Hi hope someone can help here; I was looking for a lathe for tinkering
with for small jobs; nothing fancy; anyway got the offer of a shesto cnc
lathe which ran on the old acorn bbc/b computer which I bought, I would like to upgrade it to a more uptodate pc so i can swap for a manual one. Cad ain't my thing.
I was looking at one of these 4 axis contollers from ebay japan; has anyone upgraded one of these old cnc machines and what is involved. What do you recommend I buy and which software do I use with it. I am a complete newbie to this so I apologise for my lack of knowledge in this dept.
Welcome to the forum. Have you got any pictures of the machine you've bought? I'm guessing that because you're thinking of upgrading it, that the BBC computer isn't working?
You need to work backwards from the motors. Steppers or servos? (steppers probably have 4 or 8 equally sized wires going to them, whereas servos will have 2 fatter wires and 4 or so much smaller wires).
The motor type decides what controller to buy. Which controller are you thinking of?
Once the controllers are decided you need to wire it up to a PC.
The PC then runs software like Mach3 (not free but well-documented), or EMC (free, and getting simpler by the day).
I hope this helps - it would be great to see some pics...
for info - pics of a shesto cnc lathe on ebay here, starting bid £80 with a reserve
scotty, why do you want to swap for a manual one? do you want/need something bigger? A CNC lathe can be driven manually and argueably is easier to use that way than a manual lathe...
CAD/CAM I think is a bit much for me but it did not sell so I will upgrade it
and teach myself; I just got some autocad notes and software
I was quoted £290 for new boards and software from cde just wondered if there was a cheaper/better hadware and software alternative
Well assuming the steppers are OK, you'd need a suitable driver/interface package, which could be as little as £70 or as much as you'd lke to pay, and a PC running Windows/Mach3 or Linux/EMC...
So your first port of call is to determine what stepper motors are fitted...
size md 7175
been advised that a CDE m401 controller and a step1motor card
should do the trick with free software being a newbie I am looking for
the best and easiest option here.
Accordign to CDE's weboste the M401 is £200 and the two Step1 cards £50 each, so you are looking at £300 and these are 3.5A cards which are overkill for the motors you have - this assumes you can reuse the existing power supply. There are other options, and by way of example, a 2-axis System4 with 2.5A cards, including power supply (if needed) from DIYCNC.co.uk would be around £120 (£90 without), and the free version of MACH3 would do to learn on...
Ok ordered the new parts last week inc new power supply can't wait
to get started
Just as you advised:-
and thanks for all your help for pointing me in the right direction;
system 4 main board,
two 2.5a bipolar stepper motor drive cards,
a spindle control module card,
and power supply
I'm looking forward to the rewire and getting it up and running.
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