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Thread: I saw this on ebay thought someone might be interested

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default I saw this on ebay thought someone might be interested
    This is a 4W max argon laser with three days left on bidding at 306 USdollars right now. I don't know why its so cheap, and i'm not really looking to buy it, but i thought maybe it was a diamond in the rough and it was worth bringing up in case anyone out there could be interested. Let me know what you think.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Charleston, SC

    Post Comments on E-bay argon laser...

    It's an HGM 5 medical argon laser. It will require some power supply modifications and a *lot* of extra cooling before it will be safe to run it continuously.

    Then too, there's no way you can run one of those tubes at 4 watts continuously, even if you had 10 fans blowing on it, so the listing is a bit misleading. At 4 watts of output CW, the magnet would overheat and loose strength, the plasma would expand and erode the bore, and the tube would die in short order. I've heard of people running them at around 2 watts CW, but that is really pushing things. They will idle just fine at around 500 mw, and they'll run for a good long time at 1 watt or so.

    They were originally designed to idle at very low power and then ramp up to a maximum of 3.3 watts for short durations. The power supply will drop the power back to idle after a maximum of 30 seconds at full power. (Normal treatments were much shorter than that.) Then you have a 2-3 minute cooling off period before it will ramp up again. When the tubes are new, it is possible to get 4 watts out of them for a *very* short time, but they can not sustain that power level.

    The other thing to consider is the seller. He has a great deal of experience with lasers and laser-related items, but he also has a reputation for some underhanded tricks. He sold some blue nichia diodes that he knew were static-killed as "untested"... (We all know that "untested" is another word for broken when it comes to E-bay, right?) At least one member here on the board ended up trusting this guy on just such a diode purchase, only to discover that the seller had fooled with the diode and blown it up before listing it on E-bay as "untested". (He posted about his diode misadventure on Alt.lasers before listing the dead diode on E-bay - too bad the buyer didn't see the post until after he received the dead diode!)

    Eh, this time he's got pictures of the laser in operation, so it's probably a safe bet that it will work when you get it. If he is willing to insure the laser against both theft and shipping damage, it would probably be worth bidding on. (Note: insuring a laser is not as easy as you might think, especially for an ion laser!) But I wouldn't pay more than around $600-$700 for it.

    Remember that this is not a plug-and-play solution. Whomever buys this laser will need to modify the power supply, and significantly increase the cooling, before it can be run CW. I know, because I have one myself that I've been working on... From the pictures in the listing I can't tell if he's modified the PSU yet, but my guess is no. (Especially because he doesn't have any extra cooling installed, and running it CW without extra cooling would have killed it.)

    Last edited by buffo; 02-15-2007 at 05:48.

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