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Thread: A bit late to the game - questions on Gas laser shows, Blanking and the like...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Fenton, MI
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    6

    Default A bit late to the game - questions on Gas laser shows, Blanking and the like...

    Good day folks...

    I'm playing around with some gas here in my shop, and obviously can't do blanking via TTL, so I need either a PCAOM or a galvo blanker...

    I am running Argon and HeNe so I can do full color, but would be happy with single color just getting started.

    Due to my very limited budget (read: non-existent) I'm going to be starting out full DIY with speaker galvos which I tested last night with some waveforms and can get decent enough results to approximate a laser oscilloscope.

    Now - My HeNe PSU has a TTL line - which I believe I could use as a blanker... but I'm not sure.. Since its gas, I tend to think cranking the tube on and off rapidly would be bad news... Correct?

    Next - PCAOM - I realize this is pretty much fossilized ancient history - but a quick ebay check yielded few results, and those were very expensive... Does anyone have a single color blanker they would part with cheaply so I could get my feet wet?

    Also - can anyone point me in the right direction for more info on the "old school" setup using gas? Most everything I see is solid state... I found a few references to PCAOM and galvo blanking, but not a lot... not enough to learn much of anything.

    I know the way to go is with SS diode tech.. but sorry, I'm a gas laser fan in my core...

    Thanks for the help guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Posts
    2,403

    Default

    I sent you a PM. Might be able to help with some stuff. Also kinda local, a couple hour drive away.

    John
    leading in trailing technology

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Detroit, USA
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Welcome to the forum! While I am going to be zero help, there are LOTS of people here with gas laser knowledge; Mixedgas is the first name that comes to mind. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Fenton, MI
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    Default

    Thanks Guys! John - I replied to your PM... Sounds like a good deal, but I'll have to wait a few weeks before I could make the trip.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Florida
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    4,382

    Default

    Welcome to PL Escher!
    Gas ion may be old tech but many members here have a collective warm spot in our hearts for 'em. There are a lot of people here who have very impressive Rigs. And you just can't beat that beam quality !!!
    Hope you have a good time here -
    Cheers!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Fenton, MI
    Posts
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    Default

    Ohh I'm sure I'll have a good time, trust me! I've been playing with my two JDSU argon's most of the evening - tweaking them a bit for best output...

    If you are on LPF as well, you will see I was reading my output incorrectly on these heads, displaced the decimal point - DOH!!!... so I'm running 3-4mw on my multiline, not 30-40 like I thought - but still it is running 5 lines even at that low output.. But its probably not long for this world if its only putting out 4 mw even after tweaking the tube.. (2214-25ml head)..

    The good news is that the single line head I scavenged today (2212-04sl) is likely brand new... I maxed it out at 11mw after some tweaking.

    Sorry - geek brain dump there... Ive been thinking about Argon's pretty much non-stop for a few weeks... I'm sure you guys were there at one point as well..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    572

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    Hey welcome to the forum Escher.
    I am a fan of gas lasers and have a borrowed PCAOM / galvo system that I run mine thru.
    For modulating your he-ne you would want to use an AOM to turn on and off the beam and keep the laser turned on the entire time. I think that I read on Sams laser faq that turning on and off the laser that much will shorten the life of the tube.
    If you can get a total of three AOMs , you could build a table and run three colors by splitting the argon into blue and green and then do one for the red then you can combine the three into one beam and go out to your galvos. Its a bit of a process to build but I think AOMs are cheaper than a 6 or 8 channel PCAOM system.
    Will there be three phase!!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Grand Rapids, Mi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vidal Wolf View Post
    Hey welcome to the forum Escher.
    I am a fan of gas lasers and have a borrowed PCAOM / galvo system that I run mine thru.
    For modulating your he-ne you would want to use an AOM to turn on and off the beam and keep the laser turned on the entire time. I think that I read on Sams laser faq that turning on and off the laser that much will shorten the life of the tube.
    If you can get a total of three AOMs , you could build a table and run three colors by splitting the argon into blue and green and then do one for the red then you can combine the three into one beam and go out to your galvos. Its a bit of a process to build but I think AOMs are cheaper than a 6 or 8 channel PCAOM system.
    That was the direction I was pointing him. Have a set, dichros, etc so hopefully it will work out.
    leading in trailing technology

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Fenton, MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by polishedball View Post
    That was the direction I was pointing him. Have a set, dichros, etc so hopefully it will work out.
    Yup - thats the plan... now I just need to find the time and the funds... It might take a little while, but we will work something out.
    Last edited by Escher; 02-01-2014 at 20:21.

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