed for shipping *grin*
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:12 AM #8
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

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Wow! The tube still ignites after that long? I thought argons were as good as dead after a few months without a burn.
This thing had been sitting on a shelf for like 3 years before I got it - they will still start, however it'll take a while of clicking, and eventually clogs the capillary with sputtered crap from the cathode if you leave it ticking too long - which is what happened to this one.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:58 AM #9
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Bit more playing today!



The far violet line I can only _juusst_ squeeze out before the power supply starts complaining, only get 2 lines at idle though



Such a perfect dot (Been photoshopped to show the true hue a bit better)





Just bought a proper diffraction grating from hakzaw, should bring out my ML lines better

Dan

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Old 06-19-2012, 09:16 AM #10
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Cool!
Awesome job rebuilding the board Dan! +1!
Your talents impress me more and more every day.
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Old 06-19-2012, 10:08 AM #11
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Hehe thanks

Had it running basically all day again today, turned it off and now it doesn't want to stay lit again, just keeps clicking! Very temperamental laser this one!

Kinda wish I had a low hour head, but this one got me started anyway
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:25 PM #12
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Sounds like its almost on the verge of starting. Can't be THAT hard to fix. You could try it on my argon head or my PSU on your laser?
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Old 06-19-2012, 01:36 PM #13
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Pretty sure it's just because of the high hours on the tube.

It is on the verge of starting - you get a few brighter clicks, and sometimes you can get it to latch, though sometimes it'll just keep clicking away. Probably from high tube pressure - but I have been running it all day for the last 2 days, so not sure how much of a burn in it really needs, or if it's gonna get any better.
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:12 PM #14
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

I have only owned an argon for a couple of months, but they say they need a few hours a month to stop the gas migrating into the tube walls. Once its done it's done, although some can be regassed.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:35 AM #15
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Haven't been able to get it to start the last 2 days. Just keeps clicking and clicking (With the occasional bright flash, and sometimes firing down the capillary). I'd say this tube is pretty much dead

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Old 06-20-2012, 06:46 AM #16
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Default Re: The GLG3078 project :D

Things, my 3030 did exactly the same thing - click click click *Bright flash* click click click.

The laser never started again. However yours may not be broken, mine the arc eventually ate away at the filament and made it go open circuit.
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