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Old 06-07-2016, 03:07 PM #1
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Default NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)

Hello

I've found a NLC 600 argon laser on local scrapyard (I took it from high performance printing station), with PSU. Said PSU powers up and works normally, laser fans start ,but unfortunately it will not lase, current meter doesnt move, there is no discharge glow. Every 30 seconds or sth like this there is an audible click from laser head but absolutely nothing happens. Whole head is really dirty, gray and white dust everywhere (it can't be beryllia because bore isn't cracked - I checked it).
What can I do to make it start?

I will make and upload pics later


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Old 06-07-2016, 03:25 PM #2
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Default Re: NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)

Quote:
Originally Posted by celas View Post
Hello

I've found a NLC 600 argon laser on local scrapyard (I took it from high performance printing station), with PSU. Said PSU powers up and works normally, laser fans start ,but unfortunately it will not lase, current meter doesnt move, there is no discharge glow. Every 30 seconds or sth like this there is an audible click from laser head but absolutely nothing happens. Whole head is really dirty, gray and white dust everywhere (it can't be beryllia because bore isn't cracked - I checked it).
What can I do to make it start?

I will make and upload pics later

How did you test for discharge glow? Did you check for it while you heard the clicking noise? That noise is usually the PSU trying to start the tube - one HV pulse to get the plasma started before the lower voltage kicks in to run the tube.


If you haven't already - put a piece of plain white paper in front of the aperture and check for discharge glow during the click noises - should just be a very short purplish flash. If we're not getting that it doesn't really rule out much - could be a dead tube or starter/PSU. Still - good place to start. Can do more testing after that.


Is the filament lit?


Pictures will certainly be helpful!
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:00 PM #3
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Default Re: NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)

Update

When I turn off the light, I can see very faint orange glow on rear mirror and in the place where beryllia tube connects to the gas tank (as seen on one photo)
Also, my phone (only phone, can't see it with naked eye) camera picks up bluish glow from ceramic bore (as seen on another photo).
HV pulses are inconsistent, sometimes every 1 minute, sometimes 30 sec, and there is no glow at all from output coupler (or anywhere) when it goes off.
No idea how to get this thing going
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NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)-20160607_213552.jpg   NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)-20160607_213658.jpg   NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)-20160607_213710.jpg  
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Old 06-07-2016, 10:42 PM #4
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Default Re: NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)

If there is no light from the tube when the starter fires, either the starter failed, or the tube is up to air (ultra dead). You can try removing the tube from the circuit and applying a high voltage pulse yourself to see if there is still not light.
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Old 06-09-2016, 04:31 PM #5
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Default Re: NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)

Update

After connecting my big hene PSU (from >50mW unit) to cathode and mass (laser was still connected to psu) absolutely nothing happened, and after I reversed the polarity I destroyed starting board (probably only resistor tho). I assumed that tube is dead so I came back to that scrapyard and rummaged through rubbish - then I found second tube (exactly same model) but without any electronics (bare tube). I mounted new tube in assembly and.. the same thing. No discharge glow. I was puzzled. Then I connected the first tube (that I removed from the assembly) and connected to hene psu - BINGO, it was glowing something like violet-blue. Did that with second one - glows too. So none of them are up to air. I probably just couldnt control the PSU, it needs signal from the remote. Unfortunately, the PSU is probably done for - after my careless fiddling with hene PSU, the filament doesn't light anymore (on both tubes), high voltage surged back and probably broke something. Is there any way to power it up for testing without PSU?
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Old 06-09-2016, 05:01 PM #6
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Default Re: NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
If there is no light from the tube when the starter fires, either the starter failed, or the tube is up to air (ultra dead). You can try removing the tube from the circuit and applying a high voltage pulse yourself to see if there is still not light.


Quote:
Originally Posted by celas View Post
Update

After connecting my big hene PSU (from >50mW unit) to cathode and mass (laser was still connected to psu) absolutely nothing happened, and after I reversed the polarity I destroyed starting board (probably only resistor tho). I assumed that tube is dead so I came back to that scrapyard and rummaged through rubbish - then I found second tube (exactly same model) but without any electronics (bare tube). I mounted new tube in assembly and.. the same thing. No discharge glow. I was puzzled. Then I connected the first tube (that I removed from the assembly) and connected to hene psu - BINGO, it was glowing something like violet-blue. Did that with second one - glows too. So none of them are up to air. I probably just couldnt control the PSU, it needs signal from the remote. Unfortunately, the PSU is probably done for - after my careless fiddling with hene PSU, the filament doesn't light anymore (on both tubes), high voltage surged back and probably broke something. Is there any way to power it up for testing without PSU?
You were warned...

HV somehow managed to break down the insulation for the cathode transformer maybe? Normally that's all they are - a filament and a transformer, maybe with some taps to get the voltage right. Unless there's some other control circuitry in there.
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405nm | Banggood LT-850 | "5mW" | Review Unit | Review WIP
445nm | Sanwu Laser Pocket Series | 400mW Metered
445nm | NDB7242E Pen Build | 60mW Metered | >>Build Thread<<
450nm | LaserPointerStore - Thor H2 | 1W(?) | Review Unit | >>Review<<
488nm | Spectra Physics 163 Argon | ~30mW Metered
515nm | PL515 Pen Build | 50mW Metered | >>Build Thread<<
520nm | Laserlands 520 | 5mW | Review Unit | 3mW metered | >>Review<<
532nm | Gearbest 303 Pointer | 50mW Metered
532nm | Gearbest JD-850 Pointer | 30mW Metered (I think, need to re-test).
633nm | HeNe | 6mW
633nm | Spectra Physics 155 HeNe | <1mW >>Thread<<
650nm | Sanwu Laser Pocket Series | 200mW Metered
808nm | Melles Griot 532nm Lab Unit | No Crystals >10W | X2



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Last edited by diachi; 06-09-2016 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 06-09-2016, 11:54 PM #7
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Default Re: NLC Series 600 Argon (Wont start)

Quote:
Originally Posted by celas View Post
Is there any way to power it up for testing without PSU?
No. You cannot power a tube without a power supply. That's a silly question.

I'd help you troubleshoot your existing supply, but you've clearly demonstrated your inability to follow directions. Maybe someone else has the patience for that sort of thing, but I don't.
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Last edited by Cyparagon; 06-10-2016 at 12:00 AM.
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