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Old 12-17-2009, 06:20 AM #1
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Red face Care and feeding your argon laser

gday gang!

Well with under a week to go before I get my reliant 50S from timelablasers; I'd like to know whats the best way to care for one - I wasn't in the know back when I had the NEC but learned they like to be run for a while when switched on and idled rather than shut down if not being used for a short period. Also is there a special way to keep the optics (mirrors) clean? is there a special shutdown procedure I have to follow?

I know there are dangerous voltages in them (after all I built a supply for the NEC, and know what not to touch. Any other things I should be aware of and take care of with an argon?

Cheers
Ben


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Old 12-17-2009, 06:47 PM #2
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Default Re: Care and feeding your argon laser

You can never have enough cooling. Start at medium current and let it warm up a bit, then ramp it up. cool it down by dropping it to idle for 10-15 minutes before shutdown. Dont switch it on and off rapidly. run it at least once a month for 20 or so minutes.

keep the optics clean.

More at Sam's Laser FAQ in the ion chapters.

Steve
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:21 AM #3
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Default Re: Care and feeding your argon laser

LSRFAQ - thanks for the input.

Am assuming you are the Steve from Sams Laser Faq...

If so you helped me out that fateful night when my 3030 died; got replaced with a 60X and then a new psu.

Then someone stole the laser GRRR.

I do commend you for your efforts on Sams faq, without your help I'd still be stuck trying to get that 3030 to do its final run

I am the ben who built the SG-IL1 on sams faq. This time around with an argon, I want to make sure it has a happy life.

Cheers
Ben
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:23 PM #4
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Default Re: Care and feeding your argon laser

I'm getting an interface up and rolling for a JDSU 2212SL. What might be the best way to start up, and shut down the laser using an interface? There is a current adj pot, power adj pot, a "light" switch, "run" or "idle" switch, and a "discharge" switch.

I'm unfamiliar with these types of control, so what is the particular start up and shut down process I should follow?

I'm finding that gas lasers are a bit more than powering a flexdrive on and off...

any help is appreciated, I'm unfamiliar with "feeding" an argon.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:49 PM #5
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Default Re: Care and feeding your argon laser

Start in current at 3/4ths power to avoid stressing the psu, let it warm up at say half current. Maximum life is in light mode, Note many psus can deliver more then the rated current. for most small tubes these days, 8-9 amps is max..

table of life vs tube current is in the FAQ.

Idle before shut down, for about 10 minutes.

Frequent start stops are bad, leave it run.

cooling is critical, as is making sure it does not suck its own heat back in...

More in Sam's FAq, AND yes, I'm the same Steve...

Steve
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:56 PM #6
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Default Re: Care and feeding your argon laser

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Originally Posted by LSRFAQ View Post
Start in current at 3/4ths power to avoid stressing the psu, let it warm up at say half current. Maximum life is in light mode, Note many psus can deliver more then the rated current. for most small tubes these days, 8-9 amps is max..

table of life vs tube current is in the FAQ.

Idle before shut down, for about 10 minutes.

Frequent start stops are bad, leave it run.

cooling is critical, as is making sure it does not suck its own heat back in...

More in Sam's FAq, AND yes, I'm the same Steve...

Steve
You should start the argon running at 3/4 of the rated amperage? Didn't know that :S I just start mine on idle.

I think my fan blows out as well, un less it's sucking on the right hand side.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:28 PM #7
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Default Re: Care and feeding your argon laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asherz View Post
You should start the argon running at 3/4 of the rated amperage? Didn't know that :S I just start mine on idle.

I think my fan blows out as well, un less it's sucking on the right hand side.

JDSUs ramp up to full power for about a second after the starter pulse then return to the current you have it set at.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:44 PM #8
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Default Re: Care and feeding your argon laser

Quote:
Originally Posted by diachi View Post
JDSUs ramp up to full power for about a second after the starter pulse then return to the current you have it set at.
Ah right cool, nice too know thanks
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:03 AM #9
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Default Re: Care and feeding your argon laser

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Ah right cool, nice too know thanks

Ah, and they do that to avoid that click, click, click feeling and to protect the PSU from stress... Good to know...
A secondary reason would be to make sure they get a good cathode emission spot and the arc transition goes smoother...
Older tubes with low cathode emission or gas pressure don't seem to like to start at low currents.. That probably buys the system another 500 hours or more of lifetime..
Steve
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:45 AM #10
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Default Re: Care and feeding your argon laser

Haven't seen much of Ben around here lately. Hope he hasn't been vaporized by some laser beam
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