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Another AixiZ 50mw 532nm(the new variety) reviewed

Kage

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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw (the new variety) reviewed

Brett Miller said:
Kage,

I did try the procedure you mentioned including turning down the pot and powering it up, but I still think there may be a bigger problem. I'm beginning to believe either it took the c-mount LD with it, or the LD was about to go already. Still, nothing quantitative to report yet.

-Brett
Oh. Sorry to hear that. :( Hopefully the guys at Aixiz will take care of things, then. Good luck.
 

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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw (the new variety) reviewed

Kage, Wannaburn, ElektroFreak, all:

Well, I received my Snoctony 50mw labby.  With this one, I decided to power up using a variac in order to try and be safe.  Now I realize this may not help with a switch mode supply like this, but I guess I was paranoid since my AixiZ AC input (off-line) power supply died right when I plugged it into a power switch the same day I got it....not on first plug try, but a couple hours later.

Anyway, the Snoctony fired right up and was instantly quite bright right out of the box..*much* more so than the AixiZ.  Some have suggested that these two are the same exact module and power supply, but it seems as though, in my case at least, this isn't true.  The parts layout on the power supply is different, although they do seem a very similar design, but the Snoctony module is around half the size of the AixiZ:  



I also checked my AixiZ module to see if its C-mount pump diode had been smoked by the failing power supply (since I now had the AixiZ to plug it into).  I was finally able to test it by unplugging the Snoctony module from it's power supply and plugging in the AixiZ module in its place.  I plugged it in, turned up the power and it fired right up, but with the same weak and rapidly astable output it had in its original AixiZ power supply (before the AixiZ supply died).  It just wasn't nearly as bright as the Snoctony 50, and also much weaker than my AixiZ 15mw labby.  There is definitely more wrong with my AixiZ 50 than just a dead power supply.  

- Could this be a C-mount diode that is near the end of its useful life?
- Crystals that have burned spots on them (requiring a pump alignment tweak?)
- Or crystals that were jostled in shipping and knocked out of alignment?

One thing about the AixiZ 50mw is that when it arrived, it did not look new cosmetically as did my 15mw.  There were dings in the black paint on the heat sink, plus weird scratches on the bottom of the PCB, like someone had tried to mod the power supply by scratching off certain traces.   It may have been a returned unit.  I think AixiZ is a good company to order a lot of things from, but when you buy a very inexpensive laser, you know you are usually taking a gamble (as others have pointed out).

Once I replaced the Snoctony module and powered up again, there was a stable, strong beam.
When I get hands on an LPM, my review info will become more significant.

-Brett
 

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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw (the new variety) reviewed

Looking at the picture there, the Aixiz module has a different driver attched to it than any of mine do.. which is weird.. My Aixiz modules have the same power supply that your Snoctony came with.. also weird. My guess is at the 65-70 dollar price point, you never know what you're gonna get.

I still say if the Aixiz unit isn't working right, send it back. At least Aixiz is here in the US as opposed to Snoctony in Hong Kong or Shenzhen China, so you won't have to wait forever for a replacement..
 

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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw (the new variety) reviewed

Yes the AixiZ driver is the one on the far right in the picture with the heatsink painted black, rather than just plain aluminum showing (as is the case with the Snoctony). I agree with your point completely, at that great price I am not surprised to see some "variation", but the tendency is for people around here to have a good positive experience from AixiZ (plus I got a great overpowered 15mw labby), so I'll keep ordering from them, plus as you stated, it's fast.

Dr. Maricle said I could send back whatever was defective, but if I send anything back, it will be the driver. I'll probably keep the module, just to experiment with the crystals, try replacing the pump, etc.

-Brett
 

Kage

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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw 532nm(the new variety) revi

Nice. Interesting how much bigger it is than the Aixiz. The bigger heat sink on the PCB should stay cooler as well. I wish I would have gotten that type myself.. :-?

From what you are saying about the Aixiz one, I would have to agree with Elektrofreak - send it back. They would almost surely send you a better one.


Here is mine operating at close to full power after several minutes of warmup:
 

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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw 532nm(the new variety) revi

Here's a little more interesting info on the Aixiz laser package. If you look on the bottom of the laser head, there are several mounting holes. At the end closest to the diode, there is a row of three holes. The middle hole contains a set screw that is turned by an allen wrench, although i'm not sure what size the one I use is. Loosening this set screw will allow you to slide the entire module out from the rear. If you rotate the module in the heatsink, you may be able to center the beam in the lens better.. When I removed the module from one of mine, I noticed that the build quality really wasn't horrible, considereing the price. I'd be curious if this is consistant with others out there who have these lasers, so if someone else opens theirs up, post your opinions of construction.
 

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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw 532nm(the new variety) revi

Kage,

In the labby size comparison pic, the Snoctony is on the left (from the point of view of you the observer), and the AixiZ is on the right.  The AixiZ is the larger of the two...but yeah...weird how it basically dwarfs the Snoctony.  Although the Snoctony has had no problems keeping cool despite its diminutive size.  

ElektroFreak,

I will certainly try sliding mine out and realigning the module with the lens.  I have nothing to lose, since mine is still putting out sub standard output even with a different driver...plus this is just the thing I'd like to gain experience tinkering with.  Thanks!  I've actually been wondering how to remove the module from the heatsink.

-Brett

*edit* I went and grabbed my allen wrenches and slid out the module.  It is the 5/64" wrench on my labby, probably the same on yours, although you may be using a metric set.  In any case, it was fun being able to slide the module back to expand the beam.  The unfortunate part is that it will still sometimes seem to have a hard time starting up at full brightness, and then after 30 sec or so, it will jump to full power in a single step.  Now that I have confirmed through experiment that it is not the driver, it's between the diode, and some problem with the crystals (or the way they are aligned in the module).  I will keep tinkering with rotating the module tomorrow, but for now it's bedtime!
 
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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw 532nm(the new variety) revi

Brett Miller said:
Kage,

In the labby size comparison pic, the Snoctony is on the left (from the point of view of you the observer), and the AixiZ is on the right.  The AixiZ is the larger of the two...but yeah...weird how it basically dwarfs the Snoctony.  Although the Snoctony has had no problems keeping cool despite its diminutive size.  

ElektroFreak,

I will certainly try sliding mine out and realigning the module with the lens.  I have nothing to lose, since mine is still putting out sub standard output even with a different driver...plus this is just the thing I'd like to gain experience tinkering with.  Thanks!  I've actually been wondering how to remove the module from the heatsink.

-Brett

*edit* I went and grabbed my allen wrenches and slid out the module.  It is the 5/64" wrench on my labby, probably the same on yours, although you may be using a metric set.  In any case, it was fun being able to slide the module back to expand the beam.  The unfortunate part is that [highlight]it will still sometimes seem to have a hard time starting up at full brightness, and then after 30 sec or so, it will jump to full power in a single step[/highlight].  Now that I have confirmed through experiment that it is not the driver, it's between the diode, and some problem with the crystals (or the way they are aligned in the module).  I will keep tinkering with rotating the module tomorrow, but for now it's bedtime!
One thing you'll find about DPSS lasers is that they take awhile to stabilize after powering up. Usually they go through some major power fluctuations over the first 15 minutes or so. How much they fluctuate depends on the laser and varies widely. I've seen some literally flash on and off for the first minute or so as everything stabilized. This behavior is normal. Don't expect stability from an inexpensive DPSS laser until after at least 15 minutes.
 

Kage

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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw 532nm(the new variety) revi

ElektroFreak said:
Here's a little more interesting info on the Aixiz laser package. If you look on the bottom of the laser head, there are several mounting holes. At the end closest to the diode, there is a row of three holes. The middle hole contains a set screw that is turned by an allen wrench, although i'm not sure what size the one I use is. Loosening this set screw will allow you to slide the entire module out from the rear. If you rotate the module in the heatsink, you may be able to center the beam in the lens better.. When I removed the module from one of mine, I noticed that the build quality really wasn't horrible, considereing the price. I'd be curious if this is consistant with others out there who have these lasers, so if someone else opens theirs up, post your opinions of construction.
Thanks, I can't wait to try this, mine is way off center, maybe it will improve the power just a bit more... :D

Brett Miller said:
Kage,

In the labby size comparison pic, the Snoctony is on the left (from the point of view of you the observer), and the AixiZ is on the right. The AixiZ is the larger of the two...but yeah...weird how it basically dwarfs the Snoctony. Although the Snoctony has had no problems keeping cool despite its diminutive size.
Thanks for pointing this out. I was thinking "Man that Snoctony laser must be Huge!" :eek:
 

Brett

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Re: Another AixiZ 50mw 532nm(the new variety) revi

ElektroFreak said:
One thing you'll find about DPSS lasers is that they take awhile to stabilize after powering up. Usually they go through some major power fluctuations over the first 15 minutes or so. How much they fluctuate depends on the laser and varies widely. I've seen some literally flash on and off for the first minute or so as everything stabilized. This behavior is normal. Don't expect stability from an inexpensive DPSS laser until after at least 15 minutes.
True and thanks for reminding me.  I've certainly read a lot of that from reviews and posts on here concerning warm up time of DPSS lasers.  It's just that I think it's nowhere near as bright as any of my DPSS lasers even after reaching its stable maximum.  

I think I may get a small silicon solar cell and measure mA while I shine my laser on it.  Then I can make adjustments using the solar cell as a rudimentary LPM.  It won't have calibration, but it can make relative measurements.

-Brett
 




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