Author Topic: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?  (Read 1979 times)

LaserJack

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2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« on: January 04, 2017, 08:01:54 AM »
Greetings and Happy New Year LaserFans,

I am relatively new to the forum, but have already communicated with Zax, BCL about other topics. I have a 2500mw A3 eleks maker Chinese toy. Over the holidays myself and two others worked out a lot of frustration trying to get this system to consistently work. The colleagues are well experienced with electronics and mechanics. They optimized the frame pullies and tweaked what they could to insure stable movement of the X and Y motors. Then made many tests with all the options of speed, time, focus, trying to burn on simple card stock (180g) black. The 2.5W laser module delivered inconsistent results, sometimes cutting and sometimes not all in the same project. The module was checked closely and revealed that the mini fan was not sufficient as cooling, so they used an airbrush to cool it while operating, also the current draw was only 1.4AMP, not >2A advertised. We used T2Laser and BCL and Benbox software while also using Inkscape, QCAD, Fusion 360, and just the plain old GCode translator (GÓtHub). We used 0.9j all the time.
Now we see that the shitty module works on start up, then dissipates in power and is useless.

Our BIG question is: what would anyone recommend to replace this laser module with a (non-Chinese) module? I remember Zax writing that the 5.5W cannot focus the beam to a small dot. BUT, this is likely the Chinese ELEKS version. We also realize that we may have to purchase a module that requires re-drilling to fit on the gantry holder. We also wonder at the power of the stepper motors, if they could correctly move a larger module, like a 7W, 10W or so? Finally, we do not recommend anyone starting with these laser toys. Lost a lot of time, some money (cost us an extra $60.00 import duties here in Switzerland). THANKS FOR YOUR FEEDBACK!!!

Jerry Jackson, Bern, Switzerland

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2017, 09:19:48 AM »
I stopped using the 2.5w unit for over heating reasons...I went with a 1.6w and it runs very cool on long cut jobs and has a very small focus dot...I need about 2 more passes to cut with it, but overall I'm very pleased with it.
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Zax

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2017, 09:58:07 AM »
I replaced the original 2.5W with a TTL 2W and it has the same power and much more control. It also has a larger heatsink and better fan, and runs with no increase in temperature.

echo4golf

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2017, 02:13:57 PM »
Zax,

Do you have a source for the 2W?

Thanks,
Jerry

Zax

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2017, 02:39:38 PM »
You can find others (aliexpress, ebay etc) but these are the TTL lasers that Banggood currently has:
http://benboxlaser.us/index.php/topic,1355.msg16446.html#msg16446

echo4golf

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2017, 03:18:56 PM »
Thanks Zax.  I'm looking at the 2W in hopes that it will be a bit more controllable than the 2.5 that came with my GearBest unit.  I have been disappointed with the quality of grayscale projects thus far. Even with dithering it's a bit problematic.  I've been wondering if the lens is messed up but haven't gotten so far as to disassemble the little beastie yet.

Jerry

Zax

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2017, 03:51:01 PM »
The 2W is excellent, very precise focusing and it's output is equal to the 2.5W but the biggest improvement is the power control from 1 to 255 in linear steps. It does require adding length to the wiring but connection is very easy.

QuietMike

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 06:24:50 PM »
So these ttl lasers are actually linear in power, - 100 is actually half the power of 200?
How do they retrofit to the existing wireing?

Zax

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2017, 07:02:24 PM »
I didn't check the actual output, but visually it appears linear. The problem is that doesn't mean linear results, different materials act differently.

Wiring is simple, check the threads on the connection.

QuietMike

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 07:49:26 PM »
so what is TTL, and why is it better

ggallant571

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 08:48:59 PM »
On a typical laser controller board the CPU generates a PWM pulse train the turns on a power transistor (MOSFET) that switches the 12V power source. The signal is wired to the diode module where it is turned into a signal appropriate for controlling the laser diode.

On a TTL configuration the MOSFET on the controller board is bypassed and the CPU signal (TTL level) is wired to the laser diode module along with the raw 12V power. The control module then converts this to the appropriate diode control signal.

Which is better is can be very elusive. I suspect the electronics on the laser module are the significant factor. It appears that some contain components that change the ON/OFF switching pattern. These circuits may improve the laser performance while cutting at the expense of quick switching desired for etching.

It is my opinion that the MOSFET driver circuit on the Eleks controllers is pure crap. Marginal at best. Perhaps the "TTL" circuits compensate for this deficiency by reliably performing the switching operation. In the end, a TTL logic level needs to be translated into a high power diode current.

BTW, I built my own controller with a dedicated MOSFET driver and have been getting quite nice etchings.
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HaniC

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2017, 01:31:45 AM »
Lasers generally need constant current control. I would suspect the ttl laser driver takes an on/off style PWM signal input and instead of switching the driver on and off actually controls the current to the laser diode in a more linear analogue way.

ROSS

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2017, 03:08:02 AM »
 ..............and by the prices on the UK site they are similar to the Chinese dealers......
However, you may get more sense out of the UK dealer if you have a query tho!!

« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 03:11:47 AM by ROSS »
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vernerl

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2017, 11:31:14 AM »
What is interesting I am also "happy" 2.5W banggood laser owner. I hope when my TTL board arrives, I post some images how to prepare and connect this laser to TTL. At this moment I cant find information what laser type for 2,5W is inside black aluminium case. Nobody in the world does not produce laser diodes with such parameters. There is maybe 1,6--2W or 3--3,5W laser, who knows.
Here I found good vision, how to prepare 2,5W laser for TTL.
All what we can do very well with not TTL 2,5W is make nice outline type drawings, cut some cardbords, cut opaque acryls
AND ALSO!!  :) (many thanks Zax for information) 
we can make grayscale similar drawings. How to do it here.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 01:01:52 PM by vernerl »

Zax

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Re: 2.5W ELEKS Module Replacement?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2017, 12:57:13 PM »
I tested the 2500mW alongside my 2W TTL module using a power meter and got almost identical results. The 2W TTL was more stable and had faster response, you can also focus to a smaller point.

2500mW is a good starter module, and I've seen your results which are very impressive but 2W TTL is a nice upgrade!