View Full Version : A few questions regarding an upcoming Trotec purchase...

John Warren
05-14-2014, 4:14 PM
I'm planning to buy a Trotec laser toward the end of the month and as I'm trying to think through all the different aspects of the purchase and getting set up, I've got a few questions that I'm hoping the friendly folks here can help with!

1) When I originally started researching lasers my plan had been to start with a Chinese model. My understanding there was that it was recommended to get a water cooled system. I asked about a water cooled option on the Trotec and the rep said the systems are air cooled and don't need water cooling. Is that accurate? Because of the higher quality laser tube or something?

2) The rep also said that the laser can run on either 110V or 220V. Assuming my shop is or can be wired for either one, is there a benefit or recommendation for one over the other? Does it effect performance of the laser in any way, or is it simply preference?

3) I live in a rural area where it is not uncommon to get power surges and/or outages. I'm assuming I can at least get a nice surge protector or maybe even uninterruptible power supply to help prevent problems. But are there any specific things I should look for as I'm looking at different models? Any recommended models?

4) I'm planning to wait until the end of the month to get tradeshow pricing (they've got a tradeshow in Houston), but the rep says he won't know the pricing they can offer until like the day before the show. Is tradeshow pricing fairly consistent from show to show, or does it change quite a bit? I'd like to have some idea of what to expect...

I'm sure I've got other questions, but those are the big ones for now. Thanks!

Mark Sipes
05-14-2014, 4:59 PM
My best answers:

1. Air Cooled.... quite fans on the ceramic/metal tube . quality built for the industry.

2. International.. Austrian Company.. Europe is 220v/50Hzl US is 110/60HZ No rewire of machines.. just select and us the correct extension cord. (they provide)

3. Backup power is great for computers and the laser. Should filter and stabilize power. Provides a cushion for saving files when the power does go off.

4. Shows are the best buying time. make sure to look at all the vendors so you can dicker on accessories... Buy the floor model and they should give you a great deal... of course you haul it away....they save the freight. May not be the power you want...but its a deal.....

Just my thoughts.

David Somers
05-14-2014, 5:14 PM
Congrats John!! Hope this purchase goes excellently for you!!

The western lasers; Trotec, Universal and Epilog, are all air cooled. It is part of the design of the tubes and systems. There isnt a provision for water cooling them at all. In most of the Chinese lasers the tubes that generate the laser have cooling tubes running through them and the chilled water flows through that.

I will let someone who knows the Trotecs specifically answer your 110 v 220V question. As a rule of thumb though I prefer 220 for most shop equipment. The lower your current draw the less loss you lose to resistance across a given length of wiring. 220V devices tend to have somewhat lower electrical consumption as well, though you are not likely to notice it on your bill. Whether this is important on a Trotec of a given size? Not sure.

The power needed to run a device like a laser is a given amount for that product. If you double the voltage.....220 instead of 110 in this case, you halve the current which reduces the loss across the electric cables. Power = Current times Voltage. On the other hand, higher voltage can be more dangerous. As I said....I will let others here with Trotecs speak to the specific of that aspect of it.

If you do a 220V circuit, by US code it will be dedicated to the one device. I would be tempted to do that if you choose 110 V as well. Again, Trotec users can speak to this directly. But isolating expensive gear on its own circuit is a means of protection by itself.

My shop is part of my house wiring. I have a dedicated 220V 30Amp circuit for my wood lathe. And another 220 V dedicated circuit for other uses. When I order a laser I will do a dedicated circuit for it, whether that is 110 or 220. I also have a whole house surge suppressor in my panel to protect the entire house from surges from outside the house. And I keep a good surge suppressor on specific things to protect them from any surges coming from within the house. For certain items like computers and TV I use a power conditioning device of some sort, usually an Uninterruptable Power Supply if I want the ability to finish something should the power go out altogether on that curcuit. A UPS will condition your power to the Trotec. Whether it is useful as a UPS by itself though will depend on its capacity and how long you need to run the device without power. Normally, I want UPS supplied power to last long enough for me to gracefully save and shut things down. I am not necessarily trying to keep things running for long periods of time. At my office however I have a very large UPS running on my phone systems and network routers, switches, and servers to keep them up and running long enough for generators to be brought on line in the event of a prolonged outage. This is a life/health/safety issue however and would not be what I expected to see in a small shop situation.

On your show pricing question....again I will let folks answer that. I suspect there is a modest variance in pricing depending on their stocks, current profit margins, how much they are willing to haul back after a show, etc. But show pricing in general should be your best bet, and a nice chance to compare and haggle by running from vendor to vendor.

Hope this helps a little!! And congrats again John!!!! Folks on the forum love their Trotecs!!!!


Kev Williams
05-14-2014, 7:17 PM
Another time to get a good deal is during the year-change. IF you can wait, and don't mind last years model...

John Warren
05-15-2014, 9:04 PM
My best answers...

Thanks Mark! I hadn't thought about the different voltages needed for international use, I was thinking along the lines of major appliances in the US tending to be 220 and wondering if it might be beneficial to get the 220 version of the laser.

Hope this helps a little!! And congrats again John!!!! Folks on the forum love their Trotecs!!!!

Thanks! Reading the posts on this forum played a large part in the decision to get a Trotec.

I'll definitely seriously consider doing a separate run even if I end up with the 110V version. That seems like a good precaution and shouldn't be too difficult with my setup.

Another time to get a good deal is during the year-change. IF you can wait, and don't mind last years model...

Hmm... Hadn't thought of that. Thanks :) I can't wait for it this time around, but I'll keep it in mind for future purchases. Do laser models change with the calendar year, or is it offset a bit like car models?