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My RLE system is configured to provide an output resolution of 20 nm. Will the output be exactly 20 nm?

The actual output resolution from an RLE system can be calculated as a fraction of the laser fundamental wavelength.

The figure that the laser wavelength should be divided by to determine actual output resolution for each resolution setting is given in the table below.

Resolution setting (nm) Divisional factor Actual resolution (nm) Axis 1, NTP Actual resolution (nm) Axis 2, NTP
633 1 632.818270 632.819719
613 2 316.409135 316.409860
158 4 158.204567 158.204930
79 8 79.1022837 79.1024649
39.5 16 39.5511418 29.5512324
20 32 19.7755709 19.7756162
10 64 9.88778546 9.88780811

However, if your system includes an RCU10 environmental compensation unit, actual, achieved output resolution, will be exactly as selected during the configuration process. This is the result of pulse addition and subtraction performed by the RCU10 unit.


I have just set-up my RLE system, but cannot get the laser to stabilise and all the LEDs are red. Is the laser unit damaged?

First of all check the configuration switches. There must be an even number of switches in the 'down' or 'enabled' position. If you have an odd number of switches enabled in your present configuration, enable switch number 16. This is the parity switch, and is a safety feature that allows users to enable an even number of switches, even if the application's configuration requires an odd number of switches to be enabled.

If this does not work, set all pins to the 'enable' position. Whilst this may not be the desired configuration setting for your application, it is a configuration setting under which the laser will operate unless it is damaged, (assuming that the detector head is aligned correctly with the target optic). Should the laser not stabilise / operate with this configuration setting, the laser unit has been damaged, and you should contact your local Renishaw representative for information on how to return your system and get a replacement.


I have powered up my RLE system, but the laser status LED remains red. What's wrong?

Check that all fibres and cables from the RLD10(s) are plugged in correctly. If all connections are good, and the laser status LED remains red, check that the RLE is receiving the correct, 24 V, power supply.


The laser status LED on my RLE system is green, but the axis 1 / axis 2 LED will not go green. Why?

There are a number of reasons why this fault may occur:

  • Firstly, check that the fibre is correctly inserted into the RLD10: align the white line on the fibre barrel with the alignment dot on the detector head. Insert the barrel fully and then rotate slightly, either way, until you feel it engage in the internal indent. If you have a dual axis system, also check that each RLD10 is fitted to the correct channel.
  • The Alarm may not be set to Auto Reset. Make sure that switch 13 in is the 'enable' position.
  • Ensure that an even number of switches are in the enable position. If your system configuration requires an odd number of switches to be in the enable position, move switch 16, the parity switch, to the enable position.


I need to keep realigning the RLD10 within my RLE system. Why?

Ensure that the barrel locking screw is tightened to prevent movement of the fibre barrel within the detector head.


I cannot change the direction of the sine/cosine output. Why is this?

This switch is only valid when the RLE is configured to provide a digital output. If the system is configured to produce an analogue output, you will not be able to change direction.


I cannot achieve the resolutions given in the system specification. The finest resolution I can achieve with my RLE system is 39.5 nm with a plane mirror target optic, and 79 nm with a retroreflector. What's wrong?

Switch 12 needs to be in the 'enable' position for fine quadrature outputs to be achieved.


I am trying to adjust the pitch of an RLD10 detector head, but I cannot rotate the steering wedge.

Ensure the RLD10's locking screws are loosened before performing pitch adjustment.

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