Epilogue Summit

I have been gifted an old Epilogue Summit which is in good condition and has had very little use.
Up until now I have been using a Diode Laser with Lightroom on my iMac coupled to Eleksmaker Mana SE controller.
Is it possible to to reconfigure the Epilogue Summit to work with my current software & controller or am I stuck with having to use it with Epilogue software on a PC

The Epilog hardware should be orders of magnitude more capable than the Mana SE controller. You’re asking a question along the lines of, “I just got a new Ferrari - can I put a Kia engine in it?” Not intended to offend, by the way - just that Epilog hardware is generally very good, and the machines usually cost tens of thousands of dollars.

For software, they usually work through a print driver you install that just lets you “print” to the machine. They don’t give you a great deal of control, but it is a very simple workflow that some people like.

Thanks for the reply and explanation.
I really would prefer to have the Epilogue Summit working from my iMac but there doesn’t seem to be any drivers available. Thats why I was looking at using lightburn

1 Like

From what I’ve read, that machine uses a parallel port connection to drive it. You might need to find an old PC, or as you said, you could potentially swap the controller. I’d go with a Ruida if it’s possible - much faster and better control than a Mana SE, and would be able to drive an RF excited metal tube, which is usually what Epilogs have in them. Motor controls might need to be swapped - I don’t know if those machines were steppers or servos.

You can use a USB to parallel converter, but unfortunately there is no Mac driver for the Summit.

I would recommend buying a cheap PC or installing VirtualBox (free) on the iMac and running a copy of Windows 7 or such. The drivers are 32 bit, so only worth using a 32-bit version of Windows.

Don’t swap out the controller - unless you’re a confident motion control tech, you’re opening up a world of pain.

I’ve been balls-deepin such machines and can confidently state it’s not a task I would take on. The USB to parallel will work great.

My first concern would be the condition of the twenty year old tube.

If the tube is bad you may be able to get it recharged ($$$) or you may decide to retrofit it with a glass tube - which would require some DIY skills as the glass tubes are much longer than the RF it came with.

If the tube its still good I would first find an old PC with a parallel port and use that as a dedicated computer just for the laser.

Next choice (probably my first choice) would be to do away with all the electronics and replace with new drivers and a Ruida controller, and use LB.

One of the issues you may run into in a controller swap is if they used servo motors originally. If so, not only do the drivers need changing, but the servo motors themselves need to be swapped as well. I just finished doing that on an older large format Vytek laser. I had to machine new brackets for the steppers as the panasonic servos were not nema standard sizes, and had to machine custom shaft couplers to connect the new stepper motors to the drive system. Fortunately, I could mill my own parts, but it would have been very expensive to have the custom brackets and couplers made.

I wouldn’t swap out servos for steppers, you can get servo drivers that take step/dir signals from Gecko. It would be compatible with a Ruida controller.

1 Like

Thanks for posting that. Did not know that they existed. Could have saved me a lot of work…lol

1 Like