eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Hardware settings, adjustments and fixes and other hardware discussion. This includes the "doHICky" Laser Power measurement system by Russ.
Dustin Hawkinson
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:55 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA

eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Dustin Hawkinson » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:22 am

So I doubt I am the only one to buy an eBay laser and then have it fail on me, nor will I be the last one to experience this. I've decided to write up my experience in hopes that others will benefit when they have similar problems. I've read several other accounts on the internet, but reading of another member having a similar experience here on RDWL convinced me to write this up as each case is different.

I'll divide this up into a couple posts to make it easier to read only what you are interested in:

*This Post - Background info and initial experiences with eBay and the laser
*Laser Failure experience
*Reserved for future updates

To start with, I've actually been pleasantly surprised at support I've received so far from my eBay seller. It might turn out poorly still, but I'll update this thread. This last September (2016) I began emailing eBay sellers of the blue and white "50 watt" that Russ bought trying to find one that had a responsive seller, a motorized Z-table, and a network port. I found a few, and each one offered me a cheaper non-ebay price claiming I was still protected by paypal, and the one I chose offered a 3 year warranty. I knew going in that the warranty might not mean anything after my paypal dispute window closed. Maybe they are still helping me because of this, I haven't actually checked to see if I'm still in that window.

My laser was delivered Oct 7th 2017 after I requested a delay to ensure I would be home. Without the delay, the shipping would have been 4 days by FedEx ground, and I paid $1200 USD shipped if anyone is curious. I immediately realized the air pump didn't work, and after sending them a requested video, they sent me a replacement from China. I got tired of waiting, and tired of constantly using a loud compressor, so I ended up buying a replacement on Amazon myself a few days before the china replacement showed up at my door (it took about 5 weeks).

eBay seller: star-shopx http://www.ebay.com/usr/star-shopx?_trk ... 7675.l2559
starshopx@gmail.com
Current eBay auction (probably expired if you are viewing this in the future): http://www.ebay.com/itm/221783666951?eu ... 3193998244

As this is strictly a hobby for me, and I'm not a retired tinkerer like a lot of the old farts here :lol:, I have only about 14.5 hours of laser-on time 3 months later. 95% of that has been at about 7 watts or less. The laser failed and stopped firing on December 30th, 2016.

I was initially impressed with this tube, as here was the power levels I achieved the first week:

power % /power watts / current (mA)
10 / 2.6 / 2
20 / 6.6 / 2
30 / 10 / 3
40 / 17.6 / 5
50 / 35.2 / 12
60 / 36.8 / 14
70 / 40.8 / 15
80 / 42.4 / 17

The next post will contain the details of the failure and the seller's response to the warranty claim.
40W (ebay 50W blue wonder), 300mm x 500m, TL
Windows10 RDW 8.01.19
(The member formerly known as astral)
-Dustin

Dustin Hawkinson
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:55 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA

Re: eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Dustin Hawkinson » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:22 am

As you recall, my laser failed on December 30th, 2016. I didn't know if it was the tube or the power supply, but after a bunch of reading and thinking about it, I decided it was most likely the tube, and that I couldn't afford to wait to see if the seller felt like helping me. I also felt like I jinxed myself, because a couple days prior, I had just posted a thread about tube purchasing options. Despite it just being a hobby, I found myself falling into paying jobs, and I have a lot of engraving work scheduled in the coming weeks. I was considering buying a spare tube "just in case" so I wouldn't be SOL if my unknown-quality tube failed during this work.

Within a couple hours of the tube failing, I bit the bullet and ordered a replacement tube on LightObject.com I opted for a 1000mm 45W tube which would still be an upgrade to my 850mm eBay tube, but I wouldn't need to upgrade my power supply. I almost never use high power and I didn't have a quick shipping option that wasn't ungodly expensive, so I decided to put off an upgrade to a 60W tube as I'm still not convinced I need that much power. With a small sale going on, I paid $260 shipped for this tube:

http://www.lightobject.com/LightObject- ... -P751.aspx

I purchased this on Saturday Dec 30th, and I haven't seen any shipping info or updates yet, but it is only Monday Jan 2, and they might have the day off for the new year.

Also on Dec 30th, I sent the seller an email describing my issue. I didn't really expect much, but I figured it was worth a shot. I was more curious than anything as even if they replaced my tube, I wouldn't have time to wait for a china shipped tube to arrive (and I already bought a new one).

On Monday, Jan 2nd at 2am Arizona time I received a reply asking for a video of the problem (standard reply for any china company if you ask for support). I should have anticipated this, but I had already mentally accepted that they would be of no help. Unfortunately I had just finished removing all of the water components as I am going to use the down time to do a bunch of mods, and I had also removed the old tube along with their crappy factory mounts and all the HV wiring. I shorted the water sensor to prevent the water flow error, and made a video demonstrating that I couldn't fire the laser without showing the back of the machine since there was no tube in there :lol:

I sent the video back less than an hour after receiving the request and went to bed. This morning (Monday still) I noticed the seller had responded to me within 10 minutes (impressive). The seller sent me a video demonstrating a very sketchy test which I assume they designed to test the power supply. Here is the email:

Dear customer

Thank you for your message.
.

The last step: here is a video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byfi1- ... sp=sharing
Can you please remove the red wire and use the pliers to fix the wire and then use the screwdriver to presss the "pulse"to see if it release high tension electricity or not and take a video to me.


Please let us know if you need further assistance.
Happy new year!
Sincerely.
Linda



(I replaced the google drive link with my own in case they remove it)

Needless to say I was reticent to try this. After a couple minutes of thinking it over, I decided that if I took some precautions I could conduct the test "fairly safely" and the largest risk would be frying the power supply. I wasn't too worried about that because the seller would probably replace it if they caused me to fry it (maybe), and the design of the PSU itself seems like it could handle this type of shorting. Here is the video I made of me replicating the test:

https://youtu.be/cHJE3sCUwiU

***DO NOT try this if you do not understand exactly what the situation is that you are causing and how to properly insulate yourself and anything else that could be damaged.

I emailed this to the seller earlier this morning. I'll return and post the results. I also started designing a new tube mounting system to 3D print as it seemed like a fun project, if it works out I'll make a new thread.

As you can see, the PSU only sometimes creates an arc, and when it does, it cannot maintain the arc until I release the button. So the PSU has died... %@$#!!!! I apparently jumped the gun on the tube replacement. I am going to wait to make sure the seller doesn't offer to ship a replacement from here in the US (unlikely), but I'll probably order a new PSU in the next couple days so I can get back up and running.

Before I got to this point I already had the tube off while prepping for the replacement. The tube may not be bad after all, but I don't know if I want to use it anymore after inspecting it carefully. There are defects in the glass within the tube. The outside of the outer water jacket glass has dimples in it. Inside the dimples are a black substance.

When I started breaking the laser down, I noticed my water has become a little slimy (part of the reason of re-doing my water system). Because of this I suspect the black substance is algae or mold.

***Edit: I have inspected the construction of the tube more carefully, and I don't see how the dimples are actually compromising the tube beyond allowing for water to stagnate and grow crap. I can remedy this.

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________________________________________________

Update 1/3/16 -

I received this email last night:

Dear customer

Thank you for your message.

Yes it is the power supply is bad, the supplier agree to ship a new one to you, but you need to pay for the shipping from China to USA, it is 60USD, if you agree, I will send a paypal invoice to you.


Please let us know if you need further assistance.
Happy new year!
Sincerely.
Linda


Edit: I am going to ask the vendor for a partial refund and see what they say. I've dropped over $500 at LightObject buying new quality parts now, and I don't want to start replacing the crap with more crap.

________________________________________________

As I said, I'll be back to post updates. I hope this either helps someone else, or is at least interesting to someone who doesn't mind reading.
Attachments
tubeDiag.png
tubeDiag.png (4.7 KiB) Viewed 170 times
40W (ebay 50W blue wonder), 300mm x 500m, TL
Windows10 RDW 8.01.19
(The member formerly known as astral)
-Dustin

Dustin Hawkinson
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:55 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA

Re: eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Dustin Hawkinson » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:23 am

Reserved for future use
40W (ebay 50W blue wonder), 300mm x 500m, TL
Windows10 RDW 8.01.19
(The member formerly known as astral)
-Dustin

Doug Fisher
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:42 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Re: eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Doug Fisher » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:26 pm

Nice write-up, Dustin. I hope you get things resolved quickly. Yes, dealing with customer service on the other side of the world has its downsides!
80 Watt 700mm x 500mm Ke Hui KH-7050 Laser (Similar to the Red Sail),T.R.
LaSea/EFR F2 Series laser tube, RuiDa RDC6442G EC controller, 2" lens, RDWorks v8.01.18, CW 5000 chiller, Chuck type of rotary attachment
Doug

Dustin Hawkinson
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:55 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA

Re: eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Dustin Hawkinson » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:27 am

I received this email last night:

Dear customer

Thank you for your message.

Yes it is the power supply is bad, the supplier agree to ship a new one to you, but you need to pay for the shipping from China to USA, it is 60USD, if you agree, I will send a paypal invoice to you.


Please let us know if you need further assistance.
Happy new year!
Sincerely.
Linda


Edit: I'm going to ask for a partial refund and see what happens. I am sticking with my quality tube and PSU that have been ordered from LightObject.
40W (ebay 50W blue wonder), 300mm x 500m, TL
Windows10 RDW 8.01.19
(The member formerly known as astral)
-Dustin

User avatar
Ian Bell
Posts: 39
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:55 am
Location: Bangor, N. Ireland

Re: eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Ian Bell » Wed Jan 04, 2017 6:36 am

Appreciate the write up Dustin, i'll be ordering CCL (Cheap chinese laser) shortly, so it's always interesting to see first hand someone elses experiences.

It's also steering me to buy a 60W machine with a plan to replace the tube with a pucker 80w and psu.
Planning either a 60W or 80W laser
Ian

Willy Ivy
Posts: 118
Joined: Tue Aug 09, 2016 8:07 am
Location: Pattison, Texas
Contact:

Re: eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Willy Ivy » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:16 am

Dustin,
My VERY SHORT version of my experience.
My first laser I bought on ebay from warrenau250.
It worked absolutely great, minor adjustments.
The power supply failed after 4 months, I replaced without their help.
Ordered a new tube and psu from LO.
Installed psu to finish jobs. (luckily did not replace tube yet, maybe?)
Possible 60w psu on 50w china laser add to my next problem.
Sept. 22, it caught on fire. Totally destroyed and very close to loosing my shop.
Not the fault of laser (if you overlook psu failure).
15 hours later I ordered a 2nd laser from warrenau250 as I now had less than 8 weeks until daughters wedding.
warrenau250 told me they would send ASAP in 2 days.
It was 12 days
THIS LASER HAS BEEN A PIECE OF CRAP FROM DAY ONE.
Short list of problems,
heavy dust throughout the inside of the laser
heavy plier marks on head mirror jam nuts
would not fire a beam to the table
would not make a full y axis travel without skipping and loud noises
right belt was loose
had to disassemble gantry to overhaul (it was 7/16" out of square)
had to raise mirror #2 about 3/16"
had to remove mirror #1 to slot holes to gain proper alignment with the tube
had to remove tube to slot holes to align tube with x & y axis's
At this point I grabbed my new LO 60w tube, removed the psu from the burned unit in hopes it was ok and installed them.
Had to make the necessary changes and also cut access holes in side and rear of machine for easy adj mirrors.
I could not wait to send this back and wait another 12 days for another one so we did the song and dance of today I email them, tomorrow they email me.
They wanted video, they wanted more video, they were sorry that I thought they sold me a used laser, they are going to resolve quickly, they couldn't see a Y axis problem from my video (I will add a picture from the video I sent them) they still wanted more video of the Y axis problem, etc etc.
Again, this is the shortened version with much of the details left out.
32 email corresponds back and forth.

The reason I even posted this stuff and got my blood boiling again was the response you received from your seller.
One of my responses was the exact same wording and maybe just coincidence, but her name was LINDA

I never got a single thing out of them and they had me banned on ebay to contact them and or purchase or even add them to my watch list. I was going to buy a series of small things to attempt and bring their score down.
Attachments
IMG_1148.JPG
IMG_1148.JPG (48.01 KiB) Viewed 110 times
50w Chinese laser KH-7050, 500x300, TL, 2" lens, hot dog rotary
Modifications: 60w tube & power supply, honeycomb bed, amp meter, easy access mirrors
RDWorks V8.01.18, CorelDraw X6, W7 Pro
Pattison, Texas
http://dadburnitlaser.com
Willy

Doug Fisher
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 10:42 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Re: eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Doug Fisher » Wed Jan 04, 2017 9:28 am

If you are still within your ebay or PayPal buyer protection period, file the complaint through that channel. The seller cannot ban you from communications via that. PayPal's buyer protection has particularly become extremely biased in the buyer's favor now and I think you have 90 days. The Chinese sellers' attitude changes very quickly when you file an official complaint. As a small business owner, I see both sides of how this works so I don't encourage anyone to use and abuse it but if machine was sold with the usual three year warranty and it has failed this fast, they need to pay for the shipping of parts ($60 better be air freight!). Also, watch out for the "you buy the parts and we will reimburse you" game. Finally, do all communications through ebay or Paypal dispute resolution so that ebay and PayPal have access to the complete thread of contact and promises made.
80 Watt 700mm x 500mm Ke Hui KH-7050 Laser (Similar to the Red Sail),T.R.
LaSea/EFR F2 Series laser tube, RuiDa RDC6442G EC controller, 2" lens, RDWorks v8.01.18, CW 5000 chiller, Chuck type of rotary attachment
Doug

Dustin Hawkinson
Posts: 153
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:55 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ USA

Re: eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Dustin Hawkinson » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:47 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys. Doug, I think I'll wait a few days then open a dispute with PP and see how they react. Good idea. Willy, man that sounds like a rough go. It really sucks that your original laser burnt up when it worked so much better than the replacement.
40W (ebay 50W blue wonder), 300mm x 500m, TL
Windows10 RDW 8.01.19
(The member formerly known as astral)
-Dustin

Cesar Morin
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:27 pm
Location: Edinburg, tx

Re: eBay Laser Failure and the road to fixing it

Postby Cesar Morin » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:13 pm

Does anyone who upgraded power supplies have the wiring diagram for it. I got a 60 watt replacement tube refunded to me by the vendor and had to buy and new power supply from light object. I have a file Russ Sadler sent me but I am confused on the power portion. Myou new PS has 3 wires FG, AC, AC and the factory has 4 wires.


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