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Old 01-11-2017, 01:52 PM #1
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Default what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

Hello I have this old Coherent graphite laser head that has a bad broken tube that will never ever I mean EVER be working ever again. BUT I love the head the way it looks and the size of it It has the optics and the head is in terrific condition. My question is what kind of laser project can be made with this? plus there seems to be a gluten of ion lasers on ebay craigslist etc that are going for really cheap I remember the same lasers in the mid 90s going for 5 figures now going for less than a grand. I have seen a Coherent innova 300 going for 300 bucks you know it is most likely DEAD. so what can I do with one of these. I am not a machinist (wish to God I was) but I want to do something with this huge head. but what I don't know any suggestions? thanks Tom


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Old 01-11-2017, 02:19 PM #2
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Default Re: what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

There are members here that are machinist, hopfully they will see the thread. It seems like a project that would be rather interesting, if and when you get it completed love to see some pictures of the unit. Best wish and welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:41 PM #3
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Default Re: what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

You can use the frame of the laser and its optics mounts for any other laser project -- you'll just need to fit another mirrors and another tube between the mirrors or a solid state laser pumping chamber with the laser rod and lamp. You can use the solenoid\magnet as the source of copper wire for electronics projects, to wind coils, transformers, etc if it is not impregnated with epoxy or similar stuff.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:59 PM #4
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Default Re: what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

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You can use the frame of the laser and its optics mounts for any other laser project -- you'll just need to fit another mirrors and another tube between the mirrors or a solid state laser pumping chamber with the laser rod and lamp. You can use the solenoid\magnet as the source of copper wire for electronics projects, to wind coils, transformers, etc if it is not impregnated with epoxy or similar stuff.
^^Good suggestion - although getting another tube of any sort may not be easy.

Other options are:

Put a tiny little solid state module in there and make it look like it still works. Or put two in there to make it the right colour (450/520).

Use it is a giant doorstop/paperweight.
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Old 01-12-2017, 08:02 PM #5
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Default Re: what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

The reason those tubes are sold off so cheap (and they might still work, but need runtime if they've been sitting) is because if they're not broken, they can usually be refurbished for a few thousand dollars. It sounds like alot, but its very little compared to the original cost of the tube-which could be in the 5-6 digit range....big $$$. Industry recycles them.
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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: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

472nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
473nm: CNI MGL-473-100, CNI GLP-473
476.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

483nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
488nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line, Spectra Physics >20mW Cyan DECSL Laser

496.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
501.7: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
514.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
520nm: Trustfire A8 Custom

532nm: CNI MGL-F-3W, 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
583.8nm
586.2nm
588.6nm: CNI PGL-M-80

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

604.6nm: LOR-150 HeNe line
609nm REO LHYR-250M 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
659.3nm: Laser Quantum IGNIS 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; 01-12-2017 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 01-13-2017, 02:18 AM #6
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Default Re: what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

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Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
The reason those tubes are sold off so cheap (and they might still work, but need runtime if they've been sitting) is because if they're not broken, they can usually be refurbished for a few thousand dollars. It sounds like alot, but its very little compared to the original cost of the tube-which could be in the 5-6 digit range....big $$$. Industry recycles them.
Yes I remember in the early mid 90s these lasers were going for like 30 grand used. now they are almost free well I just picked one up tonight for free that is in mint condition removed from service working. I can understand it being that other more efficient lasers are out there. but what would a Spectra Physics 2000 series go for when they were brand new? I would hate to guess. but if this works I will be so happy. Thanks Tom.
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:11 AM #7
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Default Re: what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by dressur4 View Post
Yes I remember in the early mid 90s these lasers were going for like 30 grand used. now they are almost free well I just picked one up tonight for free that is in mint condition removed from service working. I can understand it being that other more efficient lasers are out there. but what would a Spectra Physics 2000 series go for when they were brand new? I would hate to guess. but if this works I will be so happy. Thanks Tom.
well considering you can get solid state stuff that is in a head maybe 12"x5"x5" or less that does the same thing nowadays, lasts 2-5x longer, and isn't toxic if it breaks (and is less fragile too boot), and consumes maybe 50-200W of energy rather than 2-10KW or more, weighs a only a few pounds, and in many cases with comparable or even far superior beam quality...and sometimes at a fraction of the price (new)...why would you want an argon? Solid state beats them at every turn now. There's only a couple things they use them for now that are very niche as far as new tubes go. They're still around used from rebuilds, but places hardly buy new ones usually anymore except for very specific tasks (or on a deal).
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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: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

472nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
473nm: CNI MGL-473-100, CNI GLP-473
476.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

483nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
488nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line, Spectra Physics >20mW Cyan DECSL Laser

496.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
501.7: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
514.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
520nm: Trustfire A8 Custom

532nm: CNI MGL-F-3W, 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
583.8nm
586.2nm
588.6nm: CNI PGL-M-80

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

604.6nm: LOR-150 HeNe line
609nm REO LHYR-250M 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
659.3nm: Laser Quantum IGNIS 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; 01-13-2017 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 01-13-2017, 01:06 PM #8
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Default Re: what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatekaiser View Post
well considering you can get solid state stuff that is in a head maybe 12"x5"x5" or less that does the same thing nowadays, lasts 2-5x longer, and isn't toxic if it breaks (and is less fragile too boot), and consumes maybe 50-200W of energy rather than 2-10KW or more, weighs a only a few pounds, and in many cases with comparable or even far superior beam quality...and sometimes at a fraction of the price (new)...why would you want an argon? Solid state beats them at every turn now. There's only a couple things they use them for now that are very niche as far as new tubes go. They're still around used from rebuilds, but places hardly buy new ones usually anymore except for very specific tasks (or on a deal).
I agree the power requirements are nuts and unlike audio where tubes are king I seriously doubt that it will be the same with lasers I would love to have a solid state DPSS laser with tons of power. I just can't believe the difference in prices now then just 15 years ago.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:20 PM #9
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Default Re: what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

I agree, but that's the nature of technology in today's society. Ion lasers, like HeNe lasers, will probably never fully go away, and they still are frequently refurbed for certain places on the cheap, but unlike the HeNe, I don't see them staying forever. Much like the HeCd they're essentially obsolete now. Even the ubiquitous HeNe laser is starting to struggle. When I was a kid, the selection of tubes was simply massive compared to today. Places like Melles Griot had catalogs dedicated to just them, in every color, size, and shape imaginable! Now there are just a small handful of red tubes, and maybe a green tube. Solid state is even putting HeNes in the dark now due to how cheap and effective it is getting. It's survived from the early days of lasers due to its versatility, but is also now struggling to hold on, especially with the cost of manufacture and the cost of Helium 3 being through the roof, I don't know just how much longer they'll stay a commercial product. They may just become a on demand replacement part someday. They'll, unlike Ion lasers though, always have their place due to being simple, and due to the fact that [especially iodine] stabilized HeNe lasers are used as a wavelength reference/standard. The only major reason I can think of Ion lasers still being around is mostly due to how cheap they are used now. Small air-cooled ones are still used in confocal microscopy and a few other things like that for their multiline setups, and large ones are still occasionally used in entertainment, or for sheer power in custom types for research, but for the most part I think they're pretty much commercially dead for many common uses when it comes to new product development...especially with OPSL technology out now, which is HUGE in what it can do despite the price.
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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: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

472nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
473nm: CNI MGL-473-100, CNI GLP-473
476.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line

483nm Omni-643RYB Whitelight Line
488nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line, Spectra Physics >20mW Cyan DECSL Laser

496.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
501.7: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
514.5nm: Uniphase 2214-40MLA Argon Ion Line
520nm: Trustfire A8 Custom

532nm: CNI MGL-F-3W, 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
583.8nm
586.2nm
588.6nm: CNI PGL-M-80

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

604.6nm: LOR-150 HeNe line
609nm REO LHYR-250M 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
659.3nm: Laser Quantum IGNIS 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; 01-13-2017 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:45 PM #10
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Default Re: what to do with a really dead no hope for argon laser

Yes I love the OPSL technology I hope it gets cheap enough for hobbyists I do love the Ion lasers and hope I can piece one together to get one working. I have some hope in this latest acquisition. I do love my old Coherent graphite head as it looks so so cool. I will keep it even if it will only be a 200 pound paperweight. I need to learn so much more before trying to reinvent the wheel as they say. I would love to get a CO2 laser those are cool I would love to find a gas flow external mirror one someday
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