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RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« on: February 28, 2012, 08:34:33 AM »
Hello,

A friend has a RoboTool CVM-1 milling machine that is presently working.  He has seen my
small desktop router and admires the MACH3 software.  We were wondering if it is economically
feasible to upgrade his machine to use MACH 3.

His machine uses servos - for example is it a matter of connectiong a specific BOB to his controller
boards and then to a PC with MACH 3 on it??

Thank you,
Octavio

Offline Hood

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Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2012, 02:25:42 PM »
If the servo drives are analogue input only rather than Step/Dir then he can go two routes.
1. replace the drives with ones that accept step/dir signals.
2. Use one of the motion contrllers available for Mach that can output +-10v analogue signals.
Hood
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 06:21:52 PM »
Thank you Hood -

I will check with him tomorrow -

If they are analoque input only and we need to go with
motion controllers, can you recommend a source.

Thank you,
Octavio

Offline Hood

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Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 06:29:25 PM »
Cant really recommend as I have never used any of them but the options I know of are
Galil (expensive unless second hand)  http://www.galilmc.com/
DSPMC  http://www.vitalsystem.com/web/motion/dspmc.php
KFlop with KAnalog    http://dynomotion.com/index.htm
CSMIO/IP-A   http://www.cs-lab.eu/en/galeria-dzial--3,-CSMIO_Series__CNC_CONTROL_SYSTEMS.html

Hood
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 05:03:56 PM »
 I just finished a complete retrofit on a 1985 RoboTool mill originally fitted with CVM-1 controls. It came out well but was a complete rewire job. I ended up ditching the original NEMA box in favor of 2 saddle boxes, primarily due to floor constraints within my shop. I used the original motors but threw out the resolvers in favor of quadrature encoders. Everything else in the control is new. Power supply, communication boards, amps, relays for the way lube, coolant pump, and spindle brake. All new. I spent less than a grand on the iron with good screws and motors, sold the original control to somebody who wanted it as a spare to get half my original investment back, and then have no more than $2k into the retrofit. The machine is not screaming fast because the original servo motors are small, but I can manage 80ipm in the X, 90ipm in the Y, and 100 IPM in the Z which is good enough for my needs. My new servo amps could handle more motor, and I might upgrade to something a bit larger in the X and Y eventually. For now, the machine is quiet, accurate to 0.001 repeatably, and is going to make me a boat load of money. For relatively short money I don't think you could do much better. The base machine iron on the old RoboTool is a good design and I get 36" of travel in the X, 15" in the Y, and 5" in the Z. Good luck.
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2012, 07:58:43 AM »
I just finished a complete retrofit on a 1985 RoboTool mill originally fitted with CVM-1 controls. It came out well but was a complete rewire job. I ended up ditching the original NEMA box in favor of 2 saddle boxes, primarily due to floor constraints within my shop. I used the original motors but threw out the resolvers in favor of quadrature encoders. Everything else in the control is new. Power supply, communication boards, amps, relays for the way lube, coolant pump, and spindle brake. All new. I spent less than a grand on the iron with good screws and motors, sold the original control to somebody who wanted it as a spare to get half my original investment back, and then have no more than $2k into the retrofit. The machine is not screaming fast because the original servo motors are small, but I can manage 80ipm in the X, 90ipm in the Y, and 100 IPM in the Z which is good enough for my needs. My new servo amps could handle more motor, and I might upgrade to something a bit larger in the X and Y eventually. For now, the machine is quiet, accurate to 0.001 repeatably, and is going to make me a boat load of money. For relatively short money I don't think you could do much better. The base machine iron on the old RoboTool is a good design and I get 36" of travel in the X, 15" in the Y, and 5" in the Z. Good luck.

I'm looking at getting a Robotool and was wondering if you could give me a list of things I need and where to get them if you could to do a conversion. THX
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 08:06:37 AM »
 The only thing I kept from the original system was the motors, and I'm regretting that now since they are quite small (250W). I can rapid at 80ipm reliably when the machine is warm and that is about it. Before long I suspect it will drive me over the edge and I'll upgrade the motors to 750W. Beyond that, I didn't even keep the NEMA cabinet, but that was mostly due to my own personal packaging requirements within my shop space. You'll need a breakout board, servo amps, power supplies (servo and logic), circuit protection, contactors, VFD for the spindle (assuming you don't have 3 phase available or want variable control of spindle speed via the controller). I went with mostly CNC4PC stuff since I like the way Arturo Duncan has packaged everything. I also went with Dugong drives which I am thrilled with.

Just FYI, the auto way lube pump and coolant pump are both 120/1 VAC so you'll need to accomodate relays for those within your control as well.

Aside from the motors, I really like the machine and have been putting it to work lately. The footprint is very small for the available table travel and the head/spindle is both extremely rigid and quite powerful. My next immediate project on the machine is going to be some chip/coolant guarding on the table and a chip tray below.

Best of luck.
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2012, 08:14:50 AM »
Interesting. The manual says it will do 200ipm.
The machine I am looking at was making wood parts before the move. now I get a stop switch error and won't let me continue. I hear noting when I push the E Stop button. Maybe something simple?
I have no experience with CNC so all is a foreign language to me and trying to find any help with this machine is nearly impossible. The iron itself is pristine and looks like it has never been used almost. Asking $1000
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2012, 08:21:07 AM »
 Well I don't know if the motors which I've been working with were original to the machine or not...I think they are but I guess you never know with a 25 year old machine. 250W is very small...I woudln't have expected to do much more than its doing now. As for the old control....that thing is dated so I wouldn't really consider reusing it unless you're into electronics are are always up to a challenge. I would be extremely interested to hear what motors this machine you're looking at has....maybe even some pictures?
Re: RoboTool CVM-1 upgrade
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2012, 08:31:56 AM »
I'll see what I can do. I should go there today or tomorrow at the latest. I only took photos of controls and table. No drive pictures.
I have the operator and programming manuals but no service manual which would really be helpful.

I can some simple testing. For the most part, how these things work is beyond me and mush more learning is in order. I am going to sell my J Head BP or my benchtop knee mill for the funds to buy this. Which ever sells first. Trying not to sell the BP for $1000 as that is a steal. Have 2 guys in line to buy it now. I do need a working machine in it's place.