Sam's Electronics and Laser Kit Information and Manuals
Version 1.90 (20-Jun-2022)
Reproduction of this document in whole or in part is permitted
if both of the following conditions are satisfied:
- This notice is included in its entirety at the beginning.
- There is no charge except to cover the costs of copying.
This page has links to the various assembly, construction, instruction,
operation, and other manuals associated with my electronics and laser kits,
as well as a few for information only and/or that are not currently for sale
but can be duplicated relatively easily.
Note: Links open in a single new window or tab depending on your browser's
But first since most of these involve HeNe lasers in some form:
HeNe Lasers and Laser Controllers:
- Red HeNe Laser Kit 1 (Including
Zeeman). Basic setups consisting of a HeNe laser tube from 0.5 to
1.0+ mW, compatible power supply, cables and ballast resistors. Zeeman
adds a set of magnets to convert to two frequency laser. The longitudinal
mode behavior of these tubes is not guaranteed to be suitable for stabilizing
but they are suitable for most laser experiments.
- Stabilized HeNe Laser Kit 1
(Non-Arduino Version). The tube in this kit has been tested to be
suitable for stabilizing. In addition to the parts in the Red HeNe Laser Kit
above, it includes a thin-film heater and power supply, PBS, and photodiodes
so the laser can be stabilized and used as a single frequency laser.
However, it does NOT include the locking controller.
- Stabilized HeNe Laser Kit 1 with
Arduino. This adds parts for an Arduiuno-based controller to the kit
- High Power Stabilized HeNe Laser Kit 2
with Arduino. The tube in these kits has an output power of at least 3
mW so that the locked power in a single mode is similar to that of the best
commercial stabilized HeNe lasers.
- Stabilized Zeeman HeNe Laser Kit 1
with or without Arduino. In addition to a tube tested to be suitable
for Zeeman, it includes a set of 50 rare earth magnets to be configured
surrounding the tube along with additional optics for Zeeman stabilization and
testing, along all the parts in the other stabilized HeNe kits.
- Stabilized Zeeman HeNe Laser Kit 1 with
Hewlett Packard (HP), Agilent, or Keysight 5517 Laser Tube Assembly
with Arduino. This replaces the bare tube, heater, and
magnets with a commercial part but using the µSLC1 Arduino
- Micro Stablized Laser Controller 1
(µSLC1). These are parts for ONLY the Arduino-based
locking controller that will work with most 0.5 to 4+ mW HeNe
- Assembly and Operating Instructions
for Open Cavity HeNe Laser Kits with HeNe laser tubes having one
or two Brewster windows, or perpendicular windows.
Displacement Measuring Interferometers and Displays:
- One, Two, or Three Axis Laser
Interferometer Displacement Measurement System. Complete systems for
precision measurement including an HP/Agilent 5501B or 5517 laser,
interferometer optics, optical receiver(s), power supplies, and µMD2
- DIY Interferometer Displacement
Measurement System includes parts to construct laser and µMD
display for homodyne, heterodyne, or combined (but not at the same time)
interferometer. Except for the laser tube, everything else is akin to
using stone knives and bear skins rather than commercial parts. ;-)
- Micro Measurement Display 0
(µMD0) minimal implementation for homodyne interferometers using
single frequency or unstabilized HeNe lasers as well as linear and rotary
encoders and ring laser gyros. Includes links to detailed
"Heathkit™-style" assembly instructions for the optional SG-µMD0
PCB. Limited performance but at ultra-low cost with large
hackability factor. ;-) Great for a course project or to just
to get your feet wet in precision measurement.
- Micro Measurement Display 1
(µMD1) for heterodyne interferometers using two frequency lasers.
Includes links to detailed "Heathkit™-style" assembly
instructions for the SG-µMD1 PCB. Note that only the PCB
and programmed PIC are available directly. However, a Digikey "Cart" with
most of the other parts is linked from the manual.
- Micro Measurement Display 2
(µMD2) for homodyne interferometers using single frequency lasers
as well as linear and rotary encoders and ring laser gyros. Includes links
to detailed "Heathkit™-style" assembly instructions for
the SG-µMD2 PCB.
- LIPM: An Inexpensive Laser
Interferometer-Based Precision Measurement System. This is not a manual
but an article on what the DIY Interferometer Displacement Measurement System
Kit is based on and provides more general information.
- Basic Quadrature-Sin-Cos
Decoder and Quad-A-B Interfaces including optics and electronics for
homodyne interferometers to drive µMD0 and µMD2.
- Optical Receiver 3 (OR3) for
Heterodyne Interferometers, including assembly and operation. These are
similar in function to HP/Agilent 10780s usable at more than 3 MHz with
optical power below 5 µW but are smaller and run on 12-15 VDC.
- Quad-A-B Preamp 2 (QAB2) for Homodyne
Interferometers and Optical Encoders, including assembly and
operation. These provide two channels of optical to RS422
conversion at more than 3 MHz (3,000,000 counts/second) with optical
power below 25 µW and run on 12-15 VDC.
- Dual Polarization and Quad-Decoder PCBs
(DP1) for Scanning Fabry-Perot and homodyne interferometers. These are
simple PCBs for mounting beam-splitters and photodiodes.
- Micro Motion Control Platform
(µMC1) for use with the displacement measuring interferometers
or Michelson interferometer kits. Includes stepper motor-driven linear
stage, motor driver, Arduino-compatible controller with custom breakout PCB.
Scanning Fabry-Perot Interferometers:
- Basic Scanning Fabry-Perot
Interferometer Kit (also known as SFPI Kit 1). These are parts to
construct a confocal SFPI with as FSR of ~1.75 GHz for laser wavelengths from
~590 nm to ~650 nm using your creativeness for mounting everything. ;-)
An SFPI of this type is also known as a Laser Spectrum Analyzer.
It includes the mirrors, PZT, and photodiodes.
- Deluxe Scanning Fabry-Perot
Interferometer Kit (also known as SFPI Kit 2). This adds Thorlabs
parts to simplify construction.
- Deluxe Short, Mini, Micro, and Nano
Scanning Fabry-Perot Interferometer Kits. These use the same mirrors
as those above, but with smaller frames to construct really compact
- Selectable FSR Scanning
Fabry-Perot Interferometer Kit 1. This one is for the SFPI nerd-type who
would like to explore the resonances in a spherical cavity that his or her
professor probably doesn't even know exist. ;-) It uses the same mirrors as
the kits above, but with an adjustable mirror mount on a
lockable carriage on a rail and micro-positioner to be able
to quickly and easily set the cavity spacing precisely over the entire stable
range for the 4.2 cm RoC mirrors.
- Long and High Resolution Scanning
Fabry-Perot Interferometer Kits. Similar to above but the mirror RoCs
are from ~13 to 100 cm, generally to achieve higher resolution. These also
include a few at other wavelengths.
- Universal Scanning Fabry-Perot
Interferometer Kit. The ultimate SFPI kit for the mirror junkie in
you life. ;-) It has parts to construct all of the confocal SFPIs, above
(but not at the same time).
- Planar Mirror Scanning Fabry-Perot
Interferometer Kits. Both mirrors are planar to be able to provide
an arbitrary FSR, or because suitable curved mirrors are not available.
- Mini Laser Mode Analyzer 1
Manual (V2). mLMA1 is an Arduino-based self-contained miniature
controller intended for the short Basic and Deluxe SFPIs, as well as
providing readout of power in the lasing modes or output power, Zeeman
split frequency, and more. NOT recommended for high resolution and
or planar SFPIs.
The following are not currently available as kits and probably never
will be. They are here for information only:
- Mini Laser Mode Analyzer 1
Manual (V1). This was the predecessor to mLMA1-V2. Its benefit is
simplicity in hardware and especially the firmware so it can be easily
- Universal Bipolar PWM Driver 1. High
efficiency Arduino-based power supply for electromagnets and the like
providing continuous control of positive and negative output up to at
least 2 amps depending on the DC power supply feeding it.
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