Introduction: How to Use a CO2 Laser Power Probe to Certify a CO2 Laser Is Performing to Warranty Specifications
The video provides a sample demonstration of the Mahoney laser power probe, and describes how it saved me from a fake seller of CO2 laser tubes.
My story is as follows:
The fake seller had sold me a 150 watt laser for more than two thousand dollars, including the power supply. I measured the laser output power and got 145 watts. Then, I measured the power supply current. The power supply current was set for 34mA. According the manufacturer manual, it should be set to 30 mA or less or else the gas in the tube will be consumed very quickly and the laser will not work.
After reducing the current to 30 mA per the instruction manual and measuring with my multimeter, I then used the Mahoney CO2 laser power probe to measure the maximum laser output power. The max power was 129 watts.
I contacted the seller and told them that the 150 watt laser he sold me was a 130 watt laser with a 150 watt laser price. I told the seller that his quality was unacceptable and returned the laser to the seller and did not pay the invoice because the laser was returned.
The laser tube shown in the video is an example, and not the one in the story. The laser tube shown in the video is a 100 watt RECI. I bought this laser as a 100 watt RECI laser from a Jinan laser company. I read the power supply manual and reduced it to 28 mA, the long life recommendation by the power supply manufacturer. Then, the maximum output power on this laser tube was reduced to about 92 watts. I kept this laser, even though the maximum output power was only 95 watts at 30 mA. I believe that I could have argued for a discount from this supplier and gotten one becasue of the reduced power, but did not pursue it.
I recently received six, 60 watt laser tubes, and they all tested at 62 watts and above.
I recommend to anyone buying a 130 watt CO2 glass tube laser, or the 150 or 180 watt lasers--that they buy this power probe and test it after receipt, so that they can make a claim to the seller if it does not meet the power rating specified (and be sure to use your multimeter to test the power supply so that you are not tricked by the current setting cranked up so that the laser lifetime is greatly reduced).