View Full Version : New and bizarre issue

james burchfield
12-14-2011, 12:51 PM
I am having a strange problem:

first 2 pictures i am running some highway patrol coasters and it seems that the run blured and shifted left about an inch. To troubleshoot the issue restarted the laser, computer and resent the job.

The second picture is the result the vector cutout is where its suppose to be however the image is shifted over half an inch but came out clear. To troubleshoot i cleaned the decoder strip which fixed the offset issue

The 3rd and 4th pictures display the second issue which seems unrelated to the first issue appears to randomly shift.

any advice would be greatly appreciated.

edit: I have a epilog legend ext 70watt


George M. Perzel
12-14-2011, 1:21 PM
Hi james;
Would help a lot if we knew what kind of machine you have.
Best Regards,

Joe Hillmann
12-14-2011, 1:28 PM
I had similar problems that was caused by not enough tension on x axis belt. I probably could have fixed the problem just by re tightening it but replaced it since it had some signs of wear.

Martin Boekers
12-14-2011, 2:26 PM
I get that from time to time when the raster doesn't match the vector. Most of the time
it is a dirty gear on the X-Axis motor.

What I do is remove the X-Axis motor and (I use a push pin as it's easy to work with)
scrape the the gear on the motor to remove the debris. The debris will be noticable.
It's nice to have a can of air nearby when you do this.

Also not sure how old your machine is but Epilog had a revision and added a small fan
that fits over the motor. You may want to check with Epilog is yours doesn't have the revision.

George M. Perzel
12-14-2011, 3:20 PM
Sorry-can't read anymore
Best Regards,

Dan Hintz
12-14-2011, 3:24 PM
Dirty encoder strip, loose X-axis belt/pulley... the likely candidates.

Martin Boekers
12-14-2011, 6:17 PM
When you clean the encoder strip also clean the reader. You could have a hair in there floating around.

Michael Hunter
12-14-2011, 7:21 PM
The x-axis motor failed on mine and gave similar results to your photos.

The motor casing had filled up with carbon dust (from the brushes wearing) until there was not room for the armature to rotate smoothly.

Mark Ross
12-15-2011, 11:02 AM
If none of these work, also try this, we had an issue and it was this...on the pulleys themselves there are two set screws. Make sure BOTH of them are tight, if they are even slightly loose, even though the pulleys are keyed to the flat spot, they will still wiggle a bit. Our pulley set screws were loosening over time (about 18 months) so we tightened them all down and used loctite and we have not seen an issue since.

james burchfield
12-16-2011, 5:13 PM
I have spent the last few days on and off the form with Epilog tech support there sure it has to do with the encoder system so looks like ill need to order all 3 parts and figure out which is bad.

Epilog support had me clean the encoder strip and chipset, reverse the encoder ribbon cable, take apart and clean the belt assembly and motor. it seemed to work great for a day then this afternoon started up again.

ill check the screws on the pulleys next.

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your help this really is a great community.

Bruce Clumpner
12-17-2011, 1:44 AM
Along the same lines working on the x-axis arm, motor and encoding strip for an epilog... Have been getting the X/Y axis: X error for a while, talking with Epilog, they thought it was the X-motor so bought a new one. Didn't put it in right away as it stopped seizing.. That was 2 months ago, but it's back and failed miserably today. Replaced the motor and cleaned as much of the X-axiz hardware as I could. But still having problems and didn't start up. Yea it's after 5pm on a friday so no tech support until after the weekend, no joy!

Discovered that there was some resistance to the head carriage as it moved along the x-axis beam, even without the drive cable & air assist hose attached and think that's what is causing the seizure. I figured it could be grease & junk build-up behind the carriage, that or the bearings are bad and not holding things straight. To get at it, I disassembled almost the entire head carriage, took the mirror/lens off as well as the mounting bracket, but can't seem to figure out how to access the bearings on the carriage itself.

Anyone know how to disassemble the carriage to clean things up? Anyone go through a similar experience?



Michael Hunter
12-17-2011, 6:21 AM
The bearing can only be removed by sliding it off the end of the rail.
*** DO NOT DO THIS *** unless you have a new bearing ready to go on!
The ball bearings will fall out of the slider and there is no way to get them back in.
(New bearings come on a short length of rail, which has to be butted up to the main rail before sliding the bearing across).

To clean -
Slide the bearing to the middle of the rail.
Undo the zillion little screws holding the rail to the x-beam*.
Put cable ties through the holes either side of the bearing - this is so it can't slide off unexpectedly.
Now you can get at all the gunge that accumulates behind the bearing.
When replacing, it may pay to swap the rail end-to-end as the left-hand end gets 90% of the wear.

* Does anyone know the correct size Allen key for these screws? Purely by chance I have one, but my nice set of "American" sized bits does not.
I should like to buy a bit so that next time I can use my battery powered drill (with torque adjustment) to undo and do these up again.

Bruce Clumpner
12-17-2011, 10:55 AM

Once off the machine, and still on the rail, what do I expect to find? Can i get behind the bearing race at all? Do I just flood with solvent to clear out all the grease? I'll obviously need to re-pack them once cleaned, and good idea to swap ends on the rail. Any other advice?

Michael Hunter
12-17-2011, 12:13 PM

On mine there was gunge on the ends of the slider and quite a bit gone down behind (the back is similar to the front, but with a gap for the rail).
Whilst the rail is off you can see much better where to put the grease (I presume you have a syringe of grease from Epilog).
I didn't try to wash mine out, but did try to work new grease into it - easy to clean off the excess with the rail out.

I was doing mine to see what the bearing was - I had ordered a new bearing but when it arrived it was clearly too small (had been given duff info about what to order).
I'm hoping the man that lead me astray is going to swap the too small one for the correct item and then I have to do it all over again.