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New Guy here - Need some help on where to start.
« on: April 19, 2009, 01:05:57 PM »

Looking at an old Boss 5  machine

but I do not know where to start for conversion purposes

too much information


Could someone please break it down for me?

Need some kind of simple list of crap that needs to happen to make a pc control the beast

Some kind of framework to follow

Links to look at.

HELP!!!! lol


I am not a machinist or an electrical engineer - just a guy who loves tools and sees the potential in thsi kind of setup.

I just want to utilize the tools to maek cool stuff

So thats why im here.

Hopefully some of you smart folks out there can push me in the right direction

thanks in advance

mtg

Offline Hood

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Re: New Guy here - Need some help on where to start.
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 01:30:44 PM »
Boss 6.1 is what I did, best thing in my opinion is to gut it and start again with new motors/drives etc.
 Guy here (hillbilly) does sell boards that you can use to integrate the old hardware to PC but the reason I went the new approach was of the unreliability of the early 80's electronics.
 Hres a pic or two of mine after I had just done it.
Hood
Re: New Guy here - Need some help on where to start.
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2009, 02:22:18 PM »
thank you for the reply


part of the allure of the bossmachine for me is the fact that the motors are already in place
and id kind of like to avoid replacing them if possible

so im wondering what parts of the system can be eliminated and what can be retained

to end up having a pc move the thing around

in simple dummy terms of course if someone would so oblige  :)
Re: New Guy here - Need some help on where to start.
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2009, 02:29:17 PM »
what im getting at is

if i buy this machine and rip it apart

what parts can i keep and what do i get rid of
 
 to make a home pc control the existing steppers on the machine

Offline Hood

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Re: New Guy here - Need some help on where to start.
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2009, 06:46:23 PM »
There have been people that have used the original steppers with Geckos but usually you will find the steppers on these old machines are down on power due to their design and age.
 If you want to try and keep things intact then get in touch with HillBiily and use his board.
 If you want to get rid of the old electronics the really the only thngs that may be of use are the contactors, the 110v transformer, the 24v transformer and the capacitors.
Hood
Re: New Guy here - Need some help on where to start.
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2009, 08:50:41 PM »
I have been running a BOSS 5 using the original steppers, power supply and driver boards for the last ten years.
I get 120 IPM rapids at least 90 IPM circular moves. I built a circuit board that plugs into the Bridgeport card cage
and connects to the computer. Originally I was using AHHA software but have just recently moved it over to Mach 3.
I have PC control of the spindle and coolant.
Most of the problems with the Bridgeport stepper drive electronics was caused by Bridgeport's software.
In the 100s of these mills that I have helped change to PC control I have only run across 3 or 4 bad motors.

Offline Chip

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Re: New Guy here - Need some help on where to start.
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2009, 12:21:30 AM »
Hi, TotallyT4KTout

If your on a slim budget and the Boss 5 machine will Re-set & lockup the stepper motor's, As MachineMaster stated, You can inter-face Mach3 with no great Issues, Both the Series 1  and 2's machine's, They will still function manually, E-Stop, Spindle On Off, etc... with the old computer board's removed.

It's a really nice machine to convert, Any way you approach it. Quick change tool holders, Ball Screw's, Coolant Table and Limit SW's, Already Installed.

The method I used is basically the same, In fact you can remove just "One", 8 pin plug-in Connector 6 Wire's and Run Mach3 in what I call role-over mode, It's (Max NC-10 Wave Drive Mode) and has preassigned pin out's in Mach3.

I've used it also for 10+ year's with several Boss Mill's with software that works the same as Mach3 in "Max NC-10 Wave Drive Mode", Just been to Lazy/Crazy or Sidetracked  to install a Faster Computer to Run Mach3 in Window's Environment.

Edit: In fairness, I Should Say, In Testing I've Done, Mach3 Appears to function the same way as last Paragraph Above, Never like being out on a limb or working on a high wire, The Fall can be Bad Ether Way.  :D

Just some Thought's, Chip
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 04:25:54 AM by Chip »