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Frank Corker
05-23-2010, 5:07 PM
I was using the laser as normal yesterday without any issues. I switched the machine off and a few hours later went to complete another job. This time the laser fails to fire. Machine powers up, beeps, goes to the home. Receives and displays the job on front panel. Goes through the whole process like normal, except no laser beam, same as when the front lid is in the up position (except it's not).

The red pointer works fine. I have removed back and right hand side panels, everything appears to be same as normal, no fuses have popped, no loose cables. All the lights on the motherboard appear to light in the normal way.

My thoughts are that it has something to do with the safety mechanism. I have looked at the door safety switch but I don't know of any way to test to see if that is the cause and there's actually nothing much to see is there?. All the wires seem to be attached and not loose. My fear is that if it is not the safety switch, it might be the laser unit but I was always under the impression that there was going to be some signs of it expiring, such as a lack of engraving and cutting power but I have not encountered anything like this. In fact in the morning I was actually cutting a piece of 20mm acrylic in one pass at 1 speed and later 10mm at 3.

Well a friend came down and he did a continuity check on the safety switch and everything working. Power from the powerpack is providing voltage to the laser, just the beam not firing. Well until I contact my distributer, I'll just sit and cry a bit more. :(

Larry Bratton
05-23-2010, 5:26 PM
Frank, email Epilog tech support. They will be get back to you quickly. However, I reckon with the time difference it would be noon on Monday at best I suspect.

John Noell
05-23-2010, 5:27 PM
I will keep my fingers crossed for you. This is my biggest fear: jobs to do but a dead laser.

Dee Gallo
05-23-2010, 5:53 PM
Frank, that happened to me once and it was the dumbest thing: one of the tiny magnets which work the interlock from the top came loose and was sitting on the bottom rail in the wrong spot, so the laser thought it was open. I glued it back in place and all was well. Hope it's that simple for you, bud!

cheers, dee

Karen Thompson
05-23-2010, 5:55 PM
Hi Frank,

Sorry your having problems - This happened to me last year, granted it's not an Epilog but it was doing the very same exact thing.

From deduction it turned out to be the transformer. I hope you don't have to wait too long to find out - fingers crossed for you.

Karen

Frank Corker
05-23-2010, 6:14 PM
Thanks guys. The magnet on the door was one of the first things to check and using a continuity check it showed that the lid was properly shut. It's just frustrating I guess.

Joe Pelonio
05-23-2010, 6:24 PM
I wouldn't be all that surprised if you have worn it out, since you are one of the more active laser members. I have heard of this happening this way when the electronics on the tube go out, however, when my first one went out it was the electronics and still went gradually. I hope it turns out to be something simple and cheap to fix.

Scott Shepherd
05-23-2010, 6:42 PM
I think Frank's laser has a fairly new tube in it, doesn't it? Seems not too long ago how he posted a "hats off to Epilog for great service" when he replaced it. It's new, isn't it Frank?

Hopefully it's something simple (and inexpensive!).

Dave Russell Smith
05-23-2010, 7:58 PM
I think Frank's laser has a fairly new tube in it, doesn't it? Seems not too long ago how he posted a "hats off to Epilog for great service" when he replaced it. It's new, isn't it Frank?

Hopefully it's something simple (and inexpensive!).

I think it was his power transformer that went last time if I remember right, fingers crossed that its a simple fix and by the the way fingers and laser beams do not mix :o ( don't ask either )

Bruce Volden
05-23-2010, 9:34 PM
Frank, just for certainty send a job over with the doors OPEN (interlocks open). Wearing safety gobbles (what my son calls them (glasses)) use magnets and move them around to ascertain it is not an interlock problem. When the machine is running a job this is a sure fired way to trouble shoot this type of problem. It's not that I doubt your continuity check but it is another way of proving a safety switch problem. Also since things are open make sure you have 48vdc coming out of your power supply to laser.

It's just a thought anyway :confused:

Bruce

Frank Corker
05-24-2010, 4:13 AM
Hi guys, no the machine isn't new, 2005 but for all of my posting, I don't believe I have that many hours of use.... but how would you know? Anyway, I appreciate all your thoughts and ideas.

Bruce, I did what you said yesterday when we were doing all the continuity checks, the voltage going to the laser was 48v, which is why my eyes seems to be wet all of the time.

Just spoken with Paul at Identify in Bristol, he pointed out that there are two lights on the motherboard which go on and off when the lid is opened and they are working fine, so looks like it is the tube after all. Dreading finding out the next bit, the cost.

Dan Hintz
05-24-2010, 6:08 AM
Let the betting begin!

My bet is for $1,800...

Joe Pelonio
05-24-2010, 7:57 AM
I'll guess $1,200.

Mark Ross
05-24-2010, 8:09 AM
We have a 45W EXT...I will chime in at $2100.00 unless it is under warranty.

Scott Shepherd
05-24-2010, 8:57 AM
Sounds like we need a "Friends of the Frank" campaign going to repay Frank for the 100's of people he's helped with files over the years! :D

Rodne Gold
05-24-2010, 9:40 AM
Frank , Does your laser have a diagnostic mode for alignment - if so then set the power at 5% or so and hold a piece of paper in front of the aperture on the tube and see if you get a burn , this should rule out anything barring the tube.
What type of tube is it , a synrad or a Coherent Deos or proprietory?
Is there a repair facility near you ? A sudden failure is normally an indication of blown electronics in the tube and not a failure of the gasses as this would normally drop power slowly.
It might be a lot cheaper to have the eletronics fixed and the tube tuned at a local facility than return the tube to the mnfgrs. We in South Africa have repair facilities for both synrad and coherent and its decidedly cheaper to use em- if it is one of those tubes and if it is definately the tube (and not perhaps the motherboard or something else) try their sites and their helplines to find a local repair facility.

Robert Alexander
05-24-2010, 9:57 AM
Let the betting begin!

My bet is for $1,800...

I replaced my 45 watt epiloge (which was 5 years old) helix a few weeks back it was $1815.00 with shipping.

Kim Vellore
05-24-2010, 10:03 AM
Frank lives in a different pond so.. I'll say it is $2800
Kim

Dan Hintz
05-24-2010, 10:41 AM
Frank lives in a different pond so.. I'll say it is $2800
Kim
Okay, I'll change my answer to pounds... :)

Frank Corker
05-24-2010, 10:52 AM
Now you're there Dan. Rodney I'll give that a try and see if anything shows.

John Noell
05-24-2010, 3:26 PM
Sounds like we need a "Friends of the Frank" campaign going to repay Frank for the 100's of people he's helped with files over the years! :D
I'm in on that. Frank's help has been REALLY valuable to me.

Frank Corker
05-24-2010, 4:12 PM
That's the life of a laser owner I guess. Things happen and we can't always see it coming. Sad thing is that the pound against the dollar means that what I pay now for a replacement, I could have had an upgrade to 75W a few months ago. I don't think I wan to know any more.

Frank Corker
05-24-2010, 5:20 PM
Just for those of you who may (or may not) have wondered what my last job was the day the laser stopped. It was this. It is a display for the awards for the company that commissioned 12 awards, they were all same shape as these but only 9" in 10mm acrylic.

This baby is 20mm 3/4" cast acrylic (flame polished). Stands 14" and 17" with the lighted base 12" wide. The base I made using 24 blue LED strip light which I bought for 10 on Ebay, I laid the strip into a 1" acrylic base to give it weight and strength to support casual bumps holding the main piece.

Mike Chance in Iowa
05-24-2010, 5:28 PM
Looks fantastic. Funny thing... looking at photo #3, it looks like there are red lips near the bottom of the award, but it's the handle from the dresser behind the award!

Is the base black along the bottom and clear on top?

Joe Pelonio
05-24-2010, 10:17 PM
Hopefully you got $400 apiece for them, and the job pays for the new tube.:eek:

Dave Russell Smith
05-24-2010, 11:23 PM
This baby is 20mm 3/4" cast acrylic (flame polished).

What speed did you cut this at ?? and how many times did take too cut through

Frank Corker
05-25-2010, 12:16 PM
Dave I cut at 100 power 1 speed and 5000 frequency. One pass.

Kim Vellore
05-25-2010, 12:29 PM
Dave I cut at 100 power 1 speed and 5000 frequency. One pass.

No wonder the laser broke...... ;-)
Did you know you can go slower than 1% speed by manually adjusting the speed in decimal like .1-.9 and run-override

Kim

Larry Bratton
05-25-2010, 12:47 PM
Dave I cut at 100 power 1 speed and 5000 frequency. One pass.
Dang..I wouldn't even attempted that with my 40watt. 20mm huh?

Dave Russell Smith
05-25-2010, 8:13 PM
Dave I cut at 100 power 1 speed and 5000 frequency. One pass.
Wow thats must have been a great tube, nice impeccable work though :)

Bill Cunningham
05-25-2010, 11:04 PM
Well Frank.. Doing something involving Women has always been my downfall too... Hope it's maybe something like a loose wire.. the current exchange 1,800.00 USD = 1,251.40 GBP

Frank Corker
05-26-2010, 5:45 AM
Not in my country Bill. Double that figure and you still aren't there!

Scott Shepherd
05-26-2010, 7:56 AM
Not in my country Bill. Double that figure and you still aren't there!

What? More than $3,600 for a new tube? Are you buying a new tube or having a replacement sent in? If the Epilog tubes are over $3,000 then people better start paying close attention to that when they buy a machine. ULS would be around $1,200, and I thought Epilog was saying they were not much more expensive than ULS. If they are more than 3 times what other lasers are, then people need to know.

I thought I recall Peck saying that they had really brought the cost down on replacing tubes.

Or are you upgrading to a 60 watt to make that cost go there. If it's upgrading to the 60, then I can understand the difference.

Frank Corker
05-26-2010, 8:05 AM
No. To upgrade to 60 or 75 watts you need two different motherboards, two extra fans and different powerpack. Something has happened apparently in the last few months, what I was looking to pay for an upgrade is what I am now paying for a replacement. I was told that the exchange rate has changed, but believe me, it's not that much! I can't complain though, crying as I am, Epilog have been very good sorting out other issues I had in the past. But yes, it has to be a big factoring point when pricing jobs.

Scott Shepherd
05-26-2010, 8:54 AM
So over $3,000 for a swap out for a 45 Watt tube? :eek::eek::eek: WOW.....

Dan Hintz
05-26-2010, 8:57 AM
That's about halfway to a new tube...

Larry Bratton
05-26-2010, 10:22 AM
Gosh, Epilog replaced my 40watt tube under warranty about a year ago and I had to put up $1500 as a deposit until I returned the old tube..but $3000!!! Tell me that ain't so.

greg lindsey
05-26-2010, 11:31 AM
Epilog quoted me 2700.00 for replacement for my 60 watt, plus 1500.00 deposit and shipping or send in mine first and it would be 2500.00, no deposit plus shipping. Mine is working fine ( turning monitor, so it dosent see me typing) but was just courious, since this topic was going.

Frank Corker
05-27-2010, 1:21 PM
I'd just like to give a hats off to the boys at Identify.co.uk for the speedy and thorough job in getting me back online. New laser installed and backup and running in 45 minutes. So far it would appear that I have the alignments all set correctly and the laser is cutting and engraving with the precision I have come to expect.

So my thanks to Epilog for getting the laser despatched so promptly and Identify for fast delivery and technical assistance.

Darryl Hazen
05-27-2010, 5:16 PM
Hip Hip Hooray ! Hip Hip Hooray ! Hip Hip Hooray !

Glad to hear you're up and running again.

Dee Gallo
05-27-2010, 6:06 PM
So glad you're back in business before serious withdrawal kicked in... Epilog comes through again, yay!

Congrats, dee

James Jaragosky
05-27-2010, 6:47 PM
So glad you're back in business before serious withdrawal kicked in... Epilog comes through again, yay!

Congrats, dee
Glad your satisfied with the service you revived.
Also glad to see you back up and running.

Bruce Volden
05-27-2010, 9:39 PM
Frank,

I am glad to hear you're back up and running!! I have read every post you've posted and respect the knowledge you have acquired over the years. Hate to lose you from this forum..................so how much do we owe you???:cool:

Bruce

James Fowler
05-30-2010, 10:19 AM
Frank

I just went through it with my 2005 60w Helix. Mine did exactly the same as what yours did. There was no warning at all. Except mine was during a job. It stopped firing half way through a job.
One thing that I did notice prior to the jobs being started is that some of the times, the laser would not fire right off the bat, it would run 15 or so seconds before starting. That would be my only guess as to thinking the laser tube was starting on it's mortal end.
After two laser tubes, a mother board, and wiring harness. We did get the problem resolved.
It was a laser tube. The first one that was sent to me did not work. Then they sent me the mother board, and wiring harness. Then after sending out the second tube. We did get it to fire.
Therefore returning the original tube, the first replacement that was sent out, a motherboard, and harness.
The both Dan and Ian at Epilog tech support did a great job and assisting me in getting me back in business and the laser aligned. So, $2,911.82 later. We are up and running. It is one of those dreaded things that you know is coming and really dread it when it finally comes. Also, now the laser starts to fire once the job starts, not the 10 -15 second delay.

Frank Corker
05-30-2010, 10:30 AM
James mine did start to take a little longer before initially starting off but it was very much dependent on the ambient temperature in my cabin. It also isn't uncommon for other users to have the same thing with theirs, but to suddenly stop working was a little alarming to say the least.

Getting back up and running was the most impressive thing of all, the guys at Identify and Epilog certainly don't hang about, so still very impressed with them and why I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them.

Bill Cunningham
06-01-2010, 10:59 PM
James mine did start to take a little longer before initially starting off but it was very much dependent on the ambient temperature in my cabin. It also isn't uncommon for other users to have the same thing with theirs, but to suddenly stop working was a little alarming to say the least.

Getting back up and running was the most impressive thing of all, the guys at Identify and Epilog certainly don't hang about, so still very impressed with them and why I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them.

If I take a few days off, and the shop is down in temperature, the initial firing of the tube does take a few seconds (5-15), I think the longest I had to wait was 45 seconds, but that was after a week of no use. Once it fires, it starts right away for the rest of the day. It's only the initial firing that sometimes takes a few seconds. My old tube Fired first time every time right up to the end. Even then, it didn't quit, it just had a big power drop off..

David Fairfield
06-02-2010, 8:16 AM
I too experience the occasional initial refusal to fire, sometimes it requires maybe 15 seconds of warm up. I don't think its related to tube life, as it did that when new. My tube is well past its predicted life span. I adjusted some power settings about a year ago, no change since then.

Dave

Chris J Drew
06-03-2010, 8:36 AM
If your tube has a "cold-start" issue, try adjusting Laser Tickle mode/intensity.

Roy Nicholson
06-04-2010, 4:07 AM
I'm still waiting for results from the tech visit it's been over a month now.

I'll start nagging them on Monday.

I'm a patient man but this is gettign beyond a joke.


Regards


Roy N.