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Return of the POS

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  • Return of the POS

    Some of you may remember John S getting rid of his last POS bridgeport and replacing it with the silk shirt and tractor parts version he's running now. I snagged it but said at the time it will be a long term project as I had other stuff in train to do, and it has been. But its time for it to come out now.

    First as it arrived, parked in the barn and sheeted over, it spent all summer/autumn/winter like this.

    I had the classic bridgeport problem of it not fitting through my door (nothing fits through it easy mind), so took the wiring closet, monitor arm, rigid head support, and x table and put the headless corpse on the pallet truck to traverse into the workshop.

    Reassemble it, sans head/wiring closet. Ive got plans for them to make it fit the space I have.

    Brought the head in and put it on the table to get it out the general way.

    First job getting the steppers on, not sure how you are supposed to do this, but I made some slit adapter sleeves for the original taperlocks to take the spindle of the original stepper pulley down to match the nema34 steppers I got in the deal too. Then I redrilled the knee casting from nema42 to nema34 specs by making a drill jig up on the other mill and bolting it to the 42 fixings to hold it, then tapped m8.
    I'm certain my adapter held the stepper central to the original mountings, but afterwards the drive belt would have been too tight, so I made up a mandrel to hold the idler roller in the lathe and skimmed it a mm at a time till I was happy with the tension on the belt with the stepper bolted in place. Ive kept the 2:1 drive ratio as this is a later series1 boss with that as original.

  • #2
    It all lines up, the belts tensioned and it goes round with the handwheel with no variance of tension or obvious runout. Thats as much as I can test it right now.

    Ive also got a parallel port 5 axis breakout port, I was planning on using a old laptop as you can see here, but its getting very hot so I'm going to switch back to a desktop and hide it in the wiring closet.
    Plan is to hook all the original bridgeport controls, estop, joggle joystick etc up to the breakout board and squeeze a monitor into the original arm after its trimmed a bit in arm length.

    And thats where I'm up to.
    What I am interested in is has anyone got any photo's of how they mounted steppers on the Y and Z axis during a boss conversion? I seem to have a lot of overhang by the time I add the thickness of motor plates etc and will end up making some support bearings for these if there's not an easier way.

    As for the other plans, the transformer Sir J has already steered me there, I will jumper the 3 [email protected] windings of the original transformer to give [email protected] output. Ive followed the arc eurotrade stepper psu guide and ordered a 50amp bridge rectifier and some smoothing capacitors to diy my own psu.
    For the head, Ive ordered two pilot bore syncronous timing pulleys (so I can do rigid tapping at a later date) and a belt to suit the centres, and I'm converting it to a single speed in place of the vari mechanism, as much to reduce overall height as anything but this way I won't have to put up with the head rattling about in a few years. Ive kept the high/low speed gear and timing belt of the original setup and Ive got a spare 2hp vfd I'll be using for speed control in addition to the two speed ranges.

    More when time allows, if theres anything Im doing glaringly wrong, please point it out.


    • #3
      I'm sure it will bring tears of remorse to John's eyes seeing the head-less corpse. Or is that tears of laughter?

      Looks like you've given the poor bugger a nice new home and even some love.


      • #4
        Think he's avoiding it to avoid flashbacks

        Measuring, and research says its a nema42 on the Y and quill, but its not. I have no idea what its supposed to be, but I drew an adapter up and the bolt holes of a nema32 fouled them and a adapter plate with sufficient thickness to take a thread would move the belt pulley further from the stepper bearings that I would like. So I rotated the stepper housing mounts in qcad until it fitted and didn't foul any features.

        Used it to make a drilling jig courtesy of the newly installed dro on my manual mill, which bolted up. Drilled then tapped M8.

        Done, and plus from rotating the stepper body, the original stepper guard now fits around the physically larger (nema34) stepper. I don't have the encoder/switch assembly to remount the handwheel.

        Rinse and repeat for quill tonight and start building the electrical cabinet now and hopefully the last of the parts I am waiting for will arrive monday. Quite stoked about having it going after all this time.


        • #5
          Originally posted by MrFluffy View Post
          Quite stoked about having it going after all this time.
          Not half as stoked as I was seeing it gone

          Seriously, pleased to see it found a new home and one where it's going to get finished. This one one of the bigger projects I had kicking about that I knew wasn't going to get done.
          It's mate the Beaver CNC which is still up and running and working hasn't actually cut metal yet since January.
          There are still a batch of division plates on the bed I was part way through when Ower Gert died and there hasn't been the push or need to finish these.
          They will get done as I will resurrect her web site selling bits, mainly because of the stock lying around, I had just completed 97 Bridgeport double life draw bars to mention one item.

          If that had still been kicking about at this stage in my life it would have probably been one phone call and a trip to the scrap yard as being the easiest option.

          It will be nice to see it running again, even more so in that it will run better than when it was designed as this had the old Heidenhain 131 controller that could only do linear moves of one axis at a time which was very limiting.

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


          • #6
            I don't know how you manage John, with everything you've had to deal with these past months.I was so sorry to hear about poor Gert,you must be devastated I know I would be if anything happened to Bronwen.Very kindest regards Alistair
            Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


            • #7
              Bit of a $hit year so far but console myself that things are looking up and there must be others in worse trouble.
              Small son was moving out, this was on the cards before Gert died and any move is traumatic, he's now in rented property in Loughborough about 15 miles away which is where he works, so still within reach.

              Given my house to my daughter, lock stock and barrel at a knock down price. Basically half of it is her inheritance anyway. Once all the paperwork is sorted and things settled I will be going to Loughborough and buying a house for small son to half the value of this house. That's his inheritance.

              For my part I get to keep the use of one room downstairs as a bed sitting room and the use of the workshop for which I will pay a nominal rent.

              Son and daughter get set up now whilst they are young enough to appreciate it, I walk away with nothing other than the fact I know I have done the best I can for them.

              Two weeks ago I was bending a flat bar in the vise and it slipped. I staggered backwards and bashed my kidneys into the bed of a drilling machine. It hurt seriously. Had to go to hospital where they said I'd not damaged anything - they thought ? and gave me some pain killers. After a week laid up it was absolutely no better so another trip and examination got me a change of meds which cleared everything up in 4 days.

              Missed Stafford bike show, Spalding ME show but made harrogate this weekend. Was a bit worried as just booked a trip to China starting early June for a month, factory trips so loads of travelling.

              Daughter now moved in this weekend and it's a family house again instead of a mausoleum for one grumpy old git.

              Don't need the prayers or sympathy posts, more a heads up.
              Not retiring, not getting a bus pass otherwise I'd just turn into another tight model engineer.

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


              • #8
                We carry on because sometimes doing something constructive is the best way of coping, and even if it doesnt seem to make a difference, you look back later and can be glad its not wasted. When Ive lost human loved ones, Ive told myself the thing they'd want is for me to get on and crack on with stuff while I'm still here instead of moping.

                Timely reminder, and not comparable to loosing a loved one in human form but buried one of our cats today after earlier post, found her dead on the road outside the house hit by a car in broad daylight, just 10 months old, out of our current 3 the least likely to have it happen to her as she never went out the front on the road that we saw before. No knock at the door, whoever did it didnt even slow down according to a neighbor probably because they're liable for vets bills if they do, dug hole, little ceremony with everyone in tears saying goodbye and thats it. I live on a single track rural lane in the sticks, it could have been one of my kids out on their bikes lying there as theyre at that age when they start cycling out on their own, and thats the consolation that it isnt. Could have been worse and for some poor soul somewhere it is.

                Anyway, back into workshop instead of sitting round drinking to cope like my wife has been doing, drilled+tapped the z axis with the same jig and dug out the old sff pc I'm going to use as the machine controller instead of the laptop. Can't wait to see if the postie has my psu bits on monday now.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by John Stevenson View Post
                  Two weeks ago I was bending a flat bar in the vise and it slipped. I staggered backwards and bashed my kidneys into the bed of a drilling machine.
                  Clumsy bastard.

                  Hey, what'd you expect?

                  Glad to see the POS Bridgy get a new life.
                  Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by browne92 View Post
                    Clumsy bastard.

                    Hey, what'd you expect?

                    Glad to see the POS Bridgy get a new life.
                    Thank Christ you didn't post that last week, had trouble breathing let alone laughing LOL

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


                    • #11
                      I dont know about clumsy Bastard, but maybe he should fit a reversing camera.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John Stevenson View Post
                        Son and daughter get set up now whilst they are young enough to appreciate it, I walk away with nothing other than the fact I know I have done the best I can for them.
                        Not sure how it works on your side of the pond John, but on ours folks get pretty royally screwed by "inheritance tax," so I'd suggest that youre not only doing good by the kids but hopefully giving one last finger to the tax man. My folks sat us down a few years ago when they were in their early 70s and explained that when the time comes they want to be donated to science both to help out a worthy cause and to avoid paying for funeral expenses. In my father's words, "when I die, the f#$%ing payments end!" I'm going to honor his final wishes, "take care of mom, your brothers, and make sure after Im gone that I no longer pay taxes, pay bills, or vote!"

                        Glad to see the POS being brought back Fluff, been tempted by a few dead Bridgys in the past so am always curious to see how folks bring them back.
                        "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by John Stevenson View Post

                          Son and daughter get set up now whilst they are young enough to appreciate it, I walk away with nothing other than the fact I know I have done the best I can for them.
                          Which is what being a parent is all about. Nice move fella.
                          Shame I don't get up to Nottingham anymore - Aside from a pie and a pint I have a horizontal milling job that could keep you busy!



                          • #14
                            Done a bit more, wiring closet was about 18" too tall and on the wrong side for my workshop layout, so only one thing for it. Gut it, slice 18" out of it with the plasma cutter and weld the bottoom back on the cabinet and door.That done, its now small enough to tuck in behind the splash shield on the right hand side and carry the monitorm arm still, so time to fill it.
                            Got everything mounted via drilled and tapped holes into the original steel mounting plate. Added a din rail to carry fuses etc, and found space for the altivar vfd I have stashed for the project. Only real concern at the moment is I need a 3 phase contactor so the breakout board can control the 3 phase suds pump, and how to make the vfd take a speed control from the pc & also how to evacuate the heat especially from the stepper drivers at the top of the cabinet. Some sort of baffled case exhaust setup taking hot air from the top of the cabinet with some rackmount pc case fans I have is the answer for heat management I think.


                            • #15
                              Seeing JohnS's bridgeport book link (he loves bridgeports really, methinks the man doth protest too much to not ) reminded me I should update this, I've managed to get a bit of enthusiasm to finish some stuff after the sucess with the EDM project.

                              Firstly the cabinet, its now attached to the side of the machine, and has erm, undergone a few changes since the above shot. Most notably the pc, which I've swapped for a smaller one donated to me because it gives better airflow for the vfd. PSU is built now, 40v at 50amp in theory, the transformer is rated at 150amp, but as the steppers need 5amp apiece and there is 4 of them at the moment, I think we'll be ok.

                              I'm still experimenting with how to control the vfd, two ways are control it via a serial link which appears to require a special altivar translator box to make it talk modbus or rs232 etc, or the second to feed it a 0-10v analog signal from the pc. I've decided to just get it cutting metal for now and worry about that detail later.

                              I've been umming about what to do for a display, then for the EDM I built a replacement 13.3" monitor from a old laptop lcd panel, and a vga driver board off ebay (chinese). It couldn't cope with the 400 scan line requirement of the old edm pc98 computer and couldnt sync up, but this control has a standard pc inside so its fine at vga 1280x1024 resolution and it fits inside the original monitor housing easily.
                              I have to fit a bezel to tidy it up, and make a panel to sit below the monitor to block that hole off, but its in and working in the original case and I've not yet decided what other key functions I want on there, but with vga, usb, power and some extra cables ran into the cabinet via the original arm keeping cables out of harms way.

                              Headstock conversion is almost finished, I'll add the final bearings and then take some shots, but its now a single large power v belt, with taperlock pulleys in place of the varihead mechanism, using the original 2hp 3 phase motor but now controlled with the altivar vfd. I've kept the high/low speed range in the head too so I shoudln't loose too much torque in low gear using the vfd, plus its a vector unit so that should help too.

                              Going to ask George if this can be shifted into digital machinist now as its POS credentials have worn off a bit with time for general. But hoping to have it cutting early jan now.