Does red laser need new CO2 tube?

Hi guys!

I’ve noticed that the red laser has continuously lost power and efficiency as of lately. I had a large project yesterday that I had to cut by hand bc the laser is just not working correctly. I am wondering if anyone else has been having this issue as of lately. I heard someone say that we were looking to get another CO2 tube? Is there an ETA for that? Just wondering bc I have a deadline for a client on this project. @EricP maybe you have some insight on this?

Periodically @dannym does a test to measure the strength of the laser tubes. There are a few factors such as a dirty lense, bed height adjustment issue, and laser tubes. What size is your cut?

@JoeN My birch ply is 1/8th inch thick. I say the comment on the tubes because I ran into another person using the laser having the same issues for the past 2 months. They said they talked to someone and they are in fact looking for a new CO2 tube?

How large is your cut area? I’m guessing it can’t be run on the Blue Laser? Back to the laser tube refurb question. It is not a trivial task to remove the laser, crate it, and ship it.

One of the tubes inside Red is underperforming, it would benefit from regassing. These are not throwaway tubes, they’re engineered high-reliability RF CO2 that can be used indefinitely and we just get them regassed every few years. Removal and install is a snap on ULS, but it does have to be shipped and there’s a turnaround time, mostly just the shipping (the bench work is not long, but it’s a bit more than a week). Now Red will do just fine on one tube, but it’ll be less than it is now.

I do have this set up where the tubes on Red and Blue are totally interchangeable with each other (but not Pearl), and it’s pretty quick and easy to do. What makes a lot of sense is while the weak tube in Red is being regassed, take the strong tube from Blue and put it in Red so Red has two strong tubes. We can do that right now, actually.

This does leave Blue empty. But Pearl is mechanically the equivalent of Blue, but in fact much stronger. It’s another ULS machine, the interface looks different but works basically the same. Same bed size etc. In fact it’s the same frame painted a different color. I can just move the engraving table to Pearl and that’s two XY laser beds again.

The obstacle here is Pearl isn’t plumbed for exhaust outside the building, the filter that got put on it is not suitable for significant amounts of wood/acrylic. That’s putting a wrench into the plan for a seamless servicing right now.