Electronics Repair (sci.electronics.repair) Discussion of repairing electronic equipment. Topics include requests for assistance, where to obtain servicing information and parts, techniques for diagnosis and repair, and annecdotes about success, failures and problems.

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Lockergnome1
 
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Default Hughes laser info

I recently acquired several model 3184-H lasers made by Hughes Aircraft
Company Electron Dynamics Division. They are gold-colored cylinders,
about 12.25 inches long and 1.75 inches diameter. There are small
leads (red and green) coming out of the side near one end. One of them
had been disassembeled, and had contained a glass cylinder about 3/4 of
the length of the entire thing (maybe more, it had been broken and I
estimated based on the pieces I had). I also got a few rubber blocks
about 1.5 x 4.5 x 0.5 inches, labelled Hughes Model 3591H/01 Laser
Power Supply. These have 2 small wires (black and red) and one larger
red wire protruding from one face, and a rectangular block with two
holes in it on one end. Thus far I have not been able to find any
information on these; does anyone know anything about these devices?

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Basic laser safety: do not look into laser beam with remaining good
eye.

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In sci.electronics.repair Lockergnome1 wrote:
I recently acquired several model 3184-H lasers made by Hughes Aircraft
Company Electron Dynamics Division. [...] Thus far I have not been able
to find any information on these; does anyone know anything about these
devices?


Run, don't walk, to http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasertoc.htm .

Matt Roberds

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Sam Goldwasser
 
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"Lockergnome1" writes:

I recently acquired several model 3184-H lasers made by Hughes Aircraft
Company Electron Dynamics Division. They are gold-colored cylinders,
about 12.25 inches long and 1.75 inches diameter. There are small
leads (red and green) coming out of the side near one end. One of them
had been disassembeled, and had contained a glass cylinder about 3/4 of
the length of the entire thing (maybe more, it had been broken and I
estimated based on the pieces I had). I also got a few rubber blocks
about 1.5 x 4.5 x 0.5 inches, labelled Hughes Model 3591H/01 Laser
Power Supply. These have 2 small wires (black and red) and one larger
red wire protruding from one face, and a rectangular block with two
holes in it on one end. Thus far I have not been able to find any
information on these; does anyone know anything about these devices?


They are HeNe lasers with plasma tubes having Brester window snd external
mirrors in the gold end-pieces. If you power these with a HeNe laser power
supply designe for 2-4 mW lasers with red as positive, they shoud light
up. But if you've removed and replaced the end-pieces, mirrors alignment
is all messed up.

All asmples I've seen of these lasers have been dead due to air leakage.

The other blocks might be ballast resistors for the laser head. Measure
the resistance between the fat and thin red wires.

I'd be happy to check out the lasers and blocks for you.

--- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
+Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
| Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
traffic on Repairfaq.org.

Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
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Lockergnome1
 
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Thanks for the help. Partially disassembling one of the heads marked
"BAD" (I removed the end caps...further disassembly would be difficult
due to large amounts of RTC and thicker metal cylinders for mounting
the ends press-fit into the thin-walled head... verified your
description "They are HeNe lasers with plasma tubes having Brester
window snd external mirrors in the gold end-pieces."
The rubber blocks (I have four) are definitely power supplies...1.
checked the resistance between red leads...reads as open. 2.
Connecting thin black and red wires to a "AA" battery gives ~58vdc
output b/w thick red and black (or thick red to block on end-they are
connected) 3. With one of the laser heads connected to the thick red
and ground, in parallel with my meter, and a 9v battery connected to
the thin red and ground, the meter beeps (so output probably over the
500v the meter wants)...time to go find my HV meter...also when doing
this, the HV line had no problem arcing to my hand when it got too
close 4. I was able to peel back a little bit of the rubber,
uncovering what appeared to be the ends of two transistors. 5. the
thing does say "laser power supply"



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Sam Goldwasser
 
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"Lockergnome1" writes:

Thanks for the help. Partially disassembling one of the heads marked
"BAD" (I removed the end caps...further disassembly would be difficult
due to large amounts of RTC and thicker metal cylinders for mounting
the ends press-fit into the thin-walled head... verified your
description "They are HeNe lasers with plasma tubes having Brester
window snd external mirrors in the gold end-pieces."
The rubber blocks (I have four) are definitely power supplies...1.
checked the resistance between red leads...reads as open. 2.
Connecting thin black and red wires to a "AA" battery gives ~58vdc
output b/w thick red and black (or thick red to block on end-they are
connected) 3. With one of the laser heads connected to the thick red
and ground, in parallel with my meter, and a 9v battery connected to
the thin red and ground, the meter beeps (so output probably over the
500v the meter wants)...time to go find my HV meter...also when doing
this, the HV line had no problem arcing to my hand when it got too
close 4. I was able to peel back a little bit of the rubber,
uncovering what appeared to be the ends of two transistors. 5. the
thing does say "laser power supply"


Well the last comment clinches it I guess.

The input is not likely to be less than 6 VDC, most common would be 12 VDC.

You need 5-8 kV open circuit to start the tubes.

--- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
+Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
| Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
traffic on Repairfaq.org.

Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
ignored unless my full name is included in the subject line. Or, you can
contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
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Lockergnome1
 
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Right again! I had been trying it w/ a 9v battery, nothing from the
laser tubes, but it can still give a pretty nice shock. Tonight I
hooked up one of the supplies to a head and a 12v power supply I had
laying around...No lasing but the tube did light up...blue
(noncoherent) light came out the ends so it's def. not a good tube
but I've got 19 more where it came from to try...not keeping my hopes
up though, some of them had test dates written on them...1973...and not
all of them were good even then.
If you noticed my other post, my HV meter is out of comission at the
moment...but since the tube lights up I figure I got the input voltage
right. Don't know if the heads or the power supply have starters built
in though...or is the higher starting voltage just something that
happens naturally w/ the power supply?
On another note, the supply I mentioned before that I was able to peel
some rubber from...I worked on it some more and got a good amount
off...If you want to take a look at it or know more about it for your
reverse-engineering endeavours, let me know

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Sam Goldwasser
 
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"Lockergnome1" writes:

Right again! I had been trying it w/ a 9v battery, nothing from the
laser tubes, but it can still give a pretty nice shock. Tonight I
hooked up one of the supplies to a head and a 12v power supply I had
laying around...No lasing but the tube did light up...blue
(noncoherent) light came out the ends so it's def. not a good tube
but I've got 19 more where it came from to try...not keeping my hopes
up though, some of them had test dates written on them...1973...and not
all of them were good even then.


It is most likely not a good tube but it's also possible the mirrors
are misaligned since that is determined by how the end plates are
mounted. You'll notices that they don't sit flush.

If you noticed my other post, my HV meter is out of comission at the
moment...but since the tube lights up I figure I got the input voltage


Yes, sorry about that. Probably should have warned you about the starring
voltage - 8 kV or more.

right. Don't know if the heads or the power supply have starters built
in though...or is the higher starting voltage just something that


In the power supplies.

happens naturally w/ the power supply?
On another note, the supply I mentioned before that I was able to peel
some rubber from...I worked on it some more and got a good amount
off...If you want to take a look at it or know more about it for your
reverse-engineering endeavours, let me know


Yes, definitely would be interested in a reverse engineerable power supply.

Thanks.

--- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
+Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
| Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
traffic on Repairfaq.org.

Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
ignored unless my full name is included in the subject line. Or, you can
contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.


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