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Old 09-09-2010, 02:28 PM #1
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Question Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

So I bought an WL E2 Evolution 60mw greenie from someone on eBay a few months ago & it's starting to have some problems. The seller informed me that the laser had taken a fall off of a telescope before selling it but assured me the laser was not affected by it. This was not the case... When I got the laser the beam wasn't shooting straight out of the diode but rather at a sliiiiight angle - similar to when you lay a pool stick down to see if it's straight but instead it 'curves' a little. Not a big deal & this doesn't bother me - obviously the diode was knocked slightly to some angle when it fell, but it might be part of a new problem now.

Whenever I go to use the laser, I have to shake it(not violently like a screaming child)to get the beam to appear. This process works for short & long spurts, but is also becoming increasingly worse. I can eventually get it to function normally but it seems to do so - a 'balance' of something loose internally (my guess is the test drive to the diode) needs to be in place. At certain times, the beam is very dim which tells me the internal connection is there but not completely. Other times I can shake it just right (the laser, not me) and it works fine. This 'shake fix' is getting more temperamental so I want to try & fix it or have it fixed before it stops working all together

I've searched LPF under Tutorials, Help & Repairs for anyone else that might have had a similar experience but while finding dozens of repair threads I didn't find any similar to my problem.

My question in short is, has anyone taken an E2 apart before or gotten inside of one? I'd like to try & fix this myself before attempting to contact WL (they won't get back to me, I know) to see what they say. I'd also send it to someone who could repair it if it came to that, but I wanted to ask here first.

I am sorry this was so long. If there's also any other threads I missed covering this, please post a link & I'll bury my head into it.


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Old 09-10-2010, 03:46 PM #2
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

Damn, no answer yet. That doesn't surprise me though, it's an ususual problem - to me anyways. Replacing the batteries with freshies seems to make the laser much more stable & less temperamental when it comes to 'beam failure' or whatever the problem is.... I'll keep digging to see if I can find a solution before attempting to contact WL for a fix!
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Old 09-10-2010, 11:45 PM #3
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

Most lasers' beams exit a degree or two off-center. They're not built as alignment lasers, so it is not worth the engineers' time to get the beam perfectly straight. If the fall had "knocked the diode out of alignment," the laser would not actually produce a beam, as alignment is very critical in DPSS systems.

If replacing the batteries makes the laser behave better, it could just be that it eats batteries, or that a component on the driver board has begun to go bad and the driver is less able to regulate current at lower voltages.

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Old 09-11-2010, 12:38 AM #4
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

I've seen some people stuff a nonconductive spacer under the driver to stabilize it, keep it from wobbling. I don't know if the driver is exposed in your laser, but in the cheapo ones the spring is directly soldered to the driver and the driver is supported by the diode pins. Also, if the driver is getting loose, this quick fix may just finish it off instead.

twhite has a point, too. I've got a green 2xAAA pen laser that doesn't want to work with anything less than good, new batteries. Works great with NiMH's though, so I dunno what to think about that.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:00 AM #5
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

The driver in the Evos are supported by a plastic sleeve.

The way CNI modules are set up does not allow for alignment to be altered from minor shock. My guess would be that the solder joints at the diode have come loose, which may explain the intermittent power.
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Old 09-11-2010, 02:35 AM #6
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

Quote:
Originally Posted by BShanahan14rulz View Post
twhite has a point, too. I've got a green 2xAAA pen laser that doesn't want to work with anything less than good, new batteries. Works great with NiMH's though, so I dunno what to think about that.
The voltage of NiMH's does not sage under load.

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Old 09-11-2010, 02:57 AM #7
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

Quote:
Originally Posted by twhite828 View Post
Most lasers' beams exit a degree or two off-center. They're not built as alignment lasers, so it is not worth the engineers' time to get the beam perfectly straight. If the fall had "knocked the diode out of alignment," the laser would not actually produce a beam, as alignment is very critical in DPSS systems.

If replacing the batteries makes the laser behave better, it could just be that it eats batteries, or that a component on the driver board has begun to go bad and the driver is less able to regulate current at lower voltages.

-Trevor
The alignment issue is the least of my worries, but I appreciate the explanation - especially about the driver possibly going bad & not regulating from lower voltages. That seems to be the most likely cause here because again, just now I replaced the batteries & the laser works fine for a few days with minor use before acting up again.

Quote:
I've seen some people stuff a nonconductive spacer under the driver to stabilize it, keep it from wobbling. I don't know if the driver is exposed in your laser, but in the cheapo ones the spring is directly soldered to the driver and the driver is supported by the diode pins. Also, if the driver is getting loose, this quick fix may just finish it off instead.
The driver is not exposed on this model & I'm not sure if I can open the host to get into it. It appears I can't but I also haven't taken a few vice grips to the questionable 'open here' area on the laser just yet. I don't want to try opening it & risk ripping it into 2 pieces, I'd rather just have WL do a proper fix on it when they can handle customer inquiries again.

Quote:
The way CNI modules are set up does not allow for alignment to be altered from minor shock. My guess would be that the solder joints at the diode have come loose, which may explain the intermittent power.
This is my suspicion and guess as well... I just don't know how to go about correcting it without doing surgery on it

Thank you all for your input, I'll follow up if I find something definite and/or a solution
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:55 AM #8
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

You know, it could just be the safety pin mechanism being too loose. I had this problem before, where it wouldn't turn on unless I shook it. So I unscrewed the battery cap revealing the safety pin mechanism, and disassembled/reassembled everything to make sure it was tight and not loose, and the problem has never come up again so far.
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Old 09-12-2010, 04:00 AM #9
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

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Originally Posted by Sponge View Post
You know, it could just be the safety pin mechanism being too loose. I had this problem before, where it wouldn't turn on unless I shook it. So I unscrewed the battery cap revealing the safety pin mechanism, and disassembled/reassembled everything to make sure it was tight and not loose, and the problem has never come up again so far.
I forgot about the safety pin.

That is worth looking into. My Evo Pro's safety interlock mechanism was crap. I ended up bypassing it because it was not worth fiddling with it all the time.

If you need to know how, I can provide instructions with pictures.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:27 PM #10
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sponge View Post
You know, it could just be the safety pin mechanism being too loose. I had this problem before, where it wouldn't turn on unless I shook it. So I unscrewed the battery cap revealing the safety pin mechanism, and disassembled/reassembled everything to make sure it was tight and not loose, and the problem has never come up again so far.
Yes... I did consider the pin being a part of the problem when trying to figure out the cause of this after it started... and while I can see it contributing to something like this I don't think that is the case. The pin does seat firmly in place when 'unlocking' the laser and when removing it & replacing it in general - it's pretty snug. I could be wrong, but for now I've sort of ruled out the safety pin as part of this issue. Definitely seems to be something with the test load or driver inside the laser not regulating power to the diode, but that's still a guess. I'm leaning towards disassembling this for a fix & I hope if it does come to that I'll have the same results as you did.

Quote:
I forgot about the safety pin.

That is worth looking into. My Evo Pro's safety interlock mechanism was crap. I ended up bypassing it because it was not worth fiddling with it all the time.

If you need to know how, I can provide instructions with pictures.
I'd be very interested in seeing your instructions and pics!! Whenever you have the time pls post & link, the more information I get on even similar cases to mine the better my chances are.

Thank you both for chiming in on this, much much appreciated!! =D
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:19 PM #11
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Default Re: Power problem w/ 60mw WL Evolution E2

...Just to update this thread, the problem hasn't resurfaced in the past couple of days & the laser is working flawlessly as if it all never happened. While this is pleasant it's also a little troubling knowing that lasers don't fix themselves & this could happen (when I'm demoing it for someone) anytime again.

I'm still going to keep my eyes open for anyone who's taken apart (or going to) a Wicked Lasers E2 Evolution. I have a feeling this greenie won't behave like it has been too much longer before 'something loose inside' suddenly happens again
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