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H o w d i d y o u g e t i n t o l a s e r s ?

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How did you get into handling lasers?
Friends?
family?
Job?
Youtube?
Saw Someone On A Street?
Popped Up On eBay?

Thanks
 

GBD

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after I started out in electronics and high voltage, a few years later as I came into high school, I had access to the school physics lab, and became a pretty good friend with my teacher.
they had an argon ion that was disfunctional, so I took it home and all that was wrong with it was a broken PSU.

Fixing the powerful argon, I saw a nice beam, it was pretty amazing as it was the first laser ive ever seen aside from those 1mW red keychain pointers.
(let alone that it had a visable beam)

After having some fun with this laser, I decided to return it to school. Shortly after though, I found myself with a few HeNe tubes and played with those for a while. however at this point I stopped with lasers for a long time as I became more interested again in tesla coils, inverters, and general high power electronics.

about a year later, a friend of mine yells non-stop about an amazing new laser, the new 1W 445nm.. at first I didnt really care that much, but after he got his arctic.. I decided it was worth a shot to get one of these diodes myself and play with it.
(the guy is on this forum.. I cant remember his 4 character user name though....)

When I first turned on an A-140, after that moment I was permanently hooked. such a powerfull laser that sits in the palm of my hand.
about a month later I found myself with a larger laser collection then ever before, and fast forward, here I am in this forum.
at this moment im working on my first RGB scanner system.

This is probably the best hobby Ive ever participated in by far.

I too now want to hear other people's stories.
 
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532 with Envy

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I Love Gas Lasers.
Have since I was to young to afford them.
Coherent Light is cool.

First introduction:
Edmunds Scientific HeNe handheld laser pointer.....much like the one I traded to Timelablasers.;)(I think the thing was something like $1500, I was young...could be less...this was the early 80's)
 

extremeodd

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Ive messed around with them since '05. Since I was a broke teen I got my self a $75 5mw greenie and ended it there. About 6 months ago I came across these forums again and found the laser world has changed a shitload since then. I believe powerful reds were the bees knees back in 05 now their on the backburner for high powered greens and blues. I went from just that one green to having 1 ebay "5mw" (probably 40-50mw) green, 1 ebay 405nm (close to 40mw), 1 o-like 200mw waterproof 650, 1 1.2w 445nm, and building a box that contains one sw-aw210 at roughly 181ma and an LPC-815 375ma. Before the 1w 445 I never could image understanding enough to build my own driver but after building it (well soldering 2 wires, then screwing everything together) I saw how simple it could be and that I was over thinking everything.

All of my coworkers/family dont quite understand my hobby but they do think the powerful lasers are cool. When I discribled my 1.2w 445 over the phone with my stepdad his first words were "holy shit". He seems to be the only one that understands the output power Im talking about. Everyone else gives me shit, but hell could be worse. I could be into anime figurines
or something.
 
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Everyone else gives me shit,
or something.
Agreed - You always eventually find someone who shows you the latest laser and has over 500 favourites on his Youtube channel all to do with "match burning" and "cutting electrical tape" [lmao] And then theres us who actually own them and make the world a little bit better for those who give a damn about these high powered things of beauty =]
 

extremeodd

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Yeah about the only thing that catches my coworkers/friends attention is stupid burning tricks. I will admit, donning a pair of safety goggles and burning a design into something with a 1w 445 is kinda fun.
 

Mohrenberg

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In July of 2008, I took my first vacation EVER. I decided to go to California. It seemed like an exciting place since I grew up in Missouri.

While searching for a prostitute in a "low income" neighborhood, I was attacked by a bearded old man I would later come to know as "Dave." This old man smelled horrible and brandished a 200mW red laser pointer, threatening to injure me if I did not cooperate.

Needless to say, I lost my money and got a little butt-hurt. Other than that I made it back to Missouri unscathed, but I've decided not to go to California anymore.
 

M3tal

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For me it was when I was in Junior High back in the late 80's. I think it was partially a combination of Star Wars and MacGyver that started it all. I used to want a lightsaber so bad I used have dreams about them. And I always wanted a laser like the one I saw in the MacGyver intro every week.

At school I would hijack the Edmund Scientific catalog from the science lab and take it home to drool over all the pretty toys. But when I saw how expensive a HeNe laser was I realized it would probably be cheaper to learn how to build one myself, so I bought my first laser book from Radio Shack called "Understanding Lasers". As far as visible lasers The 2 that looked like the simplest to build were the ruby laser and the dye laser.

A couple years later in High School I wanted to build a laser for the science fair. I chose the dye laser because I wanted a constant wave TEM00 visible beam. My uncle is an engineer and he would send me his old science magazines. In one of them I found an advertisement for a company called Exciton that sells laser dye & called them up. When I told the sales rep I was trying to build my first laser for science fair she recommended (if I remember) Rhodamine 590 Chloride, claiming it would be the easiest to lase. So I ordered a vial for about $25, ordered a gallon of Methanol from the local drug store, and mixed according to the formula.

Unfortunately it didn't go much farther than that :yabbem:. I didn't have the money for fancy mirrors or powerful light sources, pumps, dye cavity, etc but I wanted to at least get a short duration beam out of it. I got my hands on a lamp from a copier machine (burned my sheets with it by accident) and even tried using a camera flash. I planned on using aluminum foil for the reflective cavity, a pocket mirror, and the only thing I had for a semitransparent mirror was a foil Pop-Tart bag. :crackup:

Yeah... when I realized it probably wasn't going to work I gave up on building a working laser, but at the science fair I presented the knowledge & materials I had gathered in the attempt & the teachers were so impressed with the effort they gave me 1st place. :D

The interest faded after awhile until cheap red pointers started coming out, and then of course I had to have one... I bought one of those cheap "bullet" pointers with changeable heads and played with that sucker everywhere I went. Then when the green ones finally came out I waited for them to come down in price a little and eventually bought my first DPSS ~5mW 532nm LeadLight from ThinkGeek... great quality & came with a nice metal case. SWEET!

That was several years ago, and now I'm really into the violet wavelength, mostly for the fluorescence properties of the beam. Last night was my first successful test of my first DIY build of a 6x 405nm from Modwerx. Well, it's advertised as 6x but in the "All Diodes" thread that model is listed as a 4x, so now not sure.
 

drevil

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For a while I was obsessed with the idea of a laser burning through a trash bag. I originally wanted one of WL's greens but I could not afford one. Then the arctic came out and for some reason I found out I could build one and ended up here. I'm kinda through my pyro stage and just love the beam of light :)
 

Trevor

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KipKay video -> Dragonlasers video -> hiatus -> DIY 405nm.

W h y d i d y o u t h i n k t h a t w a s a g o o d t h r e a d t i t l e ? I t j u s t i s a n n o y i n g t o r e a d .

-Trevor
 

Mohrenberg

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W e l l i f i t s s o a n n o y i n g t o r e a d t h e n w h y d i d y o u u s e t h a t s t y l e a n d m a k e m e g o t h r o u g h i t a g a i n ?
 

Trevor

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W e l l i f i t s s o a n n o y i n g t o r e a d t h e n w h y d i d y o u u s e t h a t s t y l e a n d m a k e m e g o t h r o u g h i t a g a i n ?
I ' m s o r r y M o h r e n b e r g c a n w e s t i l l b e l o v e r s ?

:eek:

-Trevor
 
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L M F A O

Did no one else catch this reference!!

Matt::gj:

In July of 2008, I took my first vacation EVER. I decided to go to California. It seemed like an exciting place since I grew up in Missouri.

While searching for a prostitute in a "low income" neighborhood, I was attacked by a bearded old man I would later come to know as "Dave." This old man smelled horrible and brandished a 200mW red laser pointer, threatening to injure me if I did not cooperate.

Needless to say, I lost my money and got a little butt-hurt. Other than that I made it back to Missouri unscathed, but I've decided not to go to California anymore.
 




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