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My first Helium Neon LASER!

9A3DAA

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Finally, after 5 years of searching in my country I found my first Helium Neon LASER!
LASER head model Melles Griot 05-LHP-401, and high voltage power supply is Power Technology Inc. model N017-1111 Its labeled 1365VDC and 5mA
I buyed relatively cheap, about 15 USD laser + 15 USD high voltage power supply, and it work, but beam was very weak. I had a meeting with my local institute for physics, I asked them if could measure power of my laser.
Power was 50 uW (microwatts) :undecided:
I was disapointed, but the professor reminds me that at least I have working and stable high voltage power supply I got very very cheap.
I put a couple of pictures, beam on wall 20 feet from laser with, and without camera flash (I am impressed of beam brightness only 50 uW)
And that is, my first Helium neon LASER!
Now I am looking for another one at least 5mW I hope to find.
 

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BowtieGuy

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Glad to see that you got your first He-Ne laser, but for some reason, you photos are not showing up, at least for me.
 

9A3DAA

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I was tempted to open the laser head and try aligning the mirrors, and I opened it, and found nice Hughes 3121H-P-02 laser tube.
Datasheet say 0.5 mW minimum...
I powered up the laser and try aligning the mirrors and I loss the beam immediately, but after 10 minuts I got beam back.
Power did not increase.
I noticed that plasma discharge glow orange (loss of helium), and my
camera cant picture orange glow in picture is red but is not
I heard helium soak, and I will try activate getter after helium soak and see if I can get more output.
 

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BowtieGuy

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The photos are looking good now, nice clear, detailed pics!
 
Joined
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Finally, after 5 years of searching in my country I found my first Helium Neon LASER!
LASER head model Melles Griot 05-LHP-401, and high voltage power supply is Power Technology Inc. model N017-1111 Its labeled 1365VDC and 5mA
I buyed relatively cheap, about 15 USD laser + 15 USD high voltage power supply, and it work, but beam was very weak. I had a meeting with my local institute for physics, I asked them if could measure power of my laser.
Power was 50 uW (microwatts) :undecided:
I was disapointed, but the professor reminds me that at least I have working and stable high voltage power supply I got very very cheap.
I put a couple of pictures, beam on wall 20 feet from laser with, and without camera flash (I am impressed of beam brightness only 50 uW)
And that is, my first Helium neon LASER!
Now I am looking for another one at least 5mW I hope to find.

What type of Laser Power Meter did you use
to test the Power output ???
It could be the Tube is past it's useful life.

Jerry
 
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9A3DAA

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I don't know model, but it was coherent handheld power meter
 

Sta

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What type of Laser Power Meter did you use
to test the Power output ???
It could be the Tube is past it's useful life.

Jerry
I think that might be the case - the tube output color is much more red than the normal muted orange, which might imply abnormal conditions are in play.
 

9A3DAA

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my camera can't picture orange glow in picture is red but IS NOT RED
 

diachi

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I think that might be the case - the tube output color is much more red than the normal muted orange, which might imply abnormal conditions are in play.

Cameras don't always pick up the colour at all accurately.

my camera can't picture orange glow in picture is red but IS NOT RED

^^Yup. Not all cameras capture the colour well.

I don't know model, but it was coherent handheld power meter

Sounds like a LaserCheck.
 
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For $15.00, you are lucky to have a tube that lases at all. And that PS will come in handy when you get a tube with fewer miles on it. I would call this a win for a total of $30.00.
 
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Is it a soft seal tube? Hard seal tubes that are frit sealed do not leak on any timescale that matters (usually). If it is epoxy sealed, then loss of helium is a pretty likely or reasonable explaination. There's no real cure for it for tubes this short. They use the special light isotope Helium He-3, not normal He-4. and it takes weeks of work to soak it enough to make a difference. not worth it - don't waste your time. It looks like there's a faint black shadow over your getter, so it's probably intact, just old. I have a bunch of these old Hughes tubes, and alot of them dont work unless they're hard sealed ones. If you want a small HeNe, I have a whole box full of different ones :) I'm surprised that it lights at all on that power supply, it seems a bit weak for that tube. the 3121s are usually around 2KV at 6.5mA when healthy. I dunno if one that low would run a good one. 1365V is more for the little 6" tubes.
 
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9A3DAA

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Aug 9, 2017
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Points
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Is it a soft seal tube? Hard seal tubes that are frit sealed do not leak on any timescale that matters (usually). If it is epoxy sealed, then loss of helium is a pretty likely or reasonable explaination. There's no real cure for it for tubes this short. They use the special light isotope Helium He-3, not normal He-4. and it takes weeks of work to soak it enough to make a difference. not worth it - don't waste your time. It looks like there's a faint black shadow over your getter, so it's probably intact, just old. I have a bunch of these old Hughes tubes, and alot of them dont work unless they're hard sealed ones. If you want a small HeNe, I have a whole box full of different ones :) I'm surprised that it lights at all on that power supply, it seems a bit weak for that tube. the 3121s are usually around 2KV at 6.5mA when healthy. I dunno if one that low would run a good one. 1365V is more for the little 6" tubes.

As I know Helium 3 isotope is very expensive, and its used in neutron detectors in nuclear physics
 
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