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Author Topic: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion  (Read 21551 times)

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EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« on: February 07, 2011, 03:56:57 PM »
Hi All,

I own very little used EMCO PC- Mill55 and a PC-Turn55. I have the ISA cards for each, and they are both fine and fully functional as they are intended to be... I would like to do a lot more with the PC-Mill55 than the 3-Axis's it has... probing, 4th and 5th axis's, etc.. I'd thought about ganging up the EMCO/Proprietary ISA Cards, scavenging the PC-Turn55 for the EMCO servos and controller, and hacking my way through trying to add functionality to the PC-Mill55 that way.

With the belief that I cannot be the first EMCO PC 50/55 user to want to convert to Mach3, I tried to do a forum search, and didn't have as much luck as I thought, so I have to ask.........

Being completely unfamiliar with Mach3 set-up/configuration/capability... What would it take to operate these EMCO machines from Mach3? I don't have  abig budget, and would consider cashing in the lathe to expand my Mill's capability...  THOUGHTS???


http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af281/kmckenn_bucket/EMCO%20Mill-Lathe/EMCOPCMill-Lathe55.jpg

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2011, 02:45:11 AM »
It is probably a matter of opinion here but my approach, providing the machine is already driven using bipolar stepper motors, would be to replace the existing controller with a cheap, Chinese, multi axis board similar to one I used here for an old Boxford mill http://www.cooperman.talktalk.net/files/14.htm (In your case there would be no need to remove the machine from it's cabinet etc). Many parts such as the PSU, spindle speed controller etc will be reusable.
This then makes the machine 100% compatible with Mach3 operation. There is quite a lot of work involved but it is not an expensive option but check that the stepper motors can be operated in bipolar mode (that they have 4, 6 or 8 wires). If the motors are 5 wire unipolar steppers or servo/encoder types then there would be much more expense involved and it may not be an economic project to complete on a budget.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2011, 08:52:40 AM »
Since I am mostly illiterate in speaking of steppers/servos/control... I don't know... BUT.

It looks like 3+2 wire configuration. 2 for referencing, and 3 for control... I scanned a page out of the "electical documentation" manual on the X-Axis.

http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af281/kmckenn_bucket/X-Axisdoc.jpg

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2011, 11:05:18 AM »
Probably best to actually count the wires coming out of the stepper motor.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 01:21:11 PM »
EMCO has a sealed conduit going to the steppers, going into a sealed end-cap, so it was hard to expose the wiring... BUT this is what it is.

http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af281/kmckenn_bucket/DSC00039.jpg


*EDIT*

scan of end-cap (X-Axis Stepper)

http://i1016.photobucket.com/albums/af281/kmckenn_bucket/02Feb081334.jpg
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 01:37:03 PM by kmckenn »
Re: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2011, 02:08:09 PM »
Found some good info on the steppers in this... still doesn't tell me what I want to know, but it looks like its about all one could want to know ;-)

SIG-Positec (Berger-Lahr)  VRDM 366/50 LHB. Found a/the manual on that stepper... ( http://www.ycityhobby.com/kevin/data/vrdm36x-en.pdf ).

I have this feeling that it being a "3-phase" stepper, is not going to help my cause of trying to fit in with the rest of the crowd on this...  :-\

Re: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2011, 02:40:00 PM »
OK... I only know enough here to try to research and retrieve data on this topic. Went to eBay and typed in "3-phase stepper motor", and came up with... http://cgi.ebay.com/Cnc-5-8A-3-phase-micro-stepper-drive-step-Motor-driver-/390284856026?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5adeca4ada .

Just so happened that the seller referenced Mach3 with a posted video. So it seems if I had those drivers, I'd have to be able to get there from here. BUT, since it seems I must already have A "driver" for the machine to function  ??? can I get there with what the machine must already have? (must only be 3 in there now and 3 in my Lathe). That seller references a controller, which apparently can be driven by Mach3.

OK, done with my rambling... just trying to do enough homework so that somone who actually knows what they are doing (as opposed to me) might have enough information available to them to answer my question(s).

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 02:27:30 AM »
The price of the 3 phase stepper drivers you have found is extremely reasonable and you would need one for each 3 phase stepper motor plus one breakout board to connect them to the computer LPT port. (the breakout board shown in the eBay photo looks like it is directly mains powered so I would avoid this particular one). The existing Power Supply Unit would almost certainly be OK. The existing spindle speed controller would need investigation as to its drive requirements and another small circuit board may be necessary to switch a relay or convert the Mach PWM signal to the appropriate drive voltage.

This would not be a project for the faint hearted as some electrical knowledge is required to hook everything up and test everything but it can be done and looking at the research you have already done you are meticulous enough to succeed.

Tweakie.
KEEP SAFE !
Re: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2011, 05:10:15 PM »
.... (digesting) ;-)
Re: EMCO PC Mill and Turn 55 - Conversion
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 11:21:42 AM »
I see where you posted some information on the Emco thread over at the c-n-c zone.  Buried in that thread on page 10 is where we retrofitted a pc mill last year.  Honestly, it was one of the easiest retrofits we have ever done requiring only to drill out a few holes in the mounting plates and pulleys.  Here is the single-post link:

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/763694-post106.html