Introduction: How to Use a CO2 Laser Power Probe to Measure Laser Output Power to Locate a Bad Mirror
This video demonstrates how to use the Mahoney CO2 laser power probe. The CO2 laser power probe is a commonly used and necessary device to:
1. Measure laser output power for laser settings over time. Whether you own an RF (Radio Frequency) powered laser such as a Synrad or Coherent used in an Epilog brand or Universal Laser Systems brand laser engraving system, or if you own a Chinese high voltage glass tube laser, all gas lasers reduce power over time because of internal gas consumption. Therefore, your power settings for materials will change over time. By using the laser power probe you can measure results and set the same power everytime, no matter how your laser tube has degraded.
2. Spot check for bad optics. Sometimes, the optics go bad, and absorb much too much energy. So, even though the laser may be performing as usual, when you enter your laser settings on your laser engraving or laser cutting machine, the results are not as good as in previous jobs. By using the laser power probe before and after the mirror, you can measure the power loss, and if it is significant then change out the optic for a new one.
3. Measure maximum CO2 laser output power to certify purchased lasers perform per the warranty. Whether the laser is newly purchased, or near the end of its warranty period, the laser power meter probe is commonly used to measure laser output power. If the laser power is below the specified value, then you can do a warranty claim to have it replaced or receive a partial discount (as offered by some laser manufacturers).
4. To determine good beam alignment, a quick spot check on power in the four corners of the laser engraving and cutting table will let you know if losses are present and the laser machine needs aligning. This saves frustration in trying to guess why the laser is not performing as when first purchased.