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Thread: '67 Orlando Research Model 300 Argon Ion Laser

  1. #1

    Default '67 Orlando Research Model 300 Argon Ion Laser

    I spent the evenings yesterday and today cleaning up this old laser I found on Ebay and received just in time for next week's Laserfest exhibit at SPIE's Optics & Photonics in San Diego. It gave 50mW TEMoo at 488nm, has one of the most "'60s" look to it I've seen, and cost $3995 in the Summer of Love. The Model 300 and the 100mW Model 700 were the first lasers from this company, the first formed specifically to make Ion lasers. This one is Serial Number 107 (all the parts are stamped with that number), and weighs 45 pounds.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a pic of the bottom with the cover off. There is a Granville-Phillips valve installed that broke free in shipping and smashing the piece of glass still attached. The plasma tube is gone, but the magnet is there (left to dance around during shipment to me). The mirror mounts are there with the mirrors, and the hour meter on the rear shows 303 hours.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I've been finding these old lasers faster than I can properly photograph them. After this show, I'll be focused on doing just that. PL's own LesioQ came through big time with 3 more ... a '63 Spectra-Physics Model 115 He-Ne, a '77 Kwant He-Ne, and a '77 PZO Model LG-200 educational He-Ne that's very cool! Sam Goldwasser and LesioQ are my heros, as are the others who've graciously parted with their "cabinet grannies".

  2. #2
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    HeHe... Another Wow! You must think it's the only word I know

    You must be amassing quite a collection by now, and I think it's absolutely wonderful that this old stuff is being preserved for future generations.

    Cheers

    Jem
    Quote: "There is a theory which states that if ever, for any reason, anyone discovers what exactly the Universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another that states that this has already happened.... Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

  3. #3
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    That picture just screams Dr. William McMahan as a potential designer. He was based in Orlando soon after that. For those who don't know whom he was, he was the founder and principal tube designer for HGM/American Laser/Laser Corporation. If its not one of his, I'm 80% sure its the right company that later hired him.

    Steve
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  4. #4

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    You hit the nail on the head with that one Steve! William H. McMahan was the president of ORC, and is listed as the contact there in a June 1967 ad in Laser Focus.

    The power supply looks basic enough to me. The water goes through the plasma tube, then through the passbank and the black tube before exiting. Any idea what's inside the tube? Seems flow control would want to be upstream of the plasma tube.
    Last edited by Eidetic; 07-31-2010 at 10:03.

  5. #5
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    do a patent search for Mcmahan, and anodic bore ion laser.

    Shame he flew his light twin into a mountain. What the wife did afterwords with the company and capital lead to a crash, and a buyout by Coherent and Sharplan.

    Steve
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  6. #6

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    Ahhhhhhhh ... trophy wife ....

  7. #7
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=robert hess;157241]Ahhhhhhhh ... trophy wife ....

    How'd you guess...

    Some sort of capital swap scheme.

    The "Laser Corporation" company continued to exist for some time afterwords.



    Steve
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  8. #8

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    Steve I have sent 2 private messages and an email...I was wondering if you got them??

  9. #9
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by king4quarter View Post
    Steve I have sent 2 private messages and an email...I was wondering if you got them??
    No I have not.

    Better tell Admin they failed.

    At least not on PL.

    I sent you a PM so you have my PM

    Steve
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
    I should have rented the space under my name for advertising.
    When I still could have...

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