Laser pointer on laser head

Did you retrofit a beam combiner? My laser came with one, but I am wondering how much power it saps. Did you notice any difference if you added it as a retrofit?

I did - from LightObject. It was a pain in the butt to mount and align, but it works. I haven’t noticed any significant power loss.

Thanks. I have heard from some people that it lowers your effective power, but I am getting 86W at the laser head out of an 80W tube, so if it is sucking anything, I can’t tell :slight_smile:

I hope you are keeping power at 85% or lower if you are doing a lot of engraving (versus cutting). I learned the hard way that Chinese tubes don’t last nearly as long if you go higher. Apparently it is the strike voltage that is critical and engraving means hitting the tube with strike voltage for each engraved bit, while for cutting you only have the strike at the beginning of a cut.

I’ve never ran my laser over 30% power while engraving.

It is a Reci tube, and I keep it at or below the rated mA for the tube. I have over a thousand hours on the tube and it is still going great. So even if I lost the tube tomorrow, it would have cost me about 50 cents an hour to replace the tube. Considering I charge a dollar a minute for laser time, I think that I am OK running at 100% otf the tube rating. You need to treat the tube as a consumable and build the cost of replacement into your pricing structure. My previous Reci tube lasted 5000 hours, so the cost to replace was 15 cents per hour. :slight_smile:

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I typically engrave at between 20% and 40% and the ammeter barely registers a reading. Cutting… well that’s another story. My “100%” maxes out at 25mA. I’ve now forgotten where the setting is to restrict the max current.
But then, I’ve forgotten lots of stuff… :slight_smile:

The power systems are separated out at that point. A pointer will draw 5v and typically a low milli amperage. The main laser (assuming its a glass tube) has power fed through an independent transformer which is what generates the HT voltage that fires it so you won’t realistically have any power drain expressed by a laser pointer.

Power settings have no meaning unless you can relate them to the current going through the tube. The only way to know that is with a milliammeter.

Absolutely. I assumed that one was in use and the 85% was meant as 85% of the milliamps. :slight_smile:

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