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Old 08-18-2014, 07:30 AM #97
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Nope. That's a bargain. And the hour meter is under the faceplate, it's easy to get at with no danger. I think I posted on it somewhere in the teardown thread someone else did. There's a bunch of supplies that can drive the cylindrical heads. Newer tubes have less problems with sitting usually than tired ones. Starting the tube in a cold environment doesn't help either... But in summer that's obviously not a likely issue


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Old 08-19-2014, 05:00 AM #98
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Yeah I knew it was fairly easy to get to. Took about two minutes to get the front off.

2014-08-18_04-52-49pm by ltkernelpanic, on Flickr

That confirms why it's a hard starting tube. Over 9,000 hours on it.

I can't remember how many my other argon has off the top of my head but I think it's around 6,000 and it's ten years older! I didn't run it tonight since it was pretty hot and miserable today but even with that many hours on it the tube must be somewhat healthy since it'll still put put 40mw at full power.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:30 AM #99
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

yeah that's not too bad overall. its definitely getting along in its life though...nearly that dreaded time for a refurb/recycle/new tube. though frankly...thats not too bad. 1000 hours to go is still quite a ways. the higher you run the current the faster it dies exponentially, so I always run my easy.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:38 AM #100
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Tonight I ran the tube at 6.5A for about 75 minutes, let it idle for about 10 then turned it back up until the light meter on the controller said 10mw.

Current mode 5.94 A
Light mode: 5.98 A (10.02 mw was as close to 10 as I could get).
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:33 AM #101
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Sounds like she's still pretty healthy if you're meeting spec at 6 Amps. Just getting along in age.

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Old 09-07-2014, 04:32 PM #102
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

The arogon is running right now. Is there
anything specific anyone recommends with
the current, or should I just let it run full
bore for an hour? Starts on the first tick
every time.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:36 PM #103
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Typical burn-in/operating spec is about 5-6 amps for most laser tubes. The higher the current, the faster you kill it...alot
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:48 PM #104
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Okay, thanks. I think I'll run it at 5A from
now on.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:03 PM #105
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Yeah, rule of thumb is don't run it higher than you need for whatever you're doing. And don't start it any more than you have to. If need to take a break but you'll come back 20 min later, just shut the shutter and put it on idle (if you can) or turn the current down to near minimum. the lower heat will help the tube and filament last longer. Each time you start it you both momentarily plasticize and blow a small chunk off the filament. It definitely has a pretty finite life. I also find it advisable when you turn it off to just cut the discharge and let the fan run for a few more minutes to cool the tube off. My omnichrome does it on its own in fact - the fans stay on for several minutes and then turn off automatically.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:23 PM #106
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

In welding terminology, we call it
post-flow. This one also does
automatically. It seems like it won't
adjust below 5.1A, so I guess that is where
it will be. The adjustment is just a
little multiturn trimpot. There are
threads like a knob could go there, but I
don't have such a thing. +1 for the effort.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:32 PM #107
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Yeah my uniphase tube idles at 3.8A (8mW) if I remember, and the max is about 10A (134mW) Spec output is was around 5-6A (40mW) I think, and it has about 5500 hours on it IIRC, but every laser is different, so you may have to fiddle a bit to determine what's best for your tube. I just cleaned and ran mine the other day. Was gonna post pics but haven't had time.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:13 AM #108
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Giving both mine a good workout before they go back into storage for awhile again.
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:38 PM #109
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

I took advantage of the below freezing temps last night to run both of mine.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:40 PM #110
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Did the same
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:44 AM #111
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Hauled both tubes and PSUs out of storage tonight and was surprised that my usual hard starting head fired on the second pulse after only a 2-3 minute warm up. Can't wait to finally get my work room redone so I can keep them setup and not have to keep moving them when not in use.
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Old 11-23-2014, 06:20 PM #112
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Default Re: Remember to exercise those argons!

Good news. Running it at spec or lower currents regularly, Perhaps 15-20 min every 4-6 weeks will keep it going a long time. Especially important for Kr+ containing lasers.
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325nm: Omni 2056-M-A01 HeCd
375nm: Melles Griot RCS-007

405nm: Melles Griot RCS
430nm: Coherent D3 430-10
441.6nm: Omnichrome 2056-M-A01/4074-P-A03 HeCd laser
457.9nm: Argon Ion Line

472nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
473nm: CNI MGL-473-100, CNI GLP-473
476.5nm: Argon Ion Line

483nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
488nm: Argon Ion Line, Spectra Physics >20mW Cyan DECSL Laser, Coherent Sapphire 488-20 OPSL

496.5nm: Argon Ion Line
501.7: Argon Ion Line
514.5nm: Argon Ion Line
520nm: Trustfire A8 Custom

532nm: CNI MGL-F-3W, Coherent Genesis MX Taipan OPSL, LG Hercules-325
543.5nm: 05-LGR-193 Melles Griot HeNe 3.8mW
Melles Griot LGB-563 HeNe

561nm: Melles Griot 85-YCA-015, Coherent Sapphire 561-20
568nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line

577nm: Coherent Genesis MX Taipan OPSL
583.8nm: DPSS line
586.2nm: DPSS line
588.6nm: CNI PGL-M-80

591nm: DPSS line
593.5nm CNI MGL-H-50 Lab Laser
594.1nm: Coherent 31-2230-000 (4.5mW)

604.6nm: LOR-150 HeNe line
609nm: Raman HeNe line?
611.8nm: Melles Griot LOR-150 HeNe (5mW), LOR-006 HeNe (0.5mW)

632.8nm: Spectra Physics Model-127 (>35mW), Model-124B, Model-120, Model-117, others
Melles Griot LHB-580, LHB-190, WHR-570

641nm: Melles Griot RCS
647nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
659.6nm: Laser Quantum IGNIS DPSS laser 0.5W

671nm: CNI PGL-III-C-100
676nm: Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
690nm: custom diode laser
694nm: Portable Q-switched Ruby Laser

1152.6nm: SP-120 HeNe alt. mirrors
1523.5nm: Melles Griot LIR-151 HeNe
3391nm: SP-124 alt. mirrors

Last edited by ultimatekaiser; 11-23-2014 at 06:20 PM.
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