View Full Version : ULS users, need help :(

Dan Hintz
01-18-2009, 4:48 PM
I powered up the system today for the first time since delivery nearly two weeks ago, and I'm unable to get the laser to enable (I was able to do several more test prints later in the day after it was dropped off, so I'm somewhat confident I can set things up correctly). When I first tried to print (pressing the "preferences" button, actually), an error window popped up saying the ULS materials database was in use by another user/program. If I selected Okay, I could only use the "Manual Settings" tab, the materials database was empty.

I reinstalled the driver, which reinitialized the database, and I thought I was off and running again. However, although the flying head seems to cover the correct printing area (both with lid up and the HeNe pointer on as well as lid down), I cannot get anything from the CO2 laser.

I have checked all of the things obvious to me (sheet size 24x18 in landscape mode, driver set up for maximum table size, settings being saved and making it to the control panel, etc.), but so far no go. The only thing I notice out of place is in the "View" tab of the Control Panel once the job is sent over... the Table X size shows correctly as 24.000", but the Table Y size shows as 0.000". I don't know if that's an oversight on the driver's part or if it means some setting is wrong (I haven't paid close enough attention to it in the past to say one way or the other).

Any ideas?

Scott Shepherd
01-18-2009, 5:20 PM
Dan, not sure the issue either, but that engraving field MUST me something other than 0.000 in the Y-Axis. It needs to match your corel drawing size. If it doesn't, you'll end up with weird things happening.

I'll be back in the office later tonight, so if you need some help, shoot me a PM with your phone number and I'll give you a call when I get a moment and we'll see if we can work through it.

Dan Hintz
01-18-2009, 8:19 PM
My many thanks to Steve (a.k.a. Scott) for taking time out of his busy day (night?) to help resolve this one.

It seems Painter's Tape is a more robust material than I once thought. I figured a 70W+ laser would have no problem making a mark at 1%. I even tried 5% with my fingers crossed that I didn't start burning the wood underneath, but no luck... I thought the cartridge was dead :( Steve suggested I crank it up to 20%, and I nearly cringed at the thought of nasty wood fumes curling up and coating my lens (couldn't turn on the noisy exhaust due to the ankle-biter being in bed). Still, I pressed the big green button and intently stared at the wokpiece.

Success! I saw lines being rastered! Of course, I can't do anything else for the night due to the ankle-biter's bedtime, which is the biggest killer of them all (at the moment).

Thanks, Steve :D

Mike Mackenzie
01-19-2009, 12:10 PM

FYI the position reading that you saw is correct as it is reading the Home position settings 0.000 Y and 24.00 X. If you moved the head down to the lower right it would read 18.00 Y and 24.00 X.

Also be sure to calibrate your Z Axis with and without the cutting table once you re-install the software you must re Calibrate your accessories.

Sylvia Mossbrucker
01-19-2009, 5:49 PM
Not sure if you got your issue resolved or not, however my ULS also did not fire when I recieived it, after hours of help from the rep here at my job site it turned out being the driver??? Not sure what options you have with a ULS rep but you may want to find out if an older driver will work...that is what finally worked for me.

Dan Hintz
01-20-2009, 10:28 AM
Sylvia, thanks for checking in, but yes, Steve was able to resolve my problem (user error :rolleyes:). I simply had to increase the power to make a mark. I tried 10% last night and it made a sufficint mark on the tape, so I'm happy with that.

Mike, I didn't think to recalibrate the table! Even so, I rastered an anodized aluminum piece for a client last night and it turned out beautifully, so my focus can't be far off (if at all). I'll check it when I get home, but I bet the driver reinstall left the old calibration settings alone, it just recovered the screwed up materials database (and why it was screwed up is still a mystery to me). Steve also pointed out the (now obvious) fact that the numbers were for the home position of the carriage.

I think I hit the aluminum with more power than necessary (30%), but it still looked nice. I decided to play with some various materials I had from my last trip to the Borgs... a 12x12 black granite tile and a 4x4 black glazed tile. Even at 50S/100P I could not get through that small tiles glaze to the white tile underneath, even after 4 passes!!! That was $1.40 down the drain (bought two) :p

The granite was more interesting. Took a color image, grayscale, inverted, tweaked contrast (probably should have gone with B/W instead of grayscale, but I wanted to try the 3D feature). Ran at 100S/70P. First shot was all washed out. Tweaked contrast, tried again, second one was all white. Tweaked luminosity curves, third one had a few bits and pieces showing through. Tweaked curves again, ran it a fourth time but dropped the power down using the front panel 1/3rd of the way into the image... at around 30P the image started clearing up, at 20P I was losing too much. I have enough room to run 16-20 more images on this one tile, so at least I now know the sweet spot is somewhere in the 20-30P range.