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Old 10-01-2013, 01:57 PM #1
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Default Quest for the Epic Argon

It's been a while since I had something big to work on, but after stumbling across a new favorite seller on ebay I ended up making a trip in my Jeep.

$100 and about 3 gallons of gas later-



Only a teaser for now


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ILT 5500KR krypton only air cooled ion 100mW 647.1nm | ILT 5500AR argon only air cooled ion >300mW multiline
Omnichrome 643 air cooled Ar/Kr ion 10mW 676.4nm 647.1nm 568.2nm 488nm 476.2nm (high hours)
Spectra Physics 127 >30mW 632.8nm HeNe | Uniphase 1.5mW 543.5nm GreeNe
Coherent Innova 90 argon ion water cooled ??W (got plasma, alignment in progress)
Coherent 60W 830nm water cooled diode brick | Shenhui Laser 40W 10600nm water cooled CO2

(9:03:50 PM) Picasso: the best guys i saw ever at burning man was two dudes dressed as all green army men shooting pants at naked guys
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:13 PM #2
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Default Re: Quest for the Epic Argon

I have been teased sufficientley
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:38 PM #3
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Default Re: Quest for the Epic Argon

Epic Argon project Log Day 1:

Starting hardware: I should have enough parts to get something working. I have a dead Lexel 95 head but a good power supply and a good tube with a broken cooling jacket from a Coherent Novus.

The Coherent Innova has arrived at my local hackerspace which has sufficient 208v 3 phase power and water cooling to feed this beast.



Initial inspection: The Innova 90 isn't in the greatest shape. The head has a fair number of scrapes and is missing the cover screws. The head is missing the high reflector mirror assembly and littrow prism setup for single line operation.

Output coupler mirror is still present and appears to be clean, however the output end is missing the bolt that holds the output coupler holder in place. This shouldn't affect operation but bumping the OC holder would knock the alignment slightly off.

The power supply was physically damaged at some point, the wavelength selector switches on the front panel are smashed beyond repair. After some careful bending and hammering the front panel now sits flat on the front of the PSU. My guess is that the wavelength selector switches are for calibrating the optical power sensor in the head. The switches being broken may not affect the laser running in current mode.



The power supply design for the I90 is significantly more complex than my Lexel 95 supply. Quick research suggests that the I90 supply uses an SCR based line voltage pre-regulator instead of the large 3 phase buck/boost transformer the L95 uses. Much more control circuitry. Odd that some boards do not have solder mask while others do. Passbank design for the I90 is very nice; thumbscrews on the back allow the whole passbank module to pull out on rails for easy service. The insides of the PSU are pretty clean, no obvious signs of damage.



Closing thoughts, day 1: As long as the tube is gas intact I should be able to get some coherent photons out of this thing. I can sacrifice the Novus tube for a high reflector mirror or my L95 head. Perhaps I can even use the whole littrow prism assembly for single line operation.

Coming up next: -Tickle the tube with some HV and see if it still has argon inside
-Hook up the PSU and see if it powers up without releasing any magic smoke
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Omnichrome 643 air cooled Ar/Kr ion 10mW 676.4nm 647.1nm 568.2nm 488nm 476.2nm (high hours)
Spectra Physics 127 >30mW 632.8nm HeNe | Uniphase 1.5mW 543.5nm GreeNe
Coherent Innova 90 argon ion water cooled ??W (got plasma, alignment in progress)
Coherent 60W 830nm water cooled diode brick | Shenhui Laser 40W 10600nm water cooled CO2

(9:03:50 PM) Picasso: the best guys i saw ever at burning man was two dudes dressed as all green army men shooting pants at naked guys
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:31 PM #4
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Default Re: Quest for the Epic Argon

The thing is huge!
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405nm >> Skylasers PL405 500mW, overspec generic pen 70mW
445nm >> Blord 3W Dominator
460nm >> laserBtB 50mW pen
473nm >> Jet Lasers PL-E Pro 10-30mW
488nm >> Uniphase 2214-40MLA Cyllindrical Argon Ion
515nm >> Skylasers HL515 30mW
520nm >> Skylasers HL520 50mW
532nm >> Skylasers PL532 700mW, CNI 532nm GLP
543.5nm >> JDS Uniphase HeNe
589nm >> DL Spartan 50mW
632.8nm >> JDS Uniphase HeNe
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:06 PM #5
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Default Re: Quest for the Epic Argon

Are you trying to compete with djmatt at the next SELEM 2014?

Wow, Hope it fires for you without lots of work
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:11 PM #6
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Default Re: Quest for the Epic Argon

Glad you got one of these :-)

no pics of the tube for us?

had an I70, don't remember that the PSU was modular like that, nifty!

For all I know, I killed it, and the new owner is just being polite and not telling me

For what it's worth, seems like labs often lose the cover screws, my unit PSU and head were missing ALL cover screws.

You got the remote for it too,
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:49 PM #7
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Default Re: Quest for the Epic Argon

I cannot wait to see this thing in action.

Good luck!

Glad you found another big ion to replace your other one
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Old 10-04-2013, 12:26 PM #8
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Default Re: Quest for the Epic Argon

Quote:
Originally Posted by icecruncher View Post
Are you trying to compete with djmatt at the next SELEM 2014?

Wow, Hope it fires for you without lots of work


Quote:
Originally Posted by BShanahan14rulz View Post
Glad you got one of these :-)

no pics of the tube for us?

had an I70, don't remember that the PSU was modular like that, nifty!

For all I know, I killed it, and the new owner is just being polite and not telling me

For what it's worth, seems like labs often lose the cover screws, my unit PSU and head were missing ALL cover screws.

You got the remote for it too,
Yeah I wish I could've taken a crack at the one you had, but it was a hefty drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloompyle View Post
I cannot wait to see this thing in action.

Good luck!

Glad you found another big ion to replace your other one
We'll see


No progress yet, Although I managed to wrench the bent water cooling connector from the back of the PSU. Need to get a new one at the hardware store so I can get some water flowing through the system

Took a few more pics though


Looks like the tube may be pretty well used



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ILT 5500KR krypton only air cooled ion 100mW 647.1nm | ILT 5500AR argon only air cooled ion >300mW multiline
Omnichrome 643 air cooled Ar/Kr ion 10mW 676.4nm 647.1nm 568.2nm 488nm 476.2nm (high hours)
Spectra Physics 127 >30mW 632.8nm HeNe | Uniphase 1.5mW 543.5nm GreeNe
Coherent Innova 90 argon ion water cooled ??W (got plasma, alignment in progress)
Coherent 60W 830nm water cooled diode brick | Shenhui Laser 40W 10600nm water cooled CO2

(9:03:50 PM) Picasso: the best guys i saw ever at burning man was two dudes dressed as all green army men shooting pants at naked guys
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