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Old 06-07-2009, 09:08 AM #1
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Cool Is your pen laser going dim? Possible solution

I have noticed a very simple reason for pen style lasers becoming dim and the button working only if pushed down really hard.
This is extremely basic stuff and I trust that most of you probably know it already - just wanted to put it out here anyway in case it could help someone.

I do not know the exact reason - whether it is the spring inside the laser which is mis-aligned, the button which shifts out of place or an oxidised coating which restricts some current - but very often one of my pen style lasers will suddenly go dim and become hard to switch on and more unstable.
The solutions, one of which has worked every single time have been:

1) Unscrew the battery cap (or two parts of the pen, depending on build) a few turns and screw it back - your laser works perfectly again!

In some cases this has not worked so I:

2) Unscrew the battery cap or two parts, pop out the batteries and reverse their position (not reverse polarity, but put the battery which was at the bottom at the top and vice versa).

I used to simply change the battery every time one of my lasers was becoming dim, but one time I found out I had no new batteries and just put the old ones in again and BAM - it worked.

If you have tried step 2 without any improvement you should:
1) Change the batteries
2) Clean the lens (there are many guides around the forum for this)
3) Cool down the laser (not too much, you don't want condensation inside) and see whether it operates better when cool.
4) If 3 did not work, try to let the laser have some warm-up time.
5) If you suspect that your switch it the problem, try jamming a small ball of paper under the driver on the opposite side of the switch. Beware - this may cause faster heating of your laser.
6) Cry because your crystals have been fried - you now have a lovely IR pen.

Hope this helps some of you out there


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Last edited by Jaseth; 06-17-2009 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:49 AM #2
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Just to add, the screw threads on the pen type barrels are usually brass which tarnishes, use some wire wool to get it shiney again, making sure you do both parts and be sure not to leave any strands of wire wool in the laser.

Regards rog8811
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:16 PM #3
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Another solution:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGXmj...e=channel_page
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:35 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaseth View Post
2) Unscrew the battery cap or two parts, pop out the batteries and reverse their position (not reverse polarity, but put the battery which was at the bottom at the top and vice versa).
I do that all the time and it always works
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:46 PM #5
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This works only if the problem is due to usual oxydation, that is a common cause in battery operated devices that requires high currents (is not for fashion reasons, that all the professional devices have "gold plated" contacts

but what, if after all those moves, if your pen laser still fails ? ..... recycle bin ?
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:23 PM #6
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Rog and ofekgg, good input!
HIMNL9:
Yes there are obviously many many other ways in which a laser may go dim, but for pen style lasers this is definately the most common and recurring problem.
Right about the gold plating, this is especially important for headphone jacks

These have been added to the original post:

If you have tried step 2 without any improvement you should:
1) Change the batteries
2) Clean the lens (there are many guides around the forum for this)
3) Cool down the laser (not too much, you don't want condensation inside) and see whether it operates better when cool.
4) If 3 did not work, try to let the laser have some warm-up time.
5) Cry because your crystals have been fried - you now have a lovely IR pen.
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:31 AM #7
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LOL at point 5 !

But yes, it happens too.

I still have somewhere one of those 10mW green pointers that, for no reasons, started to work weird ..... it light at full power for half second each time you push the button, then dim at half mw or so ..... tried to clean all contacts, check the soldered points, substituted the switch (also this, sometimes, break), also passed the contacts and screw track with contact cleaner ..... still the same.

Maybe one day when i have time i dismantle it and check the crystal, too, but til now, it's collecting dust with all the other things that i have to check and have not enough time for do
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:30 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIMNL9 View Post
This works only if the problem is due to usual oxydation, that is a common cause in battery operated devices that requires high currents (is not for fashion reasons, that all the professional devices have "gold plated" contacts

but what, if after all those moves, if your pen laser still fails ? ..... recycle bin ?

take it apart and get a new driver a rckstr will solder right up. and diy yourself a new push button.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:12 PM #9
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I didn't know the problem, and thought it was my switch, I'm an amateur 'sodderer' so i spent 2 hours changing the switch, just to find out it wasn't the switch =(

Additionally, I've tried putting aluminum foil in it before, and the battery cap wouldn't screw all the way, but I'll try it again, and I'll try the spring trick....

I'm running a 30mw Green DX -- the one that came with the Kaleidoscope =_( Hasn't been working right since last October!
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:28 PM #10
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I decided to bump this thread since I have seen over 5 new threads from people who had trouble with their laser but for some reason felt they had to ask instead of going to directly to the answers. So here it is on top of the help sections again for you lazy people.
Use a search button before starting future threads please.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:18 AM #11
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Default Re: Is your pen laser going dim? Possible solution

that happened to my WL core but i fixed it by shoving a piece of a penny in the battery hole
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:43 PM #12
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Default Re: Is your pen laser going dim? Possible solution

Hey all, sorry, I've been bad about resurrecting old threads, but this one fit my problems to a dime, esp. HIMNL9's description.

My laser on fresh batteries will be nice and bright for about 1, maybe 2 seconds, before going dim. Previously, it had worked whenever I pushed the button. Now, it weakly lights, then dims even more after 1 or 2 seconds. I'm thinking batteries shot now, but still the same problem, only weaker.

I'm also surprised at the couple of people who had luck by randomly shoving chunks of metal down the battery tube. is there atrick to this? What is it that is supposed to be accomplished, better contact? trying to short something on the circuit board to the housing?

I too have the 30mW kaleidoscopic greenie, though from a different source.
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