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Thread: My first Laser.

  1. #1
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    Default My first Laser.

    After reading laserman's thread "where were you circa '78?", I searched for a thread about people's initial experiences in the laser community, Finding none, I figured I'd start one.

    What was/were your first laser(s)?
    What did you do with it?
    Did you ever gaze lovingly at the 5mw hene tubes in an edmund scientific catalog?

    I'll lead it off:

    It was late in the winter of '98, midway through my junior year of high school in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Baggy pants and No Doubt ruled the day, while BT, Moby and Messiah held court over the night. The spring before I'd been given an american dj foghog for my birthday, and had had no trouble setting off the smoke detectors on a regular basis since.

    It was an original beamshot laser sight, lent to me by my friend Dave.
    I bounced it off of everything, cd's, stainless steel, mirrors, windows, prisms, the cat. I even went to the salvation army and bought some old laser discs. I discovered that the flash diffusion off an old kodak camera made a pretty decent line generator. While rummaging around my closet looking for a film case to mount it in, I found my old rc car.
    Using string, epoxy, double sided foam tape, (anything I could find), I mounted one servo to another, and the laser to the second (Yes, I just stuck the pointer on it. No mirrors, I was hardcore like that). After a couple hours, I could almost control the laser enough to make the cat chase it around.

    Needless to say, the next party was a huge success, with my radio control laser system.

    I continued tinkering and playing with the laser, which was slowly dying (I would end up buying a replacement for Dave. To think, just ten short years ago a 5mw pointer like that was $90, and your color choices were red, red, or red ).

    Late that spring, during the psychology fair, the laser well and truly died. No clever arrangement of solder, tape, or wire could make it lase. I was sad, my world was dim (no, I hadn't been staring at the aperture).

    Fortunately, my sorrow was short lived, as I was about to meet Sydney.

    He had noticed the fog machine, strobe light, and big yellow sign that said "Don't come over here!" (my experiment was on reverse psychology, and not pushing the big, red, candy-like button).

    He came over, We started talking. After about 20 minutes, I asked if he happend to know where I could get a laser.

    He looked me in the eye and said "What color do you want"?
    Thus marked the start of the geekiest friendship known to man. I'd only ever dreamt of lasers in colors other than red. The sound of my jaw hitting the floor was loud enough that the teacher scolded me for jumping off the bleachers.

    Syd, as it turned out, worked part-time for Q-zar. Q-zar, due to some strange issues with power supplies, had decided to change all of their melles-groit tube lasers to diodes. The tubes were supposed to be destroyed,but 12 red and 6 green henes made their way into sydneys basement.

    Hog heaven doesn't even begin to describe it.

    Going by my previous model, another rc car was dissected and (don't cringe), two of the green tubes were mounted on to servo horns, giving a dual beam, x-axis only show. Needless to say, the next party was even more of a success, which I found out in class the next monday when somebody asked me If i'd gone to the rave in the guy's basement.

    I was vindicated, glorified, a legend in my own time, and flunking english. Needless to say, we were confused a couple months later when the lasers started multimoding, but since "it looked cool" we left the setup as it was.

    I ordered a closed-loop servo-driven galvo kit from Silicon Valley Servos for my next birthday present, but was never able to get it working for several reasons.

    After that, my love affair with lasers took a back seat as I discovered how incredibly much fun it was to have sex with girls, and then was relocated to the trunk after I discovered how much fun it was to have sex with girls in the back seat. I have recently returned now that my paycheck can support my habit.

    And yes, my edmund scientific catalogs were creased to the point where the laser pages were falling out.

    Ok, I've shown you mine, are you going to show me yours?
    Last edited by Mr.Coffee; 01-06-2008 at 19:54.
    "TO DO IS TO BE" - Nietzsche
    "TO BE IS TO DO" - Kant
    "DO BE DO BE DO" - Sinatra

  2. #2
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    Cool

    Actually, there are a couple threads that talk about our laser origins...

    Here's one from March of last year.

    Here's a newer one from last month.

    I posted in both of those threads aready, so I'll spare you a third iteration of my humble beginings. But I would like to comment on one part of your post above. Q-Zar!

    OMG! I haven't thought about Q-Zar in ages, but back in the day I played Q-Zar with a vengence. (This was before I got into Paintball with equal fervor...) I remember when they still had the HeNe tubes in them, and yeah, they didn't work worth shit. (The greens were the worst, naturally.) But I spent a small fortune on Q-Zar. (So did just about every member of the Charleston Area Amiga User's Group!) Thanks for bringing back such a fond memory.

    Adam

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Coffee View Post
    And yes, my edmund scientific catalogs were creased to the point where the laser pages were falling out.
    At least they were falling out and not stuck together!

    Rob
    If you need to ask the question 'whats so good about a laser' - you won't understand the answer.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Laserists do it by the nanometre.

    Stanwax Laser is a Corporate Member of Ilda

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  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stanwax View Post
    At least they were falling out and not stuck together!

    Rob
    LOL, he had sex with GIRLS, remember

  5. #5
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    Default

    Rob... I think I just learned my lesson... I am done 'studying before an exam in the lecture hall' AKA 'reading PL posts in a lecture hall' right now there is one other person in the room... and I started laughing... I feel ridiculous.

    Hahaha, oh well

    And wait... is that a comment *ahhem* coming from experience...? Rhetorical question hahaha

    Sorry in regards to the original question... I'll get back to it later... I really should be studying

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mliptack View Post
    Rob... I think I just learned my lesson... I am done 'studying before an exam in the lecture hall' AKA 'reading PL posts in a lecture hall' right now there is one other person in the room... and I started laughing... I feel ridiculous.

    Hahaha, oh well
    Glad I made you laugh.

    Quote Originally Posted by mliptack View Post
    And wait... is that a comment *ahhem* coming from experience...? Rhetorical question hahaha
    To answer that question I would like to refer you to my post at the bottom of this page

    http://www.photonlexicon.com/forums/...?t=3544&page=3

    Rob
    If you need to ask the question 'whats so good about a laser' - you won't understand the answer.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Laserists do it by the nanometre.

    Stanwax Laser is a Corporate Member of Ilda

    Stanwax Laser main distributor of First Contact in UK - like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/FirstContactPolymerCleaner
    www.photoniccleaning.co.uk

  7. #7
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    Default

    haha... didn't fall for that one the second time

    -Max

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Buffo View Post
    Actually, there are a couple threads that talk about our laser origins...

    Here's one from March of last year.

    Here's a newer one from last month.

    I posted in both of those threads aready, so I'll spare you a third iteration of my humble beginings. But I would like to comment on one part of your post above. Q-Zar!

    OMG! I haven't thought about Q-Zar in ages, but back in the day I played Q-Zar with a vengence. (This was before I got into Paintball with equal fervor...) I remember when they still had the HeNe tubes in them, and yeah, they didn't work worth shit. (The greens were the worst, naturally.) But I spent a small fortune on Q-Zar. (So did just about every member of the Charleston Area Amiga User's Group!) Thanks for bringing back such a fond memory.

    Adam

    OK, so I didn't search that hard.
    As for the Q-Zar, funny story. That particular location ended up getting evicted for not paying their rent. this was about the time that q-zar was going out of business. anyway, we scavanged all the spare parts we could get ahold of, and managed to build 4 packs. we have the software and two network units as well. Q-zar is so much more fun outdoors and in abandoned buildings, even if the guns are held together with zip ties and hot glue. If I ever find myself in town for a meet, I'll try to dust them off again.
    "TO DO IS TO BE" - Nietzsche
    "TO BE IS TO DO" - Kant
    "DO BE DO BE DO" - Sinatra

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Not a big deal... Searching is easier if you know that you've already posted in the thread you're looking for. That allows you to narrow it down a lot.

    So you've got 4 working Q-zar guns, eh? Do you have the sending units for the energizers too, or do you just set the guns up for solo stun play?

    Damn, Q-zar was a lot of fun... Almost enough to make me want to invest in some surplus guns. (Almost.) But I've got enough invested in lasers already, not to mention the 4 angels (paintball) I have in the house. I think my wife would leave me if I tried to put together a working Q-zar system!

    Adam

  10. #10
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