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  • DRO opinions wanted

    I'm considering putting a 2 axis DRO on my mill. Does anyone have experience with these chisneeze kits? Are they functional? Reliable? They certainly are cheap enough.
    I'm thinking something like the one in the link.

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3290...164511e0qedQY0

  • #2
    Some people think they are OK but remember "You get what you pay for" so like anything from China buyer beware. For a home shop the risk may be justifiable as opposed to paying more for quality. I bought Fagor DRO's and they are great but do cost more.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

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

    Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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    • #3
      I got mine from aliexspres, I first emailed them to see if they responded, and they did. Under, $300 for 3 axis got it in a week worked perfect and in service for about 5 years. Get 3 axis not much mire
      Ed
      Agua Dulce, So.California
      1950 F1 street rod
      1949 F1 stock V8 flathead
      1948 F6 350 chevy/rest stock, no dump bed
      1953 chevy 3100 AD for 85 S10 frame have a 4BT cummins motor, NV4500
      1968 Baha Bug with 2.2 ecotec motor, king coil-overs,P/S

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      • #4
        I have a Ditron D60 on my Bridgeport. It's very accurate and extremely useful, particularly the smooth arc function.
        You get what you pay for? Well, you get a ton for what you pay for! It's more accurate than any human ever could be reading a dial and dealing with backlash. It even picks up movement when I apply the gib locks.
        This topic is ALWAYS popping up on the forum.

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        • #5
          If someone has used both cheap and expensive DRO's, I'd be interested to hear what's better about the expensive ones. I agree that you generally get what you pay for, but the cheap DRO that came with my mill works so well that is has me rethinking my plan of getting a "nice" DRO for the lathe. The only thing that appears to be lacking with the cheap ones is documentation.

          My eyes sure would like this display though.

          Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            I waited years until I'd saved enough for what I wanted: an AcuRite 200S for my mill. The display is amazing, and for me the graphic depiction is essential. Without it, I'd have to get into the manual and find a pad & pen every time I wanted to set up an arc or bolt pattern. The 200S walks me through the program in plain english and draws a picture of what I'm about to do.

            Some folk look at the display and think a tenths indication is indicative of accuracy. Not so. To determine accuracy or repeatability you have to use metrology outside the DRO for comparison. One huge selling point for me is real buttons! I absolutely HATE those awful membrane keypads, not if, but when they go bad you end up with fingernail depressions or actual cuts from the 'bigger hammer' approach to making it work.
            Last edited by chipmaker4130; 09-15-2020, 12:10 PM.
            Southwest Utah

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            • #7
              I had a UNIQ 2 axis unit for around 10 years and never had any problems until I welded too close to it and that apparently erased an eprom.

              I took it apart and everything inside was SINO. I replaced the box with a similar SINO branded unit ( from Ali Express ) and it’s working fine.

              I have checked mine with Jo Blocks and it’s accurate in both axis.

              My buddy just spent $900 on a Mitotoyo unit and it just locks up on the display about twice a day. It does not loose reference, but the display doesn’t change as the table moves. Switch it off/on and the display updates. Very strange.
              Illigitimi non Carborundum 😎
              9X49 Birmingham Mill, Reid Model 2C Grinder, 13x40 ENCO GH Lathe, 6X18 Craftsman lathe, Sherline CNC mill, Eastwood TIG200 AC/DC and lots of stuff from 30+ years in the trade and 15.5 in refinery unit operations. Now retired. El Paso, TX

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              • #8
                Originally posted by I make chips View Post
                I'm considering putting a 2 axis DRO on my mill. Does anyone have experience with these chisneeze kits? Are they functional? Reliable? They certainly are cheap enough.
                I'm thinking something like the one in the link.

                https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3290...164511e0qedQY0
                what is the resolution? 0.5µ? 5µ?

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                • #9
                  Example of using the Smooth Arc function on a cheap Ditron DRO.
                  Click image for larger version

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                  • #10
                    Have been using cheapo 200 usd HXX brand dro from aliexpress for a bit over year on my lathe. 1 micrometer scales, after initial setup it has been working 100% rock solid without glitches.
                    Some part of setup I had to rely to youtube as the manual was referring to wrong button in some part of the setup. Manual is otherwise ok and easily understandable.

                    Biggest issue with these in general has been communication with the chinese sellers. Pay extra attention to scale total length and travel length, these get mixed up often at some part of communication.
                    Last edited by MattiJ; 09-15-2020, 02:58 PM.
                    Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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                    • #11
                      Just had a very minor problem with my DRO Pros head. The screws that retain the mount to the head were a little loose and they screw into the mount from the inside of the head so I sent them an e-mail to ask it i could get into any trouble opening the head up to retighten the screws. I got an e-mail back in about 5 minutes - no go for it. can't beat that for service. The head is nice and snug again now.
                      Larry - west coast of Canada

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by I make chips View Post
                        I'm considering putting a 2 axis DRO on my mill. Does anyone have experience with these chisneeze kits? Are they functional? Reliable? They certainly are cheap enough.
                        I'm thinking something like the one in the link.

                        https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3290...164511e0qedQY0
                        I'm in the process of fitting a three-axis DRO to my mill/drill. It's taking rather longer than I thought it would, but I'll post pics on the "What did you do today" thread when finished. It's the same make as the one you are looking at, and I bought it from the same vendor on Ali Express. It is the 5-micron version. It came with quite good (by Chinglish standards) user manual, but no information on mounting the thing.The transducers were all cut to the lengths I specified, and they come with very long armoured cables which I have had to tuck out of harm's way.

                        I strongly recommend you go the extra mile and fit a 3-axis, by the way. The extra cost is not great. This is the one I bought:
                        https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1524...8d464c4dqbdY5w

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Mike. Nothing is better than hands on real world experience.
                          I'll let this thread mature for a few days before I pull the trigger on a DRO system.

                          I'll have to think about the 3rd axis. My machine is an old 1941 US Navy war contract machine. A bit of a worn out old turd it is.
                          http://www.lathes.co.uk/nichols/

                          Last edited by I make chips; 09-15-2020, 11:14 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Mine is an old Rong Fu 25, a round column mill/drill. It's probably not capable of anything resembling 5-micron accuracy, but as the lead-screws and calibrations on the (non-original) table are imperial and I work in metric, I got sick of having to count umpteen turns and then take away the date last Tuesday to get precise placement of holes, etc. The graduations on the hand-wheels claim to be 0.025mm apart, but they are actually 0.001", which is really 0.0254mm. Over any useful distance, that extra 0.004mm adds up!

                            You'd think any sensible manufacturer intending to sell a "precision" X/Y table into a metric market would take out the 10TPI lead-screw fitted for the American market and replace it with a 2.5mm pitched lead-screw, instead of engraving nonsense on their hand-wheels.

                            Never mind, with a DRO fitted the lead-screws can be any pitch at all. If I want a hole exactly 50mm away from another I just have to hit the zero button and wind away until the nice big bright readout says 50.000.

                            I hope to be able to finish the installation on Friday, so expect to see pics over the weekend.

                            Oh, and take notice of MattiJ's warning: Pay extra attention to scale total length and travel length, these get mixed up often at some part of communication. Get those wrong and you are in deep doo-doo.

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                            • #15
                              OK, I got the installation all but finished today—just a couple of covers to make and fit. Pics are on the "What did you do today?" thread.
                              Last edited by Mike Burch; 09-17-2020, 04:57 AM.

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