View Full Version : Voltage Requirements

Mike DeRegnaucourt
09-09-2007, 1:50 AM

I have ordered a 60-watt Epilog Legend 36 EX/T and it is due to arrive on September 17th. :) I can't wait to get started!

Does anybody have any thoughts or recommendations on running the laser on 220v or 110v? The laser has the capability of automatically switching between the two. The recommended amperage for the cicuit is 15-amps (regardless 220v or 110v). I understand that it is technically more efficient to actually run the unit on 220v. Has anybody encountered any problems or popped a circuit breaker when doing heavy cutting while running their laser on 110v?

Does anybody know if running the laser on 220v vs 100v has any impact on laser tube longevity?

Today I ran two dedicated 110v 15-amp circuits for the two exhaust blowers. As for a dedicated circuit for the laser itself, I need to determine if I'm going to run it on 110v or 220v. If I choose 220v, I need to purchase a NEMA L6-15R (Hubbell 4560) receptacle. Does anybody have a good source for this type of receptacle? From what I've found out so far, they seem to be hard to find locally (Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware).

Whatever help and/or feedback anyone cares to share would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Watkins
09-09-2007, 1:59 PM
I run all three, air pump, exhaust and the laser on 120V with no problems. Just don't power everything on at once.

Stephen Beckham
09-09-2007, 2:06 PM

I'm running all my stuff on 110V (45 Watt Mini). The ramp up at power on is the biggest draw. After that - your running less power than a Laser Jet Printer (heating element draws as much if not more power).

The biggest draw will be the exhaust fan. If you're still running power - you might consider putting switches very close to you laser in close proximity of that I/O switch. I put them right next to my laser in the table top. It allows for easy access - and insures that you only power on one thing at a time and if for some reason - I can kill everthing real quick.

BTW - are you working with Steve from Airway...? Top notch fella! He'll be there for you - he's been a good friend and salesman for us...

Mike DeRegnaucourt
09-09-2007, 3:01 PM
Thanks Stephen & Jim.

Yes as a matter of fact I am working with Steve from Airway Laser. Yes, he has been a big help. I felt very bad for him that his business was impacted by all the flooding a few weeks ago up in Findaly. He said he's set up shop in a temporary new location.

I can't wait to finally receive the laser and get things up and running. It's been a long process researching all the different choices, etc...

I understand that the exhaust blowers can be fairly loud. Steve had suggested a rubbermaid outdoor storage bin to put the exhaust blowers into to cut down on some of the sound.

Thanks again for all your help and thank you for all the Sawcreek members who provide such excellent support and feedback. I am thrilled to be part of such an awesome community.

Stephen Beckham
09-09-2007, 10:29 PM
Too bad we're so far apart - I've got mine sitting out behind the house collecting dirt and rain. I rebuilt my exhaust system in to a MDF cabinet with egg-crate mattress lining on the the inside. Relatively cheap for the amount of noise reduction you can get. Kind of like the old Dot Matrix Printer Cabinets.

Yea - Steve told me about the store. He's in good Spirits and was surprised at how quick a little river water can ruin so much. He was glad he didn't store very much on the floor.

Take care and let me know if there's anything I can do to help with setup questions.

Jim Watkins
09-09-2007, 11:31 PM
I am in a condo and have quite a bit of noise. Could you possibly post some pictures of the cabinet you built for your exhaust unit?

Specifically the inside showing the egg cartons for the inside?

THanks so much...

Stephen Beckham
09-10-2007, 8:37 AM
Man - I'd really love to - but it's become a piece of furniture to gather things around. My partner has his vacuum press on it and all kinds of glass leaning against it.

How about I give you a indepth verbal explaination. The cabinet is basically 25" square (front to back and side to side). It's about 3' tall (height partner needed for press). Nothing fancy - just a box. The front panel is screwed on versus building a door for it. And the top is 1/2 MDF like the rest of the box. Very plain - KISS principle.

For the inside - I bought a Egg-Crate matress from a local dollar store. They really suck on the bed (intended use), but they are perfect for noise absorbtion. Cut it up for the size of your sides and top. Staple them in with the flat side against the MDF. That gives you the noise chamber effect you want facing the exhaust. Do the same for the front panel before attaching. You don't have to worry about perfect fit - there may be some noise leakage - but for the most part it's pretty darn good.

If you think you might need some more reduction - there is an extra step I tried for the first mock-up. I put some spare ceiling tiles agains the MDF and then the egg crate against the tiles. They are noise reducing as well and double your effect. I was able to cut them and make them perfect - but the first box was too small and I didn't have room to bend the hoses to the fittings. The second box - I made a bit larger and fixed it so the exhaust ejection was right up against the side wall - and I didn't feel like messing with the tiles again.

I also used simple dryer vents to affix to the MDF as a junction. They have a flap that helps keep air from flowing when not on - but smoke will eventually clog the flapping motion - I took the flap out and used it mostly as a junction. I'm not talking about the ones with the hoods on it - I'm talking about the straight pass through that takes a hose on both sides - it has a flat plate in the middle that allows you to screw it to your MDF for security of motion.

The key to the whole thing is heat! Your exhaust will cause some heat while running. They have the built in fan effect from the motor - but it will still need airflow to allow that to work. I've checked mine - I think the extra two feet in the top allows enough air flow - I haven't been able to detect too much heat in the box to worry about yet.

I hope that helps - I believe I took some pictures last year when I built it. I'll look to see. Let me know if I've confused you more or helped a bit...:confused:

Stephen Beckham
09-10-2007, 8:51 AM
Another little trick I learned. Make sure the switch at your laser is easily accessable. Fix it to turn on and off a regular outlet at your laser. Then run an extention cord from the exhaust box to your outlet. That allows you to move that box for relocation without having to figure out how to run power to it again. I've got mine moved at least 20' from my laser in the back room using 4" Thinwall PVC. Then I ran a 25' extension cord back for pluggin in to a switched plug.

The coolest part is when it sucks up a Acrylic Dot (cutout for a keychain) and it tumbles through the PVC. It catches my partner off guard looking to see what's "crawling" through the PVC Pipe.

Bruce Volden
09-10-2007, 11:16 AM

A somewhat related issue~I live in a rural area here in South Dakota. The power flucuations are often quite noticeable. I am usnig a "line conditioner" to maintain a constant voltage supply. They are quite affordable and will "catch" surges and sags (spikes/brownouts) that certainly occur here anway. I am hoping that that is what has helped my LMI engravers to continue to perform after 12 years??????:eek:


Richard Rumancik
09-10-2007, 12:42 PM
Does anybody have any thoughts or recommendations on running the laser on 220v or 110v? The laser has the capability of automatically switching between the two. The recommended amperage for the cicuit is 15-amps (regardless 220v or 110v). I understand that it is technically more efficient to actually run the unit on 220v.

Hi Mike

I run my 30 watt on 240VAC which is at the high end. This is what you are probably getting if it is a normal "residential" type power connection. I think you can only get 220V if you have a three-phase connection. (Also, 220VAC is common in Europe and elsewhere.) I'm not trying to nit-pick, just be aware that 240 and 220 are different and there is a tolerance on line voltages. Ask your power utility what the tolerance is on their 240VAC supply.

I use a rack-mounted battery-backup/conditioner so my input voltage remains stable just below 240VAC. Most of the lasers state the high range to be 200-240VAC. I wish they would spec 250VAC or 264VAC so it would cover the tolerance band.

Unless the manufacturer says you can run at 240VAC without regulation/line conditioner etc I would hesitate to do this. (One thing you can do is to look at the power supplies and find the rating plate itself, and if it says 250VAC or more on it, then it will probably be safe. There is likely a power supply for the tube and a separate one or two for mainboard/motors.)

Sometimes appliance manufacturers will state ratings on the plate that are narrower that what they can actually accept - this is often a result of safety agency approvals and what they recognize to be "valid" or "nominal" voltages.

If you REALLY have 220VAC then you can ignore all this as you will be fine . . although I still suggest a conditioner or battery backup. (Not so you can run with the lights out, but that the backup unit filters out a lot of transients. Check eBay for rack-mounted units used on large computer and telecom systems. You will need to find out the real power consumption or VA of your laser; don't trust the rating plate on the laser system.)

If you run on 120VAC you are probably getting close to the limit of a 15A breaker. (You might be able to swap in a 20A breaker if you need more margin but it might need a 20A socket and plug.)

It will not likely prove to be more efficient to run at 240 - you certainly won't see a difference in your electricity bill.

Does anybody know if running the laser on 220v vs 100v has any impact on laser tube longevity?

The input power goes into a switching power supply to regulate it down to the laser supply voltage (in my case 30VDC). The laser tube will not be able to tell what is on the high side of the line and the power supply will always regulate down to the required voltage. So it will not affect tube life in any way.

Peck Sidara
09-10-2007, 4:20 PM

Thank you for your business. The 60Watt can really run either or, even if you're doing heavy vector cutting.

Run 110V if the local electricity is clean and not susceptable to heavy spikes and drops. Keep the laser on it's own dedicated 15A circuit. Run your exhaust, air pump on your 2nd 15A circuit.

Run 220V if you're concerned with the local electricity.

The NEMA plug shouldn't be too hard to find, your local electrical supply shop or the electrician that's going to wire your facility should be able to source one for you.


Peck Sidara
Epilog Laser

Brian Robison
09-10-2007, 4:34 PM
You can find the plugs at McMaster Carr.

Mike DeRegnaucourt
09-10-2007, 7:00 PM
Thank you all for the excellent feedback.

What is the best way to "check" my local electricity condition? For example, is there someway to monitor/capture the voltage fluctuations over period of time and log them to a device or file?

Mike DeRegnaucourt
09-10-2007, 9:51 PM
Just wanted to let you know that I found a way to monitor/track my household voltage. What is funny is that I already had the device connected and running. :o It's my computer UPS system. It came with software that allows me to set a recording time interval. It records the input voltage, UPS output voltage, battery capacity, load level, frequency, and temperature.

Looks like my household voltage averages 117v (with an actual range from 115v to 120v). The frequency averaged 60Hz (with an actual range from 59.9Hz to 60.1Hz).