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Old 02-20-2014, 08:13 PM #97
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Default Re: Homemade CO2 laser

Ok thanks for the advice, would passing the gas mixture through something like silica gel be suitable? I'll look at sourcing some dry ice. I'm contemplating rebuilding the laser with a 1m laser tube. I imagine that would give much better results.


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Old 02-20-2014, 11:51 PM #98
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Default Re: Homemade CO2 laser

Two stores around here stock dry ice but this is a resort area with fishing
sport. I don't see where you are located.
A bottle of pop or beer allowed to "dry" in a balloon might also be
a CO2 source.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:17 AM #99
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Default Re: Homemade CO2 laser

A bottle of CO2 or dry ice would be ideal but I know others have simply blown their exhaled air through an industrial drying agent and achieved success. Silica gel would probably do fine.

Oh the fun I could have if I could get my hands on dry ice...
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:55 AM #100
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Default Re: Homemade CO2 laser

Sig -- Look in your markets -- Most, like here
carry dry ice. BY the pound, about $3 !!!
HMike

By the way, you can make LOX with LN2.
LOX and Ice Cream too :-)
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:53 AM #101
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Default Re: Homemade CO2 laser

I'm afraid if I got my hands on CO2 the first thing I'd be reaching for would be magnesium... lots of it >.> haha. Then maybe some ice cream! XD

Unfortunately there are no fresh markets here! As far as food stores go we have a Walmart and a Glens (which has largely only non-perishables due to inability to compete with Walmart). You would think living on the great lakes we'd have fish markets, but no! Not a single one to be found. The things I'd do for some fresh sushi..... (it has been nearly five years now!)
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Old 02-21-2014, 04:32 PM #102
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Default Re: Homemade CO2 laser

Believe me, you don't want to eat those fish anyway. They taste like metal.

Another way to get CO2 is by mixing some yeast and sugar water. That will make almost pure CO2
(and alcohol). It's probably a good idea to boil the water first to remove most of the dissolved air. Let it
cool below 70 before adding the yeast or else it will die. Also try and keep the air out of the system or
else the yeast will begin to do other things you don't want and won't make alcohol. The "reaction"
doesn't happen right away, either. The yeast cells need time to grow and divide. A lot of the
commercial CO2 comes from breweries. I wouldn't advise drinking it either because if it's not done right
it can make you sick. You might be able to do other things with the alcohol, though.

To dry it out, sillica gel will work, but it has to be dry. The kind with the indicator is the best. It will
change colors to let you know when it needs to be "recharged". It works best if the gas has a little time
to "soak" in the gel. You can also use crushed calcium chloride, in fact that will work a little better.
You can find it in some types of ice melter (peladow). It has be be heated to a fairly high temperature
first to drive off most of the moisture. Just throw it in a stainless steel or pyrex lined pan that you don't
care much about.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:29 PM #103
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Default Re: Homemade CO2 laser

I looked up dry ice suppliers in the uk, about 30 for 2.5kg! Strikes me as pricey, but I'll definitely think about improving the gas system. I might put some balloons on the top of all the homebrew I have bubbling away!

I think I'm going to find somewhere to buy a 1m length of 10mm pyrex tube and remake the laser, hopefully with better geometrical properties and higher gain. I reckon my vacuum pump and PSU should cope with a 1m discharge length, I might epoxy together two of the 0.5m tubes I have together, hook it up to the vacuum pump and see if I can get it to ionise.
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