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Hello from Chicago

Phyllis

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Hello all,

Greetings from Chicago!
I have been lurking here for a while now and there is a tremendous amount of info to be found on this site- really everything one needs to know if they take the time to look.
Everyone that I have interacted with here have been great so far...I am sure that will continue.
I really appreciate the emphasis on safety that pervades here. I am a telecom engineer by trade that has had to go thru laser safety training so I understand the need to respect these devices considering the damage they can cause in such a short period of time (in no time at all, actually).
I am looking to make my first serious laser purchase soon which I hope to be a 532 CNI @ 500mW or 800mW. If it should go thru I plan to get in on the next GB that bloompyle is now trying to put together. I know that is rather powerful for my first serious hand-held laser (had a <5mW 532 laserer which recently stopped working), but I do undrstand the risks based on job experience as well as from all of the links about saftey that I have read here.
Have a good weekend folks and thanks to those who have welcomed me so far:beer:

Phil
 

KapHn8d

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Welcome to the forum, Phil.

There is a lot of laser fun to be had between 5mW and an 800mW 532nm or a 1+W 445nm :) I would recommend peeling off some of the money you plan on sending to CNI and grabbing a great set of safety glasses. Also consider doing business with one of the artisan laser craftsman that live on these forums. There are some amazing builders that can help you find a laser that excites you at a great price and excellent build construction. I dare say some of the duty cycles and quality you find here are better than you'll find in a handheld bought from a lab shop.

Be safe and have fun! There is a ton of great stuff to learn here!

c
 

Phyllis

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Thanks for the good advice. And, oh yes... I will definately purchase the glasses before the laser! The links to the different accidents I have read about thru this site are chilling. I never want to hear that "pop." I do a lot of solder rework as part of my job so I cannot afford to risk my eyes. I plan to budget ~ $70 for a good pair. Does that sound about right?
A couple months back I bugged a few of the builders here as well as some of the recommended parts vendors about getting the parts together (thanks to jayrob and SL for their time and wisdom). For now I have decided that I will not be building my first, but there will definately be builds in the future. I can solder anything, but we do not have CNC machines available to us here at work so I will need the skills/equipment available to some of you here.
I want my first laser to have the safety features that are built into the CNI knowing that I intend to pick up the 500mW or 800mW.
 
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KapHn8d

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Phil,

Here is an alternate route you may consider since you solder a bit with your work. You can purchase hosts that are basically prepped and ready for a laser diode module... ie. heat sink is there, stuff is more or less hollowed out of the way, etc. and then, in addition, purchase a diode with a driver already attached and preset within a module. This can be done for around $100 or so... more or less depending on the host and the diode selection. At this point, you would simply assemble the module into the host and solder the leads from the module onto a battery contact board before screwing it all together. You could "build" your own for about $100 (really more like "assemble" your own since most of the work is done for you) and learn as you go.

Check out this thread for some details on LPF vendors. This is what I did for my first go at it and it was not only a lot of fun, but I got to build a laser realatively safely without fear of frying a diode because I messed up the driver current or zapped it with voltage unexpectedly. Just a thought...

c
 




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