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Old 12-11-2010, 06:03 AM #1
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Cool Looking for gas laser basics.

I know a fair bit about diode lasers and the "very" basics of gas lasers and i was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to help show me the ropes of gas lasers. e.g what parts you need, why and where to start.
I know lots of this is already on the forum but i have been unable to find a good overview or begginer guide to gas lasers.

Also if anyone in Australia has a very cheap HeNe or other gas laser for sale could they please give me the details


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Old 12-11-2010, 07:05 AM #2
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Default Re: Looking for gas laser basics.

Sam's Laser FAQ - Preface, Introduction, What is a Laser?, Safety

Start reading.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:44 AM #3
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Default Re: Looking for gas laser basics.

Thats like asking for the 10 commandments and you handed him the bible
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:21 AM #4
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Talking Re: Looking for gas laser basics.

Thanks guys, i've read some of that before and its been really usefull. I didnt know about the gas laser section though but ill read it now, thanks again.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:36 AM #5
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Default Re: Looking for gas laser basics.

Update: started reading and its very usefull. If anyone has a cheap HeNe or other gas laser in Australia, email me the details at deadhorse14@hotmail.com.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:31 PM #6
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Default Re: Looking for gas laser basics.

try also to search for books. I have one which is wonderful for beginners (e.g. how to build the high voltage power supply) - costs around $10. But it's written in german language...

But I guess there are also english versions available...
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:39 AM #7
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Default Re: Looking for gas laser basics.

I wouldn't recommend building the HV power supply as a beginner project, there's lots of small commercial ones available for less than the parts would cost. Larger ones can be scarce but up to about 2-3mW they're easy to find.

Sam's laser FAQ really is the place to go, it has EVERYTHING. Yeah it's a lot to sort through, but it's not too hard to find the basics.

For someone looking for a first gas laser, I'd suggest picking up one of the little 0.5-1.5mW tubes that were made for barcode scanners. These are cheap, abundant, easy to use, and make that nice clean HeNe beam. You'll need a ballast resistor, something like 70k-100k at 2-3W, and a power supply appropriate for the tube. You can look on ebay, but Sam has lots of laser stuff, knows what it is and how to properly test it. Drop him a message with what you're looking for.

One thing to watch out for, I have bought several HeNe setups on ebay that came with mismatched power supplies. People see that the Alden connectors will mate and assume it will work, which it often does for a while, but running a tube or power supply too far outside of its ratings will stress both and can lead to rapid failure.
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Old 12-15-2010, 12:56 AM #8
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Default Re: Looking for gas laser basics.

Just a little thing to keep you going.
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Everyone is right, Sam's FAQ is a wealth of information, but there is something to be said for picking up a $20 HeNe and PSU and play around....remember not to touch the ends :-)
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