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  • DRO from Shars or Little Machine Shop

    In the market for a digital read out for my Grizzly G0463 or Sieg X3. I had one a few years ago on a micro mill but this one is a little bigger. Trying to compare the built in features of both the displays to see if they all do more or less the same. Hole circles, arcs and calculation number of holes between two points on a straight line are a few that I see listed.

    Shar's is a little cheaper but willing to go with the higher priced one from Little Machine Shop IF its truly better?
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

  • #2
    I have a Shooting Star BT-3 (from Canada) on my mill I’m very happy with. It was a bit over $600 for all 3 axis. Not too hard to install, just building some basic brackets for the mounting. The electronics are plug and play, couldn’t be any more simple and the plugs are common telephone plugs and easy to repair if needed.


    I have several programs I keep in it so I can put say a part in, zero to it then hit a button and it gives me a new zero at my hole location. Finish that spot hit the button and it gives me zero for the next and so on . . . Saves a lot of time on stuff I repeat.
    http://www.star-techno.com/index.htm



    (edit) I see it's $749 for mine now. Biggest difference I think is the type of pickups. The glass ones are a set length and more bulky so harder to install on odd machines because you can‘t cut them down like an encoder type. I think glass more fragile than encoders too but to me jury is still out on that as I‘ve only had 3 years with the encoders. Magnetic pickups seem the best but pricy, so far I’m very happy with my Star with encoder wheel pickups.
    Last edited by C_lazy_F_Guns; 01-05-2014, 08:06 PM.
    Anybody that thinks they know it all doesn’t even know enough to understand they know nothing!
    Andy

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    • #3
      Take a look at " DRO PROS " web site.
      Toolznthings

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      • #4
        Originally posted by C_lazy_F_Guns View Post
        I have a Shooting Star BT-3 (from Canada) on my mill I’m very happy with. It was a bit over $600 for all 3 axis. Not too hard to install, just building some basic brackets for the mounting. The electronics are plug and play, couldn’t be any more simple and the plugs are common telephone plugs and easy to repair if needed.


        I have several programs I keep in it so I can put say a part in, zero to it then hit a button and it gives me a new zero at my hole location. Finish that spot hit the button and it gives me zero for the next and so on . . . Saves a lot of time on stuff I repeat.
        http://www.star-techno.com/index.htm



        (edit) I see it's $749 for mine now.
        I'm just going to buy a 2 axis anyway, thanks for the post.
        Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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        • #5
          +1 for DROPros, they are a great company to do business with
          Randy
          Do yourself a favor and see if your TV carrier has America One News Network (AONN). 208 on Uverse. It is good old fashion news, unlike the networks, with no hype, bias or other BS.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
            I'm just going to buy a 2 axis anyway, thanks for the post.

            Two is $599. Star’s severe is also very good, I damaged one of my pickups by twisting it on the rod. My fault and I owned up but they gave me a new unit free, even covered shipping.

            Also Star has a “diameter” function on Y that is intended for a lathe, tells you diameter of the part. I find this handy as heck for 4th axis milling too, I use it on Y but also on Z by plugging the Z wire into the Y port on the readout. Very handy for something like forming the lugs on a rifle bolt.
            Anybody that thinks they know it all doesn’t even know enough to understand they know nothing!
            Andy

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            • #7
              I bought the Shooting Star 3 axis DRO for my Grizzly G0463 or Sieg X3 from Little Machine Shop. I chose the Star because it was the only one I could find that I could cut to the proper lengths for for my machine. It was a easy to install and for me that is a big plus. It has served me with out a flaw for several years now and I love it. I bought the mill used and then I paid more for the DRO than the Mill cost me. Improved my machining capabilities 1000 fold.
              Last edited by lugnut; 01-07-2014, 03:37 PM.
              _____________________________________________

              I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.
              Oregon Coast

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              • #8
                I have a cheapy system and it works OK-- see the info here-
                http://tricklidz.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  +1 Take a look at " DRO PROS " web site.

                  Got 3 axis for x-mas. The only thing it was missing was the tap and drill bit.

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                  • #10
                    I installed the shooting star on my mill, while it is easy to use and is well made. I am not a fan of the unit. the brackets and system has to be father out from the machiine than the flat scales pluse with limited travel like on my mill you loose some of your travel in the Y axis. When I get some spare time I am going to see if I can remount the Y axis to help this.

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                    • #11
                      I've looked into the Shooting Star and its seems to be just a just a gear rack with a pinion gear driven encoder. Since all the display has to do is count the encoder pulses the telephone cable supplied for connecting the encoders to the box would work fine. People who have successfully installed the Shooting Star don't seem to have problems. Accuracy over distance seems to be an issue.

                      But it also looks like you need to make everything including the mount for the display. Seems over priced for what you are getting, not ruling it out. Thanks for posting.
                      Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
                        I've looked into the Shooting Star and its seems to be just a just a gear rack with a pinion gear driven encoder. Since all the display has to do is count the encoder pulses the telephone cable supplied for connecting the encoders to the box would work fine. People who have successfully installed the Shooting Star don't seem to have problems. Accuracy over distance seems to be an issue.

                        But it also looks like you need to make everything including the mount for the display. Seems over priced for what you are getting, not ruling it out. Thanks for posting.
                        When I installed my unit the rack will turn, it appears that the rack is used for the unit to pick up the teeth in it. My probem is the fact encoder is so large and the way it needs to mount causes one to loose travel on the small mills. On a Bridgport or clone it would be ok.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sawlog View Post
                          When I installed my unit the rack will turn, it appears that the rack is used for the unit to pick up the teeth in it. My probem is the fact encoder is so large and the way it needs to mount causes one to loose travel on the small mills. On a Bridgport or clone it would be ok.
                          OK I understand, the pickup or encoder physically limits the travel of the table. Also looking at one from > http://www.cdcotools.com/ I've purchased from them in the past and found everything was as described. Even used a DRO kit from them years ago. Not sure the display has all the functions I need.
                          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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                          • #14
                            It is acutally the mount the endcoder mounts to, my mill is from Precision Matthews and the problem is the Y axis. As I posted before I may rework the mounting around to gain some of the travel back. Since the mill you described in the OP is similar I would be looking at the endcoder size. That will make the difference on how it mounts

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                            • #15
                              Still happy with my 5um three axis system from thedrostore.

                              They're asking US$395 delivered for a 2 axis setup.

                              The built in calculator gets used quite a bit as well as the centre finder and the bolt circle function.
                              Paul Compton
                              www.morini-mania.co.uk
                              http://www.youtube.com/user/EVguru

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