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Thread: Unique Old Argon Ion Laser

  1. #1
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    Default Unique Old Argon Ion Laser

    I visited my old friend and colleague (and fellow PLer) Ed Wesly in Chicago a couple weeks ago, to move his large collection of vintage lasers to join mine. One of them is my project for this Memorial Day weekend, a 1970 Britt model 2000S "Stroboscopic Burst Argon Laser". According to the manual, it "produces an intense pulsed beam of coherent light for use in stroboscopic holography and similar applications where high average power is only required for short durations (up to 8 seconds)."

    Here ar some pics of it before I start cleaning, which will be very light because it's been stored so well over the years. I love all the spiral tubing! This is one of the best plasma tubes I've seen, and it's gas intact. It's a self contained laser with an incorporated power supply, three knobs on top to select the synch function, set burst duration, and to choose a timed shutter. Notice the "burst control" pushbutton!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's the rear end, showing the anode end of the tube.
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    And here's the front end, showing the cathode end of the tube. Notice the square metal reservoir to the right of the cathode with a hole on its top. That's the "gas refill device". One fills it with liquid nitrogen, waits 15 minutes for the pressure to stabilize, opens the valve behind it, and waits another 15 minutes for the gas in the plasma tube to equalilize (keeping the reservoir filled the whole time).
    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
    Infinitus Excellentia Ion Laser Dominatus
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    That's a lot shorter (And nicer looking) then the Eye surgery version. The fact that you pull the gas down suggests it runs in the 20-100 micron region. The eye surgery ones had both fill and pull down on the same tube. I've pulled one down for a friend, when I had access to LN2.

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

  3. #3
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    All finished cleaning, and it shined up nice! Biggest problem is old tape residue. Here's the tag on the back end, showing it to be serial #005. It went to Dr. Tung Jeong, revered and famous holographer from Lake Forest College north of Chicago, and is seen in one of the early films featuring him (but not the Encyclopedia Britannica one). He practiced and taught holography since the late '60s there, kept all his lasers, and a bunch of them found their way to Ed.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This pic shows the back end controls on top, and the big knob in the center of the rear mirror mount that tilts the prism/mirror.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Finally, this one shows the front with the covers on. The output coupler is right up front, with no pick-off, attenuator, or shutter. The resonator is a single metal tube that looks to be about 2" diameter.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I can get liquid nitrogen all day. So can you steve. Airgas is in town and sells it to anyone.

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