There was a moderately good ebay deal to be had and so I decided to bring a Coherent Sapphire 488-20 laser head plus driver board back from my trip to the US – along with 20kg of other laser goodies ;-). This is an interesting, though not too powerful optically pumped semiconductor laser (OPSL). The board looked new but the head was used and sold as “probably not up to specs”. Indeed so, I measured 9.6mW instead of 20mW, but I figured out, by some reverse engineering, how to bring it up back to specs, ie, 20mW with clean stable single longitudinal-mode operation. Adding a housing for the driver board and a few analog and digital controls, et voila… system ready for holography! For details see here.