View Full Version : Pinnacle/Mercury USB

Tom Majewski
05-23-2006, 1:19 AM
Anyone have tips on how to get the computer and laser to talk ? I have a new laptop and a new desktop without printer ports - only usb. I have the USB to Serial adapter that Pinnacle suggests, but it wont work. I re-installed it and re-configured it till the cows came home. Tech support must have been too busy to take my call today.


Dave Jones
05-23-2006, 10:34 AM
I don't know your laser, but have used a few USB to serial adapters. They usually have configurable port numbers. Either using their own software, or in the Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Hardware > Hardware Manager.

You may need to set it to be COM1 or COM2 for their software to recognize it. (just a guess)

Kevin Huffman
05-23-2006, 10:50 AM
Hello Tom,
To get the USB to serial adapter to work it has to be a USB to 25pin serial adapter. I can not be a USB to 9 pin with a 9 pin to 25 pin adapter.
The USB to serial adapter has to set up a virtual COM port. COM1, COM2 or COM9000 it doesn't matter. If it doesn't, it isn't going to work.
Once the usb to serial adapter is installed you will need to go into your Device Manager and see what the port is named. Usually it is COM4, double click on it and set the port settings to 57,600, 8, none, 1, none. It has match the settings that are on your laser, those settings are the default settings.
Once finished, click ok. Then go into your printer folder and point the driver to that COM port that is listed in the Device Manager.
If you follow those settings and it doesn't work then it isn't going to work.

Tom Majewski
05-23-2006, 9:31 PM
Got it working !!

I gave up on the USB adapter. Sign Warehouse sold me a 9pin to USB WITH my laser and assured me it would work. I went out and bought a $25 printer/comm port board for my computer.

Ahh, the smell of burnt wood.....

Now I'm full of questions about Laser Master 2.


Jerry Allen
05-24-2006, 4:09 PM
Tiger direct has a USB to parallel for <$20. It should work.

Jerry Allen
11-15-2006, 3:22 PM
Got a new laptop for the laser. It has no parallel or serial ports.
I bought a USB to parallel at Tiger for about $15. It didn't work.
Most don't and only work with inkjet printers, etc.
Then I got a USB to 9 pin serial with a db9to db25 pin adapter and it still didn't work.
Then I found out it needs a null modem adapter so I built a db9 to db25 pin null adapter and my USB to serial adapter now works great.
Yours will work too.
Total cost $10 since I had the connectors.

Mike Hood
11-15-2006, 10:20 PM
What size Mercury did you get Tom? I bought a 40W ZX a few months ago and love it!

Shoot me an email if there's anything I can help ya with.

Tom Majewski
11-16-2006, 11:04 AM
Hi Mike,
I got the 40W M. I couldn't be more pleased with it so far
I gave up with the USB adaptor, and just use the dedicated computer next to the laser. I do most of my designing on the laptop and use a thumbdrive to transfer it to the other computer. Maybe I'll try Jerry's tip about the null cable since I have a bunch of 9pin connertors anyway.

I do have to align the mirrors because I'm not getting perpendicular cuts - I noticed it on 1/4" and 3/8" stock. The Pinnacle on-line alignment video looks like a simple task.

Mike Null
11-16-2006, 12:48 PM

Before you adjust your mirrors why not try to refocus on the thicker stock. Keep in mind that the laser beam looks a little like an hour glass with the thinnest part being the focal point. If you focus down into the job a little it will minimize the bevel. That bevel is probably the natural kerf of the laser.

Jerry Allen
11-16-2006, 4:40 PM
You can get a db25 M-F (or db 9 M-F) null adapter all over the net. However, if you wire per the diagram, I can affirm that it's the correct wiring since it is possible some companies mess with the pinout to save a dime. Mine is working great.
I ordered a Belkin 25 pin M-F just to see what happens. $3.95 at NewEgg. I'll still need to use a 9-25 adapter, so will probably stick with my homemade adapter which is pretty short, shielded, and doesn't need another adapter. Just make sure you buzz it out and do good soldering and insulating.

I have adjusted my Merc a couple of times. It's not hard and the results are noticeable. Still cannot get rid of the slant completely. It seems to be a little worse in the Y direction.

Tom Majewski
11-16-2006, 5:52 PM
You know what's funny... I spent 20 years as a NASA electronics tech and instructor. I used to see connectors in my sleep. Now at home I have the most disorganized shop ever. Most times I'd rather buy it than make it because it takes me half a day just to find the parts.
I really have to do some serious cleaning.


Jerry Allen
11-16-2006, 7:46 PM
Me too; need serious organization. I worked at TRW Space Div., Cable and Harness Engineering.
I just happened to have the parts floating near the top of the pile.
I'm glad to say I no longer see connectors and hardware in my sleep.
I assume that most any commercial null adapter should work.

Jerry Allen
12-02-2006, 7:15 PM
The Belkin db25 pin null modem adapter (pn/n F4A602, $3.95), works fine. To use it with my 9pin to USB adapter I need the null adapter and a db9 to db25 pin adapter.
Pro: all screws together for disconnection safety.
Con: sticks out about 5 inches for the interface on the laser.

I prefer the one I made. It doesn't stick out very far because it's flexible. However, I have to use a rubberband at one interface for a safety anti-disconnect. I could probably rig up the proper screws and nuts, but I probably won't.

Anyway, there are a couple of options for those that update to a computer with no parallel port.

Jeff Chumbley
12-02-2006, 9:13 PM
If you have a network with a router wired or wireless, connect your laser to the router, or a hub to the router depending on your network layout, and then assign your laser a static ip address and then send jobs from both of your computers via wired or wireless.

Jerry Allen
12-04-2006, 6:02 PM
That would be great Jeff, and we would probably have done that, but Mercuries only have parallel and serial interfaces.

Alan Young
12-06-2006, 4:30 PM
Since we are talking about connections has any body tried an external jet direct box to do network engraving. Just wondering if they will work. Sorry if this should be another topic