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Author Topic: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)  (Read 17368 times)

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Offline Sweep

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Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« on: November 17, 2006, 03:04:15 PM »
I am really new to this CNC stuff so would appreciate a bit of help.
I have been offered a Triac ATC from September 1994, which is currently at an engineering works that is closing. The machine has a couple of bashes on the cabinet and must be considered as a non - runner as I haven't seen it powered up. Price was originally £800 but dropped to £400 as I couldn't see it powered up but I think I could get it for £250.
I am guessing that the original electronics will be junk as the machine couldn't be powered up, but that suits me fine as after downloading Mach3 it looks incredible and, therefore, I need to know just how much I will need to spend to get the machine up and running.
For anyone not familiar with the Triac ATC, it has X,Y,Z axis with another motor rotating an 8 point tool holder. The tools are selected pneumatically, the motor just indexes them int position. Not sure what controls the spindle motor speed though.
Would like to be able to upload dxf drawings as I am not familiar with G code programming etc.
Don't really want to learn by mistakes again so would appreciate any help.
Is there a 'box' I can buy that fits in between my computer and the Triac that will control all the axis and tool changer, vary the spindle motor speed, trigger the pneumatics to select and lock in the toolholder and that will not cost me the price of a new Haas? There is a pneumatic/electric box on the machine which I guess looks after the toolchanger, I think it will just need a trigger signal.
Finally, I could do with any help asap as I will have to sat yes or no to the machine next Monday or Tuesday.

Thanks ...Richard

Hood

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Re: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2006, 08:01:59 PM »
Dont think you will find a box that will be plug and play especially if you are on a budget. I am about to embark on a lathe retrofit (lack of £££;s is holding things up :( ) It has a 6 position rear turret and 4 position front toolpost so I will be in the same  boat as you with regards the toolchanger. From my discussions with Brian Barker it seems a PLC is the way to go for all the inputs/out[uts I will need,  but its definitely not plug and play, it will take a bit of work.
Hood
Re: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2006, 09:41:25 PM »
All you need to do is get something that can turn the bits on and off... so if you think you can do it with the parallel port go for it! you will not have much for I/O :(  but you may be able to get it to work!

Best of luck
Brian
Fixing problems one post at a time ;)

www.newfangledsolutions.com
www.machsupport.com

Offline Sweep

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Re: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2006, 03:32:45 AM »
Oh no ...getting very worried with all this talk of I/O and PLC's  ???
I understand that if I want to get this thing going then I will have to spend some cash, something even someone from Yorkshire has to accept from time to time.
I have been looking at a 'boxes' from a company called Conqueror (CNC1) which costs £600, or card only (MPC5) for £399, and also one from StepmasterNC at $299USD but if you can point me in a better direction I would be glad to accept your advice. If the Mach people have worked in cooperation with a 'box' builder please point me down that road.
If it can only be made to work by buying and programming a PLC then i'll probably pass on the machine; Mach3 (superb), I have already had it working in simulation and have drawn, uploaded dxf into Lazycam, and run the program from my laptop, but I have no experience whatsoever on programming.

http://www.stepmasternc.com/stepmasternc10606_010.htm
http://www.eaziform.co.uk/phpwcms/index.php?cnc1

Thanks again ...Richard

Hood

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Re: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2006, 04:08:05 AM »
All of this can be fairly straightforward but there is a bit of learning involved but its not too hard to learn. If you ignore the toolchanger for the time being you can get this up and running quite easily, how much you will have to spend will depend on things such as whether your motors are useable etc. If you get this thing for £200 or so grab it, even if you decide not to retrofit it I am sure you would get that easily on eBay.
Hood

Offline Sweep

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Re: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2006, 04:17:55 AM »
Here are a couple of pics of the machine.

Offline John S

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Re: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2006, 04:59:06 AM »
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.

Offline Sweep

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Re: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2006, 05:31:04 AM »
I think it is good advice to ignore the toolchanger for the time being.
I appreciate that even if I get the machine for next to nothing the upgrade will cost. From your (anyone's) experience just how much will it cost? This is what I really need to know. Will the StepmasterNC 'box' look after the XYZ for $299USD or is there a 'special box' that will cost £1000's? All I need is an idea as I really want to buy this machine to run as my own and not pass-on on ebay. If I can't afford the upgrade then i'll say no to the Triac as I don't want it stood idle as a nice conversation piece.

Thanks ...Richard
Bradford
England

Offline John S

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Re: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2006, 06:45:39 AM »
Richard,

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.

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Denford Triac ATC - guidance on updating to Mach3(?)
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2006, 08:22:44 AM »
Hello Bradford,
    I hope this helps, I converted a manual mill to a three axis cnc using steppers. (3 1780 oz. in.) If your machine is sound mechanically, your motors work, limits switches are working, etc. it can be done for very little expense. I spent about $700.00 US on the components you will need. Power supply, drives, (3 Gecko 201s) breakout board, cable, 5v, 12v, brick power supply. Assuming you have a PC, Mach, and some wire allready. You may not even need the power supplies if the machine has one you can use. :)
;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

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