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Old 07-26-2015, 10:33 AM #1
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Default Co2 laser dying

Hello everyone!
Recently i finished my first laser project, a 40w Chinese co2 laser.
Everything was great until yesterday, when i accidentally kicked the tube into an old hard drive, and the cooling ring from the output side broke off.
The tube still works, and the power seems to be the same, but now the power supply,
and the laser spot makes a squealing sound when i start the laser for a second before it stabilizes.
The discharge inside is thin and white then it goes to purple and a bit wider. The discharge is stable, it doesn't move around.
Now the question is, can i do something, or i just use the tube until it breaks.
If i continue to use the tube like this, can i kill the ps? The tube was making the same noise before at lower currents, so is it possible that i got a bad ps?
Thanks for everyones help, i know its quite a lot for a first post, but i don't really know where else i can get answers.


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Old 07-26-2015, 03:23 PM #2
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Default Re: Co2 laser dying

Can you provide a picture?
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:58 PM #3
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Default Re: Co2 laser dying

Here is a picture of the tube, but now i think my problem is completely different.
I think the power supply is arcing to the ground, possibly though the cooling water. When i broke the tube, i lost all of the distilled water and replaced it with normal tap water,
now if i press the test button sometimes the cooling pump jumps.
If i touch the hv terminal with an insulated screwdriver after a test, i can see a tiny spark.
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:53 PM #4
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Default Re: Co2 laser dying

Buy a new tube. I lost a couple of these tubes already. Consider a higher quality tube. These are a waste of money

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Old 07-26-2015, 05:49 PM #5
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Default Re: Co2 laser dying

The tube broke because of me, its hard to justify a higher end model just to burn stuff.
Still I'm curious how long this tube will last without the output mirror cooling, it doesn't seem to get warm during use.
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:23 AM #6
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Default Re: Co2 laser dying

Insulated screwdrivers are not rated for the 30-40kV these can potentially output - BEWARE.

These supplies output a high frequency pulsed DC. The AC component of this waveform can capacitively couple with its surroundings. Drain the tube and switch back to distilled water.
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:19 AM #7
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Default Re: Co2 laser dying

Quote:
Originally Posted by reboot View Post
Here is a picture of the tube, but now i think my problem is completely different.
I think the power supply is arcing to the ground, possibly though the cooling water. When i broke the tube, i lost all of the distilled water and replaced it with normal tap water,
now if i press the test button sometimes the cooling pump jumps.
If i touch the hv terminal with an insulated screwdriver after a test, i can see a tiny spark.
I would agree that the broken cooling head on the mirror is not related to the power supply problem. Normally, the cooling water is isolated from the high voltage supply and tap water should be fine.

It sounds like you have a high voltage leak. Try turning on the power supply connected to the laser tube with the lights out. Carry a plastic flashlight before turning out the lights so that you can see the light switch to turn the lights back on. With the lights out, you should be able to see where you have a high voltage leak as a faint purple corona discharge.
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