GREEN (543.50nm) HeNe LASER TUBE

Green (543.50nm) HeNe Laser Tube, retail $TBA
Manufactured by (unknown)
Last updated 05-05-10

(In reference to the box I received from a Candlepower Forums Marketplace member in mid-2007):
{sung like the Foreigner song "Feels Like the First Time"}

This is a green HeNe laser tube. It consists of a green-emitting helium neon (HeNe) laser tube and ballast resistor with a cord terminated in a special polarised DC high voltage Alden connector -- this is rather typical of products sold as "laser heads".

You do need to be aware though, this laser uses a partially-evacuated glass tube and high DC voltage, not a small metal can and very low DC voltage like laser diodes might come like and are operated with.

This is one case, however, when "vaccuummnne" tubes are better than solid state: the beam emerges in a true Gaussian profile (brighter center falling off to extinction) and the coherence length could be measured in meters, instead of in millimeters for most diode lasers, which makes producing and viewing holographic images much, much easier.


To use this laser tube, you'll need a source of high voltage low current DC; many companies (including Melles Griot) sell small "brick" power supplies specifically made to operate these lasers.

Plug the white connector on the end of the laser's cord into the mating receptacle on the power supply "brick", and connect the power supply itself into the type of electrical current it expects -- this may be 12 volts DC or 110-130 volts AC depending on the power supply.

After several seconds (this is an intentional delay by the power supply itself!), the laser tube should spring to life.

You ***MUST*** be aware of the exposed high-voltage DC present around the "business-end" and on both mirrors of this laser tube when operating it AND for some period after power-down!!!

You don't want baby brown recluse spiders or Africanised honeybee mean

When you are finished using the laser, disconnect the power supply from its source of power -- you may leave the laser tube plugged into it.

I'm using a Melles Griot "brick"-type power supply that operates from 115-230 volts AC.
Part number is 05-LPM-903-070; I purchased it in the mid-1990s to use with a green HeNe laser head (the laser head has since gone tits-up) -- both the laser & PSU were purchased from MWK Industries.
Here is a photograph of it in operation as proof I once did have it:

This is a plasma laser, not a flashlight meant to be bashed, thrashed, trashed, and abused; I won't throw it against the wall, stomp on it, try to drown it in the toylet bowl or the cistern, run over it, swing it against the concrete floor of a porch, use a medium claw hammer in order to smash it open to check it for candiosity, fire it from the cannoņata, drop it down the top of Mt. Erupto (I guess I've been watching the TV program "Viva Piņata" too much again - candiosity is usually checked with a laser-type device on a platform with a large readout (located at Piņata Central), with a handheld wand that Langston Lickatoad uses, or with a pack-of-cards-sized device that Fergy Fudgehog uses; the cannoņata (also located at Piņata Central) is only used to shoot piņatas to piņata parties away from picturesque Piņata Island, and Mt. Erupto is an active volcano on Piņata Island {In the episode "Les Saves the Day...Again", Paulie Preztail says "Hey, ever wonder why this park's called 'Mount Erupto' anyway?", then Franklin Fizzlybear says "I think its an old native term. Means 'very safe.'"}), send it to the Daystrom Institute for additional analysis, or inflict upon it punishments that flashlights may have inflicted upon them.

It is supposed to generate a green beam (typically, 543.50nm or 5,435Å) -- this is a very standard wavelength for green HeNe lasers and I see no reason to state otherwise.

Since this laser tube was defective right from the get-go (it has never produced laser radiation!!!), I'll be issuing that dreadful "dead on arrival" icon at once; the only tests I was able to perform at all were the four spectrographic analyses of its discharge column that you see directly below.

Spectrographic analysis
Specrographic analysis of this laser plasma tube's discharge column.

Spectrographic analysis
Specrographic analysis of this laser plasma tube's discharge column; spectrometer intentionally "overloaded" to show weaker spectral lines.

Spectrographic analysis
Specrographic analysis of this laser plasma tube's discharge from the OC (Output Coupler).

Spectrographic analysis
Specrographic analysis of this laser plasma tube's discharge from the OC (Output Coupler); spectrometer intentionally "overloaded" to show weaker spectral lines.

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

Test unit purchased from a Candlepower Forums Marketplace member in early-June 2007.

It is not known where this laser tube was manufactured.
A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I wanted to publish it on this web page.

Since it was defective right from the get-go, I'll be issuing that dreadful "dead on arrival" icon at once; the only testing I could perform is spectroscopy of its discharge column.

UPDATE: 00-00-00

    PRODUCT TYPE: Green-emitting HeNe laser tube
    LAMP TYPE: HeNe plasma laser tube
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Very narrow spot (if it produced one!)
    BEZEL: None
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WARRANTY: Unknown/TBA


    This is a laser tube in its feral state, so conventional ratings will not be assigned to it.

Green (543.50nm) HeNe Laser Tube *

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