gerber edge and plotter cables etc.

chopper

Very Active Member
I am in the market for a gerber edge 2 and a plotter to go with it,
I do not know much about these systems yet, but I know that allot of you have these so I thought I would ask,
when I buy one of these systems what do you do if you don't have a printer port on your pc? will a usb conversion cable work? or do you need to add a printer port card?
also with the db9 on the null modem cable, can you go usb to run the plotter? or do I need to install a card for this?
I just want to make sure that I can run one from my current computer, I would also like to know if you need to have a Gerber plotter to cut the items printed with the edge or can I cut them on my summa ( it has crop mark detection).

My computer is a windows 7 64 bit machine, I plan on using sign lab to drive the equipment at this time, unless some one can tell me why I shouldn't.
thanks in advance for your help.
//chopper
 

signage

Major Contributor
If you have windows 7 64 you are going to need Gerber Omega 5.0 and the Gerber USB kits.

If you cut with your summa your print area will be decreased! So your best bet is to get a Gerber plotter to go along with the edge.
 

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
The main thing I would say to you is that you are stepping so far out of the normal setup that you're going to have a hard time finding any kind of support ... especially from other users.

Using the four corner targets will cost you about 10% of your available print height which you will miss. As good as Summa plotters are, you may experience noticeable accuracy issues using friction feed for cutting instead of tractor feed.
 

chopper

Very Active Member
If you have windows 7 64 you are going to need Gerber Omega 5.0 and the Gerber USB kits.

If you cut with your summa your print area will be decreased! So your best bet is to get a Gerber plotter to go along with the edge.

Brian,
thanks for the input, so it is possible to run the edge with usb adapters if I understand you correctly....
the cutter thing I was thinking that I would need to get a Gerber plotter
but since I don't know much about the Gerber's I thought I would ask.

I know that signlab will run the Gerber machines since I already have it I will give it a try before purchasing the omega software.
//chopper
 

chopper

Very Active Member
The main thing I would say to you is that you are stepping so far out of the normal setup that you're going to have a hard time finding any kind of support ... especially from other users.

Using the four corner targets will cost you about 10% of your available print height which you will miss. As good as Summa plotters are, you may experience noticeable accuracy issues using friction feed for cutting instead of tractor feed.

Fred,
thank you for your help.
I guess I didn't think what I was doing was that far out of the norm.
I didn't know if the summa would work, but it seems like it would be a waste to use it, do most not use usb connections or is it the signlab?
I guess I understand the signlab being out of the norm, I am told that it runs the Gerber just as good as the omega software, but that is second hand information...so I will need to try it to see.
thanks.
//chopper
 

signage

Major Contributor
If you are going to run it with signlab you will need a parallel port that supports ECP! From what I understand that has been discontinued since windows XP.
 

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
Fred,
thank you for your help.
I guess I didn't think what I was doing was that far out of the norm.
I didn't know if the summa would work, but it seems like it would be a waste to use it, do most not use usb connections or is it the signlab?
I guess I understand the signlab being out of the norm, I am told that it runs the Gerber just as good as the omega software, but that is second hand information...so I will need to try it to see.
thanks.
//chopper

It's out of the norm to the extent that

  1. Only a very small minority of Edge owners use SignLab to drive it. The overwhelming majority use Omega.
  2. The SignLab thermal module, while I'm sure a competent product, is still an add-on module and not at the heart of what SignLab's authors had in mind when they designed SignLab.
  3. Gerber Omega was designed from the ground up to drive the Edge and exploit its features.
The Summa will work in all likelihood, but it will only do so by using up a portion of the available print height of 11.8" printing the alignment targets. A Gerber plotter, because it uses the same tractor feed the Edge will require you to use, uses a single target in front of the job therefore allowing you to print the entire available height as salable material plus have access to about another inch of height for margins.

Some setups will require you to use a USB to Serial converter. Most don't work correctly so consult with Gerber for a tested and approved model converter. I have never used one and prefer to just add a comm card with both a serial and an LPT printer port if the computer doesn't already have one.

By all means try SignLab before investing in Omega. You can always switch later if you choose to do so. Same with the Summa since you already have it. All I'm saying is that your best choice will likely be Omega and a Gerber plotter to get the most out of your investment.
 

chopper

Very Active Member
It's out of the norm to the extent that

  1. Only a very small minority of Edge owners use SignLab to drive it. The overwhelming majority use Omega.
  2. The SignLab thermal module, while I'm sure a competent product, is still an add-on module and not at the heart of what SignLab's authors had in mind when they designed SignLab.
  3. Gerber Omega was designed from the ground up to drive the Edge and exploit its features.
The Summa will work in all likelihood, but it will only do so by using up a portion of the available print height of 11.8" printing the alignment targets. A Gerber plotter, because it uses the same tractor feed the Edge will require you to use, uses a single target in front of the job therefore allowing you to print the entire available height as salable material plus have access to about another inch of height for margins.

Some setups will require you to use a USB to Serial converter. Most don't work correctly so consult with Gerber for a tested and approved model converter. I have never used one and prefer to just add a comm card with both a serial and an LPT printer port if the computer doesn't already have one.

By all means try SignLab before investing in Omega. You can always switch later if you choose to do so. Same with the Summa since you already have it. All I'm saying is that your best choice will likely be Omega and a Gerber plotter to get the most out of your investment.


Fred,
I am going to call gerber tomorrow,
thanks again for the information.
//chopper
 

Jase

Member
Just a few points which may help. Signlab will drive the Edge, the thermal pack is quite expensive and maybe equal in price to Omega. Gerber often have reconditioned Edge 2's in stock, you maybe able to get a software deal if you buy from them.

We had to use our Graphtec last year as we had problems with our plotter, it worked, just but not something I would like to do on a daily basis. If you are running 1 metre lengths now and again it's fine. Anything over 1.5metres and it will start to wander because of the friction feed.

Good luck with your purchase.

Jase
 

signage

Major Contributor
Chopper I have signlab and like I said I do think the parallel port needs to be ECP for the Edge2 it uses this to communicate with the printer. My computers have the ECP parallel ports, I can not say if the Gerber tested USB to Parallel converters will work with sign lab or not, I do know that Tony says you need the latest version of Omega to run with the 64 bit OS. He will most likely chime in on this!

One other thing you can do is go over too 4edgeTalk and ask these same questions.
 

Tony Teveris

Active Member
To use the Gerber supplied USB to Serial for cutters and/or USB to Parallel for the Edge you will need Omega 4.0 Service Pack 1 (Build 15) at a minimum. If you are going to purchase a new Omega seta you might as well go for the latest, Omega 5.0.

I do not know if the SignLab module will work with the Gerber cables, that would be a question for SignLab.
 

signage

Major Contributor
Tony he says his computer is Windows 7 64, will Omega 4 (build 1 or higher) run with 64 bit OS?
 

J Hill Designs

Major Contributor
I use my edge with a 24" roland friction feed plotter and only 1 mark -- accuracy is 'good enuff' for me, I just keep my runs at 4-6' max
 
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