I have a Amazon Chinese red/black laser. I’ve had it for almost 3 years. Its tube is still going strong, but I know it’s time to start thinking about a replacement.
Let’s say I want to upgrade to a stronger tube, let’s say 130 watts tube: new tube + new PSU and that’s it?
I know I can physically install the tube in my laser chassis provided I build an extension case, get bigger tube clamps and make all the necessary adjustments on the optical path.
Also, I’ve already found a 130 watts PSU with a rather similar pinout.
Or is there anhting else I should consider?
You probably need to see if the gauge wire going to and from the tube will be correct. I would also consider upgrading the mirrors.
I have looked at upgrading mine but going from a 55mm tube to an 80mm tube seems impossible since I cant find mounts low enough to align everything.
Thanks a lot. I’m already using moly mirrors, which I believe can withstand the 130 watts. About wire gauge, that’s something I will look into.
In your case (and mine too) I was expecting to raise all my optics instead of lowering the tube. Adding some shims under the mittor bases could do the trick, don’t you think?
I can’t adjust the laser head up that far.
Out of curiosity why so much power?
I don’t lots of engraving and I really need the ‘low end’ range of the power. I’m sure others, maybe you, need to cut lots of ‘thick’ stuff with less engraving.
Take a few and contact Russ Sadler and see if he makes/recommends something that may help you move to a larger tube. I really don’t know if he deals with that kind of power with his creations, but he could probably give you great guidance on the conversion you’re attempting.
Having replaced the tube mount, m1, m2, and the head I think I have some idea of what you’re facing. Replacing the tube mount movds the anode outside the cabinet, required me to 3d print a cover…
My first goal would be to gain cutting speed. Some of my works are very small figures and sometimes it takes about a hour to complete a sheet. Second, cutting trough thicker material would be a plus.
However, I had no thought a lot about the low end of the power range. Perhaps going so high is not the best solution after all.
I would look at better quality and different focal length lenses.
I try to bring up the loss of control at low power as most think the bigger the better. With a dc excited laser there are known issues about how fast it can respond.
Remember that when a laser fires, it fires at 100%. Power control is power/period (pwm) 50% power is 100% power 50% of the time. Your only real control is speed.
Add to the varying tube properties, mine fires at a lower threshold when it’s cooler. The lps response time ‘passed inspection’ if it’s =<1mS for 90% voltage. If you lps passes inspection at the 1mS response time, that limits your control in 1 second to 1S/1000 (a mS). Your control is limited in 1 second to 1000 changes.
At 300dpi going 300mm/s (11.2in/s) means the lps needs to respond at a rate of 11.2 * 300 = 3543.
Your limit is 1S/1000 and your asking for 1S/3543, about 3.5 times faster than the supply can respond…
Just keep the physics in mind…
If you need high power along with precise control of a co2 laser the next step is an rf excited laser. Lasts longer, usually air cooled highly controllable and will greatly ‘lighten’ your wallet…
Thanks a lot for your time and helpful answers.
Will hit the library and learn about the RF lasers.
The first thing is a large hole in your wallet…
Good luck, take care.
I already have a small hole in my belly when I burned myself with a really missaligned laser 2 years ago…
I did a very similar upgrade to my 60W CO2 Red/Black laser a little while back because most of my work involves cutting and not engraving. I posted about it here: "https://rdworkslab.com/viewtopic.php?f=125&t=5981. You may need to sign up to see the images though…nothing I can do about that.
Not sure if that post included my replacement of the mirrors (not the holders) but I did that because the original moly mirrors showed some minor deterioration and with the increased power I wanted everything to be perfect and mirrors/lens aren’t that expensive compared to the rest of the upgrade.
I posted a couple of other minor upgrades on that forum as well.
Hope it helps.
Gotta say, that’s one rule I try very hard to stick to 100% of the time, NEVER EVER FIRE THE LASER WITH THE COVER OPEN…!!
I’ve seen a video on YouTube of a CO2 laser firing a pulse into a pigs eye and it absolutely destroyed the eye…NO SECOND CHANCES.
How can you possibly align the machine with that attitude?
I’m afraid I’m at a loss in regard to your comment. If you mean, how is it possible to perform an alignment without firing the laser while the covers are open, I can only say from my first hand experience on my red/black laser that it is quite easy, just a little bit of a nuisance closing the cover between pulses but I figure closing the cover is a minor inconvenience compared to being blind. Maybe it’s different things for different people with different machines but since Patico is using a red/black machine like mine it seems to me that there is no good reason I can see at this time to not close the covers when firing the laser. If the beam was to hit your eye, you quite literally will never see it coming and it will be too late if it does.
Anyway, I posted this out of concern for others. They can do with it as they please.
As someone who has burnt a hand and his belly while aligning mirrors, I can not argue that firing the laser with the cover open is dangerous. And I can’t also argue that opening and closing the cover each time you have to fire the laser is tiring to say the least.
So, in pursuit of good manners ang keeping free will for everyone, do as each one pleases but wear your safety glases while doing so.
Cheers, and let’s go back to replacing the 80w to a larger tube.