[FIXED] Laser was down due to burnt out laser tube


Afaik the issue with our filtering system is that we are missing a condenser prior to the filters. The filters do not absorb the fumes, only physical particles (dust). The fumes being what causes the smells. While the existing filter would make the air seem cleaner as the smoke particles are filtered out, it does not stop the vaporized compounds.

If we were to install a condenser (a humidifier system appears to be sufficient according to my research) then the vaporized particles would turn solid again and either be trapped in the humidifier mesh or get filtered out by the particulate filters.

The above is based on my research of blogs and other laser cutting forums.

I also agree that you can never have too much airflow, the less time the fumes spend near the optics the less condensation build up we will have on them.



The new PSU arrived, and we installed it, and got the same symptoms as before. Even when bypassing all other controller circuitry, there is no evidence that the tube is firing at all. This means the problem lies in the (brand new) power supply, the (newly installed, but purchased last year) tube, or the small amount of wire between them.

We’ve followed these steps, and I’ve been corresponding with the manufacturer on how to troubleshoot this further, but my time is pretty limited.

@DerrickA4mag & @hectorh: this means there was likely no problem with the old power supply. I noticed it’s now in pieces. I put all the pieces in a bin under the laser cutter. Could you put it back together?

The water chiller had a couple problems resulting from disconnecting/moving it during the laser tube replacement. That has all been repaired.


In case you aren’t sure what to look for:


Perhaps check the low voltage control pins to the p/s are enabled and firing ok. The enable on my laser is gated by the door switch, the laser on switch and the water flow meter. Perhaps the water flow switch is disconnected?


We’ve checked and rechecked the input signals a few times. And also tested the PSU + tube independent of the rest of the system by creating a jumper block to set the signals directly (bypassing the water/door signals). We’ve also tested that there is HV coming out of the PSU.


Sorry for the dumb question. This is weird.


Not a dumb question. At this point there are only two possibilities:

  • The “new” tube is dead; or
  • Something dumb


Can we order a new tube today? Worst case we need a new spare ;).


Yes, I got a reply from the manufacturer this morning. The tube is out of warranty but they are offering a very small courtesy discount. I will make arrangements to purchase another one ASAP.


Shipping the laser tube to Vancouver costs about $300 USD more than shipping it to Point Roberts or Blaine or whatever. I personally don’t have time or means of transportation to do this though.

If this is something you want to take on, and save VHS some money, that would be cool. I will help arrange the purchase, supply you with the appropriate purchase documentation, and have it delivered to a US address. You will pick it up, get it across the border and safely to VHS. There will be some more paper work and you will have to pay some duty at the border, so ideally you’ve done this before and know how. VHS will reimburse you for the duty costs, etc.

If you’re able to do this, please Private Message me TODAY. If I don’t hear from anyone, I will order it directly to VHS and take care of it myself.


@Rob_MacKenzie has stepped up in a huge way and will get the new tube to VHS.

At the earliest, the laser may be back up in a week, plus maybe a couple days to get it all realigned and tested. Thanks for your patience.


Now I get to try to bring that damn laser over the border. Yay…


Please record your conversation with the border guards while your explain what you are bringing in…


Or, No?


You should not have a problem have problem crossing the border. You are bringing in a part to repair a machine.


@Rob_MacKenzie - i wasn’t think about any legal or such thing… more just the humour of you explaining that you are bringing a friggin laser into the country…


This thread might be useful to support getting the Tube back to Canada if there are some questions at the border?


Laser tube looking good
It’s here in seattle
Tracking shows it delivered by 10:30
talked to shipping guy at the building, he’ll let me know when it’s here

Someone(s) mounted the old laser tube and programmed it to "fire" on command

woo! Awesome thanks Rob.


Yesterday @JDMc and I installed the new new tube, did a full alignment, and cleaned everything as well as we could (yuck). Today we did some power level tests and cleaned up our huge mess.

I’m happy to report that the laser is back online!

I’ll post a more detailed post mortem in the next day or so.