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Cyonics/Uniphase 2201-25ML Multiline Argon

bluestars

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Hi LPF!

Guess what showed up? That's right, my new Argon laser! Thanks again to Sta for the excellent eBay suggestion. :thanks: It actually arrived two days ago, but I had family in town so I had to wait until today to do a proper run.

I picked up this laser with a matching 2102-25ML power supply from an eBay auction for around $290 shipped. According to the nameplate, it was manufactured July 1989. I don't know how many hours are on the tube.

When it first showed up, I grabbed a ~150CFM PC fan that I had lying around (thanks to UltimateKaiser for the info about how to set up cooling) and gaffer taped it on. I ran it for about 20 minutes (I know, too short, but I had to run pretty soon after I powered it on) and oohed and ahhed at the pretty blue beam. I mean, sure I have a 1W handheld 445nm and a 500mW 405nm, both of which require no cooling or massive power supplies, but there's something about obsolete laser tech that makes it way cooler. After all, if I drop this laser, I might get cancer (BeO)! ;)

Anyway, I seem to get 5 lines at both idle and full power. Idle consumes about 6.4A at the wall (Kill-A-Watt) and full power consumes ~9A. I don't have a remote control, so my power supply is currently jumpered for light mode. Sam's Laser FAQ comes with a great page on this laser and its power supply, which I intend to use to build a remote interface (or at least throw some meters in there). I don't have a LPM, so I can't tell you what optical power it is putting out, but the eBay seller metered around 40mW at full power.

As usual, I took a good number of pictures. Unfortunately, I haven't really been able to capture the beam or spot in a way that looks at all reasonable. However, it's still an interesting album IMHO. There are some extra details in the image descriptions.
https://imgur.com/a/bRwW9

Thanks for reading!
 



Sta

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Great album, bluestars! I'm glad that my suggestion worked out for you.

And capturing the real appearance of a multiline argon is deceptively difficult - I haven't seen any camera that can truly represent just how beautiful the colors are.

And it actually seems that yours may actually be putting out 6 lines at full power - prism splitting often misses the 501.7 line, since it's weaker. A diffraction grating would establish for certain whether it's putting out 5 or 6.

:beer:
 
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FRITZ HID

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Enjoy your new toy Stars! yes, these Gas lasers have a beam that just can't be duplicated by solid state lasers. Yes, that diffraction grating should do just fine. thats what i use on my ArKr and i get between 6-9 lines on the good days. if youd like, IM me your address and i'll send you a few Diff-cards for nothing. ( i have 100's)
there really is something to be said about a multi line laser... there really is nothing like them. Take care of and enjoy yours! just watch that power bill!!!!! lol
 

LtKernelPanic

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Awesome "little" laser! I have two JDSU Uniphase branded ML argons. Great pics too. As Sta said capturing the true colors of a split beam is almost impossible even with a DLSR.
 

ultimatekaiser

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Happy Ionizing! :D Though max current for most of these should be 10A or so. I wonder why you aren't able to get it to go all the way up...although really you shouldn't run it above its rated power output anyway. (25mW) It kills the tube exponentially faster per amp you give it. The lower the current you can go while still getting the power you need, the better - to say nothing of heat!

You should get 6 lines by design, though if the tube is getting old, it wouldn't be surprising if you lost one or the power was low. generally they should do rated power at perhaps 6-7A ish to my knowledge with adequate cooling.

These Gas lasers have a beam that just can't be duplicated by solid state lasers.

This isn't true at all. :) But there is definitely a different kind of charm behind a gas tube I agree.
 
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Sta

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You should get 6 lines by design, though if the tube is getting old, it wouldn't be surprising if you lost one or the power was low. generally they should do rated power at perhaps 6-7A ish to my knowledge with adequate cooling.

Sometimes EOL tubes actually seem to put out more lines. My old argon tube, before it died out, was putting out 9 lines!
 

ultimatekaiser

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Sometimes EOL tubes actually seem to put out more lines. My old argon tube, before it died out, was putting out 9 lines!

That tends to be the case, but not always. Usually from declining gas pressure I suspect. Small Ion tubes have more gas in them typically than larger tubes to help them last longer, as well as some other traits, but the tradeoff is that it isn't quite as optimal lasing-wise, so it tends to decrease in power and voltage, but increase line competition as the pressure declines towards a more typical pressure, then back out of it and out of range of what the supply can handle. But other factors come into play too.
 
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diachi

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yes, these Gas lasers have a beam that just can't be duplicated by solid state lasers.

Solid State can quite happily perform as well as gas (in terms of beam specs at least), if not better. Kaiser already mentioned it, but I'm going to provide an example:


And another 315M-100:



The beam diameter there should be a little less than 0.5mm. Spec sheet says beam diameter @ 1/e² is 0.32mm.

I used to have a Compass 115M-35(I think it was a 35...). I don't think I've ever seen a beam quite that tight, even from a gas laser. ;)

But yes ... definitely more charm to gas lasers, as Kaiser said.
 
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