Thread: Boxford 300vmc conversion
Hi people, i have recently acquired a boxford 300VMC and i am now looking at what hardware do i require to upgrade the machine to run with MACH 4. Having done a truckload of research on all the various CNC websites i thought it was about time that i took the plunge and spoke to those that are in the know to see what others may recommend.
The plan is to loose all the original electronics, and replace with a modern controller ( MACH 3 / 4 compatible ), but retaining the original power supply and the original spindle motor ( and control board if needed ). Have considered replacing the stepper motors with something more modern but have not been able to track any info down on if it is really worth it or not.
I am lucky enough that i have the original help files to go with the machine so i have the original wiring diagrams if needed ( plus i have the original software as well!!! ). I am also lucky in that i have plenty of tooling to go with the machine, so re-setting the machine up with modern electronics is worth the effort.
So my key questions at the moment:
- Do i keep the original stepper motors or do i replace them??
- Advantages / disadvantages of analogue vs digital stepper motor drivers??
- Has anyone had any experience with boxford limit switches as they seem to be optical ones??
- What is a good spindle interface board??
Ideally would prefer to purchase in the UK so if i ever need to get hold of spares i can get them relatively easily.
I was originally looking at this kit on fleebay here in the UK, does anyone have any comments either way on it?? If it isn't any good recommendations on a kit or list of components suitable??
Any help would be appreciated.
I have upgraded my VMC 190 machine recently (still bits to do), but I basically used a Ethernet smoothstepper, a PMDX 126 Breakout board and a PMDX 107 speed controller. Luckily all these boards plug into each other which makes it really compact.
My original intention was to try to retain the stepper drives (GS-D200S), and I did have it working to a fashion by patching into the board that these were mounted on but you need to be careful as this has 240V input. I have recently bought 3 off leadshine stepper drives and I installed them. The machine is now working alot better. I retained the original stepper motors and the psu I have also left the original spindle relay in situ, this I believe allows for spindle reverse.
I still have to work out how to get the tool changer to work and there is a spindle sensor which I need to investigate as not sure how I can patch this into my PMDX-126.
Hope this is of some help.
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