View Full Version : Chi-Com DRO's

12-26-2009, 12:49 AM
I saw a post on another forum from a guy asking about Chi-com DRO's he posted a link to Shars I checked it out and they have a nice looking 2 axis 12x36 dro with lots of features for 470.00 It got my interest. I have bought tools from Shars before and I trust them but I am not sure about the chi-com dro's the spec's said they are good for .0002.
Does anyone have any experance with these DRO's
I will only be using this DRO for hobby work so the accuracy isn't as important as durability.
I would hate for it to go belly up the day after the warranty runs out.

http://www.shars.com/products/view/7398/12quotx36quot_2_Axis_Dro_digital_readout_glass_lin ear_Mill_System_Package

12-26-2009, 01:20 AM
I recently installed chi-com DROs on my lathe and mill. I ordered form "Mr DRO" on eBay. He is out of Singapore, ships really fast, and provides good support, like translating the manuals from chinglish to real english. (The guy I contacted called himself Scott and seemed to actually speak real english, not the pidgeon english found in most manuals). So far I'm totally satisfied. The unit on my lathe is a ringer for the one in my Shars flyer and goes under the name of Sino, I believe (I'm not in my shop at this time). The other is a two axis on my mill and is much more functional, but both have worked out with no problems. Durability remains to be seen. One thing I noticed is that all the chi-com DROs that use glass scales seem to use the same ones and there only seems to be a few different manufacturers of the LED read out units. Bottom line, you should be satisfied with the Shars units. Will I be saying this five years from now? Don't know.


12-26-2009, 01:46 AM
Are you getting it for a mill or lathe?

a 12"x36" DRO is actualy not for a 12x36" lathe, you really want more like a 8"x40" DRO for a 12x36" lathe iirc, as the cross slide is more like 8" travel max

Just thought id make sure you knew...

12-26-2009, 02:01 AM
Good point...

Many suppliers (not all suppliers...) now list the scale size by "travel" - then you add in the end offsets for total length. This varies by brand, scale type and how close you can position the reader head to any one end.

My current lathe project requires 41x8.5" travel (without travel stops). The closest match I can get (that will fit) is 48x10. The physical length of the scales is 7 inches more on each axis for one brand, 10 inches for the other.

Always make sure you can physically mount the cross slide scale - the chicom brands I looked at did not make the small scales often needed.

12-26-2009, 02:12 AM
Are you getting it for a mill or lathe?

a 12"x36" DRO is actualy not for a 12x36" lathe, you really want more like a 8"x40" DRO for a 12x36" lathe iirc, as the cross slide is more like 8" travel max

Just thought id make sure you knew...

It would be for a mill. Most of there 2 axis are 470.00 -520.00
3 axis are around 570.00 750.00
I thought that was a good price for hobby work.

12-26-2009, 02:23 AM
Lake Side
I went and looked again they have a 8x40 for 520.00
They also have scales down to 6" in a package 6X24
I don't know if you can the scales separate or not

12-26-2009, 02:26 AM
I bet if you e-mail him he can make up a custom scale package for you if hes got that many scales and dros he likey just makes up kits as needed.

12-26-2009, 06:05 PM
About a year ago I bought a 3 axis mill set from this place and am happy with it. I got the Easson one. Just a hobbiest though that only uses the mill probably twice a week.

Sometime this spring I'll probably get another one for my lathe (14x40) from the same place. They have a lot of basic info on the site too for the person like me that didn't know squat about DROs.

12-26-2009, 11:16 PM
I have the Shars Sino dro. No problems in the 3 yrs I've been using it. Mine is the 3 axis on a BP clone. Ordered after seeing ad in HSM. No problems except for chinglish manual. It comes with a lot of features that you normally don't get on a dro in this price range. Took me a while to install, but that was because I wanted it to look factory installed.
The only thing I don't like is 4 digits to the right of decimel, too much for me!!! The couple of times I've called them to get info, they have been very helpful.
I also have one of their X axis power feeds and it did give me a little trouble, but they sent me a new replacement without ANY hassel.
I highly recommend Shars Sino DRO.

People say I'm getting crankier as I get older. That's not it. I just find I enjoy annoying people a lot more now. Especially younger people!!!

12-27-2009, 12:15 AM
There is supposed to be a way to move the decimal so you only have four places instead of the ridiculous five places. I haven't figured it out yet. Some guys just cover the fifth decimal place. It is distracting. The good news is that these puppies are repeatable and can be calibrated for linear error. I was lucky and after checking mine with standards, I found them to be spot on. Sure wish I'd installed them years ago. I got mine from an eBay seller called thedrostore. Shipped from Singapore to So. Calif. in three days. I made two purchases from him. He was very helpful with the chinglish. I also have had nothing but good experiences from Shars.


12-27-2009, 06:48 PM
I got mine from http://www.cdcotools.com/ looks to be the exact same as the Shars DRO. I am in the middle of installing it on my Square column mill. I called and spoke to Frank he was more then happy to send me whatever size scale I needed. Price might be a little cheaper than Shars.

12-27-2009, 07:01 PM
I have the Shars unit on my mill. It works quite nicely. I had a broken scale that needed replacement. It's worked quite well, with lot's of features.


12-28-2009, 03:47 PM
Just be careful with MeisterDRO. I ordered one of their S2000's and it has worked fine until one day it would lock up and stop working. An email to the guy in Singapore, no response. To be fair, his web page does state only a 30 day return policy.
Well I took it apart and found the circuit board to have corrosion all over it. It was never properly washed after soldering. Some pc board cleaner from radio shack, an old tooth brush, and it is working like a champ again.

loose nut
12-28-2009, 04:06 PM
You buy cheap Chinese "anything" and you are taking a chance.

Maybe good, maybe not so good, let the buyer beware!!!!