With my girlfriend out of the flat for a few days (I know, I know, this has come to be the standard opening of my posts), it was time to play with a new toy:
Or in fact new old toy: I managed to get my greasy paws on two Compass 115M-5 lasers some time ago. These are apparently not as nice a the other lasers in the Compass-series, but at least they were very cheap. The heatsink comes from another ebay-adventure, I think it came with the PSU for my single frequency laser (the coherent 115M is not SLM) but right now I simply cannot remember for sure.
The Coherent Compass 115M-5 532nm 5mW DPSS laser looks like this:
The latter had enough information to get the laser up and running (which is really easy). What comes next is really just stolen from that site.
The laser is powered by 5V which is supplied through the ATX-CPU kind of molex-connector, and can be switched on by installing a jumper, as shown here:
The beam is quite narrow (<1 mm) when exiting the laser cavity, but the divergence is somewhat large and at a distance of just a couple meters, the spot is spread out over a visibly larger area than the laser pointer I use to shine dangerously bright light in the eyes of my students when they ask questions about who buys my clothes.
Anyway, I bought the lasers to see how cheap a not-totally-crappy Raman spectrometer could be. I doubt that I’ll ever follow up on that idea though. Tomorrow I’ll use the 115M for the alignment of two mirrors in the only Raman spectrometer I’ll likely ever build.