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Thread: 100mW vs 300mW

  1. #1
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    Default 100mW vs 300mW (now with pics!)

    I'm just received delivery of my new projector, a Laserworld CS-400G (advertised as >300mW)

    Upon setting it up 2 things have surprised me:

    1. Upon firing up the ILDA test pattern at 12kpps, the scanners are showing signs of overshoot on both axis, and the circle is outside of the square on both axis, indicating not enough LF damping and perhaps too much gain

    2. When sat next to my 100mW projector, the beam doesn't appear to the eye as being any brighter than my existing one. On a single point, the Laserworld unit does appear to be slightly tighter, which might explain that, however i was expecting to see a difference between the 2 (which was the reason for purchase in the first place!)

    The other thing i noticed is that there is a sticker on the base saying 'Class I laser product' rather than Class 3b as i'd have expected.


    So, should there be a perceptible difference between the 2 outputs or am i expecting too much of a leap?

    Unfortunately i don't have a power meter to test either unit, but as Laserworld seem to be one of the more ethical companies out there, I was expecting that their outputs wouldn't be quoted based on IR as well, and would've expected IR filters in place. Is this reasonable?


    I'm going to contact them regarding the scanners, as it seems stupid to return to Germany, when i could do the tuning myself, however there's a whole warranty issue then. As it is, the overshoot causes fine points to have tails which are not acceptable to me.

    The ones on the left are the 20k 300mW unit, the ones on the right are 100mW 15k (scaneco15) which I've just about finished tuning. Both running at 12k
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pinspot.jpg  

    pinspot2.jpg  

    squaretest1.jpg  

    ILDA test 12k.jpg  

    test2.jpg  

    Last edited by norty303; 03-14-2008 at 11:35. Reason: add photos!

  2. #2
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    Cool

    Put some fog in the air and test the two lasers side by side while displaying a wide fan or sine wave. See if the 300 mw unit looks brighter then.

    The pictures you posted make it difficult to tell, and truthfully there is no substitute for a power meter, but though the 300 mw unit does appear to be *slightly* brighter than your 100 mw unit, one would think it would be noticeably brighter in your photos.

    Best bet is for you to get together with one of the other PhotonLexicon members in your area that has a power meter and get that unit checked.

    As for the galvos, I would be very surprised if tuning the amps would void your warranty. But I suppose it's best to check first. For sure they need tuning!

    Adam

  3. #3
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    Default

    Stick some black electrical tape in front of the beam and compare how long it takes for it to start smoking.

  4. #4
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    Default

    I'm hoping that they're going to come back to me and say that its fine to tune them, but as the access cover has a 'Warranty Void if removed' sticker over one of the screws, I'm loathe to get stuck in until i have clearance. I've also asked them if their lasers are all fitted with IR filters and if their power outputs are quoted minus IR output, again, i look forward to the response.

    One of the things i have just noticed whilst fiddling is that on the back of the unit there is a switch for blanking that switches over to DMX mode. If i flip that whilst connected to ILDA the output jumps up significantly (yay!). I've got a single frame in LiveQUICK with a single point. If i flip the switch this becomes much brighter, leading me to believe that there is some sort of modulation of the beam going on.

    As you say, without a meter, very difficult to tell (and photos don't always show up things the way eyes do) but i was expecting *more*

    Stick some black electrical tape in front of the beam and compare how long it takes for it to start smoking.
    To cut a long story short, it doesn't smoke, but then neither does my 100mW when connected to my FB3. As before, if i flip the blanking switch then it smokes fairly instantly, but then so does my 100mW....

    I think i'm going to try them back to back tomorrow, just using DMX control and see how they compare then. If the new one is brighter then it points to something with the output of the FB3, like fast modulation of the beam or something.

  5. #5
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    Ok, and to really polish things off, the key switch has just failed. It turns, but doesn't stop the laser output. As this is also the main on/off mechanism, it's completely unacceptable. I'm dissappointed as I've read on here that many people are very happy with components they've purchased from Laserworld - perhaps I've just got a 'bad' one this time, like those cars that are built last thing on a friday afternoon....

    I'm going to link this thread so they can see the pics and read what i've read if they're interested, and they may even like to respond.

  6. #6
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    maybe it wants to see more voltage on the modulation input than the FB3 is giving the laser?

  7. #7
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    Default

    Would that really effect a TTL laser though?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by norty303 View Post
    Would that really effect a TTL laser though?
    hrmm, in theory no... but seriously who knows? i would measure the input to the laser with the FB3 and the DMX board

  9. #9
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    Incidentally, switching over to DMX input (on the laser) didn't do anything for the beam brightness so I'd say it's not to do with the FB3.

  10. #10
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    The FB3 puts out a solid 5 volts on the color rails. There are a few DACs on the market that run shy of a full 5 volts (cough *Full Auto* cough), but the FB3 isn't one of them.

    Sounds like you've got a couple issues with your unit there, Norty. Sorry to hear it. How much will it cost to send it back for repair? Might be better than trying to do it yourself. (Tuning the galvos shouldn't void your warranty, but replacing the keyswitch might. Ask them about it before you attempt the repair yourself.)

    Adam

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