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EMCO VMC-100 conversion
« on: November 13, 2011, 03:43:22 PM »


Anyone out there who has converted their VMC-100 to mach3, including tool changer?

I'm thinking of doing that - using original 5-phase stepper drivers (accepting step&dir directly).
I'm not certain about spindle servo drive - especially controlling it for driving tool change gear.
I'd really prefer interfacing to the existing electronics, so I could use the original electronics too
if necessary.

I'd really prefer not to invent the wheel again if someone has done this!

Re: EMCO VMC-100 conversion
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2012, 12:13:15 PM »
I am in the same boat-have you found out how to do it??  I would appreciate anything you have found.



Re: EMCO VMC-100 conversion
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2012, 12:54:38 PM »
I have updated the electronics, with more or less success.

I used Granite devices servo controller with step/dir control. Servo has about 150Vdc input. I made a simple powersupply with rectifier bridge and large capasitor, as I'm using a large 240Vac-100Vac transformer anyway (stepper drivers are 100Vac). There is inrush current limit resistor, shorted by a relay (controlled by PLC) after a few seconds from power-up. This spindle servo setup should work nicely for toolchanger rotation with swapaxis.

I used the 5-phase stepper controllers UDK5128 but at the moment I have quite limited torque available, even though all X,Y and Z motors run. Propably some wiring problem with the steppers. Everything runs ok, homes ok, but available torque is much too small.

I used Granite devices BOB (very nice!) and a chinese BOB (took a while to figure out with chinese manual) for 10 input channels and lots of outputs. Connects to two LPT ports at PC. I get RPM to Mach from spindle encoder index output up to 1000RPM, but at high speeds the 1 us TTL pulse is too fast - have to pulse stretch it with cmos 555 monostable circuit. I added X and Y limit switches as the original didn't have any hardware limits. There is also an Omron PLC for making things like home seek work better - first home seek to the limit switch and then backwords to the axis index pulse with PLC KEEP command (limit sets PLC output on, until axis index resets output off). The PLC is great.  

Attached is a schematic of the motor and servo control. This schematic doesn't include limit switches etc. but gives a good idea.

I have not yet made the programming for the tool changer because of the torque problem. There is not enough Z motor torque to operate (lift) the toolchanger when it hits the lever that frees the tool. I really just recently got this far, have to start wondering about the motors next. They definitely must be connected in penta (instead of star) for the controller, but the EMCO schematic contradicts Berger-Lahr schematics a bit.. So don't trust the motor pins in the schematic.

BTW: I have a complete working TM02 controller for sale! Make offers if interested. Everything worked when I disconnected it. I have replaced NiCd backup battery so it keeps machine data properly. Shipment to Europe no problem, I can put it on pallet and arrange very reasonable freight by truck in 1-2 weeks to anywhere in EU.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 12:59:58 PM by MachinistSF »
Re: EMCO VMC-100 conversion
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 05:18:24 PM »

I got the steppers to work! The wiring was incorrect. The penta wiring is not as trivial as one would think. I updated it to schematic.

Also in the schematic there is a circuit for using a stretched spindle encoder index pulse for RPM. It works fine. I first tried just using the input opto of the chinese BOB for RPM input but the encoder pulse was too short, less than 1us in higher RPMs. Now I use the pulse stretcher between BOB and parallel port to convert the 1us pulses to 10ms pulses.
Re: EMCO VMC-100 conversion
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 09:27:28 AM »
Off topic but i have a emco vmc-100 for sale for parts or whole if anyone knows someone that needs it.  It has the controls too.    The steppers won't reset Not sure why...  I was going to have it fixed but no one around me can work on it.  Sell it Very Cheap!!!

Offline f45

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Re: EMCO VMC-100 conversion
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2012, 05:37:31 PM »
Hi MachinistSF,

I have an EMCO VMC-100 too and is just stated to convert my machine to MACH3.

Please tell more have you planning to get the tool changer to work,
That is my biggest problem, getting Axis and spinel engine to work together for the tool change.

My plan is to swoop the old 5 pol stepper motor out which the VEXTA PK299-E4,5A stepper motor.
The spindle motor I will reuse, I have not decided have to control it yet.
Re: EMCO VMC-100 conversion
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 05:34:58 AM »
Don't get me wrong, I like Mach3 for small hobby/home machines like sherlines and taigs but wouldn't it be easier to use a real CNC panel for this machine conversion since it almost has one to start with???

I can get a GSK-980MDa mill panel shipped for $1000.00 (I'm an authorized dealer and do offer cost pricing to private individuals) and the end results far exceed what can be achieved from Mach3

Offline f45

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Re: EMCO VMC-100 conversion
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2012, 07:03:47 AM »
Hi DWalsh62,

MACH3 is a worldwide used piece of software and there are tons of online help video and add-on hardware that you can choose from so you can get a optimal setup.

CNC controller like the GSK from chine, has limited online help and almost non online video to help you to it to work.

Even a $1000 does not sound like so much

« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 07:05:59 AM by f45 »

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: EMCO VMC-100 conversion
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 06:43:28 PM »
I have just deleted all other post previously posted in this topic.  This forum is top notch and I intend for it to stay that way. 

MachinistSF, I'm sorry about this.  Please do continue.

;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

My guard dog is not what you need to worry about!