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Thread: Epilog Radius?

  1. #1

    Epilog Radius?

    Found an Epilog Radius, supposed to be 35W, runs.
    Not an ideal machine, size is good, wattage is marginal.
    This is for hobby use and daughter doing some light "work".

    For 1200-1500 I figure it could get us a machine to figure out what (if anything)we want.

    Anything I should be aware of??

    Nick

  2. #2
    Well, picked it up. $1200, the seller was very nce and ran some files on it, the tube appears to have good strength, though I have no way to measure it.
    It vector cuts and etches great, but I bought it knowing there is an issue with raster etching.

    The thing is a tank.

    KIMG0666.jpg

  3. #3
    So on to the problem.
    It vector cuts fine, straight, circles, etc. The Tube appears to have plenty of power.
    He was up front and said it developed a problem when etching in raster.
    Below are the results of raster etching 2 black squares.
    The 1st is at a higher speed, the 2nd he slowed it down.
    At 1st I thought maybe an issue with the carriage or steppers/servos?
    But after slowing it down it still has issues, but NO issues in vector circles.
    Thinking this may be a main board or driver issue?? he said it just appear occasionally then all the time, which sounds more mechanical?

    KIMG0661.jpg

    KIMG0663.jpg

  4. #4
    So, I need to pick up a dedicated computer for this,,
    On Epilogs web site: On the spec page for the Radius, it says win 95/98
    On the driver download page it says Win 95/98,,, then XP/7 32 bit.

    Will a 32 bit win 7 machine run this engraver?

    Also, I can not find a data tag (Model/ser #) anywhere on this machine.

    Nick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sammamish, WA
    Posts
    7,630
    Another issue is that the interface is parallel printer port, not many computers still have one of those. I don’t know for sure but based on my older Legend 24tt I wouldn’t expect it to work with anything above XP. As for the engraving problem, look at the encoder strip under the rail cover. If it’s like my Legend, that needs to be cleaned with a cotton swab and alcohol, or may need replacing (mine was just $13 from Epilog last year). If you call them Epilog is pretty good about helping diagnose problems even on old used machines, the only question is whether they still have the parts.



    Sammamish, WA

    Epilog Legend 24TT 45W, had a sign business for 17 years, now just doing laser work on the side.

    "One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop." G. Weilacher

    "The handyman's secret weapon - Duct Tape" R. Green

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Suwanee, GA
    Posts
    3,686
    Joe is right on the money with the encoder strip needing cleaning. My GCC had encoders on the stepper shaft and when they got dirty they would do exactly what yours is doing. The fact that he said it progressively got worse confirms that - he probably cut a lot of wood or something the produced a lot of smoke, and the encoder just got worse and worse. Clean it up and you'll probably solve the problem!

  7. #7
    since I've owned Gary's encoder-stripped GCC for a few years now, I agree with the encoder problem! I had engraving 'walking', not to the extent of your Epy but bad enough-
    here's the encoder disc & pickup still on the servo-
    be2.jpg

    and a close-up,
    be4.jpg
    -pretty grungy- the encoder reads the hash marks, but doesn't do so well reading the crud IN the hash marks!

    After cleaning, the hash marks are nearly invisible to the naked eye-
    be6.jpg
    as you can see, it's only about 1/2-dollar size, that's a lot of hash marks!

    --yours works essentially the same except instead of a disk, your machine uses a long strip along the X gantry...

    As to running the machine, there's still plenty of Win7 machines with parallel and serial ports, and as long as they have a driver that says it'll work with win7 you should have no problem. Or, if it's going to be a dedicated computer, think about picking up an XP computer. One thing I've found about XP's, with a fresh install, kept off the internet and with absolutely NO updates or service packs installed, they are blazingly fast machines. How many programs will load and work on them, that I don't know!

    The LS100 laser I just got last October, because it's driver isn't compatible with my LS900's driver, I run it from a Dell Optiplex 760 that came with Vista but now runs XP pro, and it runs faster than any of my win7 machines, even my win7 64 Enterprise that should stomp the XP, but doesn't...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  8. #8
    This machine is very dirty, taking it down and cleaning now.
    It does not have an encoder strip on the X or two Y rails, they must have encoder discs on the steppers/servos,, Are they steppers or servos?

    On Epilogs web site, On the "driver page" just for the radius it has a driver for "XP/2000/Vista/7,, 32 bit only" and a driver for "95/98/ME"
    I will call Epilog support and verify that the machine will work with a Win7 machine with Par port.

    I found refurbished Dell Optiplex 780 core 2 duo 3000 160G HD, 4096mb ram,, with keyboard, mouse, 19" LCD display (and showing a Par port in the picture of the machine) for $114 shipped,, as soon as I confirm with Epilog I will order one.
    Only issue is if I keep this off line and strictly as a engraver driver,, I will need to use an older version of AI on it. Will an AI file from newer versions of AI be backwards compatible?

    Hoping when all said and done, I will have an up and running 24x18, 30w US built system for under 1500.00 incl computer and exhaust.

    Dumb question,,, Why do people get rid of these older machines, they are tanks. Even if you have to regas/repair the laser, all new belts/bearings/steppers/optics,, You could rebuild one for around 4K,, cheaper than 18K for a new one?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    SE South Dakota
    Posts
    1,515
    Also check the contrast reader the encoder strip runs in. I have had my get fuzz balls in there.

    Bruce
    Epilog TT 35W, 2 LMI SE225CV's
    CorelDraw 4 through 11
    CarveWright
    paper and pencils

  10. #10
    Definitely no encoder strips on the rails, there is also no encoder disc on the servo/stepper, unless it is internal, built into the motor.
    I did get a box of parts, including the old "X" Belt and motor. I thought he said they were replaced, by his partner, not an Epilog tech.

    here is a picture of the carriage and a picture of the spare X motor.

    It may be just me, but manually pushing the lens assembly on the X rail, it does feel like it slightly binds here and there, not always in the same spot.

    I will finish cleaning it, and may remove the X motor, small belt, and carriage belt. see if the lens rolls smoothly, then re-assemble 1 piece at a time to see if any component binds.

    Then I will have to wait till the drive win7 computer arrives and run it through it's paces.

    Nick

  11. #11

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
    Posts
    4,261
    You could run a windows XP in virtual mode or maybe load the drivers through the xp compatibility mode.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Sammamish, WA
    Posts
    7,630
    That’s ribbon cable running across the x axis can also do this, try reversing it (only uses a few of the wires). If that fixes it, order a new one. You do have an encoder strip, perhaps it’s under a cover? I found a post by Peck Sedona who used to be the Epilog tech from 2006 in which someone with a Radius complained of your problem. He had the guy clean the encoder strip and that fixed it. He also said to use soap and water, though I haven’t had any problems using alcohol.



    Sammamish, WA

    Epilog Legend 24TT 45W, had a sign business for 17 years, now just doing laser work on the side.

    "One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop." G. Weilacher

    "The handyman's secret weapon - Duct Tape" R. Green

  14. #14
    Joe,
    Do you have a link to that thread?
    There is definitely no encoder strip on the X axis bar. There are no wires at all running to the lens or anything else moving up and down the X axis bar.
    The ribbon cable on the left side y axis does control the X axis motor.

    There is an enclosed optical encoder on the back of the X motor, it is non serviceable.

    Nick

  15. #15
    YOU HAVE A DISC encoder like mine, it's under the black plastic cover on your servo-stepper, the black cover is to keep the dirt out- ha ha...

    The XP-Vista-7 driver should work, just make sure they're 32bit versions-

    The binding you feel is kinda normal for servo motors, but may be guck on the rails that you'll hopefully get clean-

    Why do people get rid of the 'tanks'? Usually lack of electronics parts availability...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


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