Power Supply Only Produces 5MA even at High power settings

Currently having an issue cutting some 3/8 plywood. Machine was doing great earlier in the day and noticed that with my controller set at 80% the power supply output was around 20-21MA. After a few cuts I come back and the machine sounds different and wasnt cutting as well. Look at the power supply and its only producing 5MA. I stopped the job and tried to investigate, found that no matter what power setting you use it stays at 5MA unless you drop below like 15 percent power which it starts to taper off.

I did a test with the pulse feature and the Power supply will produce 23 MA on the pulse but not make good power on any jobs sent over from the computer… any ideas?

You didn’t mention speed. Did you set both min and max power, or just max?

I apologize, It was the Max/Min power settings. I had the Min set much lower and it was apparently drawing from that selection.


It drew only from the min setting? This happened to me once and I thought it was a glitch in my psu.

Keep in mind that Ruida controllers have a “start speed” that usually defaults to 10mm/sec, and anything at that speed or below the controller uses the MIN power setting only.

Read the bit in the docs about how Min Power works:

(I know, I know, no one reads documentation…)

And yes this would make sense now. I was cutting wood at a slow speed of .7 inches per second (sorry i cant get away from imperial system).

While were talking about it… and if needed i can make a separate post… but I’m having terrible inconsistency with cutting 3/8 in maple plywood.

Settings are : Speed - 0.7 IPS
Pass Count: 2
Max and Min Power: 80 percent
Power supply says 22 MA when cutting

I’m making some wooden snowflakes for customers… I’ll attach some photos.

basically the problem is some will cut out perfectly clean and others not so much. I feel like I’m also seeing a lot of posts that power settings above 50 percent are killing the machine but I just don’t see a way to cut the wood at that setting unless I’m wayyyy slower.

They plywood isn’t perfectly flat of course so I wonder if its a focusing issue?
Maybe need a laser alignment?
Am I outside the capabilities of my machine?

I clean my lenses about once every other day as well as the focusing lens

Any suggestions or advice much appreciated,

What’s the wattage of your laser? 0.7 IPS is about 18mm/sec. 3/8th maple ply can be hard, and glue layers and fillers add inconsistency to this. You might have to go slower, or get better air assist.

I have a 60w machine that will cut 1/2" ply at about 7 mm/sec, using 40PSI of air assist, with the nozzle very close to the material (about 1/4" from it). If your nozzle is further from the material, or your air assist is lower, you’ll need to go slower and/or do more than one pass.

60W Blue and Gray Chinese laser.

I actually modified my air assist to plug into my 2 stage air compressor so it gets plenty of air… no idea how much psi but i could give it some more to see the result. I did notice a significant improvement using this method as apposed to the stock air pump in the machine… less charring and better cuts but still some unusable cuts.

as far as adjusting to have the wood closer, I haven’t tried. I just figured the focusing tool provided is where the height it supposed to be at all times which is about 1/2"

any thoughts on running the machine that hard 80+ percent?

80% means nothing, unfortunately - the only way to know whether you are overdriving the tube is to measure the output current from the power supply. Your tube will have a recommended rating, and as long as you’re under that you’re fine. If your HV-PSU is outputting that power value at 100%, great. If it’s outputting that power level at 50%, not so great. :slight_smile: But you won’t know unless you have a way to measure.

Lots of people install a milliamp meter in-line with the tube so they can see it any time, or you can test / set it once, and be done with it.

Great Info. Thanks So much. Did try moving the head closer to the wood. So far seems to produce better results thanks again.

Mine does have a digital output on the power supply so ill look into what it needs to be. Thanks again!

Make sure you are ONLY moving the nozzle opening closer, not the lens - if you change your focus point too much that will make it worse. Dropping it a mm or two into thick wood can actually help you cut, so there’s a sweet spot.

you mean just raising the cutting bed a little closer right? that’s what I did

Yes, but that will change your focus point, which is why I mentioned it. The “ideal” is having the air nozzle opening quite close to the material, so air is injected into the cut to eject material and smoke, and provide oxygen for the burn. If the nozzle is too high, it blows smoke away and keeps debris off the lens, which is good, but it’s less helpful at increasing the cut strength.

Ah! I think I understand what you’re saying now. My air assist comes out of the laser head. So you’re saying I could disconnect my hose from the head and move it down closer to the material. Maybe zip tie it to the laser head to do what your saying. Am I thinking correctly then?

No, you’d likely have to get a different lens tube or nozzle. You don’t want to change the height of the lens, you just want to lower / narrow the air opening.

To give you an idea:

Got ya. Sorry… Takes me a few times to get it lol. Appreciate all the help. I’m still learning got a long way to go

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