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  1. #1
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    Question People with Rabbit Lasers - Knowledge Pool

    Hello everyone. I have spent the past few months reading through these forums and trying to gather some collective knowledge on laser machines from a single company (Jinan Hengxing Computer Equipment Manufacturing Co.) and their "Rabbit" Lasers.

    I myself run a Rabbit here at my job, a HX1290SG 120 Watt. From the time we broke it out of its crate we have had problems with bad translations ("Chinglish" as I've come to hear you refer to it as, haha), power supplys, software, yada yada. Still, we are very pleased with the machine, when it works it does a great job.

    I think it would be a great help to everyone who owns one of these Rabbit lasers to contact me, and each other, and pool our general knowledge on the problems we have run into and how you solved them. This could make repairing these machines a snap.

    I am hoping to compile all the knowledge into a single document that we could share between each other. Adding, and explaining things better as it grows.

    Problem is, I am not sure who all owns a laser from this company and who does not. So if you are interested in sharing the knowledge you have gained through your frustrations (if you have any) with these machines, please contact me! I am sure we could all be of great help to each other.

    Randy

  2. #2
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    Hi Randy.
    I've got the hx40a model parallel port. It seems to work pretty good if I knew what I was doing and could figure out the software. I'm having a real hard time with that though. I just don't know what the settings mean, what they are for or just about anything. I have had some luck just playing around with it but I purchased it to make $$ with and am getting frustrated. I was told they are easy to learn, I'm not real dumb, but I don't have any experience with this kind of stuff either. If it actually had some help files or explanations on what the different settings meant i could probably make it do what I need instead of just plunking around like i've been doing. I really like the quality of the lettering it puts out but really want to do the photo engraving, where the $$ is! I even purchased a can of that spray on metal treatment to "engrave" metal at 65 bucks a can. I haven't even opened that up yet, and won't till I can figure out how to get a decent picture. In anycase, I think this forum will help me alot, and I look forward to it. If you don't mind, I'll post some questions and maybe you or somebody else can help me.
    I know there are lots of settings but I have no idea what they are for. For example what do the settings relate to:
    rgap XXXmm?
    cgap XXXmm?
    Delay(s) XX?
    Gap types: sides / centers?
    Scan out: XXXmm?
    columns ??
    Scan Mode: mono? Gray Relief? Screen1 -2 -3???
    Anybody that knows, please help me out?
    Also, would you/ya'll recommend the purchase of the photograv software? It is pretty pricey, but if it does a good job and gets me going, I will purchase.
    I'm using of course the newlydraw 1.5 which I can't really figure out.
    Thanks folks, I look forward to learning and helping where I can, later on!
    jt

  3. #3
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    Sadly I know nothing about the hx40a. But hopefully someone has the answers for you.

    And if you get them, let me know, I'll add the other products to the document I'll put together. Might as well help out as many people as possible while we're at it right?

  4. #4
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    Hi, newby again, I've been reading about "air-assist". What is that and what is it for?
    thanks
    jt

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaserNOT View Post
    Hi, newby again, I've been reading about "air-assist". What is that and what is it for?
    thanks
    jt
    I think from what I can tell "air-assist" is just the stream of air that comes out if you have an air pump with your machine. It helps keep the last mirror clean and blow away particles from the material your working with.

    I think to kick us off better I list a few of the problems I've had with mine:

    Laser fires inside tube, but does not seem to come out
    -I think I've found the causes to be that your power may be set to low to allow the laser to escape the tube. Condensation could be forming on the water lines, which could in turn lead to a short of the tube (this is actually what we are experiencing right now, a bolt of electricity shoots down the inside of the tube during the initial firing of the laser)
    - To solve one problem you can increase the power you are cutting with. I don't know how to solve the short itself, other than keeping your water lines dry.

    Laser does not cut a perfect circle
    -The cause here seems to be the motors, which can easily be solved by cutting a few test circles while chaning the "Gap on xy axis" under "Options/work mode/Cut" in Lasercut 5.1

    When firing the laser, there is no glow at all in the tube
    -The only time I've run into this problem was with the lid open, which has a safety switch on it. If you close the lid, the laser should fire normally.

    After operating the laser fine for hours there will be a sudden drastic drop in power
    -We thought this had something to do with our power supply. We run a 120Watt laser. We had the power supply replaced with something we were told was 'beefer.' However 'this' problem persists (it did solve a few others). Its very sparatic and doesn't happen often. The only solution I've found so far is to shut off the machine and left it rest for a minute or two.

    I've got a few more problems to list here, but I'm still writing everything down. Hope that kicks off the idea a bit.

    Does anyone have anymore problems and your solutions to add?

  6. #6
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    I'm going from memory here, since I don't have the dongle (dog).

    Quote Originally Posted by LaserNOT View Post
    Hi Randy.
    rgap XXXmm? Row gap on repeats - the spacing in mm between rows
    cgap XXXmm? Column gap on repeats - the spacing in mm between cols
    Delay(s) XX? I believe this is the delay from starting the laser to moving - on my version of the software it has delay for cut and engrave (scan) seperate
    Gap types: sides / centers? This tells the software if the row/col gap should be measured from edge to edge or from center to center
    Scan out: XXXmm? When rastering this scan out setting forces the head to go beyond the image - helping to prevent the edges from being distorted
    columns ?? Repeats
    Scan Mode: mono? Gray Relief? Screen1 -2 -3??? These are the screens used to convert grayscale images to 1-bit, the dither patterns. I have found for best results you should use Photoshop or other software to do the conversion and them import 1-bit and use mono mode.
    Anybody that knows, please help me out?
    Also, would you/ya'll recommend the purchase of the photograv software? Photograv won't help you run the machine, it does the dither conversion but you still use Newlydraw to run the image (bitmap). I have found you can get the same (or better) end results with Photoshop - but I have a lot of experience with Photoshop and image processing.

    jt

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaserNOT View Post
    Hi, newby again, I've been reading about "air-assist". What is that and what is it for?
    thanks
    jt
    Air assist is usually CDA (compressed dry air, from a shop compressor) or N2 (Nitrogen) from a tank, but depending on the application you could use other inert gases (the exception is metal cutting which uses the gas for a different purpose, and Oxygen is sometimes used).

    The air stream is either delivered from a tube aimed at the laser focus site, or for optimum performance it is delivered from a cone below the focus lens along the beam path.

    It's main purpose is to force vapourized material out of the kerf, to improve cutting. It also keeps the laser path clear and reduces flame ups and smoke which could damage the lens and will burn the product. If the gas assist is higher pressure you can cause acrylic to have a frosted edge appearance, which may be required.

    On the system you have, it likely doesn't have air/gas assist as it was mainly designed for engraving. I have a very similar machine and added a nozzle for CDA/N2 assist but have found it really doesn't benefit too much since the machine is limited in other ways when it comes to cutting.

    Zax.

  8. #8
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    It sounds like you have some problems, and I'm not sure if I can help but I'll give you the best advice I can.

    The condensation is concerning, it sounds like you are arcing from the anode to the coolant tube. This would only occur if the HV lines are not correctly insulated - are they covered with high voltage tape and/or silicone? You may also find the solder connection has a 'spike' or some other defect in the joint which is providing a source for the arcing to occur. I would not run the machine until this is resolved, I understand at higher power you are evaporating the moisture and getting the laser to fire but this is a safety hazard at best and may cause damage to the laser PSU and or tube.

    The circle cutting issue could be from a backlash error, due to 'play' in the drive system (cables and/or motor gear mesh) which can be corrected mechanically or in software (you are using the correct settings to adjust for it in software). The other potential cause is the steps per mm settings in the software (x and y dpi setting). Say you have a setting of 1008 steps for both X and Y, if you change the Y to 1010 the machine will move 2 additional steps causing the circle to be more circular. The way to check is to draw 2 lines, the first is to remove backlash from the drive and the 2nd is to get a measurement - then if the 2nd line is correct the error is in the backlash etc.

    The reduction in laser power after time is most likely due to poor cooling, do you have sufficient pump flow (coolant circulation)? It can also be caused by the laser PSU but I would expect that to be more eratic and suggest checking the flow first - if you have air bubbles in the tube you are not getting sufficient flow.

    Quote Originally Posted by PatternPaving View Post
    ILaser fires inside tube, but does not seem to come out
    -I think I've found the causes to be that your power may be set to low to allow the laser to escape the tube. Condensation could be forming on the water lines, which could in turn lead to a short of the tube (this is actually what we are experiencing right now, a bolt of electricity shoots down the inside of the tube during the initial firing of the laser)
    - To solve one problem you can increase the power you are cutting with. I don't know how to solve the short itself, other than keeping your water lines dry.

    Laser does not cut a perfect circle
    -The cause here seems to be the motors, which can easily be solved by cutting a few test circles while chaning the "Gap on xy axis" under "Options/work mode/Cut" in Lasercut 5.1

    When firing the laser, there is no glow at all in the tube
    -The only time I've run into this problem was with the lid open, which has a safety switch on it. If you close the lid, the laser should fire normally.

    After operating the laser fine for hours there will be a sudden drastic drop in power
    -We thought this had something to do with our power supply. We run a 120Watt laser. We had the power supply replaced with something we were told was 'beefer.' However 'this' problem persists (it did solve a few others). Its very sparatic and doesn't happen often. The only solution I've found so far is to shut off the machine and left it rest for a minute or two.

    I've got a few more problems to list here, but I'm still writing everything down. Hope that kicks off the idea a bit.

    Does anyone have anymore problems and your solutions to add?

  9. #9
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    We've already solved the problem with cutting circles, and for the most part we solved the sudden drop in power, but it is VERY erratic. Some times it doesn't happen for days. Our water circulates great tho. The cooler keeps the water chilled between 5'C and 25'C (which is well within the operations limits).

    As for the arching, the welds are fine and they are covered with electrical tape (my boss did all that because he's much better at it) The arch of electricity is literally INSIDE the tube with the CO2 and runs the length of the tube, almost 'wrapping' itself around the beam.

    We talked with Frank, or rep from Texas and another contact with the same machine somewhere in the midwest, and we're trying to keep the lines dry. This is the first time they've had so much condensation on them.

    We don't increase the power for this problem, those were two seperate problems above and one solution was raising the power.

  10. #10
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    Well I went ahead and jumped off and bought the photograv program and am waiting to get it. I have read many places that it is the superior product for photo engraving, which is the main reason I got the laser. As soon as I get it and play awhile, I'll let you know my results.
    I have been trying to use corel draw/photo and have got some "fair" at best results but there are just too many variables so far. I seem to get the best result from converting a bmp to tiff, then usually lighten pix, import to newlydraw and trying. BUT is not acceptable for commercial results nor consistant.
    I really appreciate the reply to my question/s about the settings but still don't really understand what was said. Please understand, I am a real newby to this and am trying to figure it out but it is SLOW. thanks again folks!
    JT

  11. #11
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    Different company in Jinan

    I am a newbie on this forum and presently looking for a laser engraver.

    The forum is very useful to help in my search.

    The rabbit is one option I look at, and I have found a few others. And may be someone could help. Here is the questions.

    Many company seem sell laser that resemble the rabbit, and some have similar number.
    Is there more than a manufacturer in Jinan ?

    Anyone have deal with Artsign artsign.com.cn

    Is there a site that give a comparison between the different chinese laser ?


    Thanks

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paradoxikon View Post
    Anyone have deal with Artsign artsign.com.cn

    Is there a site that give a comparison between the different chinese laser ?


    Thanks

    I actually have the Artsign version of the Rabbit HX40. It's a good little machine and was a bargain.

    Let me know if you have specific questions or need help.

    Zax.

  13. #13
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    I think as a novice you'll get more repeatable results using Photograv.

    The settings you asked about were mainly for repeats, not really applicable for your use.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaserNOT View Post
    Well I went ahead and jumped off and bought the photograv program and am waiting to get it. I have read many places that it is the superior product for photo engraving, which is the main reason I got the laser. As soon as I get it and play awhile, I'll let you know my results.
    I have been trying to use corel draw/photo and have got some "fair" at best results but there are just too many variables so far. I seem to get the best result from converting a bmp to tiff, then usually lighten pix, import to newlydraw and trying. BUT is not acceptable for commercial results nor consistant.
    I really appreciate the reply to my question/s about the settings but still don't really understand what was said. Please understand, I am a real newby to this and am trying to figure it out but it is SLOW. thanks again folks!
    JT

  14. #14
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    Did anyone else with a Rabbit Laser have problems that they solved? Whatever it was, let us know how you solved it.

  15. #15
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    Hi,
    I own a HX40A and after some startup problems it runs fine.
    The whole machine is build very solid only the parallel port is not the best solution.
    First problem occured after delivery the laser tube was broken.
    My supplier send me a new one. After changing the tube the mirrors needed some adjustment. Now its up and running.
    The working table is'nt horizontal from side to side the tolerance is 0.5mm
    In my opinion a good solution but needs some experience.
    Some very good information I found in this forum thanks to all!

  16. #16
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    Welp, I've learned a coupla new things this weekend. 1st & best, the positioning of the "cutting table". In Newlydraw, I put the settings in "inches" mode. I then cut a 1x8 to size to fit the width and length of the cutting table. This of course required cutting "notches" in the corners for the screw/bolts of the leveling system. In any case, I found that it is approx 8 1/4" wide & 9 3/4 long. That is easy enough and you can get that roughly with a tape measure. However, I could never get things "just right". I then put it in "TEXT" mode and placed a period ONLY in the text area. Then go to the "cut" menu and use the "draw frame" button. This will "burn" a large rectangle to give you an idea of the cutting/engraving area. I then made a series of 1x1 inch pictures and found I can "set" the area 8" wide and 9" long.
    You can put the graphic, picture/ sign or what ever ANYWHERE on the 1st screen, it doesn't care and positioning doesn't take place UNITLL you get to the engrave screen. THIS IS WHERE IT MATTERS! YEA! I FOUND YOU KUNTA KINTAE!
    Well, NOW I finally can have some control. I spent a good part of the day just "burning" images into my new board to get the coordinate system down.
    Top left is 0", 0". Bottom right is 177.80, 203.20, diagonally. Top right is 177.80,0. Bottom left is 0,203.20. I had fun for awhile making just 1"x1" images, then I got creative, 3"x3", 1.5"x1.5" and so on. Took all day but I now have a pretty good understanding of what is where. Remember, I was understanding 1" meant 1". NOT. You have to convert the inch back to mm on the cutting menu. 1"=25.4mm roughly. So on my machine, CENTER ROW VERTICALLY IS: 0,101.60 thru 177.80,101.60 as there are 9 rows avail. Since side to side, there are only 8 rows I use the centerline as top: 77.20,0 to 77.20,203.20. This is "close" enough as it appears to be only 1mm off at most. I doubt you can "see" this much for most things.

    In talking with another user I found on eBay a while back, the initial setting in the control panel is just a little different for each machine, and the "settings' are included with your "manual" (if you can call it that). Mine and his were on a single "loose" loose sheet of paper, and you have to enter the coordinates into the configuration menu THRU the engrave menu. Click on engrave, then prop, then go from general to device. On mine the 2 center coord's need to be replaced with the ones on my "loose sheet'". Once I did that, I was able to get very consistant movements! YES!! YES!! I even tested this theory by removing my "new" board, re-installing and re-engraving a spot again, using the coordinates, and it matched EXACTLY! Finally!

    So, futher precision can be had by dividing each 1" square by 25.4 if needed, I suppose you could get down to 1/25th of an inch if needed, ie 1/2" = 12.7mm, 1/4" = 6.35mm etc...

    I'll tell ya, if this sounds pretty simple to ya'll, it's been almost 2 months before I was able to figure them/it out. See how much help the manual ISN'T?

    Having said all that, this is wierd. 0,0 being the top left is exactly over the top left leveling bolt/screw, and the top edge is almost at the "vent' entrance, so the exact top left and right positions are not usable,BUT between the screws it is. Now, not so on the bottom set. The bottom edge is almost 1" ABOVE the bolt/screw. So, the cutting area is pretty much in the following shape.
    _____________________________________
    unusable ] [ unusable
    area ] [ area
    --------- ----------
    ] [
    ] [
    ] [
    ] [
    and on down to the bottom in this
    configuration

    ]___________________________________[


    Hope this helps others, it was such a crippling thing to me for so long.
    Oh yes, another thing I found out accidently. When I first got this, I wanted to "combine' 2 graphics together. Software wouldn't let me no matter what I tried, so I just gave up, used corel draw or paint to do whatever I needed and used that. Well today, I accidently "overlapped" an image and guess what? IT ENGRAVED BOTH IMAGES, AS 1!. Could'nt do it on purpose, but it worked accidently? Holy cow!

    Well enough tonight, Tomorrow, photograV arrives! YEEHOOO.

  17. #17
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    Hi Lasernot,

    You can combine shapes in Newlydraw using shift left mouseclick.

    Nice feature is if you need to cut one shape several time,
    place several shapes in corel draw at the same position combine them and export to dxf.
    Newlydraw will drive the laser n times at the same position.
    This method I used to cut and engrave 6mm wood in one job.
    I need 4-5 repetitions at 1cm/s (70%laser power) to cut the wood thru.

    If offset is needed use X and Y field in engrave dialog.

    Best Regards
    Michael

  18. #18
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    Well....
    The first impression of photograV is IMPRESSIVE! I have a few photo's that I have spent HOURS with, conversions, lightening, darkening, etc...
    Took the 1st 3, ran thru the software "raw" (with NO tweaking) and got the best results I have ever got. I can only imagine how they will turn out with some MORE tweaking.

    At this point I can't say enough. If this is any indication of how it is going to be, then you can whole heartedly say I am sold! I would recommend this software to EVERYBODY, heck I may even become a salesman for them! I even got a manual in ENGLISH!!!!

    Well gotta go, LOTS to do now...
    Thanks
    JT

  19. #19
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by LaserNOT View Post
    I even got a manual in ENGLISH!!!!
    JT
    English manuals?! That really is impressive! lol

  20. #20
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    Ok, some more questions please....

    I'm getting lost on this resolution thing. For example, the spec sheet on my rabbit laser says as: resolution ratio= 0.0254/1000dpi.
    Ok, does that mean it will do UP to 1000 dpi, or it does EVERYTHING at 1000dpi.

    I'm assuming that if it does 1000dpi, it's a cinch to do a photo at say 150dpi, or 300 dpi, or even 500 dpi, in fact just about everything up to 1000dpi. Is that correct?

    For example, photograV has shown a picture "source" at 72 dpi, and others at 92 from cameras. Well, then others at 250, 300 etc.
    The software says to "match" the laser to this input picture for best results.
    Now, I'm having some fairly good results compared to what I was getting without photograV, but I've got to say, it is not as good as SOME I've seen, particularly in wood, marble etc. Any help??
    Thanks
    JT

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