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Uniphase Argon Laser Help

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Aug 21, 2017
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I recently acquired a JDS Uniphase 2211-20SLE Argon laser from a used equipment reseller. (The seller was unable to test it, since they didn't have a power supply, so it /was a bit of a gamble.) I want to know what power supply to look for for this laser, and what stats for a fan I need to look for. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Edit: Would a power supply such as the Uniphase 2114-25MLUP work for my laser head? Supplying the PSU with 240V is kind of a nuisance (I'd prefer a 120V PSU, but from the ones I can find so far, the 240V variety are cheaper by a substantial margin...), but if that's what I need to do, then I will do so. I will also add, This is my first argon laser (my first non diode laser too), so I would appreciate any setup tips and general help when I do get a power supply for it. Thanks.

2nd Edit: Finally found the correct allen wrench to remove the cover of the laser, and the hour counter reads somewhere around 9500. From what I know about argon lasers, that isn't good. The laser is from 1997, so I'm not surprised it has a lot of use on it. I suppose you just gamble with such things when you buy used from ebay. I will begin looking for someone who can refurbish my laser, but I'm in no hurry to do so. Any suggestions for where to get the laser serviced?

3rd (9/14/17) Edit: Hour counter actually reads about 8550. For the current progress of my laser, read this post!
 
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two words-Forget it. :)

It'd cost you thousands of dollars to refurb a gas laser correctly. Argon lasers are essentially dinosaurs in today's age of lasers. small air cooled ones are all but gone from the market. Melles griot has even stopped making theirs and most of their HeNe line to...and they used to be the biggest supplier of gas lasers anywhere after spectra physics stopped making them. They're a dying breed supplanted by modern solid state solutions. Argons are absolutely terrible lasers by comparison to what we can do with semiconductors now in virtually every way. As a result, they're quite hard to find now on surplus unless you want to buy a rebuilt one, and they're not cheap at all. Mixed gas Ions are even harder to find in good shape. I have a healthy 2214-40MLA i'd consider selling but it'd not be anywhere in most people's affordable price range. They're quite expensive. The original price tag on these was anywhere from 7-15K a piece depending on the config you wanted. some of the better ones, along with HeCds approached 20K+.

Edit: most had a lifespan between 5-10K hours, it's probably been long since retired, but if you want to try it all the 2214 lasers share the same supply, but trying to ignite a dead tube is hard on the power supply. sorry be the dark ray of sunshine, but it's just not really all that easy to get or maintain most of these anymore.
 
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two words-Forget it. :)

It'd cost you thousands of dollars to refurb a gas laser correctly. Argon lasers are essentially dinosaurs in today's age of lasers. small air cooled ones are all but gone from the market. Melles griot has even stopped making theirs and most of their HeNe line to...and they used to be the biggest supplier of gas lasers anywhere after spectra physics stopped making them. They're a dying breed supplanted by modern solid state solutions. Argons are absolutely terrible lasers by comparison to what we can do with semiconductors now in virtually every way. As a result, they're quite hard to find now on surplus unless you want to buy a rebuilt one, and they're not cheap at all. Mixed gas Ions are even harder to find in good shape. I have a healthy 2214-40MLA i'd consider selling but it'd not be anywhere in most people's affordable price range. They're quite expensive. The original price tag on these was anywhere from 7-15K a piece depending on the config you wanted. some of the better ones, along with HeCds approached 20K+.

Edit: most had a lifespan between 5-10K hours, it's probably been long since retired, but if you want to try it all the 2214 lasers share the same supply, but trying to ignite a dead tube is hard on the power supply. sorry be the dark ray of sunshine, but it's just not really all that easy to get or maintain most of these anymore.
Thanks for the reply. That's kinda what I was afraid of, honestly. (Pretty bad first impression for the laser hobby, IMO. This ~is~ was going to be my first 'real' laser.) The laser only cost me $45, so not the end of the world, but it still sucks. I don't currently have a way to afford a refurb. I think I will buy a PSU anyway, and when I do have a stable career, then I will look into refurbishing the laser. I do have one trait that stands in this laser's favor: I am mega persistent, FWIW.
 
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lol If I still have mine, I'll sell you mine. It's complete, but shipping would be an expensive nightmare. and it'd be cheaper than a refurb. maybe a grand, or a bit less. mine's only used about half it's life and has the smaller psu so it doesn't weigh like a boat anchor. probably one of the nicest you'll find anywhere. I been thinking of selling it anyway, I dont use it much and it could use a good home to go to. I have a 488 and several HeNes id let go of for good prices too. far cheaper than the argon. The Argon would come at a bit of a premium due to the aforementioned.
 

diachi

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There's a chance it'll work, I've seen them do more hours than that, although most of the time they're on their way out or dead by 9500 hours. Depends how hard it was run really. 9500 hours at idle current may mean it still has a little life in it yet.

If you can get a PSU for cheap enough then I'd go for it, you can always keep the PSU and search for another head. As Kaiser said, all of the 2214 heads work with all of the 2214* power supplies. The 2211 heads will also run off of the 2214* power supplies.

Don't let this deter you from pursuing gas lasers, they're ancient but they're still super interesting.

*Edit*: Power supplies are 2114, not 2214. 1 denoting PSU, 2 denoting head. Thanks for the correction Cyp.
 
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There's a chance it'll work, I've seen them do more hours than that, although most of the time they're on their way out or dead by 9500 hours. Depends how hard it was run really. 9500 hours at idle current may mean it still has a little life in it yet.

If you can get a PSU for cheap enough then I'd go for it, you can always keep the PSU and search for another head. As Kaiser said, all of the 2214 heads work with all of the 2214 power supplies. The 2211 heads will also run off of the 2214 power supplies.

yeah, though the internal power readings and such will be incorrectly configured, but it'll still run the laser. getting it started would be the key though, as not all of them had the same interfacing, but usually are all pretty similar.

Don't let this deter you from pursuing gas lasers, they're ancient but they're still super interesting.

This is also very true. They're among my favorites still. though you can't mind having more expensive electric bills and heat in your room! Once you start them, its hard to want to turn them off again! Here's a few of mine! I'd share pics, but photobucket doesnt host anymore without paying.
 
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diachi

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yeah, though the internal power readings and such will be incorrectly configured, but it'll still run the laser. getting it started would be the key though, as not all of them had the same interfacing, but usually are all pretty similar.

Fair points! I never trusted the internal power readings anyway :p. Although, any I've encountered have all been the same interface wise.

This is also very true. They're among my favorites still. though you can't mind having more expensive electric bills and heat in your room! Once you start them, its hard to want to turn them off again! Here's a few of mine! I'd share pics, but photobucket doesnt host anymore without paying.

They sure are power hungry, and they definitely do make good space heaters. Two in one, cool light and space heater. I fired mine up for a while after posting that last post! :cool: Need to get myself an ALC-60 or a *-40ML at some point...
 
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It would help some if we knew where you are.. you might be able to just test it on another's PS.. I have several..but they are paired with SLs. that are F.S..
A switch on the better PSs (like the 'gold') allows 110 or 220. choice.
IIRC 140 CFM with flow going in front & (sucked) the out back. And you need a controller / interface or jumpers on your DB 25 .. might only idle but that would tell you a lot.
It may have not been taken on its monthly 'walk' for years..
Close to Houston??
best wishes
:wave:
len
 
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diachi

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It would help some if we knew where you are.. you might be able to just test it on another's PS.. I have several..but they are paired with SLs. that are F.S..
A switch on the better PSs (like the 'gold') allows 110 or 220. choice.
IIRC 40 CFM with flow going in front & (sucked) the out back. And you need a controller / interface or jumpers on your DB 25 .. might only idle but that would tell you a lot.
It may have not been taken on its monthly 'walk' for years..
Close to Houston??
best wishes
:wave:
len

52CFM nominal. Fan rated for 140CFM free air and typical pressure head of 0.95" of water. The manual specifies a Dayton model 4C442 blower or equivalent.

:beer:
 
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Thank you all for the replies, I didn't expect this thread to get so much attention. I think I have a fan that will fit the bill. As for power supplies, I found one for about $100 that I am looking in to. Seeing as I don't have too much to loose if the laser head doesn't work, I don't want to spend a fortune on a power supply. If the PSU is dead, I have the skill set an knowledge to fix it. It is a 240v input only PSU, but that isn't to big of an issue.

As for the area I'm in, guilford county, North Carolina.

Gas lasers are my favorites too. Someone brought their HeNe and an argon to the local makerspace for some project of theirs, and I was hooked. There's just something about a gas laser that diode lasers can't quite match; That's why I wanted an argon laser.

Kaiser, I will keep your offer in mind.

Thanks everyone for the assistance.
 
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I haven't looked on eBay in awhile for argons. Still, I think the PSUs are still around if you aren't in a hurry. You can find a 110 AC for under $100.00 if you keep looking. I would.
 
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Thank you all for the replies, I didn't expect this thread to get so much attention.
you are welcome--we want to know if your laser lives again.
.. and we wish you well too.

I bought a fan that LOOKED perfect.. but airflow wrong for cooling argons,I had to build a box around it, apparently it DOES make a diff... pulling air thru.


I think I have a fan that will fit the bill. As for power supplies, I found one for about $100 that I am looking in to.
IMO that's a bit steep..shipping is a problem..can cost more than the PS.


Seeing as I don't have too much to loose if the laser head doesn't work, I don't want to spend a fortune on a power supply. If the PSU is dead, I have the skill set an knowledge to fix it. It is a 240v input only PSU, but that isn't to big of an issue.

As for the area I'm in, guilford county, North Carolina.

~93 miles away just 10 days ago..SELEM 11 was held and you could have never found a better place to bring your Argon for testing or REPAIR
FREE
MANY at SELEM feel the same about gas lasers and they bring to show us ..RAREones..
& upclose..
Sam came to selem twice..

Gas lasers are my favorites too. Someone brought their HeNe and an argon to the local makerspace for some project of theirs, and I was hooked. There's just something about a gas laser that diode lasers can't quite match; That's why I wanted an argon laser.

Kaiser, I will keep your offer in mind.

Thanks everyone for the assistance.
&&&&&&&&&&

N. C.

How far from Newton??

wish you had joined a few weeks ago.. SELEM 2017 would have been THE PLACE to get your Ar tested and .buy a PS that you will KNOW works.. at this event one area is devoted to gas lasers and have seen many that otherwise ... no way.

just search SELEM Laser.

see vids from many years

months before the event a thread is started.. about items FS and lists of things wanted..another area there is for BS & T..& I have seen your power supply there..and HeNes.. Sam sold me a yellow HeNe at SELEM (I requested)

ok
for me//its a 15+ hour drive.. & its worth it... how far for you??
... lots of time to plan for SELEM 2018--I will be there..

PM coming there may be a member w/ a PS for ,at least, testing. I will ask.


edit combining


You are very welcome
join our gas lasers Social Group.
(invite will be sent)

hak
 
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About 80 miles from Newton. I wish I had known about SELEM, I probably would have been there. I wouldn't have had my argon though, since it only arrived week ago. I will be planning for SELEM 2018, now that I know about it :)

The fan I have won't work. Experience (I'm getting into the HVACR trade) tells me that the fan I had in mind is way too small, ~50 CFM. Lacking an axial fan, I will use a (slightly oversize) blower for cooling.

the $100 quote for the PSU is including shipping. The PS is actually $35. The shipping (from califorina) is $65. I plan on buying this PSU within the next week or so, given the shipping time is 1.5-2 weeks...

Thanks for the invite to the gas laser group. I'm happy to join it.
 
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It took me some time to find a working Argon. The Tubes were cheap enough but the shipping to Oz was a killer. One out of 5 tubes I bought worked.

Keep at it. There is nothing like the beam from an Argon laser. I ended up with a working 40ML and about half life. I can get 6 lines from it at 98mw last time I metered it.

There are many power supplies around. Most will work with any head.
 
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As Kaiser said, all of the 2214 heads work with all of the 2214 power supplies. The 2211 heads will also run off of the 2214 power supplies.

A minor correction is needed here. Diachi means to say 2114 power supplies, as 2214 power supplies do not exist. The second digit being a 2 denotes a laser head, while a 1 denotes a power supply.
 




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