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Thread: Introducing myself

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Red face Introducing myself

    Greetings everyone,

    I just joined the forum a few days ago and thought maybe it would be a good idea to introduce myself.

    My name is Brad. I live in southwestern Pennsylvania. I'm 30 years old and have loved lasers since the first time I ever saw one (mid eighties). A traveling company brought their rig to my hometown and put on a laser show at a local high school... I was 'bitten by the bug' and have been addicted ever since.

    Over the years, I've amassed what I consider a fair amount of equipment for someone who doesn't make money off their hobby. My inventory includes:

    o Lexel 95 and power supply... Dead... Tube needs reworked but cannot afford it. I'd love to retube it, but unless a good deal comes along at the right time, I probably won't be able to afford it.

    o Two Lexel 75's and 3 phase power supply. These are actually the first ion lasers that I got up and running. Both are in working condition. It was pretty exciting to take a heap of surplus equipment, realign the mirrors, rebuild the PSU's, etc, and actually get 'first light' from them both!

    o ALC 60X... I've never powered it up. Bought it used with single line optics in it, for a good price. Checked it with my oudin coil to make sure the tube was intact, fried the igniter board with the oudin, and then packed it away. I was fully planning on building a supply for it, but that was 10 years ago. I'd still like to. I need to replace the ignitor first, though.

    o ALC 909... With a switching PSU for it, and a filament transformer. I believe I have everything necessary to put into service, but alas it's been waiting for me to work with it for several years now. It's still bolted to the shipping container.

    o The required lot of HeNe tubes and power supplies.

    o A set of EyeMagic scanners and amps. Sitting in a box waiting for me.

    o Various diffraction gratings like the POLY-20, POLY-4, etc etc... No mounts or motors for them, though...

    o An old self contained controller... I think it's called an Alpha Light or some such. It came with the scanner deal and I've never powered it on.

    o Some homemade lumina wheels

    I'm sure there's random stuff that I'm missing... But as you can see I've been collecting for a while. My end goal is to someday have an RGB projector including my gratings and lumina wheels, etc...

    The biggest things I am missing:

    o a set of DAC's

    o Software

    This is where my hobbies come into play. I've been working on a DAC and plan to build them myself. Went to school for electrical engineering, I guess it's time I apply some of that knowledge. It would be easier to buy pre-built stuff, but more costly and money is something I am lacking currently and have been for a while.

    I also program for several companies. I would like to write my own software, at least to run a basic show.... Play back ILD files, make lissajous patterns on the fly, control beams and the wheels, etc. Writing software to actually draw the frames might be above what I can do. I haven't even attempted it yet. Most of my programming involves hardware interfacing and low level system programming.

    Anyway, so here I am... A small pile of equipment... Some motivation... Some enjoyment.

    My purposes for joining the forum are to:

    o Learn. There is lots of knowledge here to soak up

    o Meet new people. I'd love to meet new people to share this hobby with.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my introduction.

    Take care,
    Brad

  2. #2
    soforene's Avatar
    soforene is offline The Troll formerly known as Herbert Von Poople-Futtocks
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    Default

    'ow do Mucka.

    A visit to one of the meets should provide all the inspiration you need to start getting more into debt.

    Welcome to the Friendliest Laser Forum on Planet Earth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Default

    No need to build your own DAC, check out laserboy from James Lehman (opensource) and his soundcard modded DAC !!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default

    Regarding the sound card DAC: Indeed, I have seen that. I've kept an eye on it since I found out about it probably over a year ago.

    i might go that way at least temporarily until I can afford to build the DAC's that I dream of. lol.

    Thanks for the pointer.

    Brad

  5. #5
    mixedgas's Avatar
    mixedgas is offline Creaky Old Award Winning Bastard Technologist
    Infinitus Excellentia Ion Laser Dominatus
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    o Lexel 95 and power supply... Dead... Tube needs reworked but cannot afford it. I'd love to retube it, but unless a good deal comes along at the right time, I probably won't be able to afford it.

    wanna sell the 95 supply? Or trade? I have lots I can trade

    Steve Roberts

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Akron, Ohio USA
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    Hi Brad!

    Looks like you are pretty close to Ohio! For some reason, we seem to have a nice concentration of laser geeks here.

    Welcome to the PL!

    James.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by James Lehman
    Looks like you are pretty close to Ohio! For some reason, we seem to have a nice concentration of laser geeks here.
    Lol. I had noticed that too. I don't know any other amateur laserists personally, but who knows... Maybe I'll meet some of 'our kind'

    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas
    wanna sell the 95 supply? Or trade? I have lots I can trade
    Steve, please check your private messages. I've sent you one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Central Florida
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    Thumbs up

    Welcome. Pennsylvania isn't too far from North Carolina... You coming to SELEM?
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  9. #9
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    Smile

    You took the words right out of my mouth, Aaron!

    Welcome to PhotonLexicon, Brad... Hope you like it here.

    As Aaron already mentioned, you're not all that far away from the location for our next Laser Enthusiast's Meeting. It will be held in Newton, North Carolina over the weekend of August the 16th and 17th. (You really need to be in town by Friday evening on the 15th though, so you can attend the pre-event dinner party!)

    Give it some thought, and if you think you can make it, head over to the SELEM sign up thread.

    It sounds like you've already got a good bit of experience. Your mid-frame Argon collection sounds very cool. Sure would be great to see that Lexel 95 and the alc 909 fired up... (Not to mention getting a set of scanners mounted in front of them!) Keep us posted on your quest for a new tube for the 95.

    And again, welcome to the forums...

    Adam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    106

    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by buffo
    Welcome to PhotonLexicon, Brad... Hope you like it here.
    This is a great place. I've been reading over the forum since I signed up and everyone seems so helpful and friendly... Genuinely interested in our collective hobby and each other's projects.

    Quote Originally Posted by buffo
    As Aaron already mentioned, you're not all that far away from the location for our next Laser Enthusiast's Meeting. It will be held in Newton, North Carolina over the weekend of August the 16th and 17th. (You really need to be in town by Friday evening on the 15th though, so you can attend the pre-event dinner party!)

    Give it some thought, and if you think you can make it, head over to the SELEM sign up thread.
    It would be great if I could make it.... I will have to think it over for the next week or two and figure out if I can get my life/finances/transportation together enough that I could enjoy the company of like-minded people.

    What goes on at SELEM? Do most people bring part of their projects, equipment, etc?

    Do most people stay at a hotel for the weekend?

    It would be awesome to meet people from the forum... I've never really been into meeting up with members from any other forums, but lasers are such a rare common hobby that there is a little voice in the back of my head telling me that it'd be quite interesting to meet people and make some new friends.

    Quote Originally Posted by buffo
    It sounds like you've already got a good bit of experience. Your mid-frame Argon collection sounds very cool. Sure would be great to see that Lexel 95 and the alc 909 fired up... (Not to mention getting a set of scanners mounted in front of them!) Keep us posted on your quest for a new tube for the 95.
    I do have some experience, yes... Not the most in the world, but enough to get ion lasers up and running. I've always been into high voltage electronics, which got me prepared for some of the aspects of laser related electronics.

    I'm excited about getting back into my laser and electronics hobbies... There have been some extenuating circumstances over the past couple years that have caused me to lose sight of my hobbies and, well, most forms of enjoyment in my life. heh... I'm trying to pull my self and my life back together, and part of that is getting back involved with said hobbies...

    Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. Thank you Adam, and everyone else, for the warm welcome to the forums. I'm so glad I found this place. I actually feel like I might have found somewhere that I kinda fit in a bit and can truly enjoy being a member of.

    Regards,
    Brad

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