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Old 01-25-2010, 11:27 AM #1
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Default Planning on buying in the near future.

I am very interested in buying a gas laser in the near future. By looking around, reading up it would seem I would probably prefer a CO2 powered laser. IR is also fine with me if its cheaper. Anywhere 1W and above would be fantastic with me.

As of now I am only looking, since funds are not perfect and buying another laser is far off the list of things I need to do I am just curious on what kind I can obtain within a $350 area.

I also heard of other ways of getting one for cheap such as buying a used one from either hospitals/colleges/etc and this would also interest me as such.

Forgive me if this is not the right area to discus this, I figure to ask for information so when I am ready to buy one I can be sure to know what to expect.


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Old 01-25-2010, 08:23 PM #2
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Default Re: Planning on buying in the near future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Despair View Post
I am very interested in buying a gas laser in the near future. By looking around, reading up it would seem I would probably prefer a CO2 powered laser. IR is also fine with me if its cheaper. Anywhere 1W and above would be fantastic with me.

As of now I am only looking, since funds are not perfect and buying another laser is far off the list of things I need to do I am just curious on what kind I can obtain within a $350 area.

I also heard of other ways of getting one for cheap such as buying a used one from either hospitals/colleges/etc and this would also interest me as such.

Forgive me if this is not the right area to discus this, I figure to ask for information so when I am ready to buy one I can be sure to know what to expect.
CO2 lasers ARE IR, and usually don't come much smaller than 5 watts.
What exactly do you want it for? It may have an impact on what you should get.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:55 PM #3
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Default Re: Planning on buying in the near future.

Yes, you wont get much unless its second hand/surplus at that price level.

IR lasers are even more dangerous than visible beam lasers as you cannot see where they are; and they burn stuff really quick once you get into the class IV range. A small 10 watt co2 laser will scorch wood at a distance, and do nasty damage to flesh.

I'm no beginner to lasers, but certainly no expert. I intend on getting a 50 watt co2 together. But. These lasers have a lot of power to be respected.

What do you want to use the laser for? If its just a novelty it will wear off pretty quick. Then you will have a big power supply and hunk of metal (diode laser) o big glass tube (co2 gas laser) tying up space. However if you want to use it for a purpose it could be very useful (I intend to use mine for scoring out lines in model airplane parts).

A co2 laser will burn glass (etch into it) and needs expensive optics to focus the beam. I will be a few years off before I get mine, well after I've become accustomed to some DPSS lasers I want to build a projector from.

When I do get my co2 together I'll be teaming it with a red or green aiming beam to know exactly where that IR burning thing is going. That requires yet another expensive optic!

if you already knew all this then sorry for the saftey warning. If you didnt, well, read up, be safe etc.

Cheers
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:44 PM #4
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Default Re: Planning on buying in the near future.

I think the highest power for the lowest price is a 808nm laser diode, but the most important question is: what are you looking for? Application of the laser (if any)?
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:40 PM #5
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Default Re: Planning on buying in the near future.

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Originally Posted by Bluefan View Post
I think the highest power for the lowest price is a 808nm laser diode, but the most important question is: what are you looking for? Application of the laser (if any)?
In my opinion is better an IR laser at 1064 nm since it has a good divergence (than at 808 nm), the price per mW is very good, and it could be also easy used for frequency-doubling experiments to produce green laser light at 532nm.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:25 AM #6
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Default Re: Planning on buying in the near future.

Thank you for your responses, And as for the use of this, its mainly for hobby use which entails mainly using it for fun but of course in a safe way. My interest stems from my love of experimental science technology, most of them mainly ever seen in colleges and etc.

I was also looking if there would be any way to build one if possible? Or would that be beyond even my knowledge?
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Old 02-02-2010, 05:59 PM #7
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Default Re: Planning on buying in the near future.

There's enough info on assembling/build your own, you can make it just as hard as you want. Connecting a 808nm diode to a LM317 is very simple, building any laser from scratch materials isn't (although an N2 laser comes close). Depends on what you want.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:38 PM #8
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Default Re: Planning on buying in the near future.

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Originally Posted by Bluefan View Post
There's enough info on assembling/build your own, you can make it just as hard as you want. Connecting a 808nm diode to a LM317 is very simple, building any laser from scratch materials isn't (although an N2 laser comes close). Depends on what you want.
He was talking about getting hold of a gas laser, and as for building a gas laser... It gets very complex unless you are building a Nitrogen TEA laser in which case they are pretty simple as you mentioned

But as Bluefan said, you can get hold of pretty powerful diodes, Including 25W IR diode bars
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