July Classes Scheduled

Two new sessions of the basic operation and safety training course have been scheduled:

Monday, July 25, 6pm to 10pm (this class is now full)

OR

Sunday, July 31, 1pm to 5pm (this class is now full, too)

If you’d like to sign up for one of these classes, please email class@colaser.org and let me know which session you’d prefer. The laser room is small, so class size is limited.

The class is free, and once you’ve completed the class you’ll be able to schedule time to use the Colaser, which is also free for art and personal projects. You don’t need to bring anything special to class. Be prepared for about 90 minutes of classroom instruction, followed by hands-on exercises with the laser.

New Utility Knife Engraved

The little Xacto knife we’ve had in the toolbox has proved unequal to the tasks that arise in the laser lab: the point is often broken off the blade. So I picked up a cheap utility knife and a bunch of blades for it. These blades are quite a bit thicker than the Xacto knife blades, so maybe they will last longer and do a better job.

The body of the utility knife is red anodized aluminum, so I took the opportunity to do a little raster engraving. I used 50% power and 100% speed and the results are very nice, almost identical to the manufacturer’s logo. utilityknife

Windows 10

I’m told that Microsoft saw fit to unilaterally “upgrade” our laser’s computer to Windows 10 the other day, despite my efforts to disable the automatic update. Oh, well.

Full Spectrum Laser doesn’t seem to have a position on whether their software, Retina Engrave 3D, will work on Windows 10. I don’t know any particular reason why it wouldn’t, but I have a strong belief that if you haven’t tested something, it probably doesn’t work.

I will do some rudimentary testing soon and add a comment to this post with the results. If it seems to work, I’ll leave it on Windows 10, since the upgrade would seem to be inevitable. If I find any problems, I can theoretically still back down to the older Windows version we were running before.

May Classes Scheduled

Two new sessions of the basic operation and safety training course have been scheduled:

Sunday, May 15, 1pm to 5pm

OR

Sunday, May 29, 1pm to 5pm

If you’d like to sign up for one of these classes, please email class@colaser.org and let me know which session you’d prefer. The laser room is small, so class size is limited.

The class is free, and once you’ve completed the class you’ll be able to schedule time to use the Colaser, which is also free for art and personal projects. You don’t need to bring anything special to class. Be prepared for about 90 minutes of classroom instruction, followed by hands-on exercises with the laser.

More Classes Scheduled

Two new sessions of the basic operation and safety training course have been scheduled:

Sunday, April 17, 1pm to 5pm

OR

Saturday, April 23, 1pm to 5pm (NOW FULL)

If you’d like to sign up for one of these classes, please email class@colaser.org and let me know which session you’d prefer. The laser room is small, so class size is limited.

The class is free, and once you’ve completed the class you’ll be able to schedule time to use the Colaser, which is also free for art and personal projects. You don’t need to bring anything special to class. Be prepared for about 90 minutes of classroom instruction, followed by hands-on exercises with the laser.

Laser Fixed!

Replacing the two thermistor surge suppressors in the high voltage power supply seems to have cured the laser of its problems. Hurray! It’s actually cutting a bit better than it has been doing recently.

Total parts cost: $6.66, plus shipping. Not bad!

Laser classes on April 3 and April 10 will go ahead as scheduled. A new class or two will be scheduled soon, with people from the canceled March 26 class having first shot.

Debug Update

After a couple of rounds of back and forth with tech support, they had me open up the high voltage power supply and inspect for visible damage. Somewhat to my surprise, I found some. These two big black ceramic disks are clearly blown up. By the part number MF72-5D20 these are power NTC thermistors used as surge protection. According to tech support, this type of failure is usually caused by a random power surge.

I have replacement parts on order (they’re cheap) and will try simply swapping out the thermistors as soon as they come in. If that doesn’t solve the problem I will probably have to send the power supply in for repair ($100 plus shipping and handling). Cost-wise, this could have been a lot worse.

IMG_5203 IMG_5195

Laser Not Working

The laser is currently not working at all. The laser tube just won’t fire. I strongly suspect a failed high voltage power supply. I have a support ticket open with Full Spectrum Laser and expect to hear back by Monday. If I’m right about the problem, the downtime will depend on whether they have a replacement power supply in stock.

The laser class for Saturday, March 26 (later today) is CANCELED. We can’t have a laser class without a working laser. The classes for April 3 and April 10 are still on, for the time being, but are at risk of being canceled if I’m not able to get the laser repaired in time.

 

Classes Scheduled

Three new sessions of the basic operation and safety training course have been scheduled:

Saturday, March 26, 1pm to 5pm

OR

Sunday, April 3, 1 pm to 5pm [THIS SESSION IS NOW FULL]

OR

Sunday, April 10, 1 pm to 5pm

If you’d like to sign up for one of these classes, please email class@colaser.org and let me know which session you’d prefer. The laser room is small, so class size is limited.
The class is free, and once you’ve completed the class you’ll be able to schedule time to use the Colaser, which is also free for art and personal projects. You don’t need to bring anything special to class. Be prepared for about 90 minutes of classroom instruction, followed by hands-on exercises with the laser.