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Thread: Trotec Job Control 11 Worth It?

  1. #1
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    Trotec Job Control 11 Worth It?

    I have Trotec Job Control 10 (latest v10 version) but am unable to upgrade to 11 or Ruby without upgrading the motherboard of my Speedy 2/300 from serial only to USB/serial. The upgrade cost is $1900 plus a little of my own labor. I recently obtained a 2003 speedy 300 and it only has 2600hrs on it, a new tube, and itís in very nice condition; the machine seems to function perfectly short of a odd vibration every so often while under operation, minor vibration doesnít effect prints (still digging to find the root of that one. Itís not x, y, or z). The question is, is the $1900 motherboard upgrade worth the squeeze, which will allow JC 11 and/or Ruby, plus sonar and JC vision (if I wanted the bells and whistles)? The other options are leave it as it is on v10 or sell the current unit and upgrade to a more modern speedy unit. From research I cannot see the difference between a 2003 speedy 300 and a new one short of the USB, the iRadion tube vs Synrad, the ability to add flexx (non factor for me), and their new Optimotion technology (still not sure if this is software or hardware). It would be much appreciated to get some pointers on if JC11 is worth $1900 vs JC10 or a potential unit upgrade and any other ancillary benefits that could come with an upgrade vs a 2003 model. Thank you for your help!
    Last edited by Chase Williams; 11-14-2020 at 10:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Chase I also own a Trotec and consider it the BMW of lasers. Mine is probably one of the first units sold in the US and it still continues to produce at the levels I require. I would ask if you have done a needs analysis as to what your current configuration does or does not do that you consider a requirement. Do you need to print at 2540 DPI (4 pt type), Faster cutting speed (170 in/sec), Faster/More Accurate Job Cost Analysis.... What is your machines daily usage, how many jobs have you turned away due to inability to achieve required quality/production needs, Machine is 18 years old parts are at the end of life cycle production so replacement costs are factor, What Version of Windows are you running (win 10 was released in 2015- 2016) may be an issue.

    Just matters to consider.


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    Mark
    In the Great Northwest!

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  3. #3
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    We are just dabbling into laser engraving mostly for internal use, but depending on final internal use production time per week we might do some side work too. I believe this machine was just sitting in a warehouse for years until we bought it off a a gentleman selling it. The machine only had ~1400 laser hours and ~2400 on hours registering on JC. After rehabbing the machine myself (I enjoy that kind of stuff), I feel pretty confident that this machine is far from the end of its life, and when looking at even 2017 units, the majority if not all of the parts seem to be identical and Trotec hasn't seemed to have had issues when I ask for quotes for any replacement parts. Would it be possible for you to clarify on the benefits you listed, if those updates are solely software based or hardware or both? Ideally if this 2003 machine is in good working order and the "updates/improvements" from Trotec are mostly software instead of hardware than for $1900, I get majority of the benefits of a much much newer unit. I see my machine is rated at 140 IPS, I know Trotec promotes Optimotion which maybe the 170 IPS you mention on new machines but its so hard to tell what is software improvements vs hardware.

    We are using Windows 10 w/ a Tripp Lite Serial Converter, I have had absolutely no problems with the serial connection or any artifacts in the connection.

    Thank you very much for your input and am very curious to find out if many of the improvements are software vs hardware. $1900 maybe a bargain for the upgrades I may see if most of Trotec's improvements since 2003 have been software, especially since I would think it would enable me to get sonar or JC Vision, if i wanted those!
    Last edited by Chase Williams; 11-15-2020 at 3:59 PM.
    Chase
    Sharp Media Group, LLC

    Hardware: Trotec Speedy 300 w/ rotary, Shotbot 4x8 w/ rotary, Prusa I3 MK3S
    Software: Full Adobe Suite, CorelDRAW 2020, Aspire 9.5, Rhino 6, Job Control 10.7.1, Shopbot 3.8.50

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase Williams View Post
    I see my machine is rated at 140 IPS, I know Trotec promotes Optimotion which maybe the 170 IPS you mention on new machines but its so hard to tell what is software improvements vs hardware.

    We are using Windows 10 w/ a Tripp Lite Serial Converter, I have had absolutely no problems with the serial connection or any artifacts in the connection.
    The speed improvements are all hardware based. Faster stepper motors, etc. and would not be realized by replacing the controller card in your current machine.
    Unsure if your current controller in your machine allows Ethernet, but would be a huge preference over either Serial or USB in the long run. Ethernet allows for much faster and more reliable transfers. While I don't own a Trotec machine, I did have a lot of issues with my machines on USB before I moved everything over to Ethernet. Ethernet is way less prone to RF interference from things like fans, etc. and allows for longer cable runs, etc. Granted, I'm a network guy, so it was all second nature and easy for me, but it's not really that hard to configure.
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  5. #5
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    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your reply. Bummer on the motor upgrades but still 140 IPS is nothing to complain about. I wish Trotec had ethernet connections to their machines too but to my knowledge they do not across any of the Speedy series. The closest they get is having a dedicated computer that can share the printer via LAN, but a dedicated computer is required for that. I'm a big network guy too and find USB still to be a bummer as well, I really have no complaints about the serial connection short of the fact that its support ended with v10, otherwise I most likely would not be interested in the upgrade. The serial connection even allows the Trotec iOS app to function and and fourth with JC. The Trotec rep mentioned that there are new things coming soon, I would think ethernet would be one of them, especially considering the Ruby software they have in beta.
    Chase
    Sharp Media Group, LLC

    Hardware: Trotec Speedy 300 w/ rotary, Shotbot 4x8 w/ rotary, Prusa I3 MK3S
    Software: Full Adobe Suite, CorelDRAW 2020, Aspire 9.5, Rhino 6, Job Control 10.7.1, Shopbot 3.8.50

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase Williams View Post
    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for your reply. Bummer on the motor upgrades but still 140 IPS is nothing to complain about. I wish Trotec had ethernet connections to their machines too but to my knowledge they do not across any of the Speedy series. The closest they get is having a dedicated computer that can share the printer via LAN, but a dedicated computer is required for that. I'm a big network guy too and find USB still to be a bummer as well, I really have no complaints about the serial connection short of the fact that its support ended with v10, otherwise I most likely would not be interested in the upgrade. The serial connection even allows the Trotec iOS app to function and and fourth with JC. The Trotec rep mentioned that there are new things coming soon, I would think ethernet would be one of them, especially considering the Ruby software they have in beta.

    Interesting, I'd have swore that I'd seen Ethernet connections on Trotec machines, but admit that I never really looked that closely. Kind of hard to fathom that they've held out this long without adding in Ethernet given that other players have had it for years, and given the distance limitations on Serial, USB, etc. I'm sure they have a reason.
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  7. #7
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    I maybe wrong, I just have not seen it. Not to say there is even a problem, but when you look at their innovations specifically on the Speedy 300 it isn't that surprising, as I have an early 2003 unit and the only change that I can confirm from then to now is that USB has been added and servos have been upgraded for speeds from 140 to 170 IPS. Don't get me wrong, its a great product from my experience so far, but the innovations seem to be more software based and accessory based, be it JC Vision (Camera), JC Cut, Ruby, multiple versions of JC. That being said it doesn't seem as if hardware wise since 2003 to now needed much improvement, still probably doesn't probably in terms of raw function, but in terms of modernization of tech, they should add an ethernet port and a handful of other relevant items to make the total workload of the company easier, which is more efficient which ultimately increases speed. Maybe on a different thread, ill make a post of what I would like to see in future improvements from the western 3.

    If anyone has input on JC 11 vs 10 though it would be great to hear it. I am still a little lost if JC 11 alone will increase DPI to 2560, maybe there are other improvements?
    Last edited by Chase Williams; 11-17-2020 at 4:50 PM.
    Chase
    Sharp Media Group, LLC

    Hardware: Trotec Speedy 300 w/ rotary, Shotbot 4x8 w/ rotary, Prusa I3 MK3S
    Software: Full Adobe Suite, CorelDRAW 2020, Aspire 9.5, Rhino 6, Job Control 10.7.1, Shopbot 3.8.50

  8. #8
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    I just spoke with Trotec support and I must say I am partially wrong. In the Speedy 300, most of the components are the same hence why I can still get parts for my old machine, but the gentleman did say that machines do have an ethernet port now (not sure if that is across the board or not) and that they have essentially combined the motherboard and IO board into just a smarter motherboard. I couldn't get much information on JC v11 vs 10, short of the fact that v11 is suppose to be more friendly with 3rd party applications i.e CorelDraw & illustrator and the 2560 DPI, which is suppose to make a big difference (I still like to see the improvements, especially software, before i believe their real life improvements). I am thrown into a new problem now though as we have a rotary that we believe the board went out in and a new CPU board for it will be next to impossible without getting the motherboard upgrade as they are already on v11 on their replacement boards and they are not able to roll back the firmware to a previous release. So if i ever want to use a rotary I need to get the $1900 motherboard and in this case $850 CPU & IO board for the rotary itself as well, plus tax... Ouch. It was encouraging to hear Trotec's employee that does their repairs talk so highly of the design of the Speedy 2 & 300's.
    Chase
    Sharp Media Group, LLC

    Hardware: Trotec Speedy 300 w/ rotary, Shotbot 4x8 w/ rotary, Prusa I3 MK3S
    Software: Full Adobe Suite, CorelDRAW 2020, Aspire 9.5, Rhino 6, Job Control 10.7.1, Shopbot 3.8.50

  9. #9
    Chase

    I'm using JC 11.1. There is a later update but this should tell you what you want to know. Oops, the file is a little large. PM your email and I'll send the PDF.
    Last edited by Mike Null; 11-19-2020 at 11:31 AM.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Evolis Card Printer
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chase Williams View Post
    I just spoke with Trotec support and I must say I am partially wrong. In the Speedy 300, most of the components are the same hence why I can still get parts for my old machine, but the gentleman did say that machines do have an ethernet port now (not sure if that is across the board or not) and that they have essentially combined the motherboard and IO board into just a smarter motherboard. I couldn't get much information on JC v11 vs 10, short of the fact that v11 is suppose to be more friendly with 3rd party applications i.e CorelDraw & illustrator and the 2560 DPI, which is suppose to make a big difference (I still like to see the improvements, especially software, before i believe their real life improvements). I am thrown into a new problem now though as we have a rotary that we believe the board went out in and a new CPU board for it will be next to impossible without getting the motherboard upgrade as they are already on v11 on their replacement boards and they are not able to roll back the firmware to a previous release. So if i ever want to use a rotary I need to get the $1900 motherboard and in this case $850 CPU & IO board for the rotary itself as well, plus tax... Ouch. It was encouraging to hear Trotec's employee that does their repairs talk so highly of the design of the Speedy 2 & 300's.
    Good information. I have to admit, Everything I've heard about Trotec has been very positive, except for one thing. Their machines are built like tanks, but if you do need a part, they are expensive. Doesn't seem to matter what it is, they charge a premium for it.
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  11. #11
    I won't dispute that parts are expensive but I've been using Trotec for 15 years (my current machine is in its 3rd year) and so far, I haven't had to replace anything. I had the tube recharged once on my old machine but that's the only money I've had to spend and that was the only down time I've ever experienced with Trotec. I sold my old machine to an engraving shop nearby and it's still in daily use.

    Oops, I did spend a little on the old machine. The gas closers on the lid of the old machine had to be replaced. They were USA made and I bought the parts at a very reasonable price from the manufacturer.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5

  12. #12
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    I agree that the Trotecs are tanks, however while restoring this older one I have, I definitely found myself typing in part numbers into google and ebay and was able to source some parts very easily and have them in hand quickly. The proprietary items are the ones you're stuck on... belts, control boards, lens holders. Oh how I would love to find lens holders considering Trotec is up to $400/lens w/ holder up from $288 in April 2019 (found rate card online).
    Chase
    Sharp Media Group, LLC

    Hardware: Trotec Speedy 300 w/ rotary, Shotbot 4x8 w/ rotary, Prusa I3 MK3S
    Software: Full Adobe Suite, CorelDRAW 2020, Aspire 9.5, Rhino 6, Job Control 10.7.1, Shopbot 3.8.50

  13. #13
    Chase
    Do a search on SMC. I believe you'll find that info.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Evolis Card Printer
    CorelDraw X5

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