Replace laser tube

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Replace laser tube

Postby BKilts » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:18 am

Has anyone had to replace there laser tube on a 4th gen 40w Hobby Deluxe? If so any issues or hints on how to do this. The manual only shows how to reconnect the red wire, I'm pretty sure the procedure for the other is the same. Is there a connector or is it a soldered connection? Do you just use the teflon tape to hold the wire in place? Seems like that wouldn't hold a good a connection.

Thanks in advance,
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Re: Replace laser tube

Postby TLHarrell » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:03 am

I did a replacement a few months ago. I cut a couple small pieces of silicone tubing and placed them over the wires. I wrapped the wire around the posts on the tube, then crimped them in place with some brass tubing (just stuff I had on hand), being very careful not to flex the connection and crack the tube. I then filled the silicone tubing with silicone caulk and slipped them down over the connections.
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Re: Replace laser tube

Postby ProjectX » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:06 pm

Have not a laser at present, getting one soon, Just a thought why is there no tubes with an electrical connector so use so us non tech persons can just clip the connector to the tube. Just a thought but I think this would be an improvement.
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Re: Replace laser tube

Postby tekati » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:42 pm

ProjectX wrote:Have not a laser at present, getting one soon, Just a thought why is there no tubes with an electrical connector so use so us non tech persons can just clip the connector to the tube. Just a thought but I think this would be an improvement.


The material the posts that protrudes from the tube that the wire must attach to is very exotic. I am sure you can research what that material is but you can not solder to it. I too am not comfortable with how the instructions say to do it with plumbers tape and I did EXACTLY what TLHarrell did. I just cut the crimp part off of connectors I had laying around. I agree you would need to be VERY careful not to tweak the posts or it would be VERY easy to bust the glass around them.

I agree it is a very strange thing and someone smarter than me should be able to figure out a long term solution. Its not something I look forward to doing regularly. Every 9 months or so will be plenty for me! :shock:
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Re: Replace laser tube

Postby fullspeceng » Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:49 pm

We strongly recommend you follow the directions we supply with replacement tubes. We have tried crimping before the current method. Crimped connectors pull off easily and 50% of the time customers will break the the glass around the electrode. Regulator solder does not stick easily to the electrodes. This is also more complicated and the tube can crack from excess heat. Teflon is the best insulator and the tape around the neck of the tube is the most reliable connection method over our experience of thousands of tubes. Be sure to fill with RTV Silicone and remove all air bubbles to insulate the tube or you could have EMI interference.
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Re: Replace laser tube

Postby TLHarrell » Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:58 pm

I recommend Full Spectrum to make a very detailed how-to on this subject, either video or PDF with good photos. It's not always obvious, and there are enough risks to the tube by others who may not have the attention to keep these factors in mind.
Current Equipment: FSE 45w Deluxe CO2 Laser 5th Gen w/ Rotary
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Re: Replace laser tube

Postby BKilts » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:48 pm

I agree with your recommendation TLHarrell
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Re: Replace laser tube

Postby ProjectX » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:40 pm

I was meaning to have the end of the wire be precrimped in a fasion that a clip could be clipped straight onto the wire end. As per a normal electric wire end in a motor vehicle. This would ensure a good connection and be easy/safe way to disconnect and connect to a new tube. Unknown the power that goes through this connection but if it is not a solid connection it must cause problems with the laser tube.
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Re: Replace laser tube

Postby TLHarrell » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:40 pm

A bad connection to the points on the tube won't hurt the tube itself directly, but as it's passing very high voltages it's a bad thing to have either contamination, corrosion or a weak connection which can lead to arcing. If it is arcing, it will burn through the wire and/or post on the tube. In very rare circumstances it could crack the tube. Obviously, there are other issues if the wire should come disconnected.

Overall, it wasn't difficult to replace the tube. You just need to work slowly and watch that you don't do something that can break the new tube. The part that made me wince was putting the little bits of hose onto the bits at either end of the tube. Saliva worked really well. I had one set of hose barbs that were only a little wider apart than the thickness of the hose, and were not in line with each other. It was tricky, but managed to massage the hose into place without any kinks.
Current Equipment: FSE 45w Deluxe CO2 Laser 5th Gen w/ Rotary
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White Light Laser, Morgan Hill, CA - - 408-47-LASER - - Skype: whitelightlaser-thomas
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Re: Replace laser tube

Postby bluetooter » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:59 am

Just replaced our 40w laser tube with no issues. Lead Free solder is useless as well as the directions FSI provides with wrapping teflon tape. Yes, it can be soldered, (IT CAME SOLDERED, dah!), but you need to get Rosin Core Solder 63/37 is 63 percent tin and 37 percent lead which you can find at Radio Shack. Remember these are Chinese units and they are not too concerned with environmental issues, so if you want to bond to their alloys, you need lead!!

Disconnect power from unit!!

Gently pull the existing silicone tube off the terminal post by gently twisting and pulling it along the wire itself.

Use a soldering gun to heat the existing terminal post to gently release the existing wire connections. Then cut and clean up those wires. Also clean out the silicone tube of the old residue. Of course you need to remove the water connections and drain the tube. When installing the new tube keep the same orientation as the old tube and reconnect the water lines. Before attaching the power leads, screw down the retaining brackets and make sure the grounding wire is secured properly.

Since you are replacing a tube, you already have a tube and terminal posts to practice on first. Make sure the wire leads are stripped at least 1/2" long, enough to be hand wrapped tightly around the protruding terminal post. The advantage of Rosin Core Solder is that it contains a built in FLUX which helps to clean and bond.

Before the wire strand is wrapped, make sure the silicone tube covering the wires is cleaned and placed back onto the wire. Once the wire strand is wrapped around the post, quickly heat and add some solder. Let it sit for a few seconds to cool and bond. The connection will be very secure. Just push the silicone tube back over the entire connection, completely fill the tube and connection with quick drying silicone and in about 3 hours once the silicone drys, you are back in business.

We checked the alignment and found no adjustments were even necessary...
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