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Black Cat Cougar Abandoned.

JensMomJensMom Member Posts: 1,166
I finally got back into scrapbooking, work and life have invaded my happy place but now trying to get to being creative. I have a mini Michael's like most crafter's do in my home. I have been fighting with the machine for the past few day's, my cuts are ripping the paper, I put in a new blade and the issue is more than likely my user error, blade depth, etc. What annoys me is that the support for this machine is non-existent, it's like abandoned now that the "Silver Bullet" is the Du Jour of the cutting scene. I have a real problem with that as most video's and handbooks etc. were pulled offline. Thankfully Rob, with Scrappy Dew, who is a true stand up guy stands behind everything he sells and still has video's on Vimeo. The rest, from Tyler were taken down and as I said the machine is like abandoned, and that stinks considering most of us spent upward of $1000.00 for our machines and accessories. It's called "old" by those who sold it, and I sure don't think it's "old" it STILL should be supported. Nothing can be purchased for it, no motherboard, nothing, so when my Cougar dies, which was by the way touted as the best thing since sliced bread when I bought it in 2015 I will have a brick, an expensive brick. It's only 5 years old, that is old? This is my rant, I feel like it's the same if LG decides to no longer do any type of support or parts for my fridge that I bought 3 years ago, is that right? I am so frustrated with company's that do this, they move on to other things, then THAT is the best and the rest of us who purchased prior to the "new shiny bauble" are left in the dust. Will the Silver Bullet go that way when I go to buy a new machine? I wonder?

Comments

  • JensMomJensMom Member Posts: 1,166
    I wanted to add, that in no way do I include Andy, (developer of MTC) in this scenario. he offered an amazing product along with upgrades for life for very little money. I think that was his mistake, he should have charged for all updates. He went beyond what anyone should ever do as a business person by supporting his product. He still has this forum up for us to get advice, and all of you who help others each day should be commended for all your hard work. It's the best of humanity to offer your time to others without any compensation.
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,979
    @JensMom - yes, some silly woman promoted the all upgrades are free, he couldn't step away from that and charge. It would have made such a difference if he had charged and kept on with it. All water under the bridge.
    Still using MTC but slowly migrating to SCAL. KNK cutters including the Force and Maxx Air continue to be my favourites. Fluent in other cutter languages.
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,979
    @JensMom - sorry for your frustrations, I feel for you. I think SB is still chugging along, at least the website is still operating the last time I checked. When it comes to large ticket items like refrigerators, etc, my understanding is that the manufacturers must make replacement parts available for 10 years after manufacture. Often those tasks are taken over by smaller local businesses...for example, the carafe for an automatic coffee make I really loved was found at a small local electrical repair place. That lady carried every style of carafe every created, it seems, LOL!! So happy to get a new carafe, the coffee maker was totally fine and it still works. we are such a throw away society. 
    Still using MTC but slowly migrating to SCAL. KNK cutters including the Force and Maxx Air continue to be my favourites. Fluent in other cutter languages.
  • JensMomJensMom Member Posts: 1,166
    It is frustrating, I know that business is business, but I honestly do not see much difference in the 2 machines. It's just more force seems to be the thing, it's still just a plotter, no frills really. When it comes to my new machine, I will make sure to purchase from Silhouette, they have maintained their machines for years, they still support the old SD I have, I can buy parts. I like my Cougar, but it will die eventually and it's a throw away at that point. Although, I wonder if it's no more than a hardware issue such as motherboard if the Silver bullet would work in that machine? They look identical in most ways. I think KNK would be a good option as well. As far as Andy,  he still has the best product in my opinion and I am making sure my Windows 7 computer is going to chug along until it takes it's last breath so I can use MTC. I can also use it on Windows 10, I think this product was the best and the comraderie on this site and the helpful people have always been spectacular. Gosh, the webinars with Brian, Rob, and Andy, worth it's weight in Gold. I KEEP HOPING ANDY WILL TRY AGAIN!!! This time, no free upgrades!!!
  • MendyRapaCatMendyRapaCat Member Posts: 505
    I have a black cat too and feel the same as you do. At the very least I should be able to get parts to repair it. I have bought a dishwasher for $1000 dollars and I can still get it fixed! 
     
    Anyway, you might try a reset on your machine. When my machine starts cutting wonky a reset can help. If you still have problems try regular printer paper and see if it’s still ripping it up. Some paper card stock can be more like construction paper and very fibrous, so that can tell you where the problem lies. Also, some area there is more humidity and can make the paper harder to cut if the paper is effected. If you still have a problem them make sure nothing is trapper by your blade. I cut vinyl and have had it get stuck in there and throw things off.  

    I hope this helps.
    I love my 24" Blackcat and my Cameo!
  • JensMomJensMom Member Posts: 1,166
    Thanks, I will try that as well. I took all my card-stock out of the packages so I am not sure which brand it is. I know that Recolections usually cuts really well and it does not feel like that brand, maybe it was something else?  I put a new blade in as well and it was better, it might have been the font too, I put another one on MTC and it cut better but still with a bit of tearing where the letters are close, I normally use script fonts.  I really wonder about the blades as well. I can't justify spending the money on a Silver Bullet blade, so I buy Roland, they are not the 50 for $5.00 you see on Ebay (lol)  but I paid $16.00 for 6 on Amazon. I am thinking about trying the 45degree blade on cardstock as well, instead of the 60 to see how it behaves. The cat has always been cranky when it comes to card-stock. It cuts vinyl perfectly all the time, as said, it's more than likely my fault. I am truly annoyed however about the abandonment of this machine after only 5 years. I would not buy the bullet for that reason, I would be afraid of the same thing.   I might be wrong, but I thought there was some sort of patent argument going on with 2 entities regarding the ownership and development of the cat,  not sure, but maybe that is why they threw it away and started again?
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,979
    @JensMom - here is a tip for you, courtesy of Xerox. Many, many years ago I was trained on the biggest Xerox multi-function copier on the market at that time, super hi-end machine, SUPER expensive. They sent a tech all the way from Toronto, Ontario Canada to western Canada to train me. He told me, never, ever take paper out of its protective packaging. It helps to keep it dry, it helps to keep out moisture (if you live in a humid environment), it helps protect it against static electricity. Alberta is typically on the drier scale. When you load a copier, you always put the whole package in, the drawers are (intelligently) designed to hold anywhere from 4 - 6 packages of regular 20 lb copy paper. Never ever put in paper that was left over and been siting there on the shelf already opened. Always start with freshly opened packages of paper. The dry, or humid or static will mess up copiers, and lead to jams, issues, etc. And it's true!!!! 30 years later it is still true! I could have screamed every time I got a call to go check a copier to fix it and I find half packages of paper left all over the counter in the copy room, people would just put in what they needed to their job!!!! I dumped the left overs in the recycle or removed them all together.

    So what does this have to do with crafting paper? Well it too is affected by dry (may cause paper to curl up on long sides), humid (may cause paper to cut very poorly, catch in drag blades) or static...don't think there is anything too adverse about cutters and static, except of course it might mess with the stepper motor but I do not think paper would have enough static to do that. Vinyl can cause static if its not on a mat and being pulled in and out a lot because the cut is detailed, and I have read a few posts about how messed up the cutter can get after a long period of just cutting vinyl non-stop. A properly managed air quality in the room where the cutter lives can mitigate that. The last place that I worked was moving to new offices just after I was retiring, I nagged them about a closed door environment for the copiers to help mitigate the mentioned issues. Nagged, nagged, nagged. Haven't asked if they actually did it.

    So I use those 12 x 13 plastic containers sold at Michaels (buy them when on 2 for 1 or half price) and when I open a package of paper, it immediately goes into a container. At one time I must have had 25 of those containers stacked up, usually 10-12 in a pile. I also had a shelf where I stored other papers, but I would reseal the packaging after taking paper out. Super large zip lock bags work really well as well, and you can add those silicon little packets to the bag if it is a humid environment.

    Well hope that helps!!
    Still using MTC but slowly migrating to SCAL. KNK cutters including the Force and Maxx Air continue to be my favourites. Fluent in other cutter languages.
  • JensMomJensMom Member Posts: 1,166
    It did thanks!!  I am in Florida so at least we always  have our A/C on so the humidity is well controlled, BUT the paper was in a warehouse for a bit when we moved, uggggggggggg. Hopefully my stash, which is CONSIDERABLE will be ok. I just got new blades, tried one and it was better. Maybe I should bake my paper LOL LOL LOL?
  • Liz_ALiz_A Member Posts: 10,979
    @JensMom - yes that is one recommendation. Big clean baking sheets, oven warmed and then turned off. Lay sheets out and in oven for a while.
    Still using MTC but slowly migrating to SCAL. KNK cutters including the Force and Maxx Air continue to be my favourites. Fluent in other cutter languages.
  • MendyRapaCatMendyRapaCat Member Posts: 505
    Absolutely use the 45! The 60 is made for thick materials. I have never been able to use the 60 unless the material is very thick. My example is, you wouldn’t use the very tip of a knife at a 60 degree angle to cut you hold it at 45 degrees to make the knife glide over the material. The tip of the knife will only tear at that angle, more for stabbing. Lol! Not sure if this makes since to anyone else but, it’s my experience. 
    I love my 24" Blackcat and my Cameo!
  • SandyMcCSandyMcC Member Posts: 7,880
    edited May 1
    Liz is spot on with the oven drying of cardstock. Some people prefer to just use a blow dryer (like for your hair) but that's tedious to me. I have successfully used the oven method for cardstock. Even though I live in Phoenix, I've purchased cardstock that needed drying right out of the package which tells me that sometimes the material has been exposed to humidity before packaging. It's definitely worth a test.  Note that the oven should only be heated to a minimum temperature before turning it off.  And then 15 to 20 minutes of warming is plenty of time to remove the moisture.
    Sandy McCauley
    Cutting with KNK Force, Maxx Air, Zing Orbit, Skycut C and D
    Over 90 free MTC videos: http://www.iloveknk.com/support/mtc-support/
    Latest MTC User Manuals: http://www.iloveknk.com/Support/user-manuals/
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