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Which DRO?

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  • Which DRO?

    I'm looking for a DRO for my mill. I used them, but never owned one. There are alot out there. How does everybody rate the following DRO's and what are the +/-'s between the glass scalesand the other types. Here are the brands to consider:
    Acu-Rite, Newall, Fagor, Sargon, Anilam, Sony, Heidenhain, and Mitutoyo

  • #2
    I purchased a Sargon System for my Mill a couple of years back from (no affiliation).
    I could not find better pricing.

    I hoped I might like a DRO, however, as it turns out, I really liked it.
    I mean I really, really loved it.
    DRO's simplify the overall machining process and it has lowered my error rate.
    I can easily position my table to within 0.0002", where before, I could no way read my little dials to that.

    I've since converted to CNC and don't use it that much. Will probably transfer it to the Lathe.

    One thought to save some $$$ would be to purchase the scales only, (get TTL Quadrature output), and use a computer to display the Position using the Parallel Port.
    Use some software like Mach1 from ArtSoft or some freeware that can be found on the Web.

    So... After you've read all the pros and cons, Call Mike at CanDo. He was very knowledgeable and friendly and mixed and matched scales to best fit my machine.

    Tom M.


    • #3
      I expect any of those brands would make you happy. It turns out that Acu-Rite and Anilam are now, I think, the same company. The different brand labels still have different features though, so you can't call them "the same thing."

      When considering what to get, don't confuse "accuracy" and "resolution." They aren't the same thing at all. Resolution is only what gets displayed. The display might read to 0.0001", but in reality the point you're at could be a couple thousandths in error relative to a reference point. Some manufacturers are better at giving you ALL the specs than others...and regardless of manufacturer, the obfuscation seems to increase as the precision goes down.

      I think Acu-Rite has the most informative web site. They give good specs. (Not to say that the others' equipment may not be equally good, but I don't think they present the information as well as least not on their web sites.

      Regarding precision, I think glass scales are at the top of the heap. Their problem is fragility, although if mounted properly with adequate protection from damage, I don't think it's much of an issue.

      I'm sure others have different opinions....

      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


      • #4
        I have a Newall C-80 on my mill with the knee as the Z axis. On my lathe I have a Newall DP-8. Mike at CanDo had the best price.


        • #5
          I have an Acu-Rite on my mill and my lathe, I am happy with both of them.



          • #6
            Sargon prospector - the bolt hole feature is *very* nice!