What is the Difference between Cloudray AR verses CR series 36-45w CO2 Laser tubes?

Planning to upgrade my Omtech K40 and looking to install a Cloudray 35-45w CO2 laser tube and their corresponding 40w power supply. There are a couple of options from Cloudray, the AR series or the CR series…looks like the CR series has the upgraded metal tube connectors and most likely would purchase this tube but what is the AR series about and what tube is best for my upgrade?

I don’t know if you know who Russ Sadler is, but he advised me to purchase this one…

As the best bang for the buck… I believe the wires connect to something metal that is substantial compared to glass end tubes that only have a post exposed. It’s easy to overheat the post and lose a tube… I think I could solder it, but I took his suggestion.

If everything is set up right it should last up to 8 years. We are so used to puchasing B grade tubes that it is common…

The AR is a lower quality as shown by the price difference of $100 over 8 years …

I have a China Blue (50W) but the tube only put out 44W and was 880mm in length. I have the replacement in my room here, it’s a cr type.

The original tube is going south. It’s drifting out of TEM0 mode… and it was centered…

Let us know what you picked and how it works out…

Good luck



Much appreciated your response. I did get a response from Cloudray and they recommended a CR series tube similar to what you stated as shown below :


I am just an ambitious newbie at this stuff. I purchased a stock Omtech K40 within the last month with a Rotary axis to turn my custom Cork grips…I make custom fly fishing rods! Anyway I plan to get my bearings , learn as much as I can then I have several upgrades planned to add Air assist , first with existing stock laser head and then with the Cloudray upgrade kit which includes a new adjustable head with 12mm lens with air assist nozzle, replacement holders & mirrors 1 -3. Then I would like to replace the stock 40 w laser tube with the respective Cloudray unit we’re discussing and then use the stock one as a backup. My existing stock tube is a 50mm diameter and 700 mm long. I have the space for Cloudray 720mm tube and have seen a couple of Amazon reviews that stated it worked fine . … also plan to replace the stock power supply with a 40w Cloudray. Not sure if I should purchase all this from Amazon or Cloudray direct?? I did not realize that Cloudray lifetime support only applies if you purchase direct and not via Amazon.

Thanks !

Russ Amato


Quite beautiful work there…

I guess it’s been a couple of years since I got mine… I got it to learn how they operate, so I’ve made a few mods to mine.

I just ordered my new laser from Cloud ray, arriving on Feb 6.

Watch this Sadler video and it will answer your questions about where to purchase and educate you on B grade tubes that are commonly sold to us…

Here is my machine… pretty much how it came (minus the honeycomb) and what looks like now.

Good luck



Very interesting video and like what Russ has to say…makes sense! All I’m going to do is engrave Cork and acrylic, no cutting. I use my band saw and wood lathe to cut. But still feel the Better quality tube will improve the engraving quality as I have heard .could be wrong . Just curious what modifications did you make to your existing machine? Looks like the control panel and mirror hardware and laser Head? What do you hope to get in your new laser, more wattage and cutting capability?

Thanks for information and kind comments! I make my own custom Cork-acrylic grips but have a artist to do graphics on cork. Just like everything else , his costs have doubled and so for me to have him complete art work has increased from $250 to $385 with shipping per grip which many of my clients will now not consider so I’m going to create my own art work with a laser, sure not as good but most fisherman just want an interesting grip to look at while fishing is slow. The K40 has been a major investment for me as I’ve had to upgrade power and add vent system on my wood shop plus all the K40 costs but in the end it’s going to be worth it and I have an interest in laser engraving.

Russ Amato

Sweet rods!!!

Not going to cut… ?

Seems like the perfect pair, inlays. Cut the pocket then cut out the inlay…

Sounds good to me…

Seems like you have a nice long antenna to put to use … lol

Good luck … post some more of your beautiful items…


You have a good point …in past have purchased wood inlays to incorporate into my fly reel seats . Now I can cut them on my laser !

Thanks !

Russ Amato

Ps going to start following Russ Sadler

The limits of these machines are really between your ears… :thinking:

No need to buy the inlays… :grin:

Russ has a few videos… on about everything. Sometimes the British humor is noticeable, but what you get out of it is great far exceeding the humor threat.

He sent me some stuff yesterday, I couldn’t find… He’s a real gem for all of us in the laser world.

Decide who you are going to buy from… ?

Good luck & take care


No…not sure whether I should purchase a Cloudray CR-35 tube from Amazon or direct from Cloudray… Sounds like Cloudray will only support your via their so called Lifetime support if you go direct . I like the security of purchasing through Amazon because of their are problems , returns are very simple. Not sure how returns would proceed if I purchase from Cloudray Direct but anytime a company goes to infinite detail on their return process and restocking fee, my experience is that it’s for a reason…they want to be clear which is good but it’s not going to be as painless as Amazon.

Other than this my stock K40 laser tube is 700 mm long and the Cloudray Cr-35 replacement is 720 mm…pretty certain I have the space for this incremental length and reviews say it should .

Russ Amato

Hey Jack,

I have to switch out my K40 main board to a Lightburn board I purchased from Omtech to use my Rotary axis turner and purchased a Lightburn software key. What software do you use , Lightburn , RDworks or Whisper?

Russ Amato

Don’t know how it’s suposed to work but I wouldn’t think you’d have to do much to use a rotary.

I run Ubuntu, eliminates anything that is windows based.

I’ve use Lightburn for quite a while…

Will have to upgrade it when the fiber arrives.


Ubuntu? Very interesting! I once wanted to convert to Ubuntu. Got as picking up a resource manual but sounded like much time spent to learn and convert all my apps.

Sounds like I’m on right track with Lightburn…has all custom cadworks I want to make Rod handle designs! But I hear Russ Sadler talking about RDworks and thought it may be good to learn more about it in comparison to Lightburn .

Thanks for all the great information today Jack!

Have fun with your new Fiber laser. Almost bought one just more than I wanted to invest as a newbie and Omtech told me it was not recommended for engraving Cork. I think if I could afford it my next upgrade laser would be the Omtech Polar .

Tight lines !
Russ Amato

My understanding was that Russ wanted to present a way to work with what came with the machine. So that meant RDWorks.

If you run Linux, windows programs won’t run, unless you run a virtual windows machine, which some do.

I see Windows going to the Apple thing where you have to have it approved by Microsoft to be able to load it… Windows 11, we had to bypass something because it wasn’t a Microsoft approved product…

Most of the servers on the planet run some form of Linux… Much lower cost than Microsoft servers…

I’ll stick with Linux, I’ve had it at home for at least 15 years or more… I used to teach software and had a version of it running on a ‘virtual’ DEC Vax systems for student access. This was in the 80’s… :frowning:

If you run windows, you should take it for a test drive… The only reason it lives is because it comes with the machine and is free… :rofl:

Fiber lasers are for man made materials, like metals, plastics, etc… CO2 and most of the visible light hobby are for natural materials such as cork, wood etc… These ‘overlap’ each other, a CO2 will cut acrylic very well … not really a natural product.

Also, your laser is a CW (continuous wave) laser, meaning it stays on… relatively long. The fiber laser is a pulse laser … the manual for my source laser, it’s 60W, shows with a 4nS pulse it will deliver 18kW of output power… you can only have this range of adjustments with a MOPA (Master Oscillator Power Amplifier) type laser source.

These are the various power levels, pulse times. There are a number of different parameters to these… I’m sure it’ll be quite a ride :grin:

Good luck…



I’m with you on Microsoft windows all the way! Don’t like what they do to regulate and control what we can do. I grew up on MS Dos and at one time had work PCs set up to go from CPM,MSDos and Window 7. My daughter is an IT professional now but all she uses is Windows. Stopped liking Microsoft when they cut off MS Office from stand alone versions wanting to charge fees for monthly access.

Wish I had your skill. Would switch to Linux in a minute.

Tight Lines! Have good week .
Going to start sealing off the gaps inside my K40 case this week and replace the stock bed with Honeycomb and scissor lift.
Russ Amato

If you switch to Linux, you will learn it … it’s really not too tough and a very elegant way to do things… Especially since it’s virtually like AT&T’s UNIX… price is much better …



When I looked at switching then it was a question of which version . Can you send me a link of the one you would recommend? Maybe I can start by converting my laptop I’m using for my K40. Only concern would be then if I purchased a license key from Omtech for Lightburn to work on Windows , do I have to purchase one to work on Linux? In general if I have other apps that work with windows like Excel and Word, will they work on Linux? I really would like to try converting one PC and see how it goes but depends on how many apps I have to change out?

Thanks for feedback.

Russ Amato

No the same key should work. I understand Lightburn just checks your status, not what machine you are on. It does keep track of how many copies you can run. I have it on both of my Ubuntu machines.

I have an emergency copy on the spouses windows machine that helps with debugging same key … I asked them nicely to expand my quota to three machines instead of two… They didn’t have a problem doing that…

I’d suggest Ubuntu, it’s easy and very popular… There are lots of flavors out there to choose from … Mint, Fedora, CentOS, SUSE to name a few… I think all of these are freeware… always check the license restrictions… just good practice.

Good luck


For Windows users I would have thought Kubuntu would have more familiarity than Gnome based Ubuntu. Or has Windows changed since version 7(the last I’ve booted)?

And did you know that you don’t need to install it to try it? I’ve booted many versions of Linux off of USB thumb drives(Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Mint, etc). I’ve been using bootable versions of Linux even before Knoppix(which was designed to fix corrupted Microsoft Office files and Windows itself).

Tons of sites explain how to make a bootable USB drive - Live USB - Wikipedia

Thanks Jack …I’ll give it a shot !! Would love to get off Microsoft. I might set up a Linux partition at first to ease into this conversion. I know sounds like I’m being too conservative…ha ha These names remind me of the first notepad I bought with Ice cream operation app . Haha I may need to help here in this process.

Thanks !
Russ Amato