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  1. #1
    Hello everyone

    Whats the best way to convert my Denford Microrouter V5 PRO NS to Mach 3...

    It was made in 2003 and I would like to get it going on mach 3.

    I would like to have a good robust system and obviously good performance, simple to use that I can do anything from detailed carving to cutting aluminium. basically I bought my Microrouter direct from a school, it had just had a new Porter Cable fitted and I could have it for 200, so theres definitely room in the pot to upgrade, and anything I do add will hopefully add value to it. id like to be able to keep the spindle speed and feed rate override if possible.

    I've been in touch with Denford and by the time I've brought a licence for their operating system etc i'm already 700 in so don't want to be limited to that option plus it will have its current performance still... I've been looking at VCarvePro and would ideally like to use that software.

    I'm not the best with electronics, I have dabbled in the past.. I can do basics, soldering etc etc... I need directing in the best direction, what to buy etc...

    Please find attached the Electrical Diagrams and some Pictures of the internals

    Many thanks for any help


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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails RPN -1E circuit.pdf   RPN -2H circuit.pdf   RPN -3G circuit.pdf   RPN -4B circuit.pdf   RPN -5C circuit.pdf   RPN -6D circuit.pdf   Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,910. Received thanks 360 times, giving thanks to others 8 times.
    At the most basic option, replace the existing controller with a basic BOB, and wire into the existing stepper drivers. The ribbon cable from the controller to the stepper drivers is what carries the step/dir signals.

    You'll need to work out how you're going to handle the control voltage, as by the looks of it that machine uses 24V for inputs/outputs (some machines used 12V), and most cheap BOBs can only handle 5V.
    To help with this, I'd make up a list of the all the wire numbers connecting into the existing controller, and then trawl the wiring diagrams and establish what they all do, making a note of what voltage they need/produce.

    Upgrading the stepper drivers would give you the biggest performance boost, but the existing ones would be good enough to get the machine running, and you could upgrade later if you felt the need.
    Upgrading the steppers won't give you much gain, as they're modern square type anyway.

    The biggest problem I can see, is if those are two pots (Spindle Speed/Feed Rate Override?), getting some form of BOB/controller to accept the analogue input reduces options and bumps the price up.
    No basic parallel port BOB will handle an analogue input.
    A CS-Labs CSMIO/IP-M can handle two analogue inputs, however you would need to make sure it has enough inputs/outputs, as it can't be expanded. The next option up would be the CSMIO/IP-S.
    The CS-Labs are good controllers, and fully support 24V inputs/outputs.
    PoKeys57CNC has 5 analogue inputs, however it's designed to run with 5V inputs/outputs, so you'd either need to change everything to use the lower voltage (I'd personally stick with 24V, as it's far more noise tolerant), or add in buffer boards to step between voltages.
    CNCdrive's UC300 series of controllers also have analogue inputs, however I think they're designed around 5V as well (I can't be bothered downloading the manual to check).

    I personally prefer Dynomotion KFlop, but they only have one option for multiple analogue inputs (Kanalog add-on board), and it would be very much overkill for this kind of machine.

    Off course, the other option is to use a basic BOB for all the main digital in/out, then use something else to handle the analogue inputs. Things like a PoKeys57E or U would give you analogue inputs, along with lots of extra digital IO, but again I'm sure they're all low voltage. Or if you like to experiment, you could even use an arduino to pass the information in via Modbus, but that can be a challenge to get working.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  3. #3

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  5. #4
    Thanks for your replies guys..

    Looks like I've got allot of reading to do being a complete novice to this and seeing there are so many options!!! :-\

    m_c - The CS-Labs controllers look good what drivers would you suggest if I was going to go straight into a full upgrade? also looking at the Kflop i'm tempted as I can get everything from them kflop, kstep, kanalog, looks like all id need to get it up and running - is there a uk provider for these?

  6. #5
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Current Activity: Viewing Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,910. Received thanks 360 times, giving thanks to others 8 times.
    Drivers I'd say some Leadshine EM's (or AM's - they were superseded by the EM, but they're still available from some sources), as they're some of the best digital drivers you can currently get.
    Hopefully somebody will give some other suggestions, as I don't really keep up with latest stepper driver options.

    I just had a quick look at the wiring diagram, and I see the router uses a 45VAC transformer for the drives, so it should be producing around 64VDC, give or take a few volts.
    And having just found a datasheet for the motors, they must have the coils connected in series, as they are quite low inductance (0.9mH), which means the theoretical max voltage should only be around 30V, fi they were connected in series.

    Rewiring to parallel (if the motors have all 8 wires available), and changing to a lower voltage power supply could be an option, and most likely work out cheaper with better performance, as lower voltage drives are cheaper.

    Personally, I wouldn't use a KStep for a router. Although they use pretty reasonable drivers, they're not as good as modern digital drivers. To me the KStep is ideal for something like a milling machine, where speed isn't really a top priority, or where you want a reasonable performing compact controller, not for something like a router where speed is a high priority. I do have one installed on a digitiser, and I think it's a brilliant compact setup, but that machine is not setup to be whizzing around at max speed.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

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