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Old 07-07-2008, 10:14 PM #1
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Default fiber optic! how??

hi! im wondering if its some how possible to shot a laser beam into a fiber optic kable, and still exit it like a beam? do i nead som special parts, and are they expensive and how big/small are they,, im trying too do a neon looking sign, but with a laser!!


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Old 07-07-2008, 11:21 PM #2
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Default Re: fiber optic! how??

All you need is to shine the laser into the fiber optic cable and it comes out the other end.

The inside of the glass is reflective, the same way looking up while underwater, the surface is reflective.
This means, unfortunately, that you wouldn't be able to see much of the laser by looking at the side of the fiber optic cable, almost all the light goes in one end and comes out the other end. If this were not the case, fiber optic cables would be useless for transmitting data.

You can use a laser to light up any type of clear plastic, like if you just carved a shape out of clear plastic then shone the laser at it, but this would be no more effective than using any other sort of light.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:46 AM #3
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Default Re: fiber optic! how??

What you are looking for is called a fiber coupler. This device mounts to the output of your laser and contains a collimating lens inside. These are often custom built for a particular laser head in the aftermarket world. The other end (output end) generally has a standard fiber connector such as FC or SMA. You then connect your properly terminated fiber optic cable to the fiber coupler. There are some issues with fiber coupling, however. It is virtually impossible for a non-experienced person to terminate single mode fiber and get any real usable output. Using multimode fiber is much easier but you end up with more a flashlight at the end of the fiber than a beam. It requires another focusing lens or collimating optic to bring it back to something useful but it will never be the quality beam you had at your aperture. Good, large, multimode termination can net you up to 90-95% your input on a well designed and built coupler. Expect 10-40% on single mode fiber if you know what you are doing.

Edit:

Looking at what you are trying to do you might consider just rods of acrylic plastic. Heat them and bend them the way you want then cut your entry end flat and your terminating end melt into a nice rounded end. Use optics to expand or contract your beam to fit the diameter of the acrylic. You'll have some losses but I bet it still lights it up pretty good.

Oh and by the way there is mathematics out there based on refraction and reflection of materials that will allow you to determine the minimum radius you can bend your plastic.
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:45 PM #4
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Default Re: fiber optic! how??

thanx!! its been realy interesting news, first i tryed with mirrors,, it worked just fine,, but some one told me the lost will always be 10% / each time it hits a mirror!, is there some kind of mirror that will work better, or some thing else!??
ps, sorry for my english,, (im swedish)
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:10 PM #5
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Default Re: fiber optic! how??

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbanatom
thanx!! its been realy interesting news, first i tryed with mirrors,, it worked just fine,, but some one told me the lost will always be 10% / each time it hits a mirror!, is there some kind of mirror that will work better, or some thing else!??
ps, sorry for my english,, (im swedish)
Don't know what kind of mirrors you used, but judging your post i would say you used standard mirrors
A better and way more efficient mirror is a front surface mirror. A tad more expensive, but reflectivity is a lot better compared to regular glass mirrors.
A front surface mirror has the reflective layer on top of the glass or plastic instead of behind it and thus eliminating the refraction of the glass itself.
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Old 07-08-2008, 10:25 PM #6
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Default Re: fiber optic! how??

thanx everyone for the info!! going to serch the net for the optional kind of front side mirrors,,
il surly be back for more qustions, if not, just to post a pic of the final result! :-)
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