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Nick Vergunst
08-11-2010, 6:51 PM
Hi everyone,

I have a somewhat recently aquired dinosaur, a Meistergram LS100. The system uses a Windows 98 machine and it works flawlessly. However I am wanting to migrate it to a newer OS for stability and speed.

I do not have the original drivers, but I know they wont work in an NT environment anyways. So I downloaded some other drivers for various other lasers, and some work kind-of, some dont work at all.

So it is a standard printer driver, and was wondering if anyone here is knowledgable enough to know of a compatible NT driver that works with this system? I am sniffing the LPT port now to try and decode what is sent and worst case is I will need to write my own. But I was hoping I wouldnt have to reinvent the wheel.

Thanks!

Bruce Volden
08-11-2010, 8:09 PM
Nick,

I feel for you! I have 2 LMI machines stuck in WIN 98 land. LMI has gotten out of the business of small engravers. What I ended up doing was joining Rent A Coder and having a gentleman from the UK work a fix around so I could build my files in XP with a newer version of CorelDraw and then send them over to the laser. Caveat---I still have to use a networked WIN 98 machine to output to the engraver. If you have the knowledge to "re-invent" the wheel by coding your own drivers I have great envy of you as I am a dummy. :D

Bruce

Mike Mackenzie
08-11-2010, 9:29 PM
Nick,

The plotter mechanisms in those systems were from a Roland plotter that was modified but I believe the electronics were the same. Maybe that will help you discover something

Roy Brewer
08-12-2010, 6:46 PM
I have a somewhat recently aquired dinosaur, a Meistergram LS100.Nick,

From what Mike Mc said the LS100 was probably made by ULS(ALT). If not, then it is one of the newer Meistergram models made by Idea Engineering; in that case, the Xenetech software will run it (XGW not the print driver).

Nick Vergunst
01-30-2012, 3:10 PM
Thankyou all for your help. I don't know how I didn't get a notification update but I am still working on this! I will now get instant email subscriptions so hopefully I won't let this die again...

I don't want to keep the Win98 machine, and that relies on one machine always working. If that Win98 machine gets struck by lightning, the laser becomes unusable. :(

So I am still looking to move it over to a newer OS or at the very least get the hard drive cloned and run Win98 inside a Virtual Machine. However, no computer or IDE/USB enclosure will read this Hard Drive. It boots up just fine in the old machine (a Compaq circa 1995). In any other machine it either is not recognized or is recognized by the IDENTITY strings but the MBR or partition table is not readable. So basically I have a machine that when whole, works fine for now. But I can't migrate anything off of it right now...

The Roland plotter identification help is useful. I will see what I can do with that. I actually have an old Roland dot matrix printer that still works great and I have NT drivers for it so I can print from Win7!

@Roy B:
When you say the Xenetech software will run it, do you mean I can output to the device on a clean system with this software? And since it is not a printer driver I don't "print" to the laser, it just sends raw LPT1 commands to whatever happens to be there in a format that my LS100 will be able to understand? This would be an acceptable solution to me as long as it can run in an NT environment like XP/Vista/7. Of course "printing" to it would be best because then I could use Corel Draw as I have been since forever.

The search continues...

will bohn
01-31-2012, 6:24 PM
Send me your e-mail address and I'll be happy to send you the drivers. They are for win98 only but you can run a newer version of corel on it.

Richard Rumancik
02-01-2012, 10:03 AM
. . . I don't want to keep the Win98 machine, and that relies on one machine always working. If that Win98 machine gets struck by lightning, the laser becomes unusable. ...

Well, I guess that's true of pretty much every piece of electronics in our shops . . . maybe you can move this to a newer machine/OS but perhaps it might just end up being too complicated. I'm not that familiar with all the details of each OS to know what you can and can't do. But you will be pretty much on your own if you do get it to work, and you just might find a "gotcha" every once in a while when it crashes.

To me there's no reason why a system running Win 98 can't be reliable - the boxes are so cheap that you could have a few backup systems cloned, and spare parts available, so you are ready to go if you ever had a problem. Now if lighting hits your laser mainboard . . .

Nick Vergunst
02-01-2012, 1:02 PM
Well, I guess that's true of pretty much every piece of electronics in our shops . . . maybe you can move this to a newer machine/OS but perhaps it might just end up being too complicated. I'm not that familiar with all the details of each OS to know what you can and can't do. But you will be pretty much on your own if you do get it to work, and you just might find a "gotcha" every once in a while when it crashes.

To me there's no reason why a system running Win 98 can't be reliable - the boxes are so cheap that you could have a few backup systems cloned, and spare parts available, so you are ready to go if you ever had a problem. Now if lighting hits your laser mainboard . . .

Well my system is kludged together. It is a Compaq from 1995 that was upgraded to Windows 98. So it had 3.1, then 95, then 98. The BIOS is only accessible by using a software hack on the floppy drive to get it to read the EEPROM. The hard drive itself is not formatted with a "normal" MBR. I am guessing it uses the old school free-for-all system that no modern IDE controller understands. So by migrating this machine to a virtual machine, then it doesn't matter. I can run it on Pentium I, or a Core i7 with the only thing needed is VMWare compatibility. I have all my virtual machines cloned and backup so if anything happens, it just re-pulls the image from my networked server and all is well again.

I need to find the maximum power draw of my laser when fully on and then find an offline UPS for it so that external electrical booms are isolated.

I would be extremely happy with an NT driver but I would still be happy with a virtual machine implementation. :)

CHris Prioli
08-14-2012, 3:11 PM
Hi everyone,

I have a somewhat recently aquired dinosaur, a Meistergram LS100. The system uses a Windows 98 machine and it works flawlessly. However I am wanting to migrate it to a newer OS for stability and speed.

I do not have the original drivers, but I know they wont work in an NT environment anyways. So I downloaded some other drivers for various other lasers, and some work kind-of, some dont work at all.

So it is a standard printer driver, and was wondering if anyone here is knowledgable enough to know of a compatible NT driver that works with this system? I am sniffing the LPT port now to try and decode what is sent and worst case is I will need to write my own. But I was hoping I wouldnt have to reinvent the wheel.

Thanks!

I have frequently installed the standard LS100 driver (attached) in the 32-bit WinXP environment - it has always worked just fine there. However, it will not work with Win Vista or Win 7 in either 32-bit or 64-bit.