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Topics - metlcutr55

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General Mach Discussion / soldering iron info, please
« on: May 16, 2016, 02:16:22 PM »
thank you all for your input on multimeters.  now its time to replace a very cheap old soldering iron.

i dont see myself replacing components on a board level.  i believe if i lose say a servo amp id be

just putting in a new one and sending the old one out for evaluation and possible repair.

looking for an iron to tin wires, join them, and any of the other requirements that will come

in replacing the old dead cnc control on my mill with a breakout board, motion controller, new vfd, etc.

pencil? gun? station?  other considerations?

thanks, you guys are great.

General Mach Discussion / Multimeter info
« on: May 14, 2016, 12:59:45 AM »
if im going to redo my mill control (knee mill currently fed 240 single phase) im going to need a decent multimeter.  i copied a photo of a $20 one that looked pretty nice and showed it to the shop electrician.  he said uh uh, you need to get a cat 3 or cat 4 meter.  you guys are the ones who have installed servo and stepper controls with mach3.  what say you?



i want to convert my lathe to mach3.  it is a 17" x 40" gear head engine lathe, has the fanuc 20t control on it.  personal computers i understand a bit, and ive been doing a lot of internet reading and video watching about mach3, im beginning to understand the basics, why a breakout board, steppers vs servos, analog vs digital, step + dir, etc.  ive watched a bunch of the Artsoft tutorials and a lot of it makes good sense to me, tho when folks start talking modbus, incorporating motion controllers, etc, it gets a bit fuzzy to me.  ive watched these folks vids, http://buildyourcnc.com/CNCElectronicsandWiring.aspx and http://buildyourcnc.com/wiring.aspx, most of it makes sense to me, tho ive never attempted this before.  ive looked hard at the Machmotion kits, could probably afford their stepper lathe kit, looks like a great effort on their part, but something in me says turn to the mach3 community, take this in little bitty steps, and i will save some $$ but more importantly i will understand what i have built with the help of others when i am done, which is very important to me.  i run a big fanuc controlled workcenter days, ive watched the fanuc man fix the machines around mine and know the $$$$ he charges, and the $$$$ the repair parts cost.  i need him to not have to come to my garage, i need to be able to fix my own stuff, and from reading the huge manuals that came with my fanuc control, know this is too much for me.

so i think ive taken the 1st 2 bitty steps.  i have listed my complete fanuc control with motors for sale in multiple places including here, goodbye, perhaps i can generate a lil $$ for my conversion.  once the fanuc is gone, i will be left with a nice solid engine lathe with a 2 speed 8 hp spindle motor, running on 208 v 3 phase, yup, not 240, bucked down off a rotary phase converter.  the 208 is i guess european and/or portugese style.  i also have a full set of electrical diagrams, also in portugese.  the motor has a mechanical brake, turn off the spindle, klunk, the chuck stops, very quickly.  there are mpgs for the x and z, a high-low hand switch for the spindle motor, coolant pump, and an oiler.  there is an incremental spindle encoder there, not on the spindle itself, but on the output drive of the gearbox.  oem (hiwin) ballscrews are in place with pulleys on them, and places to mount new axis motors.  bunches of relays and contactors in the cabinet too, i know their basic purpose, but couldnt tell you one from the other.

my original dream was an enhanced version of what i had (i really like the mach3 graphics and screens) complete with vfd, mitsubishi servos kit from Machmotion, now i am looking at a different approach.  bitty steps.  i am looking at basic stepper kits from motiontek and automation technologies inc.  perhap with a higher end breakout board to be there should i decide later its time to go servo.  or add the vfd.  am i barking up the right tree?  will they help me the non electronics guy get this running?  how about you guys?  can i get guidance here a small step at a time?  theres plenty of time, and enough money so i wont be looking for the cheapest component(s) from ebay with engrish documentation.  i want to do it right, simple as possible, fancy is not needed right now.

so ive decided the fanuc is going.  and ive decided to stay very basic, just get her running again.  i have a competent electrician/electronics guy available, but want to do as much as i can myself, so i can learn.  he will be there when needed, electrocution is not on my list.  i just want my lathe to run again, to be able to be run with the handwheels (mpgs) like a manual, and also via cnc, do basic contouring and threading, and i want to document this, so the next fellow who might be a machinist and a mechanic but not an electronics guy can benefit from my experience.  there is obviously a ton of knowledge in this community, an awful lot has been done with mach3.  my task ahead seems simple compared to that.  but i dont have that ton of knowledge.  help me out, what is my next bitty step?

thanks in advance


i have this mill: http://www.cncauto.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=M3X-5V

mine is 20 hrs old, because the control software is dos based, and because the motion control card fits in a slot only found on gen 1 pentium boards and back, i am stuck with this old school technology.  motherboards and hard drives are getting hard to find, are always used, and to compound things, the fellow who builds these machines is not helpful at all, he has told me just replace everything from the ballscrew pulleys on back.  i have no diagrams or schematics of any kind, and none will be coming.

i have looked at Machmotions teco refurb kit that would replace everything electronic and electric, im impressed with what i see, but its just short of $6000.

as best i can tell, my servo motors are from indiana general, dc brush, with sealed can type (optical?) encoders. my servo amps are westamp.  my motion control board has no name on it, but my software refers to it as the MP 04 board. i will guess since it is the board requiring the old vintage slot, it will not be reused in getting my machine running again.

so i have a nice mill here, bunches of relays in the cabinet likely controlling the vfd, mist, oiler, etc.  good servo motors and encoders.  a servo amp with 3 drive boards, a big power supply, and a dead dos computer and a few hard drives definitely showing their age.

i dont think i want to repair this system as is, i think i want to move into more modern times, run mach3 with a new computer, but retain the servo amp, motors and encoders.  when/if the old amp, motors fail, i will incorporate new hardware.

i am just able to do basic wiring with a little help.  i am not an electronics guy at all.  i do want to do as much of this as i can myself, so i the end i will gain some knowledge of my system, and be able to troubleshoot and repair, at least at a basic level.

i hope you all will give me a lot of input in where i need to go from here and how to get started, and i thank you for your help and patience in advance.


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