Once again great job--nice results.This is due to economical situation in our country. It is very bad, and Science in Ukraine died first, because it doesn't recieve any financing from both government and private investors. It has a whole chain of consiquences -- without any financing, people that are smart enough travel abroad and stay there. Those who are not -- give up scientific career and start doing something else that gives stable income, but not science. So we lose brain potential. And when comes a moment when a new company or business needs some research for something, or needs improving technology of something -- nobody can do it. So this company has to find someone who can do this research abroad and even on cheaper prices. It is a closed circle -- no financing-->no work for scientists-->no scientists-->scientific instruments become outdated-->no financing... A lot of labs closed down, ENORMOUS amounts of equipment were sold for nothing, scrapped, recycled (this applies to instruments containing precios metals like gold or palladium). And lasers and laser parts are among them. In our University there was a big laser lab with any types of lasers you can concern. 40 to 50 people worked there. It had at least 3 or 4 lab spaces and a personal 2 MVAR substation! You can imagine what lasers they had, that they needed so much electricity. And then it all was gone. Well, not all but 90% of it. When I was a student I was a frequent guest there. And everything that they hadn't time to scrap came into my hands either for free or for simbolic price.
In all Ukrainian scientific establishments situation is the same. It takes a lot of skill, luck and time to find appropriate contacts, to sniff out something interesting in the laser area and then trade it out on a bargain price. The rest of my laser stuff is a result of this "work", I look for old russian lasers throughout the whole Ukraine and abroad. And sometimes when I'm lucky enough I succeed.
Well, probably this post is more suitable for the collection thread.
It is amazing what you have been able to do with the resources you have at hand/available. Negotiating the twists and turns needed to make what you want --goes to show what can be done where there is the dedication to task and the will to do.
Your indefatigable efforts and perseverance are inspirational.
Every laser you build is an interesting adventure---looking forward to seeing your future efforts.