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Old 10-26-2009, 05:00 AM #1
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Default NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

I have a chance to obtain a Nitrogen Laser.(trade for a little work)
Is this a laser that would have any useful purpose in our hobby, or is it something used only in a lab.
I have looked at several sites on the net about them including this one:http://www.technology.niagarac.on.ca...s/LasersN2.htm(way to technological for a noob) and the most I can come up with is:

They are a pulsed TEA laser
They use Nitrogen. (that one was hard to figure out)LOL
They are used to fluorescence dyes.(pump)
They are used to make phosphorescence measurements.
Can measure phosphorescence decays.

But what I need to know, I could not find in two hours of searching.
Can you do anything cool with them? Will they burn? Is the beam visible? (337.1 nm) Should be UV. But some of the sites show beams similar to Blu-Ray
What is power output?(all manufacturers sites listed power in mJ)
Wikipedia stated power from kW to more then 3MW( mW=milliwatt/ Mw=megawatt, WTF is MW)
I did see a few prices, in the 8K to 25K ballpark, YOW!!

I am talking about trading 1.5 to 2 hours work for this one. Is it worth it?
If anybody can give me a quick lowdown on one of these suckers, I would be very grateful.


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Old 10-26-2009, 05:31 AM #2
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

~340nm would be uv and you will difinately need some safety glasses. 1 wrong reflection and you can be blinded... blacklights are ~380nm and the wavelength for that laser is even lower than that... thats about all i can tell you unless you can find a model number on it somewhere and look it up.
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:49 AM #3
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

Quote:
unless you can find a model number on it somewhere and look it up.
Yes, As soon as I see it I'll do that. The old man I am getting it off of has about 30 pole barns on his property and he has to "find it and dig it out"

It may be a while! LOL

That's why I wanted to find out a little more about it. If it has no "WOW"
factor to it, I'll tell him not to bother.
All he could tell me was; It's supposed to work, its bigger then a microwave and real heavy.
For all I know it might be 440VAC 3 phase. = Useless to me.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:57 AM #4
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

You can get a visible beam by pumping LASER dyes with the pulsed output. And by using a visual aid like smoke in the room. If its that old then i guess the Caps would need reconditioning or you could purchase new ones, id say it would be worth it for a couple hours work...its only a few hours and if it doesnt work you might be able to convert it back to a microwave...
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:38 PM #5
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

Here is the rundown on nitrogen lasers.

Nitrogen lasers are pulsed, always. That's why the power rating is in Joules and not Watts. How many watts you get out of one of them depends on how fast it fires. Typically you can expect output powers of around 30-40mW from a home-made one.

N2 lasers are completely invisible. They produce no visible light at all.

Divergence is generally pretty bad. You can't focus the beam without special UV lenses, and even if you could you still wouldn't burn anything with them.

If you shine the beam onto a piece of paper it will fluoresce blue, it acts like any other UV light source.

Due to the physics behind the Nitrogen laser process, the output pulse is extremely fast (about 5 ns or so). So if you are getting 10mJ output pulses, at 5ns that comes to 5MW of power, but only for a very short time.

Also, if the laser you might be getting is a home-built one, be warned that it is going to be extremely loud. Tesla-coil loud.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:38 PM #6
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

yes, dye lasers can be made from a nitrogen laser. Dye lasers are nice, because you are given several options of wavelength.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:21 PM #7
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

Thanks to everyone for the information.

I'll guess I'll just wait untill I can inspect it and get model #'s. Then I'll try to get some spec's for it.
If it's only capable of a few mW of power and is huge and heavy, I might have to pass.
I also have to add in the price of a Nitrogen tank and possibily a regulator.

If anyone has any more comments or advice, feel free to reply. I need all the input I can get.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:26 PM #8
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

heres some links that may help you. Les is a member(plazmatron) but no posts in a LONG time so if you want to contact him I'd go thru non-LPF email. Very informed and generous with help. you will see photos on nitrogen and dye lasers he owns. Fine Art Radiography. X-ray art By Leslie Wright He is apparently located near Argyll and Bute in Scotland. Look here to see his laser stuff. http://www.fineartradiography.com/hobbies/index.html lots to see there on lasers and more. Leslie is also known as Plazmatron on other forums. He has done tutorials that are on Sam's Laser.--good luck--Hak
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:15 PM #9
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenmechanic View Post
I am talking about trading 1.5 to 2 hours work for this one. Is it worth it?
Your work is likely worth between $7 and $20 an hour. I would pay $40 any day for a nitrogen laser. So even if you don't think it's worth $40, many others here will, and you can sell it for more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Event_Horizon View Post
N2 lasers are completely invisible. They produce no visible light at all.
Strictly speaking, you are right. But almost anything fluoresces at UV wavelengths to some degree, so you'll definitely be able to see the spot.
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:26 PM #10
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

Like has been said, I am sure it is worth the time to collect it. A nice Nitogen-laser would be fun, and if nothing else, there must be a decent HV-supply in there...Tesla anyone?

In the home-built ones, the cavity is open to the surrounding-air, hence the "nitrogen", not sure about commercial-units needing a pure nitrogen-supply.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:41 PM #11
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

Thanks again everyone. All right you talked me into it
Quote:
Your work is likely worth between $7 and $20 an hour. I would pay $40 any day for a nitrogen laser. So even if you don't think it's worth $40, many others here will, and you can sell it for more.
Actually I charge $85 per hour, but still for <150.00 it would be something to play around with.
From the way the old fellow talked, I don't believe its home-made, said he got it in a truckload of surplus stuff from a lab in Tampa. Also said he has had it only about 3 years. So it may not be all that old.

I'll definitely take it, have to see if it's powered by 120V(unlikely) or 240V(most likely) and if it's 3 phase I'll just need a converter.
When I built my machine shop I made sure to install (4) "extra" 50A 240V dedicated breakers, lines and plugs, just in case.

Quote:
heres some links that may help you.
Thanks Hak, I will dive into these right after supper.
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:51 PM #12
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

You are very welcome - this forum has been SO helpful and all the noobies(like me) should try to do a 'payback' whenever they can!!! Hope you can get it running--I will be passing thru Tampa next time I travel to see Dad in Fla. Would like to see it in person. take care mm<(*u*)>mm Hak
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:51 PM #13
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

Make sure you protect your skin from the UV also.
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Old 10-26-2009, 10:49 PM #14
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

Anyway, make sure to posts pics once you got it
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:13 PM #15
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

Take it...then sell it for more. Basic economics.

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Old 10-27-2009, 02:55 AM #16
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Default Re: NITROGEN LASER; cool or not?

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Actually I charge $85 per hour, but still for <150.00 it would be something to play around with.

I'd wager that a good percentage of the working age people here work some sort of technical career.

Clerks at Wal Mart make better figures than what was mentioned here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
Your work is likely worth between $7 and $20 an hour.
Some people don't even answer the phone for less than $100
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