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Original Gerber Edge and 750 Cutter

Discussion in 'Gerber' started by SightLine, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    So….. I’m getting these from a Federal GSA surplus warehouse. Got the entire lot of stuff for under $500 which includes an original Edge, GSP 750 (all I could see written along the side of it) plotter with a Graphix Advantage S/750 interface box, along with some other surplus “stuff”. I was only able to look for a minute as it was dark in the warehouse, pretty hot, and the stuff is all in large wood crates. The top of the crate with the Edge was open though so I was able to see that the Edge appears to be complete without any physical signs of damage but could not dig things out for close inspection. Everything is covered in a layer of dust from sitting (GSA stuff has to sit for a year before it can be sold to the public). However whatever military branch last had it did take the time to build a wood crate to transport it. I have no idea what is buried in the bottom of the crate, software may or may not be present, may or may not be any foils. It did look like one of the table top material rollers things was in there.

    I do realize the original Edge is somewhat ancient and requires a parallel connection and the plotter probably serial. I’m not at all worried about connections or Windows requirements. We have several older PC’s around in excellent condition which I could repurpose one of needed. I also realize that just as it sits, dirty and untested it’s worth 5k in trade in value towards a new Edge FX. I’m not in the least interested in spending 7k+ after the trade in for an FX.

    What I do want to know is if the old Edge is in working order and it’s head is good is it worth running with it. We do have some demand for smallish decals here and there where I know these Edges can really shine, especially with niceties like black/color on clear, spot colors, metallic, print on color material, etc. I know the advantages. Actually, seems like eons ago, we had an Alps printer which we used for unique things on occasion which is the same technology but not really geared for our industry. Not tying our JV33 up with little decal jobs would be nice as well as being able to offer specialty features that an Edge is capable of. Will FlexiSign Pro 8.6v2 be effective for driving the little Edge and it’s cutter? I know it supported and it can but I do not know what it’s limitations might be over Omega. Fred you can probably give me pointers here as I know you use an Edge (I think a newer II or LE now though).

    Anyways, here is a crappy picture as it sits at the federal warehouse. This particular fed depot is almost exclusively military surplus and in my experience the military stuff was often very well maintained and under service contracts right till the day they decide to retire something. So there are quite high odds that once I dust this old girl off, reseat all the connections inside, and give it an overall good going over (light lube on rails and bearings, etc) that it will work just fine. Probably will go pick the lot up early this coming week. Once I get it out on looked over a bit better I’ll post some better pictures and well as report it’s condition as well as the hours it reports on the print head. Hopefully there will be a foil or 2 buried in the crate that I can test it with…. Worst case I still think I could easily sell it for a small profit strictly as a trade-in peice or as a parts machine.
     

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  2. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Went and picked the lot up. The cutter looks ancient and I have not gone over it at all yet. The Edge, seems okay. Top stays up on it's own, powers right up and goes to offline mode. Hitting the setup button shows RevF.0 07/18/97, couple of other items - Period US 1200, Firings 6, Print Min 10800. Not sure what most are but I think the print min is it's printing hours correct? That is indicating 180 hours. No idea if thats high or low though.

    Now I need to get some sort of ribbon to test it I suppose as well as connecting it to our RIP with FlexiSign on it since that is all I have to run it. No software, media holders, dongle, nothing else was in the crate with it. Couple of better pics of it here in the shop...

    Another member here has a process cyan and process magenta foils. Will those by themselves allow me to test this thing?
     

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  3. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    yes you can test with any foil - do a full width solid 1" bar (11.8") and a full-width gradient from 100% to 0% - that should tell you if any pixels are out.
     

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  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    180 hours is pretty decent. The Edge is an LE model ... not the oldest model and what i run to this day. You can test it with the foils mentioned and there are some tests that are built into the firmware. You should be able to find them by pressing the same button you used to read the print minutes.
     
  5. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Awesome, an LE is even better. I have no idea how to tell the difference between an original and a LE model. The only tag I found is just inside the right upper edge when you raise the cover. Has the serial number and just says its an Edge.
     
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    The first Edge models opened from the side. All models after that open from the front.
     
  7. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    sweet mines straight up OG then :thumb: still runs absolutely great
     
  8. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Well the plotter as I suspected is not so well. It's the original 30" S/750 like the one you used to (or still do) have Fred. The one with no buttons on the cutter at all. It's got the interface box permanently connected to it with a long cable. It does have the stand (not currently attached) but the primary issues as you probably can already guess is the drum covering is essentially gone. Not at all worth $1000+ for a new drum for it if one coudl even be found.

    So..... for working with the Edge I do not really need anything more than a 15" sprocket feed cutter anyways. Anyone one, using FlexiSign with the Edge LE will any sprocket feed cutter work? I'm guessing it will be much like print/cut workflow using our Mimaki and 60" Summa cutter. Prints have a registration mark, load the material on the cutter, send the cut job. On the cutter you then jog the knife to directly over the first registration mark and hit go. It then detects the other marks and cuts. I'm guessing since the Edge is designed for sprocket fed material that it might only use one registration mark since skewing/size com will not come into play and it just located the one mark and goes.

    Or is an actual Gerber cutter a must?
     
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I'm not aware of any other 15" sprocket fed cutter other than Gerber's various models. But yes, Flexi will print a single target in front of the print which you then align with a bomb sight that comes with the Gerber plotters. You can interface with a number of friction fed plotters and print the four corner targets but you will lose an inch or more of your available print height in doing so which you will sorely miss. In the long run, you are miles ahead picking up a Gerber GS-15 or Envision 375.
     
  10. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

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    pff i use a pnc-1000 24" friction fed to cut mine. just bomb sight the center mark and go
     
  11. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Its aliiivvveeee!!! Apparently you really can leave one of these to sit neglected outside for years and they still work just fine. From what I can tell, process cyan on yellow vinyl (makes green lol), the head is in perfect condition. Something seems like it does not belong inside there....

    This thing is flat out butt ugly 80's yellowing beige. And wow those boards are early 80's technology all the way. Ok so it's not quite that bad but close, some of the chips are indeed mid 80's technology but the board is actually dated 1995. The hideous plastics are primed and about to get a coat of metallic light blue that we have some rattle cans of lying around.

    Now I just need a pile of foils, 15" rolls of vinyl (have a roll of white 3M 7125 on the way), and some more time to figure this thing out. Took a bit to get the cartridge pins moving, had to pull the off and clean the old hardened grease/oil off. Found the hidden button! :thumb: One last mud dauber nest to extract... little more dust mitigation, general cleanup, and reinstall the plastics and she will be like new.
     

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  12. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Couple of more pictures if anyone is interested in seeing it. The keypad has some nasty dull yellowish coating. Not totally sure if it came that way or if it was years of gunk or what. Little bit of rubbing compound and elbow grease took it off and left the keypad looking ultra glossy and brand new. Hard to see but the pic is with just the right half of it done. The machine looks a thousand percent better in metallic "ice blue" with a new blue stripe and cleaned up keypad.

    I only have the 2 foils right now. Process Pro cyan and Process Pro magenta. I guess I need to find a Process Pro Y and K foils to go with them. Any suggestions on what are the most important foils to keep on hand and thoughts on aftermarket foils like Zeronine with the refillable caddys? I do not really want to just stock up on thousands $ worth of foils so I'm guessing any specific spot colors that I might end up needing I'll just order once we have a specific need.
     

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  13. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Check with Advantage Sign Supply for their Apex foils as well as the rest of your Gerber Process Pro foils. We've had very good performance with the Apex brand which are actually Duracoat private label and sell for much less than Gerber foils.

    Most used:

    • Apex Super Opaque Black
    • Apex Super Opaque White
    • Apex Process Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black
    • Apex Ruby Red
    • Apex Blue
    • Apex Gold Metallic
    • Apex Yellow
    • Apex UV/Abrasion Guard
     
  14. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

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    That was a great deal you got. That machine can make you plenty of Dough!!
     
  15. Tel

    Tel Member

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    What a fantastic deal you got, I use an LE exactly the same as yours coupled to a Gerber GS15+ and they work great together. I use Omega software though, and the combination is a fantastic workhorse plodding on day after day, it does not surprise me that yours worked after sitting for so long. One piece of advice I would give is get some Gerber Wipes for your head I wouldn't use anything else, some of the other wipes have water added to them and this gathers the dirt and dries in the head blocking the ink you must use 99.9% Isoproyl Alcohol, so my advice is nothing but Gerber wipes. I used to have an original Edge it is different to the LE opens sideways, it was bought in the 80s and we were the second owner, it lasted until about 3 or 4 years ago them something in the boards blew, our LE was a reconditioned factory item and has given supberb service for the last 3 years giving no problems at all.
    I use gerber foils and zeronine foils and signfoils, the Gerber foils seem quite expensive but maybe it's because we are in the UK (N.Ireland) and I always use foils and use refillable caddys, I even have cut non_refillable caddys and then taped them up again, all to good effect.
    Good luck to you with yours
    regards
    Tel
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  16. Perks

    Perks Member

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    The 750 is a worker. Had one at the sign shop in Philly. Used it primarily to cut layouts in film for silk screens. The old sign designer knew it well. They had to stop using it though... the new designer who was sending files to the 750 for reasons unknown was attempting to adjust the knife setting by continually spinning the dial until he felt like stopping. It was never the same after that.
     
  17. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    I'd try to get the 750 cutter going but I'm not willing to spend nearly a grand for a new drum. The drum itself I'm sure is fine but the rubber or whatever covering on it is completeley gone. If I could get just the cover itself at a reasonable cost I'd be willing to replace it. Or if I even had one that I could try to match the covering to I have several sources for rubber/foam sheeting and might try to source and recover it that way. I'd need to be able to determine the specific thickness and dyne of the material to even begin to try that though. Then again it's a wider tractor feed cutter than what the Egde can use anyway as far as I can tell. Unless those tractor feeds are adjustable to move closer together for 15" rolls. Probably just going to scrap it for the most part and sell it off as parts unless someone wants it as a whole for dirt cheap. Shipping would probably be more than it is worth though I'd imagine.

    Looked about a bit for a 15" tractor feed cutter like on Hyatts. WTF???? 11 grand for a 15" cutter??? Is that Envision 375 largely made of solid gold parts? I mean really cmon', that is flat out robbery. I do not care how reliable it is. I paid far less than that for a top of the line Summa S-160T which for a friction feed is well regarded as one of the most accurate true tangential cutters money can buy at that size. I'd like to find a little 15" sprocket feed to pair up with it but I'm not willing to spend anywhere remotley close to that. I'll keep watching out for a decent used one on eBay and other places....
     
  18. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    There is absolutely no way for you to use the S750 as a cut device for the Edge. The width is not adjustable and the punch pattern is also different for the 30" vinyl. You should look for a used GS15 or HS15 if finding a low cost solution is your main concern.
     
  19. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Little more progress and some testing. The Edge does indeed work fine with FlexiSign Pro. Actually connected it with a TrendNet USP to Parallel cable that we happen to have a pile of laying around and it works fine. Just selected USB0001 in Flexi's Production Manager as the port. Figured out that using the Gerber Foils color libraries in Flexi works great, the Edge prompts for each foil by name. It is a fiddly process for sure loading and unloading the foils as it requests them. I see the need for limiting color changes as much as possible using this. It does also work with our 63" Summa cutter just fine BUT I need to see if I can figure a way to make Flexi use a spot color for the black OPOS marks. By default they are CMYK making the machine prompt for process black, cyan, yellow and magenta just to print the cutters OPOS marks. That is somewhat annoying for sure. I definitley need a pile of foils for this to really be useful. I can see where that is going to be a much large expense that what I have in the Edge itself.

    Anyways just posting some of my thoughts and musings on this so far. Really no idea of anyone is interested or cares....
     
  20. ThinkRight

    ThinkRight Active Member

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    Some of us do.
     
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