surge protection for air-cooled lasers?

Ray Hicks rh208 at
Wed Sep 13 12:46:19 EDT 2006

My laser (same model, similar age) sputtered and died 6 months ago, on
dismantling the psu, I found a fuse holder (two spring clips soldered onto a
pcb) had either gone soft or been too loose on manufacture, bending both
ends  inwards so that they held the fuse tightly fixed the psu for me -
maybe yours is in the same batch?

 I remember a "field revision" for my old facstar plus involved my field
engineer soldering wire links across a set of similar fuse holders set in
the upper electronics console



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ray Hester" <rhester at>
To: cyto-inbox
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 3:43 PM
Subject: surge protection for air-cooled lasers?

> Hi,
> Recently our Spectra Physics 100 mW air-cooled argon laser (model
> 177-G1202) failed and because of the circumstances, we wonder if perhaps
> it had to do with lack of surge protection.
> On the day it failed, our building had gone on emergency power (from a
> diesel generator).  We were running this laser when the switch was made
> back to our regular source of power and I noticed  everything sort of
> flicker on the Vantage monitors and then realized the laser was no
> longer lasing. For a number of reasons we don't believe it's the power
> supply but we shipped it along with the laser back to Spectra Physics
> for repair..
> My question for the group, is there any reason to have surge protection
> on this model air-cooled laser?  Since it's a 210 outlet, surge
> protectors similar to the ones everyone uses for 110 equipment are not
> an option - at least i couldn't find a source of them - and as a result
> we had no surge protection in place.	The electrical dept at the
> university said they would charge $900 to do the job, but we found
> another electrician who put a Delta Surge Capacitor [277/480 volt CA
> 603R Facility EMI filter] in place for about 1/10 that figure.
> Is it possible that switching from emergency to normal power, while the
> laser was running, could have caused our problem?  Does anyone else have
> surge protection in place with this laser?  Spectra Physics said there
> is some protection built into the power supply but they weren't specific
> about how much.
> The laser is a little over two years old and had an estimated 4,000 hrs
> of use when this occurred.
> Thanks for any thoughts on the need for surge protection with small
> lasers [we do have the other pieces of the Vantage plugged into surge
> protector strips].
> Ray Hester
> Univ. of South Alabama
> Mobile, AL

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