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Laser Focusing Springs

tsteele93

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INNER SPRINGS UPDATE MAY 19, 2012

I have received all of these springs and have tested the internal springs.

The internal springs are VERY GOOD with one caveat... They MAY have to be cut to work with a G-1 lens. I don't know if the G-2 sits any higher - but even though the specs have this spring solid at a lower height, the thicker coils don't "mush up together" like the OEM Aixiz springs.

UPDATE: I have played with these some more and I had not tried them on a red laser. Tonight I tried the internal springs below on a 635nm and a 660nm with Jayrob's 650G-1 lens and they work great - I guess the red lens does not have to sit as low. I ALSO tried messing with my new 445nm build and got it to work without cutting too. It took some jiggering around with the spring near the bottom, but I was able to get to full focus and just past WITHOUT cutting the spring. I do not currently have a 405 working to test, but this spring is looking better and better. Hopefully some of the other members who have purchased it will report back on their experience as well!

They work great with the standard acrylic and glass aixiz lenses.

Best of all, they are stiff - but not too stiff. If you hated the slop of the OEM Aixiz springs then you will love these.

I've put them in all my lasers, even though I had to cut some down for my builds with G-1 lenses. It is worth it.

I will get to the outer springs later, but at first glance I think they agree going to be too SOFT to be useful. I'll get back on that.

OUTER SPRINGS UPDATE: MAY 19, 2012

The outer springs are oddball springs with 2 coils at each end doing nothing but adding to the stack height. They seem to bind WAY BEFORE focus and don't seem like a good option. I am sending some of these to some other LPF members to play with to see if they have different results or any ideas, but I am going to say that neither of the OUTER SPRINGS below are a good external spring option right now.

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I think it is time to share this with everyone: there has been a discussion going on in a top secret section of the forum that most forum members have never visited or even heard of called the Group Buy section. ;)

Some of us have been looking for a supply of springs to provide tension on the threaded lenses that we all use in order to provide more precise focusing and to hold a focus point firmly once it is achieved. You know, sort of like the springs that actually come with the Aixiz modules.

However, there has been a large group buy of copper modules and they will be coming without these springs so a new source was needed. There was some debate over internal vs external springs and ultimately we were able to potentially find sourcing for both.

I will start with the information on the internal springs we are all so familiar with from Aixiz.

Internal laser spring

Outer diameter 0.269 inches / 6.84mm
Inner diameter 0.244 inches / 6.22mm

Open length 0.580 inches / 14.75 mm (this could change a good bit without causing problems)

0.014 inches / 0.35 mm wire diameter - not super important

Solid height 0.10 inch / 2.44mm - kind of important, less is great but more is bad!

The following spring on eBay appears to be a usable substitute.

50 ea .300" OD x .020" Wire Dia x .440" Long - Compression Springs - Chrome | eBay

I just ordered 50 for $13.95 free shipping. So that is $0.28 USD each. They are also available at 500 for $60.00 free shipping which is $0.12 USD each.

They are 0.300 inches o.d. I measured a module and the "hole" is about 0.333" so they should fit inside the module ok.

They have 0.260 inches i.d. which is great.

0.440 inches length - no problem here I don't think.

0.084 inches solid height. Excellent!

These should work fine, I expect to have them by Friday or Monday to see for sure.

Next we decided to try and find an option for those who prefer the outer spring... I started with the measurements on the external spring that come with the Survival Laser as a reference point to a spring we know works.

External laser spring

Outer diameter 0.425"
Inner diameter 0.375"

Diameter of 650-G1 lens case 0.3525" (This is our absolute inner diameter)

Open length 0.375" (not a mistake - happens to be same as i.d.)
Solid height 0.115"

The closest thing I can find (reasonably priced) are these two choices on eBay.

100 ea .390" OD x .016" Wire Dia x .550" Long - Compression Springs - Stainless | eBay

They are TIGHT on the lens case, with an inner diameter of 0.358" and the outer diameter of a 650-G1 case is 0.3525" so they will be close! (Note: the plastic lenses from Aixiz are a little smaller at about 0.350" and have a little more room.)

Also, the solid height is a little longer too, at 0.144" compared to around 0.115" for the Survival Laser versions, but these springs have a spare coil at top and bottom, so if they bind before focus then it would be easy enough to clip one (or both) of the spare coils to bring the lens closer.

And they have the best price of the bunch.

100 @ $13.95 with free shipping works out to... Hold on, let me get my calculator. Ahh yes, less than 14 cents each.

The other option is more expensive, but may be better.

50 ea .390" OD x .016" Wire Dia x .642" Long - Compression Springs - Stainless | eBay

These are VERY similar to the springs above, the difference is that they are longer when opened (0.642" vs 0.550") but they have a different pitch so they actually close up tighter at solid height (bind) (0.091" vs 0.144")

You get only 50 of these at the same $13.95 so 28 cents each.

These also have the 0.358" inner diameter so they will be snug.

The ONE THING I could not really test easily was the spring rate. I am generally assuming that these springs will have an acceptable force/pressure for our application and not be too soft or too hard. My assumption is based on the idea that the size limits the pressures from being too high or low without exotic materials being involved. If I am wrong, then I am out $15-$45 and have a bunch of springs in my garage. I'll make some weird shoes out of them or something. :D

I will post back after they arrive to make sure these work, so I would suggest waiting until I report back before anyone else jumps on board. If they all test well I will report back and let everyone know how they do. :)
 
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Tech_Junkie

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I find the Teflon Tape method works the best. It makes the threads tight, and allows for easier adjustments.

The springs do create tension, but you still have thread slop. And that makes them harder to adjust, and hold focus. The slightest tap can easily knock the focus off.
 

tsteele93

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Well then, you won't be needing any of these will you? :)
 

jcranmer

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With my limited experience between the two, I prefer the external springs over Teflon tape. I don't know, I guess they just seem "cleaner" if that makes any since.
 

Tech_Junkie

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No, I'll pass, thank you.

I dont understand cleaner. :thinking: But whatever floats your boat.
 

tsteele93

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With my limited experience between the two, I prefer the external springs over Teflon tape. I don't know, I guess they just seem "cleaner" if that makes any since.
I've actually got an internal and an external on my Survival Laser and kind of like it. I tried the Teflon tape but it wasn't my preference. It would do in a pinch, but I prefer the springs. :)
 

Tech_Junkie

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I just read your OP.

Jeez, those are so cheap you can practically give them away.

I'll tell you what. I'll buy them for you, and you can pay for the shipping to everyone that wants some. Going through a GB for $14 is kind of silly IMO. I dont understand why you just didnt buy them and offer them up for sale.

Or better yet post a link to the auction.
 
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Benm

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I find the Teflon Tape method works the best. It makes the threads tight, and allows for easier adjustments.

The springs do create tension, but you still have thread slop. And that makes them harder to adjust, and hold focus. The slightest tap can easily knock the focus off.
Depends a bit on what you do with your lasers. I like to use teflon tape on units that are mostly set to a single focus point (mostly infinity). If you want to adjust the focal point all the time a spring is probably preferable though, since the teflon tape will get sloppy with continous adjustment.
 

AnthoT

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Yea nice find tseele ;) these will be quite useful for the 1500+ modules coming everyone's way :D
 

tsteele93

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I just read your OP.

Jeez, those are so cheap you can practically give them away.

I'll tell you what. I'll buy them for you, and you can pay for the shipping to everyone that wants some. Going through a GB for $14 is kind of silly IMO. I dont understand why you just didnt buy them and offer them up for sale.

Or better yet post a link to the auction.
Well, my thinking was that there are still some variables that I'm not 100% sure of, like the tight fit on the externals and the spring rate on all of them. So I was just ordering the small size order to test them and I actually do occasionally send folks small batches of things when it can help out here and there.

But I figured if they DO work well, then some of the module sellers like DTR and Jayrob and other builders could order them in the 500 batches and offer them with any modules they sell, or sell them for a quarter each or whatever they need to do to make sense of it.

I wasn't really organizing a group buy, just sharing what I found. I might have confused the issue by bringing up the Group Buy section because that is where we were talking about it originally. AnthoT's copper module group buy created a huge influx of modules coming this way with no springs for them and RHD suggested we try to source some springs before they get here. I went about it the hard way by looking everywhere but eBay until last. :D

And unless I screwed up, the links to the buy it now auctions for each spring should be posted in the original post. I can consolidate them if they aren't showing up clearly right now. I know that is a big chunk of text. I wanted to have all the info so that in the future if someone needed the specs on the springs, they would all be in one post to find. Which was silly, cause no one ever searches anyway. :D

Inner Springs

50 count, .300 o.d. x .400 long chrome springs $13.95

500 count, .300 o.d. x .400 long chrome springs $60.00

Outer Springs

Option 1

50 count, .390 o.d. x .642 long stainless steel springs $13.95

500 count, .390 o.d. x .642 long stainless steel springs $60.00

Option 2

100 count, .390 o.d. x .550 long stainless steel springs $13.95

1000 count, .390 o.d. x .550 long stainless steel springs $60.00


:)
 
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Tech_Junkie

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I understand Tom. But why not just post the links, and let people help in finding what works? Then everyone can just grab what they want/need when someone finds what works best?

Or if you want to pioneer the search just buy them yourself. See what works, and pass on the info. People do it all the time with lasers, and other related items worth 10 times what these costs.

You're really over complicating it. We do this stuff all the time.

If you can wait a week, I'll buy a batch to help out. Someone else can grab another batch, ect.
 

Bionic-Badger

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I prefer the teflon tape myself, mostly because it's not the spring tension that I care about so much that the threads of the screw and the screw hole are not tight, so the lens wobbles especially with metal lens housings.

For the spring itself, another thing you can do is just stretch out regular spring and it'll provide more push.
 

AUS

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I took the life of a LOC diode with a spring that was a little stiff once.
 

DarkSide

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tsteele93

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Great website. They can fabricate or source just about any fastner or hardware..and spring you may need. I have ordered springs from them, not custom. They threw in an assortment with a large order i was placing. Of the 200 springs, maybe 50-60 were perfect Aixiz replicas.

Combo of Teflon tape and a good spring works best, IMHO...

Stock Compression Springs for Sale from Century Spring | Music Wire, Stainless Steel & More
I tried them and couldn't find any springs under a $ - maybe I should search harder.

Stock Compression Springs for Sale from Century Spring | Music Wire, Stainless Steel & More
 




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