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Zeroing out follow through

Posted by Suicide Red on 03/10/10


Got myself a critical cx-2 like a month or so ago and recently my soba started showing a follow through of like 14%. I dont exactly want to mess with the machine too much cuz as far as I am concerned it runs great. My question is how do I get it back down to 0% FT? I assume its adjusting the contact screw or maybe some new springs? Thanx guys! Killer forum!!!!



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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by davey on 03/10/10


When you say recently, does that mean the same machine was showing a 0FT up untill recently? If so, i'd first take a look at what youve changed recently. If not, there are tons of things that could cuase this(and soba machines are cherry...so it can run how ever it wants to, man knows his trade.), but i would start with the obvious and likely...springs and contact point. Normally i would say not to bother...if its running well and your doing nice tattoos with it, thats really what counts. But the FT is really the one thing i acctually pay alot of attention to, as i feel it is alot more important to know your machine is going through a proper cycle than it is to get all caught up in Htz, CPS, duty and so on. All those things are really preferance more than a right or wrong reading.

If you changed anything...or if it was running at 0 before, check your springs and wires, look for faults or pits, or a poor angle of deflection in the spring to screw contact. Hope that helps.


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by cbe on 03/10/10


smash your power supply, and get one without a digital readout.

problem solved. ;) the machine is running fine, right?!


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by Suicide Red on 03/11/10


Thanks for the info!!! I will have to think about it. The machine was reading 0 FT up until recently. I will give the wires a good look over. But it sounds and feels just like it should and also tattoos flawlessly to my trained eye. I agree numbers dont mean shit. It still bugs me though. Anyways thank you again for the information.


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by markkidd on 03/18/10


I always find this interesting. I ran my machines with nothing more than a voltage meter for nearly 7 years and have been using an Eikon meter for about 3 now. I find it odd that some folks (and I'm not bashing anyone because I get where you are coming from and I still tune by ear and feel after roughing it in with the meter) think you should smash your meter and slam digital readings. If you understand them and know what they mean they can be very helpful in diagnosing and solving problem areas with your machines. If you can put the ink in and get a killer tattoo with a great heal without a meter that is awesome! However, an analogy to me would be like saying you are driving a Harley that is not tuned properly and is getting 3 miles to the gallon and making it harder for the engine to perform because it is poorly tuned. And you could argue did it get you from point A to point B? If so, don't F with it and smash your gauges and keep riding. However, if you took the time to tune the bike properly you could improve your gas mileage and reduce wear and tear. Just because it rolls from A to B doesn't imply it is running optimally. Back in the day you could roughly tune a Harley by listening to it and a few minor adjustments. Now Harley's have digital chips in them and tuned on computers. Does it mean you should smash the digital readout equipment? Hey old, Knuckles, Panheads & Shovels are cool but, I'd take my modern twin cam engine over one of those any day. Why? Because it is more reliable and efficient. (prob. setting myself up for a bashing from older bike owners.. heh heh). Anyway, just a thought...


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by markkidd on 03/18/10


I always find this interesting. I ran my machines with nothing more than a voltage meter for nearly 7 years and have been using an Eikon meter for about 3 now. I find it odd that some folks (and I'm not bashing anyone because I get where you are coming from and I still tune by ear and feel after roughing it in with the meter) think you should smash your meter and slam digital readings. If you understand them and know what they mean they can be very helpful in diagnosing and solving problem areas with your machines. If you can put the ink in and get a killer tattoo with a great heal without a meter that is awesome! However, an analogy to me would be like saying you are driving a Harley that is not tuned properly and is getting 3 miles to the gallon and making it harder for the engine to perform because it is poorly tuned. And you could argue did it get you from point A to point B? If so, don't F with it and smash your gauges and keep riding. However, if you took the time to tune the bike properly you could improve your gas mileage and reduce wear and tear. Just because it rolls from A to B doesn't imply it is running optimally. Back in the day you could roughly tune a Harley by listening to it and a few minor adjustments. Now Harley's have digital chips in them and tuned on computers. Does it mean you should smash the digital readout equipment? Hey old, Knuckles, Panheads & Shovels are cool but, I'd take my modern twin cam engine over one of those any day. Why? Because it is more reliable and efficient. (prob. setting myself up for a bashing from older bike owners.. heh heh). Anyway, just a thought...


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by markkidd on 03/18/10


Opps all that and I didn't offer any help... a few suggestions. Check your rear spring and see if it may have cracked. Check for excessive pitting on your front timing spring and/or poor angle of contact. If you shorten the angle of deflection of the contact screw FT will often drop. If you roll it outward and lengthen the contact point on the timing spring FT can climb. Maybe a fresh set of springs as well? Good luck


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by markkidd on 03/18/10


Opps all that and I didn't offer any help... a few suggestions. Check your rear spring and see if it may have cracked. Check for excessive pitting on your front timing spring and/or poor angle of contact. If you shorten the angle of deflection of the contact screw FT will often drop. If you roll it outward and lengthen the contact point on the timing spring FT can climb. Maybe a fresh set of springs as well? Good luck


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by cbe on 03/18/10


the problem with analogies are that you can twist and bend them to whichever side of the argument you are on. Its a classic example of good debater.

"would you agree with most intelligent people when i say (insert in the blank)"

a tattoo machine isn't a harley. a tattoo machine is just that: a tattoo machine. and when I specifically, and personally say "smash your power supply", it stems from my experience with people that have machines running great and are simply able to perform the job at hand (to my non electronic readouts) then conform them to "Eikons Tuning Rules" or whatever the readouts are "supposed to say" and their machines start running choppy, or slower, or are unable to keep up with their hand speed. I also think their tru spring set up is weird and preferred a rolled spring.

My experience is tuning my feel. Most times I have hooked up to a power supply with digital readouts they were "correct" give or take a little bit.

I also have some very well respected machines from great builders whose readouts aren't the "norm". Who am I to say they would run more efficiently if I tweaked them until the numbers read "right".

Is their hand speed the problem, is the machine the problem? or do not all "rules of tuning" apply to everyone because we all have different likes, dislikes, and handspeeds regarding a tattoo machine. which is more appropriate to conform to?


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by g-star on 03/18/10


in my experiance it can still perform ok while the f/t is not 0, if it is doing the job then theres really no need to stress and start tweaking things.


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by At on 03/18/10


numbers r just numbers ........


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by markkidd on 03/19/10


I think one thing that Eikon brought to the tattoo community was a vocabulary for talking about what machines are doing based on the basic principals of physics and science expressed in numbers. Prior to that I think Danny Fowler was one of the few that was looking at machines from a scientific standpoint. The vocabulary (FT, Duty, CPS etc.) and function of the machine was now able to be discussed and related to by the masses by using these numbers. Essentially they created a baseline from which we could all relate to one another about machine function and performance. Before the meter we talked about how a machine felt or sounded and if it was working okay or not. If I were talking to a friend across the country it would be real hard to diagnose problems (kinda like trying to tell someone what chocolate ice cream tastes like over the phone). But, with numbers and readouts we are now able to have a dialogue about machine performance and what a machine might be doing based on the information the numbers are providing. Case in point: both Davey and I were able to give some suggestions on what the problem could be based on the numbers provided. Ive never touched or even heard the machine. Both of us had similar suggestions to rectify the problem. How? Based on science and numbers and an understanding of what they were telling us. So, numbers DO MEAN SHIT! They tell us a lot. I agree they are not the end all Holy word but, they help in situations like this. I still tune my machines on feel and sound all the time. Im not caught up on numbers for the most part but, I listen to what they are telling me all the time. If Im tattooing and somethings not feeling right a quick look over at my meter will give me a quick diagnostic on whats most likely going on and what I need to do to rectify the problem. Im certainly not here to debate meter or no meter, Im just simply saying for me, Im grateful for what Eikon did for this industry and how it has positively changed my understanding of tattoo machines and their performance and how I can now relate to other artists about that information (esp. in certain situations like this forum).


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by markkidd on 03/19/10


PS - and CBE, I fully and whole-hartedly agree with what you said. I hope my last post sounded contrary. There are too many variables to consider... 31 flavors of ice cream and we can all agree to like different flavors but still love ice cream! Cheers!


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by markkidd on 03/19/10


CBE sorry supposed to say I hope it DID NOT sound contrary... its late, I need to get offa here. Peace


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by cbe on 03/19/10


no no, not at all. and i too, agree with that you have to say about it! its two sides of the same coin, and both are correct when machine problems are looked upon objectively.


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by SuicideRed on 03/24/10


I messaged Soba directly. Just had to get the truth on this problem I thought I was having. His words were exactly what I thought they would be. Forget the numbers. If the machine is doing what you want it to without crazy amounts of voltage or amps it is fine. The readings dont necessarily mean anything. So long is it has the speed and punch you want it is fine.


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by P on 11/04/10


Well he was wrong numbers do mean something. They tell you what the machine is doing and im sure he did not want to re tune your machine. If numbers mean nothing then feel and sound mean nothing. Builders tune by numbers for consistency. Must learn what the numbers mean for them to mean something to YOU . Learn the machine , understand it , if you learn speed cycle and all that good stuff you can tune your own. Some say my numbers are good but sounds bad , well then you tweak it until its smooth sounding cause the numbers ain't the problem and it could take a single small turn of the screw and that wont drastically change the readings. If you know what the numbers mean you will know how to drastically change speed ,cycle and FT. Numbers are the SCIENCE of the machine. Artists that say numbers dont mean shit dont know the physics of a full cycle. If they did they would know numbers are very important. Artists that dont know how to drastically change the "numbers" dont understand the science of a machine and cant tune. A machine can sound great and be too fast for your slow hand witch will cause trauma to the skin. Learn , study and know your machine and how to tune it before looking dumb. Those who say no , buy there machines tuned and spend $$$$ cause they cant tune a machine. The builder they bought from , yes he used a meter at some point , or the machines would all have no consistency. Speed is important cause you cant LISTEN OR FEEL speed .
Builder


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by dread on 11/10/10


the first thing i usually check it to make sure the surface of the contact screw is clean and the spring is not pitted. then i would make sure the contact screw is hitting the front spring at the very tip of the spring, and does not have an extreme angle. also, i find if my front spring has too much compression that can cause some follow through. i hope any of this helps.


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by john on 11/10/10


Dread is right, make sure you have a flat hit on the spring too with your contact screw, i find that a 18g back and 16g front works well at 50% 47 with and set up and keeps a 0 ft pretty good with a flat hit by the screw. Just a thought ' Paper towel instead of a gromet for a tight fit maybe,,,,,,, just throwing things out here to try and help you with your question


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by SuicideRed on 11/10/10


I guess i should clarify that Soba did not say forget the numbers. But more so forget about the follow through. I dont remember his exact words but it was something to the effect that follow through is more or less a made up term. I tend to agree as I have several machines with new springs and perfect contact screw angle that show a small percentage of follow through but to my eye they tattoo great, sound great, and feel great. I got hung up on numbers after having picked up a critical cx2 meter. Now I focus more on tattooing and less on the numbers so long as I am getting the desired result. But thank you all who gave advice. It all seems like great advice at that and really what this forum SHOULD be about.


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RE:Zeroing out follow through

Posted by Ryan on 11/11/10


It's really easy to get caught up in all the numbers. I've made machines worse just by trying to get those numbers where they should be. Now when I'm tuning I just tune at whatever voltage the builder said he tunes them at, make sure the hertz and duty are within acceptable ranges 43-50% and 95-110 hertz loaded for most of my machines but I only really pay attention to the FT if something sounds or feels off. If it sounds off and the FT is really high it reminds me check the contact areas. Usually a slight adjustment of the contact screw angle does the trick for me. If everything sounds good and feels good then go with it. Zeroing out your FT is all fine and good, but some of my Cains have an FT of 3-9 but they still tattoo like a dream, I have machines from other builders where every number was spot on, but didn't run nearly as well, so whatever man.


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