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Old 11-14-2010, 03:49 AM #1
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Question Damaged novalaser x100?

Hey everyone I was wondering if you could help me with this little problem I have with my 1 year old NovaLasers x100 CNI Pen. Its been putting out its flawless 122.6mw beam and perfect circular dot until about 2-3 weeks ago. I didn't drop it or anything and its hasn't been exposed to any extreme conditions (hot, cold, wet) at all. I shined it on my wall and the dot was very distorted. It had the same bright dot in the middle, with a larger shade of green surrounding it. At about 10 feet from the wall, the whole formation is about the size of a soccer ball. The divergence can't be that bad. I emailed Nova, who told me it might be a dirty lens. I don't really have the right materials to clean it, and can't get them either. ( My college is in the middle of nowhere and I have no car ATM) I have cue tips and isopropyl alcohol, but I don't know if that would harm the lens or not. Is there any sort of simple repair I could do with simple tools? Is this something I could even repair without sending back? I think my warranty is out since I've had it for almost a year. Hopefully there is a fix for this that involves little or no money, which is kind of non-existent for me being in college and all. Thanks.


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Old 11-14-2010, 03:58 AM #2
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Default Re: Damaged novalaser x100?

Sounds like a dirty lens to me. Alcohol and a q-tip should work just fine. Just don't scrub the lens too aggressively or you will scratch it and wont be happy one bit. Make sure there is no dirt on it that can scratch the lens either. I personally suggest buying some professional lens cleaner. It works wonders. You can also see if anyone here lives near you and perhaps they can come to your house and clean it for you . Theres a few other methods as well like can air but i think these just blow more dirt in. Just be careful thats all.

Edit: Also i like to use several q-tips to ensure im not spreading the dirt around. I like my lenses "flawless" so i go through 20 or more. I wet one side.... wipe then flip to the dry side and repeat till its completely clean.
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Old 11-14-2010, 04:53 AM #3
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Default Re: Damaged novalaser x100?

Thanks for the quick reply. Yeah I thought it would be a dirty lens. I actually just tried the q-tip and alcohol method, repeated it as you said, and made sure not to be too aggressive. It didn't fix the distorted dot, but it changed it. Now, there is a straight line going through the whole thing. It kind of looks like the planet Jupiter. And I might be just imagining this because I'm worried, but it kind of felt like the lens was moving around a little when I was rubbing it with the q-tip. Every time I clean the lens with a q-tip, the dot changes in shape. The laser still works fine, and the beam looks the same. Its just that the dot is messed up, which I can deal with since I mostly care about the beam anyways. But other than this it looks like I'll have to ship it up to nova for a repair if I want it fixed. I probably can't do this though because my warranty is expired and it will cost me a lot of money for a repair.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:17 AM #4
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Default Re: Damaged novalaser x100?

If the pattern is changing then its definitely a dirty lens. I would try and see if you can get a hold of some lens cleaner. I don't think it would really be necessary to send it to nova over a dirty lens. If you still decide you want to send it out try to see if anyone lives close by. I could personally clean it for you at the cost of shipping but it would seem kind of silly because you can do it yourself much cheaper . Acetone sometimes works and if your careful Windex or similar streak free glass cleaner will work too. I cant personally say whether your lens was turning or not but i would think those are pretty secure. Anyhow good luck. Best of wishes.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:11 AM #5
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Default Re: Damaged novalaser x100?

Alright thanks man. I kept on trying to clean it with alcohol, watching the different patterns. It was actually pretty fun to see all the different shapes and patterns. If I dabbed the lens with a wet q-tip, and then immediately shined the laser, it would be a really trippy abstract moving splatter of green on the wall. it was fun watching it slowly return to a dot as the lens dried off. I know, I have really bad ADD, but whatever. Thanks for the offer but I think I'll just try to get my hands on some lens cleaner as you mentioned. Peace.
P.S-I'm gonna try to get some pics of some really incredible beam shots I took one night when it was insanely foggy out. Its just a 100mw, but it looks like a 1W green light saber. ok now peace.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:20 AM #6
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Default Re: Damaged novalaser x100?

It sounds like another optic element is dirty... most likely the other side of the lens.
Removing, cleaning, and replacing the lens is not difficult but I wouldn't recommend it if you have not repaired a laser before. You could end up with more problems.

I would not recommend Windex or other similar household cleaners. Even the "streak free" solutions are not good enough for lasers.

Alcohol is a much better solution for lens cleaning. I use 90% isopropyl, sometimes diluted with distilled water.
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Old 11-14-2010, 06:34 AM #7
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Default Re: Damaged novalaser x100?

Thanks RA Pierce. Yeah I wouldn't use Windex to clean my lens. Although I have no experience working inside a laser, I think this might be worth trying. Is there a thread about opening up my kind of laser and performing this kind of procedure? If not, can you explain to me how to do it? Will I need any special tools or anything? Thanks.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:59 AM #8
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Default Re: Damaged novalaser x100?

This happened with my Aries-150 when a metal shaving landed on the inside of the final lens. I haven't been able to get the 'head' off to remove the metal dust particle but it still measures ~170mW with a little scatter so for now i'm not stressing about it.

Sometimes just in storage something from inside the assembly can flake off and fall onto the inside of the lens surface.
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