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Old 07-19-2014, 01:59 PM #1
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Default 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

Hello, I got a 3.5W laser around the beginning of December, it uses a 9mm diode. When I got it I did not have an LPM but the seller LPM'd it and it was running at 3.5W, well recently I LPM'd it and it's running at 2.6W. I figured it was just the batteries so I charged them and tested it again, and it didn't change much. I tried 2 other G-2 lenses as well and again the change was no more than 100mW.

The batteries I use are these.
The seller is a very trusted member so I am pretty confident he didn't lie to me on the output.

I am pretty sure the problem is not the LPM, I just got it and it has metered all of my other lasers just fine, there would have to be something seriously wrong for it to be off by 1W. (the laser is the radiant X4 btw)



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Old 07-19-2014, 02:22 PM #2
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

Remember the radiant X4 has a slow response time, how long can your laser run before it starts overheating? The radiant X4 can't properly meter all lasers, how many seconds does it take to read 2600mW? It may be dropping in power by then due to overheating when it really peaked at 3.5W. I have a laser that is too powerful to meter on my radiant X4, it reads about 2695.X mW when I first turn it on and then smokes the sensor within 2 seconds, I only tried it twice because it slightly damaged the coating on the sensor, and that's with the beam properly unfocused. So don't count on it working for lasers up to 3.7W like they say.

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Old 07-19-2014, 03:31 PM #3
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

I also have the radiant X4 meter. It seems it does have some sort of inaccuracy.

Though 1W seems a bit too much. You got it on December , more than 7 months ago. There is a high possibilty the diode has been degraded.

These diodes are being pushed beyond the datasheet max current that being suggessted by the manufacturers. So there is no guarantee they will continue to lase at the same output.

It is probably runing at 2.4A like most builds with 9mm diodes. Max suggested current for a 9mm diode is 1.7A according to the datasheets.

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Old 07-19-2014, 04:18 PM #4
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

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Originally Posted by Pi R Squared View Post
Remember the radiant X4 has a slow response time, how long can your laser run before it starts overheating? The radiant X4 can't properly meter all lasers, how many seconds does it take to read 2600mW? It may be dropping in power by then due to overheating when it really peaked at 3.5W. I have a laser that is too powerful to meter on my radiant X4, it reads about 2695.X mW when I first turn it on and then smokes the sensor within 2 seconds, I only tried it twice because it slightly damaged the coating on the sensor, and that's with the beam properly unfocused. So don't count on it working for lasers up to 3.7W like they say.

Alan
That's odd. I meter my 3.1W maglite just fine without any damage to the sensor. You should defocus the laser and hold it 3-5 inches away
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:24 PM #5
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

It shouldn't be the battery if fully charged. Those are pretty good batteries at that current level.
I had a 2.8w 445nm I gave to a friend that was wanting one. I actually gave it to him because I was wanting it to hit 3w and it didn't make it
A couple of months later he started having problems with it and gave it to me to fix. It had a bad clicky switch.
I replaced the clicky switch and decided to LPM again to see how it was holding up. It read 1.5w
I carefully cleaned the lens and the diode window. Re-tested and it hit just a little OVER 3w.
There was my 3w 445 I was hoping to build and I had to give it back.
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Old 07-19-2014, 04:32 PM #6
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pi R Squared View Post
Remember the radiant X4 has a slow response time, how long can your laser run before it starts overheating? The radiant X4 can't properly meter all lasers, how many seconds does it take to read 2600mW? It may be dropping in power by then due to overheating when it really peaked at 3.5W. I have a laser that is too powerful to meter on my radiant X4, it reads about 2695.X mW when I first turn it on and then smokes the sensor within 2 seconds, I only tried it twice because it slightly damaged the coating on the sensor, and that's with the beam properly unfocused. So don't count on it working for lasers up to 3.7W like they say.

Alan
It's the zaser host so I can probably run it for at least 5 minutes. I don't know exactly how long it took but it was surely no more than 1 minute, are you sure that you unfocused the laser first?

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Originally Posted by Thejoker301 View Post
I also have the radiant X4 meter. It seems it does have some sort of inaccuracy.

Though 1W seems a bit too much. You got it on December , more than 7 months ago. There is a high possibilty the diode has been degraded.

These diodes are being pushed beyond the datasheet max current that being suggessted by the manufacturers. So there is no guarantee they will continue to lase at the same output.

It is probably runing at 2.4A like most builds with 9mm diodes. Max suggested current for a 9mm diode is 1.7A according to the datasheets.

I got it 7 months ago but I haven't used it much, maybe once a week at the very most, most likely once every few weeks. I'm sure there are lot's of other 9mm builds from 7+ months ago, how are they holding up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IWIRE View Post
It shouldn't be the battery if fully charged. Those are pretty good batteries at that current level.
I had a 2.8w 445nm I gave to a friend that was wanting one. I actually gave it to him because I was wanting it to hit 3w and it didn't make it
A couple of months later he started having problems with it and gave it to me to fix. It had a bad clicky switch.
I replaced the clicky switch and decided to LPM again to see how it was holding up. It read 1.5w
I carefully cleaned the lens and the diode window. Re-tested and it hit just a little OVER 3w.
There was my 3w 445 I was hoping to build and I had to give it back.
The switch was bad when I got it, but he sent a replacement switch with it so I replaced it, maybe the new switch is causing problems? I tested it with 2 other lenses and got the same result so it's not that. I don't think cleaning the diode window is the best idea personally.

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Old 07-19-2014, 04:51 PM #7
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

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Originally Posted by brendon7358 View Post

The switch was bad when I got it, but he sent a replacement switch with it so I replaced it, maybe the new switch is causing problems? I tested it with 2 other lenses and got the same result so it's not that. I don't think cleaning the diode window is the best idea personally.
I agree. I didn't WANT to clean the diode window. He had been burning stuff with it. If I wanted the output to come back up, I HAD to clean the diode window.
I don't even like looking at diode windows, much less cleaning them.
You could test the switch with an ohm meter. If it reads good probably not the switch.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:36 PM #8
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

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Originally Posted by brendon7358 View Post
I got it 7 months ago but I haven't used it much, maybe once a week at the very most, most likely once every few weeks. I'm sure there are lot's of other 9mm builds from 7+ months ago, how are they holding up?
Some of them did degraded. I remmember that one member here post a thread about his degrading DominatoR a few months ago.

Diode do degrade overtime. Even if you played with it once a week.

Things you can check :

* Try to check the Switch with an OHM meter. Or you can just bypass the switch with a wire and test the laser.
* Send the laser for someone to check on his LPM. Although , I am sure your LPM is working good.
* Check the diode's window. It might be dirty.

Also wanted to ask about the LPM test you did. It is 2.6W Average ? Or Peak ? As these TEC LPMs Peak power is the Actuall average. It takes 30s for the meter to get to %95 of the power. The software calculate that too in the AVG power output. So peak power is actually the avg in that case.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:38 PM #9
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

Yea don't clean the diode window if it is not dirty. May cause more issues.

Like Joker said the diode is being driven over way over its spec rating and it is probably degraded.

The diodes I have seen that are hitting 3.5W are being run @ 2.6A and usually with LED drivers. They are prone to degradation from the aggressive current and if paired with a LED drivers they usually are hard on the diode and beat it up a bit due to poor overshoot control which is not needed with LED's as they are tanks.

These diodes are pretty tough though and can take it but after a while the excessive current and possibly small surges on every startup can take their toll. I have sold quite a few diodes to people replacing their 3.5W diodes.

@ 2.4A which is still pretty aggressive current they tend to run 2.6W-3W with a G-2 and using an X-drive that has a soft start you usually don't see these kinds of issues.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:45 PM #10
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

I agree with the joker, the diode could have degraded. These diodes are not made to be run at these powers and will drop in power as they get more use.

Quote:
I got it 7 months ago but I haven't used it much, maybe once a week at the very most, most likely once every few weeks. I'm sure there are lot's of other 9mm builds from 7+ months ago, how are they holding up?
I've had a diode degrade from 2.1W to 1.4W in a month with very light use. It all depends on the diode. (This was back in the days of the A140)
The diodes were never meant to be driven this hard and will be unpredictable when they are run out of spec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thejoker301 View Post
I also have the radiant X4 meter. It seems it does have some sort of inaccuracy.
There is a big difference between response time and inaccuracy.
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Quote:
30s for the meter to get to %95 of the power
25s for 95% according to their spec sheet actually.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:13 AM #11
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

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It's the zaser host so I can probably run it for at least 5 minutes. I don't know exactly how long it took but it was surely no more than 1 minute, are you sure that you unfocused the laser first?
Umm, maybe I am the only one here who thinks this, but I SEVERELY doubt that you can run your Zaser for 5 minutes straight without causing severe damage to the diode. The Zaser is not all that big of a host in terms of diameter, and even if it was you have to think about heat that may not be exiting the diode. The diode is likely MUCH hotter than the outside of the host. I know you have been here awhile and maybe I am wrong but that duty cycle you quoted would be the first cause of concern to me.
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Old 07-20-2014, 12:40 AM #12
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

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The diode is likely MUCH hotter than the outside of the host.
Without a doubt. If thr host is warm then the diode is most likely toasty hot.
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Old 07-20-2014, 06:47 PM #13
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

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Without a doubt. If thr host is warm then the diode is most likely toasty hot.
Yea that is an option too. I do not own a Zaser ... but if the host gets hot the diode is even more ...

Sorry for my mistakes about the LPM.

25s to %95. So you bassically read an average power of the laser not the real peak.

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Old 07-20-2014, 07:18 PM #14
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Default Re: 3.5W laser running at 2.6W ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IsaacT View Post
Umm, maybe I am the only one here who thinks this, but I SEVERELY doubt that you can run your Zaser for 5 minutes straight without causing severe damage to the diode. The Zaser is not all that big of a host in terms of diameter, and even if it was you have to think about heat that may not be exiting the diode. The diode is likely MUCH hotter than the outside of the host. I know you have been here awhile and maybe I am wrong but that duty cycle you quoted would be the first cause of concern to me.
I have a Zaser host running the 9mm 462nm. It does seem like a really nice host with good heat transfer but I never run mine more than 3min. I know that's kind of like comparing apples to oranges.
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