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DIY Lathe DRO Suggestions?

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  • #16
    Fixerdave,

    Did you use or build yuristoys DRO and what can you tell us about you comment on the IGaging scales? Was there a problem in performance or installation of them, as I'm looking at that very project this winter and I'm planning on ordering the IGaging scales. I'm not looking for rocket science accuracy for my home hobby use but for the value and ease of use the yurisotoys design seems like a good alternative.
    I'm not trying to steal this post so if I'm off base here please let me know.


    TX
    Mr fixit for the family
    Chris

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Mr Fixit View Post
      Fixerdave,

      Did you use or build yuristoys DRO and what can you tell us about you comment on the IGaging scales? Was there a problem in performance or installation of them, as I'm looking at that very project this winter and I'm planning on ordering the IGaging scales. I'm not looking for rocket science accuracy for my home hobby use but for the value and ease of use the yurisotoys design seems like a good alternative.
      I'm not trying to steal this post so if I'm off base here please let me know.


      TX
      Mr fixit for the family
      Chris
      Yes, I used Yuri's DRO app, eventually. Did the Arduino circuit, built for 4 axis but only using 3 at the moment. So, to answer the other post about hacking into a caliper electronics... I could pay the $45 for the iGaging scale and be done with it. The next time they go on sale, I'll probably do that.

      As for why I don't recommend this route:

      * I had one scale sensor crumble into pieces... at the time I thought it was because I had run it up too far and crushed it against the headstock. Built a guard after that. But, it turned out that the plastic was faulty... just crumbled away. I may, at some point, mill my own sensor module (as I have the electronics to go in it) but, at the time the short ones were on sale with free shipping. I just bought a replacement.

      * With the iGaging heads, it got annoying having to reset multiple zeros, replacing the batteries (which last pretty well actually) and having them turn off (or on, oddly enough) when I wasn't expecting it. So, I decided to go with Yuri's app.

      * 3 (THREE) of the old Android tablets I had would not do serial over USB. The one of them that did support bluetooth kept dropping the connection (had problems with other bluetooth devices too), so I ended up buying a stupid-cheap tablet from China and using bluetooth with that. That worked.

      * The problem with a cheap tablet is that the touch part of the screen is plastic, which can get melted by swarf and rendered useless, so you need a glass screen protector. And, good luck finding one that matches your cheap generic Chinese tablet. Mine is just taped on, works well enough.

      * I had a lot of issues with zero getting reset randomly and had to add a bypass cap to the sensor heads. Seems to work well enough now.

      * Now, I'm getting a weird jump in the reading for the X axis. It jumps a mm then back, seeming right when I actually need that exact spot. Seen it twice now. It may be the result of me hacking the Arduino code, or it may be an error in the scale itself. It might be that swarf has melted into the scale, messing up the capacitance. I've not had time to investigate further, though the next test will be to revert to stock Arduino code.

      * Actual scale-wise DRO functionality matches my lathe well. If I had another order of magnitude in accuracy, I'd probably just get frustrated with the machine trying to use it. Still, it would be nice once in a while to try.

      In general, my cheap lathe/mill combo is not really worthy of a "real" DRO, but all the messing about I've done to "go cheap" IS worth something. I'm well down this path and will likely keep it up, but if I were to do it again then I'd pay twice as much and do it right. There are relatively cheap Chinese DROs, more expensive than the iGaging scales, but actually designed to do what I want.

      And, besides all that, if I had paid twice as much, I would have likely put twice as much effort into mounting them better. Right now, my swarf shield on the DRO is a paper towel. I just don't care about them as much as I should... because they were cheap, and replacements are cheap. Does that make sense?

      edit: I will say this about a DRO... once you've got one it takes no time at all before you become dependent on them. When I was having issues with losing zero, and getting all frustrated... it didn't even occur to me that I could have used the dials. Had a good laugh about that later on in the evening... why didn't I just look down instead of up? But, yeah, DRO is good.

      David...
      Last edited by fixerdave; 11-11-2016, 03:58 PM.
      http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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      • #18
        I think that the price of glass scale DROs from China is low enough now not to bother rolling your own with iGaging scales if you have a machine that's worth adding them to. $300 or so for a 2 or 3 axis DRO vs. ~$200 for 2 iGaging scales, an arduino and BT module and a cheap tablet. Back when cheap DROs were $500+ it made sense to do the Yuri DRO thing, but not now.

        (full disclosure - I'm about to start putting iGaging scales on my Atlas 618 )

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        • #19
          Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
          I think that the price of glass scale DROs from China is low enough now not to bother rolling your own with iGaging scales if you have a machine that's worth adding them to. $300 or so for a 2 or 3 axis DRO vs. ~$200 for 2 iGaging scales, an arduino and BT module and a cheap tablet. Back when cheap DROs were $500+ it made sense to do the Yuri DRO thing, but not now.

          (full disclosure - I'm about to start putting iGaging scales on my Atlas 618 )
          I did the XY igaging SS blue read outs on my old Burke mill and made the yuris bluetooth readout and it worked perfect using my phone. BUT when I sold that a short time after the install I felt that the cost of the glass scales XYZ and readout from aliexpress for my Bridgeport was not much more and was far better at about $300 for everything and it is working great. And not being great with the loading of the software for the Yuri dro I was very lucky for great walk through I was given from the internet
          Ed
          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

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          • #20
            Originally posted by fixerdave View Post
            So, to answer the other post about hacking into a caliper electronics... I could pay the $45 for the iGaging scale and be done with it.
            Sorry, it wasn't a question, rather a response, meant to inform the OP.

            But, soldering some wires to the digital calipers has uses besides DRO. I can't find the link, but I saw a guy who used the data-out port to assist with sketching up physical objects in SolidWorks. Was pretty cool. No need to physically read and write dimensional data.

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            • #21
              U can eBeast dro's for cheap that are basically the cheap calipers made for use as a dro..long travel etc. yes they work, pain to keep clean of chips.

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              • #22
                On a standard layout lathe you have
                Z - The tool moving in the horizontal plane along the bed, parallel to the spindle axis.
                X - The tool moving in the horizontal plane at right angles to the spindle axis.

                Y would be the tool moving vertically.

                - Nick
                If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)

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