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Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW (Fixed)

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Hey guys, so I just fired up my argon for the first time since I got my LPM and decided to take a reading, and to my surpise the laser (a JDSU 2214-20SLMD) is only outputting 5mW according to my LPM, even though its rated for 20mW according to the model number. It fired up on the first ignition pulse thing so im not worried about the tube and the optics. It doesnt seem any less intense than it was before but we all know how reliable the eyes are as LPMs.

I think its a simple electrical issue, since the controller is not the original, it was built by an LPF member for me. I think what is going on is the laser is running in idle mode and the controller I have (which does have a potentiometer for current modulation) does not have the correct pinout to modulate current and instead simply has the pinout for idle instead.

So, as my signature says, considering I dont know anything about electronics, what am i sopposed to do about this? I think I might be able solder the potentiometer to the right pins if I can get someone to help me on what to do becuase otherwise im useless here.

BTW, i plan on either selling this laser or donating it to a local university, so if anyone is interested PM me.
 
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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

That could very well be the case. Those pull 10 to 12 amps when maxed out. Too bad it isn't a multi line as you would probably see fewer lines in just enough current to get it to lase. There are others here that may know more than I do about that particular argon.
 
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Sta

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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

I'll send you a picture of my ghetto controller wiring tomorrow - should set it to maximum power.
 

diachi

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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

Measure the voltage between pin 9 and pin 11 on the controller connector. Calibration is 0.1V/A tube current. At idle that works out to about 0.4V (4A).

You can run these up to a little over 10A but it is not recommended, running at 10A for extended periods drastically shortens tube life. 8A is what they are rated for.

You can build a controller - you'll need to buy a male DB25 connector and use that. You can also use a standard old 25 pin parallel cable (same as ILDA) as an extension if you need. That way you can build your controller neatly into a box and have a detachable cable.

Manual:

http://www.rdrelectronics.com/skip/excess/JDSU/2214manual.pdf

See Chapter 2 - Installation - Page 19 (manual's page numbering, not your PDF readers).

Sam's FAQ also has some schematics/pinouts/notes.

https://www.repairfaq.org/sam/laserasc.htm#asccu1i

Scroll down to "CU-2214 Remote Wiring and Control Panel"
 
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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

I was hoping diachi would chime in here. You got a manual and a link to Sam's Laser FAQs on this laser. All very useful and necessary information to do this right. + rep.
 
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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

I'll send you a picture of my ghetto controller wiring tomorrow - should set it to maximum power.

Measure the voltage between pin 9 and pin 11 on the controller connector. Calibration is 0.1V/A tube current. At idle that works out to about 0.4V (4A).

You can run these up to a little over 10A but it is not recommended, running at 10A for extended periods drastically shortens tube life. 8A is what they are rated for.

You can build a controller - you'll need to buy a male DB25 connector and use that. You can also use a standard old 25 pin parallel cable (same as ILDA) as an extension if you need. That way you can build your controller neatly into a box and have a detachable cable.

Manual:

http://www.rdrelectronics.com/skip/excess/JDSU/2214manual.pdf

See Chapter 2 - Installation - Page 19 (manual's page numbering, not your PDF readers).

Sam's FAQ also has some schematics/pinouts/notes.

https://www.repairfaq.org/sam/laserasc.htm#asccu1i

Scroll down to "CU-2214 Remote Wiring and Control Panel"

I dont even have a multimeter to check the voltage. When I say im bad with electrical stuff I really mean it. I understand the pinout, and the voltage across the pins that controll it and all that, but i really dont have the experience to risk trying to build my own controller for this thing. My main concern was why it was not reaching its specified output, and I think we have a bit of a consensus that it is becuase of a faulty controller. So, im going to contact the person who built the contoller for me and see what they say. If anyone knows where I can get a controller or if anyone can build a controller for me let me know. Otherwise thanks for the help, and ill keep you guys updated on the situation.
 
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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

Didn't I build one of these for you? It's been a while.

I think what is going on is the laser is running in idle mode and the controller I have (which does have a potentiometer for current modulation) does not have the correct pinout to modulate current and instead simply has the pinout for idle instead.

You think. I'll be happy to admit if I've made a mistake, but as you admit, you're not very good with electronics and this is all on a hunch.

I think we have a bit of a consensus that it is becuase of a faulty controller.

That's not a fair accusation. You've not measured the current or checked the pinout.



EDIT: Yeah, it was me. Here's copy pasta from my PM dated January 2016.

It's a plain black plastic box about 2x2x5 inches. It has a ~2ft cable with the db25 connector, a pot for tube current adjustment, an on/off switch, a LED indicating the controller has power, and banana jacks near the cable. Functions are labeled. To measure tube current, put the pokey bits of your voltmeter in the banana jacks. 0.1V per amp. 0.4V means 4A, 0.8V means 8A, etc. A pot setting of full CCW is 4A. A pot setting of full CW is 8A.

Since I've even installed jacks to measure the tube current, go to the nearest harbor freight and get a multimeter. A $2 meter will work for this. Please at least check the tube current before assuming the controller is faulty.
 
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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

Didn't I build one of these for you? It's been a while.



You think. I'll be happy to admit if I've made a mistake, but as you admit, you're not very good with electronics and this is all on a hunch.



That's not a fair accusation. You've not measured the current or checked the pinout.



EDIT: Yeah, it was me. Here's copy pasta from my PM dated January 2016.



Since I've even installed jacks to measure the tube current, go to the nearest harbor freight and get a multimeter. A $2 meter will work for this. Please at least check the tube current before assuming the controller is faulty.

Was going to PM you earlier today but forgot, sorry about that. So I cant get a multimeter right now but I definitely will soon since there are many times I would have needed one. Something I cant beleive I forgot to mention in the OP is that the potentiometer does not effect the output power. I really dont get how I forgot to mention that since its like the main thing that lead to that conclusion.

I think its very possible that your controller is correct, but this laser is different since its very old and has that "MD" designation.

I just checked the wiring, and I did some looking at that laser FAQ but im not 100% so ill report what I see to Cyp.

So, im going to call Lumentum and see if I can get a spec sheet or someone who knows anything about this ancient device becuase JDSU doesnt exist anymore and lumentum is the company that still makes lasers (With the same model numers too, how handy!). Sorry Cyp, I feel like I could have handled this better had I not been so lazy.

EDIT: something kind of odd, this laser was made on June 11, 2000, so its OLD. It has another sticker on it that says it was "remanufactured" by the national laser company in september 2009, so I will have to contact them too and see what they can tell me about it, since it has a specific serial number given by the national laser company.
 
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diachi

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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

Was going to PM you earlier today but forgot, sorry about that. So I cant get a multimeter right now but I definitely will soon since there are many times I would have needed one. Something I cant beleive I forgot to mention in the OP is that the potentiometer does not effect the output power. I really dont get how I forgot to mention that since its like the main thing that lead to that conclusion.

I think its very possible that your controller is correct, but this laser is different since its very old and has that "MD" designation.

I just checked the wiring, and I did some looking at that laser FAQ but im not 100% so ill report what I see to Cyp.

So, im going to call Lumentum and see if I can get a spec sheet or someone who knows anything about this ancient device becuase JDSU doesnt exist anymore and lumentum is the company that still makes lasers (With the same model numers too, how handy!). Sorry Cyp, I feel like I could have handled this better had I not been so lazy.

EDIT: something kind of odd, this laser was made on June 11, 2000, so its OLD. It has another sticker on it that says it was "remanufactured" by the national laser company in september 2009, so I will have to contact them too and see what they can tell me about it, since it has a specific serial number given by the national laser company.


Pinout should be the same, I'm not aware of any changes to those 25 pin connectors on any of the models that use them. The manual I linked to has the only pinout I know of in it, as does Sam's FAQ.

Let us know what the tube current is at, and if it changes with the pot adjustment or not.
 
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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

Mr. Rosen wasn't sure if this should be a private or a public matter. I'm all for public if someone else can learn something. I'm referencing this page for correct pinout. Here is some info he provided via PM.

1: Orange wire connected to 3 (interlock)
3: Orange wire connected to 1(interlock)

2: Red wire connected to the midle terminal of the On/Off switch in project
box (which works, so it must be correct)

5: Orange wire conntected to 20 (not sure what this does)

Interlock is correct.
On/off is correct.
grounding pin 5 sets the laser to current mode.


6: White wire, worth noting that its insulation is slightly melted and discolored as if it was almost burnt, it is connected to the midle terminal of the potentiometer in the project box.

8: Orange wire that leads to the project box however has electrical tape over the exposed end and does not connect to any components.

9: Blue wire, connected to yellow multimeter jack.

If you mean the ends of the wire are discolored, this is normal. I don't buy wire, I salvage it from old parts, and sometimes the insulation discolors when soldering. This is normal and harmless. If the insulation has become bubbly or carbonized over the length of the wire, this would indeed indicate a problem. This pin is the control pin for the current input.

pin 8 was optional power metering. Not used in your case. If I remember correctly, I chose a cable that had 9 conductors and only needed 8 or something like that. Not sure.

pin 9 is current monitor port. Instructions were given previously.


13: black wire that leads to project box however is not connected anywhere. If the controller in the issue, not just incompatible, this is likely the culprit, but we'll have to see.

20: Orange wire connected to 5, see 5.

21: Green wire connected to black multimeter jack

If you're seeing this properly, THIS is a problem. +15V comes from this pin and should go to the pot (which should have a resistor on either side maybe?) and also to an LED (or LED dropper resistor) for power indication. If this broke off (in shipping, due to mishandling of the cable/unit, bad solder joint, or some of each), the voltage control on the current input would be zero, and the power indicator on the box would not light.

pins 20 and 21 are both ground. One or the other needs to be connected to each of the following:
LED (or LED dropper resistor)
one leg of the pot (possibly through another resistor)
pin 5
multimeter jack
one pin of the power switch

Note, the grounds may be daisy chained.

I had some build documentation on this, but I can't find it at the moment so I'm going from memory, which is rusty after 20 months.

To summarize, pin 13 needs to be connected to at least the resistor that is connected to the pot, but also ideally (again perhaps daisy chained) to the LED or LED dropper resistor - whichever pin isn't ground.
 
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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

So after cyp figured out the problem he told me what to do. A wire had broken off of where it was soldered, and after soldering it back, the laser is operating as expected! now it has a very clearly visible beam at 20mW. If i push the tube current to max, it outputs 35mW. For a 17 year old laser, thats pretty damn good in my opinion. This laser is now for sale but im not exactly sure what I want for it (ill put a post in BST soon).
 
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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

post pics or... it never happened..JK
 

Encap

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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

So after cyp figured out the problem he told me what to do. A wire had broken off of where it was soldered, and after soldering it back, the laser is operating as expected! now it has a very clearly visible beam at 20mW. If i push the tube current to max, it outputs 35mW. For a 17 year old laser, thats pretty damn good in my opinion. This laser is now for sale but im not exactly sure what I want for it (ill put a post in BST soon).

Congratulations on effecting the repair. :beer:
Is a nice laser now--output is very strong/everything it should be and then some if pushed.
Good job. Enjoy it.

Some pictures would be a nice treat for everyone now that it is working correctly
 
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Re: Argon Rated for 20mW Only Outputting 5mW

Lol, I would but I already uploaded a few pics to the thread where I bought it. Im not sure if they are still there though.

see my pics

atm prices on a JDSU interfaces/interlock were high ~$100 for the 2500 and more for the 2505 iirc- the better on has its own LCD read outs.
both could be found cheaper a time later. IIRC the 2505 has mW read out.
(I will look)

I found a seller in Houston who sells a completed bare board for 100$ and it has all the places to check things with your DMM.. I made a case for it from a disc box --perfect fit... and 'see=thru' db25 on the back.
--
lastly... in a found loose in the box used to ship a SL argon, a controller made from JUST a ILDA plug and TRIMPOT turn it counter clockwise and the current increases turn it back for idle..

OK I give up trying to URL these pics [[but you can see them all here:

http://laserpointerforums.com/members/hakzaw1/albums/laser-shots-hakzaw1/
 
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