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Laser fails when pointed upwards?

Kdog701

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So I just got my Equality series 500mW 532nm back from Jetlasers for repair, but unfortunately it still has some issues.
First, it looks no brighter than my 186mW Spyder 3 and doesn't burn as well.
Second, the beam is never stable. It is usually in the mode with two parallel beams and is always visually fluctuating in power.
But lastly, it shuts off when oriented upwards.

It sounded like the entire module was loose inside the head and I noticed that there were more threads showing in the gap between the two pieces of the head than I remember. So, I broke out my weight lifting straps and cranked on the body as hard as I could. This resulted in a slight amount of movement and I can't here the module shaking any more, but it still cuts out easily.

Yes, I emailed Gray two days ago about this, but I haven't heard back and was wondering if I can do anything about these issues instead of sending it all the way back to China again and losing it for another month.

(Note: I am trying to show a video I took of it cutting off depending on its orientation. From my computer I got a security error when I tried to upload it so this is all from my phone and I'm not positive it will work. If it doesn't could someone tell me how to get around the security error?)

I'm not saying Jetlasers is a bad company, Gray showed me a video of what appears to be my laser peaking at 610mW, but this kind of thing shouldn't happen to a laser during shipping.
 

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diachi

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The non-TEM00 mode could be a result of temperature, or something else. Not something you can really fix without sending back to them. All you can do is ensure you've got the right batteries, fully charged and the laser isn't too cold or too hot. It could also be an alignment issue or too much pump power too.

As for cutting out when pointing up - sounds like a bad battery contact, what end is the battery spring at?
 
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Kdog701

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I made sure the battery was making full contact, and tried a variety of 18650s I had laying around but nothing changed. Also, it workes just fine when pointed downwards.
 

danefex

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But lastly, it shuts off when oriented upwards.
Is there a battery contact spring inside the tailcap you can stretch & lengthen a little by pulling on the tip of the spring with a pair of tweezers? Have you also tried a small spacer between the cells?

I've had a few lasers that either needed longer cells for a tighter internal connection to stay on when being shaken or pointed in any direction. I've also found that stretching the tailcap spring a tiny bit fixes this problem - IF the problem is a loose connection which from what it sounds like, I'm just guessing

:beer:

EDIT: you replied about the 18650 while I was replying... fast hands! Just watched your vid, def loose parts - Id crack that sucker open & tighten whatevers shakin in there OR send it back to JL ;)
 
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diachi

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I made sure the battery was making full contact, and tried a variety of 18650s I had laying around but nothing changed. Also, it workes just fine when pointed downwards.

If the spring is on the tail cap it'd make sense that it works pointing down but not up. Pointing up the spring would be compressed by the weight of the battery, disconnecting the battery from the other contact. When pointing down the spring would decompress as there is no force applied to, maintaining the connection with both contacts. Perhaps another bad contact somewhere, in the switch maybe? Could always try hooking it up to a DC power supply that has the same voltage as your battery to see if the issue persists, using crocodile clips to ensure a good connection.

But if that's not the case (i.e. not something electrical) then it's something optical - that seems much less likely though, DPSS is picky at the best of times, you'd be having bigger issues.

Anyway - If you don't want to send it to JL to be repaired/replaced/refunded perhaps someone else here can fix it. There are a couple of members that have experience repairing DPSS pointers specifically.
 

dden4012

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Button top or flat top batts? What's on the tail cap a spring or spring loaded post? What about in the host, spring in there too? I'm guessing you have flat tops and your using the magnet spacers.
 

InfinitusEquitas

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There is definitely a loose connection or two there. If you can, post pictures of the laser taken apart, in so much as you can do without any tools (so as not to void warranty).

To me it looks like a loose module that is loosing contact with the host (body) of the laser. Which would go a long way to explaining the instability, and mode hopping too.

For the tailcap, there are often two little indents on a ring around the sping. Make sure that is tightened down, and the spring makes contact with the battery.

Also worthwhile to just try to bypass the tailcap altogether, use a piece of wire and see if the laser is relatively stable. If it's the tailcap there's no reason to send the whole laser back and Gray could probably just send you a spare.

If it's a loose module, again something that could be easy to fix, depending on how easy it is to get to.
 

Kdog701

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It's not the battery. The contacts are plenty long and I did connect it up with a wire and got the same thing. I tried to open up the body but it just won't budge. And now it seems like it will only work when rolled onto a certain side when level. :thinking:
 

InfinitusEquitas

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In that case it's definitely an issue with module. Either it's not making contact with the host, or there is a problem with the module itself. Either way if the host is well sealed, there is really no option but to send it back for repair.
 

Kdog701

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Update:

On a combination of 1x18350 and 1x16340 (basically the same but in case anyone is wondering) the power is much better. I remember it burning better on just an 18650 when I first got it 8 months ago so I would estimate it's up to 300-400mW. Other issues still persist and on 2 cells it will completely shut off after about 30 seconds, I assume from some over-voltage protection.
 

Benm

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Seems like some connection issue still. The slightly bigger batteries could explain why it now makes decent connection. Their larger capacity would not explain any large difference unless the smaller cells were really crappy... but that would not change with orientation of the laser at all.
 

Kdog701

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Another update:

I fixed it! Almost. Figured out that I was trying to tear it apart at the wrong joint. Turns out the very front of it comes lookse to reveal the lens and diode. Pliers easily removed the lens. the silver piece was reverse threaded from the lens, so when I got that out I turned the silver piece down until it wouldn't go any more and the module didn't shake any more. popped some batteries back in it and it worked perfectly!

Only thing is, I found it wouldn't put out max power on a 18650, even one of my 25A high-drain cells. my 16340-18350 combo certainly made it put out some power, maybe even more that the 610mW Gray tested it at! That tripped the over-voltage protection after 20-30s and the beam didn't look grat, but 1x 16340 and 1x standard cr123 put out almost as much power with a better beam and it would run continuously (2x cr123 wouldn't put out as much).

So, now I just have a laser with very particular battery requirements that make no sense to me in the context of other 532nm lasers. Whatever, if its working I'm happy.
 

CynicalBrad

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DO NOT mix battery types.
Even mixing a fully charged with a partially charged lithium battery can end badly enough, yet alone mixing rechargeable (3.7v-4.2v) with primary (3v) batteries.
It is just not worth the risk of either cell getting damaged from taking the load of the other cell by acting as a resistor in the circuit due to the voltage and chemistry differences.
I'm not going to link any videos, but look into what can happen when li-po batteries decide to fail.
[It isn't something you want happening in your house/car/hand]
 

Kdog701

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Ok I won't do that. I've tested it more and it just won't put out max power at anything less than ~7V.
 

Benm

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It seems that this laser as some really odd regulation and/or connection problems.

If it is regulation at fault you could test this by running it from a lab bench power supply, noting at what voltages it fails or works well.

A laser that only works well if you put in some odd mix of batteries does not seem to be designed very well, or have some fault. Something designed to take 2 lipo cells should just work anywhere from about 8.4 volts down to 7 or 6, depending on how deep you like it to discharge cells, or if you want to rely on internal battery protection circuits.
 




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