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  1. #1
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    Red dot alignment

    Does anyone know how the red dot alignment on the newer chinese machines work? Does it come attached to the laser tube or is it seperate? Could I possibly retro fit one to my existing machine?

    The pain of having to set my machine up again after a blown tube 3 months into owning it is getting to me a bit.

  2. #2
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    You need to add a ZnSe beam combiner to the laser path.

    The CO2 laser will pass thru but the red dot pointer which is placed at 90 degrees to the CO2 beam will be redirected along the same axis.

    http://www.wavelength-tech.com/BeamCombiner.htm
    http://www.sintecoptronics.com/BeamCombiner.htm

    Zax.

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    I bring back to life that old thread :-)

    I want to add a red dot with my basic laser engraving machine too.

    But won't that ZnSe beam combiner reduce the power of the main laser beam ?

  4. #4
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    It depends on the quality but most have very high transmission (>98%) for the CO2 wavelength (if they didn't it would heat up).

    Most of the cheap systems don't even use a combiner, they just have the visible beam slightly offset. This works but at different heights you'll find some errors - but again, probably acceptable in most cases.

    I've also seen a design where the visible beam diode was mounted on a solenoid shuttle that enters the beam path. You could switch between the visible and CO2 with a toggle switch. The CO2 was disabled when the shuttle was moved to the working position.

    Zax.

  5. #5
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    I'll go for the easy way then :-)

  6. #6
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    Zax, would you have any pictures of a combiner installed and would you just run the file or outline depending on your needs with the door open to disable the CO2, and thirdly, arethe visible & co2 transmissions on simultaneously or do you run it with on/off from your control board?

  7. #7
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    I would add a switch for the red dot on/off, but you can leave it on during cutting if desired - doesn't really matter.

    Zax.

  8. #8
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    Hi guys,

    Here is one home made option for the red dot. Costs all together app. € 25,- ($ 33,-) including the laser module. The power source for the module is two AA-battery in serial (3V) with a switch. The beam from the module is reduced with a piece of PVC-bar ( with 1mm hole ).

    Regards,
    Hannu
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dot 1.jpg   dot2.jpg   dot3.jpg  

  9. #9
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    Great staff !

    It is exactly that I am going to do ! Thanks for the pictures !!!


    (have to figure how to cut the mount though...)




    Quote Originally Posted by notexpert View Post
    Hi guys,

    Here is one home made option for the red dot. Costs all together app. € 25,- ($ 33,-) including the laser module. The power source for the module is two AA-battery in serial (3V) with a switch. The beam from the module is reduced with a piece of PVC-bar ( with 1mm hole ).

    Regards,
    Hannu

  10. #10
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    Hannu, great idea! Of course there is one big problem - position of red dot laser and real laser are not fixed one against another but solution is good for chinese lasers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litografa View Post
    Hannu, great idea! Of course there is one big problem - position of red dot laser and real laser are not fixed one against another but solution is good for chinese lasers.
    Litografa, you are right about the position - and it will only need a small hit on it to get out of align, so you have to check the position quite often. But it still work nicely showing the position on your work and you can also add another module on the holder for using it as "half autofocus tool"

  12. #12
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    crosshair laser

    Why not use a crosshair laser pointer


  13. #13
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    Because most of us do not have money to buy Torchmate

    Crosshair laser pointer cost too much and CO2 lasers do not need high precision

  14. #14
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    well if cost is a problem buy two small straightline laser levels and mount them to make a crosshair laser pointer 20 bucks probaly less on ebay :idea:

  15. #15

  16. #16
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    Another good solution I have seen to get around the offset problem of the beams is to use two single line lasers 90 degrees apart. They can be bought for a few dollars at dealextreme.com.
    I will use that on my machine.

  17. #17
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    OK - since you mentioned them, that was actually where I got my cross laser diode from DealExtreme: $3.95 Red Laser Module - Focused Cross (3.5V~4.5V 16mm 5mW)

    Zax.

  18. #18
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    When I originally got my machine it had a pocket pen pointer as the red spotting beam and it would corrode itself out inside, eat it's batteries, etc.. In the process of getting a new laser tube, I also got this included with it:

    Meredith Instruments : 5mW 635nm LA Diode Laser Module [LA-635-5] - $75.00 - The source for laser surplus

    About 9 months after that was installed, while using it on just a .5A, 5V regulated brick it quit. Actually, the light just became a lot bigger. (See attached photo)

    So then after some inquiries I was referred to that site/link to get a replacement as thats where he'd ordered them from. I saw the price and figured "ih, okay. I know there's $5 ones.. and there's that. If the $5 one worked as well, I suppose he'd be using them."

    Along with the information I was told "you need to order the round diode one specifically", and when I asked about that - the price was now $195 because they had to make it by hand. So now I'm thinking, if the other one lasted only 9 months, do I want to blow $200 on this just to have it do it again? Not worth it...

    So in the beginning I had a double-AAA battery pocket laser in there, it worked reasonably well, but that "round diode" one worked way way better. The dot was much brighter, and very visible. Almost too bright to look it.

    Since it broke at about 3AM I ended up putting a green pointer in the bracket and that works .. sorta okay. I get three dots, not one, on the mirrors. Probably 'cause the thing is reflecting itself back through the path. I clip a clothes pin on the thing to get it to come on. In the meantime I have rigged up another 3 coincell sized bullet laser with a remote switch and a battery tray rather than the internal LR44s and it's got a really nice bright light too. (on both the LR44s and the AA's)

    So the gist of my question is, what am I gaining by getting the "round" diode vs. the whatever comes in them for $5 bucks- and would that cross hair type work on a beam combiner type setup? I really like that, though I'm pretty sure that since it would be coming down the line and through the cutting nozzle, the crosshair is going to be about .125 wide at most, and most likely not noticeable anyway.

    Here's the beam combiner I have suspended in front of my 100W tube now:

    The Speed of Orbit »

    ..and the assembly process of "building" that contraption that holds it in place begins here: The Speed of Orbit » and goes through to that link above.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photo-1.jpg  

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