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  1. #1

    Low laser current means time to replace the tube?

    I have a generic Chinese 130W laser cutter. My power supply failed more than a year ago, and I just finally replaced it with a new one (similar to this) that has a current meter on it.

    When I fire the laser, it is only reading about 22mA, and it is not cutting at the speeds I would expect. I can't find a reference now, but if I remember right it should be drawing about 28mA. Does that suggest that the laser tube is dying, or is the new power supply suspect? I've adjusted the power output trimpot so the output is as high as possible.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    125

    Re: Low laser current means time to replace the tube?

    When you say ‘adjusted as high as possible’, how high is that?

    My Reci W4 is tested/calibrated at 30mA and should be run at 26mA for 8000 hour tube life.

    A 130W tube drawing 22mA is only going to be putting out ~80W or so. It could be you don’t have a big enough supply for your tube, you don’t have good connections, your tube has degraded over time (did you properly’winter’ it during its year off?)

    Rather than read the built-in ammeter, use a digital multimeter to give you a true reading. Check all your connections. Do you have a laser probe meter to give you a true spot power reading?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2024
    Posts
    9

    Re: Low laser current means time to replace the tube?

    It sounds like your laser tube may be nearing the end of its life. A 130W laser typically draws around 28mA, so if you're only getting 22mA, it's a sign of reduced performance. However, before replacing the tube, double-check the new power supply's specifications and connections to ensure they match your laser's requirements. Also, verify that all settings are correctly configured. If everything is set correctly and the current is still low, it's likely time to replace the laser tube. For the Algolaser Alpha MK2 https://algolaser.com/products/algol...laser-engraver, ensure proper alignment and cooling when installing a new tube to maintain optimal performance.

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