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  1. #1
    As i am a newbie compared to you guys out there, i really could use some good general advice.
    I am about to rip out alle the electronics, steppers, spindle and PSU on my Boxford VMC300, and convert it for Mach 4 software.
    My intention is to keep the orgiginal ball screws unless somebody here had some poor experience with them.(Plan is to change the later on).
    The plan is to make use of the KL34H295-43-8A 906oz, Nema 34 stepper motors from Automation Technologies, with the KL-8070D Digital Bipolar Stepper Motor Driver-32 bit DSP Based from the same company for X/Y/Z axis.
    As i plan for a 4/5th axis cradle, i have planned the KL23H2100-50 570oz Nema 23 stepper motors from Automation Technologies, with the KL-6050 Digital Bipolar Stepper Motor Driver-32 bit DSP Based.
    570oz for the cradle might be a bit overkill, but i worry about the holding torque when the chips start flying.
    The choice is based on me having experience with only these steppers and drivers from my previous BF25 conversion to Mach 3.
    All axis will be driven by toothbelt and slightly geared.
    Originally, the VMC300 is equipped with Ametek MAE HS200-3424-0170 Nema 34 steppers at 212,4Oz/Inch(from what i can see), and SGS Thompson GS-D500A drivers delivering 5 Amps peak at 92V.
    I am also planning on replacing the origial RS520GR1000 spindle and driver to a more powerful spindle to increase the milling speed.
    PSU... Yeah right.. What to choose.
    Should i keep it at 24V industry standard to reduce possible noise, or increase it to 36, 48 or even higher?
    The transformers installed is maked 220VAC/60-18-12VAC for the first transformer and 220VAC/120/115Vac.The last one for the spindle i guess,
    Controller/BOB..
    Should i choose Network, USB or stay with the paralell port type?
    Advantages / disadvantages?
    Besides i need something to communicate with the ATC.
    (No, i dont need it. But it`s already there, so why not make use of it?)
    Any comments or advice is higly appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 11 Hours Ago Has been a member for 3-4 years. Has a total post count of 627. Received thanks 14 times, giving thanks to others 17 times.
    Budget? That will guide what you do with the machine.

    If you can afford it, get the CS Labs IP-S unit and go from there. Its not cheap but it is better than your average parallel port option and you can use newer hardware as the CS Labs is connected via a TCP/IP network, not directly with the port itself.

    24V is good, its been the standard on my Denford and my Emco CNC lathe. CS Labs is also 24V for the logic / power.

    You can take a number of inputs / outputs into and out of the CS Labs unit to allow you to then control the ATC via macro / code in Mach 3/4.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Chaz For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Or you could be our guinea pig and try one of the standalone 3- 4 axis chinese controllers. I will point you from where and which one exactly, if interested. Around 500-600 euro. means 300 euro cheaper than CSMIO and mach4 is another 200. I will buy it off if you are not happy. Just i don't have physical time to do all i want to, and one of these things is test said controller.

    It is able to rigid tap and tool change . I am talking about the 980- 990MC , here is the manual . Dean said will be testing the 1000 one/numbers dont mean anything, its totally made by another company/ . So meanwhile i could test another one from third company. All of them are similarly priced and look like similar,

    I am talking like this one here / this not the best price i think/ .
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Boyan Silyavski For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 11 Hours Ago Has been a member for 3-4 years. Has a total post count of 627. Received thanks 14 times, giving thanks to others 17 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boyan Silyavski View Post
    Or you could be our guinea pig and try one of the standalone 3- 4 axis chinese controllers. I will point you from where and which one exactly, if interested. Around 500-600 euro. means 300 euro cheaper than CSMIO and mach4 is another 200. I will buy it off if you are not happy. Just i don't have physical time to do all i want to, and one of these things is test said controller.

    It is able to rigid tap and tool change . I am talking about the 980- 990MC , here is the manual . Dean said will be testing the 1000 one/numbers dont mean anything, its totally made by another company/ . So meanwhile i could test another one from third company. All of them are similarly priced and look like similar,

    I am talking like this one here / this not the best price i think/ .
    Am also interested in this. Do you know if we can use something like Fusion 360 for CAM via a post processor?

  7. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Chaz View Post
    Am also interested in this. Do you know if we can use something like Fusion 360 for CAM via a post processor?
    I use /for the cheap one i was reviewing/ standard Fanuc or G code in mm, which is basically the same i think. I am not a G code expert :-), but it works without a flaw. I read already a couple manuals of the more expensive ones, seems the same. All pretty standard. Now the part about the toolchangers must be read more carefully, manual says linear and rotary, but as i don't have one i a bit lost there. I think that happens with macro command .

    That's why it should be all tested. Cheap controller says it recognises G20 and G21 , but no such luck. File must be in mm. So i think they will have some minor flows. Hopefully not very big. For example i still have not it clear what about the M6 command? Dont chinese manually tool change? Did not find info in the manuals.

    Of course such minor details are not a problem for me, given the savings.
    Last edited by Boyan Silyavski; 26-09-2016 at 02:04 PM.
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  8. #6
    Any PP can be set to generate Imperial or Metric, it's just a case of whether it spits out a G20 or a G21 in the right place, this is independent of what controller the PP supports.
    If you will not be swayed by logic or experience simply pick the idea you
    like best, but ask yourself why you sought advice in the first place and,
    for a simple life, perhaps consider not doing so in future

  9. #7
    Hi Chaz, and thanx for your quick reply.
    Have not planned a max budget yet. Might have to take it step by step if it gets to expensive though. Just want to get it up and running.
    I have to admit, the CSMIO/IP-S looks really tempting after viewing docs and some youtube videos.
    But like you said, it`s not cheap. However being able to control it from Mach software is the positive part for me not to familiar with heavy programming.
    Manuals and docs have been stored locally on my computer for some late night reading.

  10. #8
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 11 Hours Ago Has been a member for 3-4 years. Has a total post count of 627. Received thanks 14 times, giving thanks to others 17 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Proteus View Post
    Hi Chaz, and thanx for your quick reply.
    Have not planned a max budget yet. Might have to take it step by step if it gets to expensive though. Just want to get it up and running.
    I have to admit, the CSMIO/IP-S looks really tempting after viewing docs and some youtube videos.
    But like you said, it`s not cheap. However being able to control it from Mach software is the positive part for me not to familiar with heavy programming.
    Manuals and docs have been stored locally on my computer for some late night reading.
    You can do cheaper and have Mach3. The breakout board on my lathe is only like 30. This gives step / direction for a number of axis and a single relay output. It's basic but works.

  11. #9
    Hello Boyan, and thanx for reply :-)
    Yes, i have been looking at these controllers.
    Found several of them at ebay like this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/English-Pane...oAAOSwG-1Wy-32
    Dont mind being a guinea pig, but my experience in programming CNC is not exactly fierce. Which means i would like to start with making the drawings and run it from there(that i do have some experience with).
    In time i want to start playing around with the programming part in depth.
    Right now i follow my old KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid) theory, trying to find a cost effective solution i can start with.
    However, manuals have been downloaded some time ago and i will attempt to study this in due time.

  12. #10
    Chaz's Avatar
    Lives in Ickenham, West London, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 11 Hours Ago Has been a member for 3-4 years. Has a total post count of 627. Received thanks 14 times, giving thanks to others 17 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by Proteus View Post
    Hello Boyan, and thanx for reply :-)
    Yes, i have been looking at these controllers.
    Found several of them at ebay like this one http://www.ebay.com/itm/English-Pane...oAAOSwG-1Wy-32
    Dont mind being a guinea pig, but my experience in programming CNC is not exactly fierce. Which means i would like to start with making the drawings and run it from there(that i do have some experience with).
    In time i want to start playing around with the programming part in depth.
    Right now i follow my old KISS(Keep It Simple Stupid) theory, trying to find a cost effective solution i can start with.
    However, manuals have been downloaded some time ago and i will attempt to study this in due time.
    3 Axis even a bit cheaper.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/English-Pane...3D331785938231

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