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Thread: Boxford TCL 160

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  1. #1
    I've recently purchased the Boxford TCL 160 from Bartell of this parish:

    and intend to convert it using a Planet-CNC Mk2/4 board which came with a previous router purchase.

    The lathe arrived on Tuesday, sitting on a mini pallet and wrapped in about 20 quids worth of bubble wrap, so survived the trip intact.

    A quick play in manual mode confirmed that everything works as expected.

    I'm planning on using as much of the electronics as possible, so today I removed the link cable between the processor board and the driver board and made a quick and dirty connection of the step/dir/gnd connections from the Mk2/4 to each of the step/dir connections for the X, Z and ATC motors and all worked perfectly.

    I'm a little stumped as to how to connect the motor drive to the Mk2/4 but once I've disentangled more of the cabling I should see what's required.

    The overall plan is to remove the processor board and fit an ITX motherboard in its place, with the driver board still sitting at the top of the mounting legs, so that it's in the draft of the cooling fan. That way it remains a stand alone unit, with just a monitor to wall mount and probably a wireless keyboard and mouse.

    I also need to connect up some opto-isolators between the homing switches and the Mk2/4, and work out a wiring plan for the various safety switches.

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  2. #2
    Turns out the machine I have is not the one in the picture above, but probably the one behind it.

    Note to self - the X and Z homing sensors appear to be NPN, so will need to configure the opto-isolators accordingly.

    Last edited by Saracen; 07-11-2014 at 01:12 AM.

  3. #3
    I've ordered the Planet-CNC Output Control board, in order to generate the 0-10V signal to control the speed of the lathe spindle, but the Mitsubishi inverter which is fitted to this lathe uses two separate signals to control the direction.

    From the Mitsubishi manual:

    STF - Forward start input signal - Motor starts rotating in forward direction when STF and P24 are short circuited. Stops when opened.

    STR - Reverse start input signal - Motor starts rotating in reverse direction when STR and P29 are short-circuited. Stops when opened.

    There are relays for this purpose on the driver card already, but I presume I need to generate two separate outputs from which ever Mk2/4 output pin I designate for the purpose of spindle direction ?

    The lathe needs to rotate in both directions as the turret holds the cutting tools behind the work piece, so turning etc happens in reverse, but drill bits require the spindle to rotate in the forward direction as per a normal lathe.

    I guess I could just buy a good range of left handed drills ...


  4. #4
    A quick bit of boolean logic algebra proves that a single 74C00N Quad NAND gate chip will allow me to make one NAND gate and one AND gate, and hence generate two separate opposing logic HIGH signals from the single LOW/HIGH output of the Mk2/4 board. Have ordered the required chips and header boards from eBay, which can also be used to the two opto-isolator boards for the proximity switches.


  5. #5
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago 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 2,908. Received thanks 360 times, giving thanks to others 8 times.
    Are you sure those tools are the correct way up to be on centre?
    Normally rear mounted tools are upside down, so they still cut the spindle rotating clockwise, and I would of thought something aimed at training would follow that convention.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  6. #6
    Yup. All the Tutorials in the programming manual talk about running the spindle in reverse for turning and forwards for drilling.


  7. #7
    It turns out I was over-thinking this, as usual.

    The inverter direction is controlled by two relays on the old Boxford driver board, one for each direction.
    One end of the coil is connected to +12V. Shorting the other end to Ground activates the relay.

    Using the Planet-CNC Output Board, I have connected the NC connection of Relay2 to the Boxford CW direction relay, and the NO connection to the Boxford CCW direction relay.

    The common connection on Relay2 is connected to the NO connection on Relay1.

    The common connection of Relay1 is connected to Ground.

    When the Spindle enable signal is active on Output1, Relay1 connects Relay2 to Ground, activating the spindle.

    The Spindle direction signal on Output2 determines whether the NC or NO connection on Relay2 is connected to Ground through Relay1, and hence which way the spindle turns.

    No other wiring required :D


  8. #8
    Not much movement on the conversion front due to other, more pressing projects, though I do now have the old control panel jogging buttons wired up, so I can move things from the panel, rather than the PC.

    Next task is to wire the turret motor control to an Arduino, so that I can use the old control panel "Turret Index" button to rotate and lock the turret once for each press.


  9. #9
    Arduino connected to the turret driver tonight and a quick hack of a program put together.

    Three buttons have been programmed; the first moves the turret CW whilst pressed, the second moves the turret CCW whilst pressed and the third moves the turret round 45 degrees and backs it into the pawl.

    Seems to work, but a few stutters in the rotation and the locking isn't even amongst the different tool positions.


  10. #10
    Wired up the index opto slot sensor on the spindle shaft to the Mk2/4 board. 12V power comes from the opto isolation board I'm using on the homing switches.

    Spindle speed is now displayed, alongside the demanded speed, and they seem to be reasonably close over most of the range.


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