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Hello from Snohomish County Washington

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Hello everyone. I have been reading here on LPF every day since about the 1st of December of last year, usually several time a day. I have often wanted to comment or reply to something so I am long overdue in becoming a member. I have learned much here so I hope I can contribute something useful as well. I have no questions as I have found answers long ago. So I wont be asking questions like:
Where should I buy my next laser?
What laser should I buy?
My laser is broken, what's wrong with it and can it be fixed?
What safety glasses should I buy?
etc.:crackup:
I already have safety glasses and will be buying more.

I am age 51 and I live in a huge RV park (2500 lots, 3 miles across with a lake in the center) in a remote area in the forest, we have a few deer here and lots of raccoons, rabbits, squirrels and there was once even a cougar inside the park. If you even sneeze the electricity will go out.

I may post a photo or two at some point but because of my remote location I have to use wireless internet access, it is slow and very expensive, I use Verizon and T-Mobile, the Verizon is 3G and works well but the T-mobile is much slower than 3G so you wont see much video from me but probably a few photos at some point.

I first became interested in lasers in 1970 when I was 8 years old, even at that young age I was very interested in science and technology and had also watched too much sci-fi by then. I don't remember how but I somehow learned that lasers were real and there was a company in the US making and selling them. I wrote to them and they sent me a catalog, I wish now I could have saved it all these years because you would be shocked to see what was available back then and at what prices. The company was called Spectra Physics, a brand that still exists today. I remember being very disappointed thinking I would never be able to buy a laser in my lifetime, so I imagined I would learn how and someday build one myself. That was 43 years ago and I am only now going to build that laser.

I became aware of laser diodes back during my ham radio days probably about the same time red laser pointers started to become widely available. At the time I didn't really think of those low power reds as real lasers. I purchased my first laser several years ago and I think it was at Walmart and cost $4.99 and I still have it and it still works, but it wasn't enough to get me interested in lasers again. It wasn't until last November when I started making colloidal silver, if you don't know what that is its not important, that's a topic for another thread sometime, anyway when you make a silver solution you make both silver ions and particulate silver, there are several methods of testing a silver solution but it is a common practice to use a 635nm laser to provide a visual indication of the particulate silver content, you start with distilled water and the beam is not visible in distilled water, but as particulate silver content increases the beam becomes visible. Well I had never imagined I would have a real need to use a laser for some useful purpose. This is what got me interested again. I didn't realize how far the technology had improved and I did some searches on lasers and found LPF and couldn't stop reading once I found it.

I currently have 3 lasers, had 4 but my MillionAccessories green laser quit after 10 days with only about 30 minutes run time. I have already determined it is not fixable. He who buys cheap buys twice.

A little more about me: my knowledge of electronics and soldering skill is very good, I first became interested in electronics when I was 11 years old. I have studied electronics in college twice for a total of over three years, first in 1980-81 I was going for an associate degree in electronics but I was not ready to go back to school, I made it 2/3rds of the way and reached a point where I couldn't take another day and stopped. Several years later I went back to school for 3 years (1987-1990) mainly to study computer programming but also took electronics classes for a full 2 years of that time, later had to learn some more on my own to get my ham radio license. I eventually became discouraged with ham radio because it is an expensive hobby and I never had the money to buy what I needed.

If you are still reading this I apologize for taking so much of your time. I have been reading the forums so long now I feel almost like I know some of you so I think you should know something about me as well. Thanks for your time and thanks for helping me learn so much about lasers.

Alan
 
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Speedy78

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Long but interesting. I looked into getting into ham radio but I didnt feel like studying to get my license :( if you ham was expensive then youre in the wrong place! Haha.

Anyway welcom to LPF! Thank you for not showing up and asking the same ole questions that have been answered many times over.

Speedy
 
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Long but interesting. I looked into getting into ham radio but I didnt feel like studying to get my license :( if you ham was expensive then youre in the wrong place! Haha.

Anyway welcom to LPF! Thank you for not showing up and asking the same ole questions that have been answered many times over.

Speedy
Thanks for the welcome Speedy. Yes it takes some work to get a ham licence and I am pretty sure its a more expensive hobby than lasers. At least it was a few years ago.

I know how it is to see those same questions asked everyday, I think one of the mods or vets should make a thread about the 4 or 5 most asked questions and when noobs ask those they can just be given a link to that thread.

Alan
 

Speedy78

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All I ever did with ham was just a little CB action to try it out and what not. Never really got into any other bands. Now all I have left is a cb in the truck and a 600W linear. My magnetic antenna could reach Virginia, pretty good for a mobile system. That antenna has broken and I'm using one on the toolbox. My SWR now is in the 2s + :(. Too much reflection off the cab I suppose.

All of those questions could already be answered if people used the search function. So once that thread got buried it would be the same ole song over again haha
 

TheDukeAnumber1

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Welcome, living in a remote place like that is great for taking beamshots. Squirrels and rabbits will be freaking out. Stay safe.
 

KapHn8d

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Welcome Alan... that was a great introduction. Thanks for taking the time to tell us a little about yourself and how you got into lasers. I am very new to this hobby, so too am seeking to learn and grow my collection and knowledge. I like your quote "He who buys cheap buys twice." LOL... sometimes that is true. I had a small red pointer (probably from a Walmart-ish store too) that lasted years until a new puppy we rescued mistook it for a dog bone.

Cheers!
cb
 

norbyx

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Hi Alan and welcome to the forums. I am a ham myself, and now am into lasers among other hobbies. I can tell you that obviously lasers are MUCH cheaper hobby than ham radio. In my case it doesn't even comes close. I have spent over 10 grand over the years in ham radio equipment, fortunately the ham bug has stopped a little and I sold most of my equipment but I still have at least 5 grand in gear.
Lasers can be expensive or not it all depends on you, but here is the best place to learn and to take advantage of some incredible deals that apear in the BST section.
BTW I hope you typed your message in word and than copied it on this forum otherwise it would have ment at least $10 of internet time..... :) ;)
 

Gun

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Welcome to LPF! :)

Could you split your introduction into paragraphs or something? It makes it more appealing and a lot easier to read.
 
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Welcome, living in a remote place like that is great for taking beamshots. Squirrels and rabbits will be freaking out. Stay safe.
Yes probably although the squirrels and rabbits are only out in the daytime but I will see how a raccoon reacts to it because they are out from early evening until morning, but I'll be careful not to shine it directly at one. I am a little reluctant to use lasers outside here very much. Even though this is a remote area I still have neighbors all around and the park is patrolled by rangers (security guards) although there is 26 miles of roads so they seldom pass by. Also I can't shine a laser in the sky here, I am in the flight path of aircraft and they fly directly overhead frequently, also military jets fly by just to the north, I hear them everyday.

BTW I hope you typed your message in word and than copied it on this forum otherwise it would have ment at least $10 of internet time.....
Yes exactly what I did although I don't pay by the minute but pay for data. I pay about $160 a month for Verizon and $40 for T-mobile and $38.02 for my Android on Virgin Mobile.


Welcome to LPF!

Could you split your introduction into paragraphs or something? It makes it more appealing and a lot easier to read.
Done.

Thanks very much everyone for the great welcome.

Alan
 

oxidation

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Hello Alan....im a fellow washatonian, live right outside Yakima. Im also a long time lurker and just recently started posting and interacting here
 

IsaacT

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Welcome to the forum!!! The downside of your location will be the internet issues you mentioned, however the upside is that in a remote are you will have a bit more freedom with your Lasers than the average hobbyist.

Enjoy your stay, I can't wait to read some more of YOUR stuff now that you have been reading so much of ours :)

Peace,
Isaac
 
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Hello Alan and welcome. I always like seeing folks from Washington. I grew up in Spokane and Coeur d' Alene. I've been back here in Texas ever since '81. We finally got fed up with all of the ash from Mt. St. Helens.
 
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Hello Alan....im a fellow washatonian, live right outside Yakima. Im also a long time lurker and just recently started posting and interacting here
Hello, good to see someone else here from Washington. I passed through Yakima many times when I was younger, grew up in Walla Walla until I was 12.

Welcome to the forum!!! The downside of your location will be the internet issues you mentioned, however the upside is that in a remote are you will have a bit more freedom with your Lasers than the average hobbyist.

Enjoy your stay, I can't wait to read some more of YOUR stuff now that you have been reading so much of ours

Peace,
Isaac
Isaac I'll see what I can do and I'll document any builds I do. I always enjoy seeing how other people built their laser. I think those are the posts here that are the most educational. I have done some technical writing in the past and spend some time writing on my own web sites but not about lasers yet.

Hello Alan and welcome. I always like seeing folks from Washington. I grew up in Spokane and Coeur d' Alene. I've been back here in Texas ever since '81. We finally got fed up with all of the ash from Mt. St. Helens.
Scum, Washington to Texas?! My parents were both from San Antonio although my father was born in Ohio but grew up in Texas. I have been there three times in my lifetime and still have a couple of relatives there that still live (in their 80s).
I was born in Spokane (Fairchild AFB) but my family moved to Walla Walla at that time but for many years we would take trips to Spokane to visit friends there.
I remember Mt. St. Helens all too well. I am sure there were many refugees that fled the state back then. I remember there was a movement to rename the mountain "Mt. Satans Hell":crackup: I remember seeing the satellite photos of the ash cloud crossing the entire US out into the Atlantic past Florida. Lets hope it was a once in a lifetime event. We have five volcanoes here in Washington so it will probably happen again one day. I saw it days before it erupted when a friend of mine and I went to Mt. Rainier and Mt. Saint Helens is very visible from there. It was spewing ash and smoke thousands of feet in the air. We went back two weeks after it erupted and much of the mountain was gone and everything was black.
For those of you that don't know anything about it here are some links:
Mount St. Helens VolcanoCams - Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Mount St. Helens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
USGS: Volcano Hazards Program - Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument - Home
and you can find videos on YouTube.

Alan
 




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