Lab maintenance

It’s been a busy weekend so far.

With Susan away, I’ve been in bachelor mode (no, no strippers) working in the lab.


  • Modified a surplus shutter with a new mirror and welding-glass backstop to serve as a shutter/beam dump for the new green laser.
Shutter with beam dump
  • Added a 12/5v power supply to the table for driving the new shutter.
  • Added an earth-ground wire to the new laser so that I don’t zap the new laser or controller. With the plastic I’ve got on the floor (keeps dust from the carpet to a minimum) I tend to generate a fair amount of static electricity.
  • Re-wired the controller relay board so I can more easily add new devices.
  • Added a relay socket for the HEPA fan and hooked the fan to the relay board so that it’s running by default.
  • Modified the controller software to turn off the HEPA fan when settling begins and turn it back on when the exposure is done.
  • Discovered that my "old" variable power supply was a piece of crap.
  • Added a second safelight for use with green film. It’s a dim red and uses one of the new 7W/25W energy saving bulbs.

Next is to mount the board over the table which will hold the new laser, install the shutter and optics that will direct the beam down the table, add a collimating telescope and begin using the new laser.

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Michael Harrison

Husband, Programmer, Irish dancer, tinkerer, astronomer, layabout (as much as possible)

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