View Full Version : Epilog Mini x/y axis problems

Martin Fox
07-23-2009, 4:52 PM
Hello to fellow engravers! I have a 40W Epilog Mini, and for the most part the machine has been great, I've had several x/y axis problems in the two years or so that I've owned it. Currently, when the machine is powered up, the boom quickly slams to the back of the machine. ( I had the exact same problem a few months ago with the laser head slamming to the left of the bed, and after a new x axis motor, new linear encoder and reader, and ultimately, a new motherboard the issue is for the most part resolved as long as the encoder strip is cleaned every few hours) Since the machine does not have a Y axis encoder strip this would seem not to apply in this case. So far, Epilog has sold me a new Y axis motor, which seemed to solve the problem for 20 minutes. They sent me another motor, and the same thing happened. I really feel like this is not a motor problem but I don't know where else to investigate. Has anyone out there had similar problems?

Jim Coffee
07-24-2009, 12:37 AM
A couple of comments:
1) Cleaning your encoder strip so often seems very unusual. I've cleaned mine twice in 4 years.
2) Could be something like power, etc.
3) Epilog support is great. Give them the opportunity and I'm sure that you will find the root cause.
4) I would look beyond the obvious symptoms to an underlying part of the machine...such as power.
5) Are you doing something unusual with this machine...in an unusual environment?

Sorry that you are having trouble. Let us know how this works out.

Doug Griffith
07-24-2009, 1:53 AM
So you've got new motors, encoder, and motors and it still has the same problem. Did you change out the cables? I agree with Jim that it could be a power issue.

Stephen Beckham
07-24-2009, 8:53 AM
Martin, no means trying to insult - this is from experience making this mistake.

When I first go my mini 24, I 'over-maintenanced' it. Kept cleaning this and that and things that looked like it needed cleaning versus just doing what the book suggested. In turn, I moved one of my magnetic sensors on the right rear (inside right panel). It's the sensor that tells the Y axis it's getting close to home. Since it was out a bit - the machine would slam to the rear looking for that little mini-mag.

Not sure how we really discovered it, but it was after about an hour on the phone with tech's. If your Y axis is not stopping, I'd assume it can't find home so it continues until it binds. I'd check sensors to make sure they're where they're supposed to be - where are they? After over two years since I've been in there - beats me - call Techs again and ask them to walk you through they might be able to take your right to the correct sensor.

Side note - your comment was 'slamming' into the rear. Mine wasn't forcefully slamming, but slowly moving to the binding point which gave the X/Y disabled message. If you're is violently slamming - this might not apply.


Martin Fox
07-24-2009, 11:35 AM
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I think I may have had a few separate and different issues going on in the past, but for this one I think I have found the root cause (at least I hope!) It's incredibly humid here in Rhode Island right now, and my mini air compressor hose had a tiny leak right at the coupling that is over one of the controller boards near the x motor. Water from the compressed air was sneakily dripping and pooling up on the control board. I'm not surprised I had a problem! After drying everything out and running a job that didn't need the compressor there have been no problems.

Just to clarify for anyone else who may have this problem - the boom was slamming back at full power - so hard I was afraid it was going to break something. Motor seemed fine, but it was behaving like there was a crossed wire somewhere.

Not so sure why I've had to clean the encoder strip so often, but I suspect it is because I laser just one product, which has a component coated in powdered rosin, which is a very sticky powder and tends to get on the encoder strip after a while.

Thanks again for the help guys.

Mark Ross
07-24-2009, 1:31 PM

We have an Epilog 36EXT and we were having 3 issues. One was the table would not go up (uh...DUH...the autofocus plunger was slightly stuck up...DOH!) Second, our X axis belt was getting chewed up at the bottom (perform normal maintenance and remove debris from the machine...DOH!)

However, that third one, we could put a job in the engraver and run it, and if we ran it bottom up, after it finished the job, the head would slam really hard over to the 36" stop position. We could run the same job and slow down the speed and at the end of the job it would slam to the 0" position.

It is a driver issue, Epilog tech support told me to make sure I have the latest firmware for my device. It has to do with the newer Epilog printer driver, if you select combined, but in fact what you have is just a raster file, and the air assist is on, it will do this. We changed to raster only on raster files and the problem went away, but I am still going to change my firmware. You might want to check into this. It did work for us.

Brian Jones FL
07-24-2009, 5:07 PM
the head slamming to the back is almost certainly a motherboard issue.

Rangarajan Saravana kumar
07-26-2009, 11:14 AM

Check if your machine is seated in a rubber mat to withstand vibration.. from air suction motor?