Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
  1. #1
    hello Everybody.
    is there such a beast as a complete conversion kit for the Ama25lv (or its clones). I need everything from electronics to steppers, brackets and ball screws. Is there a decent one stop shop in the UK?

  2. #2
    Hi Jon,

    I don't think you can get a COMPLETE system. You will most probably be able to get the ball screws, steppers and ali mounting plates in a basic pack, but that is only a tiny part of a conversion.

    I am just about to start the conversion of a Sieg Super X2, and even though a totally different machine, conversion costs will be roughly the same.
    I never start a job until I have EVERY little bit in position, I just won't stop once started.
    Including an el cheapo second hand computer and a 15" bombproof touch screen (114 for everything) off our favourite bidding site, the rough costs up until now have been somewhere between 850 -900, but that does include a trailing Mach 3 control handset, and a new 4" fourth axis rotary table, which requires it's own conversion.

    If I had gone for a commercial unit, by looking at ones supplied from the US, I would have ended up with lower standard ball screws and a compromised movement system for the Z axis, easy to fit but crap for moving the head up and down.

    By doing it the way I will be, not only will I be getting a more rigid, better made and a more accurate system, it will also be of better quality and a lot cheaper, purely because I took the time to shop around.

    Just to give an example, the whole control box for 4 axis with a USB breakout board and 4 stepper controllers has cost about 230 if I include all the smaller items such as cooling fans, plugs and sockets, crimps and smaller 12 volt power supplies as well.

    It isn't the normal bits that cost the most money, but the ancilliaries you don't usually think about until you are half way through the job.

    Take your time and plan well.

    If you never try it, you will never know if you can do it !!

  3. #3
    Thanks John for the heads up!
    Wiring and controls are to me easy (I,m a controls engineer) The ball screws are confusing me, as to what length, size, C7 or whatever that means. What do I want on the ends. Can I turn the ends to suit on my lathe. Then there's the gcode to learn!

  4. #4
    Thanks John for your help.
    I am looking at these.
    Any thoughts??

  5. #5
    Obviously plus ballscrews, balls, mountings, software, pc etc.

  6. #6

    Going along that route I would think you will run out of cash very quickly.

    I can't give you exact items as most of mine will be different, as in ball screws.

    These people have very good prices but you will need to find someone to give you the correct lengths you would require to be made.

    I made the mistake of ordering machined ends on mine, but that won't cause me any troubles as I will just re-machine one of them.

    Angular contact bearings for X & Y between stepper coupling and screw and Z between thread and pulley.

    For electronic bits, if going for 3 axis, the you require 3 off of these.

    Plus one of these if wanting it to run off a USB port on your Mach3 computer and if ever you are going to fit a rotary table driven by CNC.

    Plugs and sockets + other bits can be obtained from these places.

    For my computer bits I just searched on Ebay for a cheap 64 bit computer to run Windows XP for mach 3 and a 15" touch screen monitor.
    These are just links to the ones I bought, you will have to search for your own

    Plus a few other bits

    You don't want to go using a wireless keyboard or mouse, it can interfere with the touch screen.

    Small power supplies for case fans and the back end of the breakout board.

    Main supply case to put everything in, yours might be smaller (or larger) depending how tidy you are.

    These are just a few basic items, you will also need a 48 volt transformer for the stepper drivers and four steppers, which you can find cheap enough on Ebay, I was lucky, I got four steppers and my power supply from a good friend at cost.

    On top of all this you will need lots of cable and thick pieces of ali plate to mount the steppers onto your machine.

    I just can't list everything here, just most of the major stuff to give you some ideas on costs.

    Last edited by bogstandard; 02-04-2015 at 09:16 AM.
    If you never try it, you will never know if you can do it !!

  7. #7
    Thanks John for taking the time to share all that info. That's probably about six months research for me. Now all I need to do is click on each link and understand what I am looking at....
    Thank you again

  8. #8
    Don't worry Jon, I was in the same position a few months ago when I started on my journey.
    If it wasn't for a good friend guiding me along the way and explaining to me what everything was for, I would have been in the same position as yourself.
    I am lucky in that I have almost 50 years machining in my background, and some of that in the computer peripherals industry, so I can understand that side of things.

    It is the CAD/CAM and Mach 3 that is going to be the killer for me. As you get older, it gets more difficult to bump start the old brain cells.

    If you never try it, you will never know if you can do it !!

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to bogstandard For This Useful Post:

  10. #9

    Please Don't take this wrong way John as I'm not putting or pulling you down but some of those suggestions I wouldn't take up on. Here's why.

    The Drives are cheap but they are old analog techonlogy often easily affected by Resonance which affects performance and smoothness of motors. So With converting a milling machine which are often using a ratio then the operating rpm of the motors will fall in the mid band region of the drive/motor that is most affected by resoancne so not ideal really. Esp given that mills tend to be stiff and resonant anyway.
    Newer digital drives are much better at handling resonance, giving a very smooth running motor, esp at lower speeds. Those Leadshine Closed loop steppers while expensive are perfect for creating a very accurate milling machine as they are Digital and Closed loop so very accurate, they are also 3 phase with 1.2deg step angle so give finer resolution with a very smooth motion.

    The Motion control card is a good idea but not USB.! Ethernet is by far better.
    I've tried just about every motion control card (including this one) and all that use USB give troubles in some way at some point. This is often down to electrical noise or the PC and how it's configured regards USB but still USB is flaky in my experience and prone to dropping out.
    Often people blame control software when troubles starts when in fact it's often the USB port dropping out or being affected by some other windows process. This Esp true if the device is solely relying on the USB for power rather than having an external power source. USB is rubbish at providing stable power and should never be used or trusted.

    For ballscrews then either Chai at linear motion bearings or Fred Lee on Ali express are the men to see. Either will machine ballscrews to any dimension you send and really not worth trying to do your self for what they charge. Fred Lee is the one I'd use as is screws do seem slightly better quality than Chai's.

    If your converting a mill you may want to look at better quality than Class 7 (C7) and look towards C5. If you want much better then go for ground screws rather than rolled. Only use good quality angular contact bearings in nice solid and sealed mount as they take a pounding which soon becomes backlash.!!

    The suggestions made by John will get you going and work ok-ish while being resonably cheap but IMO it's false economy as often components are much lower quality so die quicker with high potential for reliabilty troubles. The performance is often compromised by rough running motors or poor quality giving relliabilty issues with high potential for sleepless nights and much frustration. In my experience with all things CNC it really does payoff to spend that bit more on the electronics.
    Some will say there machine runs fine with cheap components which maybe they think it does.? But often that is because they have never experienced a machine that uses quality parts and is setup correctly.!! . . . . . Many times i've visited machines which the owner never even knew they had issues with resonance etc and just accepted that was the Max performance the machine was capable off. When infact it was running like can of marbles and capable of much more with far smoother running motors.!
    Last edited by JAZZCNC; 03-04-2015 at 08:28 PM.

  11. #10
    Not one bit of animosity felt at all.

    It is fine going down your route, but in all honesty, even though it will produce a much finer machine, can everyone afford to go down that route?

    It has been worked out (and not just by me) that by going down the route I am, I should be able to produce an acceptable working machine for less than 1600, and that includes the cost for mill and 4 axis RT.
    I am fairly new to this electronic sort of work in the shop, except for building a Divisionmaster for my large mill, that is why I called in help from a very good friend who designs machines for the average model engineers we have now, in fact he designed and made the protos for the hobby CNC machines produced by Sieg, which although based on old technology, are doing sterling service in many thousands of home workshops.
    Well we are on the same road again, making two of the same machines, just that one is geared towards the self assembler as a bolt on kit and mine, which will use a better engineeredand machined unit, takes a little more time and effort, but in the end works much better mechanically

    It is the old addage about a Mini and a Rolls, they both get you there in the end, just that one costs 5 times as much to cover the same distance.

    OK going for all the latest and most expensive pieces, and I am sure that yours would be a much superior machine, but for what I need, and most probably what another 95% of modell engineers require as well, going down the route I am will be perfectly acceptable.

    I remember in the mid 80's having a new CNC Bridgeport delivered to our model shop. Except for size of work it could do, these small home built machines would knock spots off what the Bridgy could do.
    It is all about progress. In 10 years, your stuff will most probably totally out of date. Some of us are just a little behind the times, but we do still have a little bit of cash left in our wallets.

    If you never try it, you will never know if you can do it !!

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. AMA25LV CNC Project !!!
    By Onocyclone in forum Milling Machines, Builds & Conversions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-09-2014, 07:21 PM
  2. AMA25lv clones
    By Onocyclone in forum Machine Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-09-2014, 04:20 PM
  3. NEW MEMBER: complete beginner saying hi
    By helder1977 in forum New Member Introductions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-04-2013, 10:41 PM
  4. NEW MEMBER: complete newbie here :)
    By chudds in forum New Member Introductions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 18-05-2012, 07:37 PM
  5. Complete conversion kits?
    By leitzscope in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-05-2010, 06:57 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts