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Old 03-27-2010, 06:49 AM #1
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Default He-Ne laser safety

Hello all,

I am completely new to gas lasers, and so I had a few questions about the setup of the He-Ne laser.

1) What is the strongest wattage laser I could safely use without the light shining on my skin and burning it?
2) Do I need laser goggle protection?
3) Where is a good place to purchase such a laser?
4) What is involved in the setup? Do I just plug it in and it shines? Do I need to be concerned with electrical or fire issues?


Thanks so much!


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Old 03-27-2010, 01:25 PM #2
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Default Re: He-Ne laser safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by rd410 View Post

1) What is the strongest wattage laser I could safely use without the light shining on my skin and burning it?
2) Do I need laser goggle protection?
3) Where is a good place to purchase such a laser?
4) What is involved in the setup? Do I just plug it in and it shines? Do I need to be concerned with electrical or fire issues?

1. You could not afford a helium neon that can burn skin, They are just not that powerful.

2. Goggles are always nice, but for a HeNe of 1-2mw not really critical as long as you dont sit and stare directly into it.

3. Look on ebay, then post a link to the listing here and ask one of us what we think. Also look in the buy/sell/trade section of this forum.

4. That varies by setup, some units are all in one, just plug and play, others are sold as kits or individual parts and will require some basic wiring and hook up. Fire issues, since they run on high voltages, you could start a fire with the power supply, but the beam will not start any fires.


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Last edited by photonaholic; 03-27-2010 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:30 PM #3
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Default Re: He-Ne laser safety

Hi!

To answer a few of your questions, about 25 to 50 mW is technically safe for skin.... but gas lasers in that power level are tremendously expensive. The more affordable gas lasers are in a range of .5 to 10 mW... then there's the wavelenght, a red HeNe is basic, but green, yellow and orange are increasingly harder to find and expensive.

Check out this website: Sam's Laser FAQ: Welcome Page

This is Sam Goldwasser's Laser FAQ... the ultimate source of info for anything that lases! You'll find a wealth of info there...

Sam has also a "for sale" page where you'll be able to get yourself a working HeNe laser for as little as $25. All gas lasers use high voltage power supplies, so you have to be careful and treat the laser with respect, or it's gonna bite you! LOL!

Anyway, welcome to the forum and enjoy! Gas lasers are quite addictive and fun, be warned!

Robert

EDIT: Aargh, Photon beat me to it! LOL
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:34 PM #4
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Default Re: He-Ne laser safety

to the Forum....

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and don't forget to read the Newcomers section and the Forum Rules..


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Old 03-27-2010, 02:16 PM #5
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Default Re: He-Ne laser safety

Thanks a lot guys!

I was looking at this laser which someone here had recently posted as a great deal:
JDS Uniphase 1145AP Laser Head/ JDS 1218-1 Power Supply - eBay (item 370347663300 end time Apr-09-10 13:23:14 PDT)

This laser looks to be easy to set up. Just plug and play, and safe to use as it's hard-sealed. Am I right?

Also, to make sure I have the right eye protection, I looked up the stats of the 1145 laser head:
Sam's Laser FAQ - Commercial Unstabilized HeNe Lasers

Then I plugged in the values here at the Easy HAZ website:
http://www.laser-professionals.com/r...easyhazweb.htm

It tells me I should use safety glasses of at least 1.8 OD for a possible exposure time of 2 minutes. I have read that over time a laser can burn the pigment off the glasses, and I will be working with this laser for several months, so maybe I should buy glasses with an OD of at least 3?

Also if there are any recommendations for laser glasses that would suit my needs please recommend! Thanks a lot!
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:28 PM #6
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Default Re: He-Ne laser safety

Here is a link for some HeNe Lasers right on the forum...

http://laserpointerforums.com/f39/fs...eap-49311.html


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Old 03-27-2010, 04:05 PM #7
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Default Re: He-Ne laser safety

Jerry thanks for that link! I think that ebay laser (20mW) is too powerful for my needs! The only thing is that I would need to buy a separate power supply.

What do you guys think of this one?
http://cgi.ebay.com/Spectra-Physics-...item19baf30a0e

How much do you think I should offer for it? Also, I can't seem to find how u plug it into the wall...

Also, I was wondering, with this style of laser (hard-cased), is it safe to pick it up while it is turned on?

Now for some safety glasses...probably don't need that expensive ones...

Last edited by rd410; 03-27-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:03 PM #8
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Default Re: He-Ne laser safety

Quote:
Originally Posted by rd410 View Post
Jerry thanks for that link! I think that ebay laser (20mW) is too powerful for my needs! The only thing is that I would need to buy a separate power supply.

What do you guys think of this one?
Spectra Physics 248 Exciter w/145 Helium-Neon 4mW Laser - eBay (item 110510672398 end time Apr-21-10 14:29:37 PDT)

How much do you think I should offer for it? Also, I can't seem to find how u plug it into the wall...

Also, I was wondering, with this style of laser (hard-cased), is it safe to pick it up while it is turned on?

Now for some safety glasses...probably don't need that expensive ones...
That HeNe will be fine. It is also a good price already. There is a "socket" hidden by the tube plug in this picture

It will probably take a "computer type" power cord

It should be safe to handle when on

Unless you are going to be looking into the beam, you won't need goggles with it.

Peace,
dave
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:08 PM #9
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Default Re: He-Ne laser safety

wait, goggles with 1.8 will allow a 2 minute exposure. But why are you planing to stay exposed a single second? excepting a random accidental reflection, you're not supposed to get exposed to it!
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:12 PM #10
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Default Re: He-Ne laser safety

not planning on staring into it. just to be safe.

Last edited by rd410; 03-28-2010 at 08:15 PM.
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