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  1. #1
    I've recently acquired a VMC 1300 Pro and would prefer to use industry std software to drive the brute. I've found other forums with smaller Denford mill conversion advice (using the same NextStep controller). Just wondered if there's anyone UK-based who has experience too

  2. #2
    I realise I may have been better posting in the Milling Machines, Builds & Conversions thread, where there are threads on Denford conversions

  3. #3
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Hours Ago Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 1,491. Received thanks 158 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    There are plenty people who've converted Denford mills, although I would guess the number of VMCs produced isn't that great, so the number that have been retrofitted will be even less. There won't be much difference in terms of the basic electronics between all the machines using the NextStep controllers.

    What do you mean by industry standard software?
    There are quite a few options available, some better than others, but it all depends what you'd like to achieve.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  4. #4
    Thanks for the reply m_c. I'm thinking Mach 3 (or 4) or LinuxCNC to drive the VMC via a parallel connection to the NextStep "bottom board".

    This is my reference data sets acquired from the web so far:


    Baldor Nextstep Step and Direction pins - 96way connector
    http://www.denfordata.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=2264

    documenting step and direction signals to the Baldor "bottom-board" stepper drives


    CIRCUIT DIAGRAMS for the VMC 1300 Pro
    http://www.denfordata.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=3721

    Second post in the thread has the Pro diagrams - the Pro uses a Baldor Microflex servo control for the spindle drive


    Baldor Drive Microflex Installation Manual
    http://www.denfordata.com/bb/viewtop...ilit=microflex

    this servo control is a real beauty, I've no idea what they cost


    Really detailed and well illustrated (with videos) blog by Jay Summet about conversion of Micromill 2000 to Mach 3, a series of 4 posts, starting with X, Y, Z and concluding with spindle speed
    http://www.summet.com/blog/2016/01/1...rol/#more-3679



    Jay's conversion to drive the spindle motor controller via a PWM signal involves some board mods that I'm reluctant to do, so will look for add-on board to get the 10V analogue drive for the spindle speed (I still have to check that the MicroFlex spindle is controlled in this way)


    Looking on diycnc.co.uk for suitable BoB and step to 10V converter
    Last edited by johnparker; 13-05-2016 at 09:21 AM.

  5. #5
    I have a converted triac, which is the same size as a 1300 and atc.

    Running it in mach3 with machstdmill screen Set, the machine runs a treat.

    All you would need to do is take denfords stuff out and put stepper drivers in, breakout board something like a pmdx as the machine has an atc, a spindle v4 board amd a new psu in

  6. #6
    Thanks Andy, I was hoping to have a go with the "stuff" that Denford build in, at least initially. There's no ATC on my VMC, nor 4th axis (at mo), but it is the Pro version with the bigger/faster spindle drive

  7. #7
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Hours Ago Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 1,491. Received thanks 158 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    It sounds like you've got a good plan, and found the majority of the required information.

    Nothing wrong with trying what's already there. By keeping the NextStep card, you should also have all the required supply voltages already there, as I'm fairly sure the bottom board contains all the rectifiers/capacitors, with the top board just being the actual motion controller.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  8. #8
    OK, hit my basic lack of knowledge at step 1 - select a BoB to get parallel to the 96-way connector. I thought all BoBs were about the same, but now bewildered by the choice! I don't mind investing in a decent one, just can't work out what I do and don't need

  9. #9
    Google pmdx126

    You will also need a pmdx104
    Last edited by andy_con; 15-05-2016 at 08:18 PM.

  10. #10
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 3 Hours Ago Has been a member for 8-9 years. Has a total post count of 1,491. Received thanks 158 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    Have you had a read through this thread? - http://www.mycncuk.com/threads/9829-...nford+novamill

    It's for a Novamill, but the general cabinet wiring will be very similar.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

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