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C02 Laser Problems

Discussion in 'Laser Cutters' started by BitHappy, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. BitHappy

    BitHappy New
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    Hey I'm having a few issues with my laser cutter and if anyone can help me solve any of these I would be very grateful.

    So just to start off, i've been following this guide here: openBuilds FreeBURN-1 V-slot CO2 Laser (60-100w)

    It basically stops giving direction after the mechanical stuff is built though so i've been trying to figure out the motors and the wiring myself.


    The problems I'm having involve Nema 17 and Nema 23 motors, DQ542MA Stepper Drivers, and AWC708C Lite Laser Controller.

    I've hooked up everything and already troubleshot several problems, but I'm still having a couple issues:

    1. Somehow my Y axis is not calibrating properly somehow or something? I start a test cut and by the time it finishes, the laser head is about 5cm higher than where it started. Does anyone know why this is?

    2. For some reason I can't figure out which direction the motors are supposed to turn. Like, how I initially set it up, the arrows on the controllers all matched up with the directions the laser was moving (left moved the laser head left etc.) BUT, when I did the test cut, the image was flipped left from right. It was still right side up, but flipped left and right. So I switched the wires and now it prints correctly, but now the left key moves the laser right, and the right, left. -_- Oh, and initially, the origin was set to be the top left corner of the space, and after I switched things, it became the top right corner. What corner is the origin supposed to be?

    Does anyone know what could be going on here? I'd really appreciate any help or insight anyone could give me. Thank you very much!

    I can upload a video or pictures if that would help. Let me know. Thanks!


    EDIT: Oh one other thing I thought I should add; I know that the calibration is off and its not just supposed to end up 5cm higher because if I try to move the head manually with the controller after it finished, the bar crashes into the side of my apparatus because it thinks the origin is 5 cm higher than it actually is. Its extremely frustrating. :(
     
    #1 BitHappy, Sep 1, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
  2. JustinTime

    JustinTime Master
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    If you had limit switches installed it would not have crashed into the sides.
     
  3. BitHappy

    BitHappy New
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    Oh good call. I should definitely install those! It still doesn't really fix my problem though, it still gets off calibration somehow or something while it moves. :/
     
  4. BitHappy

    BitHappy New
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    More problems have arisen I'm afraid and I was hoping someone might have an idea how to fix it. :/.

    The first question is: I live in Arizona and my laser is out in a shed where the temperature is never goes below like 90 degrees (in the summer). I bought an in-line water temperature sensor and I'm not sure this is accurate, but its telling me the water is about 50 degrees Celsius. Whether thats true or not, its definitely very warm. Is this too hot for the laser tube? Will this effect my performance at all?

    My second question is possibly related to the first, but I kindof don't think so. I just finished hooking everything up to my controller (AWC708C Lite) and for some reason as soon as I start a cut, sometimes immediately, and sometimes maybe 10-15 seconds in, the laser shuts off, sometimes with a small popping sound, and the controller turns off and resets as well. This does not seem like a good thing haha. Does anyone have any idea what might be happening? I set the max power to 10% in the controller and it seemed to help a little, but only enough to get it where it is now. Before it was restarting instantly every time. I shouldn't have to be cutting at such low percentages though, I should be able to put a lot more power and still be fine. its a 100W laser.

    Any help at all would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much for your time!!!
     
  5. Grant B

    Grant B New
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    Question, how are the electrical connections made to your Laser Tube ?
    Is it an ALL glass tube or does it have Aluminium lens/reflector support rings ?
    Reason for asking, is that some tubes simply have a spike of steel/tungsten poking thru the glass for connection to the High-Voltage connections....
    I've had these pins get hot & burn & then the burned stuff insulates the connection until the temperature comes down, then laser cuts again for a few seconds etc etc.
    The Chinese manufacturers simply suggest wrapping the bare wire ends around the pins & apply a blob of silicone sealant... - this fails, heats up & eventually the excess heat will fracture the glass gas tube, the gas escapes & the whole laser tube then fails....
    The popping sound is potentially the electrical arcing until it all quits.
    I used Chock-Block connectors (UK name).. its a strip of insulated screw terminals for joining wires....
    using one of these connectors cut from the strip to make the connection to the High-Voltage pins allows for a solid connection that won't heat up... just be careful not to apply any angular force to the connection pins coming out of the glass tube, so as not to fracture the glass tube.

    Ensure that each connector terminal pair is VERY well insulated, as the Fly-Back transformers will produce 20>80,000 volts depending on your lasers power supply... it CAN kill you... and can arc 10cm if both ends of the tube are not properly connected.

    Hope this possibly Helps.
    Grant B
     
    GrayUK likes this.

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