Welcome

Laser Tunnel, Photo by Flavio Spedalieri

NightLase Technologies, is tailored to providing bespoke consultancy and support services within the areas of Coffee, Cosmetic Lasers, I.T. and education sectors.

Our future interests and investments lay in increasing experience in the Makerspace, STEM and Education sectors, as well as small and bespoke Laser CNC. and engraving services.

Over the years we have embarked on many projects and interests. To view our journey on our more significant projects, please visit our projects page.

 

Nightlase Technologies is a registered business, ABN: 37 503 192 144.

This website is now dedicated to documenting my personal journey through my interests, technical projects and accomplishments. To follow my creative endeavours in photography and my bespoke lamp collection, please visit my dedicated websites below;

To view my photographic images, please visit Flavio R. Spedalieri Photography.

To view my bespoke lamp collection, please visit Enigma Lamps.


Latest News

Engineered to Impress - 9Barista Espresso Maker

9Barista Espresso Maker

It's been a relatively quite period, however from time to time, there is a product that comes to my attention that will command my desire for beholding some feats of engineering.

Recently, I was shown the "9Barista" espresso maker, what grabbed me, was how this little maker was constructed and the engineering that has been invested.

Naturally, as I love coffee, and engineering is another aspect that I love, it was just too difficult to not be tempted, and so, I invested in the 9Barista.

What makes this different to a traditional stove top coffee maker is the ability to generate 9 Bars of pressure and then control the temperature through some cleaver and innovative techniques, which has very much revolutionised the stove top coffee makers.

The 9Barista is the brainchild of William Playford, a Jet Engineer, and is manufactured in the UK.

The result in the cup? Well let's just say, worth every penny for what this unit sells, beautifully engineered, it's a very solid and heavy little unit that will make a statement for anyone whom has a love of beautiful engineering and espresso coffee.

To learn more about the 9Barista, head on over to the 9Barista Website.


Holography

Flavio's First Hologram
Flavio's First Hologram
Flavio's First Hologram

As early as I can remember, my first experiences with holograms date back as early as mid to late 1980s. I recall some holograms being featured at "Expo88" in Sydney and also featured in shows like "Beyond 2000".

Seeing a Hologram was something to behold, especially some of the larger pieces with their true three-dimensional quality and depth due to the encoded visual depth cues such as parallax and perspective.

National Geographic had front cover holograms featured in, March 1984, November 1985 and December 1988 issues, which I also have collected.

Unlike traditional photography, a hologram contains information about the scene encoded in the interference pattern that is created when two separate beams of laser light come together on the film plane. The film records the interference pattern, which when "played back" using the same laser, the image of the scene is reproduced.

Holography is derived from the Greek; words "Whole" and "Writing".

Concepts and theory of holography date back to late 1930s and 1940s, however it was not until the invention of the Laser in 1960 that optical holograms were possible.

The holographic method was pioneered by Dennis Gabor in 1971.

A hologram is created by splitting a laser beam into two paths, one known as the "Objective Beam", and illuminates the object, while the second path is known as the "Reference Beam" which is directed onto the film plate. The recombination of these two paths at the film plate sets up an interference pattern.

My desire to make a hologram began at the same time I built my first laser in 1990.

In December 2021, I decided to finally place an order with Litiholo for one of their Hologram kits and test out their more modern C-RT20 instant holographic film which does not require elaborate dark room chemicals and processes.

On 2 February 2022, I finally created my first two holograms, one of a vintage model car and one of a Helium-Neon Gas Laser Tube.


Silicon Chip February 2022 Issue

Silicon Chip February 2022 Issue

In October 2021, I had announced a feature on a High-Frequency Solid-State Tesla Coil (HFSSTC) to be published in 2022.

I'm proud to confirm that the February 2022 Issue of Silicon Chip Magazine, features the project and front cover placement.

It's a quiet achievement as when I set out on this project, this was for my own personal learning and education, however, with feedback on the quality of build, I presented the project to Nicholas Vinen, Editor at Silicon Chip, immediate interests were shown.

As noted within the article to the precautions, the main purpose of the project is for learning and study in the field of high-frequency discharge, and wireless transfer of energy.

The February issue is available online at Silicon Chip Magazine , all good newsagents and Jaycar Electronics.

The HFSSTC Project Follows the successful completion and running of the 30mm Tesla Coil in December 2020, and slated to be featured as an article in future issue(s) of Silicon Chip.

The inspiration for the project came from similar apparatus by Jay Bowles of Plasma Channel in January 2021 on a Plasma Flame Generator. This project was in conjunction with Leon of Teslaundmehr YouTube Channel.

What drew me to undertake the build, was in the simplicity of the circuit (however, tuning and operation is another challenge), its unique output and the fact it's very small and quiet while operating.

For more comprehensive details on the project, checkout the February 2022 issue of Silicon Chip as well as additional build photos on the HFSSTC project page.


"My Adventurous Life" By Dick Smith

My Adventurous Life By Dick Smith

Welcome to 2022 . . .

We begin the year with paying respect to a great Australian icon, Dick Smith whom has just released his autobiography, My Adventurous Life.

Having worked for Dick Smith Electronics back in the early to mid-1990's, then watching with sadness the demise of an iconic Australian electronics company over the years, there is some sentiment in which I can owe my own experiences; From the people I worked with to customers I had met and also where cut my teeth as my first "real" job.

Before the days I commenced my employment at Dick Smith Electronics, I recall fondly, back in November 1990 when I ventured into the York Street (Sydney CBD) store to ask if they had any projects to build a Laser. Although no project or kit were available at the time, I was however, presented with the November 1990 issue of Silicon Chip that featured a project on building a Helium-Neon Laser.

Many Australians like myself, the first introduction and experiences with electronics was through the "Funway into Electronics" series of books written by Dick Smith. Many can thank Dick Smith for pioneering the pursuit of electronics as a hobby and beyond as professional engineers.

Hearing of the release of Dick Smith's long-awaited Autobiography, I finally purchased a copy on 7 January 2022, and completed reading the book on 13 January 2022.

I have to say that it's very inspiring to read of an iconic Australian that has accomplished so much, yet remains very humbled and down-to-earth. Dick Smith is certainly an inspiration to many alike with respect to his adventures, aviation experience as well as experiences within business and the bureaucracy existent in Australia (and the world), and something I feel strongly, hold's our country back from its true stengths as a nation.

I also certainly enjoyed reading of Dick Smith's stories of his Helicopter flights and the freedom that flying a helicopter provides. The many challenges in learning to fly, as I can relate, as back in the early 1990's I had commenced flying lessons prior to gaining my driver's license.

Amongst many points that I resonate with, one point that Dick Smith has made, is focus of the capitalist world on "continued growth", in other words, Humanitie's focus (and obsession) with continued profit and revenue, but to what end?.

"Continued Growth", in the long term cannot be sustained, and much of this is responsible for the lack of focus (more accurately; denial) on the more important aspects of our planet, the environment and the future existence of all life on earth.

My Adventurous Life by Dick Smith is published by Allen & Unwin, ISBN 978 1 76087 889 4 and available in all good book stores.

For more great stories and videos on Dick Smith's adventures, head on over to Dick Smith Adventures website.


Spectra-Physics Model 127

Spectra-Physics Model 127 Laser

Following on from recent work on some vintage Spectra-Physics lasers and in particular the SP-907 laser, I had come across an ebay listing for an SP-127 Helium-Neon Laser.

At the time the Model 127 Laser was in production, it was Spectra-Physics's flagship in their large-frame Helium-Neon Laser product line. The laser's manufacturing specification is 35mW output, however, do produce significantly more.

The opportunity to secure such a laser in excellent condition and at a good price is rare, so in late September, I commenced communication with the seller with respects to shipping considerations. This would become the biggest investments made on a laser.

The main drive to procure the laser was based on confirmed output by the seller and the condition of the tube. The Laser had come out of the University of California, Berkeley.

The Laser shipped from Sacramento, California on Friday 15th October 2021 and arrived on Wednesday 20th October 2021 where it was checked, and minor adjustments made, increasing its output to 43.5mW.

An interesting realisation that this Spectra-Physics Model 127 Laser, Serial No: 35062 was manufactured in December 1990, which is in the same year and further, the exact month when I purchased and built my very first Helium-Neon laser, so it also holds a nostalgic value in quietly marking an achievement.

For more images of this laser, head over to the Spectra-Physics section.


Going To Press

EM-Field Demonstration

It has been a busy weekend and late nights.

I can confirm that my High-Frequency Solid-State Tesla Coil (HFSSTC) project will be featured as an article in coming issues of Silicon Chip Magazine to be published in 2022.

Silicon Chip Magazine is one of the only remaining and longest-running publications in Australia, covering electronics, related projects and features.

As part of preparing notes and documents on the feature, I have also taken additional images of the coil.
Please checkout our updates to the project and additional photos in the project area on HFSSTC.


Review: Elliott 356-HNL-8A Helium-Neon Laser

Elliott Model 356-HNL-8A Laser

Some 13 years ago I came across a very intriguing laser, the Elliott 356-HNL-8A Helium-Neon Laser.

The laser was manufactured between the mid-1960s and early 1970s by former company, Elliott Electronic Tubes, Ltd in London.

There is very little information on this laser, with only one other known unit remaining in the United Kingdom.

The laser features some impressive inclusions that would only be found on high-end, large scientific grade lasers, all in one small and very elegant package.

Discussions are ongoing with Sam Goldwasser on this intriguing piece.

Read more about the Elliott laser in the Laser Gallery, where a full write-up has been completed, together with new photos and detailed description of the optical configuration of the resonator.


Laser Safety

Laser Warning Symbol

Earlier this month we completed a refresh of our Laser Safety Officer accreditation, which has prompted a review of our laser safety information page.

We have now moved to a dedicated page within our resource section under Laser Safety.

In our updated page we cover laser classification (including the Australia Class 1C classification for medical lasers), and a list of the approved Australian labelling system.

We have also been busy updating various other sections within the site including the complete reformatting of our Laser Gallery Laser Gallery page and the addition of the new Library section under our Resources area, where we will build a repository of reference materials, articles and documents of interest.



Spectra-Physics 907 Laser and Site Update

Spectra-Physics SP-082 Laser Output

Over the last few days, we have been working on an old Spectra-Physics SP-907 large-frame Helium-Neon Laser.

This laser has been sitting in long-term storage since 2014, however the laser was acquired back around 2000 or so, therefore would estimate potentially near 30 years old.

We have learnt that these tubes were also "soft-sealed" even though they are very similar in every way with the more modern SP-107B / SP-127 laser that are true optically contacted Brewster windows.

Optical contacted optics (bonding) is a glueless process whereby two closely conformal surfaces are joined together, being held purely by intermolecular forces, and in the case of gas lasers, provide a gas-tight seal.

Read more of this story in our Spectra-Physics section.

We also update the site to include the section; A Look Back . . . Which looks down memory lane at some interesting milestones. The first story looks at our first encounter with Tesla Coil Technology.


Vintage Glow;- Spectra-Physics Helium-Neon Lasers

Spectra-Physics Sp-060-3388 Plasma Tube

In the last couple of weeks, we have begun a small task of firing up some of our vintage lasers including some Argon lasers and a small collection of Spectra-Physics Helium-Neon Lasers.

So, why Spectra-Physics Lasers?

It's the appreciation of the interesting and classical "Side-Arm" plasma tube that was employed in their early lasers. These have become somewhat of a collector's piece for laser collectors and a bonus if they are still lasing (even if producing <1mW output).

Check out the new section on our collection of Spectra-Physics Helium-Neon Lasers.

The ubiquitous Helium-Neon (HeNe) laser was first demonstrated by Ali Jarvan at Bell Telephone Labs in December 1960 and was the first gas laser to generate a continuous-wave laser output in the infrared part of the spectrum at 1,150nm.

Stimulated emission wavelength of 632.8nm was demonstrated in 1962 and is the most best-known and most widely used HeNe laser wavelengths in the visible spectrum.

Stimulated emission in Helium-Neon of additional lines have since been discovered; 3.39um (Infrared), 612nm (Orange), 594nm (Yellow) and 543.5nm (Green).


Gyroscopes

Super Precision Gyroscope

In our most recent update, we explore gyroscopes and their interesting behaviours and applications as well as briefly talk about the Super Precision Gyroscopes that we have in our collection that are made in the UK by Gyroscope.com.

We also have added details and information on a Sperry Ring Laser Gyroscope that we have in our collection and the precision these devices are made for use in defence, and aerospace applications.

Read more about gyroscopes and our Ring Laser Gyroscope in our new section on Gyroscopes in our resources area.


Engineering Updates...

Flavio's KS90 & Tensegrity Table

As we make some use (and sense) for the ongoing lockdown situation, one aspect is "time" (and a need) to keep the mind busy and off the constant monotonous news of the day, well at least to keep some motivation going.

As we revisit much of the website, adding and improving content, we come to update our engineering page where we feature the beautifully engineered products from Kontax Stirling Engines in the UK.

The featured image is of our Kontax KS90 low temperature differential Stirling Engine sitting on the Kontax Tensegrity table.

The KS90 engines are a superb piece of engineering, each component precision manufactured at Kontax with attention to detail and high-quality.

These engines are able run off low temperatures differences as low as 5 degrees (difference between the top plate and bottom plate) either from heat off your hand or a warm surface.

In late 2020, Kontax released their Tensegrity table, again quality of workmanship and uncompromising attention to detail right down to the packing and instructions make these products a joy to have in the collection.


Head over to our Engneering Page to read more about these products and my other engineering projects.


Sodium Lamps & Black Flames

Black Flame

Some time ago I was asked about Sodium lamps and if I knew how to wire and run them. This got me thinking and begin some research into low pressure sodium lamps (LPS).

In research, I found that LPS lamps are difficult to source, here in Australia, its almost close to impossible to source anything locally. Most references referred to supplies in the UK.

I happed to come across a seller in Russia on ebay whom was selling Russian Spectral lamps.

Soon after, I decided to purchase two Philips SOX lamps and in addition, proper control gear.

The main reason for experimenting with Sodium light; conduct the experiment to visualise "black flame".


Checkout more on this project on the Black Flame Experiment.


Exploring The World of Dye Lasers

Yellow highlighter Dye illuminated with 365nm UV

The past 12 months has been a very interesting year for a different reason or another, be it the current state of the world, or the opportunity to get stuck into some personal projects, that have been on the "must do" pile for quite some time.

Completing the project to convert an old Compak K6 coffee grinder in June 2020, then, in late August 2021, I embarked on another ambitious (and long desired) project to construct a Tesla Coil, culminating in a successfully working Tesla Coil on 25th November 2020.

Following on from the Tesla Coil Project, this finally gave me the kick to begin rebuilding of this website (which I pretty much had off-line for the best part of 12 years), and finally begin documenting my projects and the journey to completing these projects by way of the Nightlase Technologies website.

The best part of the next three months was spent head down in the computer in web development mode, which included updating and tweaking my other two websites in the process, this in itself a mammoth task.

Enter 2021, a year that should have been a more positive outlook, however as I write this (in August 2021), we are back into ever endless lockdowns.

In February 2021, I completed a High-Frequency, Solid-State Tesla Coil (HFSSTC) which produces a unique flame-like discharge, and shortly after, in April 2021, I embarked on yet another very ambitious project to build a Transversely Excited Atmospheric Nitrogen Laser capable of outputting high-energy pulses of Ultraviolet light at 337nm.

This now brings me to the actual topic at hand; making use of the TEA Nitrogen Laser to pump a Dye Laser.

Having procured some real laser dyes (expensive), I also managed to obtain some cheaper Coumarin 1 dye from a UK ebay seller which I have tested, however a more interesting test that I have conducted, using a common yellow highlighter ink dissolved in distilled water.

I am quite impressed that I was able to obtain successful lasing of this dye both using a dye laser resonant cavity as well as observing super-fluorescent lasing (lasing without mirrors).

I have subsequently made some measurements of the emission wavelengths using a spectrometer as well.


For more details and stories behind my projects, please check out my projects section.


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