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El Cheapo DRO

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  • El Cheapo DRO

    I bought El Cheapo DRO from iGaging. Actually, my next door neighbor recommended it. Now that I have installed it, I can't do without it! Centering is a snap, now. Drilling bolt circles. Drilling evenly spaced holes. Drilling to a specific depth. The whole magilla under $70 for 3 axes.

    ATTENTION! Achtung! Cuidado! Attenti┘Źn! Protect the bars from fluid and swarf! These are not enclosed in glass like the high priced DRO. Cutting fluid will turn the glue that holds the sensor strips to soft goo. Swarf will degrade the readers.

    I solved this by mounting under and behind. Picture in your mind how to do this, and it becomes easy. Aluminum angle and naugahyde. Let your imagination run wild.

    BTW: Naugahyde is a great replacement for those ways protectors that eventually crumble. Many sewing and crafts stores carry it. JoAnn's Fabric. Michaels. Hobby Lobby.

    iGaging is not the only brand. Right now, it's the cheapest.

  • #2
    Originally posted by John Buffum View Post
    I bought El Cheapo DRO from iGaging. ............ The whole magilla under $70 for 3 axes.


    John, I looked at it and the 3 axis version is 112 bucks
    Also no mention of how it is powered, or even if there is a power supply ??
    Batteries ?

    Green Bay, WI


    • #3
      Hi Rich
      John, I looked at it and the 3 axis version is 112 bucks
      Could you post a link please?
      Location: Long Island, N.Y.


      • #4
        I was going to get the 3-axis set (6", 12", and 24"):
        TThese are 2016 EZ View Plus iGaging digital readouts. These units have the capacity to export data via a data output cable (Available HERE) and run on alternate power via an AC plug adapter. T Note: sale is for a set containing one 6" one 12" and one 24" Digital Readout.

        But I ordered a set of 6" and 12" for about $65, got them yesterday, and they seem pretty nice. They use two 3V CR2032 lithium coin cells in each readout, and a spare set is included. Only problem so far was one of the strip magnets for the readout came loose (just glued in a slot), but that's no big deal.
        Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
        USA Maryland 21030


        • #5
          I have been using the igaging for a couple of years and love them. I just did an upgrade which just takes it to the next level. I built a little circuit board that connects the output of the scales to an android tablet. This has a lot of added functionality, saved positions, hole circles etc... I showed them to my local machinist club here in Chicago, and now have about 4 or 5 guys installing them. Head on over to
          Don't let the thought of electronics scare you. This is dead simple and works great.!!!



          • #6
            Iv'e been using the same setup for 2 years now on my bench lathe and mill and they work a treat. I did make one mod and that is to solder leads onto the battery terminals inside the receiving units and hook them up to a pair of double C cell batteries. I'm still using the original batteries.

            Last edited by Stu; 11-21-2014, 04:33 PM.


            • #7
              I looked at those, and may get a set.

              But they describe the units as for woodworking. The accuracy of the device according to their own specifications is limited. They quote it at about 5 tenths per 6", so the 6 inch they claim 5 tenths, 12" a thou and 24" 2 thou.

              Since that is their "headline accuracy", it is to be expected that true accuracy after all the usual conditions are considered is more likely to be more like half that quoted, or around 1 thou per 6" , or about 0.02mm per 100mm. Decent, and probably around as good as reading the dials would be. That is still useful because the display does relative measurement etc, harder to do with the dials unless you make a lot of chalkboard notes..
              CNC machines only go through the motions.

              Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
              Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
              Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
              I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
              Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.


              • #8
                Well I've never done this before.

                .400 inch circle. If it appears to be off a touch, it might be because the X axis bar is only mounted on one end, and the mount I hurriedly rigged up is flexing.
                Last edited by topct; 11-21-2014, 10:45 AM.


                • #9
                  My lathe is 40" between centers. Does anybody know if a longer bar that would accommodate 40" of travel is available?

                  Also, even though I have 40" of travel available to me, I commonly only use 6" or so of travel along the z axis. Given that, the accuracy is probably ok given the price.

                  I would prefer accuracy to .00005 along the 40" travel but price may dictate something less.



                  • #10
                    I also have great distance between centers. I mounted mine in a manner so simply that it can be unscrew and moved either direction if for some reason I ever go that far out. so far, in two years, not a problem. . . . I also made a little insulated disc with a pair of wires soldered on it, to replace one of the batterys in the read head. connected those two wires to a double a battery holder with a switch and a power on little light. the two batterys were computed to last a couple years if the switch was left on. . . . I now see the light and remember to shut off the power.


                    • #11
                      I looked on the igageing site (should have done this before asking the question, sorry), looks like they offer a 38" scale. That would probably be enough for me.

                      Their specs on the 38" scale call for .003 accuracy. Is that across the total length of the scale, or something less? More research needed



                      • #12
                        I called a few minutes ago, the conversation went something like this:

                        Ring Ring, Hello? (Asian sounding voice)

                        is this


                        I have a question about your DRO's, are you the right person for me to ask?


                        According to your website you claim an accuracy of .003 on your 38" scale, is that over the length of the entire scale?


                        So, the accuracy of 1/2 of the scale would be .0015 right?


                        Ok, thank you. Hangup

                        Didn't sound like a machine but who knows for sure these days?
                        Last edited by tmc_31; 11-21-2014, 01:14 PM.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RichR View Post
                          Hi Rich

                          Could you post a link please?
                          here is the 38 "

                          Here is the remote readout version

                          I can't locate the post that I saw yesterday
                          It had 3 scales for 112 bucks or so
                          The lengths were 12" (2) and a 6" scale
                          Green Bay, WI


                          • #14
                            I bought mine about two years ago for my lathe and mill. I've been really please with them so far, except one got contaminate with oil or dirt and it sometimes jumps .100". So keep the dirt away if you want them to last.Later, I've came up with this cover protector which seems to work quite well. Take a bicycle inner tube, 27" dia. or so.Cut it across to make a long tube. With both hands, stretch it hard to the length of your digital scale length and mark it. Cut it 4" longer than that marked length. Now, cut on one side only, a slit along the length leaving 2" uncut at each ends. On your machine, install one digital scale mount, securing one end of the inner tube to it. Stretch the other end and secure it to the other digital scale mount. By stretching the inner tube it keeps the slit close, keeping the dirt and oil out, but your pickup still slides freely along the scale.
                            Good luck!


                            • #15
                              anyone put these on a Burke Millrite yet?
                              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