I've been offered a tcl125 and a vmc260.
I'd like to convert to mach 3, starting with the vmc, what sort of cost would I be looking at? Just ball park!
At the very least you'll need some way to interface to the drives after you have ripped out the control boards so you'll need a BOB and then I believe the drives in these machine use 12V logic so you'll need some way to drop this to 5V Logic the Parallel port uses. Various ways to do this just do a search.
Then you'll need spindle speed control so you'll want a BOB or Dedicated Spindle board which will provide the voltage signal to the speed controller in the machines.
So at best you'll be into around £100 for a decent BOB with Spindle control and the bits needed to drop the logic.
Don't get excited thou because chances are you'll want to ditch the drives and possibly motors with something better then you'll also most likely end up needing a PSU with higher voltage. Cost of this will depend on how cheap you want to go regards quality.
Personaly I like this little thing and would be good for a small VMC. MX3660 - 3-Axis DSP Based Digital Stepper Drive Max 60 VDC / 6.0A
Comes with built in spindle control and BOB with 60V 6A Digital Drives that can be replaced if faulty, it's very neat and compact. Fasten this to some 3Nm motors with around 50Vdc Un-regulated PSU and you'll have a nice little machine that's easy to setup.
It can be done cheaper but not that nuch when you consider BOB and Spindle Board and this is very neat package with Decent quality Digital drives from a reputable company, So not cheap Crap.
Approx £500 will see you done including Mach3.
Last edited by JAZZCNC; 12-01-2014 at 12:02 PM.
The TCL will depend on what controller/drives is currently fitted, as they were available with anything ranging from a basic stepper system, upto a Fanuc servo system.
Without knowing that, it's a wild guess. Most of the stepper systems could be interfaced to a basic BOB, but the servo systems would be a alot more involved, with the easiest option probably be fitting new drives and motors.
There's also the issue of what tool changer is fitted, as again there were a few options..
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