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Old 06-17-2013, 03:33 AM #1
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Default Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

Obvuiously asking advise after the purchase is a bit stupid but since I have no experience in HeNe lasers other than what I can read in the net and see arround, I would like to ask if the deal was fine or not.

I just bought a 05-LHR-991 MELLES GRIOT HeNe LASER tube and a AEROTECH ELECTRO OPTICAL OEM5R HeNe LASER TUBE WITH POWER SUPPLY

Got them for a total price of $123 shipped

I found info on the Melles Griot but none on the Aerotech (so any info would be gladly appreciated).

Here are the pics:



Any advise would be appreciated. Also would like to know if this lasers can be taken out of their protective tube to use as bare tubes.

Thanks


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Old 06-17-2013, 03:51 AM #2
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

They can't be taken out of the tube as they are likely potted inside.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:53 AM #3
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

What does potted inside mean?
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:00 AM #4
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potting_(electronics)
Quote:
In electronics, potting is a process of filling a complete electronic assembly with a solid or gelatinous compound for resistance to shock and vibration, and for exclusion of moisture and corrosive agents. Thermo-setting plastics or silicone rubber gels are often used.
It's in there for good There's no air inside, just silicon.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:27 AM #5
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

Oh they can be taken out... I've done about fourty of them. Each one was a nightmare. The best way is to carefully wrench the ends off and then bake the tube at 300F until the silicone begins to soften and melt, then press the tube out using a pipe that fits over the end mirrors and electrode stem and presses on the cathode side wall plate.

It cAn certainly destroy a working laser at the slightest imperfection of technique.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:36 AM #6
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

I stand corrected Sigurthr

Last edited by ARG; 06-17-2013 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:40 AM #7
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

I've done it once. It was a pain as well. Mine was only potted in a few spots, so I was able to use a dremel and VERY carefully cut through the can in dozen of places. It took MANY hours over the course of several weeks and I will *NEVER* do it again.

The tube does still work though.

I think Dave has some experience with doing this on a greenie as well.
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:44 AM #8
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

Well I would probably keep them as they are... and get some bare tubes to actually see the lasing process...
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Old 06-17-2013, 04:59 AM #9
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

Ok now that we have determined that they "can" be taken out of the cylinders does anyone know the AEROTECH tube? I wasn't able to find any info on them.
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:18 AM #10
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

Sam has info on several aerotech models including power supply schematics. I can't find that specific model though. Perhaps some of the others listed might give some hints about yours.

Sam's Laser FAQ - Commercial Stabilized HeNe Lasers
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:27 AM #11
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

You can use a heat gun to "loosen" the silicone.
It is usually just small "dots" spaced around the tube near both ends
You can see the spots by examining the exterior of the tube

Peace,
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:39 AM #12
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

FWIW: I've removed a few tubes from their housings by cutting through the silicone potting compound with music wire. A small steel guitar string or similar piano wire will do the trick nicely.

Bear in mind that these tubes were not "fully" potted. Meaning, the potting compound did not entirely fill the space between the housing and the laser tube. It was applied in several spots around the tube, and along the length of it.

If your heads lase, I personally would just leave them as-is, and buy some bare tubes in the future. The only reason I ever remove tubes from their housings is when they're dead, and I want to save the outer housing and other hardware.

Either way, have fun with your new "plasma converters".
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Old 06-22-2013, 06:47 AM #13
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

The one I pulled out had the potting meterial and set screws. The set screws were cut off flush with the body. Had to use a dremel to cut a slot in it to creat a slot head type screw to unscrew them. Cut the metal ends off with the dremel too.
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Old 06-22-2013, 03:21 PM #14
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

Well I already got 2 bare tubes on the way also... so I will probably keep this two as lasers and the other two I will turn into plasma lamps... (I think)...
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:07 PM #15
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Default Re: Just purchased two HeNe lasers and one PS.

I tried the piano/guitar wire method and had no luck. The potting compound was hard enough that the wire just made an indentation and would not actually slice it any. Also, several of my heads had so much compound pumped in to them that there was no space to slip the wire through.
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