minivipr

Having a really bad day now....

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I am having a really bad afternoon.  I am trying to cut a 4' x 8' graphic to put on a trailer.  I got the first tile to cut OK, but that's all.  When I went to cut the second tile the machine would cut about 20% of the design and then freeze up.  I have checked all my connections... restarted the plotter... restarted my computer.  I tried again.  Same thing.  I checked my ground wire from the plotter to the stand... drilled a new hole for the wire alone tried again.  Same thing.  

I thought that maybe the cutter was just having issues with the second tile so I went in and cropped the graphic so it would fit onto one tile.  This time I got about 80% of the graphic cut and then the plotter made a weird almost sizzeling sound and then all the LED's started blinking and then it reset itself.  

I am so mad right now that I cannot think. In all my tries I have wasted almost a 10y roll of vinyl and I still have nothing to show for this.  Amazing how the profit margin goes away after you ruin a roll of vinyl.

I have never had problem like this before. I have never cut anything this large before either.  

I running a Vista computer and a MH871 cutter via USB with SignBlazer software.

I need some help on this cause I am getting very upset with my cutter and issue.  Up to this point I have been very happy with everything that I have cut.  Please help me figure this out.

Thanks

Chris

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if using weed lines turn them off,,  turn off all other programs on your computer,,  if using USB,  convert to serial.  edit away any extra nodes.  sounds like you are dropping on long cuts.  should help you.

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In addition to that now when I start up the cutter and programs I get no response from the plotter when I try to cut.  If I unplug the USB and back and try again I get a response like nothing is wrong and away it goes.

I am going to order a serial card ASAP and hope that this gets rid of my issues.  What serial card is recommended on a Vista computer?  Do you have one that is working correctly with no incompatibility issues?

My other question is why does this only happen on very long cuts?  I can cut 22x22 pain in the a$$ to weed super complex graphics of dragons and fire with no problem.  If a communication overload is suspected of the USB then why would it not fault with the hundreds of small cuts?  The large banner is really a pretty simple piece. Why is the size that much of a factor?

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I know you're hurting right now, and probably my comment won't help you but get rid of Vista and you'll have lots less headaches.

Hope you get this up and running in no time.  :thumbsup:

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You mentioned you have a ground wire from the cutter to the stand, however, can you still notice some static buildup on the vinyl?  I put my arm out there and if my hair raises, it's still not grounded. 

If this is the case, you can run a dryer sheet over it when it's cutting.  In the long term, I recommend a wire from the actual vinyl rollers, not just the stand, due to paint, the rolling vinyl static buildup may not ground through the stand.

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Everyone here has made great points on these things. The Grounding could be it, the USB especially, the Vista. One thing I have found when I have troubles is simply size, and the number of nodes.

An example of what I mean is this. Ok you have 4' x 8' design with Large text on top, a couple smaller lines of text and a graphics on the bottom and the whole Thing is framed with a double line. You cut it tiled in half horizontally. the top cuts fine, the bottom crashes. Your bottom half had more nodes because of more text, and the graphics. What I do first is check the long lines running around the whole sign. the should only be nodes at the corners, if there are numerous nodes running the length of the straight line they are worthless and redundant. Delete them. Next check your text, if you converted to curves chances are there are WAY to many nodes on the curves of these. Check the nodes on every letter. if there are 10 nodes on each round corner, these can be reduced to 2 nodes, one on each start and end of the curve. You adjust them using the handles that change the length and angle of the curve. This is calling Cleaning up a vectorized image.

Most all vector software has the ability to simplify nodes automatically in some way. Some work better than others. Flexi can reduce nodes based on a percentage you select, SIgnblazer your stuck in manual mode for the most part, which is sometimes the best anyway. Inkscape has a simplify function that works pretty good. Just check you image after you make any changes.

The next part of a complicated graphic that I have had crash my machine is speed. Ok we all know to get quality cuts from a Chinese import, you drop your speed, the problem I have had is with larger images, The machine doesn't use the data as fast as it does on smaller ones. and if you slow the machine down it is even less so. So what happens is, you drop your speed from say 60 to 40 it's cutting so slow it doesn't keep up with the flow of data and eventually it overfills the memory on the machine and you have a crash. I had a couple designs like this and I just upped the speed when i cut them larger and they finished fine. Some of the software has the ability to reduce the packet size on the info it send to the cutter, I would think this should help too but I haven't had time to play with it yet. Flexi seems to doa  way better job of sending data than any of the others I have used. I have had way fewer crashes wit it.

Kevin

Also reducing nodes has been my biggest savior and removing weed boxes.

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Serial Connection should solve your problems.  :thumbsup:

I did virtually the same thing running my PCUT off my laptop with Vista. Thought the static/ground had something to do with it, and running the wire and managing the vinyl so to stays off of static promoting surfaces seems to help...

I bought an older laptop that I could use strictly for vinyl running 'ol reliable XP and hooked it up with the serial connection.

I can cut as fast as the plotter/vinyl can handle, and no freezing up now. I do also check all my work now for unnecessary nodes and try to clean it all up. A little work on the screen helps out the weeding process fo' sho'

I have -0- experience with the MH871 but I do run SBE and using the serial connection is the first recommendation I make ;D

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Anyone have any experience with the usb to serial or usb to parallel adapter? Wonder if it would have the same issues?

Getting tough to find newer pc with serial or parallel ports.

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I bought one for my PCut and had the same issues as when I used the USB. I bought a pcmcia to serial adapter and haven't had a problem yet. This is what I bought:

http://cgi.ebay.com/RS232-Com-Port-9-Pins-PCMCIA-Laptop-Card-Cardbus-Serial_W0QQitemZ260484490840QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3ca615e658 .

I am not affiliated with them in any way other than their product solved my usb issue.

Charlie

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Back when I had my LP, I had this problem all the time. At first, I was just using the USB port on the cutter, then I started using a USB-serial adapter and that seem to take care of most of the problem.

As for geting a serial card for a desktop, make sure that it is compatiable with your vista OS. I run my LP off of my desktop, vista 64-bit, until I got my current cutter, which is a graphtec. And it wasnt until just a couple of months ago that I was able to cut from my desktop using my graphtec because of driver issuses.

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I bought one for my PCut and had the same issues as when I used the USB. I bought a pcmcia to serial adapter and haven't had a problem yet. This is what I bought:

http://cgi.ebay.com/RS232-Com-Port-9-Pins-PCMCIA-Laptop-Card-Cardbus-Serial_W0QQitemZ260484490840QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3ca615e658 .

Charlie

Cyberchuck,

What OS are you using with your laptop and adapter card?

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Well I bought a serial card from Tiger Direct yesterday... it should be here tomorrow.  Crossing my fingers that it works.  I called every computer store in my 1 hour radius and no one had even one card in stock.  I got into an argument with one computer store that said that I would not even be able to find a card.  He said unless I lived in a dirt poor third world country I would never find a card or a use for one.  I bit my tongue from calling him a ^ick.

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I had the issue with the design not cutting and the machine "waiting". I was using the serial cable and it was still causing this. I changed in SignBlazer for Flow Control to be "Hardware" instead of X on/X off, software, or what other options there are (not at my PC at the moment). Fixed the problem and has been fine since.

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Well I got my serial card in and working.  Had some issues with COM ports though. The system installed it as COM 9 and SignBlazer only gave me the option of using up to COM 8.  Got that resolved (at least the plotter is working... don't know what isn't yet). I haven't had a chance to cut anything large yet so I guess time will tell.  I did see that my software was already set to hardware flow control.

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