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Madz

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Jul 9, 2006
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206
Recently I seen a post here in the forums about a laser that was for sale on fleaBay. It was a pretty impressive looking 4W Argon. Granted it will probably never get to 4W since I cannot keep it cool enough. But still it looks very cool. I decided to place a bid on it just for the heck of it knowing someone would outbid me (that was at $300). Then as the week progressed and nobody was outbidding me yet I was thinking about how cool it would be if I did win and had this awesome laser. Then the innevitable happened. I got outbid and I was still drooling about how awesome it would be if I had it and kept bidding. Needless to say I now am the proud owner of a 4W Blue Argon laser. I cannot wait to get it and as soon as it arrives I will have to make some posts. Btw can some of you recommend any evil scientists goggles I should buy to use while conducting experiments in world domination?
 

SenKat

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WOW !! Madz, that is awesome - make sure to post some specs as soon as you get it ! 4 WATTS ?? OOOOOOF ! What did that bad boy set you back, if you don't mind me asking ? I GOTTA see pics of that bad boy in action ! Maybe it's a multi-line like Charger got ?
 

Madz

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Jul 9, 2006
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Yes its multiline it suprisingly only set me back $610 and it comes with a air cooled single phase psu.
 

SenKat

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Oh my goodness ! You know - I will make the same offer to you, that I did to Charger - when you get bored, I'll pay shipping to my house ! LOL !!:naughty:

I would like to respectfully request OOOODLES of pictures and videos...I, for one - NEVER get tired of seeing a nice Argon in action ! I will eventually (*sigh*) stumble across such a great deal, and pounce FAST on it ! Congrats on your newest laser !! What a find !!!
 

Nicker

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Dec 14, 2006
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You're welcome. I posted the link. :)
Too much for my interests. The shipping price was deff. a plus considering how much it weighs. Good luck with it!
 

The_LED_Museum

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Ragnarok said:
For a 4 watt argon, that doesn't sound right, unless its a 240 volt supply, because I understand it takes several KW to make that much power.
According to the listing, this laser uses a 220 volt power supply input.
 

Madz

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Jul 9, 2006
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206
Thanks for the info. The seller did bring it to my attention that the laser will not CW more then 1W without adding a fan or 2 to the PSU. I figure this will be a fun toy for a while :grin2:. How well do you think it would stay cool if i added TEC's instead of just fans? also what are some good goggles for a beast like this?
 

ewsforos

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Feb 5, 2007
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Madz said:
Thanks for the info. The seller did bring it to my attention that the laser will not CW more then 1W without adding a fan or 2 to the PSU. I figure this will be a fun toy for a while :grin2:. How well do you think it would stay cool if i added TEC's instead of just fans? also what are some good goggles for a beast like this?

Not too well../

TECs are nice in principle but they have several disadvantages

First, they are very inefficient since they need plenty of current to work, so this would add at least another PSU to your budget, if not more, depending on how many you want to use.

Second, the TECs work by (in laymen's terms) transfering the heat produced on one side of the plate, to the other one. This cools the "cold" plate a lot, and depending on the load can get you awesome temps. However, in order for it to function properly, you need to cool the "hot" side down so the plate won't "saturate" with heat, and this is where your problems begin.

The issue in this case, is that now you won't only have to cool the thermal load of whatever the TEC is cooling (i.e. whatever heat it "sucks" from the device), but the ADDED thermal load that the TEC itself creates as well, and this is by no means negligible. As a result you will end up needing even more cooling power to cool the TEC than what you would originally need for aircooling the device directly. A rule of thumb is that the maximum load/TEC you will be able to cool using conventional aircooling is a 125W TEC (some ppl bring this down to 85W), and you'll need a VERY good quality/efficient heatsing and a ~7k RPM Delta Fan do do so. Everything above that is watercooling and/or Phase cooling territory to cool the TEC, which you might as well go directly for.

If you are unable to cool the TEC sufficiently and/or the heating capacity of the device overwhelms it's capacity/Wattage (i.e. trying to cool a device producing 120W worth of load with a 85W TEC) will result in failure of the system. The plate will grow hotter to the degree that you'll have a "well done" device to cry over.

It will be cheaper, and much more efficient if you wanted to go the watercooling way (water has way larger heat capacity than air). Good quality- high performance/flow watercooling systems that are produced for the PC industry are well suited for your needs, and won't break the bank either. You can have get a pretty good pump for ~$100, some tygon tubing for relatively cheap, and from there you can choose waterblocks to your hearts content, from prices, on average, of ~$80-100. Then you can improvise on a reservoir (see: old bucket with de-ionized water) and be done. You also have the advantage that you will be able to use it on your PC and have a proper silent system, so you can justify it as an investment. If you are interested in following this route, you can let me know so I can give you better specs/suggestions and some hints on what you'll additionally need for prolonged use.
 

ewsforos

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I was asked to provide some info on watercooling components via a PM, I will answer here so that other people might benefit from this. I hope that some people will find this post informative and useful for their future endeavours.

So...

Watercooling is a very effective and efficient solution if properly engineered, for many reasons. First of all water has both much higher thermal conductivity and extremely higher thermal capacity than air. Imagine how faster you feel cold when you are soaked wet, and how much less when you are dry. Same thing with cooling components too.

The way this works is by creating a closed loop, where water is circulated via a pump, and passes through tubing and through an appropriate waterblock (the watercooling equivalent of a heatsink/cooler). These waterblocks are usually made of copper, because of its very good heat conductive/heat capacity properties. Some exotic components are made from pure, solid silver, but the cost is most of the time the limiting factor, and the difference is cost, and the relavively low gain, don't make its use justified.

The problem is that when the water passes through the waterblock, which is used to transfer heat away from the component we are cooling, gradually warms the water circulating in the loop. Because of that we need to use a radiator in order to remove that heat and create an equilibrium in our loop. Also a reservoir helps a lot in increasing the capacity of our loop, allowing it not to get heated that fast, and help the radiator to efficiently remove the heat from the system. Many people don't use radiators in PC-cooling implementations, but it is advisable on other heavy-load cases that we do use one.

The kind of radiator that we want to use depends on the specification of the components we are trying to cool. Most radiators specs are based on unrealistic temperatures for our uses. For example a small radiator that can only house one 120mm axial fan, can have way more than 1Kw capacity. Problem being that it will reach equilibrium with the loop in a temperature mostly unsuitable for cooling electronics. That's why the use of oversized radiators (based on their specs) is justified on our uses, ideally designed for this kind of application.

The same applies for the pump that is to be used in our loop. Depending on the application we might need a high-flow pump, or a high-pressure pump, or both really, well as much as one can have both at least. If we are trying to remove massive thermal load, a high-flow loop will work best. If we need high pressure (it's called "head" in watercooling slang) because for example the pump is on the floor below us and needs to push the water a few meters upwards, we need to purchace an accordingly appropriate pump.

The component that makes the difference in the pump on whether it will produce high-flow or head, is its propeller.
High flow is good for reasonably un-constricted loops (i.e. waterblocks that allow water to pass through them relatively easily) and high-pressure/head is good for constricted waterloops (i.e. using waterblocks which seriously limit the flowrate, like some which constrict the flow by utilising a number of small diameter "holes" that work under the principle of jet impingement). <-- You can google that to find more info since I feel adding any more to it will make this unnecessary technical.

*** IMPORTANT ***

Do NOT mix metals in your loop. For example a copper waterblock with an aluminum reservoir (go acrylic/plastic) or radiator is a no-no. Even with special additives, you'll get galvanic corrosion VERY fast, and in effect ruin your loop. Good radiators, are made of copper, as are proper waterblocks. Just make sure you don't mix and match. Flushing radiators/waterblocks with vinegar for hours, ain't fun... :)

A few drops of iodine and/or water additives also go a long way to keep your loop free from algea growth/problems.

*** IMPORTANT ***


Suggested specs for this case:

In this case where we are talking about "several KWs" as I saw mentioned, I would suggest an Iwaki MD50 series pump. These come in a number of different models, that vary on flowrate and head. Choose depending on your circumstances and choice of waterblocks. The MD50 are high performance, extremely reliable, very high quality parts. We are talking in the range of ~1100+ gallons per hour flowrate, and ~30-50 feet head (this means that if you get a vertical tube, and connect it to the pump, it will bring the water level at that hight and keep it there. This is a measurement of how much pressure a pump can produce). Please keep in mind that Iwakis are manufactured both in Japan AND the US. However the japanese made parts are _higher quality_ and more reliable, but more expensive as well. The US-produced models are cheaper though (no pun intended, just stating the facts).You can find those pumps on ebay or specialised stores (think aquarium-equipment stores) for about $150-200, depending.
Feel free to get another similar-spec pump, but I can guarantee you, it won't be as reliable/good performing as this one. It is also a bit (or a lot) overkill to use it on a PC setup, so feel free to improvise a bit here. (Think 2 smaller pumps in series for more head, like the Laing D5s).

Pumps are not supposed to be driven dry, so don't turn them on and start filling the loop. You'll destroy them. Instead make sure that you have water from a reservoir poured in the input barbs of the pump.

As far as radiators go, the best quality radiators that cool the best with low airflow are the Thermochill radiators. Now I don't have the specs of the power supply to get a good idea, but I'll go ahead and guestimate an average/expected 65-70% efficiency on the PSU's part, so 30% of whatever power it uses, it will be converted to heat. In this case I would recommend the PA120.3 reservoir, paired with 3 x 120mm fans. For silence when you migrate the kit on your PC, you can go for Yate Loon or Panaflo fans, since they are silent and have very decent output. The PA120.3 can dissipate heat in the KWs range and will be invaluable if later whoever gets it, uses it on his PC. It can keep your loop cool with 120mm fans running on 5-7V (instead of the normal 12V), so makes for an extremely silent setup. Think investment here... However if this is not doable financially you can always go for a cheaper alternative, though the difference between Thermochills and the next competitor is pretty much chaotic as far as efficiency goes.

For Tubing you can use Masterkleer or Tygon, with Tygon being stronger, but harder to bend, and Masterkleer the exact opposite. Most ppl opt for the Masterkleer here, at least for PC usage where you need to make tight bends in your loop. Keep in mind that a hard to bend tube, if you try to "overbend" it, will get deformed and stop/restrict the flow of the loop. Think gardenhose where you bend the end to stop the water).

On the Reservoir side you can easily improvise.

As far as waterblocks go, you can either have custom ones made (very simple canals on copper blocks, sealed with O-rings), as long as you make sure that the water travels for as long a distance as possible in the block, especially where it will have contact with components that produce heat, while not restricting the loop. Maybe some VGA blocks, which are larger on surface area than CPU blocks, would do it? Can't say since I have no idea about what your PSU/components/laser looks like. In any case, you can have them manufactured to your spec in any good machine shop, for acceptable cost. It's copper after all, not Ti ;)

For design ideas, if you go the custom route, check on some waterblocks available for PC use. If you go to the manufacturer's site, most provide pictures of the internals of their blocks.

You will find lots of useful information/products on these sites:

General watercooling/extreme cooling (phase) products: http://www.petrastechshop.com

Thermochill rads: http://www.thermochill.com/retailers.php

Pumps: Aquarium shops/ebay/google :)


Hope you find this helpful. Please keep us informed on your progress!

If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them for you.



PS: I'm not affiliated in any way, with any of these shops/manufacturers. I just have heard only the best comments from the people that made purchaces from them, both on the quality & performance of the products, and the customer service they received. So, I'm simply passing on my experience.

PS2: phew! :sweat:Think that covers most of the basics! Again, if you have any questions, let me know!
 
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Madz

Enlightened
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Jul 9, 2006
Messages
206
I have been wanting a nice laser for a while. I can't wait to start modding the power supply and see how much juice I can pump out of it. World Domination Woot! :whoopin::xyxgun::poke::devil:
 

ewsforos

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Joined
Feb 5, 2007
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Madz said:
I have been wanting a nice laser for a while. I can't wait to start modding the power supply and see how much juice I can pump out of it. World Domination Woot! :whoopin::xyxgun::poke::devil:


As long as you know what you are doing, I wish you all the best of luck with your project.

If this is not the case though, keep in mind that working with Power supply units can be extremely dangerous. The huge capacitors used in high wattage power supplies can discharge enough of a jolt to kill you, in some cases for hours, after you have disconnected them from the mains.

Be careful!


Oh and btw, you could even go further and use a bent capilary copper tube, bent in a spiral pattern, and use it to cool the diode assembly. (i.e. if it has a heatsink on it, by using the copper tubing and passing water through it, you can cool the heatsink very effectively). Not a laser expert though, so dunno if these lasers even use that. :)
 

Madz

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Jul 9, 2006
Messages
206
From what I have been told, it is a HGM 5 medical argon laser. I honestly do not know much more then that about the manufacturer.
 

Madz

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Jul 9, 2006
Messages
206
Ya, for sure. I have heard he is experienced in selling lasers since he has been selling quite a few but I have also heard he is misleading. So Ill try it out and see if i got screwed. It looks like good deal though so I am hoping. Hopefully it arrives today b/c im going on vacation and wont be able to receive it if it comes after today :( then it will be lonely sitting in a warehouse till i can pick it up :(
 
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