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Duty Cycle

Zeebit

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My first laser has just recently failed. I had dropped it once but it was still working after that but after a few minutes of playing around it finally gave up and I did not even use it continuosly. it was like 30 secs on then another 30 secs off. I have a replacement coming and I do not want it to die again. Will reducing the on cycle be of any help in preventing premature failure? i live in a tropical area where the relarive humidity is high and temps average at around 30C but go up as high as 34C.
 

gillza

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More details on the diode, host, driver please? Your question is so far simply this:
My laser broke, what's wrong with it?
 

Cyparagon

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They're known for dying randomly. That's what happens when you spend $10 on a green Chinese turd.
 

billg519

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Assuming that you have a green, when it fell, something was loosened. Probably the crystals, which are glued in place. A few more minutes of operation, and they loosen more and move out of alignment. Can you see any IR coming from the laser, by using a vidcam? The cam can see IR. If so, its the crystals. Don't drop the replacement laser. If it is warm out, use a duty cycle.
 

Zeebit

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Cyparagon

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something was loosened. Probably the crystals, which are glued in place. A few more minutes of operation, and they loosen more and move out of alignment.


Do you honestly think that's likely? The crystal weighs almost nothing - it's about as large as a shard of mechanical pencil lead, and it's epoxied in place.
 

thatguynate

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Isn't it possible that the drop made some small fracture somewhere, epoxy or otherwise, that worsened due to the heating/cooling cycle of it being on/off? Your ambient temperature wouldn't do much in itself other than slightly reduce what your safe duty cycle would be.

Running it for less time and letting it cool thoroughly in between uses would definitely stress the diode less, but it could also just be a matter of your power source not being adequately driven. If it was too high going into the diode or with too much fluctuation, the drop could have been inconsequential and your trouble was just bound to happen anyway.

Moving forward, I would definitely recommend knowing more about the components of your next laser, it will help troubleshooting tremendously.
 

billg519

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@Cyparagon - I've dropped a couple of lasers over the years and the damage to near weightless parts can be amazing. In an IR handheld, the c-mount diode was destroyed by a fall from a tabletop to the concrete floor. Inspection under a microscope showed that the die was cracked. How likely is that ? I dropped a green, again off a table. The cheap epoxy inside let go, and alignment was lost. I saved it with more epoxy, but the output was now 35mW where it used to be 50mW. Lasers hate being dropped.
 




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