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Author Topic: Smooth Stepper Lathe Conversion  (Read 5064 times)

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Smooth Stepper Lathe Conversion
« on: October 25, 2010, 12:59:13 PM »

I have acquired an Eco PC-turn 50 lathe.

It came advertised as having a minor fault.

The lathe seems in excellent mechanical condition but electronically, it seems a little, well, knackered, I can Jog in X and Y, that's about it.

I have decided to fit new electronics and make a bit of a project of it.

Anyway, on to the smooth stepper related part...

Can I get the smooth stepper to control the tool turret on the machine ?
Can the smooth stepper control the spindle for threading, speed and direction, the spindle seems to be fitted with an optical encoder (disk with lots of holes in a circle and an optical sensor) ?
I want to add flood coolant, presumably just a relay needed for that ?

As the steppers are ye olde 5 phase ones and driving them seems problematic for a new controller, I was thinking of going for a setup along the lines of a smooth stepper, C32 board,  Gecko 320x's and the Kelling 350 Oz/in Nema 23 servos.

Some sort of inverter for the spindle will also be needed.

Any thoughts or advice would be very helpful.



Offline Dan13

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Re: Smooth Stepper Lathe Conversion
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2010, 03:27:17 PM »
Hi Paul,

Mach3 can handle all you're asking for. Smooth Stepper being no obstacle. I have retrofitted an Emco Compact 5 and it works with the SS just fine.

To control the turret I put a disk with 6 slots on the turret shaft at the opposite end of the turret plate and fitted an optical sensor to count then. Then a simple macro handles the tool change by reversing the voltage to the ATC DC motor through a relay.

To read the spindle speed for threading you will only need ONE slot on the disk. Expand a bit the outer slot and you should be fine. Then again, it is easier to use a new photo interrupter (like the C3 combo from CNC4PC) rather than trying to figure the pinout of the original one.

You are correct about the flood coolant.

Basically, the 5 phase steppers are better than the common 2 phase ones. They usually run smoother. Problem is finding proper drivers for them. Anyway, not sure servos are the correct choice for this machine - especially for the X axis, having merely 50mm of travel. Steppers are much cheaper and can handle it no problem.

Mine came with a DC motor and I was able to control it with the C6 board.