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Thread: Weird scanner behavior

  1. #1
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    Default Weird scanner behavior

    So I finally got a new blue diode installed into the "Spider" projector (built by DZ) that I got from Buffo at SELEM last year.

    I ran it for a couple of hours last night and then all of a sudden the scanners went all "kablooie".
    See examples:

    Orientation Test Pattern:


    IDLA Test pattern:


    Laser Media test pattern:


    Color grid test pattern:


    I tried switching IDLA cables and FB3s, but the strange patterns continued. Nothing I could change in Beyond fixed it (adjusting scan rate, etc).

    As a last resort, I turned off the power to the projector for a few seconds and restarted it. Then bam-- everything returned to normal.

    So my question is, was this a one-time anomaly, or a sign of something starting to go bad?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Either its a software crash, or you ran at too wide an angle and tripped the self resetting breaker on the scanner amp. Might be something else, but that is a best guess.
    If it persists, shut down and get help.

    Steve
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    Looking at your photos I would say it's the poly switch on one of the scanner amps tripping out as well especially with you saying it went back to normal after powering the projector off and on.
    When I got my C506's from Pangolin with retuned DT40 amps Bill told me one of the amp boards could do with the poly switch changing as it was a bit oversensitive and ended up seeing the same as you.
    To me it looks like the X axis is the one tripping out. I would try scanning at a say about 15-20% smaller.
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    I've seen bearings on my older/abused/cheap galvos begin to trip the poly switch as they go bad. You can generally tell if you have a bad bearing by gently rotating the galvo mirror back and forth and see if there is an area on one of the scanners that feels 'gritty' and has more resistance to rotating. Considering that it was a DZ build however, I suspect you have higher quality galvos that aren't going to die as quickly as cheap Chinese ones.

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    It looks to my like the poly switch tripped. It could be a bad poly switch but more than likely it's a scanner that's starting to fail, the X scanner in particular. Easiest way to tell is power off the system, VERY GENTLY turn the X galvo mirror with you fingers touching only the sides of the mirror. If there's noticeable resistance then it'll be time for a new scanner soon.

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    Hank.... I know it seems like you just can't get a break. Your intro to the lasering world has had more than ones fair share of pitfalls but, don't fret. It's probably happened to all of us. I dropped like 3 grand on one of my first projectors and got about 6 minutes out of it before a scanner crapped out. Eventually the 1 watt Viasho green stopped working and had to be replaced and currently the red needs attention. And it was a good build. It's been sitting in a closet for a couple years.

    It's not you and bad luck.... It's just the nature of this beastly money pit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradfo69 View Post
    Hank.... I know it seems like you just can't get a break. Your intro to the lasering world has had more than ones fair share of pitfalls but, don't fret. It's probably happened to all of us. I dropped like 3 grand on one of my first projectors and got about 6 minutes out of it before a scanner crapped out. Eventually the 1 watt Viasho green stopped working and had to be replaced and currently the red needs attention. And it was a good build. It's been sitting in a closet for a couple years.

    It's not you and bad luck.... It's just the nature of this beastly money pit.
    Thanks Brad, I know! But on the flip side, I've really been able to get my hands dirty doing all of this tinkering which has also been a lot of fun since they're real hands-on projects that get me off the computer, which was my primary objective of finding this new hobby.

    Luckily, I have lots of hobby level experience (since I was a teenager) with building electronics, so I can test and diagnose things, understand current and voltages, and solder things that need to be soldered. I just don't know the gory details about lasers and scanners like you guys do.

    It's a real sense of accomplishment to have gotten both projectors working again (of course with Adam's advice and help from DZ for the AL transplant). And that aluminum plate from turbohead is a work of beauty.

    I'm also slowly taking those modules that Rich gave me at CaribLEM and building a lumia box with the case from foxtrot. That has some challenges too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DZ View Post
    It looks to my like the poly switch tripped. It could be a bad poly switch but more than likely it's a scanner that's starting to fail, the X scanner in particular. Easiest way to tell is power off the system, VERY GENTLY turn the X galvo mirror with you fingers touching only the sides of the mirror. If there's noticeable resistance then it'll be time for a new scanner soon.
    Thanks DZ. Do you remember what scanners are in this box, and/or what I would need to replace it (or replace both at the same time?).

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    Do you have access to a decent oscilloscope?
    We can find the problem fairly quickly if you do.

    Generally all amps , even clones, come with a feedback sensor test point, and a galvo current test point...Useful with scopes, but not really with DVMs.

    Steve
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    I do not have a scope.

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