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View Full Version : Something Old, Something New..Upgrading An Old CNC Millrite



Too_Many_Tools
05-19-2006, 01:39 PM
Sometimes the Gods smile upon a person...I was just given a old CNC Millrite.

So now I (or perhaps I should say my son) has a summer "project" to upgrade this Millrite from its old numerical controls to use the current technology.

The mill has Acme screws on the X and Y axises.

The X and Y axises and the quill are equipped with servo motors that I will want to reuse in the updated electronics conversion.

I do have the old numerical control electronics that were used to originally power the servos but will likely not reuse it except for the cabinet.

The spindle is powered by a three phase 1Hp motor.

So if this was YOUR machine, how would you go about updating it?

What hardware, software, what companies would you go with?

I will also add that I searched the entire archives without finding anything like this that has been done before so any contributions that you might add will provide guidance for those who are looking for insight in the future....and help me alot.

Thanks for any contributions that you can add.

TMT

John Foster
05-19-2006, 01:50 PM
There was a series on upgrade of mills in HMS a few years back. Roland Friestad, contributing editor has been covering this.
Gecko (www.geckodrives.com) for drivers, TURBOCNC (www.dakeng.com) for software are hard to beat. Several Yahoo groups are good sources also. John

BobWarfield
05-19-2006, 06:08 PM
I'd go with Mach 3 software on a PC and GeckDrives. Keep your servos (assuming they still work of course). I'll be their power supply also works. I'd look at a GRex for the breakout board (requires Mach IV and still a bit new but it's going to be the cat's meow as time goes on). If you are not feeling adventurous about GRex, buy a Campbell Designs breakout board.

Now that you're staring at these electronics, it's time to wire them up. Given working servos, working power supply, Geckos, and a breakout board, it's a matter of point to point. Get it all hooked up inside your existing cabinet. Ignore your control panel at first and just run it from the PC screen--a cheap laptop off eBay is a good option there.

Once you have that merrily chugging along, try to make the old control panel functions work. This is where the GRex is handy because it has a lot of inputs and outputs.

You can learn about all of this and more from a variety of good internet sources:

Mach Support: http://www.machsupport.com/artsoft/index/index.htm (Note, Mach is free to start playing with, take advantage and see how you like it. Also, check the Yahoo board. There is a link on this support page.)

Gecko Support: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/geckodrive/

CNCZone: http://www.cnczone.com/

Sing out on any of those boards. They're all good people ready to help and good products.

Enjoy!

BW

HTRN
05-19-2006, 10:13 PM
So if this was YOUR machine, how would you go about updating it?

What hardware, software, what companies would you go with?

You might want to go over to Adrians site and talk to Dave. I recently discussed with him something along the same lines - one of the things he said was over 7A he doesn't recommend the Gecko's for technical reasons, something to do with power feedback. After 7A he suggested using Larkin drives.

http://www.larkencnc.com/

He did recommend Mach 3 - http://www.machsupport.com/artsoft/index/index.htm


HTRN

Too_Many_Tools
05-20-2006, 12:07 AM
You might want to go over to Adrians site and talk to Dave.

HTRN

Thanks for responding but who is Dave and where is Adrian's site?

Thanks

TMT