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Thread: a big hello

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    rawdon, west yorkshire.
    Posts
    26

    Default a big hello

    well this is my first post on any forum..... ever!

    be gentle with me .

    i have been into lasers for a little while now (15 years+) and done most of the usual stuff at a fairly young age (I`m 32 by the way) like blowing a weeks wages when i first started work on a 2mw hene laser and bouncing it off mirors stuck on a speaker with blu-tak. then off mirrors on 1 motor, then off 2 motors then off 3 and so on ( ahh the addiction begins ).

    reading a little more and learning of the laser and its origin and the science behind that beautiful speckle pattern, it had got me. lasers would be a part of my life for ever. well on a hobbiest level anyway.

    then i sort of got into making music with a friend for a few years and the laser hobby was on the back burner.

    i`ve allways been interested in high voltage (sparks specificaly) and at work i could make various things to satisfy theese pleasures.( i was a tool maker in a toolroom for 15 years) i made a little tesla coil about a foot tall. did`nt work very well but i enjoyed it anyway. made a van de graff, that was cool and it still a great ice breaker at parties!

    then i re-discovered lasers when i heard of theese blue-green argon ion lasers.....can`t remember where from but after having a 2mw hene laser and a cigar box full of red laser pointers i decided to spend about 600 i think on a spectra phisics 161? laser head rated at 23mw (wow at the time) and all the components to build the wardrobe sized power supply to run it! well it all arived in the post and i started building ot once. i`ll post some pictures one day. it only had 4 motors.3 with mirrors and one for blanking ha ha ha ha it was a piece of plastic with 3 slots in it. again not very good but i enjoyed making it and it did pay for itself eventualy.


    then wow these green laserpointers..... so much coherent light for so little and it was greeeeeeen. mmm
    had to get myself one of theese.(actually brought 2 cos i knew i`d bust one eventualy) payed on ebay (whoopeee that was my first ever ebay purchase). B***ARD import tax arghh. then just messed around with them `till a friend dropped it. "errr its not working anymore?????"."oh well. just have to take is apart to see if i can fix it (mooohahahahaharrrrr(excelent smithers)). i just love taking things apart! looked inside and all the bits were just glued together. promtly made a housing at work to hold all the different bits together and with tuning posibilities (again ill post some pictures one day to so off my engenering skills).

    well that brings me to here. been looking at forums for tidbits of info but now its time to get serious.

    the dream has always been to use galvos to do complex stuff. but never got round to it. well i now have 2 sets of 30k galvos, amps and psu`s.thanks to ebay. they both need mirors but thats all.

    i will probly need help with tuning etc and just for now have ordered a dac off norm(homemade laser show) for messing around with. have already sent a message to bill (pangolin) about that fb3, la frek stuff and thats my next purchase or a laser. which brings me to my next question...

    looking for a laser, green will do for now 100-200mw? enough to do small shows. doesent have to be new or nearly new just somthing quite bright with a couple of thousand hrs let on it. see when it dies i`ll enjoy tryin` to fix it. if not recomended dealers please . dont forget i`m in the uk.

    well thanks.

    for now............

    scoot.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    2,147,488,218

    Cool

    Hi Scoot!

    Welcome to PhotonLexicon! Glad to have you here. Sounds like you've been tinkering for a good long while now, and are ready to take the next step.

    Warning! You think lasers were expensive before? Well, trust me - that was only the begining. I tinkered with lasers for well over a decade before I make the leap to my first set of closed-loop galvos. But within 18 months of that initial purchase I was running a full-white light projector (with greater than a half watt of combined optical output) and Pangolin hardware and software. So be warned, you are on a slippery slope right now that will lead you down into the deep areas of this money-pit hobby!

    Now, having said that, I can also say that before I built my RGB projector I never really understood how cool lasers could be. I mean, sure - I'd seen professional shows at concerts and planetariums and such, but I never thought I could do that sort of thing in my living room. (But guess what? You *can*! And it's *really* cool!) Now I'm so thoroughly hooked that I often sneak out of bed at night when I can't sleep and go out to the living room to fire up the projector! Sometimes I'll watch shows for an hour or two before creeping back to bed... (It really is an addiction!)

    As far as local suppliers, perhaps one of our UK members can recommend a dealer that will be close to you. Then too, maybe one of them has a 100 mw green DPSS unit that they might be willing to sell to you for a decent price.

    However, if you do end up ordering from outside the UK, I suggest you have a look at lasershowparts.com The guys that run it (Dave and Aijii) are members here and post quite frequently. They've got a great reputation for selling good lasers at a great price, with excellent customer service.

    Also, have a look in the "Lasers Meet and Greet" sub-forum and check out the dates for the next UK Laser Enthusiast's Meeting (UKLEM). I think it's scheduled for the first week of February, 2008. There will be plenty of people there that can help you with your project, and there will likely be lots of *very* cool equipment present as well. (Always nice to be able to drool over the sort of kit you always dreamed of owning!) Try not to miss that event!

    And again, welcome to the group! Hope you like it here...

    Adam

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Herts, UK
    Posts
    1,253

    Default

    Hi scoot, or should I say "Welcome, addict"

    Sound like you have taken the common path into the laser world with the HeNe and blue tac, progressing onto baby gassers. Nothing wrong with blu tac (I'm using it to check alignment in my curent project ) you'll often see blue blobs of it in pictures - and we love "gutsy" laser pictures

    As Adam mentioned, the UKLEM is in early Feb next year, and it's an enthusiasts heaven, so put it in the diary!

    To source a greenie, try posting in the Buy/Sell/Trade and see if anyone has one for sale, or http://www.lasershowparts.com/ are top lads and come highly recommended.

    You have an engineering background then? Cool, that will prove useful as the addiction bites and your project develops.

    Whereabouts in the UK are you?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,559

    Default

    Hi Scoot

    Welcome to the Forum, it's the laserworlds equivalent to an Opium den, we're all well and truly addicted to lasers in here

    If I were you i'd take a photocopy of your bank/savings statements now, as once you get into this hobby they'll never look the same again

    Why not take a moment to fill in the location in your profile, we can then see whereabouts in the UK you are. I'm near Wakefield in West Yorkshire.

    You ought to mark 3rd Feb 2008 in your diary, this is one date that you don't want to miss

    Cheers

    Jem

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    rawdon, west yorkshire.
    Posts
    26

    Default

    thanks for the warm wlecome guys. feel at home here allready!.

    ok, to fill in a couple of blanks.... born in the midlands but now i live in yorkshire (rawdon). hi jem ( i`m leaning out the window waving) can you see me ha ha ha. wow, small world. i have no workshop/shed now so project building is slow`n`steady but i`ll manage.

    oh yes, the uk laser meet is noted and look forward to it. where is it ?

    again thanks for warm welcome and i`ll be looking on here often. ask any questions and i`ll try to reply as fast as i can.

    cheers scoot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,559

    Default

    Hi Scoot

    Laser meet is at Fluff's place in Leicester, it's a nightclub which is of course ideal for the sort of things that we get up to

    Rawdon eh?, i'll be passing your doorstep on Wednesday on my way back from Otley, sorry, I won't have time to call though otherwise you could have got the kettle on

    This is a great place to be, there's some really clever people on here who can offer loads of tips and advice on building your projector or tell you how to fiddle about (correctly) with lasers. Most of us have all been in a similar situation when we started, so if you have any questions please feel free to ask away. Having said that, a quick search may find you what you want without having to ask

    Cheers

    Jem

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    1,407

    Default

    Hi Scoot
    Welcome to a great little home for laser enthusiasts ,you learns lots and some contacts here would save you some cash ,but your ambitions will likely rise as once its up and running you will want more power ...more power !!

    I think though the good news is price changes on parts over the last few years inow making dreams a reality thanks to the wonder of the chinese workforce and the weak dollar !

    Hope your having fun with those galvos !

    Speaksoon !

    Paul
    In the beginning there was none. Then came the light - #1 UKLEM - 2007
    BUY UK LEGAL LASER POINTER :: NEW - Blue 460nm Laser Pointers

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