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Old 09-04-2012, 10:57 PM #1
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Lightbulb Tesla Coil powered HeNe Laser

I wasn't sure where to post this actually, haha. Could've easily gone in the TC thread in the Geek's Corner, or in general, but as the laser itself is gaseous, I decided upon here, haha.

Enjoy!:

Tesla Coil HeNe Laser - YouTube

Btw, this tube requires 5mA to start lasing as it is quite old, so the sporatic lasing you see with only capacitive coupling (no arc/sparks/streamers) indicates that at least 5mA of RF current is flowing through anything that close to the TC, including myself.


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Old 09-04-2012, 11:44 PM #2
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Default Re: Tesla Coil powered HeNe Laser

Sig you are crazy but it was so awesome. And to see the tube lasing is just badass.
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Old 09-05-2012, 12:23 AM #3
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Default Re: Tesla Coil powered HeNe Laser

Haha, glad you liked it! I had more video but due to the camera angle you couldn't see it lasing, so I edited it out.

An interesting phenomenon occured while holding the tube in my hand while inside the E-field; the non-lasing glow discharge of the tube causes the He and the Ne to separate out, with the He going towards the anode/my hand and the Ne going to the cathode. There was a distinct region of no glow between each region and the characteristic spectral lines of the gasses confirmed separation.

About safety:
Generally speaking; being in the E-field of a TC is harmless as long as you are not DC grounded to an RF ground (everything in the e-field is always capacitively grounded even if floating... literally). Once you're DC grounded a lot more current will flow through you, and while RF current cannot stop your heart, it can and will destroy your nerves and heat your tissues/blood. Still, short exposure times with low intensities is still acceptable, though I do not allow this upon myself. The worst case scenario is being DC grounded and drawing an arc/streamer to you or something you hold that isn't itself DC grounded. This causes a tremendou amount of RF current to flow through you and even short repetitive exposure can cause permanent nerve damage. I NEVER EVER allow this to occur.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:23 AM #4
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Default Re: Tesla Coil powered HeNe Laser

You are nucking futs! That was pretty damned cool. Someday I'll build a TC of my own.
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Old 09-05-2012, 05:29 AM #5
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Default Re: Tesla Coil powered HeNe Laser

Hey Sig. I have been an electrician for 30+ years and hate to get shocked. So high voltage scary stuff. If it's more than 110v I turn it off before working on it. I have been bit by 600v off a florescence ballast and man that hurts. I know 110v will grab you and not let go but high voltage even RF makes me cringe.

But don't stop it's so cool to see a HeNe lase without wires.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:51 PM #6
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Default Re: Tesla Coil powered HeNe Laser

I'm not afraid of RF but I won't even think of touching a mains voltage area unless I am sure it is dead/discharged. RF demands respect but it won't stop your heart, so the accidental screw up that claims every electricity worker's life who encounters only gives the RF worker a bad burn or possible nerve damage. In that regard it is far more forgiving.

HV can be scary, especially when it carries high current, but it rarely hides waiting to attack the unsuspecting thanks to the relatively low breakdown voltage of air (~1kV/mm).
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Old 09-09-2012, 09:52 PM #7
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Default Re: Tesla Coil powered HeNe Laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigurthr View Post
I'm not afraid of RF but I won't even think of touching a mains voltage area unless I am sure it is dead/discharged. RF demands respect but it won't stop your heart, so the accidental screw up that claims every electricity worker's life who encounters only gives the RF worker a bad burn or possible nerve damage. In that regard it is far more forgiving.

HV can be scary, especially when it carries high current, but it rarely hides waiting to attack the unsuspecting thanks to the relatively low breakdown voltage of air (~1kV/mm).
My buddy has been a ham for years and he has some stories. One comes to mind about a flyback transformer or was it a CRT and a missplaced finger. To this day his finger to his elbow(exit point) still tingles. LOL I know alittle about RF burns. I remember a CB antenna with a linear and burn in the palm of my hand. Ouch.
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