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RIP Cecil - old friend.

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  • RIP Cecil - old friend.

    It is with deep regret that I have to tell you that my old friend Cecil died today.

    Although we have only been close friends for about 8 years it seems longer.

    During this time we have shared a workshop and made some good things together.
    This bereavement came as a bit of a shock. He was milling some parts this morning and zap - just like that he died where he stood.

    I rushed over to see if I could help but no it was too late and he was dead.

    All I could do was switch the machine off and go fetch my test meter. Well Cecil or to give him his full name of Cecil-B-Da-Mill my big CNC mill was Hoers de Combat which is French for War Horse, rather a funny term for the French as war is next to surrender in their dictionary.

    Anyway I digress - again.

    Did a check on the controller and the drive card on the Z axis has expired, You know done a Monty Python parrot impression.
    Dug the spare cards out and stuck one in -no joy, numbers 2 and 3 the same, swapping axis worked Ok so these so called repaired cards are kaput.

    Oh well time to drag this kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
    The old Postidata controller dates back about 25 years in design and is about three foot square and 5 foot high.

    Sorted round and found some bits and started to do a heart transplant.
    Found a 80 volt DC 30 amp power supply, four AMD API 260 80 volt 8 amp stepper drives I bought off Ebay about a year ago and a few more bits and bobs. Found a new case about 15" x 18" x 9" for the bits.
    What a far cry from 3' x 3' x 5'

    Got the drives mounted in the box on a massive alloy heat sink the size of the box and got two 5" fans mounted up there as well.
    Hopefully tomorrow I'll get the box mounted and the steppers wired into the drives.

    John S.

    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.

  • #2
    My condolences. As they say; "Things happen for the best."


    • #3
      Geeyasus John! Had me going there for a bit, I thought Cecil was an orgainic that had gone belly up. The penny dropped when I got to the part about getting the test meter, and I was thinking what good will that do. Ha! Good one, you got me well and good.



      • #4
        Good deal,you can always use the extra..well I'm not going to say "floorspace" since you like me haven't seen your floor in years
        Think back,its that flat thing most folks walk on
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5
          Thanks Weird but it won't actually give me any more floor space.
          Just after we got the mill we swopped out the computer part for a PC driven system which mean that the old controller box just ran the motors and housed the PC.
          This meant that it wasn't needed to be stood at the side any more.
          The monitor and keyboard were fitted to the side of the head in a custon box.
          The controller was lifted up, put on stilts and placed in a corner with a large cupboard underneath.
          Once the conversion is finished I will be able to take it to pieces [ read heavy ] and scrap it to get the top of the cupboard back again.

          John S.

          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


          • #6
            The impressive bit for me is to have the parts in store waiting for the thing to die - that's planning for you!



            • #7
              Not really Charles,
              I rely on this machine and over the years have scrapped similar controllers and kept the parts which i have been working off, the stepper driver cards are the biggest problem.
              These are old, 25 to 30 years is average and they work to an outdated method of dual voltage and ballast resistors.
              Whilst it's been running it has been fine but I realised about a year ago that I would be forced to make a move sooner or later as the spares are drying up.

              I did a bit of homework and found some drives in Ebay in the US, bought these, with spares, and had them shipped over.

              When I went though the list on Thursday when it died I found I was two large capacitors and two bridge rectifiers short of the full job.
              RS delivered those on Friday morning.
              Time is the bit I'm short of at present.

              For the sake of domestic bliss I decided an all nighter was out the question last night

              John S.

              [This message has been edited by John Stevenson (edited 01-01-2005).]

              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


              • #8

                I started putting my "foundry" back together. Amazing how much space I have inside the shop now.

                The synthetic clay I bought, a big old possum has made a bed in the middle of it. I am quite distraught over having a rodent in there. Butch didn't like it either. I can't figure out how he got in/out? It is a tin building that seals up pretty tight. No vents and soffits are semi-closed. (no holes over 1" dia)

                Anyways I am digging the new layout of the shop, I can see the floor. The cnc'ing of everything is going as hoped. SHop cnc punch press is working great, I am thinking of hooking the house up too to the network to run the machinery from the house. That punch press goes boom a boom a boom a boom. From a distance it sounds like "c"rap music with the bass. Still not made a flawless fender yet. The dies need mucho prussian blue tuning. I will work on a auto-loader for the punch press next after the foundry is back up and getting hot and under control. Aluminum punch press dies? ever make one?


                [This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 01-01-2005).]


                • #9
                  I suppose thats why we have "Arbor" remember those mills gone by...

         never said it, but did Cecil have many vices ? He may not have been wired to handle them all...or he may have just stuck to his ways !
                  Green Bay, WI


                  • #10
                    I used to dream of having some nice machines and a real concrete floor to work on. Now I dream of heat and more light in my shop, A easy chair a swivel down to the chair monitor and keyboard.

                    My old machine with the funky wiring is still clicking along. I made some more changes to it. I did straighten out the rats nest with some ties. I have looked at two more machines from Bridgeport and both were in the same shape as mine was.. oil, tangles wires with the numbers coming off.. Geeze makes you want to light a match and redo it all after you put out the fire..
                    Did you know that a 2.4 gig machine can run Mach2 at Mach2 speeds and do about three other things at the same time? I'm still learning what all it can do at once.

                    Remember Bullwinkle? HEY ROCKY, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat? Nothing up my sleeve>>> Presto.. Gee.. I must've got the wrong hat..

                    David Cofer, Of:
                    Tunnel Hill, North Georgia


                    • #11
                      Dave Possum Pie. Once you cut that ugly head off with your bowie knife and feed it to your dog the rest will skin and gut like any normal critter. Chow down.


                      • #12
                        NOW that is my kinda girl !
                        But it is still a little stringy for my taste. Much prefer squirrel or Elk.

                        Jim, By the river enjoying life...


                        • #13
                          Jim: Notice she didn't leave a recipe?

                          HA. I was about six, standing on a dead cow listening to the gas escape and smelling the nasty odor. Two possums run out of that cow and hit the woods. I ain't eating one, nope I ain't.



                          • #14
                            No Dave you won't eat a possum eh! but you'll drink wild turkey Happy new year boys Alistair
                            Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                            • #15
                              A Opossum is a marsupial *not* a rodent. It is also not a Possum, which is a faintly related family of marsupials from the land down under.

                              James Kilroy
                              James Kilroy