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Thread: Boxford TCL 125

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  1. #1
    Have just bought one of these .
    Am told all the motions work manually but Boxford wont support it with suitable software . So conversion to Mach or whatever is required

    Presuming the existing steppers are working is it just a question of changing the input software or is there something mysterious required .
    Anyone done this change and able to help with what is required .

    Thanks in advance

    John

  2. #2
    I've got 2 of these and both of them have had the Boxford bespoke controller and driver boards removed. The only thing that is re-used on one them is the spindle DC speed controller and PSU etc. This also depends which DC speed controller they fitted.!
    The other has had everything removed, including the DC motor which as been replaced by a standard AC motor and run form a VFD. I didn't do this and I wouldn't recommend it because it's a unsightly mess that is hacked onto the side.

    If you look around I think some folks have managed to Hack into the Boxford boards but the cost of 2 new drives and a cheap BOB (break out board) are not worth the bother IMO. If you use Linux CNC for the control software which is free then for less than 50 you could be up and running.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

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  4. #3
    Just to clarify the history of your machines Jazz, was this kit removed by you for a reason , or had that happened before you got them?
    The machine was cheap enough and I am told operates manually , so I wont mind spending a couple of hundred to see a modern computer driving it . I dont see why I would alter the spindle drive provided it is working OK

    Are you saying that at worst a couple of Stepper drivers and a modern BoB should be sufficient to get it going

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by John11668 View Post
    Just to clarify the history of your machines Jazz, was this kit removed by you for a reason , or had that happened before you got them?
    The machine was cheap enough and I am told operates manually , so I wont mind spending a couple of hundred to see a modern computer driving it . I dont see why I would alter the spindle drive provided it is working OK

    Are you saying that at worst a couple of Stepper drivers and a modern BoB should be sufficient to get it going
    Yes couple of drives and a BOB will see it converted so it can be used on more modern controller.

    The spindle drive is a little more complex and depends on the Spindle controller fitted to what's needed to make it work. You have to be very careful with these speed controllers because they are unforgiving regards wiring errors and wrong voltages etc, also they often run at Mains potential so very easy to damage other components and High risk of electrocution if start sticking fingers in wrong places.!!

    One of the machines I stripped out because all the boards are bespoke to Boxford and couldn't be bothered to mess around hacking wires, so the only thing I've re-used is the Spindle controller and PSU, contactors, relays etc. This runs or it will do when I get around to it on Mach3.

    The other came to me converted but was in a shocking state and that one had the hacked on motor. It's currently being tidied up and setup to work with Linux CNC by the Linux CNC maestro and all around good egg Clives S because he likes a nice project and it's got ATC for him top play with.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  6. #5
    This is the machine which is on its way to me .
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Boxford-1...53.m1438.l2649

    I am assured all motions are working manually but dont yet know how well.
    I am guessing it will be of limited use without ATC but am exploring designs to make one

  7. #6
    This the problem with these Boxford machines.! They come with different cards and setups, this one is completely different to the one I stripped out. I've got a feeling this one you can break into the top board which as the drives on it, the bottom board is the controller which you just leave in place.
    I've also got a feeling the Lanze speed controller can not easily be re-used because it's got it's on interface card which talks to the Boxford controller but I'm not 100% on that.

    I suggest you go look on the Boxford forum and look for some wiring diagrams or info on which pins are for the step and direction. Or like I did just pull it all out and fit new drives with a 5 BOB, just some of the cheap TB based drivers are more than good enough for these little machines and you can get them for about 10 each.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  8. #7
    Had a look at the boxford forums /groups but cant find any which have info on the CNC variants . Do you have a link
    Research tells me that Tony at lathes.co.uk does a copy manual . Does anyone know what sort of info is in that. I suppose I am asking has anyone got one ??
    Not averse to paying for one , but I think it is 65 so a lot if you havent seen what is in it .

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by John11668 View Post
    Had a look at the boxford forums /groups but cant find any which have info on the CNC variants . Do you have a link
    Research tells me that Tony at lathes.co.uk does a copy manual . Does anyone know what sort of info is in that. I suppose I am asking has anyone got one ??
    Not averse to paying for one , but I think it is 65 so a lot if you havent seen what is in it .
    Can't see the point of buying the manual because it will mostly relate to using the control software and won't give anything away regards the wiring. They don't want you knowing these things because that would make it too easy to convert.

    To be honest I'm skeptical that this machine will jog around from the buttons like you have been told because it will most likely require the PC and control software to do that, however if it does then your half way there because you can most probably just trace the connections.
    -use common sense, if you lack it, there is no software to help that.

  10. #9
    Will report back when I lay hands on the beast

  11. #10
    inee's Avatar
    Lives in bris, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago Has been a member for 1-2 years. Has a total post count of 17. Received thanks 1 times, giving thanks to others 0 times.
    Hi
    The lenze board looks to be a 536 ,manuals are online google, the board on the front of the lenze controller is a optoisolator board, and is easy to connect to ,you need a 10v output on your breakout board, this goes to the 10v and 0v terminals on the opto board. there is a inhibit input i connected it to the Emergancy stop switch, i also had the mains to the speed board run through a relay, switched from the control panel.
    see that big relay in the middle leave it in and you can simply wire the input to two relays. you basically want to wire the outputs of the new relay to the inputs of relay to the inputs of the large changeover relay,
    The new relay input you can take from your bob using the spindle dir connector..
    You can either use the original transformer or replace it with a power supply, leave the choke in.

    close the back of the lathe, turn the rotary switch at the top of the rear door, if all is well, there is a circuit breaker just below the mains socket on the rear door of the lathe, you will need to reset it, if that goes well.

    If all is well turn off all the control panel switches , depress the red button(emergency stop switch), release the E stop button you may get a few clunks thats just the relays, press the on/ off switch on the control panel , if it all lights up sweet, then press wither of the x or z jog buttons(make sure the pot on the control panel is at zero(ish).then try the motor ,simply press the fwd or reverse buttons a couple of times, each press speeds it up or slows it down.

    In the auction pics it looks like a fuse is missing just behind the large capacitor, so replace that before you do anything else.
    Don't rip out all the wiring as it' mostly still useable. Replace the mains cable , leave the, control panel wiring in as it make wiring it bac up easier, also leave the interlock wiring as again it's easier to wire.

    i have a few files that i will try and find to upload here one is a partial wiring diagram, which will help in wiring the speed controller..

    the main board on yours looks different to the ones I've seen (i think it was pot luck, if all the components were on the boards ;) .
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