View Full Version : conect 121 / cadet lathe manual/user's guide anyone?

22-08-2012, 11:35 PM
Not sure if this is the right place for general questions, but I have recently bought one of these lathes, which is based on the Myford ML10. I'm trying to find a copy of the user manual for this lathe. Specifically I'm trying to find the maximum spindle speed (as I'm not sure if it is the ML10 or the Speed 10 headstock - is there a way to tell?).
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

John S
23-08-2012, 01:25 AM
Can't find the Conect book at the moment but the speed 10 was good for 2,000 revs and had a serial number that started VS or VSL if the long bed.
No forced to follow any ML10 format though as they threw away a lot of the standard ML10 fittings and put their own on, so pulleys could be special to the Conect.

23-08-2012, 06:07 AM
The ML10 had a plain bearing spindle with oil cups, wheras the Speed 10 used taper bearings with grease nipples. lathes (http://www.lathes.co.UK) explains the differences on the myford pages.

John S
23-08-2012, 09:55 AM
No, only the very early ML10 had plain bearings, later ones went on to standard bearings with a limit of 1450 revs and then the Speed 10 came out but the headstock was the same as the middle model. Why the difference between 1450 and 2,000 was never made clear other than pulley ratios.

Conect bought a complete ML10 and converted it, they wanted to buy a stripped down lathe from Myford but Myford would not sell them one so they threw away many parts and put their own on.
I do have books on the lathe and mill but can't lay my hands on them at the moment, I will look later.

23-08-2012, 10:04 AM
Have you tried lathes (http://www.lathes.co.uk/page21.html) for information?

John S
23-08-2012, 10:34 AM
Problem was once Conect had finished with it, it was no longer a ML10, just donor machine parts.


As you can see they used none of the countershaft parts or even spindle pulleys, just one speed under VFD control so most of the Myford documentation is null and void.

[EDIT] Think I might know where the manual is now :barbershop_quartet_

23-08-2012, 11:15 AM
I never knew the standard ML10 changed to taper bearings. I always thought it was only the speed10.

I do know my conect is capable of about 2100rpm using the original motor and belt/pulleys, but would have to check the bed number to see what model it originally was.
I also have a copy of the Myford manual pages for adjusting the headstock bearings, if you need it.

John S
23-08-2012, 11:47 AM
OK found the manual but it's not a lot of good.
It's basically a programming manual and has no machine content like centre hight speeds etc.
only things I can glean is a reference to max fed rate of 2,000mm/min and the only speed reference are the figures S1200 and S2100 in two samples of code.
Ironic that that matches m-c's post above.

23-08-2012, 07:28 PM
Helpful responses everyone, thank you. I think that answers my question: 2100rpm max spindle speed.

23-08-2012, 10:28 PM
You can go higher. The belt speed plate for the Speed 10, shows 2400rpm when running on 60Hz, and I'm sure the bearings are capable of at least 3-4000rpm, however I've lost my notes of what size they are to check.

23-08-2012, 11:23 PM
Hmm, that might be helpful, as I do intend to turn some small parts for n gauge model railways (although for very small parts I usually pop them in a collet in my proxxon tool and clamp that to the bed of my cnc mini mill). I'd be grateful if you have any more information. However, I'm not yet sure if the conect lathe uses the Speed 10 headstock as stock (see posts above). If I post some pictures perhaps a kind person could help me to identify the bearings used and hence the max rpm.

John S
24-08-2012, 12:09 AM
Seeing as it used a ML10 bed it 'should' have the Myford number on it, unless they sold Conect a job lot with no numbers, it should have an S in it for a speed 10

24-08-2012, 05:56 PM
I've just checked mine, and it's just a V, with no S.
I can't find the bearing details, and it's not easy to get into measure them without dismantling things.

However, the ML10 page on lathes.co.uk indicates there's not actually any difference in the taper bearing headstocks between the different versions-

Later machines, produced from January 18th, 1978, (from machine V137261) were
fitted with grease-lubricated roller-bearing headstocks that, although provided
by the factory with the same speed range as the earlier machine, can easily and
safely be adapted by their owners to run as fast as the later "Speed 10" version
(see below for details).

On the 4th of May 1979 a modified "two-speed" countershaft unit was introduced
that carried an eccentrically-mounted top shaft with a double-step V-belt pulley
drive from the motor; this arrangement doubled the number of speeds to twelve
(of which ten were officially sanctioned as safe to use) with a range from 48 to
2000 r.p.m. This new model, the "Speed 10", was identified by the prefix "VS"
and the first down the production line carried the Serial Number VS143202M

24-08-2012, 08:03 PM
I've just checked mine, and it's just a V, with no S.
I can't find the bearing details, and it's not easy to get into measure them without dismantling things.

However, the ML10 page on lathes.co.uk indicates there's not actually any difference in the taper bearing headstocks between the different versions-

The only number that I can see on the bed of mine is A6483 (stamped on the reverse of the bed, about 10cm along from the chuck).

So it appears that the speed limitation is a product only of the pulley system, and not the bearings.

24-08-2012, 09:48 PM
The bed number should be stamped on the front right hand end of the bed just below the bed way.

24-08-2012, 10:29 PM
Here's a photo of where the serial number should be. It could be that Conect painted over it on the green ones..


10-01-2014, 02:30 PM
A late reply on this thread I know, but as I had t info to hand, hear it is.

The front spindle bearings on the Speed 10 ( and presumably later ML10) is an NSK HR 30206 JP.

NEW HIGH QUALITY NSK TAPER ROLLER BEARING HR 30206 JP TAKEN FROM MYFORD STORES | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-HIGH-QUALITY-NSK-TAPER-ROLLER-BEARING-HR-30206-JP-TAKEN-MYFORD-STORES-/120922648946?pt=UK_Home_Garden_PowerTools_SM&hash=item1c278d3172)


according to the NSK web catalogue, MAX RPM = 6000 RPM in grease or 8000 RPM in oil

05-08-2016, 05:11 PM
Hi All,
I have just acquired one of these machines which is based on a Myford ML10 but the later model with roller bearings.

My original ML10 which is still in regular use has plain bearings and shows no signs of wear after 40 years plus of use.

The Conect Cadet Plus is in excellent condition mechanically and electrically but unfortunately it has neither a manual or software.

I'm hoping that someone has saved either or both.

I understand that the original software was written for the BBC micro and subsequently DOS and the connection is RS232.

Can anyone help?

Kind regards,


05-08-2016, 06:26 PM
I'm afraid that the first thing I did with mine was chuck the old electronics and replace it with new drivers, a breakout board and Mach 3, so I'm probably not going to be able to help.

I did manage to decipher the motor specs though (the markings had all worn off on mine). If you need them let me know and I'll dig out my notes.

05-08-2016, 06:44 PM
Hi Rabs,
Thanks for the offer.
I may have to do the same but I am trying to avoid that at present.
I think I am making progress but its very slow.

Kind regards,


05-08-2016, 11:30 PM
Conqueror Design & Engineering who supplied many of the original control boards to Conect still exist, and do a conversion kit to run their own software, but are showing as out of stock - http://www.eaziform.co.uk/index.php?products,cncupconect

Personally, I replaced everything in the control cabinet on mine. Modern stepper drivers will give far better performance, and modern software is far better.

06-08-2016, 09:53 AM
Hello m_c,

Thanks for the link.
I have looked there before in the past for another project.
I do have a 4 axis stepper motor control board which is connected by USB which I may use although I got it for something else.
Maybe I will have to fit that and update the machine.

Kind regards,


06-08-2016, 11:18 AM
Be aware that not all CNC controllers support lathe functions, so before you fit anything, check that it does support threading.

06-08-2016, 11:47 AM
Hello m_c,
I will check that thanks, if it does not I may install it elsewhere.
The board it was meant to replace runs Mach 3 so that should be OK.

Kind regards,


John S
06-08-2016, 01:24 PM
Be aware that Mach 3 doesn't thread correctly on long threads with the single slot encoder.
Mach 4 is getting there but it's been a long haul and as well as a $200 Mach 4 license you will need an external controller board as Mach 4 cannot exist on it's own like Mach 3.

Linux CNC can thread and is free [ can't use USB breakout boards ] but unless you are conversant with Linux it's a steep learning curve.

I had a look yesterday and found the Conect lathe software. It runs off a PC, what flavour I have no idea, probably DOS and I also found the manual for it.

If you want to go the original route I can scan and upload these

06-08-2016, 02:48 PM
Hello John S,
Thanks for your reply.
I have used both Mach 3 and Linux CNC on my engraver / milling machine with some success.

I would love to try the original route just to see how it works and would be most grateful if you could upload the software and manual.

I have found another problem now but its purely mechanical the gas strut on the lid is missing so I am trying to find its spec, it may of course be in the manual.

Thanks once again for your help.

Kind regards,


06-08-2016, 03:57 PM
Any I've seen never used a gas strut, but there are a few different versions.
Mine had a simple two part stay. If you look through the photos on my Flickr account, you should get a rough idea of what it was - https://www.flickr.com/photos/mc_mtb/albums/72157625154378941

06-08-2016, 04:12 PM
Hi m_c,
Thanks for the info and the link.
As you say there must be many different models.
Mine has a completely different motor and it is turned round 180 degrees.
The drive belt is also different it is on the outside of the main bearing so is very easy to replace.
The gas strut mountings are behind the bed.

Kind regards,


John S
06-08-2016, 05:15 PM
Here is the software for the lathe.


Manual to follow later.

Manual here.


07-08-2016, 10:10 AM
Hello John S,

Thank you for the software and the manual I will play nicely and see if I can get it up and running.

Thanks again,

Kind regards,


29-10-2016, 01:34 PM
Hi Everyone,

I have just acquired a Conect Cadet Plus, which is in excellent condition. I have downloaded the original software from the link in John S's reply above.

I am currently organising an old PC capable of running DOS. My intention is to try and get it running with the original software. One of the ICs (I'm guessing an EPROM) has a label on it with 'CONECT LTD V1.08 L 2/93'

I would be interested to find out how x-rayman got on with getting his lathe up and running. I would also be grateful for information from anyone who has got one of these lathes.

30-10-2016, 10:56 AM
Hi Smithy50,
My Conect Cadet Plus is now up an running thanks to the info and software from John S.
I found that the cable required was a straight serial lead 9 pin female to 9 pin male ie wired pin for pin.
Only 4 wires are used but the complete cable is readily available and cheap.
Mine is 9800 baud but I think some of the earlier ones may have been different.
I also found that the software will run on modern computers with Windows XP, 7 ,8 and 10 32 and 64 bit using DOSbox which is a freeware DOS emulator.
Running this way allows you to use a modern cad programme like QCad which is also freeware.
The designs in the conect software are DXF files as are the templates and seem to work OK in QCad .
When the Conect software is running if you press ALT P it asks for a password which is conectl.
I am currently writing up what I did and how I set the software up, when its done I can email it if you wish.
The setup also works with modern laptops using USB to serial adaptors.


30-10-2016, 10:36 PM
x-rayman thanks for the prompt and helpful response.

I had a 9-pin serial cable and tried to install the software on an old laptop running DOS7 and Windows 98, but I kept getting a MetaWINDOW graphic shell missing error.

I will try it on a new PC with DOSbox as you suggest and see how it goes; and report back.

I would be very interested in how you set up the software.

Thanks Again

John S
30-10-2016, 10:45 PM
I have recently gutted a brand new Conect 121 and think the boards, less spindle board which was reused may be kicking about still.

31-10-2016, 10:07 AM
Hi Smithy50,

I found that the METASHEL (various versions and spellings) are in the downloaded software.
If you run the METASHEL.exe file it tell you how to install it.
I seem to remember using the Turning P 1.2 version of the conect software.
Best of luck,

31-10-2016, 10:20 AM
Hi John S,

Are the circuit boards the same on the Conect Cadet as the Conect 121? I haven't got the software side fully sorted yet, so haven't been able to test the lathe, but I would be interested in the boards if they are the same as those in my lathe. I will take some photos of the boards tomorrow and get back to you.


31-10-2016, 10:45 AM
Hi x-rayman,

Thanks for that info. I've found the metashel.exe file and installed it as a TSR and can now load and apparently run the Conect software within DOSbox on a Windows 10 PC. I just need to get a USB to Serial cable, or adapter, so that I can connect it to the lathe.

Thanks again.

31-10-2016, 03:45 PM
Hi Smithy50,
Glad you have had some success.
I tried it with a USB to serial connector and it worked OK.
My PC has a serial port so I use that.
You can set up the serial port in DOSbox config file and also make it run the conect software automatically.
Kind regards,

01-11-2016, 04:50 PM
Hi John S,

I've attached some photos of the boards in my Conect Cadet lathe. Are these the same, or similar, to those you removed from the Conect 121?



04-11-2016, 06:22 PM
Hi x-rayman,

I got a USB-Serial cable, and got it set up OK on Windows 10, but had some difficulty configuring it in DOSbox. Consequently, I used an old Win98 laptop with one serial port (COM1) and configured it using 'MODE COM1: 96,n,7,1' in the autoexec.bat file.

I initially installed the Turning 1.2 software, but it gave a 'Runtime Error 200 at 0003:363D' message. I then installed the V2.7 conectl in the conectl simulations folder. I was able to run the program, but not connect to the lathe. I tried different baud rates, etc without success. Sometimes in showed an incremental counter of the number of connection tries and other times it showed 'on' next to connect machine, but the program hung and I had to reset each time.

Can you please advise what configuration you used for the serial port.

I assume that the software needs to be in communication with the lathe control board, before the front panel keys will move the cross carriage. I noticed that there were two large relays that appear to control the DC power to the spindle motor and stepper motors, so I assume that whatever needs to operate them is not happening.

Any help would be much appreciated.


04-11-2016, 06:54 PM
Hi Smithy50,
I can move the lathe even when it isn't connected to the software but the spindle will not run.
The bad rate you used is the same as mine 9600,n,7,1 Xon/Xoff.
I will send you some more info when it is typed up.
I think the conect software was set up for com2 but you can set it to any port from 1 to 4.
Where are you based?

04-11-2016, 09:28 PM
Hi Smithy50,
Another point.
When the conect software is running press F6 the screen should change to machine mode.
If it asks for a password the press ALT P and enter conectl.
Click on MACHINE the click Machine Control.
If the serial port is correct then ON will appear if not then an error message will appear.

The options file in DOSbox needs the following in the serial port dialogue.

serial1=directserial realport:com1
Note: put the com number you wish to use mine was com1 only change the data after the : e.g. :com 2, :com3

My machine (lathe) beeps when the power is switched on and I believe it also sends a signal to the PC.

USB to serial ports are notorious for requiring the right driver version some will only work with older drivers.

I made a loopback connector and used a terminal programme to make sure it was working OK.

Hope this helps.

05-11-2016, 01:09 AM
x-rayman thanks again for your two responses.

FYI I'm in West Yorkshire.

If I switch the lathe on, the cooling fan starts, but no beep.

I used the F6 key to enter Machine Mode. I also pressed ALT + P and entered 'conectl' password, which it appeared to accept OK. I did at one point get an 'on' response next to 'Machine Control' in the menu, but the programme became unresponsive after that. I tried a few times with the same result.

I used serial1=directserial realport:com1 in my DOSbox config file, but didn't get far and hence why I used the old Win98 laptop with a serial port.

The USB - Serial cable I used is a UGreen model using the Prolific PL2303 Chipset and it appears to be recognised OK by Windows 10, although I haven't specifically tested it.

I won't get a chance to investigate further until Sunday.

Thanks Again

05-11-2016, 10:33 AM
Hi Smithy50,
I struggled for quite a while before I got there.
I suppose your machine could use a different Baud rate.
When I was setting mine up I used windows 98 and a terminal programme to check the machine.
I found that you could send the G Code spindle on off codes to the machine M03 spindle on M05 spindle off.
I managed to find a few terminal programmes as freeware but the on that is in Windows is OK.
The beep on may machine seem to be connected to some form of safety circuit as it also beeps when you hit the emergency stop.
When you operate the ON/OFF switch the fan come on and some larger relays operate.
I used to live in West Yorkshire until they moved the boundary in the 70's Greater Manchester now.
Best of luck.

06-11-2016, 08:21 PM
Hi x-rayman,

I started from scratch using the Win98 laptop with serial port and installed Ver2.7 of the conectl software. Pressing F6, then entering the Machine Menu and selecting Machine Control. 'On' appears immediately to the right of Machine Control in the menu, but nothing else happens and the software becomes unresponsive. Because the 'on' appears, I'm sure that the lathe control board is initially communicating with the laptop.

When I operate the main ON/OFF switch on the control panel and the fan comes on, but no relays operate. There are two large Schrack BRL 205024 relays and, having done a quick wire trace, it looks like one connects live to the spindle motor control board; and the other connects +35V DC & Ground to the slide carriage and feed screw stepper motors. These relays clearly need to operate before anything will happen, so I need to identify why they are not operating.

06-11-2016, 08:44 PM
Hi Smithy50,
I have just been in my workshop and turned the lathe on the relay that comes on appears to be part of the ON/OFF rocker switch.
If you the operate the rocker switch no other relays operate but the machine beeps.
When the pains is disconnected the rocker switch unlatches and turns off.
So I think there must be a solenoid in the switch.
Unfortunately after I got mine working I moved the machine against a wall so its now very difficult to get in the back unless I have to.
I got mine working with the back opened so that I could check things out before I moved it.
Everything looks original but I suspect it has had some modifications as the beep comes from an added die cast box in the back of the machine.
The safety switch on the lid and the emergency stop button are also wired into this box.
I tried all the versions of the software but they all had slight variations but they all seemed to work.
One is not password protected but does not seem to have the design part of the programme.
I have tried to locate the schematics for the machine with no success and I suspect they disappeared when conect closed down.
If we are not to far apart we could meet up and exchange ideas PM me if you wish to do that.