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the Golden Age of the laser hobby

Xplorer877

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It hasn't hit yet. Wake me when some Yellow diodes are a dime a dozen.

-Tony
 



Blord

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Ah the Senkat lasers. I remember the groupbuy of the red laser and very exited to get a 186mW red laser ! :drool:

Sentorch.jpg
 

brtaman

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I don't know if it was the golden ages, but I really enjoyed this forum and the comradery in the old yabb days. Good times.
 
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Soulstorm

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I think the golden age of pointers was around 2007~ish. Lots of DIY compared to nowadays and horrifically expensive. If you had a green of almost any power, it was a serious hand cannon to the general public and barely accessible for anyone but the most serious enthusiasts. And it blew peoples' minds every time. Now, many have them or know someone with one and the related 'idiot incidents' are only increasing.

Some years prior to this and the mass proliferation of optical media, few mW of 650nm red and you were doing well. IIRC 1mW 650nm pointer cost me 60USD about 14 years ago, that was lots of garden work back then. But oh so worth it, that blood red dot plus lines in carpet and chalk dust was mesmerizing. Still have it in my drawer too and it works great. :)


Gas lasers (projection speaking) were the golden days IMO. Modern stuff still hasn't caught up for colour and perfectly aligned, amazing quality beams.

I do dream of an full gamut OPSL SLM rig via PACOM though, as close as you can get, no water tankers or 3 phase and it can be bumped without an expensive tube replacement.
 

Bionic-Badger

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Pointers in 2007 sucked. I don't know what you would see better in that age than now. Fewer colors, lower power, lower quality, higher prices, poor accessibility, fewer hosts, drivers and heatsinks. There was no golden age in 2007. Things were never better back then. It was more like an iron age.

A golden age, if you're not living in it, was a better age where you'd prefer to be back in those days than now. I think most people might have liked the setting of 2007, but would still want all the material benefits we have now. But you can't have both.

Nor have things stagnated in the mean time. We have people milling their own hosts and heatsinks, large-scale group buys for parts, open LPMs, inexpensive, accessible parts from China, new laser and diode technologies, and new members bringing new things. Many of us wouldn't have even dreamed of making our own projectors now, but with the accessibility of parts, we can now look beyond pointers.

Nothing stops us from recreating any of what was made back then either. Gas laser projectors? What is stopping you from building one now? It wasn't better back then simply because now there are more options. That's just silly.

As for the idiots abusing lasers and such, that's not a problem with the laser hobby itself. Those idiots have always existed, and it doesn't diminish what we create now, or enhance what we created in the past. If restrictions become far more worse, then we may look to the past with longing, but we're still living in the golden age of hobby lasers and we should continue to innovate and create.
 

Dr_Evil

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Gas lasers (projection speaking) were the golden days IMO. Modern stuff still hasn't caught up for colour and perfectly aligned, amazing quality beams.

I do dream of an full gamut OPSL SLM rig via PACOM though, as close as you can get, no water tankers or 3 phase and it can be bumped without an expensive tube replacement.

Solid state projectors can produce some very nice colors. You just need to have patience and money though. Take a look at the pics in the link below. Somewhere around 460nm and below usually shows up as violet due to camera settings. Monitor settings will also change the colors a little bit. You need to make it to SELEM. The events have taken place in August and probably will be for a while.

October 6, 2012 - Imgur
 

Soulstorm

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I think most people might have liked the setting of 2007, but would still want all the material benefits we have now. But you can't have both.

Gas laser projectors? What is stopping you from building one now?

You summed it up well. The setting was best for pointer use. Stuff nowadays kicks its ass in majority of cases.

Operating and maintaining gas for anything other than personal use is the main issue, why many have been phased out for modern technology in commercial projector applications.
Never said it was better overall tech back then, nor that there were more options regarding gas. I said the perfect alignment and colour is still better than the finest today, once you've seen it, you can never forget that. However, high end shows today certainly aren't far off, neither less enjoyable.

Numbers of DIY are higher, but percentage of DIY compared to off shelf users is definitely lower. What was $500, now $5, changes the demographic willing to access pointers and brings us to where we are today, all facets inclusive. The never-ending golden age of availability and progress. I'm loving it.
 

kingston250

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i think laser hobby is a one of the good hobby. i am also like to collect the massive number of lasers and make a good collection so that,s why i am collecting and now have many lasers in my collection.
 

hakzaw1

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Poor guy, does anyone know what happened to him? Just got bored of the laser hobby, or did his severe back problem/the medication finally get to him? :(

Its sad when members like him go MIA.

Likewise for Greg Stoner-(/Stonetec?) not sure at all of his current status but I fear the worst..

I never heard back from some emails and PMs--
and when he did nt reply to my invite to TEXLEM 2012 I became
worried. The venue had a elevator for wheelchairs and was held in Greg'e hometown San Antonio..so his not attending or replying was NOT a good sign..
I got my first HeNe ~1984 or so.. only >5mW and mounted on a wood base with spiro - fwd& rev- speed control with only two motor/mirrors.
But still great fun.. The tube got broken by the laws of gravity & like big fool I ended up tossing the whole thing -- duh?!!
My brain that day must have been out of order.. It was few years later that I began buying HeNes at Feebay--

IMO the golden age cannot be now- as this name is reserved for the beginnings of this or any other 'hobby' NOT the present .... unless you are only talking about collections of SS handhelds..

Its fantastic to see Rog back I had feared we had lost is super skillz-
We owe Rog and others a lot for how much they helped.

good thread-and good posts - +3 to you sir!!

hak

well it turned out to only be a +2- I am sure somebody will get you into double figures.

Your sixth year aniversary at LPF was only a few days ago-- congrats!!

************* edit
was SenKat and Stonetec the same people??
 
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ARG

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I know I haven't been around long but my personal golden age was back when I got into the hobby (before I made an LPF account) was the golden age for me. When my build ideas never exceeded what I could afford and there was still lots to learn.

Now I can make the entire design for a complex laser project and not have the funds to carry it out.
That's why I'm doing LPM stuff now. I loose money on it, but I can keep designing & building without it costing too much. Keeps me busy, keeps me happy and keeps me learning.
 

hakzaw1

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Yeah, Senkat was his name. Stonetek was his store.

Sorry to hear that his back troubles have worsened. :(


I thought his name was Greg Stoner- and lives in San Antonio.
His username was Senkat IIRC..

We PMed each other about a possible LEM a few years back and he told me he was wheelchair bound so any event would need to be one he could get around at. URBAN 15 was pretty close to perfect with its elevator.
WE may still try to do another TEXLEM there in the fall or next spring.

we have another vets MIA-- MARK aka 'GREENMECHANIC' has not been at the forums in a long time. His phone picks up as answering machine and its his voice but no call back.. I hope he is well. Great member and friend.

hak
 

brtaman

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Well yes, by name I thought it was implied that I meant forum handle.
 

hakzaw1

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IMO

A big factor for many was when we started seeing green pointers for around $40.
So many made those their first (other than a cheap red) laser buy that really 'wowwed' .

From there most wanted more power and later more colors- to me the lowly 'greenie' made a bigger difference than even the 445s-- as by then the numbers of laser enthausists had grown for the thousands to the milllions of laser fans--

AixiZ Lasers alone sells around 2000 blank modules on average world-wire every MONTH- for many years now- do the math-- thats a whole lot of diodes being pressed.

and none were used for 532 either. (yet)


Now you can buy a 30- to 60 mW 532 pointer for around $4.

same with high power 405 and 650 pointers too.


Another milestone was Lesley Wright's(Scotland) tutoriial showing afaik the first diode harvest of the then brand new PHR sled.. (published at Sam's Laser)

hak
 




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