View Full Version : Epilog Mini help needed

Steve Clarkson
06-04-2011, 3:37 PM
My laser is down again.

Basically, I was cutting a 24" hairline at (0, -12) and the laser disabled somewhere around (23.9, -12)....the front control panel says "X Y Axis Disabled: Y".

I called tech support yesterday and they sent me (at GREAT cost) a new Y Axis motor, a new motherboard, a new white ribbon strip (Y Flex cable) and a new X-Y PCB board. I installed all of them and I still get the same error message. I replaced the X-axis PCB board about a week ago, and it fixed the problem I was having at the time (I couldn't move the table UP......down worked fine though).

When the laser is off and the ibeam and carriage head are in the middle of the table, it does not try to reset when I turn it on. When the ibeam is pushed all the way to the back of the table, it does try to reset, it even shows "Version 24.01.1" (or whatever it is), the carriage head moves all the way to the left like normal, but then it shows the error message again.

The other issue that I was having that I think may be a symptom of the problem is that my (0,0) position seems to be off......when I put a 1" horizontal hairline at (0,0 and 12,0 and 24,0), it would not cut.....however, when I did a nudge down in Corel (which moved the 1" horizontal hairlines to (0, -.005 and 12, -.005 and 24, -.005) they did cut.......however, they cut at (0, -.031 and 12, -0.016 and 24, 0).....basically a crooked line. When I cut a 1"x1" square anywhere below about 0, -0.5) it cuts a perfect 1"x1" square. I'm wondering if my table is somehow skewed by 1/32" so that when I was cutting at (23.9", -12.0) that is why it disabled.

When turned on, the ibeam and carriage are not locked like they normally would be. And nothing works using the control panel, like "Focus" or even the red dot pointer.

My assumption is that Epilog is going to send me a new front control panel to try next. I suppose the good news is that it doesn't appear to be the "inexpensive" motherboard!

If anyone has ANY ideas for me to try (since I can't call tech support until Monday), please let me know.


John Noell
06-04-2011, 3:50 PM
Steve, I have no suggestions but I am shocked that with all of those replacements the problem is not solved. And I feel your pain. I have replaced the motherboard in my Mini twice. The second time it probably wasn't really bad - it was just the buggy 64 bit driver doing really screwy stuff. (They tested the first board when it went back and said it was definitely bad. Not a word came back to me about the 2nd one however.) At least you are in the USA. I had to pay (expensive Fedex) shipping to Fiji, plus duty and VAT on the board, plus duty and VAT on the shipping. I paid 180-200% what you paid.

I have to admit that Rodney's posts about Chinese lasers are VERY interesting given our repair costs.

Michael Hunter
06-04-2011, 4:08 PM
I have to admit that Rodney's posts about Chinese lasers are VERY interesting given our repair costs.

I think my 60W tube is on its way out. Probably cheaper to buy a whole new Chinese machine than replace it :mad:

Joe Pelonio
06-04-2011, 5:46 PM
Unfortunately the diagnostic error messages are not all that diagnostic. Probably a tech could figure it out in no time with the machine in hand, but it's hard for us to do by phone so we end up throwing parts at it. Is there not limit switches that can go bad on it, makes it stop and go back at the front and back?

Good luck.

Mike Null
06-05-2011, 8:52 AM

I can only guess but I think you're on to the solution yourself. Is there a way in your driver that you can reset you 0 0 position. If your 00 is off then it's possible that it can cause the problem you're having.

Have you attempted to reinstall your driver?

Rangarajan Saravana kumar
06-09-2011, 5:00 AM
Did you have seen any changes in Home position values in youir setting ?

greg lindsey
06-09-2011, 11:43 AM
Sometimes it's the simpilest things that are the problem. Not saying that is your case, but in mine it was the air assit nossel that was pointed out too far and and keeping the machine from going all the way home to reset itself. It was throwing up all kinds of error messages and it would not lock the axis motors, this kept the control board from working as well. After several long hours of trying to figure out the problem, I was finally able to get through to tech support and they figured it out fairly quick. I never saw it, felt pretty stupid afterwards.

Steve Clarkson
06-29-2011, 8:14 PM
Thought I would give you an update on my issue.....

Feels like it's been a month since I've been able to use my laser....or atleast since it has worked well.....but (cross my fingers), I think I may have it running at 100% again.

It was an installer error for why the new motherboard, Y-axis motor, Y-flex cable and X-Y circuit board didn't solve my last problem.....so after re-installing the Y-axis motor, I was up and running again.....temporarily. A few days ago, the laser quit in the middle of engraving a $40 piece of wood (yep.....ruined it) and gave me an X-axis error. Turns out that I think it was related the unresolved (0,0) position problem I was having. Here is a picture of what was happening.....it was engraving crooked. Tech support thought it was a crooked iBeam (that it had jumped a tooth on one of the belts), so they had me manually pushing the iBeam back and forth to try to straighten it (that was painful......I felt like I was trashing my laser!). After that didn't work, I had to remove and reinstall the two belts on the right and left side in order to get it perfectly straight......this was a very frustrating experience but very informative. So after straightening the iBeam out, my laser started engraving randomly all over the table.......it even engraved PAST my rulers, which I didn't think was possible! So tech support sent me a new X-axis motor, a white flex cable and a new encoder strip. Finally, after installing all those parts and then resetting the laser's X-axis and Y-axis......I think everything has FINALLY been resolved. It's been a long and frustrating month, but Epilog Tech Support was great and in the end got everything resolved. I certainy learned alot about my laser throughout this experience too.

Now I need to go out and get some business to pay for all these new parts (I swear, I must have a completely new laser now!) and hope that my tube doesn't die......


Larry Bratton
06-29-2011, 9:52 PM
Glad to see you have it fixed. Mind telling us what the $ damages were?

Steve Clarkson
06-29-2011, 11:50 PM
I jinxed myself......my laser crashed again tonight.......slamming the head from left to right two times in a row. Usually, that's a sign of an encoder strip problem.......but I just replaced it. Larry......when it's all said and done, I'll total it up for you.

John Noell
06-30-2011, 1:29 AM
Steve, are you using the 32 bit or 64 bit driver?

Steve Clarkson
07-01-2011, 2:25 AM
The new 64 bit driver.

John Noell
07-01-2011, 4:22 PM
I ask because one of the problems I had with the 64 bit driver was the head slamming from left to right. I had a number of spooky weird things happen with the 64 bit driver. Replacing the motherboard ($$$) per Epilog tech support did not help. Switching back to a 32 bit system fixed everything (except the holes in my pocket frm lost work and the cost of a new motherboard). Have you tried running the laser from a 32 bit system to see if you get all the same problems?

Mark Ross
07-01-2011, 4:39 PM
Don't know if it is still the case with the current drivers, but if you had a job that was raster only and you accidentally chose combined, after it finished the raster, our 36EXT would slam to the upper right REAL hard.

Sterling Wong
08-14-2011, 6:52 PM
I had the the head slamming to the left or right a few times, I changed the reader on the encoder strip and it fixed it.

I've gotten the Error messages whenever the air assist wires got stuck on far right side also, you need to glue or stick something to keep the wires from cramping up and sticking out of the cover.

Craig Matheny
08-14-2011, 7:29 PM
Steve I know this is most likely been done but did you do a good cleaning on the sensor for the encoder strip? I had this issue 2 years ago but it turned out to be a mother board that they sent me was bad. Rmrber the parts you get that are boards are rebuilds not new that is why we send them back the motors we keep so just because yo got a new board does not mean they didn't miss something

Martin Boekers
08-14-2011, 8:05 PM
Steve, did you do the X Axis reset yourself? What I mean did Epilog Tech support help you with it
or was this something you wanted to try?

I had issues a while back and I was told from a tech at Epilog that I should do this whenever I cleaned an
encoder strip, change a the "white strip" or the X Axis motor. I clean the encoder fairly frequently so I did
this a handful of times and evidently created some problems. I called Epilog on it and talked with Brian or Ian
(both are aces with tech support) and was told not to ever do that. There is a setting you need to check
after you run the X Axis calibrate to make sure it doesn't go out of range or you will blow a mother board.
They replaced the motherboard at their expense and has been working fine since. I am having trouble
with a second laser as it has been stopping in a middle of a job too. They sent a X Axis motor out Friday but
haven't had a chance install it yet. Been lucky that it hasn't damaged too much product but it does get
frustrating. I have 3 computers networked to both lasers and will run XP as long as I can! ;-)

The X motor was just under $500 but no core charge anymore. I keep both lasers pretty busy and haven't
had much down time through the years. The one I'm having issues with now is about 8 years old so I may be
looking to upgrade in the next year.

Good luck I know how frustrating it is, and when down it does cost $$$

Steve Clarkson
08-15-2011, 10:43 PM
I'm finally back up and running again.

I think the ultimate problem was the x-axis rail......the long thin silver piece that the laser head rides on that goes the length of the x-axis beam.

I wonder if I can get my old motherboard back..........

It's been a very expensive and frustrating couple of weeks.

AL Ursich
08-15-2011, 11:28 PM
This is a Wild AL Guess.... WAG.... How are you driving this? I would delete the driver and reload it... If the problem still happened I would get a new data cable.... It just reminds me of some of the problems I saw on a Plotter Forum with just crazy stuff wrong... Corrupt instructions via the interface... You have changed all the Obvious stuff.... Time to think outside the box..

Al who just wishes I had a Laser like YOU have..... 20 Whopping Watts....