Now is a bad time to ask me if I would choose an Epilog again...my engraver is down and I'm afraid the problem is in fact the tube. Over the course of the last two weeks I was involved in a very large job and I put some very long hours on my engraver. The power started to decrease and it is now to the point where vector cutting is not possible. I have made two calls to Epilog Tech Support and they have had me checking the mirrors first and now doing a beam alignment test. Honestly I don't even understand the results of the test I did yesterday morning so I will have to wait until I discuss the issue with the technician this afternoon before I know what the next step will be.
I was told that If the tube needed to be rebuilt I had several options, the most agreeable to me is for me to send Epilog my tube and a check for $1500.00 and they would run diagnostics on my tube and send me a rebuilt tube if necessary. This is much cheaper than having Epilog send a replacement tube and then return my tube to them in their shipping container. The good news is that I don't have any engraving work that is pressing right now, I'm running my CNC router and doing some dye-sub projects so the down time isn't as big an issue at this point. If I was in the middle of a big job I would have to go the most expensive route to get my engraver back up and running as quickly as possible.
What upsets me at this point is that although my engraver is three years old it couldn't possibly have 1000 hours on it, in fact it is much less. The good news is that the machine has been reliable up until now and lately very profitable so the cost of repair is less of a factor than the down time. The mirrors on my machine do show some degrade around the outside edges which according to tech support should not be a problem. I'm not sure why this has happened as I have been very carefull selecting materials that are laser safe. I do expect to have to purchase new mirrors in the near future.
I'll let you know this evening what my next step in the process is going to be, much depends on the technicians recommendations at this point as it is possible that the beam is not aligned properly.