Chinese laser - Hardware warnings/observations

I’ve spent the last month of weekends working on various mods of my Chinese red/black 100W 700x500mm system. A couple of warnings and observations.

a) I’m surprised I haven’t been electrocuted or something in the machine hasn’t exploded before now. Not quite literally, but, “If I’d known then what I know now, I would have spent a LOT more prep time on it.”
b) 100% PSU was 32ma. 2ma higher than the rated max for the tube and 4ma higher than the long-term max.
c) Mains wiring is American-ized Europe; both the hot and neutral go through the main power, E-stop, and laser-enable switches. Switched neutral is … not great … for electrical safety.
d) Crimps on the mains power wires… suck. Two came off as I was re-routing/re-arranging.
e) Mains power looks like it’s about 20ga, max. Ideally should be at least 16ga.
f) The high voltage wire coming from the PSU had been pinched at some point and the jacket had been abraded down to the inner core.
g) The water connections to the laser tube, hidden in the chassis extension, had a slow leak. I had a minor puddle of water come out when I removed the extension.
h) the water outlet tube on the laser tube went to a hole offset from the tube by about 2". There was a significant kink in the hose. I moved the tube out of the way and drilled a hole directly under the outlet so it would feed straight.
i) mains and low-voltage wires are run along the same path. I managed to mostly separate mains and low-voltage runs.
j) Many of the bulkhead passthroughs (cutouts for the wire to get from point A to point B) have no grommet or other protection from abrasion.
k) and just as a general observation, upgrading from analog stepper drivers to digital (DM542T), with a separate 48v power supply, seemed to make the overall mechanical movement much happier and smoother. I ended up at 3200 steps/rev (~18um step) and enabled the half-power idle switch.

These are observations on my own particular machine, but if you get the urge to poke around, these are things to take a look at.

Welcome to the world of the ‘high quality’ Chinese lasers. Where universal just means it pisses everybody off in one way or another.

I’m not complaining about the price/quality ratio. I certainly couldn’t have managed an $8K-25K “US name brand”. It is sad, however, that another $100 in material and a little better QC would be a much better product.

Primarily posted for the safety aspects, though.

I don’t know that exact model, but I know the K40 type machines tend to have the chassis ground connection bolt fitted without the paint being removed. 15,000 volts, water cooled, crappy ground to a metal case… what could go wrong?
Is safety not a thing in China??

There are a few good manufacturers that provide a quality product. After all Apple :apple: produces their Products in China.

Reading your comments made me think of a photo I saw a while back that says it all


Hi, Sasquatch, I was so amazed seeing your photo that I couldn’t but participate here. I am completely new here and I have no good knowledge regarding the issue. But the image made me with two impressions about two products. Hence I would like to say that country does not matter. The matter is the quality and durability of the products or services -may be that are made in USA or in Germany or in China. You also proved that very well mentioning the apple products. I really appreciate your clarification.

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I received my 100w black and red laser about a week ago and I did not find any of those same things. I am extremely impressed by the electonics and mechanics. Fit and finish is as good as any North American or European machine. I had my doubts when I ordered it, figuring I had the skills and tools to address any issues for the price. Turns out other than an ammeter the thing is super legit.

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