Air Compressor and Water Pump


In the buildlog schematics there is a separate diagram for a IEC320 power entry module.  I believe we have this module (or a similar one, I’ll have to check) and the din rail terminal blocks in the diagram already wired together.  This can be used to power the water and air pumps as suggested.


Air Compressor

I’ll have to look in the bin again as I don’t recall seeing an air compressor.  If we do have it i’ll check the part number and get the specs on it.  We can activate a solenoid actuator to trigger the air assist pump via one of the relays on TB5


The buildlog wiki has a section that gives info on the air pump –

The relevant portion is reproduced here:

Assist Air Pumps

Most high end laser have assist air systems. This blasts a jet of air along the path of the beam after the lens. This does two things for lasers at our level of power. It clears the smoke away from the beam. The smoke can block the full power of the beam from reaching the work piece. It also keeps smoke from reaching the lens. The smoke can be full of dirty, sticky and corrosive chemicals. An assist air system with a nozzle can prevent smoke from ruining your expensive lens. If particles reach the lens, they can be permanently fused in place by the power of the beam.

The total required airflow and pressure is not that high so large aquarium pumps and air brush pumps work well. Ebay is a good source. Look for one similar to the picture shown above (ActiveAqua 60W, 70L/min). You can also use any other form of compressor you might have but limit the flow or pressure to a reasonable value. Start with 15 PSI and work your way up.

Be sure that the compressor outputs clean and dry air. You do not want dirt or water getting on your lens. Do not let your pump suck up dust bunnies.


I know we have the nozzle for this but I couldn’t find it last time I looked.  Aaron and someone else were working on it and I know they got the hole drilled for the air line going in and had the little connector for that.  We still need to drill at least one hole (3 are pictured above) for set screws.

UPDATE – 10/26/2014
I found the nozzle and Aaron drilled and threaded the hole for the set screw yesterday.  I looked around and still didn’t see a compressor so I don’t know if we have one.


Water Pump

The water cooling system appears to be complete.  We just need some hose of the right length and the proper connections to the laser tube.

Jonathan has a fancy controller for it, the Athena XT16:


We will have to find a way for this to be the trigger for the Water Monitor switch ( TB4 ) in the schematic.  I’m guessing we will have it so that if the water temp is too high or not flowing, it flips the switch so the laser can not fire.

The google doc had this to say about the water supply:

The cooling system is located outside the enclosure and it provided by the user.  It can be a special designed system with radiators and fans or simply a large bucket.  The tube is about 20% efficient at full power so multiply the tube wattage by 5 or more to determine how much power you need to dissipate.Your tube documentation should say how much coolant flow is required.  When choosing a pump, be aware that the flow stated may be without and restrictions.  You may need to oversize the pump a little.  In general most people use cheap submersible pond pumps.  The easiest way to measure the flow is to run the water through the system and into a bucket of known volume.  Time how long it takes to fill the bucket and do the math.


I don’t have the specs on the tube but I’ll look up the necessary flow rate and volume when I have a chance to check which tube we have.

UPDATE – 10/29/2014

The only marking that indicates a model number on the laser tube didn’t bring up any information when I searched for it online. I found some specs on a similar tube though here.

Cooling conditions
1. Cooling water temperature: 15 – 30 in summer, in other seasons 20 is better.
2. Cooling water flow rate: Above 6L / min;
3. Water quality: Drinking water and impurities is less than 0.2mm in diameter;
4. Cooling water PH value: 6 -9.


I think this should be sufficient, although other instructions indicate that distilled water should be used.


The setup as it is appears to configured to be powered by a 400 Watt ATX power supply, we could use this or the IEC320 with the terminal blocks shown at the top of this page.


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