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braidmeister
02-07-2005, 10:58 AM
OK guys, I've been browsing on here off and on for the past few weeks trying to figure out the best course of action for my Bridgeport Boss 5 (series 1). Right now it is working under it's own power (after replacing bad transistor) but with a bad ERS board I'm dead in the water as far as data transfer goes.

What I'd like to do is retain the stock steppers and run the Larkens and Mach2. I see that a few of you are already doing that. I understand how to hook things up from the PC to the breakout board...then to the Larkens and motors...BUT what about the power supply?

I have 3 phase in my shop and everything is working fine with it. The only accessory I have is the Bijur auto luber...not sure if there is a brake or not on the 2HP spindle (has kwik change 200 on it)

What do I/can I gut out of the box, and what should I keep? Do I need any additional electronics if I do use the factory power supply? Isn't it supposed to put out like 68v or something?

Any help is greatly appreciated! I started specing out a servo setup, and I really don't want to get into that right now. The steppers are good...and judging by the way BP built things, the PS is probably good to.

Thanks!
-Brady

SJorgensen
02-07-2005, 02:33 PM
Hi Braidmeister,

Why do you think your ERS board is bad? Do you get an error light when you power up? If not I think you should look for other answers first.

I'm still looking for a new location for my mill so it will be a few weeks before I'm settled in otherwise I'd be happy to pop your card in my machine and test it for you.

Maybe I can help you test it. I'll check in here at about 9:00pm mst.

Spence

braidmeister
02-07-2005, 03:24 PM
Spence,
I don't get an error light...just got the machine and don't fully know it all that well. Where should I be looking for an error? On the pendant? I'll have to try again and look for it.

I bought an RS232 interface for it, hooked it up and cannot get response from the BOSS (no BOSS prompt...nothing) Wires check out for continuity etc, they are hooked up correctly and I tried a Win2k and Win98 machine to attempt a connection...all settings are set according to the kit I bought from Blasko.

I pulled out the ERS, cleaned the card terminals with an eraser and wiped them down clean...still nothing. No BOSS prompt or any other recognition that a communication link is established.

~~~~~~~

Now you know why I am asking about the Larkens and the Power supply. Aside from the bad ERS (or whatever) I will be limited on the file size I can upload to it. I make molds on my CNC router...and will be doing this on the BP in AL. I will be limited on memory...so I am going with the Larkens & Mach2.

-Brady

Jim Bass
02-07-2005, 05:06 PM
Hi,

Not too long ago I purchased and set up a BOSS 8. Data transfer via rs-232 was a nightmare. I finally got results when I tried a different computer. The first computer would not send data thru rs-232 port on any com setting. Be certian that your computer is sending data. Do you have manuals with machine? Check manual for pin layout. Sending data from computer pin should be receiving data on mill pin. When you get mill and computer working together on a small program then you can try "drip feeding" (DNC) data to control. At that point machine memory size does not matter, as mill will download program as control empties out a memory chip. Many people are quick to give up on these older controls, just think of what has been machined with these older controls.

Good luck, Jim

braidmeister
02-07-2005, 05:09 PM
I've determined that I have the Sigma stepper motors on my machine.

I opened up the power (back) cabinet today and measured the voltage off of the 3 transformers under the big T2 mother.

At the (-) and (T4) terminals I am getting 45.9vdc on the upper 2 TFs and 46.3vdc on the bottom one.

Essentailly what I need to know...Is it just a matter of pulling off of these 2 terminals to power up each Larken stepper drive, or do I need something else? I hear talk of power resistors etc in line with power lines.

Thanks!
-Brady

braidmeister
02-07-2005, 05:16 PM
Jim,
At this point, I am going to upgrade the control. Yes what this machine has done in the past is impressive...but I am not willing to run the original BOSS electronics because it will be a waste of time. I don't have time to fiddle around with an obsolete control that blows power transistors in the middle of a job. I am not a hobbiest. I do CNC routing and plasma cutting for a living.

Right now, the path of least resistance is to upgrade to the Larken drives and Mach2. I think Motorworks and IBEW have done this sucessfully ~ David also makes $ with his machine.

All I really need to know right now is if the stock PS will work, and any additional components I may need to interface to the Larkens (aside from an opto-iso board on the parallel)

-Brady

SJorgensen
02-07-2005, 10:14 PM
Hi Braidmeister,

Good luck to you on your upgrade. If I were planning an upgrade like you are I would build the entire control unit separately from the original and build it so that I could simply unplug the steppers from the original and plug them onto the alternate. That way you always have a working machine while you de-bug your controls. I've never blown anything but a certain fuse I think is F5.

One thing you said that didn't make complete sense to me was when you said that you installed an RS-232 port. The ERS card is the serial port and it is interfaced through a funky round plug. Only three wires are necessary. Send Recieve and Ground. Some wiring diagrams show a chassis ground wire connected to pin one on the PC. I found that when this pin was grounded the PC ports on modern PC's were disabled. Once I discovered this and eliminated it everything started to work. Serial communications on old equipment is somewhat a black art but much can be done. Even as slow as it is it is more than adequate for the speed the machine cuts. Still for compound shapes the memory limitation is a problem. For standard shapes, holes, curves pockets facings etc. it is fine. If you undertake to do what Dave did I hope you don't underestimate how much work he has put into it and how much electronic expertice he has. It's his main thing other than tattoos!

Spence

braidmeister
02-08-2005, 08:03 AM
Spence,
I bought an RS232 to BOSS serial adapter. It's basically a DB9 RS232 plug for the PC, and 3 wires that get soldered up to the K6 plug on the ERS board. You need to reconfig some dip switches according to the instructions, and then use a terminal program to communicate with it. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a response from the BOSS....and after going back and forth with Jim Blasko (maker of the adapter) I pretty much gave up on it. When I pulled out the ERS to clean the terminals on it, I noticed that there was an IC socket empty on the board near the DIP switches. Not sure if this is supposed to be like that or not.

At any rate, I just want to know how others pulled off of the power supply and what voltages they were getting before the drivers. I am getting about 45-46vdc on the 3 smaller transformers below the big T2 transformer. Is this what others are doing/getting?

From the power transformer to the PC, I'm pretty sure that it should be: Transformer (46vdc), Larken drivers, breakout board, PC. I know there are relays that need to stay for the auto-lube and spindle etc. Just not sure which ones.

-Brady

ibewgypsie
02-08-2005, 09:37 AM
Howdy..

Not sure what your question is?

There are plenty of parts in the boss system you use to save money. Don't sell or throw anything away till it runs. I even used the terminal strips, the capacitors, some of the wiring. (all oil soaked)

There are 3 transformers on one common block there. It outputs 68vdc at the capacitors. If you have 3 phase. If not, you might be able to use two of them. There was pictures posted recently of a nice wired boss. I inserted a 3kva 240/dual tap 24+24=48ac + capacitor dc doubling = 68 vdc.

Make money with a old boss? Do you drive a antique car everyday. Yes?, after about a year of fiddling with mine it will run everyday I want it to. Is it as good as a new cnc? no. Is it serviceable, I'd say yes. I am still adding in options, like a house it is never done.

HOME SHOP MACHINIST had a real good story on a conversion. YOu can substitute your controls for the ones they used. Good article thou. They sell back issues.

Personally I feel the old boss electronics belong on ebay. If it runs thou, run the wheels off it as long as it works for you.

Larken drives are like built like a old truck, tough. For lighter motors, Geckos are the way to go. Make sure you heat sink them well.

David

braidmeister
02-08-2005, 05:18 PM
David,
I get about 46vdc on each of the lower 3 transformers. My question was if I could just pull straight off of these and wire them directly to the Larkens, AND if 46v is enough juice for the steppers.

You listed 68v, and I thought you were getting that off of the factory PS. Naturally 68v would make for faster jog speeds and move the torque curve up a bit on the steppers. OK ok...Now I get that you were talking about taking a reading off of the caps...I'll have to check that. Yes, I have real 3phase...not an inverter.

I don't like the Geckos for a BP machine. They don't have a high enough rating for this setup. This is why I am going with the Larkens...a bit more $, but they are made for higher current.

The only other buggers I need to work out are the relays and electronics (if any) for the spindle oil pump and anything else that I am not conscious of right now.

Thanks for the help,
-Brady

ibewgypsie
02-08-2005, 07:09 PM
Ohh.. the 3 lower transformers are actually inline inductors/reactors limiting the current for the steppers. This makes the lil transistors last just a minute or two longer.

They go into the trash to use a bipolar drive. They have current limiting in them for the old unipolar drive.

The upper 3 coil together transformer is the one that supplies the current for the steppers.

David

braidmeister
02-08-2005, 08:16 PM
OK...that makes sense.

Thanks!