View Full Version : Question regarding power choice in new machine and upgrade option

Steve Pepin
09-04-2017, 1:01 PM
I'm about to pull the trigger on a new laser machine. I won't mention the brand as it really doesn't matter in regards to my question. The machine is available with two power levels -- 60W and 100W. The manufacturer uses Yongli tubes. Haven't found much information, reviews or references for them (either good or bad), so I checked out their website and some manufacturing videos, and wasn't all that impressed. The manufacturer (a US based brand who imports custom made machines) charges $1,750 upgrade from 60 to 100W which is quite steep. I've confirmed that the base machine includes the tube extension regardless, so the upgrade fee seems like it just covers the tube and PSU. I'm having a hard time deciding if I want to go all-in for the 100W version, or buy the 60W and upgrade it myself with my choice of tube and PSU.

If I upgrade, I'll probably go with an EFR ZS series (10,000 hour) tube and a RECI PSU. I can get both for about $1,200 delivered. I can then put some hours on the 60W while learning the machine and software and switch to the 100W for doing heavier work. Both are 80mm diameter tubes, so I shouldn't have to change mounts. Would there be any changes or edits needed in the controller?

Does this option make sense to anyone but me? At least I'd have control over the tube and PSU quality. I'm open for suggestions and opinions.

Bert Kemp
09-04-2017, 3:06 PM
what are your main goals with the laser ,engraving or cutting?

Jerome Stanek
09-04-2017, 3:21 PM
If it was me I would get the 60 watt and then up grade it let the machine pay for the up grade

Robert Bonenfant
09-04-2017, 10:12 PM
I would go with the 100 watt tube setup - Its done and completed for $1750 - They make sure it works correctly at the factory - Let the pros do what there good at and focus on learning on a well suited machine, 100 watts will give you a good feel of what a laser can and cant do.

It also depends what your gonna be doing with the machine, just engraving or cutting ? A 60 watt tube is going to limit your cutting abilities - Even on our 100 watt lasers, cutting 1/4" can take some time (10/mms). If your trying to cut for any type of profit than go for the 100 watt (Note I said Cutting - 60 watt will work for engraving)

Upgrading your system :
Yes a 100 watt tube and PSU might cost $1200 (Kinda Cheap Though - US Suppliers are alot more) but you also have to factor in a new water chiller and most likely new mirrors.
Most likely your 60 watt setup will come with a water pump in a plastic tub - Wont work for a 100 watt system
New Chiller $400 - 760 (US Supplier pricing not import)
CW -5000 $700 (Rabbit Laser)
CW -300 $350 (Rabbit Laser)
Mirrors $30 ea x 3 = $90 (depends what they used on a 60 watt laser )
Not sure how much time it will take to convert but Im sure theirs gonna be some trouble shooting

Hope this helps

Jerome Stanek
09-05-2017, 8:07 AM
I would opt for a better chiller like the CW 5000 from Automation Technologies for $500 or one from Light objects As for the idea that a machine is fully tested id a mystery

John Lifer
09-06-2017, 10:30 PM
Hmm, so your buying a cheap made machine from a us supplier, that wants a premium price for cheap tube upgrade. (No real reason the PSU is more than a few dollars more for the higher wattage other than they can charge more) how good is rest of the machine? Tested? Nah, just mirrors aligned. And maybe cut a few inches of scrap to insure it operates. Dang, import yourself of buy from a more qualified importer.

John Noell
09-07-2017, 12:06 AM
Personally, having had a 45 watt RF, 80 watt glass, and 100 watt glass tubes, I'd definitely go with the 100 watt option. Chinese glass tubes must be run way below their max if you want it to last. EFR told me to run my 100 watt tube "below 26 mAmps" (which is about 85% power with my setup) to make it last as long as possible. My (very) crude power meter says that is about 72 watts. The most delicate material I engrave is Rowmark Flexibrass and I have no trouble dialing the 100 watt tube down enough to do a good job. When I want to cut thick stuff, I love having more power so I can do it in one pass. (I get too much charring with multiple passes.)

Steve Pepin
09-07-2017, 11:15 AM
Sorry for the late reply -- apparently the forum doesn't send email notifications by default when there are replies to a thread. This machine isn't necessarily for profit -- just for personal use for projects -- both engraving and cutting. I've thought about the options and have pretty much decided to go for the 100W machine based on several factors -- some of which were also mentioned by Robert B -- it's already been calibrated and any settings or changes for the 100W tube have already been made.Regarding the tube and PSU upgrade pricing -- I was quoting US pricing -- I know of several importers from China who have US warehouses and ship direct, so there are no high shipping charges, customs, duty, etc. to deal with. I already have a CW-5200 (genuine S&A - not a knock-off), purchased from Sign-In-China, via a California warehouse for $484 delivered. Arrived in 2 days. I went with the 5200 over the 5000 for the extra cooling capacity since the machine is in my garage which gets pretty warm in the summer. And, for John -- no, I'm not "buying a cheap made machine from a us supplier". For what it's worth, it's this one https://www.bosslaser.com/boss-ls-1630.html .

Thanks for all your replies -- I just wish I had received notifications, so I could have replied in a more timely manner.

Doug Fisher
09-07-2017, 2:14 PM
That price for a genuine S&A 5200 chiller delivered to a US address is amazing.

Steve Pepin
09-07-2017, 3:51 PM
I thought so too. FWIW, this WAS from a US warehouse, so the shipping and fees on an individual order weren't an issue. The vendor (Sign-In-China) seems to have a good reputation, and I emailed them to confirm that it was actually S&A branded as I don't always trust ad photos. When it arrived, the carton was from Teyu Chiller, and although everything looked proper from the outside, I did open it to inspect the internals since I've seen photos of really shoddy work from the knock-offs. Even the pump and water flow sensor inside are labeled with the Teyu / S&A branding (they manufacture their own pumps and sensors apparently), and I was very impressed overall with the quality of workmanship inside. Here are some photos.


Bill George
09-07-2017, 7:21 PM
The Boss laser is a Chinese machine imported to Florida.

Steve Pepin
09-07-2017, 7:48 PM
The Boss laser is a Chinese machine imported to Florida.

Thanks -- I'm very well aware of that. I guess you didn't read the part of my original post that said "The manufacturer (a US based brand who imports custom made machines)". Since I can't possibly justify $26K for a US made machine that isn't intended to make me money, this is the best brand of machine I found in my research. Although Boss machines are Chinese built, they are built to a very high standard and not in the typical Chinese cabinets. Final assembly and testing is done in Florida, however. And, they use US optics (not including the tube itself) - something I don't recall seeing highlighted in the other "US" import brands.

Doug Fisher
09-07-2017, 7:54 PM
Thanks for posting the pics. That is great you have a good one. Prices on chillers have fallen a lot in the last year. The best I could find for a genuine CW5000 shipped to a US address right around this time last year was $605. You can get them in the lower $400's now. Your 5200 was an even better steal. Prices do fluctuate quite a bit based on supply. Lightobject hasn't lowered their prices but I think they want to steer people toward their own rebranded chillers.

Steve Pepin
09-07-2017, 8:05 PM
Lightobject hasn't lowered their prices but I think they want to steer people toward their own rebranded chillers.

Yeah -- that's what I was seeing with Boss also -- they don't even rebrand it (as far as I can tell), but they want $895 for a 5000. Heck -- Boss wants just shy of $800 for the run of the mill Chinese rotary attachments.