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Old 10-01-2010, 07:03 PM #1
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Default Universal Laser Systems ULS-25 help?

Hi All,

This is my first post so bear with me.

A co-worker has offered to give me his old Universal Laser Systems ULS-25 laser engraving/cutting machine. He says the only thing wrong with it is that the gas in the laser is depleted. I know next to nothing about these devices or lasers, I am just an electronics technologist and was hoping to get it running again to do circuit boards and cut plastic parts.

Could anyone tell me what I need to do to replace the laser and where I might be able to get one? What is the critical information I need to purchase a new laser? Or is there any way to repair the laser that no longer works?

Thanks in advance to all who take the time,
ODT


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Old 11-15-2010, 05:05 PM #2
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Default Re: Universal Laser Systems ULS-25 help?

we have the same laser and about a year ago we replaced the laser tube. if i remeber right it was about $1000 for a refurbised one with exchange for your old one. or about $6000 to straight out buy one.
Install is very simple just a few screws on the back cover to take out, then 2 screws on the laser tube itself and 1 power clip to take out and then replace with new tube.
Took us 15 mins to do with never doing it before.

You can contact uls at Support, Need Help? - Universal Laser Systems to abtain a quote.

GL

Kyle
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Old 11-16-2010, 02:14 PM #3
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Default Re: Universal Laser Systems ULS-25 help?

I think it's a 25W CO2 laser, probably a sealed tube. The gas doesn't get depleted, it gets contaminated. Ask the co-worker if he's sure the gas fill is the problem. If so, the tube is dead and needs to be replaced or refilled. If you have a replacement it's relatively easy, a refill takes a good vacuum system, pure gasses and some skill.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:03 PM #4
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Default Re: Universal Laser Systems ULS-25 help?

As for the ULS-25, I got the following quote a few years ago, and you can try again and see if ULS has changed their mind.
-----------------------------------------
There aren’t any “new” replacement laser tubes available for the ULS-25E. We have a very limited supply of original, remanufactured DC Synrad 25-watt tubes available for exchange at an approximate cost of $2,750 plus shipping.

Regards,
Dave Wilhite
Universal Laser Systems
------------------------------------------

If its a Synrad, you usually can find a used Synrad head some place, such as Ebay.

Synrads often come back to life with some power supply tweeking, but that would be a whole hour of typing and it may not help the OP.

You need to find some one with a power meter and test the tube. Most Co2 cutter problems are optics cleaning and alignment issues, and optics that have worn out. You need very pure acetone and methanol to clean the optics. The hardware store stuff is barely good enough.
NEVER use water or camera store/walmart/drugstore optics cleaner, or alcohols with water in them. Water kills CO2 optics.

First thing to do is get your hands on a thermal type laser power meter, then some plastic safety glasses, ordinary polycarbonate shop goggles will work for short periods of time with LOW POWER co2. You can use black construction paper to follow the beam through the system. It will burn showing you the beam size, shape and path, but keep the smoke off the optics.

You start at the laser and measure the beam power, then measure it after each optic in the chain. You burn paper after each optic to check the alignment and path. You need to do this at several points around the table, as power drift in the beam comes with motion. Each optic is on a adjustable mount, and most problems are dirt on the optics or the mounts drift off alignment.

If the tube is really shot, you will probably need to relaser the unit. There are some inexpensive Chinese Co2 lasers. 25 watts is not much power anyways, upgrade it to 40. If your doing day to day work to make money with the unit, get a Synrad.


If you have never worked on a CO2 laser, get a tech from a local laser metal cutting shop to look at the system in the evening, its easy if you do it on a daily basis, and many techs will have a look at it over a beer. They will most likely already have the gear and the chems. Usually their bosses will laugh over a 25 watt system, its not a threat to their business by a long shot, and put you through to the tech on the phone. Techs are glad to moonlight a bit.

-----------------
Refilling a sealed RF Co2 requires at least 5 gasses on station, it is most often not the classic He, N2, CO2 mix, there usually is some Xenon, Carbon Monoxide, Tritium or Water Vapor added to recatalyze the gas over time.
-----------------

Steve

Last edited by LSRFAQ; 11-16-2010 at 07:07 PM.
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