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Thread: Copper vapour laser needs tube: please help

  1. #11
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
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    Check your PMs, Not Ed, but a company founded by someone I once knew.
    He'll probably clue you in on the rules.

    Steve
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post

    Oh David F., you reading this?, I can use some help with all the CVL explanations....

    Steve
    I am now!

    ...here on standby.

    IDK: Do you happen to know the set point on your laser's temperature (oven) controller?

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post



    I would NOT probe a Spektronica or Pulslaser CVL product with the power on. If the circuit is ringing resonantly like it should you may have some 20-30 Kv peaks on top of that 3000-7000 volt DC average.

    Steve
    Yeah, be really careful. It's still pretty dangerous and deserves to be treated with respect even when powered off. There are some HUGE capacitors in the drive electronics and lots of other things that'll give a really nasty bite unless safely discharged. On top of that, the whole thing is designed to run at temperatures that WILL start a fire if you're careless. Keep a fire extinguisher handy (CO2 or similar...dry chemical makes a mess and gives off nasty fumes...water will probably make things worse). Not kidding about this. Aside from the optical, thermal, and electrical hazards, there are what I call "component hazards." These lasers are built like tanks, but soviet-era components can and DO fail. Mine actually CAUGHT FIRE once due to a failure on the heater control board. I'd never experienced such toxic-smelling smoke in my life. Laser is fine, if you were wondering. Like I said- BUILT. LIKE. A. TANK.

  4. #14
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    Default Its all in the preparation

    Cinder blocks, black wrap; Thorlabs LG3; check, check and check.

    "Do you happen to know the set point on your laser's temperature (oven) controller?"

    No. I need proper documentation and I really don’t know how to see that (yet).


    "There are some HUGE capacitors in the drive electronics and lots of other things that'll give a really nasty bite unless safely discharged."


    That is my concern. I just want to verify with my probe that caps etc are discharged. I understand that when powered is a different animal and I have no desire to probe hot. Just to verify for safety when powered down and after discharged. I want to know if I discharge (short) the caps will I damage any other components in the process? I don't see why it would but since I am not familiar with this gear I just want to be sure.


    Yes have dry chem extinguisher on standby. thanks!


    Im not in a rush and considering that I am not clear on the proper power up/down and operating procedures I am letting it sit. The more time I put into preparation and making sure everything is safe and all details are in order the more satisfying it will be during a show.

    I'd talk to the planetarium laser show folks before I spoke to anyone else.
    Right. I sense territorial politics.

    Quote:

    Health Canada's Therapeutic Products Directorate is responsible for imposing standards on lasers imported into Canada or manufactured here, including the correct classification of devices:


    • IEC 60825-1:2007-Ed.2.0 – Safety of laser products – Part 1: Equipment classification and requirements.

    Thank you I will read up...

    Cheers!
    IDK/John

  5. #15
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    Default Copper Halide Laser Reading list

    I assume this is good information and relevant to my gear:

    Design Guidelines for a Copper Halide Laser

    http://www.laserfx.com/Backstage.Las...guide-V101.pdf

    The Copper Bromide Metal Vapor Laser
    http://mvl.issp.bas.bg/index.php/2-u...br-vapor-laser

    A Virtual Visit to Spectronika Ltd.
    http://www.laserfx.com/Backstage.Las...ectronika.html




  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by idk View Post
    I want to know if I discharge (short) the caps will I damage any other components in the process?
    I absolutely would not do this. There is a lot of energy there if they are not discharged. I have lost bits of screwdriver tips doing this with other capacitors. Not to mention the damage caused to the terminals on or connected to the caps. At best, a large 5 or 10 Mohm resister but even then, these should discharge on their own.

    Yes have dry chem extinguisher on standby. thanks!
    I think he meant stay away from dry chem. Use co2 or halon.

  7. #17
    mixedgas's Avatar
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    This industry has always been plagued with territorial politics. Hence my advice to start with a neutral group. When in a nation/region where the amount of practitioners is small, it is wise to find some one who will not throw their toys from the pram/baby carriage when a new guy shows up. Especially when a small group knows their even smaller bunch of regulators on a first name basis.

    Generally once you get to know your competitors things can lighten up and you might even team up from time to time.

    One guy with one ancient five watt projector should not be a "threat" at first. But I leaned a long time ago that every time I train a new tech, I trained a new competitor in my area. Often one that was willing to take shortcuts, be "fly by night", not pull permits, and do a lousy job artistically, cheapening the business.

    Its funny, I will bend over backwards to help someone 600 miles away, but very rarely will I help out a local unless they are highly professional. Gotten bit by that one too many times.. Yet in my day job (academia) we bend over backwards to help each other except when certain proprietary technology is involved.

    Things are a bit different in the US where you can now call with a credit card and be a competitor over night via Fedex.

    --------------------
    A laser with a "Michroh" tag and pictures of L. Michael Roberts in Bulgaria on that web site (no relation, but we were once good friends) might give you a clue that you are on the right track.

    Yours is probably a "Copper Hybrid" laser with a Bromide mix, and addition of carefully controlled traces of Hydrogen to the Neon, which dramatically boosts output power. That one design paper is pre-hybrid.

    I have no clue if a manual exists anywhere at this time. The medical model manual (I might still have it as a pdf,) uses a computer program to optimize the three CuBr reservoir temperatures and PRF automatically and thus is not too relevant to the simpler unit you have.

    Could you please post a zoomed pic of the test stickers on the back of the unit?

    You could safely assume the PRF has not drifted too much, and that temperature is your main variable. Some form of quality laser power meter is critical for making adjustments as it takes a while (10 mins ?) for the tube to equilibrate after a temperature change.

    Two theories on this, I. Enjoy your laser till it fails as it is well built. II. Work with David making very small changes till you reach optimum operation. David has one working, and once you make sure you have the same technical configuration, you can talk shop. I'll ask my other friend with the dead one for some pics/ capacitor values.

    Knowing what David does for a living, he is well qualified to help you with everything except thyratron tube tuning issues. That only matters if the thyratron has a separate hydrogen pressure control heater besides the cathode heater. Knowing him, he would read up on that anyways and master it quickly.

    Oh, and by the way, the fibrous insulation around the tube is a nasty skin/lung irritant. Try not to cut into it unless you have to.


    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 05-15-2019 at 08:57.
    Qui habet Christos, habet Vitam!
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  8. #18
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    Default no discharge...

    Right. That answers my question. Thank you.

    BTW: I once shorted a 300a disconnect while doing a live power tie in for a show in SF 20 years ago. The short bit out a 1/2" chunk off my 1" blade. Blacked out the skyscraper. Valuable session learned.


    Quote Originally Posted by absolom7691 View Post
    I absolutely would not do this. There is a lot of energy there if they are not discharged. I have lost bits of screwdriver tips doing this with other capacitors. Not to mention the damage caused to the terminals on or connected to the caps. At best, a large 5 or 10 Mohm resister but even then, these should discharge on their own.

    I think he meant stay away from dry chem. Use co2 or halon.
    Copy. I will get one and have it on standby. Thanks!

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    Could you please post a zoomed pic of the test stickers on the back of the unit?
    Steve
    Here are all tags and the temp control/display.

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    Cheers!
    -IDK/John

  10. #20
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    That little Omron panel is the oven controller/thermocouple interface. It should tell you your tube's current temperature and the set point.

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