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you take full advantage of your DRO? (sub datums)

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  • you take full advantage of your DRO? (sub datums)

    Just replaced an old DRO on the mill with one of those low-dollar import brands.
    So far things seem to be working nicely. It might be a SINpro? or DROII?
    maybe they're the same thing -- at any rate, probably all the same anyway.

    I come from an old heidenhain.. pretty basic.. IN/MM, I could zero it out, that's about it.

    This new one, going by the number of buttons and thickness of the manual,
    seems to have a lot more features.

    I'm wondering how many of you out there take advantage of these and can
    give some examples of how you use them?

    For example:
    - ABS/INC i think is self explanatory.. i fully expect having that to be AWESOME
    - the 1/2 function seems pretty useful
    - built in calculator will probably come in handy if i remember its there

    The one I'm curious about is the sub-datums (SDMs) -- this thing has 200.
    When would one use this? Only on things like fixture plates with a ton of parts?
    I'm a HSM, so I never really do more than 2 of anything.. but maybe there
    are clever uses for it.. like tool offsets or something?

    Bolt circles, angles, radius cutting.. all that stuff, I probably won't get much
    use out of since I use CAD. The radius cutting seems interesting, I may give
    that a try if I can figure it out.. maybe it saves lugging out the rotary table
    for non critical stuff?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Tony View Post
    Just replaced an old DRO on the mill with one of those low-dollar import brands.
    So far things seem to be working nicely. It might be a SINpro? or DROII?
    maybe they're the same thing -- at any rate, probably all the same anyway.

    I come from an old heidenhain.. pretty basic.. IN/MM, I could zero it out, that's about it.

    This new one, going by the number of buttons and thickness of the manual,
    seems to have a lot more features.

    I'm wondering how many of you out there take advantage of these and can
    give some examples of how you use them?

    For example:
    - ABS/INC i think is self explanatory.. i fully expect having that to be AWESOME
    - the 1/2 function seems pretty useful
    - built in calculator will probably come in handy if i remember its there

    The one I'm curious about is the sub-datums (SDMs) -- this thing has 200.
    When would one use this? Only on things like fixture plates with a ton of parts?
    I'm a HSM, so I never really do more than 2 of anything.. but maybe there
    are clever uses for it.. like tool offsets or something?

    Bolt circles, angles, radius cutting.. all that stuff, I probably won't get much
    use out of since I use CAD. The radius cutting seems interesting, I may give
    that a try if I can figure it out.. maybe it saves lugging out the rotary table
    for non critical stuff?
    My dad has an old Rockwell vertical mill with a similar DRO, and he did some playing around with some of the other features. The one that sticks in my mind is the radius cutting, from what he said it works very well. He has a rotary table too, but it's large enough that as you say it's nice not to have to lug it out sometimes. I think I remember him saying something about being able to generate coarser curves with fewer steps for quicker less critical work, or generate very fine ones that obviously will take longer.
    Max
    http://joyofprecision.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      All I want from a DRO is to read the numbers.
      All this other stuff is pure marketing.

      --Doozer
      DZER

      Comment


      • #4
        The sub-datums feature allows you to program multiple locations, from Absolute, and then go to them. When you call up each programmed entry it displays the go-to numbers and all you have to do is crank the table until -0- is reached. Not a big deal if you only have a couple of features but if you're doing a lot of holes on many pieces it sure simplifies the process.
        I have Cad also but the bolt circle feature sure is handy.
        The half number feature for finding the center of a part I use all the time.
        Absolute/Incremental is a no-brainer.
        I think the thing is if you use the features instead of doing the math on paper they become very handy.
        gbritnell

        Comment


        • #5
          About all I use on my Acu-Rite DRO's is the absolute and incremental settings along with zeroing an axis when needed.
          Anything else like tool offsets and reverse counting etc. always leads me to have to refer back to the manual.
          Unless you use these features all the time it gets too confusing and time consuming. When I' on a job I don't want to be experimenting with the readouts features. The reference point or home setting is nice as I usually keep the back (fixed jaw) of the vise my zero point.

          JL.................

          Comment


          • #6
            The arc cutting feature is very handy, and I use the 1/2 and bolt circle features regularly. When you need something, it is better to have the availability of the feature than to do without.

            I think having good documentation is a big plus. My DROpros unit came with a dvd, which I have called up a couple of times.

            Sub-datums and power off data restoration might be helpful, but I've never used them yet.

            Dan L
            Salem, Oregon

            Comment


            • #7
              If you like to upgrade at some point, they are not al compatible with magnetic scales.
              Sino has got haptish feedback. It buzzez your finger like a smart phone. Do not know if you can switch this of.
              Last edited by interiorpainter; 04-07-2016, 11:31 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                It seems to me without servos/cnc
                a lot of your functions would be fairly
                limited, but I would like to know all
                the things I could do on my manual
                machine with DRO.
                Maybe someone on youtube has a
                series of videos showing all this.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I set datums for things like the center of my dividing head, which stays on my mill along with the vice. I do double check it when I am about to use the dividing head just to be sure. It is SOOO much easier to go to the datum point and then tweak if needed.

                  Andy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                    All I want from a DRO is to read the numbers.
                    All this other stuff is pure marketing.
                    You're really missing a lot Doozer if you just want to read the coordinates! It's VERY helpful to let the DRO plot your holes around a center point as in flanges or wheel lugs, electric motor face plate bolts, etc; any symmetrical bolt patterns. As mentioned above the center-finding feature is great. The on-board calculator is always right there; it never gets lost! I'm sure all of us can calculate everything manually; it's just nice to have it right there at your fiingertips and in firmware.

                    Tony I've used the diagonal holes on an angle thing & it worked great. Not sure about the 3D plotting or the radius cutting but it should be the next best thing to CNC.
                    Milton

                    "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

                    "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Multiple zeros are brilliant for hole patterns, drill 'em all, counterbore 'em all, tap 'em all, minimum tool changes!
                      If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am a fair hand at trig.
                        I don't want my brain to go soft.

                        -D
                        DZER

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                          I am a fair hand at trig.
                          I don't want my brain to go soft.

                          -D
                          +1 for that
                          . Trig was always a favorite of mine. The one mill at school has an old DRO on it that just reads where it is, and has been GREAT for the last
                          16 years I've been using it. :-)
                          ...lew...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can see where trig would be useful
                            for things beyond machining, but I think
                            learning
                            and using the capabilities of your dro
                            would only open doors to new things
                            and even allow you to be more efficient.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tony View Post
                              This new one, going by the number of buttons and thickness of the manual,
                              seems to have a lot more features.
                              I'm wondering how many of you out there take advantage of these and can
                              give some examples of how you use them?
                              I have all that fancy stuff on my B.P. EZ Track, but I have found that with the right color leads on my volt ohm meter it is much more versatile .

                              Steve

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