Hi. I am Jopo. Toolmaker by trade I am based in the Upper Swansea Valley and a manufacturer and designer of confined space rescue stretchers as a sole trader. I have a Boxford VMC 190 with software and hope to be able to convert it to run on a more usable CNC program. The native TechSoft software is limited and I have issues trying to zero tools - I have to cheat to avoid crashes.
I have been asked about supplying copies of the software but it is not something I am happy with and you have to have the registration disc in the floppy drive to enable. I tried to copy the two floppy discs for backup but there is some sort of protection that is beyond my skills.
Hi Jopo, Welcome to the site!
No problem re the copies of the software. It's not something condoned here and if it becomes a problem to you, just let me know. But any workarounds you have to avoid crashes are most welcome additions if you'd like to share them!
I've got a VMC190 as well. I don't have the software for mine but I've heard it's somewhat limited. You can only get the software if you are an educational establishment, Boxford are not allowed to sell it to non-educational people.
It's usually recommended to ditch some or all the electronics and replace either with MACH3 or the Conqueror Designs system which is what I'm doing. You can, allegedly, if you want and have enough knowledge (courage) wire the MACH system into the existing stepper drives and motor drive. It's a lot cheaper to do things this way as you don't have to buy stepper drives. It's not actually difficult but you do need to be careful that everything is wired correctly. MACH has plenty of backup from people who use it as well as the software supplier. I went for the Conqueror system as I want to use rigid tapping which I don't think MACH will do on this machine as the spindle speed is not stable enough for the single pulse per rev which MACH uses. The Conqueror system uses multiple pulses per rev to keep thing in synch. As I don't yet have mine running I can't comment on it 'in use' (I need about 12 days a week!!) but as you can see everything is a trade-off. If you don't have much cash to throw at the job then MACH with the breakout board wired to the existing stepper drives is the way to go.