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Gerald not working. #1246
Gerald stopped working this evening, 3 minutes into use, after making what I can only describe as a rather loud high pitched hissing sound. The laser head continues to move but produces no laser and makes a different sound. I'm not sure if maybe the CO2 tube has blown, or if it's something else. The cut's it made immediately before stopping were fine. At the same time it stopped working the LCD display went funny also, the display disappeared and it began to flicker, once I hit pause it returned to normal.
Just trying the laser button you get a high-pitched squeak when it tries to fire. I think we had that relatively recently, so there might be a record of whether it was the tube or the power supply.
Having a look at the tube it doesn't seem great...
There are bits of that brown deposit all along the tube, although it's worst at the "pointy" end.
At first I thought it may be the water being a bit low in the chiller. Whilst topping this up though, I spotted some arcing of the HT lead to the chassis, below the laser tube.
On further investigation, the connection appeared to be broken, hence the arcing. The joint was also at the join of the two pieces of silicone tubing, which has likely but additional stress on th3 connection.
I remade the connection with an extra layer of heat shrink tubing, moved the joint further along in the silicone tubing and wrapped insulating tape over the join in the silicone tubing.
The laser then worked first time and on further tests was cutting well.