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Thread: Gravograph LS800 Issue With Vector Cutting

  1. #1

    Question Gravograph LS800 Issue With Vector Cutting

    I just obtained an old Gravograph/Gravotech LS800 40w laser unit. It works great with the old computer it came with, both rastering and vectoring. Iím trying to upgrade to a newer and smaller computer. Iíve been able to use the same software to send the same basic shapes as a test (coreldraw 11, what the old computer came with, drawing a basic circle or square as a test). They both engrave the same but the newer computer canít vector cut/engrave anything. When I send something and thereís a color that Iíve selected to vector in the L-solutions driver, the laser does something very strange. With version 6 of L-solutions (came with the laser), it homes x/y and then very slowly moves forward/right. I found and installed the latest version I could find Ė 7.28 Ė and the vector behavior changed to quickly jerking to the right/forward a few times and then very slowly moving forward. In both cases, the machine locks up Ė the buttons do not do anything nor does the safety work to stop the laser when the lid is opened (not that the laser is firing when it does this). I've sent a message to Gravotech but, so far, they've only connected me with a salesperson who wasn't very helpful since I'm not looking to buy anything.

    Video: https://1drv.ms/v/s!ArOiYztZLEYjhLgN...1V1EQ?e=WNSLU9


    Any thoughts on what might be happening?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Matthew

    Welcome to SMC.

    While your issue is likely related to software. The default cutting color on most laser engravers is RGB red and the cut line must be a hairline or something in the .007" thickness.

    You are not likely to get help from Gravograph. They have and deserve the worst reputation in the business for customer support.

    Good luck!

    PS--disconnect and reconnect cable from the pc to the laser
    Last edited by Mike Null; 05-26-2023 at 12:30 PM.
    Mike Null

    St. Louis Laser, Inc.

    Trotec Speedy 300, 80 watt
    Gravograph IS400
    Woodworking shop CLTT and Laser Sublimation
    Dye Sublimation
    CorelDraw X5, X7

  3. #3
    Been there done that-- The problem: The newer version of Gravostyle. It's not compatible with your older machine and it's controller. I found that out the hard way several years ago when I bought a used LS100, which came with a version-7 software, which had lots more options than the version-5 I was using in my LS900, so I tried running the 900 with it-- and got the same results you did, at times it would creepy-crawl to the right towards infinity (would just hammer right right side of the machine when it finally got there,), OR it would suddenly take off at light-speed and smash into the right wall...

    What happened when I went back to using my version 5 software, it rastered fine, but simply Would Not Vector Cut- it would just do the slow motion thing. It also took out the 'signal' that supplies voltage to the "shutter", that 'clacks' open and shut when needed. Gravograph was able to repair my controller's vector problem, for just over $300 which I considered a bargain, and it engraves AND vectors like new ever since. HOWEVER, to fix the relay problem I bent up a length of stainless welding rod, one end goes in the cooling-air's exit hole, and the end of the wire is bent into an upside-down U shape, with the end of the wire fitting into the bolt hole in back of the relay's plunger rod, the rest of the wire comes out where I can 'operate' it ----
    shutterwire.jpg
    --as the machine boots, about 20 seconds in I get a "shutter error" message on the machine's display, at which time I need to give the wire a quick yank to open the shutter, which also closes the electric contacts in the relay, this tells the controller that the shutter opened and it'll finish booting. At which time I can run the machine... To do that I load up jobs as usual, and hit the start button- but before the laser will start I have to open the shutter and keep it open, which explains the right-side of the photo; I have to hook the wire to that bolt stud so the laser will start, and keep firing. If the shutter closes the machine still runs but no lasering happens. If I have to pause, I have to release the wire, then pull the shutter closed again before the laser will start up again...
    Bit of a hassle, but in most cases the machine just runs as usual. When it's done the controller won't know it's done until I release the wire, but there's no 'ill-effects' otherwise. Just isn't worth $1300 to me to avoid yanking the wire a few times a day

    ANYWAY, I WHOLEHEARTEDLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU TO INSTALL YOUR OLDER VERSION OF GRAVOSTYLE ON YOUR NEWER COMPUTER, or just use the OLD computer to run the laser separately if the new computer is more useful doing the graphics work. I'm just hoping you're lucky enough your 800's controller is still okay!
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  4. #4
    Any idea where to find older versions of the L-solutions driver? I have one that is only for windows 98/2000/xp (version 1.something) that won't install on my windows 10 computer. This one is installed on the windows xp computer and correctly drives the laser. I can only find version 6 and up that have a version that will install on the windows 10 computer. Those are what I'm having an issue with. Hopefully there's a version between the 1.x and 6 that will install and work correctly on windows 10. Maybe?

  5. #5
    Just in case this helps anyone else, I have found a workaround. VirtualBox running Windows XP didn't work (even setting up the parallel port correctly didn't allow it to work) but running Windows XP in VMWare and running the old version of the drivers (It's LSolutions2000 but I think version 1.2... I haven't tried the version that can be found on these forums somewhere for LSolution2000 4.04 in the VM). I'd still love to find a version between 4.04 (won't install on Windows 10) and version 6 (will install but won't cut vectors) so I can stop using the VM. I'll continue to try to get a response from Gravotech and update this thread if I find out anything.

  6. #6

    Fix for printer driver update_Firmware on laser must match printer driver

    shutterwire.jpg
    "--as the machine boots, about 20 seconds in I get a "shutter error" message on the machine's display, at which time I need to give the wire a quick yank to open the shutter, which also closes the electric contacts in the relay, this tells the controller that the shutter opened and it'll finish booting. At which time I can run the machine... To do that I load up jobs as usual, and hit the start button- but before the laser will start I have to open the shutter and keep it open, which explains the right-side of the photo; I have to hook the wire to that bolt stud so the laser will start, and keep firing. If the shutter closes the machine still runs but no lasering happens. If I have to pause, I have to release the wire, then pull the shutter closed again before the laser will start up again..."

    Your firmware may not be set up for a shutter. I can email you the manual if you don't have it. Should be a setting in the Configuration menu, shutter on/off depending if there is one. Pretty old if it has one. It's actually a solenoid operated shutter at the end of the laser tube that clicks open and off when it boots, if so equipped.
    Also needs firmware updated to match printer driver. That's why it won't operate. PM me for instructions if you want, or contact Gravotech direct via email or phone. They are trying to change their customer service, however it's hard in this labor climate.

  7. #7
    I'm pretty sure mine doesn't have a shutter. I certainly don't get any sort of shutter error. Makes sense that the firmware needs to match the driver but I've not seen anything about updating the firmware. It would be nice if I could get a response from Gravotech. Maybe later this week.

  8. #8
    Matthew, My BIL has an LS800, so I'm pretty sure your 800 DOES have a shutter-- the LS800's are identical to mine, other than the fact my 900 has a 24x24 work table, the 800's have a 24x12 work table... otherwise, to the best of my knowledge all else about them is the same....

    More on why I need my wire, and the shutter in general, took a couple more pics,
    left pic is machine 'at rest' with the shutter closed, right pic I've tightened my 'yank wire' to open the shutter...
    Note the curved end of the wire is resting within the hole in the relay's plunger rod to open the shutter.
    There's also indicator lights which light when the shutter is open or closed--
    Before the machine will finish booting, the controller briefly activates the shutter to let the controller know
    the shutter is operable. If X amount of time (a minute?) goes by without the shutter closing, the machine
    will throw a 'shutter error', which mine does, and will just sit and wait...- a quick wire-yank and mine finishes
    booting and will now load jobs...If the shutter gets stuck or hangs between open/closed for some reason
    after booting up, this will also throw a 'shutter error'... another thing not noted on the pics, the black-plug
    with wires directly beneath the 'shutter closed' light, is the RED LED POINTER light-- ON the shutter itself is
    a mirror on a 45į angle which the red LED hits, the beam turns, hits the next mirror within the aluminum
    block closest to the camera, turns again, then travels thru the beam collimator (the large-ish black tube),
    then to the other 2 mirrors, thru the lens an on to the table. Same exact path the laser itself takes, which it
    CANT take if the mirror/shutter is in the way-- when the shutter opens, the mirror is now out of the way,
    parallel to the now-unobstructed laser's beam path!

    --- on the pics I've added some text and stuff

    shutter closed.jpg shutter open.jpg

    I'm *almost* 100% sure the back of your cabinet will look exactly the same!

    That all said, to Nick:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Michalares View Post
    shutterwire.jpg
    "--as the machine boots, about 20 seconds in I get a "shutter error" message on the machine's display, at which time I need to give the wire a quick yank to open the shutter, which also closes the electric contacts in the relay, this tells the controller that the shutter opened and it'll finish booting. At which time I can run the machine... To do that I load up jobs as usual, and hit the start button- but before the laser will start I have to open the shutter and keep it open, which explains the right-side of the photo; I have to hook the wire to that bolt stud so the laser will start, and keep firing. If the shutter closes the machine still runs but no lasering happens. If I have to pause, I have to release the wire, then pull the shutter closed again before the laser will start up again..."

    Your firmware may not be set up for a shutter. .
    Another problem with my problem is, whenever I try to upload firmware, ANY firmware, it won't load, don't remember what exactly happens, it's been awhile--
    Versions I have:
    G98/3.12-2, which I don't think I ever used,
    G5/4.06-3, which is currently running the LS900,
    I also have either an older or newer G5/"4" version, but where the disk is, thinking.gif ()
    G7discovery/5.21-3, which I believe is what took out my LS900's controller, it came with my used IS-400 tool machine and has laser capability which is why I tried it-
    G7/full-options but Laser-only 7.04-35.3, which is running my LS-100.

    So Nick, I'm curious; do you happen to know Bruce "L" from SLC? He's been my everything NewHermes/Gravograph guy since the early '70's, and still is...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  9. #9
    Looks like I DO have a shutter. :-)
    PXL_20230529_192421811.jpg

  10. #10
    I've read through the manual but I didn't see anything on upgrading the firmware. How does one go about doing that?

  11. #11
    give me a few, I need to re-learn myself
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE- make that FOUR now - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post

    So Nick, I'm curious; do you happen to know Bruce "L" from SLC? He's been my everything NewHermes/Gravograph guy since the early '70's, and still is...
    I do not believe I know him. May have heard some rumors... Is he still around? Be interested in meeting. Not many field service guys around in engraving anymore. Or anything else for that matter. Spoke to Oscar, FSE in NY today, he's been with Gravotech for 36 years.

    On the driver issue, you select the L-Solution driver in your printers, goto Printer Preferences, Click on About of, Click on the picture of the engraver. There you see the firmware update button. This updates engraver firmware to this printer driver version which must match. DO NOT shut off while firmware is updating. This window also has some alignment and various other tests & settings that can be ran to alleviate some engraving issues.
    Disclaimer on the LS800. I do not know personally that this will work on the 800. Hopefully it will just error out and not make your electronics a boat anchor. When we would update Vision Series I Vision controllers and they would error out or get shut down, they often became boat anchors. Not very useful in Phoenix desert.

    You can download latest drivers, I would not go above your operating system if you are running legacy computers. Gravostyle 8 does have LS800 drivers, serial and USB. If you want, I can check with Duluth to confirm that the 800 will take a firmware update. No problem with the later equipment. Be happy to help.

  13. #13
    Oh, BTW, it's GOT to be USB. Serial connection cannot be used to update firmware. For that matter, On ANY Gravotech engravers that I know of.

  14. #14
    Nick, I saw the post before your last post about updating the firmware and figured I would try it but wanted to get a bunch of stuff done first just in case I ran into issues. I sat down today to try to update the firmware and couldn't get it to work. So I came back and saw your last post. My machine doesn't have a USB interface. Looks like I'm out of luck.

  15. #15
    I spoke too soon. I can't update my firmware BUT that same menu gave me the option to change from a "USB or parallel" connection to a "serial or parallel" connection and how it works just fine on Windows 10 :-)PXL_20230706_200618691~3.jpg

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