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Thread: Replacing My Laser Tube

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
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    Replacing My Laser Tube

    Well, I finally completed the installation of my laser tube and both of the mirrors on the beam. The tube and mirrors were a snap but the beam alignment took some time to accomplish. I had promised to take some pictures along the way but the truth is there isn't anything to take a picture of that would provide any worthwhile information.

    Epilog's Tech Support (Peck Sidara) was very helpfull and responded to all my questions almost immediately. I was sent instructions with my rebuilt tube that were clear and made the change-out procedure easy to accomplish. The entire ordeal could easilly be done in an afternoon if you work with the Tech Support folks, my personal schedule got in the way and it took me several days to get my machine running but Peck was understanding and worked around my crazy schedule. This is one of those times when purchasing from a reputable manufacturer that supports their products helps to justify not purchasing a machine based on price alone.

    I have run several tests and the new tube seems to be just as powerfull as the original. Vector cutting is leaving a very smooth edge and raster engraving seems to be working at the same speed and power settings I was using previously. I still have a couple of tests to do but I'm confident at this point that everything is "Good to Go".

    Overall I would say the procedure is not something to be worried about for those of you who have not yet had to change your laser tube. The entire task required a couple of screwdrivers, one allen wrench, several drops of epoxy and a lot of tape for the alignment process but it was generally painless.

    The total cost of replacing my 35 watt tube and both mirrors came to $1370.60 and the only advice I have is to keep this in mind when pricing your work in the future. Laser Engravers require maintenance that you must plan for so price your work accordingly. I doubt my tube had anywhere close to 500 hours of running time on it when the electronics failed, your mileage will most likely vary. If you own a laser engraver you would be wise to plan for these costs in advance just in case your tube fails to provide the 10,000 hours that most tube manufacturers suggest. My laser engraver is still the most proffitable machine in my shop but I must admit that my new CNC Router is gaining ground these days

  2. #2
    Glad to hear you are back up and running.

    Were your mirrors bad? I'd be interested to see what they looked like if there's anything to see. My system has 4 and if they are anything like the lenses, it's going to be a nasty bill. Th manual says to clean them every day, and not to clean them too much, whatever the hell that means. I really agonize over the cleaning process but have determined when cleaning is actually necessary or not.

    I would also be interested in seeing some of your CNC work. I recall reading somewhere that you have a Shopbot. Does it have a direct driver that you can use with Corel, etc., or is there a more CNC oriented driver that you use?

  3. #3

    legend 32

    I like to share a mallfunction in my laser tube
    There was no laser output
    Both epilog and coherent told me that the tube G50 is obsolete!!
    The laser machine is dead
    With no other choise left i disassembled the tube and was luky to find 2 bured capacitors - after replacment the machine refunctioned for some days and mallfunctioned again
    this time i did find any bured part
    I reassembeld the unit again and just of a sudden it functionagain for very short while
    Now it is not operate any more

    Any idea what can be done?
    Do you have a G50 tube for sell?
    Can any one handle this?
    Can I install another/similar laser tube?

    Thanks

    Rotem

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    30

    machine

    Congrats Keith!.....question: what machine do you have, and what tube does it take?

    Thanks

    Russ n Lori

  5. #5
    Russ, Keith fixed his laser in 2005.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Alabama
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    2,395
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Allen View Post
    Glad to hear you are back up and running.

    Were your mirrors bad? I'd be interested to see what they looked like if there's anything to see. My system has 4 and if they are anything like the lenses, it's going to be a nasty bill. Th manual says to clean them every day, and not to clean them too much, whatever the hell that means. I really agonize over the cleaning process but have determined when cleaning is actually necessary or not.

    I would also be interested in seeing some of your CNC work. I recall reading somewhere that you have a Shopbot. Does it have a direct driver that you can use with Corel, etc., or is there a more CNC oriented driver that you use?
    Epilog mirrors for my ExT are $45.00 each from Epilog. I just checked because I need to order one. Not as bad as the lense which is $104.00.
    Epilog Legend EXT36-40watt, Corel X4, Canon iPF8000 44" printer,Photoshop CS6, Ioline plotter, Hotronix Swinger Heat Press, Ricoh GX e3300 Sublimation

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rumancik View Post
    Russ, Keith fixed his laser in 2005.
    S'ok, he's probably due for another new tube by now.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
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  8. #8
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    Did I miss something here? What was the purpose of posting the old thread?
    Epilog Legend EXT36-40watt, Corel X4, Canon iPF8000 44" printer,Photoshop CS6, Ioline plotter, Hotronix Swinger Heat Press, Ricoh GX e3300 Sublimation

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    A new member joins, looking for help with their problem, searches, and doesn't realize that the post was 5 years old. Fairly common on forums.



    Sammamish, WA

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  10. #10
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    There is still a few good point in the old post...Particularly to put some money aside, or build a percentage into your prices for service work.. I keep a 5% line in my spread sheet that removes that much from my bottom line and computationally socks it away for a rainy day. Even if you were only do 20k a year in laser work, that's a 1000.00 towards that new tube or other unexpected repair, and it adds up quickly
    Epilog 24TT(somewhere between 35-45 watts), CorelX4, Photograv(the old one, it works!), HotStamping, Pantograph, Vulcanizer, PolymerPlatemaker, Sandblasting Cabinet, and a 28 year collection of Assorted 'Junque'

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  11. In all the discussions about laser tubes everyone is talking about the life of the tube being 10,000 hours. That is static hours not running hours. That equates to about 2.25 years whether it is running or not.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schneider View Post
    In all the discussions about laser tubes everyone is talking about the life of the tube being 10,000 hours. That is static hours not running hours. That equates to about 2.25 years whether it is running or not.
    Or not.

    10,000 hours is 416 days, or about 14 months...most of us get 4 years or so out of a tube.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schneider View Post
    In all the discussions about laser tubes everyone is talking about the life of the tube being 10,000 hours. That is static hours not running hours. That equates to about 2.25 years whether it is running or not.
    The value of 10k hours for the whole shebang is all but meaningless as it doesn't take into account all of the proper variables. Tubes can die within a few months due to a failed component on the RF board... with a $2 replacement you're back up and running. Or it can die over the long haul because the gas has leaked a sufficient amount so the mixture is no longer within the lasing band. Refurbs add a whole new set of variables...

    The 10k hours should only be considered if we're talking about the gas mixture...

    As a side note for new readers... this thread was started over 6 years ago, and the last update was over a year ago. Just a reminder if you decide to post...
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