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Thread: SINO or shooting Star?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Westminster, MD
    Posts
    204

    Default SINO or shooting Star?

    I am ready to buy a DRO for my Clausing 49xx lathe, can't decide between the SINO from CDCO or the Shooting Star models.

    Need help to decide please

    I like the SS because:
    Canadian made
    Scales easily shortened
    Good following and history
    Good features for the $$$
    Good support
    5 year warrenty

    I like the SINO because:
    Price
    Glass scales (can they be shortened?)
    Last edited by kennyd4110; 01-31-2008 at 05:32 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Mapleton, IL
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    2,283

    Default

    You need to do a search. This has been hashed a couple of times in the last few months. While the Shooting Star is not inherently bad, its .0005 resolution turns into .001 on the cross slide of the lathe because .0005 movement removes .001 stock.

    I also prefer the notion of a non-contact reader head because there is no possibility of a shard getting in the rack and damaging it. Shooting Star scales are a rack, but reports here from those who own them suggest that they have not had problems with swarf in spite of the theoretical risk.

    The ability to shorten scales is only important if you really need to shorten scales. The actual physical length of the scale is always longer than the actual travel distance and typically shorter than say the actual bed length, so if you feel you need to shorten one just to make it match some dimension you have numerically, banish the thought. The reader head must be able to move from one limit to the other without crashing into the end. If the scale is longer than that, it doesn't hurt a thing. Typically with glass scales, you only have a handful of sizes and they cover a good range by being just a bit longer than needed for some applications.

    I bought one of the SINO DRO's from CDCO tools for my 13x40 lathe and am quite happy. I cannot give you a 5 year report yet. The cross slide scale is maybe 1/2" longer than my cross slide. It works fine and does not look at all out of place. A mounting track that goes in place first resolves any issues of screw location at the end of the scales. You bolt the track in place and then screw the scale to the extruded track, at each end of the scale. If you search, you will find my post with pictures of my install.

    Paul
    Paul Carpenter
    Mapleton, IL

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
    447

    Default

    Smithy recently switched from the SS to the Sino. They are usually pretty helpful. Call them and ask why they changed.
    Personally, I like the Sino cuz' it looks cooler......... (however I looked at their manual on line, and you better be able to speak Chinglish).

  4. #4
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    Dec 2003
    Location
    Regina and Assiniboia, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    5,950

    Default

    I'd like to tell you how much I like my SS dro but I better not.
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Keystone State
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    Post Smithy recently switched from the Shooting Star to the Sino.

    I think this change had more to do with "exchange rate economics". While "Made in Canada" does carry an advantage over "Made in China" with many US consumers. The near "1 to 1" exchange rate between the US and Can dollars, Canada will get the short end of the stick...
    Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Nottingham, England
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    15,216

    Default

    Basically it's down to accuracy and economics's

    At one time DRO's were the preserve of the professional and had prices to match.
    A Heidenhain 1/2 thou two axis unit for a Bridgy used to be 1400, about $2400 at todays rate and it was only industry who could claw back this outlay.

    Then on the scene can the cheap hobby type DRO's costing a lot less.
    Makes like Shooting Star, Ortec, and the British one that pulled a cable over on encoder who's name escapes me.
    Later on with the release of cheap digital calipers we had the Shumatech and like models.

    These filled a niche in the market, cheapness offset against low accuracy like plus or minus a thou.

    As things move on as they do industry's costs came down as more outlets were found and better electronics and manufacture drove cost down.
    OTOH the hobby guys were stuck with the same cheap technology but rising prices to the point where they have now crossed over.

    Without looking at exact prices the Shooting Star is about $550 for 2 axis of rack and pinion operation with a plus or minus 0.001" as advertised but over what ? 1", 12"?

    The Sino and other imports are on glass scales to 0.0002" and can be had for far less than the price of a SS.

    Ideally the hobby ones should be 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of a commercial unit but with the glass scale imports ow costing less than $500 this will not happens.

    .
    .

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.




  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Westminster, MD
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    Default

    Thanks everybody...
    I have searched and re-searched this to death. I was just wondering if anybody else had compared the two and came to a decision.

    There is just not a lot of info about the SINO that I can find, like features and ease of use. I have seen quite a few comments about the manual being of poor quality though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SW Ohio
    Posts
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    Default

    A while back I chatted with Smithy about the Sino and they hooked me up with a link to the manual. I can't find it real quick but, if you want let me know and I'll try to dig it up.
    By the way I think that I am going to order one in the next day or so myself.
    The one from Smithy is $799 (for the 3 axis) but it is supposed to come with the "bolt on" installation kit. Hey, what the heck it's only money and if I don't spend it my kids might get it ......
    Last edited by smiller6912; 02-04-2008 at 11:03 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Mapleton, IL
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    Default

    Yeah, the SINO manual is lousy, but the basic functions which get used 99% of the time are pretty straight forward. I haven't yet tried out some of the neat stuff like the taper measuring function etc.

    The one thing that seems backward to me, but which could quickly be tested is that the light on the display that indicates that you are in "radius" (as opposed to diameter) mode seems to function backward from what I would expect by the word "rad" on the display. Again, once you know what it means, you don't have to mess with it as you always use it this way.

    Like I said, I am happy with mine--lousy instructions or not. The Shooting Star is probably a fine design, but on a lathe, where .001 turns into .002 on the diameter, that's back on the order of error I expect from boo-boos when using dials...which is the whole reason for getting a DRO in the first place. They may make more sense on a mill.

    Paul
    Paul Carpenter
    Mapleton, IL

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    100

    Default SS vs. Glass Scales

    I own two of the 2 axis SS DROs - there at least 5 or 6 years old - haven't had any problems with either. I know SS stands behind their product - we damaged one where I used to work and eventhough SS knew it was our fault - they replaced it at no cost - that says a lot about customer service. The vast majority of what I do is fine with their .001 resolution over 12".

    When I bought mine - it was several years ago and I got one on a group buy that saved $100. What would I buy today? - I must say that I'm tempted by the glass scales - especially if they are cheaper. However - if something breaks - what can I expect with customer service? My friend had a mill that came with some off brand glass DRO - never was able to find parts for it - something to consider.

    Good luck with whatever you choose.
    Tom

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