Rotating Laser & Rotation Motors
Rotating Lasers, utilising rotation motors, have been around for decades and the key feature of these lasers is the rotation of a laser dot which is then picked up by a laser receiver. This rotation is achieved with the use of a rotation motor. In this article, I am going to take a look at how different rotating lasers operate and hopefully some helpful service information.
There are three main mechanisms used in rotating lasers. The first involves a motor driving the rotating head with a rubber band, the second involves a cog on cog drive and the third is the rotating head mounted directly to the rotation motor itself.
Rubber band drives tend to provide quieter operation but can have reliability problems with bands that stretch, slip off or break.
Direct cog on cog drive is more reliable than rubber band drive but tend to be noisier in operation.
Direct drive on the motor provides both reliability and quiet operation. However, they can be harder to replace if it is required.
So what do you do when your rotating laser no longer rotates.
The first thing to do is to see what type of rotating mechanism is being employed. If its a drive band check to see it is still in place. Check that the band has not stretched and so slipping on the drive motor pulley. If the band is in place or if the laser has a cog on cog or direct on motor drive then check to see if the drive motor is still operating. This can be done by checking power is outputting to it or by putting the appropriate current directly to the motor. You can also check to see if the motor is sticking by manually helping it to rotate when powered up.
If there is no life in the motor then it will probably need replacing. For this you will need to source the correct part from the manufacturer.
If there is some life in the motor it may be possible to service it. Some motors are pretty much impossible to service, some can. What you need to look for is a hole in the motor casing allowing an electrical contact cleaner to be sprayed into it.
The contact cleaner will clean off the brushes of the motor. This will not always solve the problem but often will. Note you will need to run the motor for a period of time to allow the brushes to get cleaned.