Introduction to Jon's Laser Page

 Welcome to my laser page.   This page is something I have assembled on my spare time, so that others involved with lasers can see what I have been doing, and ask questions, or provide suggestions about what I am doing.   Throughout the pages you may notice I am a little hard headed, usually in response to things which are 'golden grail' topics, and things which can 'only' be done by experts(according to some), etc.   I do not claim to have a lot of scientific background, nor do I claim to be an expert of any sort in the field.  I am a hobbyist, and I do these things because I want to, and for no other reason.

 I wish more intelligent people would get involved with hobbies, it seems these days it's too easy to say 'I have no time' as an excuse to be lazy and not get involved with anything that involves learning.  I guess that's a result of the instant gratification of the last 20 years.   Okay, so I can't force anyone to find a hobby, all I can do is tell you how much fun and how rewarding it is to see something you have created come to life, or just to be proud of something you have achieved.  Be it stamp collecting, or building a home-made super collider, the rewards can be equal.

 I'm obviously into lasers, but I also do electronics as a second hobby.  I have been into anything dealing with electricity since I was a kid, tearing apart broken equipment, seeing how it works.  The best one was the 4-head stereo VCR which had severe power supply problems.  If I knew then, what I do now about switch mode power supplies, it would have been fixed in an instant.   I constructed my first laser in my early teens.  The laser was actually a Heathkit helium-neon communications kit which consisted of a helium neon tube, high voltage supply, and circuitry to modulate the laser beam.   The reciever was a small box with a solar cell which you pointed the beam at, and consisted of a couple of op-amps,. and speaker.  

 There was a lull in my laser fascination as I got into computers and electronics a little deeper.  Recently when I found out that a civilian could get ahold of higher power lasers, and with enough ingenuity and science you could build your own, I was reignited with a fire(plasma?)  for lasers.  Quite honestly I found that the red dot from a helium-neon laser, or a diode pointer was boring after a while.   Although they still do find their uses for my hobby, they more commonly get used as cat toys and the like around my place.

 So I march forward into my hobby, learning new things and finding new ways to blow money on it.   There have been many people who are in the field of lasers who have been very helpfull and friendly with this project, some have even gone out of their way to help me with these things and in my learning.   I appreciate all the information and time people have spent helping me out, and hope one day I will have enough knowledge to be able to provide the same information to other budding laser enthusiasts.

 I recently became involved with radio control aircraft again, this time I am playing with Nitro-Methonal powered radio controlled helicopters instead of R/C Airplanes. This is a very rewarding hobby as well!

 Okay, I am finished babbling now, and will let you get back to the laser page.  Please enjoy the site, and as always, feel free to send feedback, comments, and questions to me from the 'Contact' page.  This page is never complete in any sense, things will always be changing and updated from time to time.



Jon Caywood


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