Lasercutter status

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Charles Yarnold

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Jun 4, 2011, 10:07:25 AM6/4/11
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Hello all,

The lasercutter is running a bit underpowered at the moment and is in need of a little tlc to try and restore it back to health. This will be taking place at some point tomorrow. So if you have plans to use it be aware it may bit in bits when you arrive. (I can't be more specific with the timing)

I will update the list when this starts, and the outcome.

Thanks

Charles

tom

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Jun 4, 2011, 11:35:01 AM6/4/11
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uh ohs! not another tube death is it?

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 4, 2011, 12:03:27 PM6/4/11
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Possibly, from estimations its lasted at least 150 hours this time!

Sam Cook

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Jun 4, 2011, 3:34:23 PM6/4/11
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Possibly, from estimations its lasted at least 150 hours this time!

Really? this is getting a bit stupid, unless someone's been putting something utterly stupid in there this shouldn't be happening.

or is it just that people haven't been updating the log?

I suppose it could also just need cleaning....

Message has been deleted

Philippe Bradley

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Jun 5, 2011, 2:30:06 AM6/5/11
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Two thoughts: record the power it draws from the socket (with
something akin to
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plug-In-Power-and-Energy-Monitor/dp/B000Q7PJGW);
or have users swipe their access cards on a reader by the device.

On 4 June 2011 21:02, Johannes <stone...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Would it maybe be possible to get something set up that would record
> how long it is used automatically? Wonder if there's something you
> could hook into on the computer to find out when it's cutting.
>
> Johannes

Dave Ingram

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Jun 5, 2011, 3:07:28 AM6/5/11
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On 05/06/11 07:30, Philippe Bradley wrote:
> or have users swipe their access cards on a reader by the device.
+3 useful, -1 requires work on decoupling Doorbot's database...

Also, it would need a way of entering the amount of time spent cutting,
unless combined with the other idea. Hmm.

Robert Leverington

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Jun 5, 2011, 4:52:35 AM6/5/11
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On 2011-06-05, Philippe Bradley wrote:
> Two thoughts: record the power it draws from the socket (with
> something akin to
> http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plug-In-Power-and-Energy-Monitor/dp/B000Q7PJGW);
> or have users swipe their access cards on a reader by the device.

This is a project [1] waiting for someone to take initiative on, which
the hackspace is willing to fund to an extent.

Robert

[1] http://wiki.hackspace.org.uk/wiki/Projects/Tool_Access_Control

tom

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Jun 5, 2011, 6:24:32 AM6/5/11
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isnt the tube sucking up a lot of power? Couldnt we detect that with
some sort of inductance thing and time how long its on for?

Tim Hutt

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Jun 5, 2011, 6:28:39 AM6/5/11
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Well when the software is reversed it would be easy to add logging, and password based access control if people really want it.

Mike Harrison

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Jun 5, 2011, 6:32:00 AM6/5/11
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On Sun, 5 Jun 2011 03:24:32 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:

>isnt the tube sucking up a lot of power? Couldnt we detect that with
>some sort of inductance thing and time how long its on for?

You could easily detect when the tube power is on due to the high voltage - just wrapping a few
turns of wire round the HV cable should couple enough to detect with a high-impedance input like a
fet or opamp.
If it's like mine, the tube-current meter is in series with the tube's ground side - you could get a
low-voltage signal from the junction of meter and tube, which could be read by an ardiono or
whatever to count the 'on' time.
Or tap the tube-enable signal to the controller, which is probably already nicely optoisolated and
easily identifiable.

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 5, 2011, 8:46:59 AM6/5/11
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You can operate the cutter without needing to use the software so would render this partly useless.

Sci

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Jun 5, 2011, 9:06:11 AM6/5/11
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Or pick up one of these: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/330572333157
I'm sure there are ones with a reset button, but a mechanical timer
won't be effected by power-loss and are widely available units built for
the purpose.

To get it to detect tube-hours rather than machine-hours, just attach it
to something that runs only when the tube is running, like the extractor
fan or air-feed. I think avoiding having to do in-depth analysis and
modification of the already esoteric controller on the cutter is the way
to go, or this could drag on for a very long time.

~ Sci

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 5, 2011, 9:30:17 AM6/5/11
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Sadly due to big problems with our car the servicing of the laser cutter wont happen by me till Tuesday now.

I have had bits arrive to add in a hour counter and will fit it on Tuesday.

Apologies

Sol

Tim Hutt

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Jun 5, 2011, 10:52:10 AM6/5/11
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Yeah but no-one does that....

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 5, 2011, 10:55:31 AM6/5/11
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Yes they do, other wise I would not have pointed it out.

Tim Hutt

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Jun 5, 2011, 11:03:07 AM6/5/11
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Are you sure? I've never done it or seen anyone do it, and it's easier to use the software.

Anyway, the software is used the vast majority of the time which is good enough. But since it hasnt been reverse engineered yet, power monitoring is probably a more expedient solution.

kev

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Jun 5, 2011, 11:07:54 AM6/5/11
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I'm interested to learn more about the laser cutter, how to do
cleaning/maintenance, aligning mirrors etc. So if things like this
need doing anytime in the near future give me a shout, I'd love to
'help'. Unfortunately I won't be in London this week, but back on the
13th and happy to get stuck in. Charles I also sent you an email a few
days ago about this. Hopefully we can get it back to full health.

Kevin
07982 715928
l...@icpla.net

On Jun 4, 3:07 pm, Charles Yarnold <charlesyarn...@gmail.com> wrote:
> The lasercutter is running a bit underpowered at the moment and is in need
> of a little tlc to try and restore it back to health.
>
> Charles

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 5, 2011, 11:28:18 AM6/5/11
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Yes, quite sure. Remember you can also download the data from the pc but press the physical start button on the lasercutter not the software, and the software does not know this. Enough people use this to make counting this way unreliable.

Geekinesis

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Jun 6, 2011, 4:44:23 AM6/6/11
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These co2 tubes are best run just under full power rather than at 100
percent. (from the logs it looks like the laser is pretty much run at
100 percent power on most jobs)

If they are run at 90 percent maximum rather than 100 percent, then
the life of the tube is extended considerably without making much
difference to the cutting (from experience anyway)


On Jun 4, 3:07 pm, Charles Yarnold <charlesyarn...@gmail.com> wrote:

Russ Garrett

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Jun 6, 2011, 5:15:22 AM6/6/11
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On 6 June 2011 09:44, Geekinesis <geeki...@googlemail.com> wrote:
> These co2 tubes are best run just under full power rather than at 100
> percent. (from the logs it looks like the laser is pretty much run at
> 100 percent power on most jobs)

They are rated for 1500 hours at full power. Additionally, all the
recommended settings in the user manual are calibrated to 100% power.
So I find it unlikely that this is the cause of the reduction in tube
life.

--
Russ Garrett
ru...@garrett.co.uk

Bob Clough

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Jun 6, 2011, 5:20:30 AM6/6/11
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Daft question, but do you leave the coolant pump on for 5 minutes or so after finishing a cut?  I think you have to leave them being cooled for a few minutes like a projector bulb.

Russ Garrett

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Jun 6, 2011, 5:31:21 AM6/6/11
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On 6 June 2011 10:20, Bob Clough <par...@ivixor.net> wrote:
> Daft question, but do you leave the coolant pump on for 5 minutes or so
> after finishing a cut?  I think you have to leave them being cooled for a
> few minutes like a projector bulb.

Generally, yes, but I suspect it doesn't actually matter. The coolant
flow is sufficient enough (remember it's water, so much more efficient
than an air-cooled projector) that the tube is cold within seconds of
switching off.

--
Russ Garrett
ru...@garrett.co.uk

Mike Harrison

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Jun 6, 2011, 5:35:40 AM6/6/11
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ISTR somewhere reading the mirrors were only rated for a few hundred hours - I wonder if it would be
worth making some sort of uncalibrated but reasonably repeateble measurement of output at the tube,
so it could quickly be determined if reduced output is due to tube or optics .

Russ Garrett

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Jun 6, 2011, 6:26:05 AM6/6/11
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On 6 June 2011 10:35, Mike Harrison <mi...@whitewing.co.uk> wrote:
> ISTR somewhere reading the mirrors were only rated for a few hundred hours - I wonder if it would be
> worth making some sort of uncalibrated but reasonably repeateble measurement  of output at the tube,
> so it could quickly be determined if reduced output is due to tube or optics .

I have some ideas on this front, but it's not actually that simple.
Measuring the power output of a 40W laser is a bit of of a pain in
itself.

I understand the larger cutters tend to have a movable mirror and a
thermopile sensor to measure the tube output power before every cut to
ensure repeatability. I think a thermopile rated to 40W sets you back
about £250 minimum, though. I suppose we might be able to get one a
bit cheaper if it only has to do relative measurements.

--
Russ Garrett
ru...@garrett.co.uk

Mike Harrison

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Jun 6, 2011, 6:34:14 AM6/6/11
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I was thinking something more along the lines of a small lump of black anodized metal with a
thermistor epoxied into a hole, and measure time taken for a specific resistance change, or
resistance change over a fixed time.
The same test jig could also do measurements on the cutting bed, and between the mirrors, so if
logged regularly it should be obvious where any degredation is happenning

Simon Howes

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Jun 6, 2011, 6:38:09 AM6/6/11
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I've got a laser tube ammeter at home. Its a little inline sensor you hook to the hot wire and it tells you the current being drawn. Its actually designed for lasers. As the tube gets older it's lasing gases break down and it draws less power...

Maybe its time i bring it in - my laser project at home is on hold anyway.

Adrian Godwin

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Jun 6, 2011, 7:54:52 AM6/6/11
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The meter I borrowed before is for sale. Not sure how much, something
close to what it might go for on ebay would likely be well received.

It's too big to mount permanently in the case, but could be mounted on
the end, replacing the access cover.

-adrian

Simon Howes

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Jun 6, 2011, 11:53:27 AM6/6/11
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Is the laser still functional albeit with limited power atm or it it off-limits?

I might want to pop up tonite for a few small cuts...

Nic - ATStudio

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Jun 8, 2011, 7:44:35 AM6/8/11
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Is anyone available to teach me how to use the machine at some point very soon?
Or someone can do some cuts for me?

Thanks

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 8, 2011, 1:08:56 PM6/8/11
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Charles Yarnold

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Jun 8, 2011, 1:18:12 PM6/8/11
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On 4 June 2011 15:07, Charles Yarnold <charles...@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello all,

The lasercutter is running a bit underpowered at the moment and is in need of a little tlc to try and restore it back to health. This will be taking place at some point tomorrow. So if you have plans to use it be aware it may bit in bits when you arrive. (I can't be more specific with the timing)

I will update the list when this starts, and the outcome.

Thanks

Charles

After a bit of love and care on Tuesday night it seems we need some new optics for the lasercutter. This is both due to the lens reaching the end if its rated life, and the appearance of fire damage to it.

This, along with a set of mirrors, have been ordered and will arrive at the end of this week/beginning of next.

Along with this an hour counter will be added to the inside of the machine. Please do remember this is not a replacement for the log book, wile it was reliably updated it was a great resource to keep the machine running.

Hopefully this will be the issue, and will be easily fixed. Please be aware that the lasercutter is still slightly underpowered, so you will need to slow your cuts down.

Love and squiggles

Sol

Sam Cook

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Jun 8, 2011, 1:50:25 PM6/8/11
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Thanks sol!

S

Elliot West

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Jun 8, 2011, 1:52:42 PM6/8/11
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On 8 June 2011 18:18, Charles Yarnold <charles...@gmail.com> wrote:
On 4 June 2011 15:07, Charles Yarnold <charles...@gmail.com> wrote:
Love and squiggles
Sol

Thanks! 

Tim Hutt

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Jun 8, 2011, 1:55:14 PM6/8/11
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On 8 June 2011 18:08, Charles Yarnold <charles...@gmail.com> wrote:
> http://wiki.hackspace.org.uk/wiki/Mailing_list_FAQ#Q:_I.27m_interested_in_the_laser_cutter....

"If you can't make Tuesday either come along on another evening and
ask someone via the list or on IRC to confirm that they can teach
you."

Also I did turn up on a Tuesday and no-one wanted to show me & several
others how to use it... So I don't think it's fair to redirect
everyone to the FAQ (or the FAQ should be changed).

I'm going to be at the hackspace in an hour. I can show anyone how to
use the laser if they want. I'm wearing a red t-shirt and an awesome
beard. :-)

Thanks for sorting out the new optics!

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 8, 2011, 2:34:31 PM6/8/11
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On 8 June 2011 18:55, Tim Hutt <tdh...@gmail.com> wrote:
Also I did turn up on a Tuesday and no-one wanted to show me & several
others how to use it... So I don't think it's fair to redirect
everyone to the FAQ (or the FAQ should be changed).

Training happens most Tuesdays, you must have hit a bad day. As with everything in the space no one is paid to teach the lasercutter training, if no one trained has the time to train then this should not be held against them.

As no one else had replied yet, and my reply would have been worded no better than the faq, I have no qualms with directing someone to the resource they need to help them-self. What do you feel is incorrect with the faq, or even better improve it.

Sol 

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 10, 2011, 7:31:22 AM6/10/11
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On 8 June 2011 18:18, Charles Yarnold <charles...@gmail.com> wrote:
The optics have arrived today and will be fitted tomorrow.

**** PLEASE NOTE ****
The lasercutter will be down for maintenance for several hours to fit the new optics and for a clean during Saturday. Down time estimate is 1-4pm.

Sol

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 11, 2011, 8:30:59 AM6/11/11
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Regretfully I will now be working on the lasercutter Tuesday morning.

Apologies

Charles

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 14, 2011, 10:04:12 PM6/14/11
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tl;dr: THE LASER CUTTER IS OUT OF ORDER, please don't attempt to use it :)

After working on it today, and changing the optics, it is obvious now that it has suffered a tube death. The lasercutter is currently in pieces and is not safe to use. The cutter will be out of action till some time on Thursday when we have the missing bits to install the new tube. (whom ever thought it was funny to pressurise the sealant gun till it ruptured owes us a new tube)

On the plus side we are taking this down time to add rfid to the laser cutter thanks to Mark (no more loosing the keys \o/) and I am also switching out coolbot from an arduino to a nanode, this will allow us to graph cooling temperature and also log laser usage hours (as sadly alot of users don't bother any more, shame on them!)

Due to this tube lasting much longer than the last, but still nowhere near the rated 1000 hours, it is likely the recommended usage fee will go up to £5 an hour as £3 won't be covering the cost any more. If no one objects to this I will change the pot/wiki this Thursday.

Laser loving,

Sol

Elliot West

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Jun 15, 2011, 2:51:24 AM6/15/11
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On 15 June 2011 03:04, Charles Yarnold <charles...@gmail.com> wrote:
whom ever thought it was funny to pressurise the sealant gun till it ruptured owes us a new tube
 
?

On the plus side we are taking this down time to add rfid to the laser cutter thanks to Mark (no more loosing the keys \o/)

Excellent - does this mean we will no longer have to fill out the laser log by hand?

I am also switching out coolbot from an arduino to a nanode, this will allow us to graph cooling temperature and also log laser usage hours (as sadly alot of users don't bother any more, shame on them!)

Shame indeed. Having graphs will be awesome. Will there still be a mechanism to log laser issues/performance?
 
Due to this tube lasting much longer than the last, but still nowhere near the rated 1000 hours, it is likely the recommended usage fee will go up to £5 an hour as £3 won't be covering the cost any more.

£5 is still very reasonable IMHO.
 
Thanks for all of your efforts Sol & Mark.

Russ Garrett

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Jun 15, 2011, 4:30:47 AM6/15/11
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On 15 June 2011 07:51, Elliot West <tea...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 15 June 2011 03:04, Charles Yarnold <charles...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> whom ever thought it was funny to pressurise the sealant gun till it
>> ruptured owes us a new tube
>
>
> ?

For the avoidance of doubt, I'm fairly sure what Charles is saying is
whoever broke the sealant gun owes us a new tube of silicone sealant -
not a new laser tube.

--
Russ Garrett
ru...@garrett.co.uk

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 15, 2011, 6:44:21 AM6/15/11
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Correct, I was a little ambiguous.

Sol

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 15, 2011, 6:48:01 AM6/15/11
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On 15 June 2011 07:51, Elliot West <tea...@gmail.com> wrote:

Excellent - does this mean we will no longer have to fill out the laser log by hand?
Shame indeed. Having graphs will be awesome. Will there still be a mechanism to log laser issues/performance?

I'm not sure yet, half of the usefulness of the log is knowing when people need to up the power of their cuts, or when jobs fail as this gives early warnings that it needs some tlc. And we won't get this from time used alone. I can see us still having the log until we have automatic logging from software.

Sol 

Mike

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Jun 15, 2011, 7:11:59 AM6/15/11
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On Wed, Jun 15, 2011 at 11:44:21AM +0100, Charles Yarnold wrote:
> >
> > For the avoidance of doubt, I'm fairly sure what Charles is saying is
> > whoever broke the sealant gun owes us a new tube of silicone sealant -
> > not a new laser tube.
> >

I would suggest a new laser tube instead, as an act of penance.

Raising the bar a little, if the aforementioned, annoymou, silicone
anarchist does provide a new laser tube, I shall provide a new silicone
tube.

Mike.

signature.asc

asc

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Jun 15, 2011, 9:30:01 AM6/15/11
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> Due to this tube lasting much longer than the last, but still nowhere near
> the rated 1000 hours, it is likely the recommended usage fee will go up to
> £5 an hour as £3 won't be covering the cost any more.

£5 is reasonable and fair imho

> On the plus side we are taking this down time to add rfid to the
> laser cutter thanks to Mark (no more loosing the keys \o/)

Out of interest will the rfid system access a user database of people
who have been trained to user the cutter?

Do we need to start a new pledge drive for another set of optics and
tube?

-asc

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 15, 2011, 9:54:50 AM6/15/11
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Nope, the hourly cost recouped so far covers the cost of the replacements, you can see how much has been paid/spent on the lasercutter's wiki page.

Sol

Billy

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Jun 15, 2011, 12:31:06 PM6/15/11
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What's the life-span of the optics in hours-of-use?

What's their price?

Add in to the hourly rate of the cutter.

How did the expected tube-life compare with what we got?


On Jun 15, 2:54 pm, Charles Yarnold <charlesyarn...@gmail.com> wrote:

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 16, 2011, 7:35:40 PM6/16/11
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On 15 June 2011 17:31, Billy <bi...@billycomputersmith.com> wrote:
What's the life-span of the optics in hours-of-use?

What's their price?

Add in to the hourly rate of the cutter.

How did the expected tube-life compare with what we got?

This is included in the price, for all the info see http://wiki.hackspace.org.uk/wiki/Equipment/LaserCutter#Running_cost

Sol 

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 16, 2011, 7:37:57 PM6/16/11
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On 15 June 2011 03:04, Charles Yarnold <charles...@gmail.com> wrote:

tl;dr; The lasercutter is still out of action till Friday evening.

We have a confirmed tube death. The new tube is in and working as expected.

Before it is back up and running it needs a full realign of the optics and re build of the cooling system, for these 2 big reasons please don't attempt to use it!

Sol

Charles Yarnold

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Jun 20, 2011, 6:14:53 AM6/20/11
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ITS ALIVE!!!!111!

The new and improved coolbot is now installed, and the lasercutter is running at full power again.

Please, please, please, remember to fill out the lasercutter log, it is the best tool we have to keep an eye on the lasercutter and catch it before it starts to die again. No amount of software can automatically know if a job has worked successfully, so please log each time you use it!

Love and laz0rs

Sol

Lester Hawksby

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Jun 20, 2011, 6:19:38 AM6/20/11
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Thank you so much!

Lester

Sam Cook

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Jun 20, 2011, 7:01:17 AM6/20/11
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On 20 June 2011 19:14, Charles Yarnold <charles...@gmail.com> wrote:
The new and improved coolbot is now installed, and the lasercutter is running at full power again.

Awesome, Thanks again sol!
 
Please, please, please, remember to fill out the lasercutter log, it is the best tool we have to keep an eye on the lasercutter and catch it before it starts to die again. No amount of software can automatically know if a job has worked successfully, so please log each time you use it!

Could we install a lock on the lid so that it won't let you have your stuff until you fill in the log?

S

Tim Hutt

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Jun 20, 2011, 7:06:35 AM6/20/11
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Ha, but how will you fill in the "success?" option?

Paulo Ricca

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Jun 20, 2011, 7:13:54 AM6/20/11
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Thanks Charles!
I just have a doubt.. if we have 3 or 4 related cut jobs on one day should we fill the log for each one or a global log for the day?
Thanks!

Lester Hawksby

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Jun 20, 2011, 7:21:54 AM6/20/11
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I think it's much easier to fill the log in correctly if you do it for each individual cut. The autocomplete works pretty well if some fields are the same, anyway.

Lester

Paulo Ricca

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Jun 20, 2011, 7:29:52 AM6/20/11
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Ok got it, thanks!

Sam Cook

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Jun 20, 2011, 7:54:27 AM6/20/11
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On 20 June 2011 20:06, Tim Hutt <tdh...@gmail.com> wrote:

Ha, but how will you fill in the "success?" option?


Perhaps some clean room style rubber gloves-through-the-side?

 

Tim Storey

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Jun 20, 2011, 7:58:13 AM6/20/11
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Nice one Sol
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