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Thread: 80w EFR Tube Engraving Quality and Beginner Questions

  1. #16
    Speaking of tube power... do you guys recommend 80% of max continuous power or just less than or equal to max continuous power (so 25mA for EFR zs1250). I too have gotten confused by the %'s. For the reference 95% on my machine is 25mA if you are looking at my settings. I didn't check what the 17% cut in mA was yet.
    80W EFR ZS1250 RF7050 RDWorks 8.1.19 Windows 7

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Taitinger View Post
    Speaking of tube power... do you guys recommend 80% of max continuous power or just less than or equal to max continuous power (so 25mA for EFR zs1250). I too have gotten confused by the %'s. For the reference 95% on my machine is 25mA if you are looking at my settings. I didn't check what the 17% cut in mA was yet.
    I don't know if it helps, but the operating current of that tube is 28 mA.

  3. #18
    That is the max peak current. The max continuous current is 25mA. It is in the second chart.

    http://efrlaser.com/2-co2-laser-tube/200477
    80W EFR ZS1250 RF7050 RDWorks 8.1.19 Windows 7

  4. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Taitinger View Post
    That is the max peak current. The max continuous current is 25mA. It is in the second chart.

    http://efrlaser.com/2-co2-laser-tube/200477
    Thanks Steven.

  5. #20
    However at the bottom of that page they mention the warranty being void if you go over 75% of some value and says refer to the manual. I have emailed them and asked for the manual.... I am rather curious what the difference between guarantee and warranty is in their mind.

    Edit
    I totally misread that. I am sure they mean if the max power output of the laser goes less than 80 or 75% of the rated power then they will replace it. They do say here though that the "optimum power" is 80% of the rated power whatever that means http://efrlaser.com/profile/technical-support/200475/0. My guess is that is just related to power efficiency but I guess I will try and stay less than 80% if I can. That gives 20mA.
    Last edited by Steven Taitinger; 06-08-2017 at 2:27 PM.
    80W EFR ZS1250 RF7050 RDWorks 8.1.19 Windows 7

  6. #21
    Join Date
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    I try and keep below 75%, will go to 80% Roughly 25ma at 75% and 28ma at 80% At least on my machine.
    Woodworking, Old Tools and Shooting
    Ray Fine RF-1390 Laser
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  7. #22
    Join Date
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    How would they know? In any event your going to be blamed for going over the mA if you did or not.
    Retired Guy- Central Iowa. , LightObject 40w CO2 Laser and Chiller, MakerGear M2 3D Printer. Fine Line Automation 4x4 CNC Router- Mach4 ESS

  8. #23
    I guess I'm not as worried about warranty as just treating the tube right since I can't afford to replace it right now! I would also tell the truth if asked which I guess is my problem lol.

  9. #24
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    Hi Steven, I have the same tube as you, still pretty new on my 4-months old 9060 machine. When I got the machine started, first thing I did was a laser power test with a thick acrylic block. It appeared that max power is given at 70%-75%, (I tested with steps of 5% from 30% to 95%), so I have 75% as maximum power in the settings. In practice I hardly ever go over 65%. Of course, water temperature is also important for the performance and I try to keep it around 19-20 degrees Celcius.

    My max. engraving speed is 300 mm/s. I could probably go higher, but I also never drive my car to the max, bad for the engine in the long run. At least, that's what I like to think. And the time advantage of even higher engraving speed is very littlte, especially when you do smaller engraving with lots of changes in direction.

    And my tube still fires at 8%, but I mainly use 9% (and 125 mm/s) if I want to have very thin vector lines in a sign for instance to mark the places where lettering and such must be glued.
    Last edited by Erik Goetheer; 06-09-2017 at 5:15 AM.
    RayFine RF-9060 80W CO2 laser
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    Pressurized Sandblasting Cabinet
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  10. #25
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    Percentages mean nothing 80% of a 100watt power supply is less than 50% of a 300watt supply. You need to go by the Milamps on your meter

  11. #26
    Erik do you know what mA range 8% to 75% is on your machine? Thanks for listing you temperature on the chiller. The default is 25C so I have been wondering what to set mine to. Did you test different temperatures or just pick that one?
    80W EFR ZS1250 RF7050 RDWorks 8.1.19 Windows 7

  12. #27
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    25C is the default (manufacturer) temperature setting. Most experienced users find it pretty high, so I've read, and they advice somewhere around 18 - 21 degrees. I guess that your chiller is still in the intelligent control mode, which is also default. I changed it to constant temperature control mode, set the constant temperature to 19C with the allowed low on 18C and the allowed high on 21C. This will keep the tube nice chill. Beware of condensation though.

    I will check mA range for you tomorrow.
    RayFine RF-9060 80W CO2 laser
    RayFine 30W JPT-LP Fiber Laser
    Pressurized Sandblasting Cabinet
    Sublimation stuff.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Taitinger View Post
    Erik do you know what mA range 8% to 75% is on your machine?
    8% > 4 mA
    75% > 23.5 mA

    RayFine RF-9060 80W CO2 laser
    RayFine 30W JPT-LP Fiber Laser
    Pressurized Sandblasting Cabinet
    Sublimation stuff.

  14. #29
    Well things have come a long way in the past few weeks. If anyone else sees this and doesn't have photo quality results yet I would like to share a picture and a few tips. The most important thing to know is that when you are learning your machine, DON'T start with photos. Start with a 10 pixel square with 1 pixel borders on the bottom and left and 2 pixel borders on the top and right and with 1 pixel in the middle (black with the rest white). Save it to each dpi you want to test. Import into rdworks and test all the different speed, power settings, reverse interval etc. That will tell you everything you need to know in order to get good photo quality pictures pretty much and with not worrying if it is your photo editing skills to blame. Make sure you write down each setting you changed like I did below. Then you can tell in one super fast test for each combination at least the following factors
    -if you have the correct reverse interval at that speed
    -if single pixels will get skipped (skipped single pixels makes washed out engraves without the smooth shades)
    -if it takes more than 1 pixel to ramp up to full speed the right edge will be darker than the left edge (not having enough ramp down time for laser power makes for nice shades but totally blacked out dark areas)
    -if it is so fast you lose accuracy (lines curved, borders skipped entirely etc)


    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sk...bKe-Y1Rh6-ys3g

    Thanks for helping me get this far. I spent about 4 nights not making any progress in quality (aside from learning) until I started using this method. And now in one night of testing I know more useful information about my laser than in the last 4-5 combined.

    Note that this method of detail is only required for photo quality engraves. Engraving vector fills you can go way faster and larger scan intervals and still get the same quality. Also, Output Direct is a total waste of time for engraves if you want photo quality. It makes everything blurry even at slow speeds. I haven't tried that for a large photo with low dpi and low speed yet though...

    Thanks again for all your help and if Russ reads this thanks so much for your last series of videos on scan settings!
    80W EFR ZS1250 RF7050 RDWorks 8.1.19 Windows 7

  15. #30
    I wanted to comment briefly as I found this post very helpful and have many on the same questions. My machine arrived in April and work and family demands have not allowed me to do much more than basic testing until now. I am on holidays now and have a week alone to do some testing. Thank you Steven for asking and everyone for their input.
    Cheers, Dan
    Ray Fine 1390 80w
    Shopbot PRT Alpha 96"x48"

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