Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums - discuss green laser pointers, blue laser pointers, and all types of lasers

First post and introduction from Florida


New member
May 1, 2021
Hi, I'm a new member, name is Brandon and after reading through the stickies and suggestions just wanted to introduce myself. I've begun tinkering again once hitting middle age. Having grown more interested in lasers over the past few years I decided to join this forum to start educating myself more actively, learn about the community, and if possible contribute where helpful. So as to not repeat my profile here, I registered in part to celebrate getting my first ion laser working. Granted I lucked out and the eBay power supply and head (Spectra-Physics 163/263C) were in great shape, just had to hack together a makeshift controller, but have already enjoyed learning a lot from that. My first ion output 01-May-21 became my avatar pic :)!

Next steps for me are to continue to read up and experiment and learn with the short term goal of implementing a properly designed and built controller / enclosure (but first more research - I'm not trusting the feedback I'm getting in regards to tube current or output power as the pin out voltages for input current didn't align with what I could find around Sam's Laser FAQs and other searches and v/A and v/mA return don't seem right with what should be happening with what I cobbled together-I am slightly afraid of doing something to damage the tube).

Medium term I would like to expand this as a learning exercise to see if the controller and power supply could be made generically applicable to any small argon tube in range with proper safety controls in place still, and maybe play around with adding temp monitoring capabilities via plug in thermocouple as I want to learn the signal processing needed, or add some type of modulation control ability.

I am new to experimenting with lasers (but not new to laser safety). Some of the laser/optics specific items want to eventually learn more about and start to play around with next are crystal based lasers to allow more experimentation with and learning about resonators and stuff inside the cavity.

Aside from that I am interested in learning more about characterization and measurement of different aspects of laser beam quality and sort of conversely the impacts of beam quality and driver/feedback electronics in use of lasers in precision measurement systems. I don't have a use case, but a lot of my work in med device has been around test method validation, and the theory associated with precision measurement is just interesting to me for fun.

I have definitely have been bitten by the laser bug - and love learning all things related. I look forward to getting to know the community and seeing other projects on here as well. Take care.

Thanks everyone for the welcome! Hakzaw1 I think you are right it is probably too late...I had read a few of your posts in the welcome section before joining and the LEMs looked like a lot of fun, as the word returns to a more normal state I look forward to trying to attend. Thank you for the info and links - I have learned a ton from Sam's site, it is an amazing resource, and I'll make sure to do my best to do due diligence prior to bringing up questions. I enjoy the research aspect. I am also looking to meet a few folks with like minded interest or similar projects to bounce ideas off of as well in a more casual/free flowing way when it comes to project planning and design choices as long as that isn't frowned upon, but I'm a few steps away from that.
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Well-known member
Dec 15, 2014
Hi Brandon,
Welcome to LPF nice intro enjoy and be safe always


Well-known member
Apr 2, 2009
It may be too late for you.
Once the 'bug' bites there is no way you will easily run away.
The forum is awesome- the members super- they understand ,,,'been there done that' kinda thing.
Check out the sigs(bottom) of many members- there are always important links-
IF you do not know SAM already--he is our Laser Guru.
There is a massive amount of important info at his 'site'
NO ADS- just data- got a HeNe tube with no lablle??
no problem- Sam has seen all and by just the length and diameter you may find out everything-- you need to know.
He has a lot of great stuff for sale at 'Sam's classifieds'.
We (& Sam) love to help===BUT it is important that you do as much searching as possible and do your 'homework' .

There may be some members near you & 'hands-on' help is the way to go when you can. LASER MEETS--(LEMs) happen often and in many places around the globe. Go to just one and you won't want to miss another. FLEM happens sometimes several times per year- and are held (AFAIK) near Orlando. These events are a lot of fun--very laid back.
SELEM is now in Newark Del. One is planned now for Aug .
8th to 13th-- all weekdays-- but 'normally' they are held over a weekend.
I am blessed to have many as good friends--at least 50 members. We arranged to have SAM at two SELEMs.
He hand-delivered a sweet yellow HeNe to me at a SELEM.

enjoy the forum--Len