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A word to the wise about Gerber upgrades

Discussion in 'Gerber Omega, Graphix Advantage & MacImprint' started by rapidsigns, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. rapidsigns

    rapidsigns New Member

    Jan 25, 2006
    A word to the wise about Gerber upgrades.

    I want to share with this forum my recent experience with Gerber. Before anyone gets the wrong opinion, I have owned Gerber software for 20 years. I have a HS 15s, Gerber Edge and a Gerber router along with 4 Gerber software workstations. My problem started the in Mid April the day I purchased a new computer, my old one was on its last leg. I installed Gerber 3.0 on it but it would not cut. I spoke with Midwest Sign and Screen service department for two weeks but they finally thru up their hands. On May 1st, I called Gerber Tech Support, they said I needed to upgrade to Omega 5.0. Ok, I thought, I'll spend $545.00 to solve this problem. I understand where they are coming from.

    Installed software March 9th. Still will not cut, called Tech support, over the next 2-3 days they had me install, reinstall, wipe clean, reinstall, still does not work. They then said it was my communication cord, so we took a cord off another computer that works and cuts on the HS 15. It did not work on the new computer. They then said I need the USB cord, so $100 dollars later I got a USB cord. (Tony at Gerber guaranteed that would work). BUT it still did not work, so they had me uninstall software, wipe clean, re-install software. Next they said it was the card in my new computer, go get a Siig card and it will be just fine. Another $150.00 later we have a new card in our new computer. And you guessed it, it still does not cut. They had me uninstall the software and re-install it. Still did not work, ok Gerber says, plug the HS 15 into the same power strip as the computer, that should work. Nope that doesn't work. Well then uninstall the software and reinstall it, that should help. Nope that didn't help. Each time I called Gerber I got a different tech and they kept trying the same thing, none of them would read the last service reports and start from scratch so I spend the first 10 minutes of every phone call bringing them up to date on what we had done.

    By May 28th I am losing my patience (and my mind) and request to deal with one person only at Gerber. At this point we have over 50+ hours trying to solve the problem to no avail.

    On June 4th I got a call from Tony who said it was my computer. I needed to buy a Dell computer model x for $650.00. That would solve the problem because that is what they are running. I told them we have 3 Dell computers in our office and 5.0 did not work on any of them as they had us install it on these computers earlier. I asked Tony if Gerber was going to pay for the new Dell computer if it did not work. He said no, just send it back. On June 5th Tony called back and said, do not buy Dell model x, buy model y for $950. It will solve all my problems, GUARANTEED.

    On June 7th, Tony again call, did I buy the new computer, no, ok hold off we are checking something. On June 8th Tony called back, Sorry, Gerber Omega 5.0 does not work with a Gerber HS15s. We (meaning Gerber) did not know this (how the !@#$ do they not know this).

    I suggested to them that all they had to do was copy the old code into the new Omega code. Their reply, no that’s not going to happen. How are you going to solve my problem I ask. It's not our problem they reply. You can buy a new plotter, they suggest. But my old plotter works just fine I reply, in fact a few years ago I sent it to you and had it refurbished for $xxxx.00. Sorry nothing we can do.

    Tony calls back a week later and says Gerber is going to give me a hell of a deal on a new plotter to compensate me for my time and trouble. Week 1 passes, then week 2. Week 3 I call Gerber regional mgr. He says the local Midwest Rep has a great price. Week 4, the rep gives me the new price, it is less than 10% off retail. What a joke. I then spend the next 4 weeks going back and forth with them trying to get the "hell of a deal" Tony promised me. But it looks like they just told me to go to H E DOUBLE HOCKEY STICKS.

    As of this date I can not cut on my HS 15 with Omega 5.0 Every job we cut we must save the file to an older version, copy it on to a flash drive, walk into our router room and unplug the router, plug the HS 15 into that computer and then send the job over. This extra little step takes us about 3-4 minutes. Multiply that times the number of jobs we do per day and you have a losing proposition.

    So be very careful when you upgrade your software, because it may not work with your cutter AND Gerber may not have any idea it does not work and they will not stand behind their product.

    P.S. Omega 5.0 works just fine on my 20 year old Ioline cutter.

    J D Morrissey
    Rapid Graphics & Signs
    Omaha NE
  2. SqueeGee

    SqueeGee Active Member

    May 27, 2005
    Wow, that stinks!

    Thanks for the heads up.
  3. jayhawksigns

    jayhawksigns Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2005
    Wow, I thought I had problems with Flexi.
  4. SignBurst PCs

    SignBurst PCs Very Active Member

    I hate to see this on here as Tony has always been more than willing to help with Gerber issues anytime anyone asks. Usually, they get resolved pretty easily. I do know that there are issues with some of Gerber's old devices connecting on newer computers, but most are overcome by a simple cable.

    Like the OP seems to understand, upgrading software to the current version seems to be the name of the game. It is very unfortunate that the new Omega doesn't support his HS15, but that too seems to happen from time to time. I don't know if Omega intended not to support the HS15 or not, but it seems that they were caught off guard. Again, very unfortunate.

    You may look into using Omega 4.x as it supported the HS15 and was compatible with newer computers. You may still need to use the adapter cables, but at least it will work. I don't know if Gerber would help out with this or not, but it is worth mentioning.
  5. Tony Teveris

    Tony Teveris Active Member

    There are more Tonys here than meet the eye.

    I, the software guy have not heard about this at all. Tomorrow I will reread this and look into it asap. The only thing that I have seen in the past is some computers (Dell included) had marginal voltage on the serial i/o port signals and the Gerber plotters electrical requirements are very tight.

    If I read the above correct you even tried the USB to Serial and it did not work?

    My first order of biz will be to find a HS 15 which is not easy if at all doable.

    If I were in the position I would have offered you and Envision 375 for the HS15 if we could not figure it out, but thats me not Gerber's policy.
  6. beckys

    beckys Member

    Oct 6, 2004
    I upgraded to 4.0, I could not get my 4B to work!! I know old right.
    I had to wipe out windows 7 on a brand new Dell, and install XP, in order to get it to work.
    I still have issues with the target, but a minor PITA, but I'll deal..
  7. Typestries

    Typestries Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    NJ | VT
    That's a good heads up. We recently called to upgrade as well and put it on hold beacuse the could not answer a simple question of "will the upgrade solve our sabre curve acceleration/speed issues?"

    Have you thought about finding an older used pc (5-6 year old dells are everywhere in the auctions) and just install xp on it and put your older version on? Not the answer you want, but a heck of a lot easier than sneaker net and unplugging.
  8. Tony Teveris

    Tony Teveris Active Member

    Rick, what version of ArtPATH are you running now plus acceleration / speed is all controlled in the firmware of the router control NOT the software. Now if you have later versions of ArtPATH (3.0 later) there is a "Software Contour" option where the software (ArtPATH) does all the contouring and tells the control what to do. This seems to work really well.
  9. Tony Teveris

    Tony Teveris Active Member

    On the serial I/O side of things, all the Gerber cutters (HS, GS, GS+, HS+, Envision) all use the same protocol for communications. The wiring in the cables may be a bit different but the "signals" should play the same. The code in GQMgr for these cutters has not change in years. Now it is possible that when we added USB support for both serial and parallel we broke something but then it would be across all the "liked" devices not just a particular one. I'm thinking we do not even have an HS around here any more. I know for a fact we have no 4Bs, imagine no historical signmaker, a pure shame in my book.
  10. Typestries

    Typestries Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    NJ | VT
    Tony, in one paragraph you just told us more than 5+ phone calls and 2+ hours on the phone with support could. Thank you.....I may revisit this, and have my router op reach out to you. I love this place.....thank you!
  11. Tony Teveris

    Tony Teveris Active Member

    Well I searched the entire building this morning to find an HS15 with no luck. I have one more place to look but I do not think I will find one.

    It should also be noted that your HS15 does not work with Omega 3.0 or 5.0, not just 5.0 and that the "new" computer triggered the problem.

    Now why a new Siig card or the USB to Serial did not work is beyond me. The USB cable is a standard (watch that word) purchased cable that just installs as a COM port, the software driver is also the cable vendors, Gerber adds nothing (except $80). I will note that we did a lot of testing to find a cable that would work across Windows operating system and devices.

    Is anyone else using an HS15 or know of anyone using one?

    Does the HS15 work on any of the other work stations you have. When you say does not work do any lights blink when you send a job or do you get nothing?
  12. Typestries

    Typestries Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    NJ | VT
    HS15+ here, 16 year workhorse. Omega 2.0 on win XP.
  13. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

    Jun 8, 2004
    Tony, I have a HS15 Plus running with 5.0 if that is any help. contact me if it does and let me know what I can do to help.
  14. Tony Teveris

    Tony Teveris Active Member

    I have plenty of HS15+ around, right now I'm trying to figure out electrically/communications wise what is different which I'm sure they are very different just because of the time they were built.
  15. Red Ball

    Red Ball Active Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    GS15 plus working on Omega Ver. 4.

    Also have a Super Sprint in storage but alas no plotter.
  16. OldPaint

    OldPaint Major Contributor

    rapidsigns.........I AM WILLING TO BET when you bought that new computer they sold you biggest fastest greatest PIECE OF 64 BIT WINDOWS 7 operating system, DIDNT THEY????
    of course that HS-15 is not gona work in a 64 bit environment!!!! WINDOWS 7 sucks for legacy equipment.
    DO THIS:
    take that super duper pooper scooper computer BACK WHERE YOU BOUGHT IT!!!!
    have them wipe the hard drive, REINSTALL WINDOWS XP or add another hard drive and the main operating system OF XP, 32 BIT.
    now you have solved the ONLY PROBLEM YOU HAD)))))
  17. Sign Up Graphics

    Sign Up Graphics Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Sign Up Graphics

    Wow, Thanks for the heads up. :thumb:
  18. hydo1

    hydo1 Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    I wonder if you could add another serial port to the computer hooked up to your router so you could permanently plug in the HS15. Then cut to it as a remote plotter from your main work station with 5.0 (assuming they are networked). I think I did that from 5.0 to 2.1 for a few weeks without any issues.
  19. rapidsigns

    rapidsigns New Member

    Jan 25, 2006
    i get nothing

    I will call you this morning to talk to you in person.

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