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gnm109
12-08-2010, 03:56 PM
After nearly 15 years of using my Enco 13 X 40 lathe, I finally decided that I would treat myself to a DRO. Checking around, I found that SINO seemed to have all that I would need. The are available from the Hong Kong and Singapore sellers but I chose instead to order a unit from Frank Fan at cdcotools.com, mainly because he is very good on shipping.

Installation was only hampered by the manuals which are for the most part written in very poor English. Fortunately, there is a setup in the DRO unit which makes it fairly easy to handle.

When I first fired it up, I noticed that it was set to Mill usage. After some fumbling, I changed this to Lathe. It also has a Grinder setting. I noticed that it has provision for 200 different tool offsets, something that I probably won't be using. It's nice to know that it's in there though....I guess. LOL.

Upon trying it out, I saw that even though I had set it for lathe usage, the cross slide axis (X on a lathe) was reading 1:1. Thus, it had to be changed. It took me about a half hour of looking into the manual and trying different settings to get it so that it would read 2:1 on X. That is, .100 in on X would read .200 on the DRO. This takes into account the radius versus diameter issue on a lathe DRO. That was accomplished by changing the resolution setting on X to 10, instead of 5, effectively doubling the readout. All is well now.

The unit is very nice-looking and came with all necessary hardware. The long scale (Z) is secured to the bed on the rear with three 4mm setscrews. The Y scale in held on with two 4mm setscrews on the upper portion and two 4mm setscrews down below. I did have to make a 1/4" aluminum adapter to connect the Y scale to the bottom portion of the cross slide casting.

A professional machinist friend with a real Brideport had his OEM BP DRO quit about 6 months ago. The X scale had failed and no parts are available. He also got a SINO DRO (same model as mine, SDS6 - L2). He set it up for his mill and it's been working perfectly ever since. That was encouraging to me and made the choice simple. That and the fact that DRO prices are all over the place.

My SINO seems to do the same thing that my Mitutoyo KA unit does on the Webb mill. The Mitutoyo was $850 delivered and the SINO was $504 delivered.

With such prices I don't think I would care to try a hybrid system that uses separate digital calipers. Those units are practically the same price as the SINO and other, similar low-priced alternatives.

I'm looking forward to being able to more easily get a correct diameter and length on turned workpieces from now on. Here are some pictures.

Happy Holidays to all.

View down under the cross slide.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/gnm109/Machinery/EncoLathe-SinoDROinstallB001.jpg

Y scale in place.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/gnm109/Machinery/EncoLathe-SinoDROinstallB002.jpg


Rear of bed showing Z scale. Note all of the bolts. For some reason there were a lot of holes there already. Just for fun I used all of them. The lower brace where the head is connected was one of the supplied cast alloy braces that I had to shorten and drill some holes. The upper piece is 1/8" sheet steel.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/gnm109/Machinery/EncoSinoDROInstall3.jpg


Front of lathe showing DRO installed on my homemade tool rack. I built that about ten years ago to hold junk while I work with the lathe.

http://i144.photobucket.com/albums/r188/gnm109/Machinery/EncoLathe-SinoDROinstallB005.jpg

tmc_31
12-08-2010, 04:40 PM
gnm109,

Nice looking installation. I have a Jet 1340 and started using some dial indicators on the X&Z axis. It sure made all the difference in the speed and accuracy for me.

Please give us an update after you have used the Sino for a while, I have been thinking about buying one for my lathe, and maybe one for the mill also. I would be interested in your opinion of the Sino after using it for awhile.

Tim

Dunc
12-08-2010, 04:52 PM
Are the scales enclosed or sealed to protect them completely/partially/not at all from swarf/lubricants/cutting-cooling fluids? If not fully sealed then how
prone are they?

Can a scale be adjusted in length to address different table dimensions? If not, then where do you leave it short - one side or the other or split the difference?

macona
12-08-2010, 06:09 PM
I really think you need to drill out those holes and tap to 1/2-13. It will be much more secure. ;) Wrong color blue too. Need to repaint the lathe to match.

The holes are for a taper attachment, FWIW.

gnm109
12-08-2010, 06:17 PM
I really think you need to drill out those holes and tap to 1/2-13. It will be much more secure. ;) Wrong color blue too. Need to repaint the lathe to match.

The holes are for a taper attachment, FWIW.


I was actually going to use a pipe thread on all of the mounts but I didn't have a tap. By the way, the color is Sino-Soviet Retail Blue. It's original Chinese and therefore very valuable. Since you are a Miller man, I thought you would appreciate the blue. It matches my Miller SW 200...I think of you every time I light it up, too.....:D

gnm109
12-08-2010, 06:20 PM
gnm109,

Nice looking installation. I have a Jet 1340 and started using some dial indicators on the X&Z axis. It sure made all the difference in the speed and accuracy for me.

Please give us an update after you have used the Sino for a while, I have been thinking about buying one for my lathe, and maybe one for the mill also. I would be interested in your opinion of the Sino after using it for awhile.

Tim

The only negative issue that I notice (it bothered my friend, too) is that there are 5 digits to the right of the decimal point on the DRO readout. (00.00000). Constantly looking at the last one or two digits will make you crazy. I untend to tape over the last digit anyway like my friend did.

I'll come back soon with a followup report.

gnm109
12-08-2010, 06:30 PM
Are the scales enclosed or sealed to protect them completely/partially/not at all from swarf/lubricants/cutting-cooling fluids? If not fully sealed then how
prone are they?

Can a scale be adjusted in length to address different table dimensions? If not, then where do you leave it short - one side or the other or split the difference?

The scales have very nice guards that fit snugly over the scales. If one were to use coolant, you could run a string of clear silicone along the guard and that would take care of it. I don't use coolant myself. I prefer to use some cutting fluid or sometimes WD-40 in an oil can or spray bottle.

The scales are not adjustable for length. When you order the unit, you buy the one that will fit your machine. For example my lathe is called a "13 X 40". It actually only has a useful range of 37.5 inches from the stop at the tailstock end all the way forward where the QCTP would run into the chuck.

In my case, I checked the limits very carefully and made sure that I had more length on each end so that I won't ever hit the end. You have to check this carefully and place the scale to your correct length.

On the 13 X 40 model the long scale is 46" long with 42" of travel and I'm ony using about 36" of it.

The short scale is 10.5" with a travel of 7.5" and I'm using 6.3" of it. As with all such installations, measure four times and drill once. :)

macona
12-08-2010, 06:36 PM
I was actually going to use a pipe thread on all of the mounts but I didn't have a tap. By the way, the color is Sino-Soviet Retail Blue. It's original Chinese and therefore very valuable. Since you are a Miller man, I thought you would appreciate the blue. It matches my Miller SW 200...I think of you every time I light it up, too.....:D


Geee, I... I.. I dont know what to say...

:rolleyes:

gnm109
12-08-2010, 06:45 PM
Geee, I... I.. I dont know what to say...

:rolleyes:


Macona not knowing what to say....this is a first! I'm glad that I had a hand in it. In this case, I would be called the "confuser" and Macona would be the "confusee". :D

duckman
12-08-2010, 07:06 PM
I have a Sino on my BRPT miller, love it except the 5 places to the right, that said the only critique I have is you need to put a stop bolt between your carriage and tailstock as careful as you are you will crash the tail stock into the scale guard and you don't want to do that there is a glass scale inside. And as a further aside I called Frank at CDCO about the 5 place decimal he said to put a piece of tape over the numbers that you don't want to see. :D

gnm109
12-08-2010, 07:14 PM
I have a Sino on my BRPT miller, love it except the 5 places to the right, that said the only critique I have is you need to put a stop bolt between your carriage and tailstock as careful as you are you will crash the tail stock into the scale guard and you don't want to do that there is a glass scale inside. And as a further aside I called Frank at CDCO about the 5 place decimal he said to put a piece of tape over the numbers that you don't want to see. :D


Yes, good advice. As to the fifth decimal, tape will take care of it.

tmc_31
12-08-2010, 10:43 PM
I have heard this "fifth digit" complaint before, it looks to me like the DRO manufacturer could build in software switches to turn the 4th and fifth digits on or off.

Tim

macona
12-08-2010, 11:11 PM
My anilam has a setting to kill the tenths digit.

Davo J
12-08-2010, 11:22 PM
My Sino SDS6-3v readout has the option of 4 of 5 digits after the decimal point built in to it. I think is is only the 2 axis and the earlier 3 axis readouts that don't have this option, you would have to check the online manuals.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/SINO-3-axis-digital-readout-complete-DRO-kit-/220660747717?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item336067cdc5

I have had 2 Meister readouts for 4 years and the Sino for 2 years, and all though I think the Meister readouts are above the Sino, I have never had any trouble with any of them and they all measure accurately.
One of the things I don't like about the Sino is you need to push 2 buttons to zero the screen and another is you have to go into the sub menu for some things, where as the Meister has them on the front panel.

Something to remember about the Sino is it has a back up battery and if left unplugged for over 12 months may need replacing, the Meister's don't have a battery to worry about.

If I was to buy another DRO, I would buy another Sino because they are allot cheaper in price over the others, for the same functions.
Also the 3 axis Sino will do all machines as it has programs built in to choose from where the others (except the new Easson) are dedicated mill, lathe, etc.

Dave

gnm109
12-08-2010, 11:30 PM
My Sino SDS6-3v readout has the option of 4 of 5 digits after the decimal point built in to it. I think is is only the 2 axis and the earlier 3 axis readouts that don't have this option, you would have to check the online manuals.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/SINO-3-axis-digital-readout-complete-DRO-kit-/220660747717?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_15&hash=item336067cdc5

I have had 2 Meister readouts for 4 years and the Sino for 2 years, and all though I think the Meister readouts are above the Sino, I have never had any trouble with any of them and they all measure accurately.
One of the things I don't like about the Sino is you need to push 2 buttons to zero the screen and another is you have to go into the sub menu for some things, where as the Meister has them on the front panel.

Something to remember about the Sino is it has a back up battery and if left unplugged for over 12 months may need replacing, the Meister's don't have a battery to worry about.

If I was to buy another DRO, I would buy another Sino because they are allot cheaper in price over the others, for the same functions.
Also the 3 axis Sino will do all machines as it has programs built in to choose from where the others (except the new Easson) are dedicated mill, lathe, etc.

Dave

Hmm, two buttons on your SINO to zero the screen? On mine, I can zero either screen by pressing the appropriate button. I do have to press the button for each axis....is that what you mean by two buttons?

I'll have to check the manual to see if the fifth digit can be turned off. I don't think it can be.

Davo J
12-08-2010, 11:49 PM
Don't get me wrong I am not running down the Sino at all, it's just things you get used to. They are as good a readout as any other and that includes the top end one's in my opinion.
Yes the Meister DRO's have 2 buttons next to each axis, one to zero it and the other for the axis transfers etc.
http://www.meisterdro.com/servlet/the-3/Meister-Digital-Readout,-BC10M/Detail
The Sino you have to push the axis you want zeroed then clear, it is only small things but I had got used to the Meisters for 2 years prior. If this was someones first and only readout you wouldn't even notice it.
I am pretty sure the 2 axis don't have the decimal change as I have seen post's on it before. On mine you push the metric/inch button and it goes metric, 4 decimal, 5 decimal then back to metric.

Dave

gnm109
12-09-2010, 07:55 AM
Don't get me wrong I am not running down the Sino at all, it's just things you get used to. They are as good a readout as any other and that includes the top end one's in my opinion.
Yes the Meister DRO's have 2 buttons next to each axis, one to zero it and the other for the axis transfers etc.
http://www.meisterdro.com/servlet/the-3/Meister-Digital-Readout,-BC10M/Detail
The Sino you have to push the axis you want zeroed then clear, it is only small things but I had got used to the Meisters for 2 years prior. If this was someones first and only readout you wouldn't even notice it.
I am pretty sure the 2 axis don't have the decimal change as I have seen post's on it before. On mine you push the metric/inch button and it goes metric, 4 decimal, 5 decimal then back to metric.

Dave

Not on my unit....just push the X or Y button. It clears. No CLS required...yours must be a different version. I believe the metric on mine is 4 or 5 digit.

If the Meister costs more than $504 delivered, I would still have bought the SINO. It's probably the best deal for the money at the present time.

HAP
12-09-2010, 08:17 AM
I bought a 3 axis Sino last year. Read about the 5th digit distraction as well. There is a way to change to 4 digits; has something to do with going to the metric mode, hit some other button and then back to inches. All of the scales are sealed and most have an additional swarf/impact cover as well. The Z mounting is always the hardest to accomodate. Cool feature is the sleep mode where it retains all information even if the axies are moved when the screen is off. I am happy with the unit except for the operators maual...

gnm109
12-09-2010, 08:27 AM
I bought a 3 axis Sino last year. Read about the 5th digit distraction as well. There is a way to change to 4 digits; has something to do with going to the metric mode, hit some other button and then back to inches. All of the scales are sealed and most have an additional swarf/impact cover as well. The Z mounting is always the hardest to accomodate. Cool feature is the sleep mode where it retains all information even if the axies are moved when the screen is off. I am happy with the unit except for the operators maual...


Yes, the manual is a joke. For very minimal money, they could hire a good translator but for some reason, they don't.

I had to change the cable direction on my Z scale reader to prevent the cable from hitting when the carriage was near the chuck. I looked in the manual and, for the life of me, I couldnt figure out what they were attempting to say.

I finally examined it with an eye loupe and discovered that there were two 2mm slot headed screws buried in holes. They held the cable on one side and the plug on the other. I loosened those and removed the four Phillips head screws holding the cover. Then it was easy to change the direction. I had to figure it out intuitively though. The book was no help.

Next time I go to the shop, I'm going to check on the digit display in metric to see if I can change the inch digits permanently. OTOH, reason enough to go metric if I can get four digits. I sometimes use metric on my mill just for fun anyway.

Davo J
12-09-2010, 09:53 AM
Not on my unit....just push the X or Y button. It clears. No CLS required...yours must be a different version. I believe the metric on mine is 4 or 5 digit.

If the Meister costs more than $504 delivered, I would still have bought the SINO. It's probably the best deal for the money at the present time.

Yes as I said earlier mine is a 3 axis (SDS6-3v) model.

Dave

macona
12-09-2010, 01:26 PM
Yes, the manual is a joke. For very minimal money, they could hire a good translator but for some reason, they don't.



They did hire a translator for minimal money, thats the problem.

gnm109
12-09-2010, 02:48 PM
They did hire a translator for minimal money, thats the problem.


Yeah. It's really bad.

mototed
12-09-2010, 02:51 PM
That looks just like the DRO pros unit I installed on my lathe a few months ago. It came with good manuals. Probably the same units with their labels and rewritten manuals. My cross slide scale covered up the lube points for the front and back ways.:( For now I've been squirting oil all the ways before using. Did you have any issues like that?
Hope you enjoy the new toy.
Ted

gnm109
12-09-2010, 07:07 PM
That looks just like the DRO pros unit I installed on my lathe a few months ago. It came with good manuals. Probably the same units with their labels and rewritten manuals. My cross slide scale covered up the lube points for the front and back ways.:( For now I've been squirting oil all the ways before using. Did you have any issues like that?
Hope you enjoy the new toy.
Ted


No problem with lubing the ways. The Enco lathe has the little ball bearing oilers (The ones that always get grit in them, LOL) but the cross slide scale is clear of them. In any case, I use Vactra Way oil and I just squirt that on and all is well.

It's entirely possible that SINO units are rebadged by various sellers...at different prices. I haven't checked DRO Pros recently. A year ago, I wanted a DRO for my mill and I contacted them thinking to buy one. Since their office is only about 40 miles from my home I asked if I could drop by their office and pick it up there. I was told firmly that the unit would have to be shipped UPS for something like $35. That cost him a sale. I bought a Mututoyo with free shipping on eBay instead.

After seeing the SINO, I could have saved about $300 getting a SINO for the mill instead of the Mitutoyo. Oh well.