View Full Version : Epilog Radius 30 issue

Russ Shoe
12-15-2009, 5:37 PM
Hello all!

First things first, been here lurking and learning for a while now, you people amaze us with your sharing, knowledge, and talent! We have learned so much from all of you, thank you so much.

We have an epilog radius 30w machine, bought it used several months ago, gorgeous machine, in great shape, and the price was so right. We just installed new optics and that made a huge difference, had to adjust all our test settings on objects with the new found power.

The issue:

Symptoms: rastering (100p any speed) a large photo, 12x12, on the back of a mirror, the laser beam fluctuates and produces banding on the mirror.

Banding seems like a common issue sometimes, however, the laser will actually shut off, with the arm still moving, just no beam. The banding we get we can actually see the laser get weaker, then stronger, then weaker...and shut down. It almost seems like a time issue here, the longer the machine runs etc....

So, is this a laser tube issue, (original tube, but the laser seems strong vectoring and rastoring small objects). Or could this be an "electronics issue".

I did read in a manual from Synrad for this tube in the troubleshooting section:

"Symptom: laser power varies or responds intermittently to input PWM Command pulses"

”Possible cause: Verify that your UC-2000 or equivalent PWM controller is delivering
tickle pulses of the proper duration."

Where do we go from here, are there any tests we can do? New/recharged tube? Electronics?

Have worked with the people from Epilog just a bit, and have an email sent out to them also, with the wealth of knowledge here, thought it would be a good idea to post here too.

Thank you all
Russ n Lori

John Noell
12-16-2009, 1:12 AM
Welcome to the creek Russ and Lori! Usually, Epilog tech support is the best way to go. They are the most knowledgable about the entire Epilog range. Your symptoms sound unusual.

Dan Hintz
12-16-2009, 6:24 AM
So, is this a laser tube issue, (original tube, but the laser seems strong vectoring and rastoring small objects). Or could this be an "electronics issue".
My first inclination is to answer "both". The symptoms sound a lot like the RF electronics (on the laser cartridge) and starting to give up the ghost.

If not that, the power supply and cartridge's gas needing a rework are the next two most likely causes, followed by intermittent flex cables.

Russ Shoe
12-16-2009, 3:19 PM
Thanks guys for the imput and encouragement. Will keep you posted. (and if anyone has words of wisdom, just let us know)

Russ Shoe
12-28-2009, 5:49 PM
Just an update......

This got sidetracked on another thread, ("kudos to Epilog")...want to bring it back here.

Emailed on Epilog on Dec 15, Dec 18th, and today. One response on the 15th, no responce on the 18th

Well, after the Christmas weekend I decided to email again, (sorry, I believe in email, if a regular email address is “getting lost in junk”...check your settings....also, its a nice way to keep everything) phone is just fine, but I find as soon as the conversation is done...my brain looses all data, lol.

Ok, so sent email, auto reply: "not back till Jan 4th" that’s understandable, a lot of companies shut down over the holidays, (hope someone doesn’t have an emergency with their $20,000+ Epilog laser right about now???).

So now I have to wait for any type of response from an email sent on Dec 15th.....until Jan 4th??? (the response on the 15th btw, just questions and a request from Epilog for a photo of what the laser is doing, nothing more has been sent from them since)

My image and faith in Epilog as a company is fading as of now.

Scott Shepherd
12-28-2009, 6:34 PM
I'm sorry Russ, but I have to disagree with your assessment and the method. Several people, including someone that works at Epilog said "forget the email, if you have a situation, CALL them". You didn't. That's your fault, not Epilog's.

I hate email with a passion and I suspect they do to. Why? Because when I get 60 emails in one day, it just gets overwhelming and someone will get forgotten. Call me and you can talk to me and you'll be assured I'm on the problem. Email me about an emergency or a machine down? That's setting your expectations way out there. That's your error.

I would never email Universal or Epilog if my machine was down. Never.

Anthony Scira
12-28-2009, 7:21 PM
Yep call them they work you through the problem step by step. Email will take forever.

David Fairfield
12-28-2009, 7:28 PM
Yeah, just call them already.

AL Ursich
12-28-2009, 7:32 PM
I would in the time that you have before a real tech gets back to you to try a few things I have picked up reading the forum. You might just find the answer right here.

First I would clean and inspect the mirrors...

Then I would inspect the rails and bearings looking for anything like contamination or a loose bearing.

Then I would clean the Encoder Strip if that model has one.

Then I would make a file with 5 two inch rectangles filled solid black, placing them on 4 corners and center. Run them on Anodized Aluminum and look at the results.

Banding can be caused by something as simple as changing the size of the file or picture AFTER it was run through PhotoGrav Software..... As We all know from being posted here that all changes to photo size MUST be done before running the PhotoGrav software.

Let us know.

Isn't it GREAT that Epilog treats the first and tenth owner of the machine with regards to Tech Support like YOU are the MOST Important Customer they have.

Your experience with the email is very unusual and not the norm.... I am sure that staffing is a little short with a little thing like the Holidays....

Good Luck


Peck Sidara
12-28-2009, 8:37 PM

After seeing your post in the "kudos to Epilog" thread, I discussed with our service manager and he forwarded me all correspondances between you and tech support. I had thought Ian followed back up with you but based on this posting, I'm guessing he didn't.

The factory is closed and tech support is on call today thru new years eve. Technically they're closed but are taking care of the "hot ones" this week by checking voicemails and helping out as much as they can remotely. I believe tech supports voicemail 303.215.9171 states this.

The last email I saw indicated that high resolution pictures were to be sent in for review, I opened your Corel file and noticed the picture in the file appears to be of the banding you're referring to.

If not, please resend to phetn at epiloglaser.com with a copy to me at pecks at epiloglaser dot com. I'll make sure this is taken care of immediately upon my return to the office on Jan. 4th.

If the picture in your Corel file is of the banding, it looks pretty straight forward to me, looks like a laser tube....

Laser tube meaning it could be that 1/2 the tube is intermittently failing, one of the two RF boards is failing or any combination of optics/electronics/gas etc. within the tube.

I'm not sure what else technical support will have you check (monitor the power supply output perhaps) but if they determine it's the tube, then a tube will need replacement. Unfortunately they/we do not trouble-shoot the tubes to a component level.

Again, you can email the support supervisor directly with copy to me. If you do not want to call in, I can ask that they call you.

Per the "kudos to epilog" thread, your particular inquiry was not of an urgent matter. If it has become more of an urgent matter, please accept my apologies on behalf of the support group, as they won't have an ultimate solution for you until next week.

Please keep us all posted with how things turn out.

laura passek
12-29-2009, 12:14 AM
In the past I have needed the help of epilog service techs and I too sent emails, and within hours of sending them I either had a response back by email or I recieved a phone call back. (Koy)very helpful techy
It is best for the techs to talk to you directly so they can have you do some dianostic test for them. they can also connect to your system remotely to do their own tests.
if you send email just give them your phone number and they will call you back ASAP.

Rob Bosworth
12-29-2009, 11:17 AM
Russ, I'm not sure I should get involved, but I was never one to know when to say when.

You bought a 10 to 12 year old machine, used. You set it up, then start having trouble with it. When Epilog does not respond to you on your terms, you flame them.

Do you really expect them to jump through your hurdles, and for them to solve your problems cheaply. I was not surprised to read that the first thing they recommend, or consider to be your problem, replace the tube! And if that does not solve your problem, you can replace your power supply, then the CPU or mother board. I think you might want to make nice to them. They might be your only help.

But then again, what do I know.

Russ Shoe
12-29-2009, 3:33 PM
Well well well, quick, anyone have something to close this can-o-worms? Its not that bad, knew it would happen, thought long and hard about posting anything about this in the first place, too late now. However, people have asked me to keep them posted on this, so foolishly I still post, I will learn not too....someday. lol

Gonna try to respond to everything, might get long, sorry.

Email vs Phone....Both are a business tool that we choose to use. If a business use either or both, then they should be equal in response regardless of how many one gets. If email is so bad, shut it off?.....we probably can't do that these days, it’s a part of doing business. Email is as or more accountable than phone conversations, at least there is a paper trail to to look back on, once the phone is hung up...the conversation is gone.

People are acting like I don’t or won’t call...lol I have called epilog on a different subject, mirrors and lens, was great, started out as email and then talked to Josh there, worked out great. In fact I was totally on board to call the tech after the email, just like before, in my mind, the email gave the tech time to work out some techy things before a phone conversation. Simple enough.


Perfect, your suggestions and words of wisdom are wonderful, will let you know how it works out. See this kind of info, either from the forum or from epilog is gold, the first post I did here, and the first email to epilog, it was all I was looking for.


Wonderful, this is exactly the info I was hoping to get, thank you. As far as being urgent, it really wasn’t the machine works fine for what I'm doing now, just need to be corrected soon. Wish I would have gotten a response like this after I sent in the requested photo to the tech. PM to follow on another subject Peck, ty

You are exactly right, was expecting my emails to lead to a phone conversation, once they worked out their end, "plan of attack" for me, and would have called asap (on my dime) if that was the case, it just didn’t get that far. Have done this before with techy Josh at epilog...worked our great.


I really don’t think I flamed anyone, just posted my experience and my frustration with the lack of response. ummmm what "terms" and what "hurdles?" Never asked to be cheap, lord knows none of this is cheap, lol. Just a request for help in an email that seems to be lost or ignored, no terms or hurdles there.

You are mistaken, I never got a response from Epilog (other than in here), saying to replace the tube, the power supply, the cpu or motherboard from epilog. If replacing one or all of the above it’s what it takes, so be it. I was hoping for some insight on which one would be the issue, perhaps some testing or diagnostics’ to perform. Even though it’s an older model, we are very happy and proud of this machine; it is the first of (hopefully) many lasers to add to our stable of different machines.

My error in hind sight, was to respond to the "kudos" thread, in my selfishness, was thinking, "hey.....what about me" and posted in frustration. I shouldn’t have done it like that. But that’s what’s good about this forum, helping each other with the good, the bad, and the ugly. More good has come out of this thread for me than anything else.....

Thank you all

Scott Shepherd
12-29-2009, 7:42 PM
Russ, I still totally disagree with you on the email. You keep stating accountability. What's more important, getting your machine running on having a paper trail of conversations to get it running?

What I think is being missed is email, in your opinion, in a very reliable, good business tool, but what's missing is that a conversation is between 2 people. Email is one sided in some respect. If I take a service call from you, I have you on the phone. The call has started....

Me : Russ, what's going on with your machine?

You : It's skipping out on engraving.

Me : Have you checked the lens to make sure it's clean?

You : Yes.

Me : Have you checked the mirrors?

You : No, can you explain?

Me : Sure, they are located here... Go ahead and clean that and try it while I'm on the phone.

Me : Did it work?

You : No.

Me : Have you cleaned the encoder strip?

You : Ummm, not sure what that is.

Me : You take the cover off that's in this location by removing the 2 screws. Under that, you'll find a clear strip. See it?

You : No.

Me : Okay, explain what you're looking at.

And it goes on for 15 minutes or step by step, all based on the result you give back.

Now, take that same conversation and apply it to email. You email me on Monday. I respond on Tuesday. You respond on Tuesday afternoon. I reply on Wednesday. You reply on Thursday, I reply on Friday. You reply on Friday, I reply on Monday.

It takes a lot more time to type something up and to try and trouble shoot a problem through email because critical, important questions get asked on the phone that don't get asked in email because it's not a conversation, it's a statement.

I'll ask again, what's more important, to have your machine running or to have a paper trail? I know which one's more important to me and my customers.

Bill Cunningham
12-29-2009, 9:06 PM
I have used email on a few occasions, but if it's something that needs immediate attention, I usually like to phone.. That way, like the problem regarding the x-motor in the middle of my Christmas rush, they can actually 'hear' the panic in my voice :D

Russ Shoe
12-29-2009, 9:34 PM
Agree to disagree is all I can say, both forms of comuication have there advantages and disadvantages, both of us could ramble on of the merits of each. I have a computer repair business, and yes I am always on the phone, however, I also respond to all email request too, both are important to my business.

Whats more important? A response to actually fix the problem is....either email or phone doesnt matter at that point. The customer,(me) chose to email, that should be respected and responded to, email me, call me...send smoke signals...just respond. The frustration, was no response, and that is not the customers,(me) fault.

Im sure whats important to our customers is that we respond and help them with their questions or requests, regardless how they ask.


Russ Shoe
12-29-2009, 9:36 PM
LOL Bill....thats it, I should have typed in a panic font........ummmm how do I do that??? lol

(wasn't in a panic btw, just something to work out, my xmas rush was done......phewwww lol)

Gary Hair
12-30-2009, 9:22 AM
I'll ask again, what's more important, to have your machine running or to have a paper trail? I know which one's more important to me and my customers.

I can't speak for Russ, but my thought about email being "better" for this type of thing is to have the diagnostics written down instead of remembering them, not having a "paper trail". Most tech support people have access to faq's and tech sheets that would cover most issues and in a lot more detail that could be done over the phone. This type of interaction could be much more efficient than a phone call. Plus, it gives the tech a bit of time to think about the problem and put together a solution.

The "conversation" you typed up could be listed in one email as a series of things to check. If tech support sent each question as one email then they are incompetent and need to be trained in how to diagnose problems via email.

If they can't handle email requests, then they should either get rid of email or figure out a way to handle it - simple as that. It's no excuse to say that they get too many emails to be effective that way - I call B.S. on that one.


Scott Shepherd
12-30-2009, 9:52 AM
It's no excuse to say that they get too many emails to be effective that way - I call B.S. on that one.


I don't know why they don't respond, and it was only said as to why I don't respond to every single email. I've seen the simplest things made so complicated and time consuming because people won't bother to pick up the phone.

The fact remains, email didn't get a timely response and solution. A phone call would have. That's a fact. What was the reason? My customers don't care about excuses and reasons, they care about having a product they bought. A phone call gets them that product faster than any other method.

John Noell
12-30-2009, 1:59 PM
The fact remains, email didn't get a timely response and solution. A phone call would have. That's a fact. Sorry but I disagree. I have called tech support several times only to hear "All Techs are busy - please leave a message." Email may well have gotten read before somebody went back through all the messages and then maybe responds by calling back. I've sent multiple emails AND made phone calls (ending in messages left) with no response for days. Made me pretty unhappy.