View Full Version : Pinnacle M series deal?

Tim Baude
06-28-2007, 12:40 PM
I am starting a business and am looking at the Pinnacle M and Epilog. I was just offered the Pinnacle M 30 watt for 13k including Air assist, blower, cutting table, software and rotary attachment. The bed is 25 x 18...The epilog helix with the 24 x 18 bed and 35 watts is 17995 without many of the extras.....I would have purchase a blower, software, and rotary. Both have 2 yr warranties and 1 day shipping on parts. The 13 k is good for less than a week then it will be 14 k for the package. Is the savings worth it? I appreciate anyone and everyone who can help.
Tim Baude

Brian Robison
06-28-2007, 1:12 PM
Blowers are cheap at Harbor Freight, rotary attachments are fairly high, about 1K. What software is included?

Joe Pelonio
06-28-2007, 1:38 PM
Are you sure you need the rotary attachment? I have never had but one person ask for something I couldn't do without it in 3 years now. If you deduct that amount the Epilog comes out closer. Does the Pinnacle have a vacuum table like the Helix? If not there would be no question for me, get the Epilog.

Mike Null
06-28-2007, 2:28 PM
In 9 years I may have lost 2 jobs because I didn't have a rotary attachment. I love tools but there is a limit.

Rodne Gold
06-28-2007, 3:20 PM
AFAIK all the gcc machines come with rotary attachments std?
But at any rate , the deal might look sweet but the M series machines are pretty long in the tooth. They are reliable workhorses but the newer GCC machines , the Spirits are a lot better in terms of speed and utlility and do have a slight edge on engraving and cutting quality. They have some real useful features that the M series doesnt have,
So if you were going GCC (laserpro/pinncale/whatever) go for the spirit , its thruput is about 1.5-2x the M series. That alone justifies any price increase.
You might then find you are comparing price wise with other brands
My advice - buy from a co near you with a spotless reputation and buy something with a decent warrantee on the tube. I personaly wouldnt consider buying a machine without at least an 18 month bumper to bumper warrantee. You want instant tech support and very fast parts turnaround.

Tim Baude
06-28-2007, 4:18 PM
I just want to say thanks for all the information so far. I don't believe it has a vacuum table. As far as the software it is a package of graphics as well as a job estimator. From what I seem to be hearing is spend a little more for the epilog. I have heard many good thing about the Epilog, but it seems like it is 4k more, but more power. I have a friend that swears by Epilog and wouldn't buy anthing else.....I will keep welcoming suggestions. I have also asked for a price without the software, rotary and such. How much of difference in price makes this deal worth it would you say in your opinions?
Thanks again
Tim Baude

Kim Vellore
06-28-2007, 7:28 PM
A note on the power. Epilog uses a 40 watt laser tube but sells them as 45 Watts, I asked the tec. about it and he told me they measure the actual output which comes around 45 Watts. So I do not know how other manufacturers describe the power ratings on their machines, is it the actual power of the tube installed or what is measured at the output which will be ~5Watts higher? So you might have a 30Watt tube on a 35Watt machine. Kim

Mike Null
06-28-2007, 8:00 PM

In my experience tubes are actually slightly higher in output than advertised. The last thing these companies need is to advertise a 30 watt and have the customer find that it is only 25.

I tend to think that there's a little by guess and by golly when it comes to the output power of tubes otherwise they would be right on.

Both of my machines have been higher than rated.


I think Rodne brings up a good point--that Pinnacle may be old technology. I think it merits comparing everything about the machines you're considering.

Nigel Morgan
06-28-2007, 8:01 PM
I have a 45W and was told it is rated at 48W, but it only lasted 6 months, must now only output 25W I guess.

Joe Pelonio
06-28-2007, 8:09 PM
Epilog told me that their tubes will be at least as high as rated. I can tell you that while the first two tubes cut 1/4" acrylic at speed 6, the latest one will cut it at speed 8.

Nigel, last time mine went out it ended up with only 10 watts when they tested it, and when it started to go every job it got worse over just a few days.

Nigel Morgan
06-28-2007, 9:12 PM
Hi Joe,

I am down on 8% speed on 1/8" acrylic, and after running for a while it seems to get worse. I have to cut 6mm MDF with 2 passes at 3%. I know the tube needs replacing, just cant justify having to do this every 6 months or so, have had a bad run of luck with the Laser.

Tim Baude
06-28-2007, 9:27 PM
Pinnacle now offering me the 30 watt at 10995 and the 40 watt at 14995 without the extras.....straight up machine. About 4k less than epilog, but I am still skeptical.

Mike Null
06-28-2007, 9:41 PM
So what does that make you think of this?

The 13 k is good for less than a week then it will be 14 k for the package.

Gary Shoemake
06-28-2007, 10:16 PM
I have a pinnicle M series and have found it to be a workhorse. It is a very dependable machine and I have found that the warranty and tech support to be excellant. You can hear different opinions based on various experiences. I use the rotary maybe 4 times a month, I engrave wine bottles for a couple of local vineyards. Speed it's not the fastest as Rodney has said it is an older model, but still supported. Whichever way you go best of luck.

Barb Macdonald
06-28-2007, 10:23 PM
Hi Joe,

I am down on 8% speed on 1/8" acrylic, and after running for a while it seems to get worse. I have to cut 6mm MDF with 2 passes at 3%. I know the tube needs replacing, just cant justify having to do this every 6 months or so, have had a bad run of luck with the Laser.

I'm a newby, with an almost year old 60watt Epilog Legend EXT, The power/speed settings for my machine for 1/8" acrylic are 100/15, with 5000 frequency. Am I missing something? I just vectored out a bunch of 0.25" thick acrylic letters at 100/6, same freq.
This is according to the "Manual", which of course, tells you a great deal, but teaches you not too much.
Anyway, just wondering, why do you think that's so slow? I'm used to the settings I was given, so am I missing something here?
Also, fyi, when I'd had the machine about six months, and had already had a few technical issues fixed (and some issues because of operator error), I was running a raster/vector job in acrylic, and the power just faded away. I wasted a lot of time cleaning the encoder strip, and the mirrors and the lenses and the rails, as epilog wasn't sure that I was reporting my problems accurately.. I took several really crappy digital pictures, that seemed to confuse them more. Hard to take a picture of a job inside the machine, in clear acrylic. Then they replaced the tube, and the "periscope", which may be the same thing as an RF unit, if not, that was replaced too. Problem solved, and the issues haven't returned (yet, I don't have that much work for the beast, doing my best to wear stuff out on warranty)
So, if you have a 45watt unit, shouldn't your settings be similar to mine?
Just curious, I am.
I have learned a lot from this site, incredible the amount of information so freely and generously given.
Best of luck

epilog legendext 60watt, two xenetechs, mimaki plotter, lots and lots of excellent suppliers, and (thank goodness) some very loyal customers! No partridges in pear trees yet, though;)

Nigel Morgan
06-28-2007, 11:17 PM
Hi Barb,

I also used to use the settings as per the book and my original notes but have to slow everything down now, in fact at 8% on 1/8 acrylic I have to snap the pieces out, all my speeds are down, for many Months now, cutting card, paua shell. you name it, I also have to raster slower with more power to get a decent depth in wood for the paua shell inlay.



Rodne Gold
06-29-2007, 12:00 AM
11 grand for a 30w Mercury is a very very good price. If I could get em here in South Africa for that , I would buy a few.

Kim Vellore
06-29-2007, 12:21 AM
[quote=Mike Null;612080]Kim

In my experience tubes are actually slightly higher in output than advertised. The last thing these companies need is to advertise a 30 watt and have the customer find that it is only 25.

When I pulled my laser tube for replacement it was a 40W tube as per the manufacturers spec. The tube I received for replacement was also the same model tube but the max output that was measured by Epilog was ~47W . Atleast I know the Epilog legend 24TT 45 Watt uses a 40 Watt tube.

This is the tube that is used in the 45W 24tt, they replace some of the mechanical parts like the heat sink but the model number is the same.

So I suspect they do the same in all of the other models too. Not sure if the other laser manufacturers do the same. This would be interesting to know.


Mike Null
06-29-2007, 7:18 AM

Very interesting. On both of my machines the opposite was true, in fact my 25w ULS came in at 31.5w.

James Stokes
06-29-2007, 9:29 AM
At one time I looked at a Trotec Speedy. The salesman told me that they use the exact same tube for a 30 & 35 watt, 40 & 45 watt and so on. He told me that if I bought a 40 watt machine I would get exactly the same machine as the 45 watt for a few thousand less.

Jim Watkins
06-29-2007, 10:48 AM
Good morning,
I just recently joined the group and I too looked at Pinnicle as well as the Epilog.

I chose the Epilog for several reasons...

one, the distributer is close to me here in So Cal. so I can go by any time to talk to them.

two, the people at Cutting Edge were going to offer me Tech Support even if I bought a used unit from one of their other customers. (Big for me)

three, they offered me a deal on one of their demo units and have provided me with all I needed. I spent more than I wanted to , but like what I have.

One final seller, the Epilog is built here in the USA. Very inportant for me.

Hope this helps.

Rob Bosworth
06-29-2007, 11:13 AM
I have never run into a situation where the system's manufacture put in a laser that was rated at less than the rated machine. We handle ~ 60 machines per year, we are in our 12th year, and I have never seen a laser tube rated at 25 watts sold as a 30, or 40 as a 45 watt. Typically we see either new or refurbished lasers outputting better than 10% above the rated output power. I am also not going to say it has never been done, we just have not seen it.

Nigel, are you sure it the laser power that is decreasing as you run your machine. Could it be bad optics or alignment causing your problem? IF an optic is bad, or the system is out of alignment, the energy obsorbed by bad coatings or misalignment will build up heat. The warmer things get, the less effecient the optics get and the pointing stability of the beam delivery system gets worse. Heat causes a snowballing effect. To test to see if you have an alignment or optics problem, feel the back of all of your optics after running the system for a while. 10 minutes of full power should certainly heat up anything that is obsorbing energy.

Brian Robison
06-29-2007, 11:30 AM
I have a 25 watt and I cut 1/8 cast acrylic at 8% speed.
Did I just get lucky? I suppose 100% speed for the Mini isn't the same in inches per second that a Helix or a Legend would be.
BTW, I started setting my frequency along the lines of 10% speed 1000 htz., 20% speed 2000htz...........
On the 1/16" Rowmark I'm cutting at 13% speed.

Mike Mackenzie
06-29-2007, 12:08 PM
This is an interesting topic,

This is a quote from the laser tube supplier.

Coherent's DIAMOND C-Series CO2 lasers are the best power size ratio available in the market, based on a waveguide design assembled in an integrated package. The RF driver is mounted in the same housing as the laser head, resulting in a compact, robust system that can operate in the most demanding environments.

Delivering 30W, 40W, 55W or 70W output at 10.6 microns, the DIAMOND C-30, C-40, C-55 and the C-70 are available as either air-cooled or water-cooled units. The entire DIAMOND C-Series offers excellent power stability, a great mode and fast rise and fall times in a very compact size. Both DIAMOND C-30 & C-40, and DIAMOND C-55 & C-70 have the same length. Height and width is the same to the whole DIAMOND C-Series family, which simplifies integration design of the complete Coherent cw product series.

http://www.deoslaser.com/Lasers/index.cfm?fuseaction=show.page&id=699&loc=834 (http://www.deoslaser.com/Lasers/index.cfm?fuseaction=show.page&id=699&loc=834)

My point is why lead people to believe that they are buying a 45 watt or a 60 watt or a 75 watt or a 120 watt system even if the output power is what the system mfg states, Most people do not have a power meter to check it for themselves.

So are you paying more for the 45 watt versus say what the tube is sold as? (40 watt)

I think they should sell them as they get them 30, 40, 55,70, and 100 if you get extra power then thats a good thing at least when you have to change the tube out you will no for sure that the laser tube mfg rated power is what it is supposed to be or maybe even better.

Mike Hood
06-30-2007, 1:20 AM
I dunno what to be skeptical about. Mine's been a workhorse. I'm cutting 1/4" and 1/8" ply several hours a night, 6 nights a week and hasn't given me any problem. At $2.50/min and an virtually unlimited amount of work in the local UAV market, it's paying it's keep for sure. Also... I've only had one experience with Sign Warehouse warranty but it was great.

Great machines... great design.

Brian Robison
07-02-2007, 11:01 AM
What's UAV?

Mike Hood
07-02-2007, 10:07 PM
I love mine.

I have a 40W ZX (Explorer II) and it's been churning away almost everyday for around 8 months now.

I've been VERY satisfied with my experiences with Sign Warehouse and their sales and tech staff. Matter of fact I just ordered a complete dye sub system from them this afternoon.

Good folks and best price guaranteed.