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Thread: dro question.

  1. #1
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    Default dro question.

    I have a topaz two axis dro on my mill. I am challenged with anything that has buttons. It works well but if the power goes off it battles to come on again.it flashes on and off.
    You would say no problem never switch it off. But due to our corrupt government the S African grid suffers from a term called load shedding. Every day for two hours you get a turn to have no power.
    Obviously I panic.

    I wonder whats going on in the unit to cause the fluttering.
    Secondly not understanding how dro ,s work (it just works well) do I have glass scales or some other type. What systems are there and is it literally glass.
    How does it work and can they be cut.
    I ask this because I am tempted to put this on my emco v13 and buy a three axis dro which has bolt hole and more applications.

    Also would the linear readers ? work with any readout. Newall are crazy expensive and we dont have e bay.
    Can you just cut off the wire sockets and put different ones on to suit a cheaper brand dro readout.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Stateside, small UPS's are inexpensive. The dro likely uses very little power and could run for hours on a small unit. In fact, given what you describe with the power, it is at significant risk of failure due to the poor quality power when it ceases and as it resumes. That may be the source of the fluttering.

    Some nicer UPS units perform power monitoring, and provide data on quality. Voltage, phase, frequency, etc. You can capture that via USB or serial port on a computer. We had significant device problems in our home and thought the devices were failing - they were acting very odd, turning off, turning on, needing to be unplugged in order to fully reset. The cause was the failing buried cable in front of the house. The power company had known it was failing and when they finally replaced it the problems went away. The life of those cables is only 20-30 years.

    Considering the potential cost of finding a compatible replacement for your dro, you may want to do something. Cheap surge surpressors actually do provide protection, though typically only for the largest of spikes. Also, many electronic devices are "always on", at least partially. Hard switches on the mains are less common on modern devices. That means they can be fairly easily damaged even when switched "off". Of course some devices do last longer when left powered on 24x7.

    In the dro, the a/c is converted to d/c. You might look at the spec plate to get an idea what the current requirements are. It may not take much to power it directly with d/c.

    Whether your scales are literally glass would depend on the unit and I think you'll need more specific model info. I've seen the question about shortening glass scales, so there is info on that out there; good or bad.

  3. #3
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    Default

    My DRO's do the same thing when there is a power outage, it looks like that may be a deliberate feature to tell you the powers been out and you need to check things over? It is, with mine, easy to reset them so the blinking on and off quits and they go back to normal operation. I just press the clear button when the displays are blinking and everything is better. It was a hairy freakout moment the first time I saw it.

    I shudder to say this to another guy but have you read them manual?

    It may give you a simple procedure to do a reset.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

  4. #4
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    Default

    It depends omn the glass scale exactly how they work. The cheaper ones work as an encoder, ther are only 2 outputs and the output patter looks like 00, 01,11,10,00... for one direction and 00, 10,11,01,00... for the other direction. they may also have an occasional Z bit which is used for zero reference or homing. The other type is more expensive and is called an absolute scale and has more bits and is read differently. the 2 output type. The 2 output type can be shortened, but be careful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Topaz is a trade name for some Newall DRO displays which appear to be obsolete. The scales are not modifiable and the operation principle is described here:http://newall.com/technology/ I doubt very much if another type of scale will work with your display or vice versa. I would look for a small UPS if I had your problem. Newall is top of the line equipment and the scales are unaffected by extreme environments. My lathe has a 2-axis Topaz system and it has been trouble free for since day 1 about 15 yrs. ago.

    RWO

  6. #6
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    When there are problems powering up on older equipment, the two areas to suspect are

    1) A small battery that preserves the memory for the settings
    2) Electrolytic capacitors.

    Battery can be checked with a volt meter. Capacitor cans often bulge at the end when they are going / gone.

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Our loadshedding has stabilized and we havnt had cuts for about a month now but my dro now flickers on the x and y axis permanently.I am real upset about this because it works so well. What I dont understand is if I push the hidden button in the setup it will display on both axis and does not flutter at all.
    Not the numbers but the writing SETUP.Why would only the numbers flutter but not the writing in setups. ?

    If I took this to a electronics guy do you think he could trace a problem without a wiring diagram or is this going to be to complicated without experience on dros.?My country has taken a turn for the worst and money is real tight and will get worse so trying to buy a new dro would be off the cards.

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    A real good electronics guy could trace it out - given enough time and money to do so. But it would cost more than a new DRO if someone could even be found. I think you got 2 realistic choices, pray it doesn't die on you and/or start saving pennies for a new DRO.
    If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalee100 View Post
    Hi,

    A real good electronics guy could trace it out - given enough time and money to do so. But it would cost more than a new DRO if someone could even be found. I think you got 2 realistic choices, pray it doesn't die on you and/or start saving pennies for a new DRO.
    Not the answer I wanted to hear but probably a realistic answer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Missouri
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    Default

    It may be fluttering on "real" numbers because the input is changing, or because something external is producing a signal that is interfering with it.

    Have there been any changes in the same time period? New stuff added around the shop, like a VFD? Any other equipment behaving oddly?
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

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