bmxunderground

After years of decent service MH871 cutter fails at large cuts and goes crazy Help?

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Device: MH871 (purchased new circa 2008)

Computer: HP ENVY dv7 Laptop

O/S: Windows 10 Home (installed 2016)

Connection: USB printer cable direct to cutter

Software: Signblazer 6.0 Basic 

Grounded to Stand: No

I have a MH871 cutter I've used as an amateur for over ten years. Always did small graphic cutting flawlessly but had troubles with larger ones (anything with intense detail or longer than 3ft). To successfully cut larger graphics, I had to reset the machine before cutting each new file. Now, I can't get the machine to cut the large file at all without it going haywire. The carriage will try to send itself side to side clicking against the wall like it’s a much wider plotter. It will also start the first few cuts, maybe 5% then just stop. The LCD screen will also go crazy with lines in the middle of it in instead of text. Anyone seen this before? Would an ungrounded stand contribute to this?

 

 

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static can cause issues with the mainboard as the static from the roll is discharged thru the carriage - the mh has had at least 3 different mainboards over the years so finding the right one might be hard - after 14 years might be a good time to move up to a sc2 or titan!

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I've had many people tell me to move up to a Graphtech but I'd like to confirm my cutter is totally dead before giving it up. I'm not a full time business so I don't want to chew off a big cutter expense if I don't have to yet. 

 

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43 minutes ago, bmxunderground said:

I've had many people tell me to move up to a Graphtech but I'd like to confirm my cutter is totally dead before giving it up. I'm not a full time business so I don't want to chew off a big cutter expense if I don't have to yet.

I'm a hobbyist with my cutters, and have always been a hobbyist (for 15+ years) . My original cutter was a LaserPoint (original), and then upgraded to a Graphtec about 3 years ago. Trust me, when I say, do the upgrade. Yes, it's an expense, but I also know that the stuff that I cut with my LaserPoint has paid for Graphtec long time ago. My only regret - I didn't get the Graphtec sooner. My original LaserPoint is still working, but the Graphtec works so much quicker, quieter, and more accurately.

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It has been stated hundreds of times on here, to put a value cutter on a Tripp-lite Keyspan Adapter with the null modem cable that came with your cutter. That is the brand name, Tripp-lite. Tripp-lite works with vinyl cutters.  It's a much better connection.  Find the best price.   The USB end of the Tripplite plugs into your USB port on computer.  Null modem cable screws in the Tripplite. Then the other end of the null modem screws into your vinyl cutter. 

Find the best price. example shown

https://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-Keyspan-High-Speed-USA-19HS/dp/B0000VYJRY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=W6ILX3ELB13H&keywords=tripp+lite+keyspan+usa-19hs&qid=1643641306&sprefix=tripplite+keyspan%2Caps%2C1476&sr=8-1

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Fried.  It happens, especially with the ungrounded MH. They are notorious for that.

Grab the 34" SC2, it's around $600, shipped (provided with stand & media basket and good design/cutting software bundled).

You can pay off that expense in one or two larger jobs, and these days you'll find plenty of sign work available everywhere.

I just did these 4'x8' panels for a junk guy's trucks, over $800 job (2 trucks). My advice, put the old MH to the side, start fresh with the SC2, and don't worry about it. Life is too short, man.

junk.jpg

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5 hours ago, slice&dice said:

Fried.  It happens, especially with the ungrounded MH. They are notorious for that.

Grab the 34" SC2, it's around $600, shipped (provided with stand & media basket and good design/cutting software bundled).

You can pay off that expense in one or two larger jobs, and these days you'll find plenty of sign work available everywhere.

I just did these 4'x8' panels for a junk guy's trucks, over $800 job (2 trucks). My advice, put the old MH to the side, start fresh with the SC2, and don't worry about it. Life is too short, man.

junk.jpg

nice work slice

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if you really want to mess with it some more before you buy any parts to troubleshoot which part it is - you can take it apart and try reseating all the connections and ribbon cables, just to rule that out - but realistically if you start buying a new mainboard and display and that doesn't do it (or even if it does) you have put a lot of money into an OLD plotter that has served you well  - I have repaired and refurbed many plotters and just my 2 cents - it is time to put that old work horse out to pasture

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Thanks for the kudos, dakota. Those are 'diBond' (aka MaxMetal) panels, my favorite substrate. I go through a lot of them annually, mostly white, but also bright colors like these yellow ones.

The main trick to doing jobs like that is having enough table space!

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Thanks gentlemen. I've watched some of your posts for years so I appreciate you taking the time. I've been looking on Facebook market place for a Graphtec. Looks like those things really hold their value. I will likely go through with buying a Graphtech but I don't mind to test the adapter option as well to see if I can get any more life out of this MH871 cutter. I'll chime in after I get the cable in. 

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9 minutes ago, bmxunderground said:

Thanks gentlemen. I've watched some of your posts for years so I appreciate you taking the time. I've been looking on Facebook market place for a Graphtec. Looks like those things really hold their value. I will likely go through with buying a Graphtech but I don't mind to test the adapter option as well to see if I can get any more life out of this MH871 cutter. I'll chime in after I get the cable in. 

A Tripplite has it's own driver, that you will need to download and install.  Then match the com port number in your device manager 1-4 nothing higher,  Then same com port number in your cutting software.  The numbers must match. 

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Well, for science, I just ran a test. I used "aligator" clips like tiny jumper cables from the cutter to the stand. First pass at a large graphic, worked perfectly. Second pass the clips came off and I didn't notice it until the machine failed in the middle of a graphic. On a hunch, I made the two grounding straps you see below and then proceeded to make three successful very large detailed cuts back to back with zero failure. I'm going to try a few more, ya know, for science, but on the outset it really does appear that the static jacks these things up when you are not properly grounded. 

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Thank you for keeping us updated.

Glad that a fairly simple fix worked for you. The machines can be quite durable, but finicky at the same time. 

Some people have static issues, and some don't.  If you're still willing, I would still consider getting the Graphtec. You won't be sorry you did, I know I wasn't.

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You've used it for 10 years without grounding the stand? You've been pretty lucky sounds like.

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Well, you got lucky that the motherboard wasn't totally crisped (or at a minimum, toasted the Z-chip).

Those cutters are shipped from the factory with a grounding wire (yellow & green) in the accessories box.

Also, it has been suggested to insert dryer sheets into the core tubes of the rolled vinyl.

The dry air of winter increases the static build-up and it wreaks havoc, as you've discovered. Glad you got it back to operation and can now save up your quarters, nickels & dimes in a jar so you'll have the funds when time comes to upgrade!

 

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The grounding wire is in today's shipments, but I'm not sure they were 10 years ago. :)

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When I first obtained an MH from USCUTTER in 2012, it had the wire.

I made sure to ground the unit, as per the instructions.

I probably would still be using that MH machine to this day, except for one day I tripped over the USB cable, destroying the I/O board, and that was the day I ordered the SC and a replacement board.

Somewhere later, over the years, I sold both of those (still functioning) cutters, and ended up with the baby blue SC2 I now use.

And I also still use SignBlazer, bless my heart.

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BIG PLUS for Signblazer. Been using it since 2010.

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Responding to a few points:

  • It has been another month and my machine is still working well. The fact that I can't cut two back to back detailed pieces due to what I assume is limited memory, means I will be saving to buy a Graphtech. 
  • Back when I ordered my cutter, ground straps were not included but I'm glad to hear they are now. 
  • I did run my machine grounded in the past, but during a few years of storage, I forgot where I put the strap and started to operate it without one. We've now learned that was a mistake, it has been fixed, and things are as well as can be expected for my machine and cutter program combo.
  • Shout out again for all the SUPER USERS on this forum who have continued to post helpful replies to us amateurs. 
  • For those interested, as in my first post, the specs are now updated below:

Device: MH871 (purchased new circa 2008)

Computer: HP ENVY dv7 Laptop

O/S: Windows 10 Home (installed 2016)

Connection: USB to printer cable (Plugged directly into cutter no additional adapters)

Software: Signblazer 6.0 Basic 

Cutter Type Setup in Software: MH871 Recognized as - RedSail RS 360C

Baud Rate: 9600

Grounded to Stand: Yes  (on both sides of the stand)

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Thank you for keeping everyone updated. Glad that you were able to get it situate and everything is working properly.

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