View Full Version : Pinnacle M-25 and a newbie

David Harvey
06-05-2004, 8:09 AM
I'm a newbie here ...and to laser printers:rolleyes: but do plan on getting in on the game very soon as I find this technology extremely fascinating and rewarding.
I need some advice though and hopefully someone here can chime in and help me out.
I've been researching the laser printer options out there and really like the EpilogMini, but am also looking seriously at the Pinnacle M-25 system and will most likely choose the M-25 due to it's much larger work area.
Having a lot of experience with computers, I'm a little concerned about the lack of a USB or Network connection to the M-25. All that is offered in this unit is LPT (parallel) and RS-232 (serial) hookup to a PC and the amount of time it could take to send a job to the printer could be overwhelming, especially when doing raster engraving. Among many other engraving tasks, photo engraving is one I would do frequently and I'm worried that the time spent 'waiting' for the job to be sent to the printer might be overwhelming. Not to mention that the lack of USB or Networking raises a flag of caution of 'outdated' technology straight ahead.

Also, the M-25 printer weighs in at 450 lbs.:eek: Why does it weigh so much?...compared to similar brands.

Lastly, does anyone here have the M-25, and if so how does it perform for you?

Thanks so much to any and all that can help.

Mark Dickens
06-05-2004, 9:36 AM
Hi, David. I'm new to this forum, but thought I would contribute a couple of thoughts on your question.

First, as regards the network connection, you can buy small print server boxes (see http://www.linksys.com/products/product.asp?grid=34&scid=32&prid=436 for example) which allow you to network your printer or laser. I wouldn't let the networking issue scare you away from or toward any laser.

Second, it appears to me that you may be comparing apples to oranges by comparing the Epilog Mini to the M-25. We just went through a 3-4 week investigation process of lasers, which resulted in buying an Epilog 24TT. Just looking quickly at the specs for the M-25, a better comparison might be the 24TT. Talk to one of their distributors. We were able to get a really nice package from our distributor, which was over $3,000 less than the bid from Universal.

Good luck!

Tyler Howell
06-05-2004, 10:33 AM
Welcome to the Creek Dave. Great bunch of folks.:rolleyes:


Ken Fitzgerald
06-05-2004, 1:12 PM
Wecome Dave!

David Harvey
06-08-2004, 8:43 PM
Thanks for the welcome Mark, Tyler and Ken! Great to be here.

Well, I'm starting to lean towards the Epilog 24-TT...or maybe the EpilogMini. It's a matter of budget more than capabilities between the two that I'm comparing. I will be seeing a demo of the 24TT this weekend and if all goes well, I plan on a purchase within 2 weeks or so.
Thanks for the link to the fix for the hookup to the network. I was aware of these devices, but my main concern was sending so much data over a serial network...this can be painstakingly slow. The weakest link in the chain is where the break occurs and the serial/lpt1 is only capable of a fraction of the speed of what a 100 mbs network is.

In investigating further, I'm starting to get real impressed with the Epilog...not just because they have the Network capability, but it seems they have a ton of support to offer both on and off the internet....and I like 100lbs versus 450lbs. too.

Time will tell....will let you know how it goes.
Thanks again!

Mark Dickens
06-09-2004, 8:46 PM
I'm not sure about all of the different lasers, but the way the Epilog and Universal lasers work is that of a printer...ie-you "print" to the laser, thus the parallel connection. My understanding is that the Epilog Ethernet connection is an interface to the internal parallel port. Perhaps a more knowledgeable person can confirm this, but I believe that all Epilog has done is internalize the same kind of "print server" as the Linksys box. I know that the network connection for Universal is like this. In other words, you're going to be limited to parallel speeds, but those aren't too bad!

David Harvey
06-14-2004, 7:30 PM

I'm right on the edge of ordering a 24TT 40w system. Can you tell me how your unit is performing? How does it do at engraving photo's and have you used the PhotoGrav software?

Keith Outten
06-15-2004, 6:53 AM

Serial and parrallel connections to a Laser Engraver are painfully slow and in my opinion useless. I tried using the parrallel port on my Epilog Lengend 24 when I first installed it and it took up to 20 minutes to transfer large photos and raster files. The same files transfered over the network connection were completed in 20 seconds or less.

Mark Dickens
06-15-2004, 7:17 PM
David, sorry it took so long to reply. We don't have our machine yet. It will ship next week, so I can't give first hand info yet. Keith's information was very useful though, because I was told that all the Ethernet connection did was connect to the internal parallel port. I'm very glad to hear that this information is apparently false.

As for the photography, our plan is to try using the tools we currently have (PhotoShop CS, Illustrator CS and Corel 12 Suite) before we invest additional money in Photograv. We do subsurface laser engraving of crystal already and use Photoshop extensively in that part of the business, so we're hoping that our knowledge is transferrable. If not, we'll invest in Photograv because we need to achieve consistency and speed in preparation.

Keith, does the Epilog system multitask so that you could upload a job or jobs while it's engraving, or is this a serial process?



Keith Outten
06-15-2004, 8:29 PM

My Epilog machine has a 10mbps ethernet port, the newer machines may be using 100mbps.

You bet! You can upload files while the machine is engraving, up to the limit of the ram that is installed.

David Harvey
06-23-2004, 6:54 AM
Well, I did it! Ordered the 40w 24TT w/PhotoGrav and it's supposed to be delivered on June 29th. I'm going all out here and have contracted construction of a new 24 x 34 workshop for the back yard to put it in. Unfortunately, it won't be built until the end of July....if all goes well with weather etc.

In the meantime, the 24TT will get setup in the garage with the wife's procelain doll craft stuff...very crowded :confused: after which, all will get moved to the new facilities when it is completed.

Plenty of time for testing and learning until then.

Wish me luck!


George M. Perzel
07-11-2004, 10:52 AM
Hi Dave;
i just joined the forum and saw your query. Understand you committed and bought a unit - good luck, I'm sure you'll enjoy it immensely.

Regarding data transfer, I have a Laserpro Mercury unit-same as the Pinnacle, both made by GCC. Unit use an LPT port for data transfer and has 16MB buffer. I have never waited more than 15 secs for a job to load- and that's including high data photos. To simplify connectivity to a new computer, I recently bought a USB to Lpt converter-about $30-data speed is same.
I also have the Laser connected on a Home ethernet with 3 other "printer" and 3 other computers-works fine from any source.
Also , unit weighs a lot because it's built like a tank. I've had it a year and made choice over Epilog and Universal units based on best price deal with options (extra lens, rotary unit, 3 year warranty, ). Quite frankly, I saw demos of all 3 units and performance was about the same- can't really tell unless you run same jobs on all three)- liked the ability to position the head by hand on the LaserPro-saves lots of time.
Best of Luck

Mark Dickens
07-11-2004, 4:46 PM
Just an update. We received our Epilog 24TT 45W last week and are so far very happy with it. Our primary mission for the machine will be portraits on black marble and wood, but I've already had some fun playing with acrylic and engraving some cheap pens we have laying around. We have been able to prep the portraits for marble without having to resort to Photograv, but I am already seeing how it would be a help in dealing with all of the other substrates out there. I've attached a picture of one of our early efforts. The laser has performed flawlessly so far. I'm looking forward to making some money with it!