View Full Version : Centroid Acorn Controller - Has anyone tried one?

13-11-2017, 08:30 PM
I have a Bridgeport Series 1 milling machine, which I am in the process of converting to CNC - I'm looking to a 4 axis setup.
For the moment I am using 1600oz inch steppers, eventually I'll change to something like Technic Clearpath, with shaft encoders.
I have some experience with Anilam, Fanuc and XYZ Prototrak controls so I have some ideas about what I want from a controller.

My PC of choice is a Dell Optiplex 755 with parallel port, ethernet and USB ports.
I have tried a few controllers with varying degrees of success...

First Controller - Mach3 using a Chinese parallel port BOB.

Not great with my setup - not accurate losing steps etc, despite hours of research and motor tuning.
Deciding it was probably the BOB/parallel port, I gave up

Second Controller "Masso"

This worked well but did not support the full range of codes - no G40/G41/G42 looks at present to be more suited to router applications the milling. Excellent support from the company, but decided it's not for me.

Third Arduino with GRBL 1.1 and the latest UGS software.

It works really well, supports most Codes (does not like tool change T1M6, throws up an error message), but positions accurately and motor tuning is a breeze. For me this is the best so far.

However I'd like to use a controller which supports 4 axis, has a professional looking interface, and doesn't cost the earth.
I came across the Centroid Acorn Controller at under $300.
The software has the same look and it seems, most of the functionality of Centroid's industrial controllers.

I have one on order, but would be grateful for input from anyone who has experience of the unit.

There is no dealer selling the in the UK, but I am in touch with a Centroid agent in France who can supply at a sensible price.
Thank you!

Here's a link to Centroid.com for anyone who is interested.

14-11-2017, 01:47 PM
You need the "Pro" software at an extra $99 for 4 axis G Code moves ;-)


14-11-2017, 04:41 PM
I understand that the "free" software does 3 axis simultaneously eg X,Y & Z or X,Y & A.

Have you actually tried the Acorn board? (which was the question posed in the original post)

14-11-2017, 05:08 PM
The acorn was discussed recently, and the general consensus was there were better options for less money.

My main concern with it was the limited IO, with no option to expand. 8 inputs don't go very far on anything other than a basic machine.

14-11-2017, 07:02 PM
(which was the question posed in the original post)

As was "4-axis" and "Under $300", and any 3 from 4 simply isn't 4-Axis.
I added the information to save others from thinking the price had dropped for the 4-axis functionality :D

14-11-2017, 07:06 PM
First Controller - Mach3 using a Chinese parallel port BOB.

Unless you just bought the cheapest BOB, PSU, Drivers etc. with no research then there's no reason you couldn't have got that working, thousands of people have?

15-11-2017, 10:29 AM
Thank you for your comments.
As I said in my original post, I did use the cheapest BOB, which as I also said, was probably the problem.
As to the rest of the components, they are working fine with an Arduino and GRBL, which suggests that the problem was with the parallel port and Bob combination. It was not my intention to denigrate Mach 3 or any of it many successful users.
Hopefully we can return to my original question - Has any member of this forum an actual experience of the Centroid Acorn Controller?

15-11-2017, 01:43 PM
Has any member of this forum an actual experience of the Centroid Acorn Controller?

As Stated above this has been discussed before and no one had used one or wanted to

15-11-2017, 01:51 PM
Have you tried joining their community support forum?


Like the Mach3 Forum and BobCAD-CAM forum on CNC zone it should be a very good place to see both successes and shortcomings with the product,

15-11-2017, 02:07 PM
Yes I joined the Centroid forum, and as you say it is a good place to see how the product performs.

My reason for posting on MYCNCUK, was to solicit unbiased views on what is a relatively new product.

I take delivery of the Acorn controller on Thursday so thats probably "end of story" for my post.

Thanks for all of your posts.