Hunting for an affordable laser on the eBay looking for that cheapish RF laser that works close to factory specs is possible. Some of you, lucky RF CO2 laser owners have done it this way.
Recently there has been some lasers showing on eBay and I did a little research about them, for example there are some Coherent G100 out there that are described as low power and in need of a refill, lasers where used in an engraving system.
So I am doing my homework grab the serial numbers from the pics and call up Coherent tech support person who kindly ask for the serial number (they always do) and promises to call me back.
And so he does, calls me back and apologetically informs me that this particular laser was sold to Universal Laser Systems and he cannot give me ANY information regarding.
One of the things I wanted to ask is this, the laser seller states that in the last power testing the laser output was 38W, so I wanted to know for how long will it last. Alas, no info can be given.
Why? Because this laser head was sold to ULS as OEM integrator and until ULS "releases" this laser Coherent cannot give any support on it, no refill no nothing.
So I call ULS and the person on the other side didn't do more than repeating "Coherent lasers are obsolete and we do not provide support for them anymore" to all my questions, and he offered to transfer me to his supervisor's voice mail so I could leave him a message. Supervisor was suppose to arrive in like 30 minutes and after another call past the magic 30 minutes the same about supervisor returning in 30 minutes.
I haven't called anymore since Coherent beam divergence isn't acceptable for flying optics setup.
ULS does manufactures their own laser heads, and I guess their answer will be to offer me to purchase their new products. I am doubtful that there will be any "releasing" for this Coherent G100.
Is there any way around this things? If one purchases a laser thinking its a bargain and he will be able to service it, could quickly realize that he is left in the open with an orphan laser head.
Do you have any stories you wish to share ?
All I can say is watch ebay like a hawk and once in awhile a deal will come along. For instance, last year I was browsing and saw 5 Synrad Firestar 20 lasers (made in 2004) were up for a buy it now of $499. I stupidly only bought two, then posted on here about the others. I think before my post even was finalized someone else had bought the other 3. Excellent little lasers, mine does 27 watts, air cooled, rf driven. I figure in 5 years mine will be doing 25 to 27 watts while the chinese glass tubes others buy will be filler in a landfill somewhere...
Edit: Note that not all glass tubes are required to be bad. For instance I have a 1987 medical co2 laser unit with the orginal sealed tube. I rarely use it, but the other day for kicks dusted it off and powered it up. It is a 45 watt system and was outputting 54 watts before the articulated arm! From a sealed glass tube made in 1987!!!