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Old 10-27-2010, 06:45 AM #1
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Default New toy

Just received the Melles Griot 05-LGP-173 that I picked up for 10 bucks on ebay. I just happened to recognize the model number as a 543nm green head. It was as-is and when it arrived it made an arcing sound and glowed but no beam. Popped off the end cap and replaced the insulation where the ballast resistor had arced to the housing. I could see that the discharge color of the tube looked normal so I put a little pressure on the mirror mount (with a plastic stick!) and got a flash of green light. 40 minutes of twiddling with the alignment screws until pressure in any direction would reduce the output and I've got a nice green HeNe. I've wanted one of these for ~20 years but they were always too expensive. With a min spec rating of 0.3mW it's sure not gonna burn any holes but there's something about a glowing glass plasma tube that gives gas lasers some great appeal to me.


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Old 10-27-2010, 07:45 AM #2
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Default Re: New toy

Should take a picture of that puppy all fired up.

Green hene's are fairly hard to come by, as are yellows.

But if REALLY want to see a lit up plasma tube, try and find an argon (the one with the glass looking tube, not ceramic). They also have a pretty awesome plasma discharge
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:54 AM #3
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Default Re: New toy

Ten bucks for a green HeNe? I am green with envy! LOL
That's a heck of a cool new toy. How long is the tube? What are you powering it with?
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:58 PM #4
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Default Re: New toy

Yeah... I'd like to see a pic of your eBay treasure find...


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Old 10-27-2010, 06:50 PM #5
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Default Re: New toy

Oops, I thought I'd attached a pic but apparently it was too big, trying this again.

The tube is about 16" long, I can measure it later but the specs can be found on the MG site. I'm powering it from a standard HeNe brick outputting 6.5mA, it needs about 2600V according to the spec but I've not actually measured this one yet.

I have a yellow one that I got several years ago, it cost me quite a bit more than 10 bucks though! I have one argon laser too, but it's a Cyonics with a ceramic plasma tube. When I can tolerate that roaring fan it makes a good space heater
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:54 PM #6
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Default Re: New toy

hehe yep my argon sounds like a 747 winding up for takeoff when that big fan fires up. And they do make a good heater - I was actually using mine *AS* a heater when my regular source of warm went to electrics heaven. Mine is all enclosed, so even if it had a glass tube i wouldnt be able to see the discharge.
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Old 10-27-2010, 06:59 PM #7
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Default Re: New toy

Here's another pic, looking into the OC prior to aligning the mirror. There's no laser output here, just the plasma discharge and the violet bore glow. The brewster plate (polarized tube) is clearly visible mounted behind the mirror. Also worth noting is that the output is from the anode end of this tube which I understand results in very slightly more usable power. The vast majority of HeNe tubes have the beam exit from the cathode end.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:39 PM #8
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Default Re: New toy

Actually, I saw that ebay auction and recognised the model number too!
Thing is, I already have a green HeNe, shipping to the Netherlands is expensive and this one left me broke (100$ doesn't sound much, but including shipping and customs the total is $300). So I didn't bid on it. Congrats with your new amazing laser
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Old 10-29-2010, 02:56 PM #9
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Default Re: New toy

This illustrates why eBay is "fun" and this hobby is enjoyable for me.

A treasure found for pennies and a "dead" tube brought back to life

Congratulations and good job

+1

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Old 10-29-2010, 04:09 PM #10
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Default Re: New toy

Yeah I had a lot of fun getting it going. The thing is, as-is "untested" lasers are more often than not tested and confirmed dead. They could be a treasure, but more often they are a paperweight. I wouldn't have bid much more than the opening bid,about what the housing and Alden connector were worth. This one worked out well, but don't bid more than you're willing to throw away on a chance.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:15 PM #11
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Default Re: New toy

Quote:
Originally Posted by james1095 View Post
Yeah I had a lot of fun getting it going. The thing is, as-is "untested" lasers are more often than not tested and confirmed dead. They could be a treasure, but more often they are a paperweight. I wouldn't have bid much more than the opening bid,about what the housing and Alden connector were worth. This one worked out well, but don't bid more than you're willing to throw away on a chance.
True words there. Used gas lasers (especially "untested") are quite often simply fancy boat anchors

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