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first make sure the screen on the plotter reads "ON LINE" Then make sure the communication speed is set the same as your software (usually 9600 bps sometimes pcut set the default to 19200) give a little more info if these two things are correct and I'll try to help more. Another thing make sure you have the right port selected (usb1 or whatever you are hooked to)
I just reread your post if the other things are correct I bet the problem is the serial to usb adaptor. The cheap ones won't work with plotters as they only use 5 or 6 of the pins and are intened for printers and I-pods and such. Go to a computer store and get one that uses all 9 pins. Also drop a note in the new member welcoms and tell us a little about yourself. :Welcome: to :signs101:
Make sure that your blade holder is not all the way to the left or right side because there are kill buttons on each end. There is a site that talks about problems on these plotters. intlsigns.com/forum/chat/plotters/3509. One thing they said is that artcut causes most of the problems. Mine came with winpcsign, a bit of a pain, but it does work. Can be found for cheap on ebay along with starter flexi. Good luck, Fred