Introduction: How to Measure the Power of Co2 Laser Engraving Machine or Laser Cutting Machine Using a Laser Power Meter
Downtime is bad for business, if you are selling on any of the major platforms (eBay, Amazon, Etsy etc, you will know how critical machine downtime can be. it is not advisable to keep laser tubes in stock as they begin to perish from the date of manufacture.
BE REACTIVE Regular power testing will allow you to spot trends, and notice power decay before complete failure.
BE PREVENTATIVE Being reactive will allow you ample time to purchase a replacement laser tube and plan repair.
This powergauge was purchase from CO2 LASER POWER METER
Step 1: Be Safe and Consider Your Surroundings
When performing maintenance on machinery both live and isolated always remember to consider environmental factors outside of your control.
Ensure you are comfortable with the task at hand and never operate a CO2 laser with the guarding open. If in doubt contact a professional. CO2 lasers output inferred energy in the 10.6uM wavelength, this is invisible to the naked eye and can cause substantial damage to person and property. Always ensure your working environment is safe and you are wearing the correct personal protective equipment. Safety goggles must by of a type approved to provide protection from the 10.6uM wavelength.
Featuring a single button and automatic power down function to power up the meter simply press the button once.
After a brief moment the power meter will enter the calibration process, this must be carried out each time the unit is power cycled. On average this process takes around 5 seconds to complete. Once calibration is complete the home page splash screen will be displayed. To the top right of the screen is a battery gauge, when this gauge becomes depleted the unit can be recharged using a standard 5v usb charger and micro usb cable. To the bottom right of the screen the current idle temperature can be seen, by default this is set to degrees Celsius, please be aware of this temperature as the device must be allowed to cool down to ambient temperature before each subsequent measurement.
Step 3: Setting Test Length Time
The power meter is suitable for measuring C02 lasers from 10W to 200W of output power. 3 types of test are available
100W+ Suitable for lasers 100+ Watts in output power (15 second test)
50 – 100W Suitable for lasers 50 – 100 Watts in output power (30 second test)
10 – 50W Suitable for lasers between 10 - 50 Watts in output power (60 second test)
If required you can switch test length at any time.
To change the test length simply hold down the button and count to 4.
Release the button to be greeted by the TEST LENGTH menu.
Simply cycle the menu by clicking the button.
Once your desired test length is highlighted hold the button down for 4 seconds and release.
The chosen test length is saved to memory and does not need to be selected each time the device is used. The selected test length can be verified on the idle screen.
TM 15 = 15 SEC 100W+ TM 30 = 30 SEC 50-100W TM 60 = 60 SEC 10-50W
Step 4: Taking Your First Measurement
Simply hold the button and count past 2, when test is displayed release the button.
· On release of the button a screen will be displayed with test starting prepare to pulse.
· Place the Test surface in the beam path; ensure the beam hits central on this test surface.
· The progress bar graph will begin to fill, once this bar has filled the test will begin, prepare to fire the laser.
· The screen will change to Pulse Laser, hold the fire / pulse button on your machine for the length of this test, a countdown will begin, once this reaches 0 stop pulsing the laser.
· The accuracy of the test is dependent on the tester’s ability to fire the laser at the precise moment this screen changes and stop the moment the countdown reaches 0. After a few tries it will become second nature.
· A screen with the text TEST COMPLETE is now displayed with another bar graph displayed underneath, a few seconds is required for the calculation.
· Once this bar has filled the screen will change to display the tested output power displayed in Watts (W)
· The last recorded test measurement will be saved to the idle display screen next to LT