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.
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.
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.
Three new sessions of the basic operation and safety training course have been scheduled:
Saturday, March 26, 1pm to 5pm
Sunday, April 3, 1 pm to 5pm [THIS SESSION IS NOW FULL]
Sunday, April 10, 1 pm to 5pm
If you’d like to sign up for one of these classes, please email firstname.lastname@example.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.