Darkly Labs Community

E1 Power Laser Switch / Fume Extraction

So I’m building a new enclosed for my laser cutter due to space and weight issues and have a couple of questions I wonder if any fellow people might be able to shed light on.

  1. I’d like to put a power and laser switch on the front of the enclosure rather than use the default ones on the cutter. Could I simply resolder the switches onto some new ones at the front? Or is there a way I could add extra ones to by pass the ones on the emblaser?

  2. I’ve read on CO2 lasers that the lenses can become dirty and effect cutting performance if a lot of fumes produced. Is this something we need to worry about to? If so what is best to clean the lens?

Thanks all!

I don’t see any issues with adding extra switches, although best to wait for confirmation from Domenic.

As CO2 lasers use mirrors and more complex optics, they’re more susceptible to issues smoke and fumes, except for the possibility of the lens getting dirty, I don’t think you really need to worry, especially if you’re adding an extraction system.

I have cleaned my lens before, I just used a camera lens cloth.


Hi Daniel,

The main Emblaser board has a connector labeled Conn1 in the middle of it. This is designed for this exact reason. You can extend the buttons and LEDs to another location through this connector.

Please see this article for the pin out information:


Thanks both :slight_smile:

John, very envious of your cutter setup :slight_smile: any chance of some more pics, video and post on here. I see your a fellow uk based emblaser naut so would be good to understand where you got your bits and bobs from :slight_smile:

Domenic, what does the article mean by buffering with the leds?

Thanks Daniel, I’m still in the process of improving my setup, and I think really the Emblaser 1 is suited to the person who likes to tinker and modify things.

Although it’s a fantastic bit of kit for the money, there are certain aspects which can be improved upon, and that isn’t a slur against Darkly Labs as they have produced an awesome laser cutter that’s affordable for the average person and I admire all the work that they must have put into developing it.

The biggest issues I had was the underside of the material being cut getting scorched and damaged and the difficulty in aligning the material.

The aluminium honeycomb virtually eliminates the damage to the underside of the material, I got that from ebay: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141759884244?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT 

And I decided to raise the cutting base above the surface to allow for airflow and the possible future addition of fume extraction, the perforated metal sheet was from here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015J1O8ZW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

I then just raised the perforated sheet above the base using some small nuts/bolts after marking the A4 cutting area and adding holes to fix the alignment corner bracket, which is just an L shaped bracket from B&Q, I then sprayed it all black with some high temp spray paint.

Hope this helps :slight_smile:

I’ve just added this video to youtube showing the smoke escaping from the gap between the raised perforated metal sheet and the original base.


With respect to the ‘buffering’ comment, I am getting exact clarification from our Engineer. I’ll post details shortly.

Domenic, thanks :slight_smile: If I can find my tester I was going to probe the current and voltage off the pins to see if it just a case of finding some suitable LEDS.

John, thank you so much for this! I’ve subbed to you on youtube as have enjoyed getting some inspiration from your setup.  I need to rebuild the enclosure I made as I need to make room for my 3D printer :slight_smile: I need to laser cut parts for the enclosure so hoping to get into my local hackspace to put it all together! I may look at modifying the laser shroud to make adjustments easier as well, might be my first 3d print.

I’ve seen there is one guy on here who suspends the laser 3 inches from the material, be interested to try this myself! Defo going to have a look at the lens as well as my MDF cutting performance has dropped since I bought it.

The Conn1 Pinout article has been updated with information on the LEDs.

There are 3 options at the bottom of the article on how the LEDs can be handled.


Thanks again :slight_smile:

Guess for option 3 I can use a Darlington transistor which is connected to a small power source so the current / voltage from the emblaser is only used to trigger the transitistor as a switch :slight_smile:


I applied option 3 to mine. Photos in this thread http://forum.darklylabs.com/index.php?p=/discussion/675/external-led-display-control-via-conn1. Main thing to call out is that the pin spacing is 2mm rather than the usual 2.54mm. Only thing I could find in the UK that would fit were 2mm versions of those little leads you use on breadboards.


Thanks Andrew :slight_smile:

I’m still collecting information and drawing up plans so hope to be able to post some updates soon on build progress.

Hi Andrew,

Quick question, did you use an NPN or PNP darlington transistor to act as the lifting for the EL LED?

I have been studying several youtube videos to ascertain how I could do this and think I have a handle on it.

In the words of the great doc brown “please excuse the crudity of this model” I have attached a very poorly drawn wiring diagram about how I think this could work, is this how you used your transistors for the LED’s? My electronics skills are developing but have stumbled a bit here.

Thanks in advance for your help with this!



Hi Dan

I’m no expert and stumbled plenty myself at the time (Made use of an arduino tutorial book I had lying aorund!).

I did indeed use an NPN transistor. I think it was probably a BC548 as that is what comes with all the arduino kits (I can’t see the PCB I made - its buried deep in the machine now).  Between the signal pin and the base of the transistor I had a 10k resistor. Between the base and GND I had a 470k resistor. I powered the external LED from the +5v pin (Rather than using an external power source). This went + 5v pin > 470ohm resistor > collector pin of transistor. Hopefully that makes sense once decoded? - Under a bit of time pressure at the moment but if you are struggling I’ll sketch up the circuit I used when things are a little quieter. PS Use at your own risk, I don’t really know what I’m doing and have forgotten most of the reasoning behind the layout :) 



Hello, for information : I used a ULN 2803A and works great for driving external leds in complement.

RQ : I put a 10 wire flat cable, around 2m long and I now have intempestive power on/off. This occurs only when laser is not armed. So I don’t mind :slight_smile: