<==== Sam's Laser FAQ ====>
Safety, Info, Links, Parts, Types, Drive, Construction
A Practical Guide to Lasers for Experimenters and Hobbyists
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Table of Contents
- Foreword - How Sam's Laser FAQ evolved into what it is today and other tid-bits.
- Preface - Author & copyright, DISCLAIMER, acknowledgements, request.
- Introduction - Scope, purpose, and organization of this document, related information.
PART I - Basics, Safety, General Information, Instruments, Applications, Experiments
- What is a Laser and How Does It Work? - The laser age, principles, types, on-line tutorial, lasers as a hobby.
- Laser Safety - Hazards to vision, other issues, 100 W light bulb versus 1 mW laser, safety classifications, links.
- Items of Interest - Laser power meters, Fabry-Perot and DFB types, wavelengths, speckle, collimation, etc.
- Laser Instruments and Applications - Rangefinders, interferometers, gyros, light shows, laser TV, Fourier optics.
- Laser Experiments and Projects - Basic to advanced including diffraction, interference, holography, display, more.
PART II - Print/Web Laser and Optics Resources, Laser and Parts Suppliers, Manufacturers
- Laser Information Resources - Books, magazines, collections, patents; Web newsgroups, lists, forums, links.
- Laser and Parts Sources - Walk-in, mail order, high quality, surplus, component and system manufacturers.
PART III - Lasers Based on Commercial Components - Diode, HeNe, Ion, CO2, HeCd, SS
- Diode Lasers - Basic considerations, visible and IR (e.g., from CD player) types, testing, visibility, collimation.
- Diode Laser Power Supplies - Drive requirements, modulation, sample circuits for low and high power devices.
- Helium-Neon Lasers - Theory (simple), operation, sealed tube structure, characteristics, power requirements.
- Commercial Unstabilized HeNe Lasers - Specific models from Melles Griot, Spectra-Physics, Coherent, more.
- Commercial Stabilized HeNe Lasers - Specific Models from Hewlett Packard/Agilent, Zygo, Teletrac/Axsys, more.
- HeNe Laser Testing, Adjustment, Repair - Problems, testing, mirror alignment, collimation, polarization, refilling.
- HeNe Laser Power Supplies - Requirements, types, plug-n-lase, matching tube to PS, testing, problems, repair.
- HeNe Laser Power Supply Design - AC line powered, low voltage inverters, starters, regulators, modulators.
- Complete HeNe Laser Power Supply Schematics - Includes 11 AC line and 5 inverter types, most you can build.
- Argon/Krypton Ion Lasers - General features and characteristics, basic power requirements, specific examples.
- Ar/Kr Ion Laser Testing, Maintenance, Repair - Tube life, problems, testing, general maintenance, alignment.
- Ar/Kr Ion Laser Power Supplies - Basic requirements, types, specific safety issues, testing, problems, repair.
- Ar/Kr Ion Laser Power Supply Design - AC line front-ends, igniters, linear and switchmode regulators, protection.
- Complete Ar/Kr Ion Laser Power Supply Schematics - Both linear and switching types using common parts.
- Carbon Dioxide Lasers - Characteristics and requirements, applications, small sealed tubes, gas fill, optics.
- Helium-Cadmium Lasers - Characteristics, power supplies, HeCd laser head and PSU troubleshooting.
- Solid State Lasers - Characteristics, types, pulsed/CW, Q-switching, frequency changing, common SS lasers.
- Commercial SS Lasers - Hughes M60, SSY1, C215/315/415M, C532, uGreen, MG-BLD/GSD, LWE-221, more.
- SS Laser Testing, Adjustment, Repair - Cleaning, cooling, alignment, tuning, beam quality and energy.
- SS Laser Power Supplies - Capacitor chargers, PFNs, PSUs using photoflash units, sources for special parts.
- Complete SS Laser Power Supply Schematics - Circuits for the Hughes ruby and YAG lasers, uYAG, more.
PART IV - Lasers Constructed from Basic Materials, Hardware, Optics, and Electronic Parts
- Amateur Laser Construction - Resources, safety, the home laser lab, supplies, vacuums, glass working, more.
- Vacuum Technology for Home-Built Gas Lasers - Vacuum basics, pumps, gauges, components, testing, repair.
- The Home-Built Laser Assembly and Power Supply - Structure, optics, mirror mounts, electrical components.
- Home-Built Laser Types, Information, and Links - Introduction to laser descriptions and "Light and its Uses".
- Home-Built Helium-Neon (HeNe) Laser - Much like the original gas laser from 1962 produces a red beam.
- Home-Built Pulsed Argon and/or Krypton (Ar/Kr) Ion Laser - A similar gas laser produces multiple color beam.
- Home-Built Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser - High power (10 to 50 W or more) flowing gas infra-red laser.
- Home-Built Nitrogen (N2) Laser - Pulsed ultraviolet laser that is easy to construct without fancy equipment.
- Home-Built Helium-Mercury (HeHg) and Other He-Metal-Vapor Lasers - Operation at multiple visible wavelengths.
- Home-Built Copper Chloride (CuCl) and Copper Bromide (CuBr) Laser - Pulsed intense yellow and green beam.
- Home-Built Dye Laser - Generate almost any color of the spectrum depending on which chemical dye is used.
- Home-Built Pulsed Multiple Gas (PMG) Laser - Simple design uses O2, Xe, Ar, Kr, or Ne; maybe even plain air.
- Home-Built Pulsed Solid State (PSS) Laser - Basic ruby or Nd:YAG laser system using flashlamp pumping.
- Home-Built Diode Pumped Solid State (DPSS) Laser - Vanadate with KTP SHG for 1 mW to 5 W green output.
Resources Associated with Sam's Laser FAQ (Not part of FAQ distribution)
Documents Useful for Laser System Design, Construction, Troubleshooting, and Repair
- Safety Guidelines for High Voltage and/or Line Powered Equipment - Essential Safety Document
- Sam's Strobe FAQ - Electronic Flash Units and Strobe Lights - Operation, design, many complete schematics.
- Sam's Schematic Collection - Assortment includes LV and HV power supplies, inverters, battery charges, more.
- Simple High Voltage Generator - 12 VDC in, 12 kV out, using a flyback transformer and a handful of other parts.
- Basics of High Voltage Probe design - Measurements up to 25 kV or more using almost any VOM or DMM.
- Salvaging Interesting Gadgets, Components, and Subsystems - Nifty uses for all that stuff that gets thrown away.
- Capacitor Testing, Safe Discharging, and Other Related Information - Also: ESR, reforming electrolytics, more.
- Testing of Flyback (LOPT) Transformers - Principles of operation, construction, troubleshooting, sample schematic.
- Testing of Discrete Semiconductors with a DMM or VOM - Transistors, MOSFETs, thyristors, LEDs, optos, more.
- Sam's Neat, Nifty, and Handy Bookmarks - Over 1,000 links to science and technology Web sites.
- Silicon Sam's Technology Resource - All of the above and other repair and electronics information.
- Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Main Menu - Older versions of the above and contributions from others.
- Home and Mirror Site Locations - Where to
access or download the latest versions of these documents.