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Messages - John S

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Good lad you know it makes sense,  :-*

No Hood I hope you haven't put him off, for what he's got to pay for this mill it needs buying even if a conversion isn't imediate on the cards.
If he doesn't he'll kick himself later.
He says he wants one to do up and work and not a conversational piece but if it was me I'd put it in a corner and not talk about it until I was ready to fix it.  ;D

Never worked out why that Z axis was a problem, even loosing steps it worked OK for about 18 months, the other two axis don't loose steps.
I'm not fully convinced that the 210's and 201 are suitable for the larger old type 42's as fitted to the Bridgies and similar machines.
When you read of a problem it's always these motors that have the problem and I feel they are operating beyond their limits.

Modern motors are smaller and have less detent torque and don't seem to have these problems.
One fact I have noticed is that the track on the Gecko board from the Mosfets to the connectors are only about 2mm wide, on the Arc drives with them being bigger they are about 8mm wide.

John S.

Hood steppers suitable for this mill work out at about £40 each.
i have used Arc's drives and found them to be OK.
In fact I had an upset the other week and managed to clear a problem up I had had for a while with some Gecko 210's.

I crashed my Z axis one Sunday, my fault, right tool, wrong offset and hit the vise jaws with a 20mm end mill. Not a hard smash, the jaws will clean up at 20 to 30 thou and the cutter took a light regrind to get back to standard but it took the Z drive Gecko out.
Full blown burn out, all Mosfets fried and didn't blow the fuse.

Fortunately had a new drive and fitted it, ran rest of Sunday and all day Monday, switched of Monday night OK.
Switched on Tuesday Morning and no Z drive again, can't see a problem inside the drive but it's dead, again fuse OK.

Had a spare Arc drive so swapped the micro steps to 8 from 10 and fitted it. ran two air test runs and put it to work.

Now since converting to Gecko drives the Z has lost steps on programs with many short Z moved like canned cycle drilling.
After 1400 odd hoes I can be up to 12 thou out, not a real problem as they are all thru holes but annoying.

Tried all sorts of help, leading edge, trailimg edge, pulse width, pulse space etc, etc, from Ian Eagland at Ahha and Mariss at Gecko but still lost steps.
When I swapped to the Arc drive this problem disappeared without doing anything.

On the X3 I have just converted I have used the C11G breakout board from Arturo Duncan at http://www.cnc4pc.com
This is a nice board as it has the relays on board, charge pump and can run the spindle via a VFD or even a DC speed board.

John S.


Hard to say, from the picture this machine looks to have type 34 short steppers and from experience / old age / sad memory [ delete as necessary ] these motors tended to be high amperage, often 5 or 6 amps.
In this case the driver box you have listed won't do as it's not rated high enough. You need details off the motor if possible or other Denford owners.

The driver box you have listed is just a boxed version of the 4 axis board, they do a three axis board for less but to be honest I'm wary of these type of boards as they have little or no protection afforded to the board or back to the computer and if one drive pops the whole board is toast.

This is only preference but I much prefer separate drives as if there is a problem it's only one drive to replace.

Bringing bits in from the states can pay because of the £ to $ rate but often you get hit for customs and duty so it often works out that the $$ price equals the ££ price.
Arc Euro at http://www.arceurotrade.co.uk do stepper drives here in the UK at decent prices and are readily available on short notice.

John S.

Do as Hood says, just grab it and then start to work with it.
You will have to spend money on it - fact of life - but you are getting this for peanuts.

Ignore the toolchanger and just manually swap tools, 99% of home shop guys do anyway and a lot of small commercial guys.

The problem is at the moment you need a lot of expertise to perform this conversion, not being funny but you don't have it at the moment so go for the simple XYZ conversion, run the machine for a while whilst the learning curve improves and later you will be in a better position to convert the toolchanger.

Trying to do it all at once on the learning level you are on is very daunting and you are more liable to either not finish it or get disenchanted with the conversion.
On the plus side it can be done, has been done and in Mach3 and this forum you will get loads of help to allow you to do this.
First get the machine and then seek advise on converting it to Mach3.

The best of luck and I hope it goes OK for you.

John S.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Metric Vs Imperial
« on: November 18, 2006, 04:19:56 AM »
Put F250 or whatever you want in the initialisation string on the config.
That then becomes your default feed.

John S.

General Mach Discussion / Re: We need Linux port
« on: November 17, 2006, 07:11:17 PM »

open minds and willing fingers may bring this about, if anyone is willing to work on this, lets talk :)

No because trying to port Mach3 onto Linux will only get you EMC which already exists and for what purpose ?
To save $100 for windows and $160 for a Mach 3 license ?
But who pays to port Mach3 over to save the $160 ?
If Art does this what does he get out of it ?

I'm sorry but this is one subject that revs me up.
If you go out and buy a commercial control like a Fanuc it will set you back 10K. For that you will get a dedicated controller and limited support.
It won't allow you do do CAD/CAM, check your email play solitaire whilst machining a part and it will have what they supply NOT what you fancy being added.

Instead you have paid your $159 and got close to what you spent 10K on and in some options better than that.

Where do you want it to end? A free computer, steppers and drivers and as much precision ball screw and linear rail as you can carry ?

No sorry even if it is a hobby it has a cost, it you can't afford it don't whinge, just put it back in the box and don't play with it.

I'd like to take up photography, anyone got a digital 35mm Cannon for about $25.00 ? as it's all I want to pay?

General Mach Discussion / Re: We need Linux port
« on: November 15, 2006, 06:35:12 PM »
Simple choice.
You can have Mach3 with all it's attendant support and bug fixes that runs on a system many understand and use the CNC machine as it was intended.


You can move to Linux and EMC and put up with no bugs being fixed, no one responsible for the project and using a system that only a few techy geeks can understand and spend all your time getting the computer / EMC running and forget using the machine.

Linux user started off with one version out of 10 with a program called Red Hat, possibly named after the rabbit that was pulled out of it.
Now I see we are being touted to use a program called Unbunto which according to Google is a village in west Africa.

John S.

General Mach Discussion / Re: What is the best Cad / Cam software?
« on: October 16, 2006, 07:57:27 PM »
If you can get on with Autocad then Progecad is a very good clone of Acad.
Best thing is the LT version is completely free with no restrictions on time or saves etc.


Towards the bottom of the page.

John S.

General Mach Discussion / Re: Mach to DeskCNC?
« on: October 15, 2006, 02:30:45 PM »
You need to contact Carl direct at DeskCNC.

John S.

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