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Anyone remember the very first solid state portable laser "pointer" that they owned ? For me it was an early Radio Shack Laser pointer that I bought in the very early 1990's, say 1992 or 1993. The host was plastic, it was powered by 3 (or maybe 4) N-cells it has an indicator led on the side of the case near the push button. The beam was rather wide and it probably put out at most about 1 mW. It is dwarfed by what is available today but I was still amazed by the idea of such a small pocket sized laser and I was impressed that I could see the red dot near the top of a tall apartment building if I looked very carefully. Lots of others who I showed it to were amazed by it. Many had never seen a real laser before and also, small, hand held portable lasers were relatively unheard of among the general public in those days. I might still have it around here somewhere. Its amazing how fast solid state laser technology has evolved since then.

My very fist non-portable laser was a 0.5 mW He-Ne laser that I built back in the early 1970's.
 
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qumefox

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My first laser was a HeNe. heh. I don't remember the first diode laser I had though. The HeNe was memorable because I built the power supply for it from a kit.
 
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My first laser was a HeNe. heh. I don't remember the first diode laser I had though. The HeNe was memorable because I built the power supply for it from a kit.
Yeah, I had pretty much the same experience with my first He-Ne laser. The He-Ne tube I used was from a company called Metrologic. I remember saving a lot of money from my after school part time job to pay for that tube. The power supply was half kit and half scratch built. A friend who was also interested in the project chipped in some of the cash. Another (non laser savvy) friend insisted that the He-Ne wasn't a real laser because it had no ruby rod. :crackup::crackup: Come to think of it I also wanted to build a ruby laser but it was way out of my budget back then.
 

chipdouglas

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Yeah, I had pretty much the same experience with my first He-Ne laser. The He-Ne tube I used was from a company called Metrologic. I remember saving a lot of money from my after school part time job to pay for that tube. The power supply was half kit and half scratch built. A friend who was also interested in the project chipped in some of the cash. Another (non laser savvy) friend insisted that the He-Ne wasn't a real laser because it had no ruby rod. :crackup::crackup: Come to think of it I also wanted to build a ruby laser but it was way out of my budget back then.

your friend was savvy enough to know what a ruby rod was lol.

michael.
 
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your friend was savvy enough to know what a ruby rod was lol.

michael.
Yeah, he saw a video in high school science class in school which described the first working ruby laser designed by Theo Maiman in 1960. So he was under the impression that ALL lasers had to use a ruby rod. This was back around 1971 and in those days the laser was a fairly new phenomenon and very misunderstood by the public. There were a lot of new developments happening in laser physics in the early 1970's but not many people were aware of them and many of the books still had old information.
 
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haha I took apart an old dvd player from about idk 1988
And what did I expect to find in it....a ruby laser lol!
 

qumefox

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If you had a dvd player in 1988, someone has been screwing with the space-time continuum heh.
 

qumefox

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Either a laserdisc player, or a cd player. DVD wasn't introduced until 1995.

I still have a laserdisc player and a small pile of laserdiscs :D
 
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