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Shinp Cl-16rgy brightness fault (significant dimness in brightness)

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I recently purchased some Shinp Cl-16's for a stage production shows. Two of them are connected via dmxing to an LSC Clarity controller and have worked fone for the short amount of time I've had them.

But during the rehearsal for a show I noticed that one of on-stage laser's was very dim for no apparent reason. Luckily I have a third one that I swapped it with (thinking it may have been a power fault) and the third one worked fine.

I tested the faulty Shinp from another power source and it was still quite dim.


I've looked around on a number of forums and none of them mentioned a fault like this. Has anyone else noticed anything similar with this particular model or brand?

I am also aware that the problem could be simply that they're cheap lasers, but most people seem to say how good and reliable they are.


Any help or ideas would be great, cheers
 

dkumpula

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Hello iEnjoyCoolLights,

I have one of those Shinp CL-16RGY units and although I haven't encountered the problem you describe, I can tell you a couple things to look at if you haven't already. I suspect your problem is either laser alignment or a diode driver adjustment. By taking off the front faceplate and the top screws on the back side, you'll be able to slide off the top panel and gain easy access to everything. You didn't mention if the problem is just the red or green laser, but I'll assume it is only one of the two. If both are dim there are several possibilities including alignment problems, not all of which I'll cover here.

In either case, the first thing to check is the optics and alignment. First look at obvious stuff - i.e. did something get into the unit like a dust bunny and block the laser's path? Is the dichronic filter clean (that's the thing with slightly colored glass near the lasers)? Are the mirrors clean? If not, carefully clean them. Be very careful when you clean to not put too much pressure and break anything. Make sure the power is disconnected first. I use a slightly damp q-tip (water only) and then gently dry it with the other side of the q-tip. Assuming everything is OK on that front, plug it in and check the laser's path. Be careful when turning it on - RGB laser protective goggles are strongly recommended. See if the red an green are combining correctly at the same point on the dicro and then going to the lower mirror and reflecting off the upper mirror and out the unit. As Shinp glues everything down and the mirrors are huge on that unit, I suspect that alignment is not causing your problem. Assuming no problems with obstructions or alignment (again assuming only one of the lasers are dim), it may just require a small adjustment to the diode driver (the electronics sitting right next to the lasers). I've seen several low end lasers that the diode driver ages and puts out slightly less power than it used to, making one of the lasers emit very dim. SLIGHTLY increasing the output of the driver can return the laser to its former glory, HOWEVER, if you significantly overdrive the diode or run it too high for a period of time, it will cause the laser diode to burn out completely. I'm going to assume here that you do not have the meter to test the electronics and are willing to "experiment" on this relatively inexpensive unit. If not, have a professional deal with it.

If you are willing to experiment, first note that there is only one driver circuit board connected to both the red and green lasers. You will also see that there are two small blue pots/variable resistors on that unit. One should drive the output to the red laser and the other the green - sorry I don't know which is which. Using a jeweler's screwdriver while the lasers are on, turn one of the potentiometers slightly clockwise (stay within a half turn). If this is the problem you should see a significant change in the laser brightness with a small adjustment. If not, try turning half a turn the opposite counter-clockwise direction - one half turn beyond where it was originally. If still nothing, return the pot back to the position it was at originally - you may have the wrong pot so try the other one. Attempt the same thing on the other. If that still doesn't work, you may need to replace the diode and/or driver, although it would be my guess that the driver is the culprit since you are getting something out of the laser.

Good luck and again be careful not to hit yourself or others in the eye with the beam while working on the unit.
 
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