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DIY 589nm Chat

MEDDER

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As far as I can find, the 589 threads have died. I am creating this thread because I believe they are simpler than they are made out to be and I want people to know how they work so we can at last build our own. Personally I am not expecting to fit it inside a pointer housing, I would be happy having to lug around an optical breadboard.

If anybody has information on them I would love for you to share it first because although I think I understand them completely I am not 100% certain and dont want to embarrass myself/share misinformation.

Personally I am only interested in DPSS but if you have lots of information on another type (dye, ECDL, ect) do share.
 
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ArcticDude

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Some yellow here:
 

ultimatekaiser

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Making one isn't much more complex than a green. But it requires lots of specifically made parts and is much more tempermental. Buying the parts individually to try to make one is often far more expensive than just buying a retail unit. It's not like a green where the parts are common and you can find them on ebay or something and slap one together with the knowledge to do so. You'd likely easily spend extra money reinventing the wheel so to speak for no reason. There isn't much point except for the fun.
 

Anthony P

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I have done a homebuilt N2 pumped dye laser with excellent results. It was not nearly as complicated as that photo (LOL). It was probably the most fun I ever had with a laser project. If anyone is interested I will write up the details. Actually, this is my current new-old project. I am going to start by bring the existing one back on line. I have read that diodes can be used to pump dye and I will likely make some attempts at this technique.
 

Encap

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Have you ever built a DPSS laser of any wavelength even a relatively simple to achieve 532nm green DPSS?

As ultimatekaiser said above. The cost and a big if >> if you can get anyone to make or sell the parts to you for you to attempt to make one. Cost generally would be prohibitive unless you were to order production quantities if you could find any crystal and parts makers willing to bother.

589nm DPSS lasers are brutally inefficient (like 1%), and incredibly unstable. You are running basically two lasers in the cavity pumped by one diode. Using the primary lasing line of YVO4 and a secondary lasing line they are summed and frequency doubled. The coatings on the YVO4 and the NLO crystal are very exacting as well as they cut of the crystals due in part to the slightly different index of refraction inherent in the two lasing lines. Really very tricky to make even for advanced photonic engineers to accomplish---not a playtime with technology activity.

While a few manufacturers will make 589nm lasers on request they are not the norm and are far more complex and expensive than 532nm for instance.
There are real reasons that the only manufacturer on the planet that makes and has available as standard items individual/single piece affordable 589nm lasers is CNI. Everyone offering 589nm lasers is just reselling CNI made product.
Seriously doubt CNI would sell proven reliable component parts to be able to make one and even if they would do that, the cost would be as high or higher than a complete 589nm laser but you can ask.
Their hand held models are pulsed to reduce heat generated by the high output pump diode. if I remember correctly.
589nm takes a lot of IR pump power for very low output of 589nm.
See CNI product listings: http://www.cnilaser.com/yellow_laser589.htm
See CNI distributors here: http://www.cnilaser.com/Contact.htm
Lower priced reseller of CNI 589nm lasers here: https://www.civillaser.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=42_122
Higher priced Distributor/rseller: https://www.ultralasers.com/lasers-series.php?cat=35


" Yellow laser pointers emitting at 593.5 nm became available in recent modern times.. Although they are based on the DPSS process, in this case two lasing lines of the ND:YVO4, 1064 nm and 1342 nm, are summed together with a nonlinear crystal. The complexity of this process makes these laser pointers inherently unstable and inefficient, with their outputs ranging from 1 mW to about 10 mW, greatly varying with temperature and usually mode-hopping if they get too hot or too cold. That is because such a complex process may require temperature stabilizers and active cooling, which can't be mounted into a small sized host. Also, most smaller 593.5 nm pointers work in pulsed mode so they can use smaller and less powerful pumping diodes. New 589 nm yellow laser pointers have been introduced using a more robust and secretive method of harmonic generation from a DPSS laser system. " from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_pointer

Have a look at this research abstract, maybe get the whole article if interested: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0030402615014345?via=ihub
"We report the efficient compact 589-nm yellow laser generation by intra-cavity sum-frequency of a continuous wave (cw) laser operation of a diode-pumped double Nd:YAG crystals at 1064 nm and 1319 nm. An LiB3O5 (LBO) crystal, cut for critical type I phase matching at room temperature, is used as the nonlinear optical crystals for frequency summing. A maximum output power of 102 mW in the yellow spectral range at 589 nm was achieved at an incident pump power of 2 W. In 40 min we achieved an optical-to-optical conversion efficiency of 5.1% with a power instability less than 5.66%, the configuration is compact, flexible and efficient. "
 
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MEDDER

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Have you ever built a DPSS laser of any wavelength even a relatively simple to achieve 532nm green DPSS?

As ultimatekaiser said above. The cost and a big if >> if you can get anyone to make or sell the parts to you for you to attempt to make one. Cost generally would be prohibitive unless you were to order production quantities if you could find any crystal and parts makers willing to bother.

589nm DPSS lasers are brutally inefficient (like 1%), and incredibly unstable. You are running basically two lasers in the cavity pumped by one diode. Using the primary lasing line of YVO4 and a secondary lasing line they are summed and frequency doubled. The coatings on the YVO4 and the NLO crystal are very exacting as well as they cut of the crystals due in part to the slightly different index of refraction inherent in the two lasing lines. Really very tricky to make even for advanced photonic engineers to accomplish---not a playtime with technology activity.
I have not built my own but have managed to completely dissassemble and reassemble a ebay 301 532nm pointer for fun and to inprove its alignment. Though it was a long nightmare removing the crystals adhesive without breaking the crystals.

Dont get me wrong, I am not expecting to build some lab quality 1w 589 for $300. Although, things like the special coatings on the Nd crystal can be replaced with (in the case of side pumping) a mirror on one side and a 589nm bandpass filter on the other side. It may not be the "proper" way to do it or the most efficient way, but if it works it works.

I agree with you that for someone who is just wanting to collect all the laser colors something like this is not worthwhile and they should just buy a CNI. For me personally, I love 589 for its use in laser guide stars and for the fact that a lot of cool physics goes into making them. I would be pretty happy with say 100mW on a optical breadboard (with some TECs and big heatsinks attatched).

My view is basically that if a company can fit it all into a pointer and sell it for a reasonable price (considering how much of a speciality product it is) that we should be able to build the same for a bit more money and on a larger setup.
 
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diachi

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Making one isn't much more complex than a green. But it requires lots of specifically made parts and is much more tempermental. Buying the parts individually to try to make one is often far more expensive than just buying a retail unit. It's not like a green where the parts are common and you can find them on ebay or something and slap one together with the knowledge to do so. You'd likely easily spend extra money reinventing the wheel so to speak for no reason. There isn't much point except for the fun.
Unless you go with dye, and get especially lucky like I did and get a little Q-switched THG YAG for cheap.

 

Encap

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CNI has the knowledge, engineering experience, the techniques, the materials and the ability to fabricate them and assemble them in any which way needed, quality control, + economies of scale, making components for hundreds of units that work well at the same time.

Many other companies have looked at doing 589nm pointers when they could have sold hundreds of them and decided too problematical, not cost effective or both. Easier and cheaper to just buy from CNI so...

With your only experience of taking apart a $5 laser 301 and putting it back together + your assumptions, I doubt building a 589nm laser is more than an eccentric daydream but go ahead --do it/attempt it. Let us know if you manage get your hands on proven finished materials/parts that would allow someone who knew what they were doing and why to make one piece.
Given the high level of interest on LPF in 589nm lasers for years, if it could have been easily or even with difficulty done, it would have is my guess.

PS a CNI 50mW pointer for lowest price out there from Dragon Lasers is $399 or a 5mW pen is $249 or a 100mW lab type CNI 589nm from Civil Lasers for $1,400 which is a lower price than from anyone else--- example Ultralasers Canada sells a 100mW 589nm for $5,600 and most everyone else sells them for $5,000+
CNI does sell PGL-H-589-80MW modules that can be used in a hand held pointers however they currently run about $1000 for 1 piece to end user.
Ebay occasionally has some low cost used 589nm units for sale and also has several new 100mW 589s at good prices <$1500 as well.
 
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MEDDER

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CNI has the knowledge, engineering experience, the techniques, the materials and the ability to fabricate them and assemble them in any which way needed, quality control, + economies of scale, making components for hundreds of units that work well at the same time.

Many other companies have looked at doing 589nm pointers when they could have sold hundreds of them and decided too problematical, not cost effective or both. Easier and cheaper to just buy from CNI so...

With your only experience of taking apart a $5 laser 301 and putting it back together + your assumptions, I doubt building a 589nm laser is more than an eccentric daydream but go ahead --do it/attempt it. Let us know if you manage get your hands on proven finished materials that would allow someone who knew what they were doing and why to make one piece.
Given the high level of interest on LPF in 589nm lasers for years, if it could have been easily or even with difficulty done, it would have is my guess.

PS a CNI 50mW pointer for lowest price out there from Dragon Lasers is $399 or a 5mW pen is $249 or a 100mW lab type CNI 589nm from Civil Lasers for $1,400 which is a lower price than from anyone else--- example Ultralasers Canada sells a 100mW 589nm for $5,600 and most everyone else sells them for $5,000+
CNI does sell PGL-H-589-80MW modules that can be used in a hand held pointers however they currently run about $1000 for 1 piece to end user.
Ebay occasionally has some low cost used 589nm units for sale and also has several new 100mW 589s at good prices <$1500 as well.
My whole reason for using a $5 pointer is because if you screw it up there is almost no money lost and at the time had absolutely no reason to spend a couple hundred and build a powerful one. Gluing in a little 0.75 or whatever mm crystal is arguably more difficult than having a 10mm crystal and mounting it in some holder from thorlabs.

Not sure why you are so against it, my friend who is a physics phd student and did his masters in some speciality laser thing thinks its more than possible to build one at home with not 'that much' money. Might buying a premade one be a bit cheaper and easier sure, but just as ultimatekaiser put it,

There isn't much point except for the fun.
 

ultimatekaiser

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It's not that we want to dissuade you. But I think everyone here just wants you to understand what a pain it is. Greens are very easy and forgiving. but if you want to make a yellow you'd need your own mirrors at the very least, and they would not be cheap. any other parts you would need to be uncoated and cut on the correct optical axis, or your laser output will be suboptimal, mixed, or nonexistant. It is definitely a fun project, but it would definitely be one of the more hard and expensive projects to do. I have a set of 589 parts from a CNI somewhere, but I do not know for sure, where. I might be willing to part with them, but the cost would be quite high. Easily the cost of the pointer they came from. But with some effort, one could theoretically make something out of them.
 

Anthony P

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Unless you go with dye, and get especially lucky like I did and get a little Q-switched THG YAG for cheap.

What are you using for a pump laser? Fast pulses? No circulation?
 

Anthony P

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I was able to get the N2 up and running today. Next, I just need to mix up some dye.
Once everything is in order and I take some photos, I will post on the project and a few tricks I picked up along the way.
I will create a separate thread so as not to be rude and high-jack this one.
 

diachi

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What are you using for a pump laser? Fast pulses? No circulation?
A Q-switched THG YAG lasing on 355/532nm. No circulation.

I am going to guess its pulsed based on the shutter effect the video has, but I too am interested in the actual answer
See above. Same details that were in the original post...
 




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