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Old 04-04-2012, 03:20 AM #1
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Question Some Noob Questions...

Hi. I'm not really into gas lasers, but I was shopping around on eBay and saw this. The seller was only 30 zip codes away, so I ended up doing local pickup and getting it for just over 30 bucks.
It has a 3121H-P-02-73(no idea) Melles Griot HeNe head made in 1999
Some Noob Questions...-sdim1518-2.jpg
And a small power supply from Power Technology Inc. Model # N017-1111 that pulls 12V at 1A and puts out 1365V at 5mA
Some Noob Questions...-sdim1519-2.jpg

It does have a nice dot, but as this is the first gas laser I bought, the dot might seem tighter to me...
Some Noob Questions...-sdim1522-2.jpg


Ok, so my noobish question is: is this a decent laser for $30?

P.S. Also, is it bad to turn HeNe lasers on and off frequently?



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Old 04-04-2012, 03:23 AM #2
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Default Re: Some Noob Questions...

From what I've seen, $30 for a HeNe and PSU is a pretty good deal considering it is operating!.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:22 AM #3
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Default Re: Some Noob Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fretwrecker94 View Post
From what I've seen, $30 for a HeNe and PSU is a pretty good deal considering it is operating!.
Thanks, the guy got it from RPI(Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), I think some ppl here went there

Can anyone answer my second question though? Should I avoid turning a HeNe on and off too often, or does it have no effect on its life?
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:25 AM #4
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Default Re: Some Noob Questions...

Doesn't matter much.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:34 PM #5
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Default Re: Some Noob Questions...

All modern HeNes are cold-cathode devices - they don't mind at all as far as I know. It might put a strain on some PSUs to switch it several times a minute though.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:44 PM #6
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Default Re: Some Noob Questions...

I like the looks of that tube! That's a good price for a working PSU and tube. Some tubes may have a lens on the aperture which can affect the dot shape. I have one red HeNe that had a nice tight dot and the other one has pretty nasty divergence but it was from a barcode scanner IIRC. Both my green tubes have a tight dot. I'll be curious what the tube I have coming today looks like. As for turning it off and on it shouldn't do anything to the tube but as Cyparagon said the PSU may not like that.

A quick FYI if you run the laser with the cover off the tube acts like a capacitor and can give you a (normally) harmless jolt if you're not expecting it so be careful around the tube if it's been on. The charge should dissipate within a few minutes.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:25 PM #7
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Default Re: Some Noob Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LtKernelPanic View Post
I like the looks of that tube! That's a good price for a working PSU and tube. Some tubes may have a lens on the aperture which can affect the dot shape. I have one red HeNe that had a nice tight dot and the other one has pretty nasty divergence but it was from a barcode scanner IIRC. Both my green tubes have a tight dot. I'll be curious what the tube I have coming today looks like. As for turning it off and on it shouldn't do anything to the tube but as Cyparagon said the PSU may not like that.

A quick FYI if you run the laser with the cover off the tube acts like a capacitor and can give you a (normally) harmless jolt if you're not expecting it so be careful around the tube if it's been on. The charge should dissipate within a few minutes.
Yes, I've read that quite a lot for gas lasers. Supposedly, it is harmless, so naturally, I had to try it. Gave me a nasty jolt even though it puts out only 5mA, due to its high voltage I guess
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:22 PM #8
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Default Re: Some Noob Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LtKernelPanic View Post
A quick FYI if you run the laser with the cover off the tube acts like a capacitor and can give you a (normally) harmless jolt if you're not expecting it so be careful around the tube if it's been on. The charge should dissipate within a few minutes.
Key word: should

lol

Oh god, now I'm nervous to turn mine on...

Last edited by Ghostchrome; 04-04-2012 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:53 PM #9
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Default Re: Some Noob Questions...

you have to be careful of the jolt. made me drop a tube onetime...onto my bed thank Photon!
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:10 AM #10
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Default Re: Some Noob Questions...

Heh the shock you'd get would feel like a nasty static shock. If I have to move my bare HeNe tubes before I'm able to short the leads to discharge it I'll wear one of my winter gloves to insulate my hand from it.
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