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It is pretty easy to find a bullet proof GT-541 for $5000 or so. Given the time and effort that is going into making these home built printers anyone who is serious about using DTG as a real business would never consider this hodgepodge stuff. I applaud folks who are innovative and want to save a buck and this may work great for making a handful of shirts in your garage but it's not a serious real world business application.
 

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The money is a major part of it but not all of it. There are members in here who have built systems that are as good or even better than what you buy. Engineering skills come with an individual not a company. And there are a lot around here. Bill Gates did not buy his first or second computer. And his garage was not a manufacturing company.

Hope I made my point.
 

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When I got my GT-541 Brother was running an interest free 2 year lease deal so it only cost about $650 per month. The machine literally paid for itself within a few months so while the initial cost looked imposing it wasn't at all.
 

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If someone has indeed made something at home that is better than what is commercially available then I would expect them to try to market the machine (like Mr. Gates did).
It takes time and money. There is a laundry list of things that the law requires before you can release a commercial product plus protecting your idea. There are people who use their prototypes for years before going public. There are so much products out there that started in people basements and garages it's unbelievable to some of us.
 

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Actually there are a few commercial machines that have their roots in this thread. Easy T printer and the Veloci T to name 2. IMHO. Most commercial DTGs are based on an Epson print engine. As in they are an Epson in Sheeps clothing. The Brother is an exception, they have their own hardware. The print quality of a DIY can be the same, and will be if built properly, as the commercial units. However there can be issues with start up, resetting the platter etc. as you have read here. With a little trail and error these can be over come. Some people are just not cut out to DIY, in which case should not. Here u hear more about the problems than the successes. A brother 541 for 5 grand that works great and comes with some ink and is currently printing daily may be a good choice. However u are limited to CMYK, not bad for a beginner, if your market can stand it. But my R1900 based DIY will out print it, Epson based machines tend to have the best print quality due to higher resolution. But it's not pretty, takes time and no bells or whistles. So it depends on if u are getting a job done or going to the prom. Granted a commercial unit looks better on the floor for the customer. Kind of like the pretty girl at the door of a dance club. Some may want a DIY then change to a commercial unit as business grows and u make money and find that a DTG works in their business model. But consider the ROI. 5K is not bad, but heads for that machine are close to 1,000$ per, and how many does it have? Take a look at your options, and abilities.
 
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I based my t -shirt business solely on what the GT-541 could do. I do my own designs for specific niche markets and don't take custom orders or do walk in sales. Therefore I could easily work around the limitations of the machine. With a net profit of over $10 per shirt it does not take long to pay for a commercial machine. Because the GT-541 ia so incredibly easy to use (and reliable) it made perfect sense for me. Plus Brother offered a no interest deal, heck my brother in law bought one right after me because the deal was so good. He's doing a niche market and paid for his machine in a few months too.

I see lots of folks complaining about the cost of ink etc but it's like the razor blade companies. The razor is cheap but the cost of replacement blades is where they make money.
 

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I am currently getting two scenarios with the PE sensor on my Epson C66 printer. Here is the video explaining the two scenarios.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySH-DBHnp3Y[/media]
 

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I am currently getting two scenarios with the PE sensor on my Epson C66 printer. Here is the video explaining the two scenarios.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySH-DBHnp3Y[/media]
You are having a timing problem.
Think of it this way. If you are a runner that have to pass a checkpoint at a specific time during your race or get disqualified. You will have to be at that checkpoint no matter what condition you're in.

Here is the technical explanation.
All printers have a timing mechanism of some sort (timing wheel). This is to make sure that the printer work the way it was intended. If at any time the printer detect that a signal or a sensor is not triggered at the right time to meet the timing expected you get an error. Now if any altercation is done to any portion of the printer that changes any ratio, speed or movement you have a timing problem. Hence your changes must remain constant with the original ratio and alignments.

Things to check:
*Platen = If the platen is too small the PE sensor will not be trigger in time. If it is too big the sensor will be triggered too quick (the ration has to be the same as original).
When I say too small or too big I'm referring to travel distance to timing distance.
* PE sensor = If the PE sensor was moved to another location it has to be in alignment to where it was before.

I can go on and on but I think your problem is with the platen.

* platen = table top
 

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You are having a timing problem.
I don't think it's a timing issue because I moving my platen about a 1/16 of inch and if it is 1/16 further back from a specific spot it stops, then the print carriage slides across the track, then the two red lights blink.

If I move the platen a 1/16 of inch forward it feeds the whole tray, then flashes the paper light. I doubt the threshold of the timing is less than a 1/16 of an inch.
 

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Well I got a little further in the boot up cycle for the printer. It turns out the little white lever near the carriage home position was not going down all the way. So when the printer carriage moved away from the home position, I manually pushed the lever down and the printer continues on with the boot up process. I could make a video of where I am getting stuck now (-.-)
 
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