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More DRO questions DRO Store Specific

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  • More DRO questions DRO Store Specific

    Hi All,

    More newbie questions for those smarter than me

    I'm shopping for a DRO but have pretty much narrowed it down to the el cheapos.....can't see putting a $1000 or more DRO on a $700 lathe. If you read DROPros site they give a stark example of how crummy the user manuals are. Horrible translation from Chinese to English. Some of it is completely uninteligible.

    Have been looking at one on fleabay with a guy out of Chicago, but now his listing says he's out of the size scales I need. From what I can find the DROStore seems to be my best option as far as price and availability of the size scales I need. I emailed them and asked for more info on their user manual. He sent me a few pages in PDF and it's pretty hard to follow. Not a real great translation.

    Sorry for the long preface. My question is for the guys who have bought the DROstore stuff: Can you figure out the manual and how to use the thing without too much trouble or is it like reading a foreign language? Any issues or problems? Any cautions or real negatives with the unit?

    I'm new to this as it is....much less trying to read and cypher Chinese

    Thanks, Mark

  • #2
    Buy a Shooting Star ( Canada )
    or a Acu-rite (USA)( was Anilam) for manuals that are readable.
    You can even download the manual from their website

    Post Sales support is half the bargain

    Green Bay, WI


    • #3
      Why not go with the scales and readouts from somewhere like Shars or CDCO. I'm not pushing their stuff but I have used it on my mill with good luck. For a lathe you basically only need positional readings. If you want something that will store positional memories and the like then you're getting into money. You could get one of their 2 axis scales with remote readout for a couple hundred dollars.


      • #4
        I've looked at Accurite and Anilam....not gonna spend $1500 on DRO kit for a $700 lathe. I'm looking at $500 kits. As for the Shars stuff I looked at the elcheapo scales....the one's like a digital caliper. By the time you get three of them, plus the remote display, you're only a hundred bucks or so from a DRO with glass scales and a "real" display unit with tools and functions. I also don't like the cheesy cables plugged in to the data port on a caliper type scale. For a few dollars more I'd rather get the better kit.

        Here's the one I'm looking at:

        Gotta be someone on here who has used them.

        Thanks for the input so far.



        • #5
          I've got a Sinpo DRO (from the DRO Store) on my mill and one in the process of being installed on my lathe.

          Overall, I'd say I 'm very pleased, the only quality problem so far is a minor one. The diecast display case could do with spot facing where the D connectors are fitted as the screw posts are a little missaligned. The 'slim' scales are not as slim as those available from other manufacturers.

          The printed manual that comes with the units isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than the pdf you can find on-line. I was using the centre find feature a lot on the mill yesterday and the calculator. It does have both linear and segmented compensation and can be used with rotary encoders as well as linear.

          The DRO Store were very helpful whilst I was ordering. I wasn't sure if I could fit a glass scale to the cross-slide of the Harrison (becuase of limited space and the taper turning attatchment), so I upgraded to a 1um scale (+US$60) that could be used on my cylindrical grinder instead. This has turned out to be the case and I bough a magnetic strip encoder from Allendale Electronics ( Allendale sell the Sino systems (not Sinpo) system and said that the encoder was not compatible, but would help with details of how to adapt it to my display. In fact, the pinout is identical and it works just fine.
          Paul Compton


          • #6
            I can also recommend both Sino and Meister off ebay.
            I have had 2 Meister's for 4-5 years and a Sino 2-3 years and have not had one problem with any of them.
            All the readouts in this price range are all pretty much the same, and have the same features, so your not loosing out on anything. They are also very reliable and accurate.

            I know the DRO Pros go on about a better manual etc, but the features are not that hard to work out. I didn't find the manuals that hard to work out once you familiarize yourself with it. For me, I don't think it's worth paying an extra $200 to get a better manual, and that extra $200 is half way to buying another Sino 2 axis read out for another machine.

            The Sino guy states in his add, he will replace faulty parts with in 12 months as long as you provide evidence like a photo etc of the part, and he will send it free with out you returning it. I have never needed warranty, but I did read a year or 2 ago where one guy had a scale turn up broken and it was replaced in around 7 days no problems at all. The guy was not asked to return the broken one either.

            I have found emails get answered promptly from both sellers, even after sales.

            I have contacted the Meister guy a fair few times over the years about wiring diagrams to attach different scales etc, and he has been more than happy to help and send wiring diagrams through.

            In the end it all comes down to where you want to buy from, the quality of the DRO and scales will be the same, just a different colour and shape.



            • #7
              Originally posted by firemandiver

              Here's the one I'm looking at:

              This seems to be a 3 axis kit for a mill. Do they have a 2 axis lathe kit? Except for 2 vs 3 axis the display looks very similar to this one:

              I bought (actually my wife bought for me a ) a DRO Pros kit. I was very pleased. Yes the manual is well illustrated and in English, but it is not error free. No doubt much better than Chinglish but it also can be confusing, so don't expect too much. However the customer service at DRO Pros was extremely helpful and clearly and patiently answered all of my questions over the phone.

              My point is don't worry too much about the manual. With the help of this board, customer service and your own ingenuity you can figure it out. Especially for lathe functions its really not that complicated.

              Good luck!


              • #8
                Originally posted by torchroadster
                My point is don't worry too much about the manual. With the help of this board, customer service and your own ingenuity you can figure it out. Especially for lathe functions its really not that complicated.
                I agree with this.

                My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."


                • #9
                  Originally posted by torchroadster

                  This seems to be a 3 axis kit for a mill. Do they have a 2 axis lathe kit? Except for 2 vs 3 axis the display looks very similar to this one:
                  The '<< Back to Main' link isn't that obvious, but trimming a sites' URL back usually works.


                  cut back to

                  Paul Compton


                  • #10
                    Hi all,

                    Sorry for the goofy link.....I just cut and pasted.

                    Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. I actually think I have it sorted out now. With a little more digging , and as has been said, the hong kong phooey DRO's are all about the same with much the same features. I went on fleabay and sent out emails to a few people who had purchased DRO's from the dro store to see if I could pick their brain a little. In short order I recieved a response from a guy in Minnesota who was very helpful. We exchanged about a dozen emails and he pointed me in the right direction.

                    He has purchased two kits from the drostore with great success. No problems at all with the goods. The manuals are a little cheesy, but understandable with a little patience. He said the seller is very good at helping solve problems if you need help. He also linked me to youtube videos of the drostore tutorials. Even though the guy is from Singapore I followed just fine. There are also a few videos from a guy in the US showing how to change parameters.

                    One other thing: I had seen the videos on youtube when they came up in a search, but I never watched them because it was a different display model than the one I was looking at. When I first started shopping for a DRO the first page that popped up from my search priced the fancier LCD display model way higher than the LED model. After a little more digging I found out that it is only $20 more. Since it is the one that has all the videos on youtube that's the one I'm going with.

                    Sorry to be so long winded, but I figured this may help someone else. I'll order my kit tomorrow, and I'll keep 'yall posted.

                    Thanks, FD