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Old 09-22-2015, 12:21 AM #1
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Default Tailcap may be the culprit?

Ill try to be as efficient as possible explaining what is going on and what I need.
Long story short this spring I got a PLE 800mW 532 repaired from Gray. When I received it and tried it out it was clearly not 800mW. Metered it and it averaged 350mW and never reached higher then 600mW for a brief second. After many Emails and me sending him videos Gray could not figure it out because he tested it before shipping and it was over 800mW.
Long story short it turned out it was the tailcap. He had given me the new design tailcap as a nice gesture when repairing my PLE and it didn't work right. Laser was also cutting out repeatedly after just a min or more of use. We all had a good laugh and he was so awesome at how hard he worked to help resolve the issue.

Now the reason I am explaining all this. So I bought a 30mW 561nm cni PGL-III-C from a trusted respected member here who sent me a video of the laser on his LPM peaking 62mW avg 30MW prior to shipping showing everything was in spec and above. (Smart move BTW all potential sellers) covers your ass.
I got the laser and used it a 2 times the first week for maybe 10 min total run time respecting the advised duty cycle ext. Placed the laser in my padded gun case after each use. I didn't meter it upon receiving because;

A- I was really busy that week and planned on doing it my days off when I write a review, and
B- the beam looked as it should exactly like in the video showed the seller sent me. Basically I had no concerns of shipping damage.

The next weekend I took the laser out to get some beam pics, meter write the review ext. I put in fresh Sanyo battery and hit the button. Immediately I could tell something was wrong. The beam was barely visible even low light. I replaced the battery just in case with another fresh charged brand new Panasonic and got then same results. It wasn't just a little dimmer it was night and day different from just 5 days prior. I metered it and was crushed to see it avg 2-4 mW and never peaked higher than 13mW! I have repeated this test 3 x always the same results.

CNI wont fix it because they can't ship it to me and the original seller didn't want to accept lasers from CNI on my behalf and bounce ship to me. The whole situation sucked.

Anyways, I was wondering if the problem, like the Jetlaser, could be the tailcap? I am 100% sure there is ZERO chance the laser was damaged or improperly used in my possession and I can't see why it would work just fine the first 2 times I used it if it was damaged in shipping. The damage would have been apparent from the first time I powered it up not 5 days later after sitting in a locked and padded gun case!

My question is two fold. I own a 800mW 532 CNI same exact host. Could I swap out the tail caps and see if that changes anything or are tail caps very specific for each laser? In other words I don't want to damage the 561 further by putting a tailcap meant for a larger pump diode.
I would rather try that and see before having to deal with CNI ordering another cap.

Thanks for your help anyone that cares to give their 2 cents.


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Last edited by olympus mons; 09-22-2015 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:33 AM #2
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

Sure you can swap the tailcap on the 532nm 800mW with the tailcap on the 561nm 30mW to see if the tailcap is the problem with the 561nm 30mW. Give it a try and see if the tailcaps are the problem or not with the CNI pieces.

I know JetLasers had a few tailcap design problem the reduced the power to the driver significantly. It ismy undersatnd that the problem has been addressed and corrected--the new updated tailcap function the way they are supposed to function.
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:47 AM #3
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

Just use a jumper, a thick wire and bypass the tail cap, see if your output increases.
Also I have seen the tail caps unscrew inside, use an ice pick and tighten it if its loose. Also you can test the tail cap resistance with your meter, it should be 0.5 ohms or less when it's switch is making contact, you test it removed from the laser of course.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:14 AM #4
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encap View Post
Sure you can swap the tailcap on the 532nm 800mW with the tailcap on the 561nm 30mW to see if the tailcap is the problem with the 561nm 30mW. Give it a try and see if the tailcaps are the problem or not with the CNI pieces.

I know JetLasers had a few tailcap design problem the reduced the power to the driver significantly. It ismy undersatnd that the problem has been addressed and corrected--the new updated tailcap function the way they are supposed to function.
great Thanks Encap. Really appreciate your help.
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Just use a jumper, a thick wire and bypass the tail cap, see if your output increases.
Also I have seen the tail caps unscrew inside, use an ice pick and tighten it if its loose. Also you can test the tail cap resistance with your meter, it should be 0.5 ohms or less when it's switch is making contact, you test it removed from the laser of course.
Great tip brother man I will check that tonight.
TBH, I am a little nervous to do these tests because I really don't want to get my hopes up and then disappointed. I was really crushed when the 561 went out on me. It was a hard month for lasers and me. The 589 GB I worked tirelessly on went tits up, the PLE pro I bought was way under spec, then the final straw was the 561 not working all in about a months time. In all honesty my hiatus had as much to do with this string of bad luck as it did being busy at work. I had to leave lasers alone for a few months. Now I'm feeling good again.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:57 AM #5
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

What are the temperatures you usually use your lasers in? My room is around 20C during the day, and my JL 473 barely puts out 10mW until it gets warmed up. I need to have it on for 2-3 mins until it reaches its full power.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:29 PM #6
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

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What are the temperatures you usually use your lasers in? My room is around 20C during the day, and my JL 473 barely puts out 10mW until it gets warmed up. I need to have it on for 2-3 mins until it reaches its full power.
Between 20-26 degrees depending on season. It may just be a real picky laser. I was using it last night and for a brief while it seemed pretty bright possibly more than 10-15mW.
My Scientech LPM needs a wire re-soldered to the sensor otherwise I would have metered it last night. Ill fix the wire when I get a minute and see what it is doing with the other tail-cap. Seemed to be a little better. Emphasize...seemed. Its not a lot of power were talking about so often Im looking at the dot and have no idea what it looks like. Definitely more than 5mW.

Speaking of LPM's,
I never metered my 589 after I got it and probably won't and here is why. Maybe I am crazy but I feel like putting my lasers on the LPM can make me less happy with them. The way I look at it now is I love my 589 and enjoy it. If I was to put it on the LPM and it was a little under spec or just not as over spec as most other Spartan owners I would feel a bit dissapointed when the truth is I doubt it would be visually obvious if my 589 is 10%-even 20% plus or minus. So now unless I think there is an actual problem I no longer meter my lasers if I am happy with them unless I am selling them. Its just a number. And a number I can put too much importance on. My LPM is there to help me in the event of a clear and obvious problem but I no longer meter everything I own or buy unless there is a reason to.
Anyone else feel this way?
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:35 PM #7
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

I was reading some old threads when I came across this: Unusual thing happening with my Aries-150

It's not the exact same issue, but it could possibly help you a bit. Especially the last post is worth reading.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:52 PM #8
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

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I was reading some old threads when I came across this: Unusual thing happening with my Aries-150

It's not the exact same issue, but it could possibly help you a bit. Especially the last post is worth reading.
Im glad you posted that. Some good information in there. Makes me wish I still had my Aries 532, lol!
Thx Gozert
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:57 PM #9
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

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Im glad you posted that. Some good information in there. Makes me wish I still had my Aries 532, lol!
Thx Gozert
Is the Aries you're talking about the one you bought off a member here on LPF?

Just to make sure, the Aries model is exactly the same as a PGL-III-C right?
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Old 09-22-2015, 08:27 PM #10
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

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Is the Aries you're talking about the one you bought off a member here on LPF?

Just to make sure, the Aries model is exactly the same as a PGL-III-C right?
Yes but I bought and sold that Aries last winter. Everything I am discussing in this thread is a CNI.
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Old 09-23-2015, 01:32 AM #11
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

Ammeter in place of the tail cap. What's it read?
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Old 09-23-2015, 06:13 PM #12
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

I understand what you mean about metering them but I have measured every single unit I own and labeled them for peak output for safety reasons.
Honestly though the tests that have been suggested are so easy to do and this has bothered you enough to create a thread so you might as well get the tests over with. I would say at least 1/2 the lasers I've purchased from members here have had issues and I just take into consideration that I may have to repair some issues before I make the purchase NOT that this was the case for your unit.
Cyp has joined in to help but there's nothing we/he can do until you test. Don't see how things could be worse really as you already know something is wrong.
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Old 09-24-2015, 04:47 AM #13
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

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Ammeter in place of the tail cap. What's it read?
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I understand what you mean about metering them but I have measured every single unit I own and labeled them for peak output for safety reasons.
Honestly though the tests that have been suggested are so easy to do and this has bothered you enough to create a thread so you might as well get the tests over with. I would say at least 1/2 the lasers I've purchased from members here have had issues and I just take into consideration that I may have to repair some issues before I make the purchase NOT that this was the case for your unit.
Cyp has joined in to help but there's nothing we/he can do until you test. Don't see how things could be worse really as you already know something is wrong.
Thx guys. Cyp, pm sent.

Pete you are correct. I have a loose connection on my LPm I will have to solder when I get my day off this week.
Thanks
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Old 09-24-2015, 05:51 AM #14
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

After a brief PM, nwfreefly has metered the current at 0.8A. That seems low to me - I would expect 2A or at least 1A. You may want to consider repeating the measurement with different cells and see if it changes. A bench power supply would solve this, but few people want those for some reason.

Is there anyone else with this model you can PM and ask for a comparison?

Current aside, DPSS can just sort of die over time. The crystals or coating can degrade for no particular reason. I've got a yellow pointer that was 5mW when new, and now struggles to get to half mW, even though the current hasn't changed.
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Old 09-24-2015, 05:51 AM #15
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

Ide meter the 589. You might be suprised. I agree with cyp. Putting in ammeter in series is pretty much the same as using a jumper wire but you would be able to see an amperage reading. Besides if you suspect a faulty tailcap then using a jumper or ammeter semi carefully would be better on the unit than a flickering tailcap switch

Edit. Beat me.

Last edited by 10fenny; 09-24-2015 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 09-24-2015, 06:10 AM #16
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Default Re: Tailcap may be the culprit?

Just tried a 3400mAh Nitecore freshly charged and got .63
Tried the Sanyo from earlier and now got .70-.68
The Sanyo is freshly charged but does have a few min from photgrapghy the other night. Its on the charger now to top it off.
Read 4.17V on my opus as did the Nitecore.

On Panasonic freshly charged at 4.17V read .88 Spot was brighter than Its been.

50mW 589 read
.98-1A
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