View Full Version : Emco pc mill 55 upgrade

01-11-2014, 07:12 PM
Hi all, im new to the cnc thing and are looking for guidance/assistance on my upgrade on my emco pc mill 55, i have a full kit, steppers, breakout board etc for the upgrade but being a complete novice am a bit dazed and confused, can anyone help, thanks in advance [emoji3]

02-11-2014, 04:10 PM
I have a emco mill 50 that I plan to convert to mach at some point.

I would start with mounting your new stepper motors. I think the oringinal pulleys are actually held in place using a roll pin straight through the pulley and shaft, but I have seen people just using grub screws or even glue. Get the old steppers out and have a look, spend some time just looking over the machine to formulate a plan and post plenty of pictures here to get advice and fill us all in.

Have you been using the mill 55 with the old software? Alot of folks say there is no need to convert to mach as the software is actually not to bad.

02-11-2014, 08:49 PM
I know nothing about this machine but I'm curious to know this. If it already has steppers why change them ? also if the supplied software is not too bad why convert to Mach3 ?

03-11-2014, 11:00 AM
The Steppers have something unique about them which means they cannot be driven with standard stepper drives so most people switch them out. you can also uprate them to improve feedrates as the oringials were a bit underwhelming

I purchase my emco with the intension of mounting a high speed spindle instead of the heavy duty emco slow standard one. The idea was to use it to 3d profile small aluminium molds where high rpms are needed for the cutters to get a decent finish. Then I started reading about edm sinkers and I though it would also be great for milling electrodes for the edm.

03-11-2014, 11:23 AM
Thanks for reply, i can install steppers fairly easily and the other electronics, my main problem is making sure i have everything wired corectly plus my big problem is how to run the spindle with speed controll, i have no idea what i need or how i need to do this, the kit i have bought is a digital stepper setup with all the bells and whistles , BOB etc from CNC4U, ideally i am looking for someone to help hands on with the conversion as i am a bit out of my league and dont want to blow anything up ��

03-11-2014, 11:32 AM
This is the kit i have

03-11-2014, 04:10 PM
Is there any info on the net regarding the electrics of your machine as it is now ?

03-11-2014, 04:44 PM
The machine kind if works now as i bought it with pc an a fanuc control but its all very dated and possibly problematic if there are problems now or in the future so iv opted to retrofit with all new internal electronics and druves so i can use standardised software etc, but, i am very limited in my knowledge of all this so "here i am" [emoji4]
Ideally im looking for someone locally to me, midlands, who i could pay to come and help out/advise etc as a wrongly wired up anything could be costly

03-11-2014, 05:22 PM
I was mainly thinking about the spindle motor speed control, I don't know if it is currently AC or DC
As you say someone local would be ideal, especially if you're not so confident even with the right information.

03-11-2014, 05:38 PM
Im sure given the right info etc i can sort it but im very impatient lol, as far as the motor i think its 3 phase so if im correct id need to run it through a VFD that would be connected to the break out board somehow, this is wat iv got info wise in the motor tho
Any assistanceis much appreciated

03-11-2014, 06:11 PM
Yes a vfd would be required, I got this from a UC300 manual, this would be ideal because the easiest way to control the vfd is via the 0-10v.

"The analog output 1. signal can be used for SP PWM (Spindle speed PWM), setting the
SP PWM checkbox assigns the analog output 1. signal to the spindle speed PWM
function. If this checkbox is set the proportional analog Voltage of the actual spindle speed
PWM signal will appear on this analog output pin of the device. The range of the signal is

You do need to know the parameters of the motor such as voltage, current, etc. can you get a photo of the motor rating plate ?

03-11-2014, 09:50 PM
Wish i understood the terminology lol [emoji15]but ill get there, took a pic of motor plate for you if it helps, where about are you located ?

03-11-2014, 10:34 PM
Wish i understood the terminology lol [emoji15]but ill get there, took a pic of motor plate for you if it helps, where about are you located ?

Here's some vfd's as example; https://www.inverterdrive.com/group/AC-Inverter-Drives-230V/?filter=Input|230Vac+1ph%2cOutput|230Vac+3ph&filter=Power|0.37kW

The max revs shows 1370 RPM so as not to take it past it's working range that should be about the maximum speed to run it at and that's at 50Hz.
The problem is that reducing the speed will also reduce the power so there's a limit to how slow it will usefully operate at.

The vfd needs to be like this;

Input 230V ac single phase
Output 230V ac 3 phase
Power 0.37 kW (minimum)

where about are you located ?

About 200 miles North of you.

03-11-2014, 10:50 PM
Op your are trying to reinvent the wheel here. This conversion has been done lots of times on other forums, there are videos on YouTube and there is also a yahoo group. I would start by hunting down all the various build logs and find out which parts will work for you in terms of vfd's

03-11-2014, 11:15 PM
Ok cool, so, if i swap the steppers to my new ones and wire them into their controllers as per diadrams that came out with them then wire the controllers into the break out board, i take it the motion controller wires to the break out board from that then a vfd will wire to the motion controller and be able to controll speed and dir ction of the spindle
Then theres the limits/home switches and an emergency stop and and lights or door switches that wire to the breakout board, and lastly the power suply that wires to breakout board
Then il have to get a copy of mach3 on a pc to get it all moving i guess [emoji3]
Sounds so easy lol

03-11-2014, 11:18 PM
Gavztheouch, where are these yahoo groups and build logs you mention, like iv said im a complete novice and understand very little of the terminology etc, im not daft but its just not my thing an am trying to learn as i go so i can understand what and how it all works

19-12-2014, 07:16 AM
Gavzthetouch, could you forward me any links to the emco pc mill 55 retrofit builds or the yahoo forum groups you mention, any and all assistance is greatly appreciated as i want to learn how this all works myself
Cheers [emoji4]

05-01-2015, 03:12 PM
Eddy, can you give me a bit more guidance please, am i right in saying i plug my computer into the uc300 motion controll via usb, then that plugs into the BOB by serial cable, then the stepper controllers/e stops/limits all wire to the BOB as wiring diagrams, does the controll wire for the BFD come from the BOB ?
Thanks for any help in advance [emoji3]

05-01-2015, 06:07 PM
Sorry for the slow reply. This is the yahoo group I am part of


Bear in mind the emco mill 50, mill 55 and F1 machines are very similar. So when you are doing your searching try all 3 machine model numbers.

04-05-2015, 08:15 PM
Hello all again, i am at my whits end with the cnc project i started, everything i can do via wiring diagrams and advice is done but still nothing works, i need help as all i have at the moment is a very very expensive paperwight, i am more than willing to pay for someone to come take a look and give me some help
Please help guys [emoji45][emoji45]

05-05-2015, 09:18 AM
Hello all again, i am at my whits end with the cnc project i started, everything i can do via wiring diagrams and advice is done but still nothing works, i need help as all i have at the moment is a very very expensive paperwight, i am more than willing to pay for someone to come take a look and give me some help
Please help guys [emoji45][emoji45]

Don't panick Mr Mannering, Don't panick.!! . . . . . . What exactly is the problem.?
Give me more information on what is or isn't happening with as much detail and pics of what you have done as possible and I will 95% chance get you working via forum or phone. If not then I'm ok with a Trip to Brummy land if needed.!

I will PM you my number as speaking is much easier.! But it is nice to sort these things via forum for the sake of others.!

05-05-2015, 11:18 AM
The limiting factors for safe maximum speed for an induction motor are the bearings, rotor integrity and rotor balance.
A modern induction motor plate is generally marked with the speeds at 50hz & 60hz, these are neither minimums or maximums, the marked speeds on a motor plate are simply those at which the motor will run for the stated supply frequencies.
Only by referring to the manufacturer's technical specification for a given motor model and power can you determine the maximum safe working speed, inverter rated motors will have the maximum speed stated as a percentage of those marked on the motor plate in the manufacturer's documentation, but not on the motor plate unless expressly stated as a "Max".
I have made use of motor manufacturer data to set the maximum speed for my lathe and mills, all were rated in the manufacturer's documentation at considerably more than 100% of the plated speeds.

- Nick

05-05-2015, 11:55 AM
Jazzcnc, my mill is an Emco pcmill55 and its a cnc4you digital stepper kit plus a uc300 motion controller board , http://www.cnc4you.co.uk/CNC-Kits/Digital-Stepper-Kits/Nema23-Stepper-Motor-Digital-Kit-3.1Nm-x-4-Axis, i wired it up to the diagrams as far as i can figure, i have fitted and powered up a jaguar vfd but not wired into bob as i dont know how to, i have a demo copy of mach3 on an older windows xp pc, it is all connected up as i think it should be but when i try to move steppers via mach3 nothin happens, im guessin i have somethin wrong in software but as i am a complete novice to this an there isn't any real instructions to these things i have hit the wall now and need some assistance from a pro, inwill take pictures and post them for all as to assist future builds etc, where abouts are you based ?
Thanks for the lifeline [emoji2]

05-05-2015, 11:58 AM
Vfd is a 0.4kw jaguar cub VXR
I have downloaded full instructions but as with the cnc stuff i dont understand the tekno speak

05-05-2015, 12:06 PM
Motion controller is

05-05-2015, 08:22 PM
Pictures as promised guys
15270152711527215273152741527515276152771527815279 https://vimeo.com/126958489

06-05-2015, 09:41 AM
Ok Craig well I know we are speaking via phone which isn't a problem but for the sake of others I'm going to post here as well.

So looking at the pics and speaking to you i'm confident you have it wired correctly. So this will 99% just be a setup issue.
This could be 2 second fix and soooooooo simple you'll scream.!!Lol (Or 5min and you'll still scream)

I'm going to presume you have setup the Motor output pins and Input pins in Mach3 as per Cnc4you instructions.

This could be 2 things that are the same really.! Your E-stop should be NC switch type so this would mean the Input the Active state would be Low.
To Mach this means if NO voltage on that pin then E-stop machine ie E-stop active when pin voltage goes LOW(zero). You have NC switches so the circuit should complete voltage will flow and all be well provided you set the correct pins. (Check the E-stop isn't pressed. .Doh!!)
Now if Mach3 is in charge of the inputs then the thing that could stop Mach3 resetting is if the active Low setting is wrong. In this case it would be correct if showing the (x) meaning Active when Low. If it's ticked then this is your problem. 2 sec Fix.!!! . . . . . . . . .Now take a deep breath and try.! . . .Then scream.!!

But I think the UC300 plug-in could be in charge of inputs here and it's Active State is reversed (Active High) and when it see's Voltage it's saying to Mach E-stop.!
Easy way to tell is push the E-stop button and Mach should reset as the Uc300 pin will go LOW.
In which case you'll have to go into the Plug-in settings and change the Pin state to Active LOW.

So first quick test to see who's in charge of inputs mach or UC300 push e-stop and try resetting mach. If no joy then check the Active state of the E-stop pin in mach3 inputs. No matter which state, Ticked or unticked, toggle it to opposite and try reset again.

If none of these then we'll look deeper.!

07-05-2015, 10:34 AM
Thanks for the guidance, ill try all that when im back as im away for a few days, fingers crossed it will at least get somethin to move, im sure its somethin daft miself as you say, thanks again and ill let you know how i get on asap [emoji3]

25-05-2015, 06:53 PM
Hia again, managed to find time to have a look at the mill again,,,think iv sorted the e stop issue as it was showing a constant emergency mode so i swapped the configuration box over and its cured that so at least now i can get the computer to move the mill in a virtual sense but still no movement on the actual machine,,,what's the next move oh cnc yoda [emoji6]

26-05-2015, 04:52 PM
Ok so now Mach3 is reset.! . . . Are the Motors Locked.?

Can you post your Mach3 XML file so I can see how you have Mach3 setup. You'll find the profile in Mach3 folder unde the same name as the profile your starting Mach3 up with ie: Machmill and it will end with XML.

Zip it up before posting else forum software won't let you post it.

31-08-2016, 03:13 AM
I'm in the process of trying to retrofit an EMCO PC 55 Mill. Looks like you've finished this process. Do you have any more detailed info as to your process?

I'd appreciate any help you can share.