Old 06-10-2016, 10:47 PM #1
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Default Quick Question for CO2 Lasers

So I was firing up my CO2 Laser again, and I accidentally connected the leads backwards. Realized my stupid mistake within 10 seconds, turned the PSU off and put the leads back on in the right direction. The laser seems to still run perfectly normally. I would assume this did some small amount of damage to the reflective mirror at the non-business end? I couldn't see any damage by inspection though.

How bad is this for the laser tube?


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Old 06-11-2016, 12:14 AM #2
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Default Re: Quick Question for CO2 Lasers

For that brief a run it probably did little to no harm, but it puts stress on the supply and electrodes as the electrical and heat distribution properties change.
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:27 AM #3
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Default Re: Quick Question for CO2 Lasers

With direct current discharge, the anode will have a different heat load than the cathode. Electrons bombard the anode, and ions bombard the cathode. Ions hit harder (causing electrode sputtering in the long term), but less often because they often hit other ions and lose energy first. Electrons on the other hand flow freely, and will heat the anode more.

Reverse polarity is harmless for a few seconds. It might even be fine indefinitely if the electrodes are identical and equally cooled.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:17 PM #4
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Default Re: Quick Question for CO2 Lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyparagon View Post
With direct current discharge, the anode will have a different heat load than the cathode. Electrons bombard the anode, and ions bombard the cathode. Ions hit harder (causing electrode sputtering in the long term), but less often because they often hit other ions and lose energy first. Electrons on the other hand flow freely, and will heat the anode more.

Reverse polarity is harmless for a few seconds. It might even be fine indefinitely if the electrodes are identical and equally cooled.
That is good to hear
Definitely will triple check the connections from now on. And not operate the laser with only 4 hours of sleep.
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