Laser Cutter issues 06-2017
Chris o’Sullivan, Crafty, Pete and I looked at the laser today trying to get an idea of what is going wrong. We understand the problem, but don't have a fix in place yet.
When the power strip is turned off, the chiller beeps an alarm. The display on the chiller is garbled. It looks as though the chiller is receiving power even when the power strip is off, but not enough power to make the chiller work correctly.
Attempted fix #1 - Plugging everything in correctly
Yesterday I looked over the issue with Ian. After unplugging and reconnecting the components we came to the incorrect conclusion the 220V twistlock connector wasn’t making a good connection. We were able to get everything online and operational and believed the issue was solved. I used the laser and everything worked well.
When I switched the power strip off I heard the alarm on the chiller. I toggled the switch on the power strip and eventually the alarm went away. It sounds like I may have left the power strip on.
Attempted fix #2 - Replace the 220V power strip
Today, we compared the male twistlock connector to the female socket and discovered they are not correctly matched. After a quick trip to Home Depot I put the correct connector (L630R) onto the new 220V universal power strip Crafty purchased. The new connector fits correctly into the socket and locks when twisted. Unfortunately, we experienced the same alarm when the chiller was turned off. This did not fix the issue.
Attempted fix #3 - deeper investigation
More troubleshooting revealed the orange blower fan in the back of the laser is broken and the cause of the problems. When the orange blower was plugged into the 220v power strip and the switch on the power strip is turned off, the blower was shorting across the neutral and hot legs of the power strip. This was backfeeding electricity into the hot leg of the power strip which was sending 110V to the chiller, causing it to alarm. If you’re confused how this was happening come see me, I’ll explain in more detail.
We confirmed that unplugging the orange blower from the 220V power strip immediately removed the symptoms.
Disassembling the orange blower
After taking apart the orange blower, we discovered the large capacitor was blown. It had a large black mark across it and had leaked electrolyte. Unless there’s another undiscovered issue, a new capacitor in the orange blower may fix the problem. Or, we could replace the blower with either a 110V or 220V blower.
Either buy a new blower or replace the capacitor in the existing blower