Melles Griot HeNe Laser Head, retail $TBA.00 (*)
Manufactured by Melles Griot (
Last updated 04-12-10

(In reference to the box I received from a Candlepower Forums member in 2000 or 2001):
{sung like the Foreigner song "Feels Like the First Time"}

This is the Melles Griot HeNe Laser Head. It consists of a helium neon (HeNe) laser tube and ballast resistor encased in a metal cylinder, and includes 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.

This laser head is Melles Griot part number 05-LHP-163.

* Laser head was not found on the Melles Griot website; so the furnished URL simply leads to their "front door".
Since it has a manufacture date of September 1991, this does not surprise me in the least.


To use this laser head, 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 head should spring to life.

When you are finished using the laser, disconnect the power supply from its source of power -- you may leave the laser head 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.

Beam photograph on the test target at 12".
Beam is not yellow in the center as depicted in this photograph; beam image also bloomed significantly.

Measures 4.650mW on a laser power meter shortly after turn-on.
After 19 minutes of operation, it measured 4.910mW on the same instrument.

Beam photograph on a wall at ~10 feet.

Those colored graphics toward the left are my "Viva Piņata" posters, that clock on the right that looks like a gigantic wristwatch is my Infinity Optics Clock, and that sign that's so colorful and gay
* to the right of that clock is my LED ''SIGNS'' Sign.
You may also be able to see two of my SpongeBob SquarePants plush (Squidward Tentacles & Patrick Star) and a Digimon plush (Greymon).

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrographic analysis of this laser.

Spectrographic analysis
Same as above, but spectrometer's response band narrowed to a range of 625nm to 645nm.

Spectrographic analysis
Spectrometer's response band narrowed to a range of 375nm to 600nm to show non-laser emission lines.
This is through the tube's OC (output coupler).

USB2000 spectrometer graciously donated by P.L.

Test unit was given to me by a fan of this website (very probably a Candlepower Forums member!) sometime between mid-2000 and early-2001; I believe it to be the only plasma laser in my custody to survive the Ash Wednesday 2001 earthquake (preliminary magnitude 7.0) near Seattle WA. USA.

As far as I'm able to determine, this laser head was made in the United States.
A product's country of origin really does matter to some people, which is why I published it on this web page.

* Gay = bright & lively, ***NOT*** homosexual.

UPDATE: 00-00-00

    MANUFACTURER: Melles Griot
    PRODUCT TYPE: HeNe laser head
    LAMP TYPE: HeNe plasma laser tube
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: Very narrow spot
    BEZEL: Metal; OC inset into hosel for it
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Unknown/unable to measure
    WARRANTY: Unknown/TBA


    This is a vintage laser, so conventional ratings will not be assigned to it.

Melles Griot HeNe Laser Head *

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