Darkly Labs Community

Is the E1 “Monocle” Focus Helper Tool worth purchasing?

Has anyone purchased and tried this tool from the Darkly store? I have just finished assembly of the Emblaser 1 and have not run the laser yet, but if this is worth $5 to make life easier I will get it. Also, does it mean disassembly of the laser to install? Or does it go on the finished product? image.png

I have a 3D printer and an Emblaser 1 and made the tool from the STL file. What I found is that it attaches well to the lens ring, but when I would adjust it and then remove it, I always rotated the ring out of position. It was frustrating to be so clumsy about it.

Because the laser guard has to be removed to adjust the focus and because the laser is disabled when the guard is removed, it’s even less convenient to add in the Monocle tool. I got around the disabled laser by wedging a thin piece of plastic between the disabling switch lever and switch button, but that’s at your own risk.

Once you have the correct height set with the guard in place, use caution when removing it in order to prevent changing the height. If I had to do it over again (and I will, when I change the lens), I would/will cut a piece of plastic at the height necessary to contact the surface and the heat sink, rather than use the guard and 1 mm metal focus tool.

Unless you have fingers like kielbasa, you should be able to rotate the lens ring to test focus without the tool.

As an assist, I painted white “liquid paper” on the knurling at 8 evenly spaced points around the ring. I’m pretty sure I counted all those little ridges to get an even separation. One of the white ones was then dabbed with a bit of black, to have a zero reference.

I found that even 1/16th of a turn made a difference in the focus, but I was using a 50 power loupe to examine the test burns. I had started with ordinary birch plywood as the test material, but switched to a fine grain hardwood scrap I had in the garage. I don’t know what material it was, but it allowed for tighter examination of the test burns.

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Thank you, Fred! I’ll give what you are suggesting a try first before I make any purchases. Appreciate the detailed feedback and was very helpful.